RACH! (As broadcast on Radio Live, Easter Monday, 2008)

Lindsay Perigo's picture
Submitted by Lindsay Perigo on Sun, 2008-03-23 20:43

Today I want to announce RACH: Revolt Against Caterwauling Headbanging.

Normally I refer to "headbanging caterwauling'; today I’m reversing the expression for the sake of a good acronym, one that implicitly pays tribute to the antipode of headbanging caterwauling, Rachmaninoff.

What will RACH do? It will seek, by means of moral persuasion, not government force, to rescue the world from the clutches of the culturally depraved, whose substitute for music—evil set to cacophony—assails us at every turn.

Going to the gym in pursuit of the body beautiful? You’ll be deafened by the discord ugly.

Going to the supermarket for food to sustain the body? You’ll be assailed by jangling to crush the spirit.

Going to a restaurant for conversation and romance? You’ll be undone by amplified chainsaws and jackhammers.

Watching television for relaxation and entertainment? You’ll be thwarted by screaming skulls screeching scripts for promos and ads, competing with chainsaws and jackhammers.

In its most blatant, obnoxious and honest form—rap—this depravity doesn’t conceal its life- and man-hatred, replete as it is with murderous agendas and gratuitous profanity. If there were a Satan, rap would offend even him. If there were a Hell, it wouldn’t compete with rap for awfulness.

Those who perpetrate, perform and enjoy headbanging caterwauling are sub-human. They are in rebellion against life, against grandeur, against heroism, against beauty ... they are at war with that which is the crowning glory of man: his mind. They are mindless worshippers of mindlessness. They do not rule the world officially but they have taken it over. They have taken over the shopping malls, the shops, the bars and restaurants, the gyms and rugby fields, the interludes between television programmes and even the programmes themselves. Nothing is uncorrupted by these aliens—even opera singers perform with them.

It’s time to shame these aesthetic thugs into oblivion. Musical masochism is for consenting adults in private; it shouldn’t be sadistically imposed on unconsenting adults in public. Ideally its perpetrators should follow the logic of one of their number, the Slipknot drummer who, when told his was music to commit suicide by, said, “We must be doing something right.” I would certainly encourage that alien and all its fellows to top themselves and leave the earth to human beings.

Stand by for The RACH tick of approval for restaurants that allow conversation; for Sky Sport when it stops confusing its mission with rock concerts, its audience for rappers; for Les Mills when it stops damaging its clients’ hearing for the benefit of freaks on steroids. Stand by for RACH bumper stickers that say, "What are you afraid will happen if there’s no wailing and screaming?" "Silence is Golden." "Stop Harvey Norman, Stop." And, "Ozzie Ozbawn Sucks."

Yes, RACH to the rescue. Let the enlightened reclaim the earth, and the aliens crawl back to their mosh pits.

( categories: )

Jeez Wayne...

Olivia's picture

that'd be sheer hell for anybody. What's with this imagining torture scenarios for our poor Linz?!


Caterwauling Headbanging. Yeah Baby!

Wayne Simmons's picture

I suggest the following torture for Lindsay Perigo.

Tie Lindsay's arms behind his back. Force Lindsay into a small room. Tie him to a chair and have Tool's song 46&2 played continuously for 48 hours at the highest volume imaginable.

Anyone remember offhand ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... where does Rand tell the story of the young man with whom she was listening to records of music he thought he ought to like when in actual fact he liked ballet music, which for some reason he figured he ought not to like? Now that I'm looking for it I'm buggered if I can find it. Ain't it always so??

Wheel spinning...

mvardoulis's picture

I know you're not asking accusingly, Uncle Linz, and I apologize for my tardy response. Smiling I've been rediscovering an old lost love - margaritas - while being reminded why I still put up with the People's Republic of California after having lived here all my life: the absolutely PERFECT weather this last weekend! Quite a distraction.

The clips I posted earlier were meant to be not merely examples of wheel-spinners for me (which they are, but there are others that are more so), but to differentiate blues music from 'headbanging/caterwauling' in that they are worlds apart from heavy metal, punk and rap.

What 'grabs me' about these particular songs, and when blues music is done 'right' in general, is the gut-wrenching, painful, honest (even when accompanied by tongue-in-cheek lyric as my first two examples demonstrate) emotion in the melody whether delivered by harmonica (or 'blues harp' as its called among blues artists), guitar, piano, organ or vocal. I simply *feel* more of this music than any other kind of music - the full range of my emotional scale is tapped with each somber note emerging, especially as the notes vary so dramatically in intensity and speed (i.e. a fast array of notes within an otherwise slow-tempo song). I identify myself in this music more than any other when it’s done correctly, that is, beyond merely observing the rather simple musical format of the blues tradition. What's more, I find the music so emotive with each note that I feel like I'm the mind of the composer, again, when it's done correctly as it is in the examples I've posted below. Its music I 'feel' - and occasionally clever lyrics help.

I can see why these selections I posted may seem boring to a sophisticated ear (which you most definately have, dear uncle) but keep in mind there are other, admittedly more simple (yet not headbanging), musical traditions with a different aspect of complexity at work.

I didn't ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... recognise any Rach in there, but I couldn't endure it right through.

Any ideas

gregster's picture

OK Lindsay here's one for you. Which Rachmaninoff piece is borrowed for this song? I've been trying to locate it for years.

Now, Nephew ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... next part of your homework: can you articulate WHY these spin your wheels?

This is not asked accusingly, btw. Smiling

To me they are curiosity pieces. They don't hit my SOL receptors at all, quickly bore me in fact ... and I'm genuinely interested in how they hit yours.

I note that the Slayer fan has retreated from the fray. Shame. I wanted to help him with his anger issues. (Hahahahaha!)


mvardoulis's picture

...I'm positively 'lame' when it comes to putting up youtube links and the like here on SOLO so hopefully this works. First up is a clip I've come to love for personal reasons...

Sonny Boy Williamson (II) and his song "Your Funeral, My Trial" - yeah, he's off-pitch (but off-pitch in accordance with the tradition of blues vocals) and yes, his harmonica playing is a little unconventional even for blues standards but amazing and emotive nonetheless. The lyrics, if you can decipher them, are hilariously human, and the audience reaction at the end of the number is one of the best parts of the clip.

This one, with Muddy Waters joining for Muddy's song "Got My Mojo Workin'" is also a great satire of American superstitions dominant in the South:

And since Mr. Beck mentioned Stevie Ray Vaughn I'd like to put one of my favorite clips of one of my favorite songs by Stevie, "Tin Pan Alley" - the clip has two parts but for your purposes the first one should be enough:

If these don't link up properly here on SOLO I'll try again...


Lindsay Perigo's picture

But I look forward to seeing of our host has, as I suspected, decided to include other forms of traditional music such as the blues in his current attack. I may be compelled to enter the fray, if so...

Blues? I think I trod in some the other day. Heh, heh, heh. Anyway, Nephew, could you point me to something on Youtube that really spins your wayward wheels?

Don't Be Coy

Billy Beck's picture

"I refuse to discuss my sex life in public."

On what I've seen so far, you might as well.

Already TMI...

mvardoulis's picture

But thanks for the levity as always, Uncle Linz! Smiling

I have an answer, Beck

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Are you being facetious, or are you just another fucking asshole around here?

I refuse to discuss my sex life in public.

I think you'll find...

mvardoulis's picture

...Lindsay will have at least *sampled* some of the music he will be attacking, much of it to his regret, not doubt.

The Main Thing...

Billy Beck's picture

...that made me ask is his boastful ignorance of what he's talking about and how it doesn't get in the way of his evaluations.

