June 24, 2018

A 52 Week Autobiography Through Music – Week 25 – Skeleton Crew

A 52 Week Autobiography Through Music - Week 25 - Skeleton Crew from Pancycle on Vimeo.

Skeleton Crew, at least the version I heard live and who's first record I bought was comprised of Fred Frith, mostly known as a guitarist and Tom Cora, a Cellist. The music however was complex and much more than what one would expect from a duo with both musicians playing multiple instruments often simultaneously. This was adventurous, experimental music unlike anything I had heard before. Skeleton Crew later added Zeena Parkins and they made the album Country of Blinds as a trio.

In this video I am mostly referring to the duo version which as I explain was some of the most challenging music I had heard up to that point in my life. It was interesting the progression that I went through with this music, from utter disdain at the live show to complete acceptance upon hearing the album. Learn to Talk is one of my favorite records and it was my doorway to all the radical, experimental music I have listened to since.

It is remarkably difficult to find images of this group performing. I am sure some exist but they are not so easy to find on the internet so I was forced to use images of Fred Frith and Tom Cora individually. The final image is of the trio even though all the music in the video is from the Learn to Talk which was only Frith and Cora. This trio image is however the only "band" photo I found so it had to do.

As I say in the video there is no Spotify playlist this week as none of Skeleton Crew's music is available on that service. It is for this reason that I left a lot of room for the music in this video and as such it is a little longer that some of the others. I didn't want anyone to miss out on this tremendous, adventurous music!


4 Responses to A 52 Week Autobiography Through Music – Week 25 – Skeleton Crew

  1. Patricia says:

    well, who knew it was going to be so crazy? certainly not me – the decision tree went like this:

    -darren likes music
    -he is visiting so we should take him to music things
    -hey, fred frith! tim has mentioned that name so it must be important. we’ll go there!

    i had no idea you found it that hard – which of course only makes it an even better thing to have done! next time how about “moses und aron”?

    • dD says:

      I have been revisiting some of these videos recently after sharing the series with a friend. I just ordered a new copy of Learn to Talk and wanted to recall what I had said in this video. So is a replay 3 plus year after the fact considered late? Not sure. In any case despite the pain I felt during the concert I feel it was a right of passage that altered the course of my musical journey in the best possible way. This is still one of my favorite bands.

  2. Tim says:

    Fred Frith caught my eye through the Ralph Records catalog from my first contact with The Residents, ’77-’78 along with Snakefinger, Yello, MX-80 Sound etc. This is the kind of music for which I carry a sizable spot in my heart. The experimental, quirky, unusually constructed again, etc. Seems to promote thought. Again, for me, that goes back to Roxy Music in a big way, but one has to note some of the things that The Beatles did as an eye/ear opener for a lot of people into the odd realm.

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