Patterico's Pontifications

10/19/2020

Patterico on Political Beats, Talking Peter Gabriel Era Genesis

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



We’re going to forego a political post this morning, and say nothing about political pronouncements by a dishonest and hackish DNI, because something more important is happening: the release of the episode of the amazing Political Beats episode featuring Jeff Blehar’s (@EsotericCD) favorite band: Genesis. This episode concentrates on the Peter Gabriel years and features yours truly as guest.

I discovered Political Beats only a few weeks/months ago, listening to Matt Welch talk with the fellas about the Beach Boys. I tend to drift off to sleep listening to podcasts and I quickly found I cannot do that with Political Beats because it keeps me awake. For hours. They pick a band and really go deep, talking about each album in many cases for 20 minutes at a time. The Beach Boys episode was fascinating and kept me up past 3 a.m., but I learned an incredible amount about the band. I have ruined several nights of sleep since, with their Byrds and Springsteen episodes (Parts 1 and 2).

But this is a special one, because Genesis is Jeff’s favorite band.

He’s wanted to do them for a long time, and I feel I can take some credit for pushing him into it. It was a fantastic experience and I have listened to large chunks of the final product, despite having participated in the event Thursday evening, and the way the musical examples are interspersed is masterful.

As you’ll hear, I’m bad at public speaking — which is a weird trait for a D.A., I know. I get better when I feel I have mastered the material, which is why I do OK in trial, but I get worse when I feel uncertain — and talking about Genesis in the presence of perhaps their biggest superfan (Blehar) was intimidating. I think it comes across in my hesitant demeanor. That said, I threw in a couple three musical examples on the piano or organ when appropriate, and Jeff does most of the talking anyway, as is appropriate and which is what I wanted to happen. I think a good time was had by all. It’s definitely worth the 3.5 hours you’ll have to invest to hear the whole thing.

Listen here, and be sure to subscribe wherever you get podcasts. It’s a great show.

24 Responses to “Patterico on Political Beats, Talking Peter Gabriel Era Genesis”

  1. How did they feel about phil collins takingover?

    Bolivar di griz (7404b5)

  2. I remember skipping a class at UCLA to buy tickets to see one of Gabriel’s first solo shows at Ackerman Union. Great show. One of my favorite albums is The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, though all of the Gabriel-era albums are great.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  3. Pat, did you watch The Beach Boys movie Love and Mercy a few years back? Sounds like you would really enjoy it.

    nate (5efffe)

  4. I am a bit too young for the Peter Gabriel days of Genesis. In fact, I had no idea they started way back in 1967.

    Hoi Polloi (15cfac)

  5. Patrick has been a blogger of national repute since 2003 and is still committed to the form, even though it has been dead for years.

    Wait. Wut??

    Dana (292df6)

  6. Thank you for this post, Patterico.

    Simon Jester (545ea7)

  7. @3-
    I enjoyed everything except the John Cusack segments, I have never liked bifurcated biopics. Paul Dano was great.

    Another good documentary about that era is The Wrecking Crew, focusing on the session musicians of the 1960s and 70s. They are the ones who created the Beach Boys sound with Brian Wilson. The “Beach Boys” provided the vocals but not the music.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  8. Wait. Wut??

    Lol. I gave them that slug.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  9. OK, so I have been listening to the podcast for about 20 minutes, and realized that I am automatically fast-forwarding past the actual music because…but keep sticking around to listen to the fun convo.

    Dana (292df6)

  10. Saw Genesis at the Roxy for the Foxtrot tour and again at the Shrine for the Lamb tour. Saw Peter Gabriel solo many times during his first four albums stage.

    They were one of my favorite bands and their music only improves with age.

    The Peter Gabriel theatrics were actually diminishing to the band and have only aged worse but at the time I didn’t care, the music was that good.

    For a long time I thought the greatest bass moment of the 70s was Rutherford’s intense transition in Can-Utility…. but I heard it might have been supplemented with a Dewtron bass synthesizer.

    And the two biggest Genesis fans I know of are Armando Gallo and Rusty Anderson, as sure as eggs is eggs.
    _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  11. OK, so I have been listening to the podcast for about 20 minutes, and realized that I am automatically fast-forwarding past the actual music because…but keep sticking around to listen to the fun convo.

    It’s nice that you’re listening but the musical examples are really integral to the show. And they are so well done!

    Patterico (115b1f)

  12. Pat, did you watch The Beach Boys movie Love and Mercy a few years back? Sounds like you would really enjoy it.

    Never saw it; thanks for the tip.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  13. Saw Genesis at the Roxy for the Foxtrot tour and again at the Shrine for the Lamb tour.

    Crazy amazing. The notion of seeing the Foxtrot tour at the Roxy … holy mackerel.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  14. How did they feel about phil collins takingover?

    Jeff likes the Phil era a lot and they will soon record Part 2 with a great guest, covering the Phil years. I am looking forward to it.

    I’m a Gabriel-era fan but I like a lot of the Collins era. It’s just not as rewarding to me, personally.

    Patterico (115b1f)

  15. I’m about halfway through, and just about to get to the Supper’s Ready discussion. I can’t want to hear that as it’s not only my favorite Genesis song, but my second favorite song period. I hadn’t even heard a Peter Gabriel-era Genesis song until a little over 2 years ago, and now they are one of my favorite bands. I can listen to Supper’s Ready on a constant loop and not get sick of it.