Where I come from, that sort of thing is dismissed in a big-time hurry.


mvardoulis's picture

When Linz is flashing smiley-faces, it usually means he's being somewhat facetious, though I suspect he quite erroneously would equate almost anything non-classical as 'caterwauling' including the blues and blues-based rock music which has been the subject of our digression on this thread.

I've never been one to come to the defense of the current brand of metalheads (they call them 'bogans' in NZ don't they?), punks, rappers and the like for which Linz is justifiably disgusted. But I look forward to seeing of our host has, as I suspected, decided to include other forms of traditional music such as the blues in his current attack. I may be compelled to enter the fray, if so...

I Have A Question, Perigo

Billy Beck's picture

Are you being facetious, or are you just another fucking asshole around here?

I've no idea ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... what any of you are talking about, and I'm sure I don't wish to find out. Smiling

I figure I'll have a full-fledged article ready in a week or so on the objective superiority of Romantic music. So argue the respective "merits" of different caterwaulers while you can, 'cos you'll soon be floored as well as flawed. Smiling

I agree...

mvardoulis's picture

...about Deep Purple entirely. Better than Sabbath by far (though there is still a bit of the teenage boy in me who will always think fondly of certain cuts from their first three records), and better IMO than Led Zeppelin. Sabbath and their offspring Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Motorhead and the like I cannot help but categorize in the 'heavy metal' category and I can at best only tolerate small doses, though in my early teens I couldn't get enough. The 'newer' (speed and 'death') metal like Slayer and even my one-time neighbors Metallica and their ilk I just can't stand for one nihilistic second.

I'm on exactly the same page when it comes to at least the vast majority of 'modern' R&B artists, same over-the-top nonsense as the Yngwie-style guitar playing.

Deep Purple and Zeppelin, (and for that matter BOC, Van Halen and Aerosmith) perhaps because of their significant and overt blues influence I could never come to terms with labeling 'heavy metal' - I consider them more 'hard rock' - with Slash being the last 'hard rock' guitarist of prominence.

Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughn brought the blues into the spotlight it deserved, and I am equally thankful to them for doing so. There are many great blues players (and not just on guitar, mind you) still around, but they wouldn't be given the time of day if it weren't for the impact of Robert Cray and SRV.

V Good post Mr Beck

gregster's picture

Very early Black Sabbath succeeds in it's purpose which was to conjure that dark side that tends to mystify teenage males. Low art that was intended to be low art. I like it in this respect that it succeeds.

Good writing from a review of their first LP;
"Over across the tracks in the industrial side of Cream country lie unskilled laborers like Black Sabbath, which was hyped as a rockin' ritual celebration of the Satanic mass or some such claptrap, something like England's answer to Coven. Well, they're not that bad, but that's about all the credit you can give them. The whole album is a shuck—despite the murky songtitles and some inane lyrics that sound like Vanilla Fudge paying doggerel tribute to Aleister Crowley, the album has nothing to do with spiritualism, the occult, or anything much except stiff recitations of Cream cliches that sound like the musicians learned them out of a book, grinding on and on with dogged persistence. Vocals are sparse, most of the album being filled with plodding bass lines over which the lead guitar dribbles wooden Claptonisms from the master's tiredest Cream days. They even have discordant jams with bass and guitar reeling like velocitized speedfreaks all over each other's musical perimeters yet never quite finding synch—just like Cream! But worse."


(Posted: Sep 17, 1970)

Conditions And Distinctions

Billy Beck's picture

"...distinguish rock-n-roll, rock, R&B and the blues as distinctly separate from what could be considered 'headbanging' or 'caterwauling.'"

That's right, and here's something else really important about it:

Back in the day, it wasn't unusual to hear something like deep blue Savoy Brown, "Roundabout" by Yes, and Wilson Pickett on the same radio station within an hour. The general point here is that there was serious musical value that united all these sorts of thing in one market. I've already dealt with punk and grunge. Rap and hip-hop don't get the time of day from me. R&B, as it currently lies, however, is interesting to me in how it has become a lot more pro-forma than the blues ever could have been even accounting for the latter's basic structures. R&B today is about vocal acrobatics: I picture judges on the sidelines holding up scorecards for various feats of melismatic larynx-tumbling which are completely gratuitous to the real heart of the project. It's boring me to pieces, and one can hardly find a single performer who can hold a candle to what their forebears built.

"Further, you reveal the origin of headbanging and caterwauling (i.e. heavy metal and punk), namely the inability for the music industry itself to come up with anything new since about 1976."

Let me try to condition that. Right off the bat, I should let on that Peter Frampton was never one of my favorite guitarists. (That was fairly personally dissonant to me when I toured with him as his lighting director in '99. It was never going to get in the way of the work, however.) I never liked the live album. What was important about it was that it sold far past the craziest dreams of anyone in the record business that year. That record marks the rise of the idea of popular music as "product" -- the word that came to industry-wide usage. It was not very long before real A&R pros were bastard stepchildren next to accountants and attorneys driving the show.

"Anything new..."

Well... look: there is nothing "new" in the blues, either. Except, of course, for what each individual player brings to it. I take music from the late-70's onward the same way: I never agitated for something "new" like an Obama agitating for "change".

Let's talk about "heavy metal". Ozzie Ozbourne never recorded a single thing that ever got my attention for more than about a minute. And that might been thirty-five years ago. Everything he ever did just went right past me. When I listened to "heavy metal", I was listening to things that came from stuff like Steppenwolf. It's not a straight line from there, for sure, but to my ear, the first true voice of American heavy metal is Blue Oyster Cult. When I count Europeans, Deep Purple was always my first touchstone, and still is.

To me, it was mainly about the orchestration coupled with a particular sense that was always also strongly connected to -- if not rooted in -- the blues, structurally, although there were usually minor-progression digressions, etc., permissible. Examples abound. Don't laugh: to the extent that "Smoke On The Water" is cliché, it's only because people don't really understand it from the inside-out, despite the fact that nearly everyone who's picked up an electric guitar since "Machine Head" thinks they know that riff. Consider that it's one of the earliest hit examples of a "disco beat" drum pattern. Most people never consider that. An element that makes it "heavy metal" to me is the particular way that it pounds the earth with technology brought to music. That Hammond B-3 organ with Dawk Stillwell's infamous "Green Boost" -- and the sheer nerve that it takes to drive it the way Jon Lord did -- is very different from sitting around on the levee with a beat up acoustic guitar. They can both come from the same place, even if they're headed in different directions.

To me, Judas Priest was still throwing down a lot of the old groove with "Screaming For Vengeance" as late as '82. And Slash (Guns & Roses) is still the most recent guitar player to really grab my imagination -- nearly twenty years ago, now -- even though his band was full of disposable imbeciles: he had a shit-load of blues in him, but his attitude was strictly from what I consider the best traditions of heavy metal. The speed-shredders didn't do it for me anymore than the R&B acrobats do, today. ("Yngwie" who?)

When BOC sang, "It's alright, it's alright: you'd kill, you'd maim" ("The Red And The Black", 1973), it was a sideways nod to the valor of a policeman. They did it with utterly reckless guitar work that never crashed off the cliff. I don't want to know a single thing that Slayer has to say, and I'm here to say that if they think that what they're bringing is "heavy metal", then I am one consumer who has a very different concept, which I've held since long before they were a gleam in an accountant's eye.


Later, something that I'd had in mind but forgot to point out:

Thank bloody screaming Jesus for Robert Cray and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Eric Clapton had been desperately holding "one foot on the path" for many years, but the project really was going down for about the third time in popular conscience when those guys came along and saved the blues, right on time. There's no telling what we might have come to without them.

