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I'd like to expand my musical horizon - what is out there today with more than 3 chords?

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As many here know, I'm very much into classical music and Jazz. The occasional non-Jazz exception is weird stuff like early 1970s Genesis. 

 

That said, on a transatlantic flight this weekend I had the opportunity to watch Bohemian Rhapsody, which is overall really a quite decent movie.

 

I hadn't actively listened to Queen for a long time, and while the movie went through all the greatest hits, I noticed how great Queen were to combine melodies that an entire Wembley stadium could easily chant, with harmonic, and often even rhythmic complexity, that clearly goes beyond your typical 3 chord classical rock song. 

 

I was about to think "why don't they make this kind of music any more" (I'm getting older), but then I thought, that just can't be.

 

With today's music making facilities where everybody can have a professional level music studio on their laptop for very little money, and the possibility to become an overnight success thanks to Youtube et al., we should be in better times than ever for musical creation.

 

So, I'd like to ask the community here to point me to contemporary music I should be checking out:

 

Here's my criteria:

 

- More than 3 chords, ideally harmonic progressions you haven't heard a gazillion times before (3 chord music bores me, two chords music should be reserved for non-violent torture)

- However, I'm also a sucker for melodies, when stuff gets to weird, I switch off quickly

 

The combination of the above is rarely achieved, which makes it so interesting. 

 

And finally, I'm open for any genre, but should be outside Jazz or classical music.

 

Very much looking forward to your input!

 

 

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I personally don't look for musical refinement in rock, I look for raw, rebellious energy. I used to listen to bands like Yes, Genesis or Pink Floyd when I was a teenager then I moved in the other direction. IMO the problem with contemporary rock is - it just stopped being rebellious. It seems that kids nowadays simply accept the world as it is :) 

As for your your main question - did you check out the present day progressive rock - bands like Dream Theater? Maybe not the most melodic music out there but quite refined harmonically and rhythmically (and boring IMHO x-D).


The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils. The motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

                                                                          ―  William Shakespeare.

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, sphinxsix said:

I personally don't look for musical refinement in rock, I look for raw, rebellious energy. I used to listen to bands like Yes, Genesis or Pink Floyd when I was a teenager then I moved in the other direction. IMO the problem with contemporary rock is - it just stopped being rebellious. It seems that kids nowadays simply accept the world as it is :) 

As for your your main question - did you check out the present day progressive rock - bands like Dream Theater? Maybe not the most melodic music out there but quite refined harmonically and rhythmically (and boring IMHO x-D).

Thanks, not yet, will check it out!

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If you haven't done it yet, explore archive.org for flac files.  Lots of artists post free albums and concerts there, many in high resolution formats.

 

There is still good work being done in prog rock, a lot of it these days tends to lean more heavy in sound than in years past.  The before mentioned Dream Theater is excellent, as is a lot of work by Steven Wilson. A more modern band I really like Animals as Leaders, Tosin Abasi is just an unreal guitarist but their sound may not be for everyone. 

 

The darker realms of metal are still alive and well and still pushing boundaries.  A lot of complicated arrangements being done on 7-10 string guitars, 5-8 string basses, and tuned to subterranean levels.  Poke around in americana for some good original music too.

 

Mainstream rock is pretty dead, IMO, and I'm not alone in thinking that.  You have to dig to find the good stuff now. 

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4 hours ago, wgscott said:

You will either appreciate this, or not, but it might be worth a try (in 24/96):

 

http://nugs.net/browse/music/11255/Grateful-Dead-mp3-flac-download-3-29-1990-Wake-Up-To-Find-Out---Nassau-Coliseum-Uniondale-NY

 

 

gd900329_01.jpg

 

Qobuz has it, as I imagine the other streaming services. PM me if you want a free, no-risk sample.

Ok, gave it a try, but while not strictly speaking 3 chords, I wasn’t really drawn into the music. Sorry. But thanks for flagging in any case!

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Just now, sphinxsix said:

I like some late (meaning 'Beat', 'Discipline' and later) King Crimson albums. Fripp uses specific harmonies though - one may like it or not.

I tried King Crimson several times, but it didn’t “stick”.  Maybe worth checking out again.

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35 minutes ago, christopher3393 said:

I was thinking later King Crimson myself, but...unsure. Similar thoughts about David Byrne, Radiohead, Bjork (very interesting musically but some don't get into her voice), the right selection of Frank Zappa, and yes, the highly improvisational Dead with the right selections. Bona Ventura!

I OTOH was thinking about Radiohead and Byrne.. Yep, Bjork is an original and interesting performer. As for Zappa - I've been his fan for years - I wonder what @Musicophile 's reaction to e.g. 'Yellow Shark' would be (it's actually not among my favorite FZ's albums,, I'd rather recommend let's say his jazz-rock recordings).

 

As for late King Crimson - it's a very different music from their 60/70's recordings.


The man that hath no music in himself, nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils. The motions of his spirit are dull as night, and his affections dark as Erebus. Let no such man be trusted. Mark the music.

