Elephant Talk #1111 (as text)

29 March 2003

Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2003 13:47:15 -0500
From: "Jordan Clifford" <GrooveHolmes394 at hotmail dot com>
Subject: Re: TPTB better than Discipline??

>>PPS. How would you fill in the end of this sentence: The Power to Believe is my favorite KC album since.....?
>I've heard several answers. I'm trying to make up my mind if my own answer would be Discipline or Red.

To say that suggests that you might like TPTB more than Discipline. OUCH. I like both albums a lot, but Discipline changed me from the moment I put it on. Other than it being the first KC album I played after picking based on cover art from my friends collection of every KC album, from the first note of Elephant Talk I knew I'd just set out to journey through the overwhelming catalog of KC material (not knowing how different it all was).

I dunno.. I realllllly dig TPTB, but I've always put Discipline in my top 3 KC albums of all time.

and Red has Starless on it.. and RED! and Fallen Angel (forget about the lyrics.. it pains me.. 'better get back to the car' no no no), and Providence. Unrelated topic and maybe its a whole different email but while I'm thinking about the great songs on Red I'd like someone to explain how out of all their songs anyone thinks One More Red Nightmare is a good song? maybe without the lyrics... I really like the part when the lyrics end. but then they come back in and i wanna turn it off. anywho..

Obviously everyone has there own opinion, It's just interesting to know that peoplel ike the new album that much. its actually pretty great to know that.

I really have no point.. just swept up in this new round of intelligent conversation about KC. its great!

Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 00:27:09 EST
From: Elecat at aol dot com
Subject: KCCC Question


My subscription ran out a couple of releases back. I was wondering if KCCC 12 (Hyde Park), 19 (Zoom Club) or 20 (Champaign-Urbana Sessions) were worth getting. Also, is the release "Ladies of the Road" worth getting? I've read some reviews of editing problems on "Schizoid Man." Please contact me off list.


John Marr
elecat at aol dot com

Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 10:34:12 EST
From: Bknt at aol dot com
Subject: Norbert Fragg: the Indefinitive Lyrics

Dear ET'ers,

A ludicrous debate has erupted, if not erucKted, of late, regarding the actual lyrics of the new, perspicaciously post-modern Thing Dismal recording, the Power to Reweave. Some have asked, is this recording a backward glancing, dyspeptic reworking of previous Thing Dismal efforts, in which Dread meets Insulin, Shark Teeth in Plastic meets Quack-Attack, and Gizard refuses to meet, much less dine with, with Twee of a Speckled Hare? Others have further speculated on the motives of Norbert Fragg, the shirking, quirking but ever lurking guitarist, whose last attempt to stage a four hour interview with members of the European press who had been bound and gagged and roasted slowly over a mesquite flame, resulted in several "squirming questions" in whose answers failed to fool, if not fuel, the fire.

In an effort to further mix metaphors and thus, stomp upon the purple dye of mordant mendacity, I have petitioned Mr. Fragg's representatives at Dismal Seepage No longer Global Much Less Mobile, who informed me that, after gathering several scraps of "bathroom stationery" blowing about the sodden soil on a gloomy mountainside in Knishville, Tennessee, the "indefinitive" lyrics of have been dissembled for all to ponder.

The Power to Reweave

She parodies
My taste for pastries
She whistles awfully
She shaved my head
With a blunt instrument
When she gave my toupee
The power to reweave.

Chocolate Cheesecake Hoping

It's so dumb
It's so dumb, anyway
Another rowdy gig to play
I'm so numb
A pull-down menu of dismay
Don't take my picture
Just let me dribble away

Cheesecake hoping
I'm chocolate cheesecake hoping, all the time
Because, wherever you go, you can always eat...

Slacks of Life

Six million pants
Stuffed into a crate
Six million pants
To hang in Wal-Mart is their fate
None of them really fit,
But a bargain's a bargain, mate.

These are the slacks of life...

Crapping when you feel crappy about the crap you have to be happy with

When I have some turds...
This is the way I sit
Think I'll eat some prunes
They're so inspiring!

Then I'll read Horace
Yes, a poem by Horace
Old Latin poems by Horace
And then Ovid and Catullus and something snide by Cicero.

Crapping when you feel crappy...

Bill Kent

Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 11:44:38 -0700
From: "amelia ray" <amelia at ameliaray dot net>
Subject: how's this for a title?

to david craig,

thanks for the sara lee link:


i'm a big fan of hers. it was a good read.

to craig, re: mike giles, keep making those prog rock references, you! :) always love to hear someone pump up kevin ayers.

and greg, loved your kids' review of the show. if you could somehow record them reading it, i think it would be fun to lay over a frippic instrumental track. not that i could play anything like fripp...


Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 18:38:01 -0000
From: "Alan Gent" <alan at alangent dot com>
Subject: Numbers

Am I the only one who suffers from the current numbering issue? Just received an email to say 1108 is ready. When I sign on, I get 1110, keeps me on my toes I guess.....

[ ET on the Web is often likely to be more up to date than the ET sent out by mail -- Toby]



Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 15:09:38 -0500
From: "Mike Miller" <johnnyribcage at hotmail dot com>
Subject: Strange Contradiction of Belief

The new Crimson album is, in my opinion, fantastic. However one thing confused me. The disc is called, "The Power to Believe", and that is a positive lyrical theme that runs through the album - "when she gave me back the power to believe." There are few lyrics on this album, which is typical of any Crimson album, but this is the repeated statement. I couldn't help but notice in Facts of Life the lines "nobody knows what happens when you die / believe what you want, it dosen't mean you're right". What's going on here?

Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 21:32:28 +0000
From: Mr Tea <mrtea at mac dot com>
Subject: Preview CDs

This from Guitar86rick at aol dot com in ET #1108

> Please remember that KC released many of these "preview"
> discs to allow you to hear the direction the band is heading.

No, they released them to generate revenue streams prior to the 'full', 'official' album release.

That's ok. People don't hafta buy them. And whether you see it as a taster or a spoiler is a matter of individual preference. It's an interesting idea, pioneered by the 'Vrooom' release that preceded 'Thrak', and I haven't seen this sort of 'work in progress' interim release schedule being picked up by any other major bands. Are there others who do this kinda thing regularly? Was there a precedent before VROOOM?

Ideally, the preview releases should be as cheaply and flimsily packaged and designed as possible, with low, low prices that make them essentially a disposable artefact and clearly not a part of the core canon. This would also have the interesting side effect of making copies in good condition even more collectable and desirable to the devotee.


Mr Tea


Brew of the day: Yorkshire Gold by Bettys & Taylors of Harrogate

Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 19:10:23 EST
From: AndyAcunzo at aol dot com
Subject: Fripp's solo on Facts of Life

Does anyone else out there think Fripp's ripping solo in Facts of Life sounds very reminiscent of his solo on A Sailor's Tale?


Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 18:12:03 -0600
From: "Nick Spannaus" <nspannaus at austin dot rr dot com>
Subject: Re: Having moved on, should I move back?

"Backham, Clive" <Clive dot Backham at capita dot co dot uk>:

The Wetton days are my favorite era as well.. I also thought that a lot of Thrak was great, while there were also some low-points. Most of Thrakattak IS pointless noodling.

So we're in the same boat for the most part.. I didn't hate TCOL, however.. But it did make me worry that maybe the Crims were finally out of steam. TPTB isn't a new Red, imo.. But it IS worth the listen.. I was never a big fan of Discipline (let the flaming begin), so I can't honestly compare the two.. But one thing I would like to make clear: "Happy" (the song, not the EP) is NOT representative of the album.. It might prepare you for "Facts of Life"-- but that's it.. Level Five, Elektrik, Eyes Wide Open, and Dangerous Curves are all really great.

Honestly, I can't promise you'll love it, but don't make the decision not to give it a chance based on "Happy"..

Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 20:25:23 EST
From: Boobird at aol dot com
Subject: TPTB Opinions...

Dear Folks --

Offering my thoughts on listening to this recording and how it affects me (to each their own, after all):

  1. This is King Crimson's best work, surpassing "Red" and "Discipline". Sure it has a couple low spots, (for me, "Elektrik" drags), but I have yet to hear anything perfect (well, maybe the New Christy Minstrels :-). From "Facts of Life: Intro" through "...Coda," this is sublime.

  2. With this being such a superb effort, hopefully that is not a sign that KC is about to (im)(ex)plode.

  3. The "second verse" of "Happy..." is, to my ears

    "And for a second verse
    of terse acuity,
    I'll brew another pot
    of ambiguity"

    (instead of "terse acuity" I could almost hear "Terpsicuity," which would be quite Crimsonesque).

  4. The "Happy..." lyrics are the funniest Adrian has ever written.

  5. One wonders what the audience effect would have been if any of THIS music was played 1969-1974.

  6. "Dangerous Curves" is a perfect statement of the world right now.

Enough. Back to reading the articles in Playboy...

Mark Newstrom

Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 21:03:09 -0800
From: "Danny Stamper" <dstamper at irvineonline dot net>
Subject: Power to Believe T shirt

Can somebody? Anybody pick me up a Power to Believe t shirt (size L or will settle for XL)? Since "The Greatest Crim" are not touring anywhere close to me, and I can't purchase one through the website. I will be glad to reimburse someone's money. Hell, I'll even give an extra 5 or 10 bucks to boot. I can be reached at the following email addresses:

dstamper at irvineonline dot net

froggy551 at lycos dot com


Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 04:04:19 +0000
From: "pierre guertin" <erreipnitreug2000 at hotmail dot com>
Subject: Re.: Cats and KC

Remember: The first word of the first cut of the first Crimso album is CAT.

