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Old 06-18-2013, 07:25 AM   #81 (permalink)
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Oh wait! There is one other MA song I know, something called Keep my baby safe or something. It's not on this album. So why do I mention it? Well, I just do, is all.
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Old 06-18-2013, 02:13 PM   #82 (permalink)
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Title: Trout mask replica
Artiste: Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band
Year: 1969
Chronological position: Third album
Previous experience of this artiste?: "Ice cream for crow". That's it.
Why is this considered a classic? Laid the foundations for most experimental music that was to come, including art-rock and post-punk. No, I'm not reading from Wiki.

I am reading from Wiki!

My thoughts
One minute (or thereabouts in) ---- Good, great, bad, meh, still waiting or other? Bad
One track in --- Bad
Halfway through --- Bad
Finished --- Bad

Comments: This may test me. I see the words "free jazz" and I NO LIKE! But I've said I'd listen to it and --- dear god! It's a double album! Well, let's see what it's made of then. Oh come on! Spotify doesn't have it! Isn't that like not having "The wall" or "Hotel California" or "Born to run"? Damn it damn it! Right then Grooveshark: don't let me down... Oh-kay! They have it. Holy crap! This sounds like Tom Waits on a bad day! First track is weird; like the band are playing a different tune to the one the vocalist is singing, while on the second there IS no band, just an acapella rendition of what sounds like an old western ballad.

But it settles with Dachau blues and I'm struck by how much Waits must have been influenced by this guy because I hear so much of his style here, even in the singing. Well, having cut my teeth on the likes of "Frank's wild years" and "Swordfishtrombones" I'm not as unfamiliar with this sort of music as many might think, and in fact I really relate this to the more eclectic Waits material; seen a lot of this surface later on "Mule variations" and "Reel gone". Not, so far though, an album I'd intend to listen to again for pleasure.

Yeah, I have to admit I'm just getting bored now. I know this is an original classic and all, but it just seems like a lot of messing around to me. I want to hear something with some melody, some direction, something to hold my attention. This ain't it. I'm gonna struggle on through it though just to be sure. I'm at nearly the end of side two and the rest of the tracks seem to be mostly short, so may not be so bad. But this is becoming an exercise in endurance definitely. Side four and it hasn't got any better. Okay, chalk this up as a fail for me.

Favourite track(s): Dachau blues. Yeah, just the one. I'm surprised there even was one I liked!
Least favourite track(s): Hair pie: Bake 1, Hair pie: Bake 2, Pena, Hobo chang ba, The blimp (These are just the tracks I really hate: I dislike virtually all of this album. It's just not worth writing all the tracks down, but there's very little if anything I like on this).

Final impression --- Absolutely not for me. I understand some people revere this guy but I don't see it. Give me Waits any day. That was probably one of the most excruciating albums I have ever had to suffer my way through, and I've yet to experience Slayer!

Do I feel, at the end, A) I wish I had listened to this sooner
B) I'm sorry I bothered
C) I might end up liking this
D) Have to wait and see
E) Bit underwhelmed; was ok but a classic?
F) Definitely enjoyed it, but again would I consider it a classic?


B, without a question.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:54 PM   #83 (permalink)
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That's pretty similar to my own first reactions on the album, and as you can tell by my namesake, it's one of my all time favourite albums. Trout Mask Replica is the definition of the grower album, and because of this I'd recommend listening to it again in the future. If it turned you off to such an extent that you don't want to look at it that's fine, but most people come to like the album through repeated listens.

I don't know all that you've listened to, and I'm sure it's quite a prolific list, but here are some suggestions of albums you might want to add to your list.

Cabaret Voltaire - Red Mecca
Silver Apples - Contact
Sun Ra - Space Is the Place
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:24 AM   #84 (permalink)
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Thanks Frownland for the reply and comments. I know it may indeed be a grower, it's just that a) it's a double album, so if I hate it still then I have a long way to go through it a second time and b) I heard very very little that I even thought well you know maybe I would get into that, as I often do with albums. It just really annoyed me. Mind you, I do recall hearing my first ever Tom Waits song. It was "Tango till they're sore" and I thought it was awful! A while later my brother, who was in Boston at the time, sent me a tape of his favourite Waits material and I pretty quickly became a fan. But the thing about Captain Beefheart is I just hear no real melody, nothing to hang my interest on. It's all like just noise and confusion to me, and with so much to listen to I doubt I'd be making the time to give him another chance. I just don't see it.

It's like with "Loveless". I didn't really like that on the whole, but there were some good moments and I could end up getting into that. Nothing of that nature on "Trout" I'm afraid. I do like how he sounds like Tom Waits (I know, other way round) and thought my experience with Waits would stand me in good stead to weather the eclectic nature of the album, but for me Waits wins out every time. At least he plays melodies, which I just don't hear in Beefheart's music.

I'll check those albums out, add them to the list. Thanks!
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Old 06-19-2013, 06:51 AM   #85 (permalink)
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I want to hear something with some melody
Until you can appreciate that melody is not always a vital ingredient in creating music, you'll constantly going to struggle with albums like this.

I'm a melodic music person in general, but I still love that album.
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:42 AM   #86 (permalink)
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I applaud Trollheart's brave decision to give a thumbs down to Trout Mask Replica which is a sacred cow album among hipsters. It's taboo to make negative remarks about a sacred cow album and doing so results in your immediate banishment from the ranks of hipsterhood.

