"this flute is fire"
March 28, 2018 8:21 AM   Subscribe

 
Thick as a Brick...there are at least 7 great songs in that song. Glad to see this dude digs!
posted by Liquidwolf at 8:59 AM on March 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


This reminds of playing Rock Band (back when that was the rage) with friends, and Aqualung came up. We'd all heard the song (we're in our 40's now) multiple times, but actually reading the lyrics and singing along was an eye opener. Very much a "WTF is the song about?!?!" moment for all of us.
posted by Mr. Big Business at 9:11 AM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


None of my friends every reacted like this when I put this album on for them
posted by Maaik at 9:20 AM on March 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


I went on a date with a really pretentious guy who told me he only listened to prog rock after I got excited when Sean Paul came on the radio at the bar we were at. I said "Oh! I love Jethro Tull!" and he said, "I've never heard of Jethro Tull" and I've never been more unsure if I was being trolled.
posted by ChuraChura at 9:21 AM on March 28, 2018 [23 favorites]


How could he not know of them? They're like the greatest metal band ever.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:27 AM on March 28, 2018 [13 favorites]


How could he not know of them? They're like the greatest metal band ever.

Crest of a Knave, better than And Justice for All ...am i right? ( I was one of those rare people who was really into Metallica AND Jethro Tull at the same time in high school ) .
posted by Liquidwolf at 9:32 AM on March 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


I went right for Frank Zappa's "One She Fits All" (my favorite complete album of all time) and OMG this is spectacular.

What a simple, brilliant idea. I haven't watched them all yet, but I will. This YouTube guy is awesome! I wish I could hear it all again for the first time, but this is nearly as good.
posted by jeff-o-matic at 9:33 AM on March 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


This reminds me that we have tucked away somewhere a cheap home karaoke system and one of the discs has a rather disturbing version of Aqualung: there is accompanying video with actors performing the lyrics. Yeah, you know: "Sitting on the park bench / Eyeing little girls with bad intent. / Snot is running down his nose / Greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes." etc. Fun at parties 😬
posted by exogenous at 9:44 AM on March 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


It's funny that, although I was a huge Tull fan (War Child, even), in my teenage years, I never thought of them as prog, and I was surprised to learn that others did. I mean, they are right, Tull were prog rock, but I thought of them as their own genre, I guess.
posted by thelonius at 9:50 AM on March 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


Watching him respond to Genesis' "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" is delightful. Selling England is one of my favorite albums but I've heard it so many times that I forget how I felt the first time I heard it.
posted by vverse23 at 9:56 AM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I mean, they are right, Tull were prog rock, but I thought of them as their own genre, I guess.

Well they started off as a blues rock band. Their first 4 or 5 albums were firmly in the solid rock category. I'd say Thick as a Brick was the first step into Prog for them.
posted by Liquidwolf at 10:01 AM on March 28, 2018


Before I rtfa, I just want to say that I love Thick As A Brick sooo much, except for a brief period in the 80s when I repudiated Jethro Tull, but I soon came back to my senses. I recently spent a weekend going down a rabbit hole of the history of Jethro Tull - looking back it's shameful how they fell out of favor so fast.
posted by maggiemaggie at 10:04 AM on March 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


but I've heard it so many times that I forget how I felt the first time I heard it.

this is what sold me on it -- watching this guy (twenty-one years old) hear a fabulous and ambitious piece of the music for the first time, and visibly gush. I was younger on my first listen (all those years ago), but I imagine my evocations of awe were similar. A song of very very many delightful surprises.

I'd say Thick as a Brick was the first step into Prog for them.

Yeah, blues based explorers at first, which got them stumbling via riff rock (Aqualung) into the prog realm for a few years ... and then past that,

I thought of them as their own genre, I guess.

exactly.
posted by philip-random at 10:06 AM on March 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


I recently spent a weekend going down a rabbit hole of the history of Jethro Tull
You know what album is underrated? Stormwatch.
And, from the early albums, Benefit.
posted by thelonius at 10:09 AM on March 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


An acquaintance in university, years back... Long flowing hair, thin guy. He played jazz flute. Like, everywhere. He strolled around campus playing his flute wherever he went... He was very into that Ian Anderson bilabial fricative blowing technique, so the sound would kind of stutter. He was trying to master the play and balance on one leg like a stork trick.

