A haiku of music

"The Seer" by The Swans

“The Seer” by The Swans

I did have a slightly linked post almost ready, but in a slight departure from the last post, and as I always like a music post from time to time, I am going to combine an update on the “latest” music I’m currently listening to, with some Haiku. Well three Haiku, somewhat linked to each other and the rest of the post. Some readers might want to skim through the music part. Or the Haiku part. Or maybe the whole thing and just enter what you are listening to in the comment box at the end.


I say “lately” as regards music as it is a mix of new (just recently released), current (released last year) and old (released prior to last year).

Old: Starting with the old, I was impressed with a track by John frusciante, he of once, but not currently, Red Hot Chilli Pepper’s guitarist, that was on the cover cd of the previous edition of Mojo Magazine (a track that features Johnny Marr). So much that I bought the album it came from “Empyrean”. It is sufficiently different from RHCP for my tastes, somewhat more relaxed although it does rock out in parts, and one I’m pretty impressed with. I might check out more of his solo stuff which is apparently different in style on each different album, and perhaps says all you need to know right now.

Also impressive in a different way is the last album (released 2006) by The Who. Having ignored this at the time, but inspired somewhat after reading Pete Townsend’s recent biography (recommended if you like The Who), I figured it was worth a whirl. You won’t be surprised to hear it isn’t “balls out” like much of the early stuff, but a somewhat themed piece of work (aren’t they all since Tommy?), and possibly why it didn’t grab me at the time. I love Quadrophenia, but struggle with Tommy. I would pitch this somewhere between the two, and thus far I’m enjoying it. It’s pretty good actually.

I’m also checking out the reissue of the Manic Street Preachers debut album “Generation Terrorists”. You can check out the story of that album elsewhere. I will just add that I have heard this before, although not for a number of years, never owned an original copy, and that the production hasn’t aged well. It sounds a bit flat. It still sounds, and is, overly long, but does have some great tracks on there such as “motorcycle emptiness” (see video below) and one that reminds me of both the southern coastal English town of Brighton, and my college years, that track being “Spectators of suicide”. There is also a 70 minute dvd documentary which I intend to watch.

New: I just got albums by Foxygen (decent off first listen) and ex “Girls” front man Christopher Owens. The latter is a 30 minute song suite where he gripes about a previous relationship somewhat, although it is better then I just made it sound, if not somewhat cheesy in parts.

Current: The first two, featured highly in end of year polls, but which I had not gotten last year were Calexico “Algiers” and Grimes “Visions“. Both decent in their own way, but something I would recommend for music fans rather than mainstreamers. The last two I took from recommendation of my good blog friend over at DyingNote.com. Shearwater “Animal Joy” , off one listen sounded fine, but right now I’m struggling to remember it. That might not be saying much as I didn’t pay a lot of attention, but further listens will tell the tale. More impressive is Swans “The Seer“, an almost two hour suite of music, somewhat experimental (long notes, repetition) in some regards, not the most mainstream, i.e. pop, but with a huge amount of things to find in there, and quite possibly enjoy. Off one listen I was thinking about this the most, even an hour or two later, marveling at how much was in there, and what an achievement it is / was. Not something I could play every day, but in the right context an incredibly powerful piece of work. That said, definitely one for the music fan, or someone willing to be brave with their choice, as you might recognise influences (for example, parts sounded a bit Velvet underground to me), but you won’t have heard much if anything like this before.


Where I transition in a way that doesn’t seem appropriate, relevant, and perhaps even needed, but I am going to do it anyway, to Haiku. A bit about the above. A bit linked. A bit, Haiku does not give enough syllables.

Manic Street Preachers
Rain, new print smell, and Brighton
The days that once were

Who are you, The Who?
not like the old Who, gone our
Youth rebellion

But The Swans do ride
be brave, step to the void, feel
hypnotic journey

So a loose transitional vibe. I did have some slightly different, and to my memory, better Haiku, but a combination of my ipad, the wordpress app, and an iffy net connection, conspired to botch saving it. This is the revised version. Ho Hum.

What are you listening to at the moment, new or old?


In Postscript: The Swans “The Seer” review at Pitchfork.

or view The Manic Street Preachers “Motorcycle Emptiness”:



14 comments on “A haiku of music

  1. DyingNote says:

    Thanks for the mention, Elliot.

  2. Anne says:

    Grateful dead, Interpol, Mumford and sons and stuff like that xo

  3. I keep meaning to check out Pete Townsend’s bio. I heard it was good. How was Johnny Marr on that John Frusciante track?

    • Elliot says:

      I like some of the rock biogs, especially ones that cover the 60s / 70s, but I would say Townsends is a good one.

      I like Johnny Marr and looking forward to his solo album in a few weeks. Cannot tell who is playing what on that track (name escapes me right now, but I will look it up for you later), but it is a good track..

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    I’ve been liking fun. lately–me and the rest of the world–and a bunch of alt rock songs, of which of course I can’t remember the bands’ names at the moment. Ah, such is a failing memory.

    • Elliot says:

      Showing how little notice I take of the charts lately, I had no idea who that was. I had to look them up.

      Many a time I have forgotten the names of what I had listened to, but the beauty of the net now is many radio stations post what they played.

  5. jmmcdowell says:

    Still listening to some of my “classic alternative” like REM, also U2, some Latin jazz, the Clash…. A bit eclectic. 😉

    • Elliot says:

      I’m quite into playing some things that are new to me right now, or things I have but for various reasons haven’t listened to properly, so in a sense are new. That’s the beauty of it though, all the other stuff will come round again.

  6. I’ve been listening to Polica. Really enjoying them. 🙂 I love finding new music that reminds me of old stuff. They have a touch of Portishead in them. 🙂

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