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Pretentious sleeve notes

Will Fly 06 Dec 17 - 10:04 AM
Donuel 06 Dec 17 - 10:18 AM
leeneia 06 Dec 17 - 10:59 AM
Brian Peters 06 Dec 17 - 11:00 AM
Jack Campin 06 Dec 17 - 11:28 AM
meself 06 Dec 17 - 12:41 PM
DaveRo 06 Dec 17 - 01:02 PM
Jim Carroll 06 Dec 17 - 01:14 PM
punkfolkrocker 06 Dec 17 - 03:34 PM
Hagman 06 Dec 17 - 08:34 PM
Big Al Whittle 06 Dec 17 - 11:01 PM
Will Fly 07 Dec 17 - 03:29 AM
Big Al Whittle 07 Dec 17 - 04:16 AM
GUEST,Some bloke 07 Dec 17 - 04:24 AM
Tattie Bogle 07 Dec 17 - 09:14 PM
Hagman 07 Dec 17 - 11:57 PM
Jim Carroll 08 Dec 17 - 03:20 AM
Johnny J 08 Dec 17 - 05:38 AM
Tattie Bogle 08 Dec 17 - 07:42 AM
GUEST,pauperback 09 Dec 17 - 03:13 PM
Tattie Bogle 09 Dec 17 - 05:28 PM
GUEST,Dave Hunt 09 Dec 17 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,pauperback 10 Dec 17 - 12:05 AM
keberoxu 10 Dec 17 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,pauperback ^ 10 Dec 17 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Joseph Scott 22 Dec 17 - 10:55 PM
Mysha 23 Dec 17 - 07:30 AM
Bill D 23 Dec 17 - 10:01 PM
GUEST,Rossey 25 Dec 17 - 12:59 AM
leeneia 27 Dec 17 - 12:10 PM
GUEST,Jack Campin 27 Dec 17 - 03:12 PM
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Subject: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 10:04 AM

I was recently reading the sleeve notes to various vinyl record albums I purchased in the 1960s, and I was reminded of how pretentious I had thought them at the time - and still do today.

One example was the phrase: "His left hand dances delicately along the fretboard like a spider on an electric grid". Sleeve notes by one Keith de Groot, whose real name was, I believe, Gerry Temple. Loved the album at the time - hated the notes. Remember who that phrase described?

Any other gushing sleeve notes come to mind?


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Donuel
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 10:18 AM

Jeez unfortunately my own for a new composition at the Kennedy Center

Best to keep it simple and let the music surprise


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: leeneia
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 10:59 AM

For me, the worst part is the image of a little animal (spider) being burned alive. I would think about it every time I heard the man play.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Brian Peters
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 11:00 AM

I don't remember the spider on the grid, but I do recall a newspaper review of Mike Oldfield, whose fingers (apparently) danced along the fretboard like a fieldmouse along a stalk of corn. Sounds like the same writer employing a different but equally retch-worthy simile.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Jack Campin
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 11:28 AM

The most off-putting sleeve note I've read recently was for Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A minor, written in memory of Nikolai Rubinstein. The note spent a whole paragraph describing Rubinstein's final weeks, on tour with agonizing abdominal pains and finally dying of a burst bowel. Sorry, I don't hear any ruptured intestines in the music.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: meself
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 12:41 PM

I read the sleeve notes on some Blues album from the 60s/70s awhile back - and was reminded how so many of the notes about the 're-discovered' Bluesmen would wallow (the negative of 'gush') in the imagined misery and sordidness of their lives. While it's true that most of them did lead hard lives, in various ways, they were often presented in sleeve notes as spectacles of savage passion and primitive genius. It's embarrassing.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: DaveRo
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 01:02 PM

According to this Keith de Groot was a 'talented bongo player'.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 01:14 PM

Don't know about sleeve notes, but thie is probably the most 'TWEE' cover of any album I ever came across Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 03:34 PM

That would be an incredible promo poster for a modern horror movie about urban cannibals..
and I can only start imagining how good the folkie soundtrack songs would sound..

What a movie that'd be for "Wicker Man" fans...


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Hagman
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 08:34 PM

You should have completed the quote, Will....

"His left hand dances delicately along the fretboard like a spider on an electric grid while his right seems to grow another five fingers, as it swings to and fro across the chords like syncopated crinoline."