Pierre Guetin.

Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 01:38:55 -0500 (EST)
From: david craig <dac at panix dot com>
Subject: Re: KC tradition of Schizoid
> Correct me if I'm wrong, but hasn't every incarnation done their
> version of 21CSM?

To jump quickly on what's bound to be a very full bandwagon: you're wrong [:-)].

David Craig


Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 07:15:24 +0000
From: "christie b" <crimqueen at hotmail dot com>
Subject: Concert at the Grove in Anaheim, CA

Hi All,

Anyone up for pre-concert drinks and KC gossip at the Grove show? Drop me a line, thanks!


Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 09:47:13 -0000
From: "Wafo" <meat dot bag at ntlworld dot com>
Subject: Schizoid/Facts of Life

In ET 1110:

>I just can't accept that Facts of Life is compared with something like 21CSM
>and Happy with Elephant Talk.

One of the first things I noticed about Facts of Life is that the riffs are rather reminiscent of those in Pictures of a City (I'm not the first to have pointed this out), which is itself a variation on the Schizoid Man song, both in effect and in structure. The structure of Facts of Life is very similar to Schizoid Man, in that a couple of heavy verses (with "choruses" of one line's length) are followed by a "fast running lines" section which the musicians play in unison, then back to the verse again. The lyrical content is also similar to that of Schizoid Man, speaking about the dark side of the wider world in an authoritative manner (in fact, given what's going on in the wider world right now, the song COULD be interpreted as an anti-war protest, which strengthens the similarity even more), so the effect it has on me is of being an update of the Schizoid Man song.

Happy With is not just the "pop song" on the album. Like Cat Food, Elephant Talk and Dinosaur, it is a quirky, funky, FUNNY pop song. OK, so it's not about animals, but it sounds to me very much in the vein of its quirky, funky, funny pop song predecessors. The lyrics also carry the same kind of acerbic wit.

Just an observation anyhow.

Whether they're superior or not is a matter of taste, but I find the new ones much more effective. Schizoid Man is an iconic King Crimson track, but to me it sounds very clunky and dated compared with the new stuff. I absolutely love Facts of Life - it means much more to me than Schizoid Man ever has. The lyrics are great, the drumming is superb, and it's shamelessly heavy in that classic, melodramatic Crimson way. And one of Belew's finest vocal performances yet. And Fripp's solo just gets better and better.

And yes, it probably is "six billion ants" - does make a lot of sense.

Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 11:01:45 +0100
From: "lichtafee" <lichtafee at gmx dot de>
Subject: Level 5-metrics


This is about some horribly technical stuff, and I refer to Syd's post in ET #1110, concerning the metrical basis of "Level 5" (hey, maybe there are two or three other readers interested in this! ;o) The part beginning at about 3:00 seems to be in 7/4 with Fripp playing 11/4 against it (subdivided 2-3-3-3), but exactly Fripp's part obviously is the metrical basis for this whole section, as each unison-part (with the ascending scales) indeed always begins on the first beat of the 11/4 (after 12/2/4/4 repetitions of this). The other three (seemingly playing in 7/4) somehow have to switch to Fripp's metrical basis to enter the unison - like playing 7/4 and thinking 11/4! The best of this is, that it's not only interesting mathematically, but of course really kicks ass (not inspite, but maybe BECAUSE of this mathematically organized "chaos").

Greetings, Joerg

Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 11:31:35 +0100
From: "lichtafee" <lichtafee at gmx dot de>
Subject: P.S. to Level 5-metrics

Concerning the metrics in "Level 5" of course I mean 11/8 and 7/8 (instead of 11/4 and 7/4).

Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 09:52:55 -0500
From: Mark Axelson <maxelson at mac dot com>
Subject: Never should've been written?

Over the course of the last few issues of ET, I have seen posts specifying a few KC works (notably HWWYHTBHW and "Facts of Life") which "shoud have never been composed by a band like KC". Honestly, I am not sure what that means, and I think it points to the occasional sporadic ET discussion on art in general. Honestly, I just cannot see this being applied to art. I think we can agree that there are works we'd rather not see/ hear/ experience, but to suggest that the work should have never existed to begin with is incongruous with the idea of art.

