Pink Floyd - Wish You Were Here - 1975
think it’s probably impossible to convey what a good Hipgnosis sleeve felt like to a music-obsessed child in the pre-internet age. they undersold: there were powerful images and a paucity of extraneous information, always. you couldn’t ask them “why is the man on fire?” you just had to accept that the businessman-lookin’ dude was on fire, on a soundstage or in a business park or wherever, and he was shaking hands with a dude who didn’t seem to understand that the other dude was on fire, and that the accompanying text was wish you were here
"less is more" is a cliché, but "the information you hold back grows larger in the unlocatable dark" isn’t, and Hipgnosis knew this
I’m a huge fan their work and also the later film and concert background work Aubrey Powell did for The Who. (Probably I’m aware of this because I like The Who too much… not sure what Storm Thorgerson went on to but will Google post-haste)
When I was a little kid I was The Artful Dodger in a local production of Oliver! and then when I was a little older I was Tommy in a national tour of Tommy and both were utterly scarring experiences
I haven’t been recommending or writing about all that much music on here lately so here’s part of a piece I’ve been working through lately. I’m a sucker for Debussy and Estampes (“Woodcuts” or “Prints”) is one of my favorites if not my favorite work of his for solo piano. Alas my favored recording of it can’t be found on Spotify or similar so this one by Noriko Ogawa will suffice; I generally find her to have a bit of a heavy hand with an exacted and calculated attack (I was once warned about letting the listener “hear you think”) but she is an extremely dextrous pianist which comes through in this intricate piece. In addition to his signature use of whole-tone scales Debussy here also uses Asian-influenced pentatonic forms — the piece is after all titled “Pagodas.” I feel reluctant to mention but will anyway that this certainly suits Ogawa’s cultural background, not that this does or should mean anything.
I first heard the whole work several years ago and was struck by how much the sweeping arpeggios reminded me of the piano introduction to The Who’s “Love Reign O’er Me” as well as interstitial piano throughout Quadrophenia. In fact, it more then reminded me of the record — there’s bits on the LP that seem to be directly lifted from Pagodes. But, who knows, I’ve never been able to find anything written about it. Still, I’d be willing to bit Pete Townshend listened to his fair share of Debussy.
In an odd way I sort of feel funny and guilty that I know about The Who’s music first then stumbled into Debussy, and not the other way around.
Is gonna be a good year.
(my #2 artist of last.fm is The Who, my #3 is the Mountain Goats, so the year-symbolism seemed a vaguely appropriate excuse to put this picture on something else again.)
One of my favorites. From The Who’s film Quadrophenia. That’s right — Tommy isn’t the only movie they made. Though this one did not star any band members and had a limited release outside the UK. It did, however, star a not-yet-famous Sting as the Bell Boy character.
yes. you should. i will be waiting ever so intently.
well i’m working on it… although as i stated might be the case it’s not looking very good for things that actually came out in 2012 (though i can think of much more than i thought i could have, some of them i’ve listened to much less than other stuff). i have my top 4 slated so far for sure (well, i might swap spots of a couple) and the pool of stuff i have to draw from for the rest so far looks as follows:
David Byrne & St. Vincent - Love This Giant (2012)
alt-j (∆) - An Awesome Wave (2012)
The Who - Quadrophenia (1973)
The Magnetic Fields - Distant Plastic Trees (1991)
ELO - Time (1981)
Kakkmaddafakka - Hest (2011)
Jukebox the Ghost - Everything Under the Sun (2010)
Jukebox the Ghost - Safe Travels (2012)
Harold Arlen - Stormy Weather (1943)
David Bowie - Earthling (2003)
Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball (2012)
Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska (1982)
Ben Folds Five - The Sound of the Life of the Mind (2012)
The Beach Boys - That’s Why God Made The Radio (2012)
LCD Soundsytem - 45:33 (2007)
John Cale - Shifty Adventures in Nookie Wood (2012)
Give input/help me decide, people!
Rediscovering The Who Sell Out thanks to Matt’s Spotify Playlist Dudemanbro. You should check it out, DudemanbroGuy-Manthing.
Back when Roger Daltrey still sang with a sort of slight, even timid melodic eagerness compared to his later uber-macho persona.
And yes I now the Spotify player is obnoxiously large on Tumblr but come on this is an awesome cover
Strange days, my friends.
I just logged into last.fm for the first time in a while to find that The Mountain Goats have overtaken my #2 all-time listen spot (well, not really all-time, but since fall 2010) from The Who. I used to listen almost only to The Who back in high school and before. Well, The Who, other classic rock, and showtunes. Seeing so plainly on a chart how my music taste has evolved since I entered college (I only even learned who the Mountain Goats are from my talented all-around good guy suitemate Chris my freshman year) makes me feel a little uncomfortable and strangely guilty with myself. You can still see a few hangers-on from my pre-NYU period, like the Stones and She & Him and the Beach Boys. But still, it feels bad in a way.
That being said, about to go running while I listen to all of Live at Leeds and then maybe get back and put on Quadrophenia while I cook up some quinoa kale salad with some friends.
(Oh, and we’re not talking about what #1 is.)
"cousin kevin" is more of the under-appreciated hipster song compared to "fiddle about" in terms of john entwistle’s contributions on the Tommy album.
Me, just now, to Matt, who is now playing an unrelated song.
And, who did not respond.
The Spells, The Age Of Backwards EP, (1999).
Carrie Brownstein + The Who = the best.
An old friend of mine recently came across this blog and asked if I had “gone soft” given all the contemporary indie rock I’ve been writing about and old Beach Boys stuff I’ve been posting.
I could explain my thoughts about the state of modern music today, or offer analysis of Van Dyke Parks’ lyrics (crows, cornfields, palm desert & all) and argue that all this is anything but “soft” ….
…but I’ll just say The Who are still the best band ever in my mind period I don’t care what you say.
This epic but tender tune is so different with Pete singing it as opposed to Roger. Totally different feeling; I almost like it better, but that may just be my penchant for variety and change from what I’ve heard a thousand times before.