The Music Of JC Harris

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet

positively the most intelligent progressive rock on this here planet


A compendium of musings on music and this business we call show

Happy New Year

What’s happening 2015 from singles and a summer tour to Detroit The Opera, which looks like it’s going back to high school. [...]

I Remember It Like It Was Yesterday

Taylor Swift in 1989. Miles Davis in 1969. The Emperor’s New Clothes. Hypothermia. Why there is no new music. And why we like it that way. Roger CortonSo you had a letter printed in Time? JCHWell, a snippet. I wrote one of my rants about the recent cover story on Taylor Swift. RCWith all that’s going on in the world, why get worked up about some pop star? JCHShe ain’t ‘some pop star’. She’s the pop star. And, as you may know, the title of the record (1989) is her birth year. The gag is that it’s supposed to be a summary of all the influences throughout her life. RCBut it doesn’t sound like 1989. At least, not the music I remember from 1989. JCHExactamundo. EDM wasn’t around. If the beats sound like 1989, it’s a porn soundtrack from 1989. RCAll EDM sounds like a porn soundtrack. JCHIt’s true. Anyhoo, I had this realisation: I can’t think of a single professional musician I know who makes a living playing music from today. RCYourself excepted. JCHYeah, well I don’t call this exactly living boy-o. Think about it. Can you think of any music these days that sounds like 2014? Do you even know what 2014 sounds like? RCOK, but why is that a bad thing? What is wrong with continuing to mine a great […] [...]

Solid State Siren: Answers

We answer some questions en masse about the eponymous epic. Basses. Organs. It turns out the whole thing is 45 minutes of Ninety Nine Bottles Of Beer Roger CortonOK, so these are e-mails where we’ve gotten the same question three times or more. JCHThree? Wow. That qualifies as a genu-ine FAQ (laughs). RCSo… the drum intro to Part III. It sounds planned? JCHIs that a question? RCOf course it’s a question. Don’t think. Just say the first thing that comes into your head. JCHOK fine. My reaction is, “Son, the Russkies don’t take a dump without a plan.” My favourite quote from ‘Hunt For Red October’. Yes. The idea was that the quasi-random drum thing would evolve into some sort of of pattern that would tee up Part III. But pretty much every time I ran through that it would end up the same way: a sort of rhythmic structural map of Part III. RCWhat’s a structural map? JCHYou know, like a pop song might be A A B A. The sections of the piece. Every time I played that intro it was basically the same thing: an outline of what was coming. And that was not intentional. Since the number of bars on top didn’t conform to the music playing over it, at first it seems awkward. RCThis is a combo. Basically, they all say, […] [...]

Whiplash The Movie

Although this movie has been well received critically, I’ve noticed a lot of negative comments from musicians. First off, it’s a very cool movie and I give it a very high recommendation. In fact, it feels like the most real movie I’ve ever seen about the music business… from the boy’s POV. The combination of fear, obsession, self-absorption… and the willingness to completely self-destruct for ‘the dream’ is 100% accurate. Second, I have never, I mean never seen anyone literally bleed like that from practice. Or sweat to ‘force’ themselves to play faster. Doesn’t happen. This was cinematic license. Real practice isn’t cinematic. It’s simply boring repetition that takes months and months and is definitely not montage-worthy. However I’ve seen plenty of guys physically damage themselves from over-practice or bad practice. And worse, I’ve seen plenty of guys go just plain NUTS. I mean like, jump off a building or sell all their clothes and join an ashram. Third, I’ve never seen a physically abusive director like that. Again, cinematic license. That said, as I said before, how such a guy makes students feel is 100% accurate. There’s no need for the physical abuse. But Simmons’ posturing is spot on. Above all, his true belief that he is right in his approach is 100% accurate… as is the amazing fact that such jerks still manage to have lots of friends as he does. For some reason, they never see him in all his […] [...]

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