“Hey Arvo! What’s up?”
Today my colleague who is in her 40 pointed her finger at one intern next to her, who is in his 20 : “He doesn’t know The Cure!”.
I asked : “What about Supertramp?”. Never heard of it…
“History recalls how great the fall can be
While everybody’s sleeping, the boats put out to sea”
Fool’s Overture : 1977. I was 11 and get out of here : it was AMAZING!
In a way I understand! And in another way, it’s a proof of non-curiosity, and it’s sad. You don’t have to love Supertramp, or Genesis, or Talk Talk, buddy, but you should know about these…
In the end of the seventies, I knew about The Beatles, and Beach Boys or Cream, or Led Zeppelin, or Doors. Not my music, but I… knew about them.
I loved Supertramp, and Breakfast in America was a hit, and I was in love with some inaccessible girl at this time, and today when I hear Hodgson’s voice, my heart is pinched : someone didn’t care much about me.
I said to the little guy : “Supertramp is a pop group who understood the tools of Progressive Rock and made hits with them. Long songs, complex arrangements and harmonies, fractured forms. It worked pretty well!”.
In Fool’s Overture, the voice begins to sing after… like almost 6 minutes of music.
I wanted to tell him about Dreamer. Or about the choir, Churchill’s voice, the harmonica, or the pulsing rage of the end. Or how Faith, by The Cure, was incredibly grey. And the bass! But… I said nothing. Shup. I just wrote a few names on a paper. “Explore YouTube it!”.
Yes? Close to the Edge? Later…
Deleuze says, and I agree : in Art, the only real question is “What’s new here?”.
I’m 52 tomorrow. I heard some violins in the radio tonight and my brain said “Arvo Pärt?“, and I was right.
Arvo Pärt was a new sound. ECM…
Supertramp too (this voice!!). Like Sting in Police. Or Disco music. Saturday Night Fever was a great new sound. Moroder. Then Marrs, or Frankie Goes to Hollywood : Relax. All were like : Oh oh oh I NEVER FUCKING HEARD THIS BEFORE!
What’s NEW. This is what we need, right?
“Dreamer, you stupid little dreamer
So now you put your head in your hands, oh no”
I have to say I kept the pattern. I was and stayed HUNGRY of the what’s newn-ess. Then I explored, trying to find what was NEW in the Beatles, Mike Oldfield, Weather Report, Stravinsky, Brian Eno and Art of Noise and others.
Of course I sound like an “old fool”!
Now I hear big groups and I ask every lover : “Well, listen to me : what’s new here? Radiohead? Björk? What??”. I understood about King Crimson, and Kate Bush, but I don’t get it about Arctic Monkeys or… Drake.
Real new sounds are rare. Royksöpp. St Vincent. Who else?
Salve! Thanks for reading!