A thoughtful analysis, Mr. Beck!

mvardoulis's picture

I myself am an EXTREMELY amateur (read- I haven't played in years) blues harp player and singer, so we're definitely on a similar musical page. And with your last post there, you distinguish rock-n-roll, rock, R&B and the blues as distinctly separate from what could be considered 'headbanging' or 'caterwauling.' Further, you reveal the origin of headbanging and caterwauling (i.e. heavy metal and punk), namely the inability for the music industry itself to come up with anything new since about 1976. I'll admit I'm a little more forgiving of punk (guilty pleasure I admit in the form of The Ramones, X, Social Distortion, The Clash, The Toy Dolls, and The Sex Pistols, and certain post/art-punk 'alternative' rock artists) and can tolerate certain early 'heavy metal' bands for a short while, NONE of these artists compares to the 'complex simplicity' of blues music.

Eleven-bar shuffles, twenty-four bar jazzy shuffles, and even all the variations within the traditional twelve-bar shuffle are all layered and emotionally charged in a way that reminds me (and this will get my crucified by Linz) of an opera, yet from a different musical tradition. The blues is a very *human* kind of emotive music, nothing else in music do I identify with so strongly. Rock music has little left to offer, but the blues keeps on goin'...

Value And History

Billy Beck's picture

"What's more, subjectively speaking, I love the music through and through."

I do, too. As an amateur guitarist since 1969, I am very intrigued with the apparent paradox of finding enormous depth and breadth of expression within such an apparently rote little form. In fact, the form isn't quite so rote or little: personally, I like to crash jam-sessions with the idea of an eleven-bar shuffle, something of which almost no one in my experience has ever heard and cannot imagine (really: they just crash on the spot like 286 computers trying to run a modern GUI). Savoy Brown dropped it in 1972 ("I Can't Find You" from the "Lion's Share" album), and it's a marvelous example of being able to see into all the corners of the form for room for excellent work.

Even for all that, though, the most common twelve-bar form and rhythm-patterns are splendid vehicles for extremely intimate (soul-deep) musical expressions. Take one song, hand it to two different ensembles, and stand back. If the players are worth a damn, the variation will be wonderful, and I submit that the listener-payoff requires every bit the discipline of ear that anything Lindsay champions does.

As for the current cultural relevance, I'll only say that anyone who doesn't get it simply is not paying attention.

Finally, I'll also point out that it is impossible -- utterly impossible -- to understand rock music without understanding the blues.

Anecdote: shortly before his death in June 2003, I related to my father my conviction that "rock music has been going straight to hell for at least fifteen years now." A wistful look came over his face, as if he were thinking: "I lived to see it." He said one word: "Good."

He was disputing whether rock music should exist. I was disputing its state, and whether it does. These are two different arguments. I am never greatly interested in the former argument. The latter, however, is a big deal to me. Briefly: record-company A&R and lawyer types haven't had a serious idea what they were doing with the art since the mid-70's. (I draw the line at Peter Frampton's live album -- 1976.) That, however, didn't stop them from doing it, which mainly consisted in coasting on the energy of the form since the explosion of the mid-60's. More and more, however, less and less of it was "rock music". It was just loud. If you fast-forward that film through to today (which means: through "punk", which was an elevation of people who could not play or sing explicitly on those premises, and then through "grunge", which is nothing but 1950's beatnik/folkie sensibilities perpetrating massive fraud with electric technique), the charade becomes a lot more clear.

It's still out there, here and there. (I just discovered a band called Clutch, which is rolling some pretty damned good stuff, with funk-roots that sometimes remind me of Rare Earth.) But I remember when it used to just rain out of the skies on me all day long. It's not like that anymore, and I say that its because very few people know what they're actually doing, or why.

Mr. Beck

mvardoulis's picture

You are absolutely correct:

"I say that there is more than enough room in current political and cultural events to validate anyone's protest through the blues"

- HERE, HERE! Your analysis of the blues as an incredibly relevant art form for all time and PARTICULARLY for Objectivists is one that I wholeheartedly agree with!

And the right Rev Gibbons is equally incorrect, with (I believe it was Willie Dixon who made) the assertion "the blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad," holding true throughout the history of the art form. The blues rejects nihilism, and expresses a striving to enjoy life in spite of the evil therein. What's more, subjectively speaking, I love the music through and through.

"A little surprising, yes,

Jason Quintana's picture

"A little surprising, yes, but I think if Linz catches on to Sibelius 7, he could well catch onto the others. I guess I find it surprising because it's not like Sibelius's voice/language/idiom is really different from the 1st all the way through to the 7th."

Chris, there is really a big difference. When you look at the earlier works (1 and 2) you see attempts at creating something structurally similar to things he heard from other composers. The Symphony #2 is built to replicate something like Beethoven's 5th or Tchaikovsky's 4th. The earlier works follow a direct tradition.

3-7 try to do something totally different. Sibelius developed his own style during this time, and operates in a much more refined and classical sound world. He developed an entirely different way for a piece of symphonic orchestral music to unfold. Much more effortless and minimalistic in its presentation.

I remember when I first purchased a Sibelius symphony CD set I expected more music like Symphony #2. I was extremely disapointed at first when I heard these really strange 4th and 6th symphonies, and I thought that something must be wrong because they forgot to include the other movements of #7!

- Jason

That's nice to know

Chris Cathcart's picture

A little surprising, yes, but I think if Linz catches on to Sibelius 7, he could well catch onto the others. I guess I find it surprising because it's not like Sibelius's voice/language/idiom is really different from the 1st all the way through to the 7th.

In any case, below is my list of personal favorite symphonies (copied and pasted from my webpage), and, by and large, a tour through the "what's what," IMO, of the Romantic symphony. I'm torn on whether to include Vaughan Williams's 2nd, because I only really love the Lento from that work. If the whole symphony were as good as that movement, it'd likely top this list.

1. Sibelius 2 (1902)
2. Vaughan Williams 5 (1943)
3. Vaughan Williams 3 "Pastoral" (1922)
4. Barber 1 (1936)
5. Nielsen 5 (1922)
6. Nielsen 4 "The Inextinguishable" (1916)
7. Sibelius 7 (1924)
8. Sibelius 5 (1915)
9. Sibelius 4 (1911)
10. Schmidt 4 (1933)
11. Walton 1 (1935)
12. Tchaikovsky 5 (1888)
13. Shostakovich 5 (1937)
14. Hanson 2 "Romantic" (1930)
15. Beethoven 6 "Pastoral" (1808)
16. Tchaikovsky 6 (1893)
17. Hanson 4 "Requiem" (1943)
18. Nielsen 3 "Sinfonia espansiva" (1911)
19. Sibelius 6 (1923)
20. Hindemith, Mathis der Maler (1934)
21. Sibelius 1 (1899)
22. Hanson 3 (1941)
23. Hanson 6 (1967)
24. Hanson 1 (1922)
25. Brahms 1 (1876)
26. Brahms 4 (1885)
27. Brahms 3 (1883)
28. Rautavaara 7 "Angel of Light" (1994)
29. Honegger 3 "Liturgique" (1945)
30. Hovhaness 2 "Mysterious Mountain" (1955)

Hon mention: Bruckner 7, Saint-Saens 3, Nielsen 2, Nielsen 1, Beethoven 9, Dvorak 9, Dvorak 7, Beethoven 5, Beethoven 7, Shostakovich 1, Sibelius 3, Brahms 2, Vaughan Williams 4, Bruckner 8, Mahler 1, Beethoven 4, Dvorak 8, Shostakovich 10, Chausson (lone symphony), Mahler 2, Beethoven 8, Beethoven 3, Mozart 41, Nielsen 6

Favorite symphonists by score (assigning points between 1 and 30 based on ranking of symphonies above):
Sibelius (6 symphonies) - 121 pts
Nielsen (3 symphonies) - 64 pts
Vaughan Williams (2 symphonies) - 57 pts
Hanson (5 symphonies) - 55 pts
Tchaikovsky (2 symphonies) - 34 pts
Brahms (3 symphonies) - 15 pts

I just heard a few of the Hanson ones in the last day or two (his 4th just today!), so he's a newcomer here, and I try to rank his symphonies conservatively before I can get more familiar with them. I also note that this list doesn't include the obviously Romantic and more accessible movements from Mahler's 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th symphonies.

