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April 10, 2011 by ianmoore

Ian Moore officially recognized for coining three new idioms of music, to be included in the next pressing of the “Official Rock n’ Roll Encyclopedia: from idiots to idioms”

Ian has always been known for his concise definitions of musical and artistic styles. Here are his three recent entries:

CapeRock: a musical idiom relating to the mystical and or supernatural, often represented by fantastical writing, liberal use of the studio as “an instrument”, and a very serious, stately stage demeanor. Inspired by the music’s of psychedelic era Beatles, early Pink Floyd (with Syd Barret) later carried on by Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois. It takes its cues from Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Dickinson, with a bit of eastern mysticism thrown in for the “wow” factor. Not to be confused with the cape used as an ironic social comment (Beck) or as a prop to scare children (Marilyn Manson, Alice Cooper-see sidebar for info on kiddiecore)

CapeRock came into its own as marijuana moved from the east coast intellectual elite (where it helped to open minds up to mid 60’s folk) through the middleclass, where it combined with jr. high literature to create such early CapeRock cornerstones as “Children of the Sun”, “1983, a Merman…” and much of Skip Spence’s early work. It made periodic appearances throughout the 70’s such as Roxy Music’s cape rock lite triumph “Avalon” and short flourishes with early Genesis and Yes. It died a painful death in the late 70’s trampled underneath the brillo pad skull of Denis Deyoung and Styx and bloated works of supertramp (which incidentally also killed the Rhodes piano, before it was reclaimed by current caperockers Radiohead)-

After a brief dry spell, no doubt aided by the very uncapey emergence of punk rock and many of its offshoots, Cape Rock reemerged in a sea of echo and emotion in a musical melding of Eno, Lanois, and U2 in their masterpiece “the Joshua Tree”. With this record the cape rock 2nd coming was announced. A flood of mystical music followed, including a new British wave with the Charlatans, Primal Scream, etc. Back in the states, Lanois was busy draping many classic American artists in Velvet, as Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, and Willie Nelson took a turn looking into the ether.

Today Caperock is alive and well with a new generation of kids that see the value of pot and Dungeons and Dragons. Neutral Milk Hotel made what many people feel to be a cape rock opus with their raw, yet opulent “Under the Aeroplanes” and the Fiery Furnaces have recently been stirring the cauldron with their “everything” soup masterpiece” Blueberry Boat”. The brightest light by far would be that shone by the planet Radiohead, who share as much with Emerson Lake and Palmer as they do with Can. Who would have thought that the spotlight would shine so squarely on the band once written off as Nirvana wanna-bes. Every release takes us further from the literal into the shady world of non-sequitors and nonsense lyrics. Every bleep and blip takes from the printed word of the Dungeons and Dragons masterbook into the uncharted world of the online gamer. A vast vista indeed. Caperock’s future lies in the recesses of many adolescents’ brains. In skulks in the corners of shopping malls and in the gray matter resting under the “mullet fade” haircut, soon to be birthed in a wave of hair dye and community college courses, clove cigarettes and cappuccinos

Prepare for battle

Beardcore: an inevitable outcome out of the sensitive first wave of indie rock. Indie rock itself a rebuttal of the testosterone-laden punk and its various children. Quiet became the new loud, and a new generation of kids employed techniques and instrumentation that had been ignored by the bombast and attack of their older brothers. Legions of near-folk prodigies unfurled their high- “school diaries, bled white in front of their doe eyed girlfriends and other sympathetic glasses clad dorm buddies. Sleepy hamlets like Northampton, Portland, and Omaha clamored for placement on a new hipster landscape, set to the sound of  vibraphones and love songs that weren’t afraid to curse, coloring their Simon and Garfunkel ruminations with enough underground slang to keep it contemporary“

As indie rock moved into the punk rock clubs across the nation, it was inevitable that a major culture clash was in the works. Many Mohawks were ruffled, many descendents jackets were thrown down in rage, and there was a sense in the punk rock establishment that a great injustice was being done. They were being displaced by the very thing they had rebelled against, a bunch of fresh-faced kids in button downs singing about love and feelings, nary a political view in site. As the conflict escalated, many indie rockers found themselves brushing their windswept hair from their bloodied eyes, or at best nursing bruised egos and hurt feelings. This was a dark period for indie rock as many fanzines turned on the sensitive torchbearers, and many Judas’s professed newfound love for garage rock and noisepop. Throughout the 90’s many of the faithful, furrowed brow troubadours dug deeper within themselves, searching out the dark corners of their suburban imaginations, experimenting with drugs and alcohol, and growing out their facial hair. Those blessed with the ability to grow full beards affected somewhat of a Grizzly Adams look, fully ready to battle their pierced and tattooed enemies. With the beards came metaphysical weight and Carolina was now a state, not a woman, the banjo replaced the string section, and Hank Snow was name-checked instead of Brian Wilson. Pabst Blue Ribbon replaced coffee, and cocaine replaced clove cigarettes.

For reference see Granddaddy, Iron and Wine, Will Oldham, or Richard Buckner