I discovered The Legendary Pink Dots through The Residents. An obscure Youtube artist going under the moniker of therezident (now renamed Virgil Pink) had been producing his own videos for Residents songs. Sometimes these videos would be cobbled together from cheap DV footage and google image search results, as in ‘Life Would Be Wonderful‘ and other times, in the case of ‘Dreaming of an Anthill‘, they would display remarkably accomplished sand animation reminiscent of German Expressionism and the inky grotesqueries of comic book artist Charles Burns. This slapdash approach that sometimes yielded moments of astonishing beauty seemed like a perfect fit for The Residents and I was thrilled by therezident’s ability to forge intuitive connections between found footage and the band’s music in the most seemingly unlikely of places. Having watched a bulk of videos based upon music by The Residents, I decided to investigate artists also represented on the channel. The Third Eye Foundation and Current 93 cropped up, but so did The Legendary Pink Dots and their lead singer named Edward Ka-Spel, both unknown to me. I was intrigued by the band’s inscrutable and, I felt, irritatingly portentous name. How could something as abstract as pink dots be legendary – and, moreover, wasn’t the name itself somewhat eye-rollingly self-promoting? I listened to a track. I believe it was ‘Of All The Girls‘. The video was underwhelming, but I found the music compelling. It was droning but propulsive and slightly nauseating; more threatening than The Residents. While the Residents at their best walk a indeterminate path between earnestness and sincerity, balancing unsettling melodies with daffy vocal deliveries, or vice versa, I sensed little of that playfulness in ‘Of All The Girls’. There were few concessions being made to the listener. One could easily have imagined that the composer (this Edward Ka-Spel) had produced the track for his own private enjoyment. I did not feel immediately invited into the world of The Legendary Pink Dots, but insidiously (because it was some weeks before I returned to their music) the music wormed its way into my brain until I felt all the more stubborn to discover more. Continue reading
So one of my favorite bands from my misspent youth in the 1970s-80s decided to remaster every album they’ve ever done, and release them in a huge box set called Discovery. This is every Pink Floyd album from 1967 to 1994, sounding absolutely better than they ever have; unlike a lot of CD remasters, these aren’t just louder versions of the old albums. They have all the sonic richness you’d expect from one of the first bands to treat the recording studio as a science lab (with no small amount of help from famous producers of the era like Alan Parsons and Bob Ezrin). There’s probably nothing I can say about the band that you don’t already know if you’re of a certain age, like me, but I’ll include a couple thumbnail sketches for the younger folks as well.