traumatic harmony
the pataphysical study of randomized sound
The Who - I Can See for Miles

After a chance encounter when I was in Durham, NC, this song has been more or less stuck in my head for the past month or so. In coming to terms with the song resonating between my ears for such a long period of time, I’ve come to realize that in this song, The Who morph from a mod rock band to a ‘70s-style hard rock band. Of course, the same could be said for The Who Sell Out as a whole, with their preview of Tommy at the end of side two, but it is this song that encapsulates the change.

The song is actually deceptively simple, with Townshend vamping more or less on one chord (and Entwistle gets one note) for the majority of the song (ok, two chords if you count the chorus a separate thing), Daltrey singing about a betraying lover some of the time, but mostly just singing “miles and miles and…” with a backing chorus of himself constantly reharmonizing said lines. These harmonies encapsulate the shift the best, pointing simultaneously to the full-harmonies of songs like “The Good’s Gone” or “Much Too Much” from My Generation, but also exhibiting a jazz- or classical-esque complexity that would become more present in their music as the years went on. The guitar licks are pure hard rock, with one, monumental, thundering chord guiding the way. The blues are also farther in the background than in earlier Who songs, giving it a “purer” rock sound. The only constant remains Keith Moon’s drumming, which is just as splattered and propulsive as always. It’s actually not a surprise that the song was a hit in its day. You can’t help but latch on to those random snare-roll-explosions, twangy guitar fills, and unstable harmonics. I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles and miles… 
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Location: Durham, NC

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Gal Costa - Gal
X - Los Angeles/Wild Gift
Steve Reich - Music for 18 Musicians
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The Dark Knight
Jay Reatard - Matador 7"s
Sub Pop Singles Club III
Mississippi Records
Byard Lancaster

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lexicon devil
agony shorthand
keeping score at home
something I learned today
deadly tango
her jazz
strange reaction
god and a bottle in me
in case of mishaps
20 jazz funk greats
funky 16 corners
moon sash
mental archipelago
crud crud
just for a day
little hits
everything is fire

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all posts before december 2004 are old wprb playlists. I wish I could say I've been blogging that long, but that's simply not the truth.

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