Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fine Listening

Now luxuriating in Procol Harum Live At The Union Chapel, a DVD I just don't play often enough. Mind you this is true of all the concert DVDs I own - Mr Brooker and the boys are not being singled out for any specifically targeted neglect on my part. The truth is I am fortunate enough to own a mighty surplus of music-related media and must strive to do it justice. Not that I need a lot of encouragement to do so.

By the way, this 2003 concert features one of the best, if not the best performing versions of the band. I've been focusing this listening on Geoff Whitehorn's guitar and he is unselfishly impeccable. Oh, and Gary Brooker's voice sounds in better nick than ever. I'm tempted to proclaim him the best English blues voice of his generation, but the term 'blues' seems so limited in this context.

And earlier today I was giving a spin to Elvis Costello's Momofuku and realised I'd forgotten how many great songs are on it. He did My Three Sons when we saw him in his solo concert over here to powerful effect yet if you'd named the song for me yesterday I'd have forgotten I owned a version of it. This put me in mind of what a massive body of work Elvis has now built up (and is still assiduously adding to) and how much of it I still haven't actually purchased - about a quarter as an off-hand estimate.

Which all adds up to the simple truth that I am an extremely lucky chap. And now Procol are playing the lovely Weisselklenzenacht and deserve my full attention.


Anonymous said...

Hi Mr Connor! I'm wondering if you've heard of the writer Simon Frith. He's a musicologist specializing in rock music, and he's closely followed the development of pop/rock/jazz and other types of music since the early 20th century. Earlier I was reading an essay about the aesthetic of punk rock and the influence of technology on the rock aesthetic in general. If you have read him, I'm wondering what you might say about him. If you haven't, I think you'd definitely be interested in him.

Brian Connor said...

The name seems very familiar, and I cheated a bit by checking him out on Wikipedia in case it was someone I really should have known. But no, I can't pin down anything I've read by the guy, though as you rightly say I'm interested.

But I did recognise his brother's name - Fred Frith - a guitarist of some note who played in a band I liked quite a bit - Henry Cow. Also he played with the wonderful Richard Thompson in an unusual experimental four-piece whose name escapes me. Having Fred as a brother immediately gives Simon credibility in my eyes. Many thanks for the heads-up on this one!