Bullseye, Miss Rand

Richard Goode's picture

no objectively valid criterion of esthetic judgment is as yet possible in the field of music

Bullseye, Miss Rand. Smiling

Linz, music was not one of Rand's great passions...

Marcus's picture

...as it is yours. She didn't have the same "fire in her belly" you have about music and voice. Rand's passions were philosophy (or ideas) and man-worship.

You can however take her philosophy further into the musical realm, where she obviously couldn't, which is what you have started doing already.

It is a bit like her attitude towards architecture. Rand later admitted that she wasn't actually that interested in architecture, but merely studied the topic as a useful vehicle for the Fountainhead.

She was wrong ..

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... to say that no objectively valid criterion of esthetic judgment is as yet possible in the field of music, supposedly because we don't have objective means to identify the emotional content of a piece of music and therefore, the response to it.

Her views on Beethoven and Johann Strauss were silly, but unimportant. There was nothing wrong with her tiddly-wink music as far as it went. She was right about Elvis's earnings and wrong about his music. But no ... the more I look at what she said about criteria of judgment the more wrong I think she was on that very important matter. But be patient. I've learned well enough that when you *think* she's wrong she often turns out to be right. I want to chew this some more yet.

Linz, what was Rand wrong about?

Marcus's picture

Linz wrote,

"And I AM going to bother with it because I've become convinced Rand was wrong, and the manner of her being wrong has been used as an excuse for the defence and propagation of filth."

Are you referring to Rand's dislike of Beethoven and Strauss, her love of "tiddly-wink" music, her defence of Elvis Presley earning more money than Einstein or that Rand said something about music being a matter of taste?

Ahem ... Humble Pie Alert!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I've just now listened to the Sibelius 7, courtesy Jason Q. I loved it from start to finish. Way different from that ghastly #2. Compact, coherent, KASS ... rhapsodic. Really, really fantastic! I look forward to getting to know it intimately. Thanks, Chris, for pointing it up. Perhaps we should have started there and worked our way backwards. Jason assures me I'd like #6 as well. Smiling


Lindsay Perigo's picture

Oh my, going on out on a limb with Bruch. Cutting edge stuff for the 1850s or so, before there was anything approaching the ear-piercing challenge we might call dissonance or polytonality.

I don't know where you got that idea from. Dissonance has been around for ever. The real debate is in whether one treats it as an end in itself or a means to an end, as Bruch did (he died in 1920 btw)—a deliberate jarring, to be used sparingly, and there to be resolved.

What, you say, that crescendo in the first several minutes of Sibelius 7 never did anything for you?

Can't say. Never heard it. Doubt that I'd like it. As a rule I wouldn't cross the road to hear Sibelius (and often wouldn't need to). As discussed previously, too much directionless bombast. I'm sure he does a wonderful crescendo, a perfectly splendid inferno. Several minutes of just getting louder can achieve that. Knock yourself out. I love a good racket, just not Sibelius' kind.

But I say again, I'm not here to conform to your strictures, and I'm not going to retaliate by demanding whether seven minutes of one of my faves ever did anything for you. The debate here is not about sub-genres within Romanticism or whether the late Romantics were really Romantics at all, but whether fans of Romantic music can claim that it's objectively superior to "music" like rap that lacks music's fundamental component—melody—and is quite explicit in its life-hatred. Put that way, there's really no debate at all. And it's important because this musical egalitarianism is part of the armor of the barbarians who are already inside the gate. I'd hate to think Objectivism was among its suppliers.

I'm listening to the Barber Violin Concerto as we speak, which I enjoy, coupled with the Korngold, which would be great for a movie and probably was. Sinfully gorgeous at times. But I hark back to works with more internal cohesion. Romanticism was a liberation from Classicism, to be sure, but in its true form didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Classicism had much going for it.

The overall problem with your "cutting edge" stuff, Chris, is that it just goes on. And on and on. Music for empiricists and economists I'd say.

Oh, wow, Max Bruch

Chris Cathcart's picture

Linz writes:

You actually have no idea what's in my collection, and I assure you you can't know just from what I've mentioned here. You'll be shocked to learn that I'm not on this earth to satisfy your strictures, but as it happens I routinely add to it with the specific purpose of being "adventuresome," discovering something new—I'm currently working through some Bruch pieces I hadn't heard before, for instance. So go fuck yourself.

Oh my, going on out on a limb with Bruch. Cutting edge stuff for the 1850s or so, before there was anything approaching the ear-piercing challenge we might call dissonance or polytonality. Yeah, well, I guess I better go fuck myself, then.

What, you say, that crescendo in the first several minutes of Sibelius 7 never did anything for you?


Chris Cathcart's picture

I'm not especially into particular recordings of a particular work that I like; to my own ears, if a work is splendid, that's going to come through in pretty much any recording of the work that I encounter. I know that for others, the particular interpreter seems to matter quite a bit.

I don't know what particular interpretation to recommend you. The ones I've heard so far all sound great to me because the work itself is fabulous. It's been recorded on Naxos, and it's been recorded on Argo/Decca/London by the Baltimore Symphony with David Zinman, while the one I own is by an independent label on a CD that carries all that has all the Barber essentials that I need, though the sound quality isn't top-notch. What I have is on the Regis label, conducted by David Measham with the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, and it includes Symphony No. 1, the first two Essays for Orchestra, "Night Flight" (the slow, middle movement of Symphony No. 2), Music for a Scene from Shelley, and Knoxvile: The Summer of 1915. For a major label release, it looks like the Argo one with Zinman is your best bet (it has the Adagio but doesn't have "Night Flight"). Being limited on funds, I went with the Regis one rather than teh Argo/London/Decca one.

The only thing I can say is that it's a shame that Barber's 1st has not received much publicity. To my ears, it's drenched in romanticism, perhaps moreso than the mainstream ears can handle if Rach 2 is considered the standard for that.


James S. Valliant's picture

As my questions to Richard suggest, it depends upon whether the soul in question feels at home there, needs to be there or can never reach the heights you speak of. A sense of life can coexist even with liking some pretty wretched stuff.

Chris ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

You actually have no idea what's in my collection, and I assure you you can't know just from what I've mentioned here. You'll be shocked to learn that I'm not on this earth to satisfy your strictures, but as it happens I routinely add to it with the specific purpose of being "adventuresome," discovering something new—I'm currently working through some Bruch pieces I hadn't heard before, for instance. So go fuck yourself.

And the point is, ALL of it is objectively superior to Slayer. Not just way different from—way SUPERIOR TO in the most fundamental and inescapable of ways. And I AM going to bother with it because I've become convinced Rand was wrong, and the manner of her being wrong has been used as an excuse for the defence and propagation of filth. Everyone has the right to propagate filth, but to do it while claiming it's consistent with that thing of beauty called Objectivism is going to get one hell of an argument from this quarter at least. How the hell can death-worshippers, or the worshippers of death-worshippers, claim even to have a sense of life, let alone a healthy one?