Bert would be revolving in his grave if he were alive today.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 06 Dec 17 - 11:01 PM

i didn't think it was that bad. it was a fair description of how Bert Jansch's guitar style left us feeling mystified.

Personally I always loved the pretentiousness. After reading the sleeve notes of THe Blues Project compilation. I name checked Genet, Beckett, Sartre, Dostoevsky. None of whom I'd heard of as 16 year old ignoramus.

you have to get your education where you can. i loved album sleeves. Spent hours in Boots drooling over LP's I couldn't afford!   I'm sorry I never made one. I got the opportunity to make a road album, and wish I'd gone with it. Maybe I could have taught some other people about Genet, Beckett, Sartre, etc.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Will Fly
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 03:29 AM

I know what tou mean, Al. I quite enjoyed Bert's first album - cool cover, etc., though I was never mystified by his playing. I was certainly mystified the first time I heard Davy Graham's stuff, from The Guitar Player (Pye Golden Guinea) to one or two of the later albums. I remember hearing the separate bass and melody lines played simultaneously on "Blues for Betty" and thinking, how the hell does he do that. I still get a shiver down the spine when I hear "Better git it in your soul" - but even Davy's albums sufferd from crappy sleeve notes from time to time...


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 04:16 AM

I was totally mystified. Whenever Davy was photographed for Beat Instrumental or Melody Maker - he would have this weird E7 on the fifth fret type chord under his fingers. I thought it was maybe you needed to be in Soho , taking drugs and having sex with Anne Briggs in obscure positions, and talking existentialism with Bert and John to dig stuff like that.

Also from the sleeve notes pf The Blues Project , I got to name check JP Donleavy and The Ginger Man - there was a song called Ginger Man, about jugband legend Fritz Richmond.

I've done Open University courses with less education in them than that album sleeve.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: GUEST,Some bloke
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 04:24 AM

I don?t recall whether it was album sleeve notes or review, but Mike Harding once said of Diz Dizley;

His fingers are like little white maggots with St Vitus Dance. They are up and down the fretboard like a bride?s nightie.

I may be paraphrasing slightly or that may be verbatim. He used to repeat it when playing Diz?s ?Sausage me a Gregory.?

By the way, Mudcat being so up to date with technology, I get a question mark when trying to do a ...

Forget it


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 09:14 PM

I have more issue with incomplete, inaccurate or poorly proof-read sleeve notes. It's a real shame when people have nothing at all to say about composer of a tune, or call it traditional when there's a known composer (they haven't done their homework, and are in breach of copyright too!) or just give you no more than the song or tune title.
And then there's the bad spelling and grammar on some sleeve notes - if you know you have a bit of a problem, just run it past a couple of friends to proof-read! You may not think it important but it is to some, and errors do detract from what might otherwise look really professional. (and I have proof-read this 3 times before posting in case someone finds me out!)


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Hagman
Date: 07 Dec 17 - 11:57 PM

"You may not think it important but it is to some, and errors do detract from what might otherwise look really professional. (and I have proof-read this 3 times before posting in case someone finds me out!)"

I would have deleted the full-stop after 'professional'.... :-)


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 08 Dec 17 - 03:20 AM

"I have more issue with incomplete, inaccurate or poorly proof-read sleeve notes."
I could not agree more and would extend that to the distinct deterioration of sleeve notes in general (I should say I'm refering to those of traditional material rather than singer-songwriter stuff)
As an early and prolific record buyer I quite often enjoyed the notes as much as I dis the albums themselves - those of the Folk Songs of Britain Series of the Tangers, School of Scottish Studies set or the well researched notes to Mike Yates's field recordings.... not only carriers of information but enhancements to the enjoyment of the songs.
The Earliest recorded Collection of Ballads, the Riverside, MacColl and Lloyd, 'The English and Scottish Popular Ballads' are a small book in themselves.
I'm digitising all our albums at present in order to give copies of them to archives, (and anybody else who wants them) and have made a point of including sleeve notes with them all
The project has been slowed down somewhat because I find myself re-reading the notes again and still finding many of them absorbing and informative.
Some of our International sets come with dual-language booklets, particularly our Greek and Eastern European ones - fascinating
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Johnny J
Date: 08 Dec 17 - 05:38 AM

Not really "sleeve notes" but "Tune set titles"....

