Himalaya-The podcast Player

4.8K Ratings
Open in app
title

No Title

Ben Sommer

0
Followers
0
Plays
No Title

No Title

Ben Sommer

0
Followers
0
Plays
OVERVIEWEPISODESYOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Details

About Us

A weekly podcast featuring short but in-depth technical analysis and critique of great progressive rock songs. See BenSommerMusic.com for more.

Latest Episodes

Deep Music Criticism #16 – Rush’s Clockwork Angels

I hate to beat a dead horse – but allow me to this time. In today’s edition of my Deep Music Criticism seriesI revisit the title track to Rush’s latest album, Clockwork Angels. I’ve ranked it #6 on their all-time top 20 best Rush songs. When it comes to such an old and long-running band of musicians, with as prolific a recorded output as Rush – ranking their best work gets a bit silly – and individualistic. Its no surprise that most Rush fans responded to my list with puzzlement and a bit of good natured mockery. Podcast: Videocast: But Clockwork Angels truly is something special, in particular among their later output after 2000. Rather than swing at the fences to describe every musical nook and cranny of the song that I find compelling, I’m going to focus on one single compositional element that makes this song special. As I’ve said in prior reviews, its really those unexpected turns in a musical composition that make it interesting. This song has just the right amount of ...

10 MIN2012 SEP 30
Comments
Deep Music Criticism #16 – Rush’s Clockwork Angels

Deep Music Criticism #15 – Katy Perry/Tim Hewitt – Teenage Dream

I’m taking a new tack here – reviewing a cover song. Only because it shows what I’ve often said about pop acts these days: the songs (many of them, anyway) are well-written but HORRIBLY produced. Harmonically, melodically, lyrically – good pop songwriters these days are talented and working in the great tradition of Tin Pan Alley etc. 3-4 minutes of clever and carefully polished a songwriting is routinely coming at me over the radio. But the problem is the sonic pallete the producers choose these days, which is horrible. Podcast: By “horrible production” I mean hiddeous sonic choices – especially percussion. The most horrible, fake drum kit samples and other faux-percussive sound effects form therhythmicstaple these days for pop songs. Terrible stuff. The closest thing you get in most pop tracks is a real live guitar, but usually only the vocal track is performed by an actual human, and that is more frequently auto-tuned to death than not. Production is in terrible shape. Rec...

14 MIN2012 SEP 17
Comments
Deep Music Criticism #15 – Katy Perry/Tim Hewitt – Teenage Dream

Deep Music Criticism #14 – Frank Zappa’s My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama

Sorry folks – I’m just on a Zappa jag lately. I’m eating my own dogfood – fans are constantly comparing me to Zappa so I feel like I need to study his music in earnest to get the connection myself. I’m still convinced that myaestheticand point of view is different than Frank’s, and I never was especially inspired by his musical ideas. Sure I have common threads in my music – jazz and fusion etc – but I admired and listened to the same artists Frank listened to. I didn’t absorb the influence second hand through him. Anyway, today’s track is my new favorite of his –My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama. I first heard the song in a live performance released on the live compilation album Strictly Commercial. The song was cool enough, but it wasn’t until I heard the original studio version last week during a spelunk into his catalog to define my Top 10 Frank Zappa Songs List that I feel in total love with the song. The studio version is a truly masterful little rock composition. ...

12 MIN2012 SEP 8
Comments
Deep Music Criticism #14 – Frank Zappa’s My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama

Deep Music Criticism #13 – Dream Theater’s Scenes from a Memory

In my quest to comprehend and appreciate the prog-metal warhorse of a band Dream Theater, I’ve been listening to their classic concept albumScenes from a Memory – also known by its more verbose title:Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory. So far…meh. But read on. There was a time in my life when I was a bit enthralled with concept albums. Rush’s 2112 was and still is endearing and brings back memories to when I first awakened to adventurous rock music.Queensrÿche’sOperation: Mindcrime was a smaller obsession a bit later. In a sense, every well-programmed and sequencedalbum of music should carry a concept and theme from start to finish, whether that be mood, musical element (like tempo, tonality), or whatever. But for an album to truly qualify as “concept”, there has to be a programmatic story – usually sung as lyrics, ala opera. Unfortunately, in “Scenes” Dream Theater yet again sounds to me like extended fits of shredding and riffage, all strung together in rigid sectio...

10 MIN2012 AUG 23
Comments
Deep Music Criticism #13 – Dream Theater’s Scenes from a Memory

Deep Music Criticism #10 – Rush – Presto

Presto – Rush’s 13th studio album – was the first album they releasedafter I became a fan when I was 14, in 1988. I remember it was released right before Christmas 1989. I bought it the morning that my Dad and I were to travel up to Vermont with a friend of his and his son to their ski condo on Okemo mountain. I persuaded the adults to pop the cassette in the player, to eat up the first hour of that 3 hour car ride. I remember how, by the time the player turned over Side B and was about to start the entire album over again, Rich (Dad’s friend) said in a mildly annoyed tone “Can we give it a rest now?” Rush is not for everyone… It may be this special personal connection I have with this album– and the specific time in my life when I was just beginning to take music seriously – that makes it my favorite album by the band. If I was paying attention to rock in 1981 when Moving Pictures was released, I’m sure that would the the one to stick with me. But regardless, Presto is my...