Barber 1

Jason Quintana's picture

I have never heard this one. What recording do you recommend?

In return, I recommend the Stern/Bernstein version of the Barber Violin Concerto. The second movement is similar to what you describe above and has been a major favorite of mine for years.

- Jason


Chris Cathcart's picture

Linz "can't stand it," but he can't stand Sibelius, either, so what does this really tell us? Nothing, really. But let's continue: Slayer isn't Sibelius, not by any stretch. Now, for a certain demographic, Slayer delivers something of value, maybe value in Rand's sense of economic or market value, though philosophically objective value? I don't know; keep in mind that objectivity also takes into account an individual's context: what about Slayer feeds into a person's sense of life? Now, whatever it does, I doubt it does it in any way or speaks to the same sense-of-life receptors as Sibelius or Barber 1 speaks to a listener and lover of the latter pieces. You can listen to them and tell the distinct contrasts and realize that Barber 1 speaks to a certain part of us that Slayer could not possibly speak to, and vice versa.

The spectrum of music is so broad and each piece of music brings to it so many factors that it shouldn't be too difficult a task for a listener to point to a certain objective factor or feature of a piece of music and say that it is this aspect of it that elicits a certain response. With Slayer, one can say, "This is a gnarly, aggressive guitar riff and makes me feel like moving around and pumping my fists." Okay, fine. The andante tranquillo of Barber 1 probably won't do that for you, however elated you might feel while listening to it. But along certain dimensions and respects, and probably a greater number of them, the andante tranquillo from Barber 1 is more philosophically-objectively valuable and speaks to our highest aspirations much more, and much more directly. For some headbanger whose ears just aren't attuned to hearing Barber, they are missing out on something. They just are. Just like I am pretty sure I'm missing out on some things (within clasical music and outside of it) by not responding to them the way that the lovers of them do.

Does heavy metal have its commensurate equivalent of Barber 1 that speaks to the highest in its listeners. It's hard to believe it's possible, given the style of music. On the occasions I do listen to metal, what I think can be gotten out of it may be something positive, but not at the level of the greatest classical.

I'm not a metal connoisseur by any stretch at all, but I can relate to some bits and pieces of it. My favorite piece of metal is Pantera's "Hard Lines, Sunken Cheeks." One thing I like about it is that it has an epic quality about it, and is raw and down and dirty in a way that metal stripped of any pretentions ought to be. But there's no way it does for me what my favorite classical pieces do.

I don't recommend Linz even bother with it. He finds stuff even sounding somewhat like this to be unlistenable. With the Slayer, it doesn't do much for me, but I don't find it so much unlistenable as I find it . . . uninteresting.

Linz's romanticism isn't KASS enough

Chris Cathcart's picture

It's always the same ol', same ol' -- Rach, Tchai, Chopin, Beethoven . . . who else? I can't think of anyone else. Oh. Puccini.

Meanwhile, some of us expand our horizons. Right now, at this very moment, I'm listening to "Love Duet," which is part of the Merry Mount suite (hey, how's that for a double entendre!) by Howard Hanson.

Recently, I discovered the first symphony by Samuel Barber. That thing pretty much blows away Rach, Tchai, Chopin for it's ridiculous levels of Romanticism. Did Linz ever hear of anything by Barber besides the Adagio, such as his Essays for Orchestra, the slow movement from Symphony No. 2, or, of course, "Music for a Scene from Shelley"? And, of course, we've already gone over this Sibelius thing to the point of insanity; Sibelius kicks obvious ass with every symphony. Linz never mentions Mahler, not even the finale to his 3rd. Never a mention of Nielsen. No mention of Hanson. No mention of William Walton, or Franz Schmidt, or even Anton Brucker's adagio from Symphony No. 7 (Even if you can't stand Bruckner, how do you not like this one???). No mention of Delius's wonderfully evocative tone poems, not even the glaring romantic pick, the "Walk to the Paradise Garden" from A Village Romeo and Juliet. And by god, no mention of Vaughan Williams's achingly beautiful works, such as the Romanza from his 5th symphony! Shock

And when it comes to rock/pop, nothing, not even such worthy contenders as Seal ("Deep Water" or "Wild") much less other non-head-banging emotionally-rich and talented songwriters as the young Elton John (listen to the whole Madman Across the Water album for crying out loud) or pieces here and there by Pink Floyd (much less other not-exactly-joyous-and-light-hearted talents as Radiohead or Porcupine Tree). Heck, even accessible stuff like Steely Dan's Aja album.

Some folks just aren't adventuresome enough, I guess.

Important Caveat

Billy Beck's picture

Billy Gibbons, guitarist for ZZ Top, once said that "White people have no business playing the blues without a sense of humor." I admire and respect the Rev. Billy G., but he's dead wrong about that.

It's been said that "the blues ain't nothin' but a good man feelin' bad," and I maintain that that is the essence of the aesthetic. There is a real place in the world for something like this: at root, it's nothing more than acknowledgment of an element of reality. It is a fact that evil exists -- Objectivist have-waves over its metaphysical standing notwithstanding -- and the blues is all about pointing right at it for what it is. In taking issue with Gibbons, I say that there is more than enough room in current political and cultural events to validate anyone's protest through the blues.

Don't be throwing the engine out with the oil-change.

Well, Of Course...

James S. Valliant's picture

.. but, in my hunger for values, I scan the whole universe pretty far and wide.


Newberry's picture


I sympathize with you.
For over 20 years I would touch base with reading Shakespeare--I continued to wonder what all the fuss was about--I understood that he must really be special because there were so many intelligent people passionate about him. The sad thing was that I couldn't, but I kept up reading him every once in awhile, waiting for my knowledge base to click in.

One day I went to Summer stock performance and saw one of his comedies, Measure for Measure, and I laughed and laughed, I understood it. Now I tremendously enjoy reading him.
Most people treat art as a child does--they have their likes and look no further. BTW, that is a Kantian concept of the art of taste. And, really, I am one of the first people to encourage people to stand by what they love in art regardless of what they know about it.

But to a limit. Gaining knowledge about great artists through history expands your soul. I would recommend to people that have the taste of their time, to keep what they like, but seriously dive into the works of some past greats, just for the experience--and let it take time to work its magic.




I don't give a shit ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... about satires on headbangers. They're not worth the effort.

I live for moments like those I had with Danny Rodriguez this afternoon.

"Objectivists" understand them even less well than conventional ignoramuses, it seems. Rand's capitulation on this was her Munich moment. But then, she knew stuff all about music. And she could be excused. But others seem to have no interest in learning. That's the really strange part.

As I say, work in progress.

Spinal Tap

James S. Valliant's picture

... is killer funny. I'm not sure we're really supposed to "like the music."

And, Linz, it is a very funny satirical rip on "head-bangers."

"put aside the alienation"

gregster's picture

Integrated to the purpose, I take it you’re serious, I suppose yes, notwithstanding the longhair. They do read well on paper for rock. Simplified to fit a line. (I now see from where Manic Street Preachers purloined their tunes.)
James that Rush video prompts me to admit one of my own peccadilloes. At 21sec is the image of Henry from one of my favourite films Eraserhead. And I liked Spinal Tap excepting all the music.

Here's the thing ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I have just now said goodbye till tomorrow to Daniel Rodriguez, of 9/11 Star Spangled Banner fame. He and his entourage have spent the afternoon in my apartment. We all talked excitedly about different singers, different techniques ... At one point the subject of The Lord's Prayer as set to music by Albert Hay Malotte came up. I played Mario's version, and we were all in tears. This is "total passion for the total height"—and the likes of Slayer are, thankfully, not in the same universe. They are the total pits. To say this is not objectively demonstrable is a complete cop-out.

