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cos dem

cos dem's Journal
cos dem's Journal
February 19, 2022

Genesis - Return Of The Giant Hogweed

For tonight's selection, we have this from Genesis' 3rd album, Nursery Cryme. It is the first album with Steve Hackett.

Side topic: Phil Collins didn't ruin Genesis, pushing Steve Hackett out did (discuss...)
(my personal take: neither action "ruined" Genesis. They just changed the type of music they wanted to produce. You either liked it or you didn't, get over it. I have a soft spot for the Collins era, since it was my gateway into their back catalog.)

Anyway, returning to our regularly scheduled program.

This song is, to me, the epitome of progressive rock. Simultaneously an amazing performance, coupled with some of the nerdiest lyrics in prog, which puts it in the top 10 nerdiest all time. The song is about a toxic invasive species, the giant hogweed, which apparently makes poison ivy look like laurel leaves. It is the Vladimir Putin of plants.

It's a great sing-along. The closing lyrics are:

Mighty Hogweed is avenged!
Human bodies soon will know our anger
Kill them with your Hogweed hairs!
Heracleum Mantegazziani

And must be sung at full volume.

Does your favorite song have a Latin taxonomy reference?

Here is the original from Nursery Cryme

And here is the Steve Hackett version from his Genesis Revisited work. You get to see the tapping technique for which he is justly famous for. You can see why his addition to the band was critical to their incredible output from Nursery Cryme to Wind and Wuthering.
February 18, 2022

Marillion - Neverland

OK, tonight I'm listening to Marbles as I write this. And it's cranked!

Had a hard time getting into Fish-era Marillion (not sure why, there are bits that I like, just couldn't get emotionally attached. Kind of like my attempts at dating, I guess).

I kind of steered clear for a long time, and then I gave Marbles a listen. And holy crap, what an album! To me, this double album is right up there with Lamb from Genesis, The Wall (you-know-who), or Close To The Edge. Like a lot of good classical music, there are ongoing musical themes that reappear throughout the album, tying the whole thing together.

Neverland is the closing piece, and a blockbuster ending to a blockbuster album. I can't resist turning it up to 11!

February 17, 2022

Kate Bush - The Dreaming

I always enjoy vocalists who use their voice, not just to sing words, but like a musical instrument. And, no one does this better than Kate Bush.

The downside is, if the artist has something to say, sometimes that message gets lost in the vocal artistry. Such is the case with this song.

I've heard it many times since I first started listening to Kate over 20 years ago. But, I never paid much attention to what was going on, until I saw a video of Steven Wilson discussing the album, and he cites the opening lyrics: "Bang! Goes another kanga on the bonnet of the van." It was shortly after I made a trip down under and saw "kangas" in their native habitat (they're pretty much like deer here). The song itself tells about how the native population in Australia was, and is, being displaced by foreign invaders. Not unlike what happened in this country.

Some standout lyrics:
- The "civilized" keep alive the territorial war.
- Erase the race that claim the place and say we dig for ore.
- Dangle devils in a bottle and push them from the "pull of the bush".
- See the sun set in the hands of the man.

Anyway, I can't listen to this song the same way ever again. And I mean this in a good way.

February 14, 2022

Always good to find other organ music aficionados.

I'm pretty sure the picture is the organ at Passau, Germany, the largest organ in Europe. It's unclear if the recording was made there or not.

I'm actually partial to this performance by Gert van Hoef. It's quite a pleasure to watch him play, or really to watch this team play. On a fully manual instrument without presets (or electronics), it takes a team of human presets to activate the stops at the right time.

Gert has quite a few videos on Youtube. If you like organ music, I definitely recommend checking them out.
February 11, 2022

Or how many people think Black Magic Woman was written by Santana.

I have this live set from Boston Tea Party, but had no idea there was video to go with it!

February 8, 2022

Warren Zevon - Keep Me In Your Heart

(this link apparently will play directly on DU).

February 3, 2022

Symphony 3 (Scottish)

I heard this performed once in St Eustache church in Paris. Incredible acoustics.

This one performed by Gewandhaus, which Mendelssohn conducted at one time.

Here's another link, since it looks like the previous one doesn't work directly.

January 31, 2022

Schubert's unfinished symphony

Such a gorgeous piece of music.

I'd put Schubert up with Beethoven for master of the melody.
January 31, 2022

Check out Warren Zevon's cover

His backup band is REM.

January 30, 2022

Peter Hammill - Hemlock

From time to time, I browse my collection to find albums I haven't listened to very much, for whatever reason. Often I find new favorites, or at least some undiscovered gems. Like this one...

Peter Hammill (lead vocalist for Van der Graaf Generator) is certainly an acquired taste. This is serious, difficult music. But, if you're a fan of progressive rock or progressive metal (Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Dream Theater) give it a try. Not only does it sound like nothing else out there, the lyrics are incredibly timely:

"The earth is flat, and pigs can fly, swallow hard, and believe the lies!"

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