If you were at UBC the late 80s I am sure you remember him. Wonder where he is now.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:12 AM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I was a fan in the 70s—saw them once live. Ian Anderson inspired me to pick up my flute for the first time since Jr high, which reminded me why I quit playing. My then husband (former high school trumpet player) picked up my flute and pretty quickly was playing better than I ever had. I left it with him when we split.

Have bookmarked this to share with my adult kids, whom I suspect really will be hearing Tull for the first time, but I'm going to pass on sharing Genesis (can't stand Collins) and Rush (something about their sound grates on my last nerve). They are already aware of Pink Floyd because I raised them right.
posted by she's not there at 10:16 AM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


really pretentious guy who told me he only listened to prog rock

I said "Oh! I love Jethro Tull!" and he said, "I've never heard of Jethro Tull" and I've never been more unsure if I was being trolled.


Sounds like a guy who listened to one Dream Theater album and immediately declared that was His Music without ever listening to anything else.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:37 AM on March 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


Listening now, I'm really charmed by the fact that he was initially taken in by the "Little Milton" conceit behind the lyrics, because he's coming to this stuff so pure. It's kind of one of those things that I always took in stride as a '70s concept-album/art-rock cliche, but I'm not sure if there's anybody doing anything similar in the current era.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:44 AM on March 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


...do you believe in the day...../
posted by mule98J at 11:09 AM on March 28, 2018


What a nexus. 1) At the end of last year, I listened to "Selling England By the Pound" for the first time in a gambit to make a connection with my Genesis-superfan brother, with whom I have had a strained relationship of late; 2) Over the holidays my brother and I had a conversation about how to be a white person talking to black people about culture and experience and stuff; and 3) THIS POST.
posted by rhizome at 11:12 AM on March 28, 2018


This reminds me that we have tucked away somewhere a cheap home karaoke system and one of the discs has a rather disturbing version of Aqualung: there is accompanying video with actors performing the lyrics.

One of my favourite things about karaoke is overly literal music videos filmed on vanishingly small budgets. One of my personal rules is to always pick the version labelled MV. Sometimes you get the original music video, but if you're lucky, you get an awesomely awful silent arthouse film about someone telling their mother that they just killed a man, that they put a gun against his head and pulled the trigger, now he's dead. I'm pretty sure I've seen the same Aqualung MV, and it's super creepy.
posted by zamboni at 11:27 AM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


A few years ago my son, now about 13 heard Songs from the Wood. Blew his mind...
posted by Windopaene at 11:30 AM on March 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


I used to be really into Jethro Tull back around high school and I sort of fell out of it later in life. (Having to sell all of my CDs when I moved overseas didn't help.) This thread is making me want to go back and listen to all of the Tull I haven't heard in years.

Not A Passion Play, though. I'm not a masochist.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 12:04 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am of the opinion that Jethro Tull is one of the most misunderstood bands in rock history; therefore, I am in favor of anything, including this video, that increases global Tull literacy.
posted by Dr. Wu at 12:11 PM on March 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


You know what album is underrated? Stormwatch.

I was a big fan of Songs from the Wood, Heavy Horses, and Stormwatch, tho Songs from the Wood probably remains my favorite (Of the ones I've heard—I don't recall listening to anything after Broadsword and I just at this moment learned of the The Jethro Tull Christmas Album.) All three scored lots of D&D games back in the day.

Once, in my freshman Western Civ class, the professor asked "Who can name an important English agriculturalist?" and instantly four or five hands went up.

(This was the same professor who walked into class one day and said "Class, your assignment is to go see The Terminator.")
posted by octobersurprise at 12:13 PM on March 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


When I was in High School Band (alternating between various woodwinds and becoming section leader because the only band member who WANTED the job was considered a geek by the other band geeks), my best friend in the band was a flute player (flutist?) who idolized Ian Anderson and was perpetually pissed that the band leader insisted he play "less breathy" than his idol. He was instrumental (pun intended) in getting me into Tull and more officially 'Progressive' bands: Yes, ELP, Procol Harum... and he also had a love/hate relationship with The Who's rock opera Tommy, which led to me partnering with him on my first exercise in music parody, a rewrite of Tommy as "Dummy" including "Gumball Wizard", a better interpretation of which I heard on the Doctor Demento Show years later (NOT by Weird Al), but I digress.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:24 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


*sniffs*

i'll have you know that the really cool arty kids in the mid 70s were into gong and henry cow and gentle giant ... well, jethro tull, too ... i mean this was ART!!!