                                                                          ―  William Shakespeare.

 

 

 

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Having poked a bit of fun at you for exploration in your gym playlist. I highly suspect you already know where this is leading. 

 

Electronic music. This is a backwards transition in basically every way. I'll forward a halfway point closer to your age and temperament than the age demographic of 15-35.  This is someone who issues audiophile quality recordings and is focusing on his performance and SQ these days.    

 

To add a second, maybe the French producer duo Cassius would help ease the transition as well?

 

91aEnQWVB0L._SS500_.jpg

 

 

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Unfortunately, recommending music to other people is even more of a crap-shoot than recommending something like a bicycle saddle.

 

I'm always struck by how orthogonal my tastes are to those of pretty much anyone else. I think the only thing my wife and I have in common, in terms of music interests, is Tom Waits.

 

A few years ago I helped a friend of mine rip CDs, and I got to see several hundred within his collection.  I was struck by the fact we had exactly ONE CD in common, and that was one someone gave to me that I didn't really like.

 

With classical, it is a little bit easier, because it tends to be more formulaic.  But it is still pretty much a roll of the dice.


--

Do facts matter?

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27 minutes ago, wgscott said:

Unfortunately, recommending music to other people is even more of a crap-shoot than recommending something like a bicycle saddle.

 

I'm always struck by how orthogonal my tastes are to those of pretty much anyone else. I think the only thing my wife and I have in common, in terms of music interests, is Tom Waits.

 

A few years ago I helped a friend of mine rip CDs, and I got to see several hundred within his collection.  I was struck by the fact we had exactly ONE CD in common, and that was one someone gave to me that I didn't really like.

 

With classical, it is a little bit easier, because it tends to be more formulaic.  But it is still pretty much a roll of the dice.

Hey, I really appreciate your's and everybody else's efforts here. And honestly, the discovery part is half the fun!

 

Musical tastes are a funny thing, it's so inidividual and so hart to explain.

 

@ everybody else, keep them coming, I promise I listen to every single one of them (provided I'm able to find them, preferably on Qobuz). 

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One thing I discovered again this morning checking out Dream Theater, how horrible my beloved Sennheiser HD800 are with rock guitars. The slight treble peak makes it really quite annoying. 

 

I’ll be on a business trip for a week, taking my travel combo of Beyer T90 with Dragonfly Red. That should work better.

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1 hour ago, wgscott said:

Unfortunately, recommending music to other people is even more of a crap-shoot than recommending something like a bicycle saddle.

 

I'm always struck by how orthogonal my tastes are to those of pretty much anyone else. I think the only thing my wife and I have in common, in terms of music interests, is Tom Waits.

 

A few years ago I helped a friend of mine rip CDs, and I got to see several hundred within his collection.  I was struck by the fact we had exactly ONE CD in common, and that was one someone gave to me that I didn't really like.

 

With classical, it is a little bit easier, because it tends to be more formulaic.  But it is still pretty much a roll of the dice.

Love Tom Waits, especially Swordfishtrombones. Can’t Listen to it too regularly, but every once in a while, with a mandatory glass of bourbon.  

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2 hours ago, Musicophile said:

Love Tom Waits, especially Swordfishtrombones. Can’t Listen to it too regularly, but every once in a while, with a mandatory glass of bourbon.  

 

Heart Attack and Vine has always been a fave of mine.  As far as “new” rock...meh.  Have your heard any of the Tedeschi-Trucks stuff?  Their new one is very good, as well as previous efforts.

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It is always difficult o recommend music to others as musical preference is such an intensely personal thing. People can recommend music that they like but that is not to say that you would or should like it

 

I don't get electronic music at all. I think that most of it sounds like a bunch of teenagers messing around with DAW software like Magix Acid Pro or Abelton. Electronic music in that it opens the door for those who may not have formal music training to engage in music creation. As I said, it's not for me.

 

Someone has recommended Grateful Dead. They are perhaps, an acquired taste and are often the muse of those who were enjoying contemporary music genres back in the 1960s and 1970s. I love Grateful Dead when they stretch out and improvise. The usual format of a Grateful Dead concert was play some songs, take a break, play some longer songs and improvise and then play some more songs to finish the show. I really like the music that they created.

 

Steely Dan may be another contender for you. As you appear not to like jazz, you would probably be better off avoiding my favourite Steely Dan album 'Aja' and going for the early ones, such as 'Can't Buy A Thrill' or 'Countdown To Ecstasy'. Steely Dan were master craftsmen in the studio. Their music is probably the most technically proficient that I have heard from a rock band.

 

A King Crimson album that I have enjoyed recently is their latest live release 'Meltdown in Mexico', which draws on repertoire from their fifty year career. There is real variety on this one.

 

A less popular genre is Canterbury Music, as exemplified by bands like Soft Machine, Caravan, Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North. Try the eponymous debut album by Hatfield and the North or 'In The Land Of Grey And Pink' by Caravan as starting points.

 

Good luck

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