Inclusiveness was Palmer’s trump card. He had the rare ability to explain the sound of any music to the layman, and in often colorful language. His take on thorny noise-rockers Swans is a gem. “At first,” he wrote in the Times, “Swans records sound like gorillas beating on pots and pans and muttering incoherently, accompanied by the clamor of a machine shop. Closer listening reveals differences in verse structure, texture, and mood that distinguish one song from another.”
For its breadth, knowledge, and craftsmanship, Blues & Chaos reminds us that Palmer was as irreplaceable on the American landscape as many of the great musicians his writing explored.
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