*sneaks "tonight's the night" or "horses" onto turntable, threatens room with amon duul 2 if they don't stop complaining*

i had a weird complex musical history - it started with motown ...
posted by pyramid termite at 12:38 PM on March 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


I like A Passion Play.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 12:39 PM on March 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


it took me 30 years to actually start liking passion play - it's not all that melodic and marks the point where jethro tull became the ian anderson experience
posted by pyramid termite at 12:43 PM on March 28, 2018


my best friend in the band was a flute player (flutist?)
I can't remember which critic sniffed that Ian Anderson is a flute player. He is not a flautist, because flautists are classically trained.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 1:10 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


there are a bunch of "reacts" channels, but Weeaboo is the King
posted by thelonius at 1:25 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I first heard this when I was in 7th grade, because I had a cool music teacher (he also played 'Tarkus' and 'Tommy' for us). I'm 56 now and I love this album more every time that I hear it. Thanks cool music teacher :-)
posted by sewerurchin at 2:25 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I assure you that they are called "flute guys." Bugs Potter says so.
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 2:37 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I can't remember which critic sniffed that Ian Anderson is a flute player. He is not a flautist,

Is Ian Anderson a really talented flute player? Or just the one guy in rock who isn't embarrassed about playing a flute on stage?
posted by philip-random at 2:57 PM on March 28, 2018


1. Jethro Tull is on tour. Anderson must be 70. That's not too old to rock and roll?

2. The flute is a heavy metal instrument.
posted by bukvich at 4:19 PM on March 28, 2018


Anderson discovered a third possible flute sound, other than fluty and flutier.
posted by thelonius at 5:12 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


Ctrl-F this thread "Minstrel in the Gallery"

None?

No-one thinks this is the high water mark for JT?

The amazing title track? "Cold Wind to Valhalla"?? "One White Duck / 010 = Nothing at All"??? "Baker Street Muse"????

(hops, one leg tucked into the other, out the door, making disgruntled flute vocalization sounds on the way...)
posted by the sobsister at 6:21 PM on March 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


Ctrl-F this thread "Minstrel in the Gallery"

None?

No-one thinks this is the high water mark for JT?


I think of it is as the last of glory years Tull albums. Jeffrey Hammond Hammond hadn't yet left. Punk etc hadn't yet hit. I've worn out more than one copy.
posted by philip-random at 6:52 PM on March 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


Between Jethro Tull and Doc Smith, Metafilter's been like going back to high school for me lately. Sadly, my wife can't stand Tull, and all our books are in storage while the house gets worked on, so I can't indulge in either at the moment.
posted by Four Ds at 7:00 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


Ctrl-F this thread "Minstrel in the Gallery"

check the previouslies
posted by thelonius at 7:10 PM on March 28, 2018


I had thick as a brick on cassette in the late 80's, and would listen to it again and again trying to figure out the story, and it would play in my head when I went skiing with a town rec program all winter. I know the album well enough that watching that dude hear it for the first time was like playing it for him for the first time. Biggles and the sportsmen. After all these years.
posted by vrakatar at 8:04 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


If you’d asked me today “what are you going to blow an hour doing tonight” The answer would not have been “listen to Thick as a Brick in its entirety for the first time in decades along with a young man who calls himself WeeabooReacts” but here we are.
posted by edheil at 8:09 PM on March 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


Jethro Tull is on tour.

Yes, and my brother, sister-in-law and I bought tickets to see them this June in Portland. I used a Jethro Tull quote in my high school yearbook: skating away on the thin ice of a new day. No regrets.
posted by carmicha at 8:12 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


but I digress.

ISWYDT
posted by wallabear at 8:31 PM on March 28, 2018


I'm pretty sure the Tull that is touring doesn't have Anderson as a front man unless News Has Broken that I haven't heard about.
posted by hippybear at 9:25 PM on March 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure the Tull that is touring doesn't have Anderson as a front man

Per the press section of JethroTull.com, the line up for 2017/8 is:
Ian Anderson. Flute, vocals, acoustic guitar
Florian Ophale, guitarist
Scott Hammond, drummer
John O’Hara on piano and accordion and vocals
David Goodier on bass guitar and vocals

He's also included in all the press kit pics, they're billing it as "Ian Anderson's Jethro Tull" and using his face on the poster. I think we're ok.
posted by carmicha at 11:56 PM on March 28, 2018


No Martin Barre. I 'm pretty fucking far from OK.
posted by thelonius at 12:49 AM on March 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Ctrl-F this thread "Minstrel in the Gallery"

During my first abortive attempt at college far too many years ago, I went to an institution that was six hours away from my home town. Minstrel in the Gallery basically lived in the tape deck at the time, and I must have listened to "Baker St. Muse" dozens of times. I should go back and listen to it again.

