Tag Archives: trip-hop

Serendipitous Blogging

My somewhat rambling article on style from Sunday night/Monday morning found some serendipitous company today in Colin Holter’s article on NewMusicBox.org. The piece was his reaction to a bad review by Pitchfork and a discussion of “indie-classical,” also written about by Pitchfork here. I of course know I’m not the cause of the article – it’s on a separate topic, and I’m not that narcissistic. What really piqued my interest was that it provided a good example (I think) of just what I wrote about: style, jargon, and canon.

I’m not here to be snarky. While that generally creates more traffic, this isn’t that kind of blog. But I do find it curious that instead of critically avenging the abysmally-reviewed musical work, Holter goes on to nit-pick the meaning of a style via unloading jargon and canonical references. At the end of the article I was left with the following thoughts:
• What about Travis Morrison’s “extraordinary solo debut”? Why is o.o stars offensive?
• I’m on the same page as Colin concerning a “definition” of indie (and the mention of the protohipster!)
• Why is everyone so caught up on the stylistic label? Whether a composition is labeled “indie-classical” or “progressive grindcore” (a description of TOOL I once read in the late nineties, its absurdity is why it’s stuck with me ever since) should be secondary to whether or not it’s musically good. Once again, unfortunately, the style has trumped the content.

On another front, there were a couple links I intended to mention last week but decided against it. (Again, I’d rather this blog not be reduced a Tumblr-like series of links.) However, since I’m on the subject of timing, I thought it was funny that my MTH-V post on Tricky in early January was followed a few weeks later by this NPR article on trip-hop. (Why they don’t link to Tricky’s main site in the first paragraph, since there’s no NPR page for him, is beyond me.) Then, a few weeks later (or, rather, last week) there was this Rolling Stone announcement about an upcoming Tricky performance. While I’d like to think that cosmically I was somehow involved in those other two posts, I know it’s simply a coincidence.

Just some interesting nuggets from my RSS aggregator. 🙂

MTH-V: Tricky Live

Holiday and family obligations delayed this week’s video, but better late than never!

I’ve had Tricky on my mind throughout the last week. While not as active or as deep of a fan of his as some of the other artists I’ve discussed in this series, I really dig him nonetheless. I was peripherally aware of him in the mid-90s, but was quite blown away when I saw him and his band perform at Lollapalooza ’97 (that performance included both songs featured below). Part of the reason I was so struck by his performance was that I hadn’t seen (or heard!) anything like that before, and rarely have I seen something comparable in concert since. I still smile thinking of it all these years later.

Though Tricky’s music evidences a variety of influences, it is largely classified as trip hop. And while I can sympathize with those who may raise an eyebrow at suspect labels/categories, this one is an actual “thing.” (If you’re curious, read this for more context.) If you listen to enough of his music, you’ll notice some similarities with a few of his fellow Brits who also started in the early 90s, notably Portishead and some Radiohead.

This first video is a live performance of “Christiansands” (from 1996’s Pre-Millennium Tension). This is perhaps my favorite Tricky video on YouTube, likely because it’s the same band I saw 15 years ago. 🙂

This performance of “Vent” (from the same album) is more recent.