11 March 2011

Everything's AOR

A little dearth in activity on this end, on account of being out of town, fighting off the threat of a seasonal malady, and just generally recalibrating on a few things. A few things for the outboard spots -- small, tangential, music-related. First, a casual overview of the work of James 'Blood' Ulmer, which was prompted by the big "guitar solo" theme they've been doing the past two weeks. (The a similar thing about guitar riffs last year.) Everyone's been joining into this one -- Carl, Wayne, even Dominic Fox, and Simon has (once again) run off with the ball on his own arc, going so far as to field a wide array of associates and musicians on the matter.

Additionally, a couple of choices from the 1970s punk canon, as well as some sidenotes on the whole matter of geetar solos (a and b).

Update / Addendum: Admittedly, this is all a little (as they say) "outside my comfort zone." For the most part, solos (in rock, anyway) have never been something I've gravitated to, ever given much consideration. I mean, I think the breaks or solos when they somehow manage to extend the energy or melody of a tune, yet somehow also do a little work with expanding upon or even compressing it. But I never regarded it as a thing-in-itself, regarded it in any other terms than in relation to the overall gestalt of a song/composition. Like I said, I often feel like I'm missing a key chromosome in this area.

So it's funny to read Simon more-or-less echoing some of my own ambivalence on the matter. There's plenty I might add in terms of the history of such stuff, but yes I believe he's narrowing in on the crux of it all by suspecting that Hendrix and the Brit blues-rock scene of the 1960s played a big part in steering things in a particular direction. As far as his remarks about such tendencies being largely absent in rock's early day, I'm not so sure. Having once (and very briefly) owned a copy of the album below, I'm inclined to say it was there (kinda, sorta...implicitly) in some form or another from the start...

...When you bring Jimi Hendrix and the blues-rock movement into the matter, however, a few problematic issues arise. Greg Tate addressed one such issue as it related to the former some years ago (and suffered a backlash from Hendrix worshipers as a result), and Phil Knight recently floated out a highly interesting, unorthodox take on the latter buried in one of his recent posts over at Faces on Posters.

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