Sheff and his delicate, yet husky and weathered tales of the tattered remains of cheerlessness or breath-taking exasperation all of the same measure and dose have the same tincture of amber and grey - the light falling upon them just so and casting them in an apt candor, for those are the colors that do it, those of the drab afternoons when nothing much is happening and the very beginnings and ends of the day's sunlight. Aren't they when the soul feels most revealing?
Sheff, who cuts the figure of a man hard at work thinking and contemplating things that you and I are not, uses his eyes and his head as one giant lens, scanning his surroundings, milking the details for all of their nectar and the bitter aftertastes. He then sees things and people out in spectacularly lively and provocative scenes that needn't set designers or grips to hold hovering microphones or cue the action.
Those that he puts into his incisive lyrics are fully thought out and - were this a novelist - would be the results of countless drafts and rewrites, sleepless nights, cartons of cigarettes, way to much bourbon or other choice hard stuff, depression and time - minutes, hours and days just laid out with nothing to fill them. These people are real and fictional both, conceptualized and yet bearing all of the requisite traits needed to be considered genuine and real - of flesh and bone. The personalities wear like the smattering of different ones that we sometimes invoke ourselves.
It's not dress-up because the personalities are more mirrored than that, less staged and less propped. It's a proper introduction to the spirits that bang out the hollow pangs of grief and longing inside those red inner walls, not the "fake masterpiece" that comes "serenely dribbling" from speakers in Okkervil's debut single from the new record.
Sheff acts, directs and inspires - he's the guy choosing the camera angles, giving motivational-this-is-how-you're-feeling-at-this-point advice and then ripping off the headphones and tearing out onto the soundstage himself, like Max Fisher putting the popcorn down and suddenly becoming the wrestler. He's the consummate songwriter, who writes what he knows and just as importantly writes what the rest of him and all of his surrounding costars teach him.
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Sheff at a dinner party is a full house, just roll sound. I get the feeling that some people think it's a lot -- either prove them right or dispel. When I'm on tour I spend a good six to ten hours a day in the van. That's a lot of time with not very much to do, so when I'm on tour everyone in the band tends to burn through books and pass them around to each other. When I'm not on tour I read far less; I'm usually trying to get as much done as possible before I have to get back in the van. Which two Muppets could you most hang with in real life?
I wasn't aware of that song being on "The Muppet Show. I'm more familiar with it from the original Randy Newman version and Harry Nilsson's subsequent cover. I do love "The Muppet Show," though, and I used to watch it all the time as a kid.
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I very distinctly remember an episode where all the Muppets got murdered - it was one of those deals where all the lights went out and there was a scream and then they'd come back on and Gonzo would be slumped over with a knife sticking out of his back - and at the end they all went to heaven. I really don't believe I was dreaming this, that it really happened.
I went on the Internet and apparently there was a murder mystery episode that sounded like my memory, but the webpage didn't go into the details very much.
In any case, that episode probably influenced my young mind a lot because it was such a shock to see Muppets dying violently. She seemed pretty cool, like a stoner hippie band chick with Joni Mitchell hair, kind of locked in that mellow guitar player slouch.
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I think I like Kermit the best, though, despite the fact that it's so incredibly obvious of a choice. He just seemed like such a soulful guy. I bet there would have been a lot less drama with Miss Piggy out of the picture. Relationships shouldn't be that much work.
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The single most vital detail for you as a potential customer, is the fact that this disc is an uncompromising, single-layer, SACD format only release. In every regard that Universal-Japan had control over, this is the audiophile extreme that is currently attainable for this, nearly 40 year-old analogue recording. There was no 5. And Oh does it Show I burst into tears. And isn't that what it's about? For decades, my most cherished musical possession has been my German vinyl copy of this record, of which I've always had to ration my playbacks to keep the sound quality from degrading.
None of the many digital reproductions which have come out over the years have done anything to change that, although the 'Deluxe Edition' included a 2nd disc of Live Camel from the period which was quite cool indeed.
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Now, while the two copies have Not to mention expensive If you know and love this music, take out that second mortgage. This product will only be in print about 6 months if I'm interpreting the information on the Obi-strip correctly. If you've never heard this music, I envy your position in time.
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Yes, I will admit it: I am a Camelaholic. After Moonmadness Camel opened up their revolving door of band members, and the band was never the same, never as good as the original. But you get the band at their pinnacle here: The sound is superb, especially on headphones. One person found this helpful. Nice, "new" gr pressing from "Music on Vinyl" I'm kind of bummed at that. The additional demos and live recordings are a I've been a big Camel fan for years but only recently discovered this Deluxe set.
I couldn't be happier. The additional demos and live recordings are a great addition to my collection. Great album benefitted by bonus tracks. Overall, a great listening experience. One of my top 10 favorite classic prog rock albums by one of my favorite artists!
Now remastered and sounds better than ever! Must have for prog rock fans. Great live performance worth the acquisition of this Deluxe Edition alone.
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