Friday, August 10, 2012

Moore! #99

What ho! So soon we encounter contention!

Thurston Moore clocks in at 99 in Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists. And here we have category confusion. What measure did they use? Technical ability? Influence? Record Sales? Ability to roll off stacked diatonic fourths in every position on the fret board?

It seems to me that Thurston deserves a higher spot, if only because of his expanded use of the instrument. You don't get wailing pentatonic blues, you do get album after album of unique and perfectly executed riffs. And lets not even start on alternate tunings.

Certainly there have been more experimental guitarists, like Fred Frith, but no one more popular, listenable and experimental...perhaps only Lee Ranaldo. And this is the weird thing, Lee Ranaldo doesn't make the list. It is very difficult to work out who is playing what on any Sonic Youth recording so quite how Thurston pipped Lee I do not know. Perhaps he is thrown a bone for being the more prolific songwriter?

Nice to see a guitarist who is influenced by Alban Berg as much as he is by Jimi Hendrix.

Absolutely no qualms with his place in the hundred but in my opinion he should be up around 50. There are an awful lot of pedestrian players ahead of him...and what exactly have they done? His contribution of popularising experimentation seems a huge contribution to me.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Guitar Gulag 100

The blog has been super quiet recently...and I am upset for our devoted readers. Always.

I was wandering about the web and encountered Rolling Stones opinion of who the 100 greatest guitarists are. I will now subject you to my opinion of the 100th and intend to proceed at my will and leisure toward number 1.

Believe or not number 100 is:

Lindsay Buckingham.

The inheritor of the Fleetwood Mac frets from the mighty Peter Green (I am yet to check if he appears in the list!). Lindsay is certainly an accomplished player. He can rock the Les Paul but his acoustic picking is where he excels. The recommended tracks for admiring his artistry on the short bio sell him short imho (Go Your Own Way...FFS).

I am embarrassed to admit I am struggling to look past the antipathy I have toward Lindsay's band (and also his appalling over-emoting displayed on any youtube footage). Having said that, I very much enjoy hacking my way through Lindsay's acoustic showcase on the Rumours album "Never Going Back Again". He plays it quite a lot better than me...quite a bit. Check out the Buck back in the day with exactly that song here.

In short, I can't quibble with his place at 100 despite having no love for the single-nostriled banshees and doesn't-know-his-station-drummer that he chose to spend his highly-profitable time with. Dude has boring  but perfect chops.