Work in progress ... Smiling


James S. Valliant's picture

I completely agree that the sound is primary, but see how integrated lyrics can contribute to the final result?

James and Landon

mvardoulis's picture

You've left out the best aspect of Rush, which is that their drummer and principal lyricist is the amazing Neil Piert (arguably the best rock drummer alive), whose overtly Objectivist lyrics include not only the songs you posted here, but the "Anthem" - inspired songs "2112" and (obviously) "Anthem" . Neil’s devotion to Randian philosophy is well documented, as is his absolute commitment to musical excellence and precision. And while certainly in the 'rock' genre, Rush is hardly what anyone could call 'headbanging' with possible exceptions in their earlier (70's) material (some of which pre-dates Piert's joining the band).

And with all due respect to those who find 'life' in Slayer, Slayer doesn't even belong in the same discussion as Rush.

Who needs proper lyrics?

gregster's picture

Melody is more important, like listening to foreign lyrics, make up your own language even;

edit:I'm not going green - dolphin is a little out of place.

Other excellent lyrics

Landon Erp's picture

Another great Rush song is subdivisions

Sprawling on the fringes of the city
In geometric order
An insulated border
In between the bright lights
And the far unlit unknown

Growing up it all seems so one-sided
Opinions all provided
The future pre-decided
Detached and subdivided
In the mass production zone
Nowhere is the dreamer or the misfit so alone

In the high school halls
In the shopping malls
Conform or be cast out
In the basement bars
In the backs of cars
Be cool or be cast out
Any escape might help to smooth the unattractive truth
But the suburbs have no charms to soothe the restless dreams of youth

Drawn like moths we drift into the city
The timeless old attraction
Cruising for the action
Lit up like a firefly
Just to feel the living night

Some will sell their dreams for small desires
Or lose the race to rats
Get caught in ticking traps
And start to dream of somewhere
To relax their restless flight
Somewhere out of a memory of lighted streets on quiet nights...


But a lot of my favorite musicians use english as a second language and it's noticable. But there are occasional moments of greatness.

such as

One rode to Asa bay by Bathory

One man rode the way through the woods
Down to Asa bay
Where dragon ships had sailed to sea
More times than one could say
To see with own eyes the wonder
People told of from man to man
The God of all almightyness
Had arrived from a foreign land

The rumours told of a man
Who come from the other side the seas
Carrying gold cross around neck in chain
And spoke strange tongue of peace
He had come with strange men in armour
Dressed in purple shirts and lace
Smelling not of beer but flowers
And with no hair in face

And the bold man carrying cross
Had told all one of Asa bay
The God of all man woman child had come
To them all save
And to thank Lord of Heaven
One should build to God a house
And to save one's soul from Hell
One should be baptised and say vows

A man of pride with the Hammer told new God
To build his house on own
And spoke loud of the Gods of their fathers
Not too long time gone
The rumours said the man with a beard like fire
And the Hammer in chain
By men in armour silenced was and by
Their swords was slain

Those who did not pay the one coin
Of four to man of new God
Whipped was twenty and put in chains then locked
By their neck to the log (To the log...)
And so all of Asa bay did build
A house of the cross
Every hour of daylight they did sweat
Limbs ached because faith does cost

And on the day two hundred
There it stood white to the sky
The house of the God of the cross
Big enough to take two dragon ships inside
And all of Asa bay did watch
The wonder raise to the sky
Now must the God of the cross be pleased
And satisfied

Just outside the circle of the crowd
One old man did stand
He looked across the waters
And blotted the sun out of his eyes with one hand
And his old eyes could almost see
The dragon ships set sail
And his old ears could almost hear
Men of great numbers call out Oden's hail

And though he did know already
Though he turned face towards sky
And whispered silent words forgotten
Spoken only way up high
Now this house of a foreign God does stand
Now must they leave us alone
Still he heard from somewhere in the woods
Old crow of wisdom say
...people of Asa land, it's only just begun...


Never mistake contempt for compassion, or power lust for ambition.


Rock Lyrics

James S. Valliant's picture

Here, Linz, are three songs from the Canadian group Rush.

I trust you won't be too upset that young "head-bangers" once listened to these:

"The Spirit Of Radio"

Begin the day with a friendly voice
A companion unobtrusive
Plays the song that's so elusive
And the magic music makes your morning mood

Off on your way, hit the open road
There is magic at your fingers
For the Spirit ever lingers
Undemanding contact in your happy solitude

Invisible airwaves crackle with life
Bright antennae bristle with the energy
Emotional feedback on timeless wavelength
Bearing a gift beyond price, almost free

All this machinery making modern music
Can still be open hearted
Not so coldly charted
It's really just a question of your honesty, yeah
Your honesty
One likes to believe in the freedom of music
But glittering prizes and endless compromises
Shatter the illusion of integrity


For the words of the profits were written on the studio wall
Concert hall
And echoes with the sounds of salesmen -- of salesmen.

"The Trees"

There is unrest in the forest
There is trouble with the trees
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas

The trouble with the maples
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade

There is trouble in the forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the maples scream 'Oppression!'
And the oaks just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights
'The oaks are just too greedy
We will make them give us light'
Now there's no more oak oppression
For they passed a noble law
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet, axe and saw.


Living on a lighted stage
Approaches the unreal
For those who think and feel
In touch with some reality
Beyond the gilded cage

Cast in this unlikely role
Ill-equipped to act
With insufficient tact
One must put up barriers
To keep oneself intact

Living in the limelight
The universal dream
For those who wish to seem
Those who wish to be
Must put aside the alienation
Get on with the fascination
The real relation
The underlying theme

Living in a fish eye lens
Caught in the camera eye
I have no heart to lie
I can't pretend a stranger
Is a long-awaited friend

All the world's indeed a stage
And we are merely players
Performers and portrayers
Each another's audience
Outside the gilded cage.

(Now remember: these are lyrics.)

I Must Add...

James S. Valliant's picture

... that I myself like some music with lyrics which do not bear close scrutiny.

Ever try figuring out what the hell Robert Plant or Jon Anderson are singing? Often, it's a bit challenging.

I sometimes think of it as "scat" -- pure sound effects.

It helps.

On Stilts

James S. Valliant's picture

Gibberish constructed around lines that sound cool like "Raining blood --
From a lacerated sky."

Now that was evocative.

But of what I have no idea.

Complete crapola

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I couldn't make out the lyrics being screamed in that Slayer thing. So I googled them:

Trapped in purgatory
A lifeless object, alive
Awaiting reprisal
Death will be their acquisition

The sky is turning red
Return to power draws near
Fall into me, the skys crimson tears
Abolish the rules made of stone

Pierced from below, souls of my treacherous past
Betrayed by many, now ornaments dripping above

Awaiting the hour of reprisal
Your time slips away

Raining blood
From a lacerated sky
Bleeding its horror
Creating my structure
Now I shall reign in blood!

WTF does that mean? I'm none the wiser.

To call this stuff crap is unfair to crap.

Lost the Plot?

Newberry's picture

I think a few of you have lost the plot.

Is Slayer the high watermark for Western Civilization?



Slayer are musical genius

Richard Wiig's picture

They're not even original. Captain Beefheart is original. Is he a musical genius? Nope! But he's better than Slayer.

Take Motorhead, strip them of all melody, rythym, and close approximations to harmony, speed up the tempo, throw in some gutteral screaming and growls, and you've got Slayer. You've got regress.