15 MIN2012 JUL 29
Comments
Deep Music Criticism #10 – Rush – Presto
the END

Latest Episodes

Deep Music Criticism #16 – Rush’s Clockwork Angels

I hate to beat a dead horse – but allow me to this time. In today’s edition of my Deep Music Criticism seriesI revisit the title track to Rush’s latest album, Clockwork Angels. I’ve ranked it #6 on their all-time top 20 best Rush songs. When it comes to such an old and long-running band of musicians, with as prolific a recorded output as Rush – ranking their best work gets a bit silly – and individualistic. Its no surprise that most Rush fans responded to my list with puzzlement and a bit of good natured mockery. Podcast: Videocast: But Clockwork Angels truly is something special, in particular among their later output after 2000. Rather than swing at the fences to describe every musical nook and cranny of the song that I find compelling, I’m going to focus on one single compositional element that makes this song special. As I’ve said in prior reviews, its really those unexpected turns in a musical composition that make it interesting. This song has just the right amount of ...

10 MIN2012 SEP 30
Comments
Deep Music Criticism #16 – Rush’s Clockwork Angels

Deep Music Criticism #15 – Katy Perry/Tim Hewitt – Teenage Dream

I’m taking a new tack here – reviewing a cover song. Only because it shows what I’ve often said about pop acts these days: the songs (many of them, anyway) are well-written but HORRIBLY produced. Harmonically, melodically, lyrically – good pop songwriters these days are talented and working in the great tradition of Tin Pan Alley etc. 3-4 minutes of clever and carefully polished a songwriting is routinely coming at me over the radio. But the problem is the sonic pallete the producers choose these days, which is horrible. Podcast: By “horrible production” I mean hiddeous sonic choices – especially percussion. The most horrible, fake drum kit samples and other faux-percussive sound effects form therhythmicstaple these days for pop songs. Terrible stuff. The closest thing you get in most pop tracks is a real live guitar, but usually only the vocal track is performed by an actual human, and that is more frequently auto-tuned to death than not. Production is in terrible shape. Rec...

14 MIN2012 SEP 17
Comments
Deep Music Criticism #15 – Katy Perry/Tim Hewitt – Teenage Dream

Deep Music Criticism #14 – Frank Zappa’s My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama

Sorry folks – I’m just on a Zappa jag lately. I’m eating my own dogfood – fans are constantly comparing me to Zappa so I feel like I need to study his music in earnest to get the connection myself. I’m still convinced that myaestheticand point of view is different than Frank’s, and I never was especially inspired by his musical ideas. Sure I have common threads in my music – jazz and fusion etc – but I admired and listened to the same artists Frank listened to. I didn’t absorb the influence second hand through him. Anyway, today’s track is my new favorite of his –My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama. I first heard the song in a live performance released on the live compilation album Strictly Commercial. The song was cool enough, but it wasn’t until I heard the original studio version last week during a spelunk into his catalog to define my Top 10 Frank Zappa Songs List that I feel in total love with the song. The studio version is a truly masterful little rock composition. ...

12 MIN2012 SEP 8
Comments
Deep Music Criticism #14 – Frank Zappa’s My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama

Deep Music Criticism #13 – Dream Theater’s Scenes from a Memory

In my quest to comprehend and appreciate the prog-metal warhorse of a band Dream Theater, I’ve been listening to their classic concept albumScenes from a Memory – also known by its more verbose title:Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory. So far…meh. But read on. There was a time in my life when I was a bit enthralled with concept albums. Rush’s 2112 was and still is endearing and brings back memories to when I first awakened to adventurous rock music.Queensrÿche’sOperation: Mindcrime was a smaller obsession a bit later. In a sense, every well-programmed and sequencedalbum of music should carry a concept and theme from start to finish, whether that be mood, musical element (like tempo, tonality), or whatever. But for an album to truly qualify as “concept”, there has to be a programmatic story – usually sung as lyrics, ala opera. Unfortunately, in “Scenes” Dream Theater yet again sounds to me like extended fits of shredding and riffage, all strung together in rigid sectio...

10 MIN2012 AUG 23
Comments
Deep Music Criticism #13 – Dream Theater’s Scenes from a Memory

Deep Music Criticism #10 – Rush – Presto

Presto – Rush’s 13th studio album – was the first album they releasedafter I became a fan when I was 14, in 1988. I remember it was released right before Christmas 1989. I bought it the morning that my Dad and I were to travel up to Vermont with a friend of his and his son to their ski condo on Okemo mountain. I persuaded the adults to pop the cassette in the player, to eat up the first hour of that 3 hour car ride. I remember how, by the time the player turned over Side B and was about to start the entire album over again, Rich (Dad’s friend) said in a mildly annoyed tone “Can we give it a rest now?” Rush is not for everyone… It may be this special personal connection I have with this album– and the specific time in my life when I was just beginning to take music seriously – that makes it my favorite album by the band. If I was paying attention to rock in 1981 when Moving Pictures was released, I’m sure that would the the one to stick with me. But regardless, Presto is my...

15 MIN2012 JUL 29
Comments
Deep Music Criticism #10 – Rush – Presto
the END
hmly
Welcome to Himalaya Premium