    Funny story about Foxtrot. I chose that as my album to listen to during an MRI last year. The MRI ended just as Apocalypse in 9/8 was set to begin, and I was actually a little disappointed that the MRI was over.

    Paul Zummo (f1d7d3)

  16. It’s nice that you’re listening but the musical examples are really integral to the show. And they are so well done!

    Patterico (115b1f) — 10/19/2020 @ 12:53 pm

    Eh, I just can’t…The band has never been my cup of tea. However, I did like Peter Gabriel’s “Sledgehammer” and “In Your Eyes,” but those were after he left Genesis. And I did like Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight,” but I think that was after Genesis too.

    Dana (292df6)

  17. Give “The Lamia” a try.

    Patterico (893091)

  18. So I listened to The Lamia. Again, the music just doesn’t do it for me. The lyrics, however, are lovely and seemed to tell us about some strange mythological journey with nods to the familiar. The song made me curious about the other songs on the album, so I took the time to read those (there’s a lot of them!). After that, I read about the “Ulysses of concept albums,” as the New Yorker described it. Anyway, while I’m sure I won’t be listening to the music of Genesis, I appreciate the story of Rael, and the well-woven writing shrouded in a sort of ethereal dreaminess.

    Dana (292df6)

  19. You can lead a talented and wonderful co-blogger to water…

    Patterico (115b1f)

  20. Ha. I thought I really went the extra mile in my exploration of Genesis. They remind me bands like Yes and ELP… Anyway, you led me to the water but my thirst needed to be quenched by a sweet drink of this group. It was fun to listen to the convo though because we’ve spent time hanging out, and I was like, oh yeah, that’s Patrick alright!

    Dana (292df6)

  21. I’ve listened up through “Supper’s Ready.” It’s interesting, and I appreciate the talent, but I don’t expect I’ll become a big Genesis fan. I didn’t hear the kind of melody that sinks in and grabs my soul, and then resurfaces in my mind’s ear.

    IF I want complexity, I’ll listen to something like the Glagolitic Mass, one of the most fully satisfying pieces of music ever written. Or pipe organ. Otherwise I’ll put on a raga or a piobaireachd, or some sing-alongable tunes with nice harmonies.

    There’s no accounting for taste. I think I’ve shocked people with my description of how Mozart’s music hits my ear, and I find the “Ode to Joy” more plodding than joyful.

    On the lighter end, I think “Yesterday” is not “the greatest pop song ever written,” as some say, but the most overrated one. Beatles music has never much appealed to me. But when I put on this, I usually end up playing it twice in a row, even though Howard swoops a lot in singing it. (He was chosen primarily as a dancer in 1990, but he turned out to have real talent for building harmonies.) I can explain how his unpolished sound makes the song more compelling, and say the harmonies are good, but beyond that I have no explanation for why the song is so compelling to me.

    Radegunda (20775b)

  22. I think I’ve shocked people with my description of how Mozart’s music hits my ear“
    __

    Glenn Gould: How Mozart Became A Bad Composer

    https://youtu.be/JauII1jCG6Q
    _

    From 1968, back when the USA had a ‘marijuana problem’.
    _

    harkin (7fb4c9)

  23. There’s no accounting for taste.

    Absolutely. How the music hits our ear, how the words move our soul, how the piece transports us away from where we stand into that other world of the lyrics is a mystery. What melody lingers to later tease us on another day is another mystery as much as it is the mark of a good or even great song, I think. If I want sheer passion, I’ll go with Nessun Dorma from Turandot, or if I just want that exhilarating power of life, always Vivaldi’s Four Seasons or The Chieftans. And yet, for simple, true love, the raw vocals and simplicity of Eddie Vedder’s Just Breathe . And so, and so on. To me, that is the best part of music: no right, no wrong with regard to taste. And there’s is just so darn much wonderful stuff from which to listen.

    With regard to Genesis, I’m pretty I won’t be listening to them again either, but I’m glad for what I did listen to, their writing, and the interesting history of the band. But that’s it for me. Stubborn horse and all that…

    Dana (6995e0)

  24. What melody lingers to later tease us on another day

    Awhile back I mentioned happening to hear a Rhonda Vincent & the Rage concert on public TV, and one song stuck in my mind so persistently that I went looking for it, and got the album of the concert. (YouTube may not have existed then.) It’s “I’ve Forgotten You” — which I couldn’t forget, ha ha, though the melody changed in my memory. Musically and lyrically, it’s a fantastic song. One thing I like about it is the ambiguity of mood, matching the irony of the lyrics.

    One album I played over and over upon getting it was done by an amateur group from SoCal called The Browne Sisters and George Cavanaugh, who perform at Scottish games around the state. George is cousin to the sisters, and the strongest singer, with a sympatico baritone. One year they made an album called “Ready for the Storm,” with an eclectic mix of great tunes and some talented backing instrumentalists. It’s a delight from beginning to end — except that when the sisters sing in unison, they’re not exactly on the same pitch. (That’s the downside of having a pretty good sense of pitch as a listener.) I think my favorite is George singing the Stan Rogers song “Northwest Passage.” The lyrics are wonderful, and George sounds far better than other performances I’ve heard.

    Radegunda (20775b)


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