Vinyl Discoveries 6.1.15

King Crimson: In the Wake of Poseidon

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Without getting into a history of King Crimson as a band, I have learned this group has had an unstable history, to put it mildly.  I find that instability in their music; I never know what’s coming next.

This album starts off light and airy with Peace – A Beginning.  Then Pictures of a City has a completely different sound; it’s harsh and angry.  The last two lines are

Concrete dream flesh broken shell

Lost soul lost trace lost in hell

Deep.  How many of us feel lost as we go about our daily lives, even though we’re in the middle of thousands of people in our familiar towns and cities?

The title track has more classical-sounding influences, and this 8 minute song could easily have been the climactic song in a 007 film.  There’s just so much tension in the music.

Side 2 starts off with Peace – a Theme.  Just a simple acoustic guitar interlude.  Then Cat Food jumps into a jazz inspired piano and vocal styling similar to The Beatles Come Together, with the “Cat Food, Cat Food, again” line bringing Joe Walsh to mind.  Man, a weird song, but musically very satisfying.

After an uncomfortable silence, the next track starts with a marching drumbeat.  It builds great anticipation.  After the long silence and what felt like 5 minutes of drums and ambient strings, I’m ready for something to happen!

Why hasn’t anyone used these guys for a film score?!?!  Sinister organ music layered on top of all this!  What’s going to happen?  How dumb can you be???  DON’T OPEN THAT DOOR!!!!  

Then the sound of rushing wind, followed by silence once again…. only to start rebuilding with the same drumbeat, this time with horns and electronic keyboards, fading into chaos….

Wedged between the layers of cardboard In the bottom of the box that this LP was in, I found a Venezuelan coin from 1977.    So odd, yet it could be easily mistaken for a dime at first glance, and it made me wonder how it got there.

As the stylus returned after the end of the album, I muttered “Man is that weird” aloud. In the Wake of Poseidon is a wild trip, that’s for sure, but I’m not really sure where it took me where I wanted to go.  But hey, enjoy the journey.

Vivaldi – Four Seasons

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I’m not a huge classical music fan.  I probably couldn’t identify most of the great works by name, but I do appreciate them when I hear them.  This copy has almost zero background noise – including in the lead-in grooves – so it led to a very pleasing listening session.

Almost everyone has heard at least portions of Four Season’s before.  The first passage is the quintessential country club background music in movies.  And another passage is the music often used in one luxury automaker’s commercials.  I immediately thought “Lexus” when I heard the music.

I enjoyed this so much I was ready to listen to it again within hours.

The Grateful Dead:  Workingman’s Dead

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Causal listeners of classic rock will probably recognize Uncle John’s Band and Casey Jones, the first and last songs on this album, respectively.  The next two songs had me thinking “I don’t get it” again regarding the Grateful Dead and their popularity.

But three of the next four songs just floored me.  I mean – Wow.  Easy Wind on Side 2 is amazing.  Great guitar work, amazing drums, killer vocals.  Even Casey Jones seemed better than I remembered. Not a fan yet, but looking forward to the next Dead album; they’re starting to come to life for me.

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