Aqualung and Songs from the Wood are still my two all-time favorites, though.

"Hunting Girl" is the classiest song about open-air BDSM ever.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 1:27 AM on March 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


No Martin Barre. I 'm pretty fucking far from OK.

Yeah, and Aqualung and Locomotive Breath, among others, won't be the same. But my comment was limited to the question of Ian Anderson's participation.
posted by carmicha at 2:18 AM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Apparently the lads, after all these years, had some falling out.
posted by thelonius at 2:23 AM on March 29, 2018


On a slightly more recent prog tangent: I learned yesterday that long-running prog-adjacent cult band Cardiacs have finally relented and put their albums on Bandcamp. Apparently this state of affairs may not be permanent.
posted by acb at 2:50 AM on March 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


I like A Passion Play.

You kan, garoo, you can.
posted by flabdablet at 3:25 AM on March 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Oh wow, this is great. Just got to the end of part one, and it was like reliving the first time I heard it at 16: those call-backs to the guitar stabs from 29:20-30:30 after the sweet closing melody, just fantastic. What a great idea for a YouTube channel—beats Gogglebox-style commentary about TV shows hands down.

It was Songs From the Wood, Heavy Horses and Stormwatch for me too—their folk-rock trilogy. But I also liked Aqualung and TAAB, War Child and Too Old to Rock'n'Roll, and even A. My exposure to Tull albums up to the mid-80s was dictated by the LP collection of a friend who taped them for me, so I only ever knew half. Stuck with the band long enough to buy a couple of new releases in the late '80s. Rock Island was where we parted company, once indie and grunge beckoned... it looks from AllMusic as if I should give Catfish Rising a go, though.
posted by rory at 4:43 AM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


It will be a long time before I can apply hand lotion without hearing TAAB. That's okay, if a little odd in my office at school.

I became aware of Jethro Tull when the album Living in the Past came out and that song was on the radio... even in rural-ish NY state. I told my cousin I was going to by the album, and he was like, Yea that's okay, but you really need Thick as a Brick. He was right.

TAAB and Aqualung for me!
posted by jaruwaan at 5:24 AM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


Lots of fun watching the man start to understand what an electric guitar might actually be for from about the 16 minute mark onward :-)

As he says!

E
P
I
C
posted by flabdablet at 5:41 AM on March 29, 2018


goddamn the Pink Floyd, you great-ass mothafuckas

Difficult to disagree.
posted by flabdablet at 5:49 AM on March 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


I went straight for his reaction to "Take Five" and steeled myself for the worst. So many "_____ reacts" videos are snarky and dismissive, but this dude broke down Brubeck in a way that was fun and in line with his (W's) personality, but also was reverent and accurate about what makes "Take Five" great. I'm really excited to watch more of these.
posted by pxe2000 at 9:12 AM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


I did not expect to enjoy his reaction as much as I did. Immediately shared with my former-stoner co-workers across the company. Got the reply, "Hell yeah, Ian Anderson will hippie bohemian prog rock your face off!"
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 9:57 AM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


but this dude broke down Brubeck in a way that was fun and in line with his (W's) personality, but also was reverent and accurate about what makes "Take Five" great.

he's a young man who knows what he likes, and why (for the most part). And then he tops it off with a visible enthusiasm that feels absolutely genuine.

ditto - ditto - ditto to all the comments that watching him transports you back to the first time you ever heard certain magic moments. Magical indeed.
posted by philip-random at 10:31 AM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


I am gratified to read all this. As a middle- and high-schooler I LOVED Jethro Tull - they were my first live concert (Broadsword and the Beast) and the first CD I ever bought for myself. I haven't listened to Tull in 25 years or more, mostly because I've been afraid that it hadn't aged well.

Songs from the Wood was the soundtrack to so much of my early life.
posted by workerant at 6:37 PM on March 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


At one point I had Thick As A Brick memorized and could sing along with it to the point that on road trips it would freak out the others in the car. It's largely slipped away since then, but I'm sure with a little practice I could get right back to it.

Also, how is this not available as a track choice on karaoke night?
posted by hippybear at 7:43 PM on March 29, 2018 [4 favorites]


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