Let's pop this specifically into the vein of Crim. One of the reasons I have been listening for 15 years is the fact that Crim is a contiually evolving entity which has managed (where others have not) to maintain a style and signature. Crim is identifiable in the same way Glenn Gould is identifiable. Peter Gabriel. Picasso. Tom Waits. Vonnegut. Burroughs. Part. What sets these artists apart, IMV, is the evolution of their work. The constant exploration. I am left with nothing to bore me and dammit, the art is EFFECTIVE- which is ALL I ask of art. The bonus is, I am also left with what drew me to the work to begin with- the style and implementation- the unique execution.

Of course, travelling with an artist through the years means seeing works which may or may not move the viewer in quite the same way. It is very exciting. The viewer gets to experience those things when the artist is brave enough to depart from their apparent track.

Crim is one of those artistic entities which gives me all of that and more. I actually get the benefit of seeing and hearing the process behind the finished work. Do I like EVERY piece? Nah. Absolutely not (Lizard, anyone? One Time?). It is not the artist's job to PLEASE us. It is their job to MOVE us- to evoke an emotional response. Sometimes the response is not too pretty. But to suggest that these pieces should "never have been "?! I don't understand it.

Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 10:23:02 -0500 (EST)
From: "Robert J. Fries" <rjf at glue dot umd dot edu>
Subject: More TM crap (personal experience)

I know that everyone *loves* to see complaints about TicketMaster, so...

Regarding the KC => P3 Birchmere gig on 3/3/3, I bought tickets (for King Crimson) about a week before via TM for $53.30. The show was cancelled that night (on paper; in reality replaced by P3) and I was told refunds were automatically given at point-of-purchase. I get my credit card statement and see TM credited only $51.80 to me. (because of the obligatory anal-retentive quality that Crimheads seem to have, I wanted my $1.50. ;a) )

I call customer service and find out that the $1.50 is a "processing charge" and that it wouldn't be refunded because "the order had already been processed, even though the show was cancelled. " It's 10 a.m., so the caffeine hadn't kicked in enough to argue this early in the morning. whuddyagunnado.

I estimate about 400 people in the audience who had their tickets 'refunded.' Continuing the recent trend of showing other ETers how to multiply:

400 * $1.50 = $600 that TM stole from a small crowd in a small venue in one night. For this college student, $600 is more than a month's rent. How much more so for larger crowds/venues/bands!?!

 - Robert Fries
	rjf at glue dot umd dot edu

P.S.  The P3 show turned out to be about 40% cheaper, due to the $15
reduced actual ticket price and the uninvolvement of TM.

Date: Sun, 23 Mar 2003 23:55:18 -0800
From: "Andy Gower" <goweropolis at hotmail dot com>
Subject: GIG REVIEW: Vancouver 2003-03-23

Just got back from the KC show here in Vancouver, and it was incredible. I was super psyched for the show and there were no letdowns. The band is really hot right now. They had a mostly clear sound, not too loud. The setlist (as well as I can remember it):

The ConstruKction Of Light (longer intro than I remember)
ProzaKc Blues
FraKctured (skipped moto perpetuo section?)
Facts Of Life
Eyes Wide Open
Level 5
The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum
One Time
Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With
The Power To Believe II
Dangerous Curves
Larks' Tongues In Aspic part 4 (no singing on coda)
Deception Of The Thrush (P3)
Potato Pie

They must have enjoyed the reception because they did 3 encores and claimed they had run out of tunes (what, no projeKcting?)

The highlights were Level 5. Adrian made some comment that seemed to initimate that they had finally hit their groove, and I have to agree. Larks' 4 made a great closer. Epic with some stellar work by the three string guys. Deception was great, TPTB 2 had some great improv in the middle section. Dinosaur sounded perfect. Pat rattled my bones on Vrooom.

What didn't convince me: Eyes Wide Open didn't quite gel, Oyster Soup (despite a sick guitar solo from Spiderfingers) didn't quite get me going.

Adrian's vocals were great. He really seemed to be enjoying himself. His smile was infectious.

Trey provided great low end backing and stepped to the fore on many occasions as well. His versatility is a major asset.

Pat was banging away with glee. He seemed very up for most of the show, smiling at Trey as he appeared to be trying to throw his time off. Although he seemed to want to rush off the stage after finishing each part of the set. Tired maybe?

Robert provided great high speed solos, and his soundscapes were great too. Nice to have him at the front of the stage, and slightly better lit than when I saw the 1995 Thrak tour.

Anyways, I have to say that if you read this newsletter, you should not hesitate to see KC if they come near you. I found the ticket price a little high, but after attending the show, it was worth every penny.

I could on forever about the great show! I wish I could follow them on tour and see every show! Thanks for the performance guys!


PS. Even my gf liked it!!! I asked her if she's a fan now and wants to listen to all the albums, and she said "I like the live show better". Sounds like a true KC fan!

Mike Stok