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The Unseen University



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Comparisons - Thick As A Brick 2 vs. The Whirlwind

Posted by Ymper Trymon , in Music Jan 17 2014 · 131 views
prog rock, ian anderson and 2 more...
As I sit here, listening through The Whirlwind for the first time in a couple of years, it strikes me that the vocals on this album compare rather unfavourably to those on Thick As A Brick 2, Ian Anderson's follow-up to Jethro Tull's legendary single-song album, released forty years late.
 
It's not so much anything about the quality of the voices involved - years of smoking certainly were not kind to the pipes of Ian Anderson - but the technique of the singing. With Transatlantic's 70+ minute outing, while the voices don't sound bad, the phrasing and inflections leave much to be desired, lacking, for the most part, the confidence and impact heard from the very first track of TaaB 2. When the 1:37 mark of an old dinosaur's follow-up project is, vocally, stronger than the first fifteen minutes of a prog rock supergroup's intended magnum opus, someone hasn't done their job right.
 
I have, thus far, enjoyed The Whirlwind, but if what I've heard so far is any indication, I rather doubt that my reward for reaching the end will be anything like as powerful as the pairing of Confessional and Kismet in Suburbia. Anderson's vocal work on TaaB 2 may not come close to the original album, but it's still miles ahead of Transatlantic so far.
 
 
EDIT: I was going to cut this album so much more slack before they started padding the length with mindless repetition. I can only hear "Is it really happening" so many times before I conclude that you've run out of ideas.
 
EDIT 2: I was right. In summation, The Whirlwind is an instrumentally fun/kind of impressive album/song with merely okay lyrics and mediocre delivery of those lyrics.


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Album of the Year So Far

Posted by Ymper Trymon , in Music Jan 11 2014 · 119 views
necro, rock, new release and 1 more...
So, yesterday, everyone's favourite guitar-playing undead penguin released a new album - his third, if you don't count the EP released under his metal side project, the name of which I can't even type right because Windows refuses to believe that you can put an Ümläüt over a t. You can follow the link above to the album's Bandcamp page, where you can pick up this shiny new album for a very reasonable seven bucks - not bad for 45:18 of instrumental rock. The cover art might be a bit sketchy, and there are no actual grenade launchers included with the album, but that doesn't change the quality of the music within.
 
I could take the time to review the album in detail, but that would be time you're not spending checking it out yourselves - so go have a listen, buy the album, and pay special attention to the tracks Underwater, The Snake Charmer, and Hitchhiker.


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Lead Instrument Suggestions

Posted by Ymper Trymon , in Music Jul 01 2013 · 161 views
music, composition, question
So I've got a piece of music that's been sitting unfinished on my computer for something like two years. The current list of instruments is as follows-
 
-Flute
-Alto Saxophone
-Electric Guitar (Jazz)
-Electric Bass (Fingered)
-Drumkit
-Timpani
 
The first section went along fairly smoothly, with a four-measure ostinato primarily played by the flute and saxophone... the only problem is that, at this time, there isn't actually a lead instrument. Nothing's actually playing a melody over this, which is a big problem that kind of needs to be fixed before I go forward with this.
 
I'm going to experiment with various instruments to see what works well here. Suggestions are encouraged, as they might make my work here a little bit easier.


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Musician Spotlight - And, Err, Sorry I'm Late With This One.

Posted by Ymper Trymon , in Music Feb 26 2012 · 87 views
Tull, Jethro Tull and 2 more...
Yeah, yeah, I know - there wasn't a Musician Spotlight for January. I'm sure all -3 of you that read this thing were livid.

Ahem.

Anyway, I'm probably going to have some more business - sorry, busy-ness - so from now until April 3rd - or, until I update the Musician Spotlight again, whichever comes first - the Spotlight will be focused on Ian Anderson's new album, which is to be released as a direct sequel to the legendary Thick As a Brick... err, 40 years late.

I've heard lots of good things about this album (some of the songs that will be on it! Steven Wilson's involved! Another Ian Anderson album! Steven insisted that Anderson use the same instrumentation [for the most part] as the original Brick! Anderson went along with the idea!) and one bad thing (Martin wasn't interested in working on this album) that's kind of a good thing (Martin is instead off doing his own thing.) so I'm really pretty excited about this.

The one disappointment is that, unlike the live (and lyric-less) performance done in India a while ago, the album version of A Change of Horses is unlikely to feature sitar.

But, hey! This blog isn't about my opinions - no, really it isn't. My opinions matter about as much as the -3 people who read them matter. This blog is about the opinions of those people who 1. don't exist and 2. were just told, in a hypothetical universe where they do exist, that they don't matter!

So, tell me what you think of the upcoming Thick As a Brick 2. Or don't. Probably don't. But do if you exist.


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The Whistler Begins To Play

Posted by Ymper Trymon , in Music Jan 20 2012 · 81 views
flute, irish, d major and 5 more...
My new flute arrived in the mail today. I'm already decently good with the penny whistle, so the most difficult thing for me is going to be getting a consistent sound out of that little embouchure. I'll be spending the next week working solely on that, after which I will allow myself to begin working on actually getting a tune out of the thing.

I'll be keeping a record of my progress on this blog, both for the really bored people who, for some reason, actually care about the "progress" some loonie is making on moulding himself into a pale imitation of Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson, and for the obscenely bored person who will one day be looking back to fondly(?) remember his earliest experience with the Irish flute.





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