Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Trout Mask Replica Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band 1969

Over at My Husband's Stupid Record Collection, Sarah has gotten to Trout Mask Replica, the poor girl. There has been so much written about this record, and its genius, it is really very hard to believe.

I don't have much to add. If this record is a monumental leap forward into deconstructed, Dada-esque noise rock, so be it. That doesn't make it listenable, even as an academic study.

If it is a masterpiece, I don't get it. This can happen with any art form, and even within the music domain, there are other masterworks that elude my understanding.

Here's my take. The singer isn't very good. The rhythms change so often and so shockingly that they are almost impossible to keep up with, leaving the listener without an actual rhythm to follow. Forget melody. There are some, but they are unconventional at best. It might be hard to play music this bad, but I'm still unimpressed.

The best use of this record is to polarize people who are interested in music. Somewhere between "If you understood this music better you could appreciate it", and "Turn that crap off" lies the truth. Me, I turned that crap off a long time ago.

1 comment:

  1. I understand what you mean. Most people who think it's genius or flawless are lying to seem smart or cool.

    Now what I love about this album is what I love about free improvisation music too. It's just a way of opposing traditions of music. I take theory and in there everyone thinks music must be like this or that. I tell them "Who's gonna lock me up if I make the music I want".

    I think it is more genius in that it is a way to free you mind and preconceived notions of music, and if you're an artist, just make what you want regardless of what your told.

    Thought I do love the constant rhythmic changes because it's confusing and kind of brain melting