Author Topic: OCTAHEDRON and the balance of great prog music  (Read 1176 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

socketlevel

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 1428
  • Respect: +75
OCTAHEDRON and the balance of great prog music
« on: August 12, 2009, 09:25:46 PM »
0
i always come to art and entertainment with a gut/emotional reaction and use (to the best of my ability) some interesting observations or intellect to describe the quality and uniqueness (or lack there of).  this can be the inherent problem with art as i see it, when i can't relate on an emotional level it doesn't work for me.  the flip side of the coin is also true, if it's all emotion and no intellect there is nothing beyond the first experience to draw you back to it.  therefore it's the perfect balance between the fringe and a palatable nature of art that makes me think something is excellent and worthwhile.

when I'm with some of my friends, we often discuss how the stuff that stands the test of time isn't what we would consider amazing upon first glance.  usually something that is really catchy or glossy fades just as fast as it attracts (ie. arcade fire, American beauty) but stuff that resonates on multiple levels keeps us coming back for more (Radiohead, eyes wide shut).  there is nothing worse than a pop song that becomes painfully annoying.

prog music by nature is the opposite of this, it's too heady. very few bands have ever found such a balance between the peaks and valley nature of the genre and the approachable catchy rifts needed to make it attractive.  it's such a precision that when it works it's amazing; almost transcendent.  think about the ending of buffalo 66, the yes song "Heart of the Sunrise" kicks so much ass it makes the scene.  Or the entire soundtrack to "the fountain" by clint mansel and Mogwai, it's the build in the score that pushes the ending to the point of explosion.  both are fine examples of how prog works not only as music but in building two of the best film climaxes i've ever seen.

however History has clearly shown how this balance isn't always achieved.  for example, by my standards the best prog album of all time is Aenima by TOOL.  after this album TOOL got too into themselves and wrote from their minds exclusively.  lateralus and 10,000 days come across as the aenima formula without the heart. 

sadly the same thing happened to the mars volta, after a fucking amazing first album, they followed it up with a solid second... then a third and forth that seemed sloppy and forgettable... So, for those that feel similarly and have worried about the new volta I've listened to it, Octahedron (their 5th), about 4 times now and i gotta say it kicks prog ass.  it's such a relief because the opening and ending of their first record have been a muse of mine on multiple occasions.   

I have an interesting relationship with the mars volta as far as i am a fan of theirs.  i kinda think they're douchebags.  In interviews they seem like they want to be considered unique artists so badly that they come across forced and arrogant.  so by nature you can understand how they made amputechure and bedlam with too much intellect, because they obviously masterbate to their music.  but when their music kicks ass, it inspires.

if you're a prog fan, or always wanted to understand the attraction to this genre, this is the type of album to start with.  after you're done with that I'd check out:

Aenima by TOOL
Lift your skinny fists like Antennas to the Heavens by godspeed you black emporer!
Deloused in the comatorium by the mars volta
the one last hit that spent you...

Stefen

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 7777
  • smh
  • Respect: +191
Re: OCTAHEDRON and the balance of great prog music
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2009, 09:48:12 PM »
0
I find TOOL kind of corny now but I did go see them in concert a few weeks ago in a small venue only because they really are great musicians and put on a killer live show. The audience was awful though.

Deloused is still a pretty sweet album even if MV kind of sucks now. I was all over the MV thread back in 03-04. Jon Theodore's work on Deloused and Frances is top knotch. That guy is amazing.

I just listened to Battles Mirrored a couple days ago and if you haven't heard it, you should. It's probably right down your alley.
Let's go to a motel. We don't have to do anything -- we could just swim.

socketlevel

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 1428
  • Respect: +75
Re: OCTAHEDRON and the balance of great prog music
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2009, 04:05:32 PM »
0
I find TOOL kind of corny now but I did go see them in concert a few weeks ago in a small venue only because they really are great musicians and put on a killer live show. The audience was awful though.

Deloused is still a pretty sweet album even if MV kind of sucks now. I was all over the MV thread back in 03-04. Jon Theodore's work on Deloused and Frances is top knotch. That guy is amazing.

I just listened to Battles Mirrored a couple days ago and if you haven't heard it, you should. It's probably right down your alley.

shit ya the battles are pretty amazing too.  like it's so rhythmic based, and in major key.  it's pretty amazing, a friend of mine just told me the battles drummer was the drummer from Helmet.  and conformation on this?  It's funny because pitchfork seems to hate prog but they loved the battles, maybe it's because the battles seem to merge prog and dance in a way.  because one things for sure pitchfork hates the piss outta MV and TOOL.

i worked a tool show really recently, which small venue did you see them at?  might have been where i was at.
the one last hit that spent you...

Stefen

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 7777
  • smh
  • Respect: +191
Re: OCTAHEDRON and the balance of great prog music
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2009, 04:22:18 PM »
0
I saw them in Rio Rancho, New Mexico at the Santa Ana Star Center.
Let's go to a motel. We don't have to do anything -- we could just swim.

socketlevel

  • The Master of Two Worlds
  • *****
  • Posts: 1428
  • Respect: +75
Re: OCTAHEDRON and the balance of great prog music
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2009, 04:57:13 PM »
0
I saw them in Rio Rancho, New Mexico at the Santa Ana Star Center.

other side of the continent :)  so i guess not.

i saw aenima tour in 96 and it was a small venue then, saw them at a stadium in 2001ish then at this show a few weeks ago which was back to a smaller venue... and gotta say that's where it's at.  fuck stadiums... but fuck the 80 dollar price tag now, not worth the money.  in 96 it was 30 bucks, inflation wasn't that bad.
the one last hit that spent you...

 

DMCA & Copyright | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy