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

I’ll Get You Where You Want To Go

Valentines Day, but we’re talking about a lot of death instead. Phil Levine, David Carr. Richard Schurr. We pay tribute to a great teacher. Why music teachers matter. What makes a great teacher. Roger CortonHappy Valentine’s Day JCHIt doesn’t feel particularly Valentine-y today. In fact it’s been kind of weird this week. It’s been the week where a lot of vaguely related people passed away. RCVaguely related? JCHYeah you know that six degrees of separation thing? Well this is like a bunch of people at the fifth degree. For example, Richard Schurr, you know the NPR radio “Says You”. I was in the band a couple of times. He died. And so did Gerry Ríann. RCWho? JCHHe was one of the last great Se´n Nós singers (ed. note: Se´n Nós is traditional solo singing in the Irish. Many of the songs go back hundreds of years. The term literally means ‘old song’.) Gerry was like the Ralph Stanley of Ireland. I worked with him a few times. Then Phil Levine. RCPhilip Levine. The poet from Detroit. JCHAbsolutely. He went to high school with my uncle. What Work Is is fantastic. I can’t tell you how much that poem means to me. That’s the basis of Detroit The Opera. I get choked up thinking about that poem. And you know by now that I’m […] [...]

Two Florins For Fried Chicken. And Other Outrages In Musicology

More deep musicology. Beethoven loved his chicken, but hated the price. Brahms and his prostitutes. Tchaikovsky is fetching in ballet tights. Maybe next time, we’ll get to why any of this matters to prog-lovers everywhere. Roger CortonSo in our last, fun filled episode we, well, you went on about all this musicological stuff. Which begs the question, why should we care about any of that? JCHWell, you shouldn’t. It’s really up to me. RC JCHLook, everyone who talks about anything, has to have the arrogance that what they are speaking about is of interest to their audience. And I get sick of the false humility of saying otherwise. People are so concerned about coming across as pompous that they never say anything. RCMy aren’t we defensive today. JCHWell, what I do, a bit of musicology is probably in order. If I was doing punk, maybe not so much. RCAlthough there is that great new book boys “Clothes, Clothes, Clothes, Music, Music, Music, Boys, Boys, Boys” JCHTouché. RCBut you said that there were two main changes to music or at least American music since the end of classical… JCHThe end of World War I RCRight. And you said that these were: repetition (repeating the same melody over and over) and collage (pasting together pieces of existing content like the Dadaists and William Burroughs). So, […] [...]

Beethoven And The Beats

In which we discuss why they don’t write ‘em like Beethoven anymore. Including Dada, Beat poets, hip hop and William Burroughs. Next time, we’ll get to why it matters to prog-lovers everywhere. Roger CortonSo your Seahawks did it again? JCHThey ain’t my Seahawks. I can’t stand that neon green. RCThen you must’ve been a lonely guy today. JCHI heard Garrison say something funny… “For people who don’t like football, the Superbowl is like Christmas for Jews.” Which is true. Man, if you wanted to book a table at the most exclusive restaurant in town, today would be the day. You could probably drag race on I-5 and not get a ticket. RCI thought you had sworn off radio for a while? JCHMostly. One other thing I heard was a re-run BBC documentary on William Burroughs. RCI didn’t know you were a Naked Lunch kind of guy? JCHMost definitely not. But it’s a great documentary. And, love him or hate him (as I do) it points out how influential he’s been to the culture. Most people don’t get just how huge that influence is. He’s a god to so many people that we all like. And if you listen to it, it’s easy to see why it’s so hard it is to do anything long form now. RCThat sounds like a warm up. [...]

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 […] [...]

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