We Can Be Together

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We Can Be Together

Postby nickwishkah on Mon Nov 29, 2004 4:37 am

Listening to We Can Be Together Again i noticed for the very first time that one of the lyrics is "up against the wall motherfucker". Never noticed that so now i feel like i've been missing out on the great importance of this album which i have never thought of as one of the Airplane's better albums.
But i have to say re-listening to it i am quite enjoying it. It's both melodic and harmonic. I think when i first listened to it i was justing getting into the Miles Davis Bitch's Brew/ Live Evil period which is very discordant and funked up most of the time. To me volunteers wasn't discordant enough but i'm enjoying it now FOR it's close attention to harmony and the piano of Nicky Hopkins. This is actually beautiful stuff.
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Postby Box Of Rain on Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:27 am

I didn't like Volunteers on first listen, loved it by the third. Maybe it's just my childhood memories of country music, but 'The Farm' is one of the best songs the Airplane recorded, in my mind. But I especially think Eskimo Blue Day is just... perfect. My favorite Grace tune is always a toss-up between that and Greasy Heart.

I LOVE Miles Davis. Have you ever listened to any of his work with Gil Evans? His take on Porgy & Bess is one of the best things I've ever heard, and Sketches of Spain blows me away.
"War's good business, so give your sons
But I'd rather have my country die for me" ~ Grace Slick, Rejoyce 1967
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Postby Whenheco on Mon Nov 29, 2004 5:56 am

When i heard the song "Hey Fredrick" i just had to have that album. It was the first JE album i bought and still is my favorate. I have the remastered version and first i thought they had eddited out the "up against the wall" part but am glad they kept it intact.
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Postby nickwishkah on Mon Nov 29, 2004 6:42 am

Yep. I've heard the Porgy and Bess tune. Sketches of Spain was a huge shock to me at first because i thought (as an excited noise-driven fourteen year old): "This isn't jazz." I was into bastardised jazz fusions anyway so what the hell did i know. But i gradually realised that sketches of spain is actually one of Miles Davis' most jazz records...plenty of the interesting rhythms and key changes that i was not seeing and much improvisation with many recurring themes throughout the whole collection of songs. Jazz means to me now that something is cutting edge not that it sounds exactly the same as Coltrane or Rollins et cetera. Those guys are the greatest but to imitate them is not leading on to better music. To me Sketches is one of Miles' most innovative, beautiful and thought-provoking albums and i'm always glad when i give anything as close a listen as it deserves.
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hmm yeah...

Postby Pooneil on Mon Nov 29, 2004 11:15 am

What a great song, one of the first JA tunes I heard...great guitar, who plays lead on that song, I wonder? Nice vocals, piano (or keyboard) too..."We are forces of chaos and anarchy..." I love how that song sounds so kind and pretty, but the lyrics are amazingly harsh and violent. The pretty harmonization that they do can be decieving when you don't listen to the lyrics, but just the tone of the song.
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Postby Box Of Rain on Mon Nov 29, 2004 7:57 pm

I'm pretty sure that's Jorma on lead. It definitely sounds like him, anyway.

Nick, those are some awesomely intelligent observations.
"War's good business, so give your sons
But I'd rather have my country die for me" ~ Grace Slick, Rejoyce 1967
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Postby nickwishkah on Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:51 am

Thanks Box of Rain. Its always great to talk to great people about great music by great musicians. Just out of curiousity how old are you? i often find myself talking to much older people than myself about music, just wondered if it applied on the internet...
And i like your point Ruth, i think that is one of the amazing truths of music: you can lie just by a change of tone. It's also unfortunate because it can be used for propaganda and can fool people into thinking insincere music is heartfelt. But that's no real crime. Music is little more than an emotional tool anyhow.

Nick
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Postby Box Of Rain on Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:09 am

I definitely share the passion (of talking 'bout great music, I mean) with you, Nick.

Oh, I'm sixteen, by the way, since you were curious.

The change of tone thing is something I've always wanted to bring up but never thought anyone would get. In case you hadn't guessed, I'm not so fond of contemporary artists (especially not female singer-songwriters) and I've noticed the artificiality of the singing. It's always ultra-soft to accent a non-existent sincerity, or with the more banal little screaming brats (Pink/Kelly Osbourne) un-melodic shouting is used to give the impression of being strong minded or rebellious or whatever, when in both cases there's no real message - just an image. Hey, Joni Mitchell and bob Dylan never had to half-sing/half-sob to make me cry...

