Henry Cow — In Praise of Learning
(ReR Megacorp ReR HC3, 1975/2000, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2000-10-01
For readers familiar with In Praise of Learning I need say no more than, “Here it is, come and get it.” This release captures all the wonderful strangeness of the original in pristine digital clarity. So if you’re like me, and looking to get some of your old vinyl favorites on CD, wait no longer for Henry Cow. For readers unfamiliar with the album, it’s a little harder to decide what to say. This loose band of musical and political radicals produced some of the most original music of the rock era. Their uncompromising approach to music brooked no bending to commerciality or accessibility. The lyrics read like modern poetry, without many rhymes, though with much reason (no “ooh, baby, baby”); the music features no catchy themes you’re likely to find yourself humming (though that first part of “War” ends up going through my head a lot: “Tell of the birth, tell how war appeared on Earth”). Sure, Dagmar’s voice can be a little grating (OK, a lot grating), but there’s a reason for everything with these art rock pioneers. She can sound much sweeter when the music calls for it. Fred Frith’s guitar is outstanding, and the rhythm section of John Greaves (bass) and Chris Cutler (drums) handles the jagged arrangements (there are no grooves here) forcefully. Even after 25 years, this album sounds fresh and alive.
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more