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OT - Experimental Music


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This isn't necessarily related to only guitar music, but I'm just wondering, what's everybody's favorite "experimental" artists? I mean people who just threw caution to the wind and made music that kicks ass...


Mine have to be:

Paul McCartney & Wings (Uncle Albert is perhaps the best song ever)

Mouse On Mars (electronic sound manipulation)

Frank Zappa (duh)

Citizen King (gonna take some crap for that one...)

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Adrien Belew, "solo" as well as with King Crimson and others (Zappa, Talking Heads).


Peter Gabriel, with Genesis and since.


Kate Bush.


The Flaming Lips.


Sonic Youth.




Talking Heads.




David Bowie.


Stravinski! Rite of Spring is amazing.


I'm rarely in the mood for it, but it doesn't get much more experimental than Bitch's Brew by Miles Davis...

Ask yourself- What Would Ren and Stimpy Do?


~ Caevan James-Michael Miller-O'Shite ~

_ ___ _ Leprechaun, Esquire _ ___ _

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Half the trouble is deciding what "experimental" means ... I like almost all the bands mentioned, but I'd hesitate to describe most of them as experimental (the exceptions are Pere Ubu, Miles, Zappa and Stravinsky).

When it comes to experimental music, I think of Keiji Haino, Loren Mazzacane Connor, Faust, No Neck Blues Band, Sun City Girls, The Residents, The Sunburned Hand of The Man, Glenn Branca and The Red Krayola.

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Isn't all original music experimental? If so then I vote for Bach. Rite of Spring is awesome, but I have always been a bigger fan of the Firebird myself. These days the "experimental" genre seems to be people who are deliberatly trying to be different with little regard for true artistic content. If you go to art galleries, they are so enthralled with showing something different, there is no real quest to seek out true talent. I don't think music has gotten to that point luckily.
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I remember Ray Davies of The Kinks saying, back in the 60's, that 'You Really Got Me' and 'All Day and All of the Night' were experimental pieces.


By the way, does anyone know how Dave Davies is doing, now that Chris Rea is back on his feet and seemingly well?



"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the World will know Peace": Jimi Hendrix


The Geoff - blame Caevan!!!

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I don't even know if I like the term "experimental".


In scientific terms, an experiment is something quite specific: you come up with a theory, which can be proven or disproven on the basis of an experiment. ie, you decide that water can turn into steam, so you see whether this is true or not by boiling some water. Boiling the water is the experiment.


I can't see what most experimental bands were trying to prove or disprove by means of their "experiments". A lot of the time it's like when you give a kid a jr. chemist set and they just chuck a bit of this and a bit of that into a testtube.


I think I'd much rather the term "post rock".

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Try (primarily guitarists) Ken Rubenstein, Dan Stearns, Mark Worell (Mark's psuedonyms Infinite Ego, Bofatron Sofasaurus; owner of www.kronosonic.com site), David Torn of course, any of the musicians who were at September's NYC Fretless Guitar Festival, lots of the musicians at kronosonic.com and unfretted.com. Last year's compilation cd "16 Days In The Gulf Of Silence" on Kronosonic Records, this year's compilation cd "Village Of The Unfretted" on Unfretted Records.
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I agree with most of the artists mentioned so far. On Frank Zappa, I consider him the most under-rated guitarist yet, his lack of mainstream popularity being related to his offbeat/x-rated/just plain weird lyrics, along with some of the musical ideas that framed his guitar work. But, when it came time to let rip with a guitar solo.....


Also, I mentioned The Mars Volta a few months back here, a relatively newcomer that's breaking new ground. They even have Flea(Red Hot Chile Peppers bassist)playing trumpet on one song on "Francis The Mute", thier most recent CD.



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experimental is probably not the best descriptor anymore as someone mentioned, but here are some of my favorite 'left of center' artists (no particular order):


andrew bird

erik truffaz


medeski martin and wood

john zorn

sigur ros

wayne krantz (to an extent)

bill laswell


wilco's newer stuff

shawn lane gets preeeeetty out there

bad plus

jacob fred jazz oddysey

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Originally posted by Gruupi:

If you go to art galleries, they are so enthralled with showing something different, there is no real quest to seek out true talent. I don't think music has gotten to that point luckily.

But there are some crossover "performance art" artists. Laurie Anderson. Viggo Mortensen (yes, "Aragorn" has some recordings of his poetry set to music that are really different).


Some of the other groups mentioned above are progressive rock , the way I see it. Yes, I like all the prog rockers mentioned.


Something probably a little more "experimental" is Ellen Fullman\'s long string instrument (LSI) .


But if you define "experimental" in terms of gadgets and such, then Jimmy Page would be right up there for his work in the '70s, wouldn't he?


Musically speaking, I find the tonal/atonal stuff kinda "out there", like Arnold Shoenberg 's "twelve tone" work. It'll never catch on as "pop" music unless the listening public finally gets tired of hearing the same melodies over the same chord progressions and demands something new and different. (It seems some people can't tell when new lyrics are set to the same music. I still sing "knick knack paddywack" to the overgrown purple lizard's theme song.)

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I went to a live perfomance recently that was truly experimental, a lady "played" several water bowls with different amounts of water in them by running her finger around the edge, then she took various items such as cooking spoons and rulers and hit all sorts of pieces of metal that were attached to a giant scuplture. It also had a set of strings mounted on it and she played those with a bow(while hitting other parts). She was accompanied by a guy sitting at a table with a childs toy keyboard running through about 30 stomp box effects that never sounded like a keyboard during the entire show. As you might guess, this was a very wierd experience, I don't remember the peoples names but the show itself was call "Tone deaf". Most of the 'music' sounded like something you might hear at a science museum. It was interesting to witness but they didn't have CD's out for sale.



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