I didn't say they couldn't

Richard Wiig's picture

I didn't say they couldn't play, Landon, I said that Hayseed Dixie were better. Of the three bands that Richard linked to Hayseed Dixie came across as having the best sense of life, but it was the band he placed furthest down the list. I was curious as to why.


James S. Valliant's picture

A complete emotional experience through the range of the sublime and the heart breaking and the uplifting...

Or, the sudden, sharp release of pounding repetitive anger?

Are you saying that your soul cannot reach to the first at all, Richard -- or that it most identifies and feels at home with the second -- or that you just like the second on occasion and don't totally dismiss it?

That's it?!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Anger about what? Passion for what? Defiance of what? Given that "catharthis" is the release of pent-up emotions, why are your emotions pent up (I did warn you that pomowanking makes one passionless)? Wherein lies Slayer's "musical genius"?

To use the term "KASS" of headbangers is, of course, sacrilege, a desecration, for which the punishment is ... hmmm ... where's Sharia Law when you need it?


Richard Goode's picture

Anger. Energy. Passion. Defiance. Catharsis.

Slayer are musical genius. And, as Landon says, they know what they're doing with their instruments.

In a word, KASS!

Happy to be alive because of slayer etc...

Landon Erp's picture

Something is just wrong with the idea that listening to Slayer would make you happy to be alive.

Slayer have their purpose don't get me wrong, I can think of few bands better for dealing with traffic jams than Slayer or Carnivore, and about a month or two ago I was writing a battle sequence in my new project that had me tracking down Slayer and asking my "metalhead" co-worker to loan me some of his Slayer on CD (all mine's on cassette).

But that appraisal is just wrong though.

But speaking of wrong appraisals. Richard, Slayer knows what they're doing with their instruments, don't let the surface level portion of it fool you. Just because a guitarist uses distortion and other effects doesn't mean he's a poor guitarist.


Never mistake contempt for compassion, or power lust for ambition.


What do you mean by "or even

Richard Wiig's picture

What do you mean by "or even Hayseed Dixie"? Hayseed Dixie was the best of the bunch. They're more musical than the other two(if you could even call Slayer musical, which I don't think you really can). More proficient on their instruments than the other two, and they've got humour.

Calling all headbangers!

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I'm working on at least the bare bones of the presentation I would have delivered at KASSless re Romantic Music had Hudgins not capitulated to Babs' lynch mob. Goode links to a piece of dreadful headbanging that he says makes him feel glad to be alive. Actually, three pieces, but I could endure only one. I'd like you to try to describe why this sort of shite makes you feel glad to be alive and whether you'd have the same reaction to the dentist's drill without anaesthetic—and if so, why? Yes, everything you say will be used in evidence against you, but humor me. Give it your best shot, the defence of jungle "music."


Kaiwai, we're on the same page

mvardoulis's picture

The only style of music I cannot stand is campy, syrupy pop. Not one artist of that 'genre' produces anything I can listen to beyond the first bar. I may have outgrown a lot of the 'chainsaw-jackhammer' stuff as Linz would call it but I can stomach for a while if need be. But a mere moment of bland pop sends me running.

Stop the noise!

Sandi's picture

I can't stand it. (Blocks ears and runs).

The radio
Listening to music on the radio means I am subjected to both RACH & advertising and it drives me batty. When I turn on the radio I want to be informed, not bombarded with RACH and commercial bling. If I want music, I will put on a CD and listen to what I want without audio spam.

The car
I always use talking books. I adore them.

The telephone
If a company values the well-being of their customer service operators who have me on hold for a long period of time, it is prudent that they not RACH me up.

The gym
Precisely why I prefer alternative forms of exercise. They may try to RACH down your throat at the pool but it is quickly drowned out by the water.

Background RACH doesn't do it for me. I worship silence and so does my cat who to my horror was subjected to a radio being left on all day in the cattery he was staying in. The owner was rather stunned at my horror. (It was supposed to make the cats feel at home) shudder!

Within the sound of silence, Silence is golden.


kaiwai's picture

What about those of us who appreciate all music styles, from industrial to jazz, from classical to hard rock?

Now, if it were a ban on camp pop music - then go right ahead! 

Just noticed ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... this quote from The Age of Envy posted by Hilton:

"These are the commandos of the haters' army, who crawl out of the sewer of centuries and shake themselves in public, splattering muck over the passers-by. ... The passers-by are the rest of us, who have to live, breathe and work in this atmosphere."

Ah, compliments

Richard Goode's picture

Thank you. It's a pleasure to add "sub-human", "musical terrorist" and "sick-fuck headbanger" to the long list of compliments you've paid me since I joined SOLO.

Honestly, if you don't feel glad to be alive after a good pounding by Slayer, the Queens of the Stone Age or even Hayseed Dixie, then there's something wrong with you.

No amount of vapid

Mark Hubbard's picture

No amount of vapid Brandroid touchy-feely psychobabble about "growing as an integrated being" is going to send them back under their rocks.


Ahah, something at last I'm eminently qualified to pontificate on. All we artist Gods have to go through this 'integrated being' phase, also called 'finding thine ownself'. The path of an artistic career is determined by the passion of the inception when the artist/God first becomes aware of the need to create him/herself.

You keeping up with this Linz?

Anyway, I was fortunate, the dawning of this Age of Aq / Awareness for me was about quarter of a century ago, lasted two years through which time I was mostly stoned, thus was able to emerge unscathed, largely unscarred, and the integrated being you see stylishly sweeping through these very threads today.

But these painter chaps, though immensely talented, I mean look at the superb Venus, are yet just a bit slower than we writers.


Right then, I've tax returns to do, planes to catch ...


Sigh all you like, Michael

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I sigh, when Lindsay goes on banging away against hard core music groups/rappers.

Don't wanna be a-sighin', then don't you be a-readin'.

These sub-humans are ubiquitous musical terrorists, the cashing-in of the postmodernism you and I detest. No amount of vapid Brandroid touchy-feely psychobabble about "growing as an integrated being" is going to send them back under their rocks.


mvardoulis's picture

Gosh, Linz, and here I thought I was just having a little fun with your latest posting. Didn't mean to be rude. Smiling

I for one certainly don't repudiate reason; I despise Hume, and am completely indifferent to ancient Ozzy. I likewise completely understand yours (and Callum's) disdain for the genres of hard rock/heavy metal, punk, rap, hip-hop and (at least much of the ironically soul-less contemporary) R&B (if you want to throw that in). A majority of the lyrical content as well as 'presentation' is rooted in nihilism or its corollary of mindless, range-of-the-moment hedonism, which is why I've simply outgrown most of it.

And thank you Mr. Newberry, for your insightful metaphors for appreciation of high art, I am as one jazz standard would suggest, 'beginning to see the light...'

Speaking of which, I would consider jazz, early soul, even some funk and blues as being under the 'high art' banner you speak of Michael, in addition to classical music.

I sigh, when Lindsay goes on

Newberry's picture

I sigh, when Lindsay goes on banging away against hard core music groups/rappers. As if out of frustration he quartered an Ozzy, ripped away the bloody thigh bone, and began beating against leather-covered, airy skulls–as if that might increase their gray cells.

The problem is that high fine art needs an audience open to expanding their consciousness and the willingness to lift their spirit up to the level in which appreciation becomes meaningful.

It would be very much like having a lover that is awesome in bed; incredibly emotional; extremely intelligent and approaches everything with a pure heart and matchless integrity. You all instinctually know that fucking and rolling over to sleep will not cut it. Nor will making up excuses why things don’t work out right.

Like an incredible lover, high art requires nothing but your best. And god help you if you have pet weaknesses–you will be doomed to experience the insecurity of an arrested consciousness.

