Posted on December 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm in Art, Film, Music | RSS feed
One of many great live recordings by this great band. Belew gets down right scary during his vocals on Indiscipline. A flash bulb goes of in the crowd and Belew’s eyes are illuminated for just a moment, revealing a dead blank stare. This and the Absent Lovers set from Montreal 84 are my favorite examples of this line up in excellent form. I believe the full recording, of The Noise, in now available for download, including Thela Hun Ginjeet and Red, which are not on the dvd. Here’s the link: http://www.dgmlive.com/archive.htm?artist=6&show=526
Is this your favorite line up or time period? I’ve always been a fan of their immense live catalog but it’s been a good year for revisiting their studio recordings. Jump started by “The Crimson ProjeKct” tour, featuring former Belew, Tony Levin and Pat Pat Mastelotto playing in double trio of sorts with Markus Reuter, Julie Slick and Tobias Ralph (members of The Adrian Belew Power Trio and Levin’s StickMen, which are both worth checking out) I couldn’t help but go deep into the 80s and 90s line ups. Belew still has energy to beat the band, and is as charismatic as ever. The virtuosity, grooves and fun flowed at the two shows I was lucky enough to attend, Elephant Talk, B’Boom, Thrak and Red being some of the many highlights. Belew’s Trio and Levin’s Stickmen also performed and are strong bands in their own right, but when combined and playing this classic material, they go to the next level as Crimson ProjecKct.
The addition of a turntable and stereo cabinet to my home gave me an excuse to jump deep into the 60s and 70s. I was lucky enough to buy “In The Court of the Crimson King” through “Discipline” used on vinyl, which just fueled the fire. Even “lesser” or “forgotten” entries in the catalog like “Lizard,” “Islands.” and “In The Wake of Poseidon ” have moments of power, beauty and sorrow.
On top of all that, the remastered collector sets have been coming out steadily, and this fall I was excited to pick up the “Complete Larks Tongues In Aspic Recordings” 15 disc set, featuring every known recording from that line up. That onto itself is an interesting exploration of how a band shapes it songs through improves and trying new stuff on the road.
So in short, their was alot of great new music in 2012, Death Grips, Gojira and Trioscapes being some of my personal favorites. But there’s something about falling in love with a band, or any artform or medium for that matter, that just puts a reassured smile on your face. I was a big King Crimson fan before 2012, but this year seemed to solidify that they have a very strong catalog that truly can be called “progressive.”
Thanks for the continued Crimson love, and for giving me a place to talk about a band that I feel needs more and more recognition.
My favorite Crimson record is easily Discipline—that’s also my favorite era/line up. I went through a *huge* Crimson phase in college. Islands was the first record of theirs I bought (why Islands? It was the only KC record at Camelot). My favorite late-period record of theirs is Thrak. I was something of a Fripp worshiper for years, but in retrospect I think Belew made the band truly transcendent.
Belew’s charisma and obvious joy of playing brings the soul that prog rock is often missing. I’ve always had a soft spot for Levin and Belew’s harmonies, they bring a smile to my face. Meanwhile Fripp is the stern Father figure you respect and know is essential but wish would lighten up every now and then. I’m not putting the guy down, but its obvious that Belew and Levin are still very passionate about this material, love to play it and know they’re making a small, but devoted fan base very happy when they go out on tour with something like “Crimson Projeckt”.
Islands isn’t an awful place to start, I think the title track is gorgeous and the horns on Ladies of the Road are the sleaziest thing ever. I feel it represents the band and what they were doing in that time period. A short lived line-up but worth a listen for sure.
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