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

Rants By Topic

Boy Do I Hate Religious Music!

Merry Christmas!

As we bask in the holiday season, we’re pretty well deep frying in so-called Christmas music. (A guy was telling me about the latest Black Eyed Peas Christmas record. I dunno if he was kidding or not, but I sure hope so.) This in turn has gotten me thinking about ‘religious music’ in general.

As many of you know, I’m a practicing Catholic. Which doesn’t mean that I’m hoping to get a Learner’s Permit to say the Rosary by end of summer. Rather it means that I am active in my Church. I attend Mass and involve myself in various parish activities. I rarely mention this because:

a) It’s none of anyone’s darned business

b) It seems to scare people in our increasingly secular world

But I mention it today because I do attend Mass and when I do? I literally pop in ear plugs during the musical portion of the show. It’s that bad.

When did the ‘universal church’ go from having the coolest music ever to having the absolutely crappiest? (1348? 😀 […]

Production Notes: Nice Cuts

Nice Cuts is, unlike my other albums to date, a compilation. It was not without it’s ‘production’ aspects, however.

The fourteen previously released songs were selected based on a fan voting process. The versions you hear on Nice Cuts are slightly different than those on their original releases. This is of necessity for a couple of reasons:

The Hand Thing

A bit of an update on the state of my right hand, which has driven so much of my life the past two years.

I’ve recently had a hand surgery that involved sucking the juice out of each of my knuckles and then replacing it with a something like KY Jelly. Apparently it was, in the words of The Great Dictator Hynkel ‘far from perfect’.

Now this week I’m going into see a specialist and schedule a follow-up procedure. Since sucking didn’t work, the next step is to try cutting out the bad tissue.

I’ve had people look at me with absolute horror for why I’m allowing more invasive stuff to be done to me but the thing is: ya gotta try something. The cysts in my knuckles constrain my range of motion–making finger-picking almost impossible. Also they just plain hurt. Brushing up against anything makes me wince and putting my hand in a bucket of cold water? It doesn’t just me run for the bathroom. It makes me scream liking […]

Soundtracks

Since movies are a big deal to me. And scores an even bigger deal, here are some recommendations.

Now before we begin, let me tell you what I think is the measure of a great film score. A great score is one that, if you took it away, the movie would fail. Or, put another way, the movie only works with that particular score.

Patton – Jerry Goldsmith
From the opening echoed trumpets to the end Hindemith-like reverie, this one has it all: memorable themes, great orchestration and the ability to enhance the mood of every scene.

Fantastic Voyage – Leonard Rosenman
The best example of twelve tone (atonal) music ever used in a major Hollywood movie. It’s pretty good popcorn sci-fi too—you get to go inside a human body along with Raquel Welch. (Admittedly not as good as going inside Raquel Welch, but hey it’s a family show, pal.) Most people reflexively cringe when they think ‘twentieth century concert music’ but Leonard showed that you could use contemporary techniques that were beautiful, […]

What Is Progressive Rock?

OK, what is it supposed to be.

Great question. I’ve heard and seen numerous ‘retrospective’ radio shows and books which try to even-handedly discuss ‘prog’. The latest, and perhaps one that really did try to be even-handed was on the Public Radio show Sound Opinions (Show #207). What prompted me to write this was that they were trying so hard to be ‘fair and balanced’ but they can’t help themselves; they just gotta emphasize the ‘camp’ aspect. And that’s not only hosed the music’s image, but even more sinister, it’s had a horrible effect on the current range of bands that claim to be ‘prog’. In other words, prog bands today are as much defined by what they are trying not to be.

Why So Serious?

As The Joker says. Most of prog over the past two decades has been progressively (no pun intended more and more serious. And hard. Part of this is because of the connections with metal. After all one of the main roots of prog was King Crimson’s […]

August, 2009
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