Saturday, April 23, 2005

music: Still Yes

I turned on the telly to a nice surprise: Yes - 35th Anniversary concert. Disconcerting to see so many balding guys in the audience. They played a fine selection including a cool acoustic shuffle reworking of the war-horse "Roundabout". I was hoping for insane fireworks from Steve Howe, the most underrated guitar god with his unique "clattering wail" style, but Rick Wakeman impressed me the most.

It's so easy to make fun of progressive rock: singing along to "And You and I" I realized I still have no idea what the words mean, and you can see the inspiration for big chunks of "This is Spın̈al Tap". But what's so great about confessional lyrics of trite emotional problems? These folks are trying to be great musicians, trying to write complex music, and mostly succeeding. Pop has such reduced horizons now. Who is the best guitarist on American Idol? Who is Justin Timberlake's bass player?

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