Monday, December 14, 2009

Keep Thy Pretense Low

We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men

There's a lot spoken about pretension in music, but I find many examples of such in CD reviews and liner notes.

Here's a review of a King Crimson CD:

Time Out review of Thrak; "Starting out with seven minutes of portentous, turgid instrumental nonsense, 'Thrak' eventually settles into a spineless blend of vapid, overproduced, highfalutin' bombast.... all such hope or promise is quickly subsumed beneath their suffocatingly dreary miasmic muso meanderings."

Pretension is always aimed directly at Crimson and others like them largely because there are people who believe that rock should never venture outside of certain musical parameters. Nothing against The Ramones, but rock can be much more than two to three minute, four chord songs about wanting to be sedated.

I really believe that writers of this kind consider themselves to be far above the musician in the realm of the intellect. One critic actually stated that "music was far too important to be left to musicians." You see, musicians may have talent, but they believe that we are all a bunch of dumbasses when compared to wordmeisters.

It doesn't end with rock critics. Classical has some of the most hilarious writing ever. From a CD liner notes:

"The C major Fantasy's stormy, multi-faceted gestation suggests an analogous ebullition. A litany of cryptic phrases and references impinge like shards-"

Perhaps the story could be told this way:

"Look, the dude (Schumann) was in love. He was 26, she only 16. Her dad said no. It was extreme bummage for him and so he wrote his blues."

Funny post that I found. The flute? Pretentious? Hey, I liked Jethro Tull. Still do, actually. The guy calls the Stick a joke. He loses me there. I do think triple neck instruments go beyond the pale of good taste.

Keep the verbiage to a minimum and the pretense even lower.

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