I think you're very right about music being an emotional tool... I do belive it's the best method (or at least most direct) of communication of feelings. It's a curious thing, noting that, to realize that music is also the most physical expressive artform: Painting, poetry, and scultping all involve a lot less use of the body.

But it's also a very important journalistic/intellectual tool because it can say what the media can't. That's something today's crooners seem to have sadly forgotten, but the Airplane is actually a great example of the socio-political angle. Rejoyce is probably as good an attack on suburbanite conservative middle-class culture as any 40 page essay, and let's not even start on Paul's social commentary...
"War's good business, so give your sons
But I'd rather have my country die for me" ~ Grace Slick, Rejoyce 1967
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Postby nickwishkah on Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:25 pm

i'm seventeen now but i have to say that you seem to be very much in the same place i was about a year ago. That's quite bizarre.
Regarding the politicality of JA lyrics i have since changed my mind after reading Paul Kantner [talking about Volunteers...think it's even in the Volunteers liner notes] say "If people saw us as political then that's their misconception. We didn't need to correct that because there was a certain value even in that. But those anthems on Volunteers are not saying, 'Let's go out and burn down buildings, let's go out and change politics.' They are almost like nightly news editorials or observations, news reports of what's happening out on the streets. It's 'Look what's happening. What do you think about what's happening out in the streets? Are there alternatives to what's happening in the streets?'"
But i realise you weren't saying the opposite. It's an important point to mull over though: the best "political" music isn't music which preaches to people about what should be happening it just shows people that others have noticed the same problems as them. People don't like being preached to because it makes them feel stupid (that's certainly the case with me) and that's why more and more people are retreating from the politics of their country and from all the religions out to buy their souls. I think that music, instead of being a great political tool, is more a factor for making people feel more together and less isolated. This may be used for political means but all "political" music isn't necessarily aiming to create a "united front", it can be just to make someone feel better about themselves.
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Postby Box Of Rain on Tue Nov 30, 2004 8:00 pm

Couldn't have said it better myself.

Where you were a year ago? Hm... maybe it's just a universal thing.
"War's good business, so give your sons
But I'd rather have my country die for me" ~ Grace Slick, Rejoyce 1967
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Postby Michael on Wed Dec 01, 2004 10:51 pm

We should be together may very possibly be the best song they have made. Definetely the best on Crown of Creation anyway.
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Postby Pooneil on Thu Dec 02, 2004 3:07 am

nickwishkah wrote:I think that music, instead of being a great political tool, is more a factor for making people feel more together and less isolated. This may be used for political means but all "political" music isn't necessarily aiming to create a "united front", it can be just to make someone feel better about themselves.

Exactly, I think that's how many interesting relationships are formed, when people find a common ground on an issue, and they get excited because somebody else has noticed something they see that is often overlooked, just like how we are all logging onto this forum to discuss a common interest. I would think the excitement about a seemingly small, but important issuse, is what draws a fair amount of people to certain things, like music. They hear one song they can relate too personally and it completely connects them to the person or group.
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Postby nickwishkah on Thu Dec 02, 2004 3:58 am

i love that music is such a uniting force. I can't stand competitive music. If i wanted to compete i'd play a sport...Competition can keep right out of music as far as i'm concerned. Strange that i like jazz really.
I have to say though that i never feel connected to Grace and the boys (or any other musicians) when i listen to their music, i do connect to the music. i often find it very difficult to conceive, particularly with older music, that it is coming from people. To me, that is one of the things that is so special about music, it is a very personal experience that is difficult to share (unless you're really connected to somebody) but once you discuss your experience with someone it becomes a strengthening support to a relationship. Music is the new religion!...or new opium. it doesn't matter what it is. It is a power that i cannot describe the reasons why i have faith in it, it's only noise after all.
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Postby jonestown on Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:15 pm

You kids are killing me! (In a good way :) ) I'm 43 and can't articulate my feelings and observations nearly as well as you do it.

I will share my experience, that listening to the Grateful Dead, JA, Bob Dylan and others for the past 25 or so years has ingrained them into my conscious and unconscious. Maybe I can sum it up by a short discussion I had with a friend while backpacking a few years ago:

"She: Mike, what are you going to do without any way to listen to the Grateful Dead while we're camping?

Me: Deborah, its always playing in my head anyway."

If you get confused listen to the music play!
man oh man oh friend of mine
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Postby gTarFreak on Fri Dec 03, 2004 1:38 pm

Jonestown, I couldn't have said it better! :D

Cheers,
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