So leave your shit behind and begin to see, hear, think, and feel as great artists ask of you. The consequence is that you grow as an integrated being.




Callum McPetrie's picture

Yes, when the teacher isn't watching.

"Socialism may be dead, but its corpse is still rotting up the place." -Ayn Rand


Lindsay Perigo's picture

The thing is, it's blasted at full volume by those who do during class.


Ahhh yes, Gregster, the Cocteau Twins...

Jameson's picture

The best band you'll find in the Vagina Music section. Smiling

Musical Popularity

Callum McPetrie's picture

Unfortunately for Linz and I, the awful heavy punk metal of the 1970s onwards is making a huge comeback, shown by this rock festival. And the fact is, only a small fraction of people, including those my age, actually like the stuff (as well as rap etc). The thing is, it's blasted at full volume by those who do during class.

As to my own tastes, I don't mind some pop or light rock, depending on each songs individual qualities. I absolutely hate rap, most metal, most rock, hip hop, R&B. But, in terms of music, my favourite singer is the incomparable Edith Piaf -she is incredible!

"Socialism may be dead, but its corpse is still rotting up the place." -Ayn Rand

Metal Monstrosities

Lindsay Perigo's picture

I'm sure Linz loves the fact that a thread about metal guitarists is emerging in his RACH discussion!

I'm used to it. It's part of my case that the chainsaw-and-jackhammer brigade have no manners, and they constantly prove me right. They are militantly illiterate slobs. It's all part of the repudiation of reason. Worship Hume, worship Obnoxious Ozzie. It's inexorable.

Thank God for the bomb

Richard Goode's picture

Yes Ozzy the world actually cares what [Ozzy] thinks about
nuclear disarmament.

Ah, you must be referring to

"If that's the only thing that keeps the peace
Then thank God for the bomb."

Ozzy Osbourne - sending the right message to young people!

Randy is indeed an icon

Pete L's picture

I'm sure Linz loves the fact that a thread about metal guitarists is emerging in his RACH discussion! Tongue

Yes, Randy would be the top Ozzy guitarist by far. I like Zakk too - very aggressive, muscular playing style. The moment where the guitar solo kicks in on No More Tears is one of the coolest moments on an Ozzy song.

Don't play the you don't appreciate sabbath game with me

Landon Erp's picture

I learned to play guitar and bass by playing Sabbath tunes. And then I grew up.

I don't try to defend my tastes, I've stopped looking for new things in music years ago, and I mainly stick with things from my adolescence that I can still stand.

But seriously after a week of breaking my old Ozzy albums out I got sick of the drug addled loser's delusions of granduer.

Yes Ozzy the world actually cares what I guy who has to leach off of both his wife and more talented musicians just to stay fed thinks about nuclear disarmament.


Never mistake contempt for compassion, or power lust for ambition.


Pete, you mean specifically...

mvardoulis's picture

The INCOMPORABLE guitarist Randy Rhodes, who is worth listening to even if you can't stand Ozzy's voice (you can take the vocal track out with the right re-mixing software). Randy did as much to hard-rock/heavy metal guitar as Jimi Hendrix who pioneered it.

And sorry, Landon, but even Uli Roth (whom I saw live in 1984), Michael Schenker, and Matt Jabs can't quite reach what Randy was doing, IMO. Wink Niether did Ritchie Blackmore (though I love his work as well), Jimi Page or Tony Iommi from the UK or Eddie Van Halen, Buck Dharma or Joe Perry from the States...

Ozzie's sidemen rock (sometimes)

Pete L's picture

Ozzie at least usually has a good shredder on guitar to make the songs interesting. Is it high art? No. But it's cathartic in a testosterone-charged way.

The Prince of Darkness

Richard Goode's picture

The man is just pathetic at this point... The most he ever does as far as writing is lyrics AT BEST. And half the time he forgets them onstage anyway.

That's simply untrue. Even if it were true, you miss the point.

Granted I'm a german power metal guy myself...

A genre on whose evolution Ozzy Osbourne and Black Sabbath were a seminal influence. Yet you'd be hard pressed to find any German power metal that, judged next to early Black Sabbath, doesn't sound unspeakably bland, like custard.


Landon Erp's picture

I outgrew Ozzy Osbourne by 17.

The man is just pathetic at this point, and hate to burst your bubble Richard. The most he ever does as far as writing is lyrics AT BEST. And half the time he forgets them onstage anyway.

Granted I'm a german power metal guy myself... What can I say, melodies, a little big of brutality and english as a second language lyrics are always gonna warm my heart.

"Don't you fear Ze Vinter. I vill keep you Safe and Varm"


Never mistake contempt for compassion, or power lust for ambition.


The Antidote

gregster's picture


Lindsay Perigo's picture

"Please bang my head," you ask.

My point is one gets one's head banged without asking for it because sick-fuck headbangers have taken over the world. Their filth is everywhere, lying in wait wherever we go like Mallory's Drooling Beast. If I wanted it, I'd click on the links you provide, or accompany the not-coincidentally ethically nihilistic Goode to a headbanging "concert" by one of his aesthetically nihilistic pin-ups, or hang around a construction site for the chainsaws and jackhammers. But I don't want it and I don't appreciate unsolicitedly encountering it at every turn. What is unreasonable about requesting that it be confined to consenting sick fucks in private (or "public" venues for which they have paid)?

As usual folk are behaving as though my exhortation were a demand that the crap be banned. As usual it is no such thing.

SOLOPassion is SOLOTotalpassionforthetotalheight!

Then Please Bang My Head!

James S. Valliant's picture

I love the god-like Beethoven (my buddy at the San Diego Symphony -- mostly privately funded, btw -- assures me the Ludwig van is deliciously violent this year), and ummm, umm good Chopin, and richer than chocolate Rachmaninov, and heart-rending Puccini (just saw a cool production of Madama Butterfly last night on t.v.), and sexy Gershwin. (Not to mention the sweet sounds of our friend, Lance Moore.)

And -- GOOD GOD! -- the crap Richard recommends is, well, crap, as one might have expected.

But I also dig Zeppelin and jazz and... even some Black Eyed Peas (dear Lord!)

We've been here many times before.

Check out this classic video and dismiss it as "head-banging" if you dare. (Yes, Linz, I know you will.)

And this is pure fun -- and that reflects an important part of my soul, too.

And, if you think this isn't classic stuff, I just pity you.

It's called "SOLO Passion," right?

ORGASM to the rescue!

Richard Goode's picture

RACH is winning already. It is reported that the "concert" by this and other things will probably make a loss because of low turnout.

Oh, no, it's not.

Ozzy Osbourne is, at least, a living legend. He performs his own songs, and needs propping up by nothing more than his microphone stand.

Whereas those who perform the music of dead Russians depend on state handouts! As they brazenly admit on their website, "our principal support comes, of course, from the Government." Of course.

Old Rock Gods Against Subsidised Music to the rescue! Play it LOUD!

Vomitous Oz

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"Ozzie [sic] Ozbourne [sic] Sucks."

I've no interest in how that thing spells its name. But this:

Ozzy Osbourne rocks!!

... cannot be right either. Surely it has to be:

Ozzy Osbourne (sick) rocks!!

RACH is winning already. It is reported that the "concert" by this and other things will probably make a loss because of low turnout.


Olivia's picture

been listening to Beethoven's 5th - the Emperor all day on repeat. My god! Now that's music! I wish they played that in the shops when I have to do my grocery shopping. Imagine exercising to that at Les Mills Linz?!

A bit deaf

Richard Goode's picture

He did keep yelling out, "I can't fucking hear you," so perhaps he's a bit deaf.

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