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New Scott Walker album out December 3rd
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Daniel
241 posts

New Scott Walker album out December 3rd
Sep 24, 2012, 16:16
http://www.thewire.co.uk/articles/9811/


Machetes, finger snaps, rams horns? Oh...yes, the usual stuff. Let's see but I think I'll pass this.
Lawrence
Lawrence
8941 posts

Re: New Scott Walker album out December 3rd
Sep 24, 2012, 19:20
LOL. If it's as good as the last one I wouldn't pass it up...
IanB
IanB
5970 posts

Edited Sep 25, 2012, 07:03
Re: New Scott Walker album out December 3rd
Sep 24, 2012, 20:03
Daniel wrote:
http://www.thewire.co.uk/articles/9811/


Machetes, finger snaps, rams horns? Oh...yes, the usual stuff. Let's see but I think I'll pass this.


Not all that interested any more. He says nothing to me about my life etc.

As I get older I feel obliged to compare artists of our generation with their equivalents from previous eras. For example - Scott Walker? Alban Berg? Not much of a contest really despite the fact that they deal with comparable subject matter and melodic material.

Tilt was an aberation that stood out in a moment in time where facile, highly technical, highly unmusical, shallow crap held sway. Scott Walker is established as a fantastic singer of other people's songs and Farmer In The City is a glorious piece of writing but the rest is (in my opinion) unproven in terms of a place in the pantheon. There are 38 years between Climate to Bish Bosch. Berg had changed the musical world a couple of times over long before his death at the age of 50. Wozzeck, Lulu, the violin concerto and the Lyric Suite etc were for all time. Love him and his voice as a I do I am not sure Scott Walker has produced anything that is anywhere near that range / scale of achievement.
Lawrence
Lawrence
8941 posts

Re: New Scott Walker album out December 3rd
Sep 24, 2012, 21:42
Well I still like Scott Walker and I think his stuff is better than today's shallow pop-music. I don't know if his music says anything to me about my life, but it's infinitely more interesting and listenable than, say, overrated hipster crap like Jeff the Brotherhood (for example.)
Hunter T Wolfe
Hunter T Wolfe
1469 posts

Re: New Scott Walker album out December 3rd
Sep 24, 2012, 21:54
I'm excited. I thought The Drift and Tilt were both excellent, original, challenging pieces of work in their own right. And while I broadly get what you're saying, Ian, I don't particularly see the point in randomly singling Scott Walker out in order to compare him unfavourably to a randomly chosen important avant garde composer from a previous generation. He may not measure up, but so what? Completely different circumstances and all that.

Not sure about the album title though. Is it a concept album about rushed DIY in East Germany? Scott was a painter and decorator for a while during his "wilderness years", wasn't he?
The Hidden Corner
The Hidden Corner
115 posts

Re: New Scott Walker album out December 3rd
Sep 24, 2012, 22:27
Was a SW fan for many years following my purchase in 1981 of the Cope compilation 'Fire Escape in The Sky', after which I tracked down copies of his other classics stuff and followed him through 'Climate' and up to Tilt, at which point I lost interest (although still rate track 1 Farmer in The City).
Without wishing to pre judge the upcoming album, I think the following article probably says it all and if an extract doesn't appear in Private Eye's Pseuds Corner I'll eat my hat:

http://www.bishbosch.com/
Five
Five
958 posts

Re: New Scott Walker album out December 3rd
Sep 25, 2012, 00:03
Lawrence wrote:
Well I still like Scott Walker and I think his stuff is better than today's shallow pop-music. I don't know if his music says anything to me about my life, but it's infinitely more interesting and listenable than, say, overrated hipster crap like Jeff the Brotherhood (for example.)


right.
Lawrence
Lawrence
8941 posts

Re: New Scott Walker album out December 3rd
Sep 25, 2012, 08:26
What's worse, complicated music that's difficult for most people to listen to or just a crap pop band that can't even do their harmonies right?
IanB
IanB
5970 posts

Edited Sep 25, 2012, 11:50
Re: New Scott Walker album out December 3rd
Sep 25, 2012, 08:41
Lawrence wrote:
Well I still like Scott Walker and I think his stuff is better than today's shallow pop-music. I don't know if his music says anything to me about my life, but it's infinitely more interesting and listenable than, say, overrated hipster crap like Jeff the Brotherhood (for example.)


(Jeff the Brotherhood? Who are they? I don't really try and keep up with new rock bands as there are not enough hours in the day. I have to rely on the kindness of strangers and on good records finding me these days. That has passed me by totally)

I mentioned Berg precisely because I think Walker wants to be thought of in that kind of company - Berg, Schoenberg, Webern, Schnittke etc etc.

When writing about grotesque human behaviour there is sometimes a genuine need for music that matches that ugliness and that is always going to be be a tough listening experience. Something like Wozzeck or Peter Grimes can be a very tough listen but the stories are completely clear. The musical dissonance is there to tell us about what is going on under the surface not to make things unnecessarily complicated for their own sake.

I found Drift dissonant and lyrically opaque for no apparent reason other than to eliminate any possibility of it being mistaken for pop. So what bugs me about SW's Art Rock records is that they seem obscure for obscurity's sake. Almost as if he wants anyone who likes him for the 60s stuff to run screaming just leaving a chin-stroking "gallery crowd". Especially lyrically.

What would be really wonderful is if he could write songs about alienation, despair and the horrors of torture etc in the context of great pop melodies and traditional structures. Like a 21st century Associates. Who else is even attempting that in 2012? Has anyone really done anything like that in the mainstream since the Holy Bible? That would be far more subversive than making hard to swallow art statements once in a blue moon.

Per my original post, there are a lot of greater writers and composers who already covered this kind ground in a way that is nigh on unassailable and a lot of them experienced those horrors first hand in WWI. They wrote what they saw and what they knew. What they saw and knew was not pretty so if the music they made was hard-going then it is no surprise. They didn't let that infect the way they used language. They weren't trying to alienate an audience (who would have been in deep shock whether post WW1 or WW2) and they were trying to express something to and on behalf of the audience as a whole. Lyrical obscurity would have been counter productive to the purpose of that music. That is the difference for me. It was important to be understood clearly.
keith a
keith a
8680 posts

Re: New Scott Walker album out December 3rd
Sep 25, 2012, 10:57
Hunter T Wolfe wrote:
I'm excited. I thought The Drift and Tilt were both excellent, original, challenging pieces of work in their own right. And while I broadly get what you're saying, Ian, I don't particularly see the point in randomly singling Scott Walker out in order to compare him unfavourably to a randomly chosen important avant garde composer from a previous generation. He may not measure up, but so what? Completely different circumstances and all that.

Not sure about the album title though. Is it a concept album about rushed DIY in East Germany? Scott was a painter and decorator for a while during his "wilderness years", wasn't he?


I agree, Hunter. TBH I don't know the artists he's being compared to so I can't comment on their merits or otherwise, but SW is one of THE greats AFAIC (and how fascinating was that documentary?). I might not play the latter-day records that often but I'm always interested to hear what he's up to - a mere 6 years after the last one, too!

I like the title myself though. More playful than one might expect from Scott.

PS Surely Climate... was 28 years ago, not 38.
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