I love Captain Beefheat's music, but I think Trout Mask Replica is a mediocre album. The entire album is Captain Beefheart's bombastic recital of his contrived Dadaist, stream-of-consciousness poetry backed by the amateurish imitations of delta blues musicians by the Magic Band. I challenge all of those Trout Mask hipsters to sit down and suffer through the 78 minute run length of the album and still pretend like it's a brilliant landmark album. You'd have to be a masochist to enjoy this sort of punishment.

Over the past four decades, Trout Mask Replica has become a fetish object for hipsters because of it's musical inaccessibility and the obscurantist themes of the album. These are the same hipsters who hailed Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music as a brilliant avant garde masterpiece. Lou Reed bitch slapped the hipster types who attempted to deify Metal Machine Music with the self effacing but hilarious one-liner: "Anyone who liked Metal Machine Music is dumber than I am."

Safe As Milk, Captain Beefheart's first album is a far more inspired effort. It's probably the best psychedelic garage band album of the era. Safe as Milk features the slide guitar playing of Ry Cooder, who could really play authentic delta blues. Most of the players on Safe As Milk were selected by Ry Cooder and were far more accomplished players than the members of the Magic Band.

My favorite Beefheart album is Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978). In the decade following the release of Trout Mask Replica, Captain Beefheart fired every member of the original Magic Band. It was apparent that the original band members lacked the musical chops play the sort of ambitiously experimental music that Captain Beefheart was writing.

Shiny Beast came along in the wake of the two worst albums Captain Beefheart ever recorded: Bluejeans and Moonbeams and Unconditionally Guaranteed. Both albums seemed like make-work projects in which Beefheart accommodated himself to the musical limitations of the remaining members of the original Magic Band line up. Captain Beefheart didn't release a single album over the next for years, having dissolved the original Magic Band. The players on Shiny Beast were all hand selected by Captain Beefheart as the new lineup of the Magic Band.

The Magic Band line up on Shiny Beast is the most accomplished group of musicians who ever backed Beefheart among the members were: Art Tripp (Mothers of Invention), jazz trombonist Bruce Fowler, and Eric Drew Feldman (future keyboardist for Frank Black & PJ Harvey). Those three musicians were multiple instrumentalists and Captain Beefheart used their versatile talents to augment the sound of the band by adding several layers of overdubbed parts to the final mix of the album.

The two youngest members of the reorganized Magic Band, Richard Redus and Jeff Morris Tepper, were selected as guitarists by Beefheart. Redus and Morris stayed with the Magic Band until Captain Beefheart retired from the music business to become a highly successful artist under his birth name of Don Van Vliet.

In the last 10 years of his life Don Van Vliet earned far more money as a painter than he ever did during his 30 plus years as a musician. At the time of his death in 2010, Van Vliet's oil paintings were selling at prices between $30,000 and $350,000.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:08 AM   #87 (permalink)
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Safe as Milk features the slide guitar playing of Ry Cooder, who could really play authentic delta blues. Most of the players on Safe As Milk were selected by Ry Cooder and were far more accomplished players than the members of the Magic Band.
Didn't know that. Consider me interested .
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:40 AM   #88 (permalink)
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...and I've yet to experience Slayer!
Oh, you're in for a treat there. Can't wait.
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Old 06-19-2013, 09:59 AM   #89 (permalink)
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Thanks Frownland for the reply and comments. I know it may indeed be a grower, it's just that a) it's a double album, so if I hate it still then I have a long way to go through it a second time and b) I heard very very little that I even thought well you know maybe I would get into that, as I often do with albums. It just really annoyed me. Mind you, I do recall hearing my first ever Tom Waits song. It was "Tango till they're sore" and I thought it was awful! A while later my brother, who was in Boston at the time, sent me a tape of his favourite Waits material and I pretty quickly became a fan. But the thing about Captain Beefheart is I just hear no real melody, nothing to hang my interest on. It's all like just noise and confusion to me, and with so much to listen to I doubt I'd be making the time to give him another chance. I just don't see it.

It's like with "Loveless". I didn't really like that on the whole, but there were some good moments and I could end up getting into that. Nothing of that nature on "Trout" I'm afraid. I do like how he sounds like Tom Waits (I know, other way round) and thought my experience with Waits would stand me in good stead to weather the eclectic nature of the album, but for me Waits wins out every time. At least he plays melodies, which I just don't hear in Beefheart's music.

I'll check those albums out, add them to the list. Thanks!
I agree with Unknown Soldier about not holding the album to the very standards it's trying to break. Maybe save the album for a time when you're feeling adventurous, but I wouldn't force it, that can lead you to disliking the album even more. The albums Safe As Milk and Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) are very good and far more accessible, so if you want to find more of that Waits-iness that you enjoy, I would go there. I still prefer TMR, but I'm just a hipster trying to preserve my indie cred, right Gavin B?
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:34 AM   #90 (permalink)
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Oh, you're in for a treat there. Can't wait.
I forgot that he hadn't listened to Reign In Blood. Not having listened to RIB to me is like not having listened to the sound of the bubbles from the child you're holding under the water coming up to the surface.
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