I've commented, elsewhere, a few years back that many of the younger musicians and bands often title each track or set by the name of the first tune alone OR by some other ridiculous name either trying to be trendy or to convey some kind of "in joke".
Often there is no information within the track lists as to what the other tunes or real titles are.

As far as I can see, this practice is still prevalent. Fair enough, there's nothing wrong with snappy clever track and set titles as long as full information and credits are given.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 08 Dec 17 - 07:42 AM

Oops, Hagman: well spotted! That's what comes of posting late night. It probably bappened because I put in rhat last phrase as an after-thought. ;-)


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: GUEST,pauperback
Date: 09 Dec 17 - 03:13 PM

Noah Gundersen has been peddling sincerity and introspection in musical form for almost a decade; songs that give listeners a taste of the emotional nectar in the pit of another human’s gut. He’s been dredging up viscous fistfulls of his own being and shaping them into little waxen votives, candles meant to illuminate the territory between shameless confession and hopeless redemption, for all of the other twenty-somethings who’ve been groping around in that long existential shadow.


Am I earning the right to live by looking in a mirror?


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 09 Dec 17 - 05:28 PM

Bappened???? Being hit over the head by a flying bap? Which was then eaten by a rhat!


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: GUEST,Dave Hunt
Date: 09 Dec 17 - 10:54 PM

A bit more from the Noah Gunderson sleeve notes...

At some point this whole process must have lost its charm. It was two years ago that Noah, like some artistic ouroboros, began to sing the words “Am I earning the right to live by looking in a mirror? There’s nothing more sincere than selfish art?” The cyclic ritual of self-induced nausea, staring in the mirror mouth agape, waiting to wretch new words and sounds, was catching up with him. Not long after, in the early part of 2016, he sat down for a show and felt like he was dying. “Instead of my life up to that point flashing before my eyes, it was my future. A future playing songs I didn’t believe in... pouring my soul out into a vehicle I no longer recognized or loved.”
Yukky yuk!

Ouroboros?   I had to look it up!


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: GUEST,pauperback
Date: 10 Dec 17 - 12:05 AM

It's almost as if whoever wrote that has been reading the mudcat -pretentious sleeve notes thread- and was making a joke.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: keberoxu
Date: 10 Dec 17 - 12:56 PM

Beware The Blunted Needle.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: GUEST,pauperback ^
Date: 10 Dec 17 - 01:43 PM

I should add the above is copyrighted material which I have the bad habit of lifting without thinking

© 2017 Jefferson Public Radio


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: GUEST,Joseph Scott
Date: 22 Dec 17 - 10:55 PM

The worst sleeve notes I've ever read are Russians writing about old Russian classical music without vocals and explaining what the music "really" has to do with Russian politics. Even if they were right it would be depressing.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Mysha
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 07:30 AM

"His left hand dances delicately along the fretboard like a spider on an electric grid while his right seems to grow another five fingers, as it swings to and fro across the chords like syncopated crinoline."

So, his left hand sticks to the fretboard like a fried bug and his right hand lays like five mountain and valley folds of a stiff fabric of cotton, linen, and horsehair?

I don't know. I don't think it's the kind of comment I would add to a recording.

Bye,
                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: Bill D
Date: 23 Dec 17 - 10:01 PM

I seldom become engrossed in album notes, except to learn about the songs, but like Brian Peters, I do remember a couple of old newspaper reviews.

   In about 1965 or so, Bob and Evelyn Beers and their daughter did a concert in Wichita. C. Henry Nathan wrote a review in late November, in which he said(slightly paraphrased)
"Bob & Evelyn Beers were the hot rum sauce on the plum pudding of Thanksgiving last night...."

Somewhere, I have a clipping of a review of Bryan Bowers saying that he was "the master of the idle harp".


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: GUEST,Rossey
Date: 25 Dec 17 - 12:59 AM

The sleeve notes to the Paul Simon songbook are utterly pretentious and bombastic in their tone, with Paul Simon writing his own notes in the form of   a surreal conversation with himself and at times another character The album does contain a couple of solo versions of great songs like 'Sound of Silence' and 'I am a rock; but god the notes are self indulgent twaddle!   

"The notes that follow are the original liner notes from The Paul Simon Songbook. They were written by Paul Simon himself in 1965.

