The Soundtrack of SILVER BROWN

One Man Genesis

I was a musician before I was a writer or a web developer, so this is the sort of thing that turns my crank.

A while back I came across a video of a multi-instrumentalist from Quebec performing a medley of Genesis covers. But not the Genesis covers you’re probably thinking of. Nothing in the same vein as Disturbed’s (flawless) interpretation of “Land of Confusion”. It might actually shock some people to hear this, but Genesis wasn’t always yacht rock. The yacht-rock ethos didn’t start to manifest itself until around 1978. There was a decade’s worth of history preceding that which saw them as a completely different band – one that left behind a hearty feast of yacht-inappropriate vinyl opuses centered around abstract literary concepts, unusual time signatures, the ever-present Mellotron, an occasional classical guitar interlude from the magic fingers of Mr. Steve Hackett, and Peter Gabriel’s sometimes-baffling-but-always-interesting array of stage personae…


peter_gabriel
In addition to being the band’s summoner of unknown cosmic forces, he was also their flute player.

The musical selections featured in this video are mostly from that period, because merely playing a medley of their greatest hits would be unworthy of a virtuoso. That would be like asking Mozart to perform K-pop numbers for your amusement.

The Soundtrack of SILVER BROWN

The New Jazz [Part I]: Ghost

I’ve been getting into the Ghost lately. This is a little old band from Sweden famous for their highly theatrical live shows. Not quite a Rammstein level of theatrical, but still pretty damn theatrical. They are fronted by a guy who calls himself either Papa Emeritus or Cardinal Copia (depending on his mood), who wears Roman Catholic clergy-inspired getups onstage coupled with what looks like Norwegian death metal-style makeup. Like a zombie pope. Which precisely no one in the band’s homeland finds offensive, because it’s Sweden. The rest of the band dress in face-concealing identical costumes, and are known only as the Nameless Ghouls. Brilliant, when you really think about it. If one member abruptly quits, they could just quietly replace him without having to bother with the press release.

It most certainly doesn’t hurt that those Nameless Ghouls also just happen to be damn good musicians, churning out tunage the likes of which I haven’t heard in years. There’s definitely an audible Eighties influence here. Tastes just like the hair metal my mother used to hate.



Here’s another Ghost jam I dig. The harmonics between the guitar lines are exquisite enough when considered on their own merits, but the singer’s proclamation of “Rats!” in every fourth measure of the chorus (if you can call it that) totally makes the whole tune. The lyrical subject matter indeed deals with the titular rodents in a literal sense, and the singer’s delivery ensures you never forget that.