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Despite having been a fan since 2016’s Nonagon Infinity, before last weekend I had yet to see King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard live. The Aussie psych-rockers’ gigs are infamous for their energy and intensity and photos of injured limbs aren’t exactly infrequent posts on their Reddit page. On 5th October, the band played their biggest show yet at Alexandra Palace, selling out all 10 000 tickets for the London venue. One of those 10 000 was me, seeing not only Gizz for the first time but any band away from the safety of Leicester De Montfort Hall balcony or the polite middle-class crowd of Greenbelt Festival. Let’s just say I’d thrown myself in at the deep end.
Summer is well and truly over – and don’t we know it? But thankfully our Club Rockhaq students are still shining a light on all things to do with music, reviews, lyrics and creative writing. We came back in September and have all worked on reviewing the same song. We’ve never done this before.
This has been going on for the past two workshops and some students have already finished. One student finished his whole review in one workshop. Just goes to show that some learning is happening at Club Rockhaq and we don’t just sit around and talk about (or eat) food 😀😋
Justin Vernon’s Bon Iver has always been driven by progress. His 2007 debut For Emma, Forever Ago began in minimalist isolation, rarely straying from the core combination of Vernon’s voice and acoustic guitar. Four years later, the self-titled sophomore album expanded into a more grandiose and atmospheric sound, propelled by a host of brass performers mixed elegantly into the compositions. Then, following several collaborations with hip-hop innovator Kanye West, Vernon released the audaciously experimental 22, A Million.
Speaking about Aja, Steely Dan’s sixth album, guitarist Dean Parks said of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, “perfection is not what they’re after, they’re after something that you wanna listen to.” No other quote encapsulates the music of Steely Dan better. Indeed, on Aja, as evidenced by its sales, they really did find something you wanna listen to and, arguably, found perfection. It is what Parks said next that hits true poignancy in regards to Aja’s follow up: “… we would go past the perfection point until it became natural.” 1980’s Gaucho is evidence of what a Steely Dan album sounds like when it stops just before perfection- the sound of a band desperately striving for flawlessness but ending up with a finished product on the wrong side of their goal.
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