I start with the knowledge that everything I write will turn and laugh at me. Still, you never get used to mocking laughter. I am forever withdrawn and shuffling before my own words. I do have some feeble phrases that I put forward to excuse myself: “But that’s the way I felt at the time.” But I can barely hear them for the ringing of laughter in my ears. You see, I know that in one year’s time (did I say a year?) I’ll reread these scribbled notes and “Oh no, did I write this junk?"

(Scene: A small room. One bed, unmade. The chairs and tables are papered with fluorescent sheets upon which are printed many art anti-beliefs (now out of date) and several abortive attempts at short stories. From a gramophone near the wall the muted sounds of laughter can be heard.)

PAUL: (Reading notes of L.P.) Who wrote this junk?

PAUL: You know very well who did.

PAUL: (In mock astonishment) Don’t tell me it was you.

PAUL: Once again your sardonic and piercing shafts of wit have touched me to the quick. I bare my neck to the sword.

PAUL: How many times have I told you never to write anything down?

PAUL: Oh god, not this again.

PAUL: Yes, I’m sorry, but you know the rules. Put on the L.P.

(Derisive laughter for twenty minutes.)

PAUL: Oh no, I can’t.

PAUL: Here, just let me set the needle for you…

(Scene fades as the laughter is amplified to migraine intensity. Paul crouches in corner with hands over his ears.)

Me, I’m a phony. I guess I’ve been a phony all my life. When I say phony, I don’t mean it in the sense that to think that I’m something I’m not. Not at all. The fact is that I don’t care that much what you think. Oh, I care, but not that much. What I mean is, I think that I’m something I am not. In fact, I just want me to think that I’m something.

On the rare occasions that I have glanced at my reflection I have repeatedly, and quite deliberately, turned my back on the reality of the picture and wandered off, warm and sleepy, into a valley of illusion.

(Scene: A golden Walt Disney poppy speckled field, inhabited by cartoon field mice (didn’t I see you in ‘Bambi’) and the little old wine maker who tends the poppies. A friendly dirt roads skips over the horizon where an enormous egg cream rises majestically through the pink puffy clouds.)

THE MAN WHO TENDS THE POPPIES: Hello there! And where are you bound for lad? Is it to London where the streets are paved with gold?

PAUL: (To himself) This guy thinks I’m Freddy Bartholomew. (Out loud to the POPPY TENDER) Will you come off the David Copperfield bit, I’m on my way to the Magic City, there to become a poet. Can you show me the way?

POPPY TENDER: I’d be glad to. There have been so many like you of late all going to the Magic City to become poets. Let’s see now (He places his finger alongside of his red button nose in a pose of contemplation… or maybe he places his finger in his red nose in contemplation. It depends who’s directing)… Go down the happy road three peach trees and one apple orchard and turn left at the great big picture of Dylan Thomas… It’s only a short way (but very far).

PAUL: (To himself) I wonder what significance should be attached to that remark. Could he be deep? (Out loud to the POPPY TENDER) Thank you sir, I’m much obliged.

POPPY TENDER: Here, take these poppies with you in your basket (what basket?) for it’s a long way (but very near) to the Magic City and you will be hungry.

PAUL: (Already staring up the road) No thanks. I haven’t the time to stop now. I want to get to Magic City before the night falls. (He walks a few paces then pauses)… Well, maybe I’ll just take a few poppies…

The POPPY TENDER laughs and his eyes twinkle and Paul realizes that the POPPY TENDER is none other than Bert Lahr and that Paul himself really is Freddy Bartholomew.

This LP contains twelve of the songs that I have written over the past two years. There are some here that I would not write today. I don’t believe in them as I once did. I have included them because they played an important role in transition. It is discomforting, almost painful, to look back over something someone else created and realize that someone else was you. I’m not ashamed of where I’ve been and what I’ve thought. It’s just not me anymore. It is perfectly clear to me that the songs I write today will not be mine tomorrow. I don’t regret the loss.

I am finishing these notes. They have prodded and driven me where I didn’t want to go and reflected what I didn’t want to see. One thing I know: I won’t reread them. "


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: leeneia
Date: 27 Dec 17 - 12:10 PM

I see what you mean, Rossey.


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Subject: RE: Pretentious sleeve notes
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 27 Dec 17 - 03:12 PM

Stockhausen made a bizarre attempt to spoof over-analytical sleeve noted in the early-70s multi-LP set of his complete piano music. The liner note says nothing whatever about the music, but goes into immense detail about what happened on the day of the recording, including the pianist's precise lunch menu.


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