King Crimson, in one form or another, has made a habit of reappearing every few years lately, as if to apply its logic to current trends in the music industry, then slips away almost entirely unnoticed by the majority of casual listeners. Robert Fripp, if not the "captain" of the group then at least the rudder (he will happily debate you on this point), steers the old ship Crimson out of storage whenever he feels there is something for the band to address. Just what that might be is always a mystery, but its roots are generally in whatever rock-related music is garnering attention at the time. King Crimson emerges as if to say, "Well, yeah, you're doing it, but let me show you how it could have been done."
The problem any incarnation this band has faced is getting its music heard by more than its legion of die-hard fans. The appeal of the music is more in the power of the mathematical precision with which Crimson's members undertake each piece, and as such, is generally geared toward people who prefer to "listen" to music - as opposed to those who "like to rock." For all the effort the band puts in "rocking out," the result is nearly always something more akin to rock-via-modern-classical music than something from the gut. Apparently, it must be very difficult to rock out when you play in odd time signatures - the same kind of time signatures that prevents the other thing associated with rock, dancing. Dancing to King Crimson, while not entirely improbable, is generally unlikely - and would certainly have to be the free-form, aimless "interpretive" dancing that isn't inhibited by an ever-changing beat. Paired with the kind of music Crimson generally puts out - "intellectual" - the result would, at the very least, be entertaining to watch.
Much of the efforts of the band, starting with 1981's Discipline, have been on intricate, interlocking guitar pieces inspired by Gamalan music that Robert Fripp became fascinated with at the time. Instead of simply melodies, the guitarist were often building patterns around each other, weaving in and out of each others notes. The result, to the casual listener, is a lot of seemingly very repetitive music. To the attentive listener is revealed fascinating textures, almost the musical equivalent of fractal imagery. Again, not something that fills the dancefloor. Think Philip Glass, filtered through rock instrumentation, and you are not far from what much of the Discipline-era band produced. Think Talking Heads and Philip Glass, and you've just about nailed the sound perfectly.