February 18, 2007 (link)
Found via Josh blog:
Because see, now that Miles is gone, Bob D and a precious few very, very free jazz cats...are the only artistes around that make you feel like whatever they get into tomorrow will be infinitely more arresting or ahead of the curve or in the moment than whatever YouTube-sucking nostalgia trip we're on now.
Jandek too, actually. Or at least, he came to mind. Heck, Jandek is my Bob Dylan.
(Shut up, Kurt.)
But damn, who else nowadays makes me think, boy, I'm excited to see what they come up with next? The way I once looked forward to the next CD by...(I don't want to finish this sentence.)
Well, this guy, and this guy too. Among others. But still!
...all the stranger that Falla, of all people, should have written of "La Soirée dans Grenade" that "the whole piece, down to its smallest details, brings Spain to us." The praise might have sounded strange to Debussy himself, who once wrote to Dukas of his wish to make people feel "that for a moment they had been dreaming of an imaginary country, that's to say one that cannot be found on the map."
James Parakilas, "How Spain Got a Soul", from The Exotic in Western Music (p. 178), ed. Bellman
Current music: Retribution Gospel Choir - "Breaker", live at the Turf Club
February 17, 2007 (link)
Bits and pieces from all over:
- This past Tuesday, I served as substitute teacher (I wanted to say "substitute-taught", but that seems so unwieldy) for a music appreciation class at a local magnet school. The plan was to watch a DVD, and given that we had only an hour, I opted for R.O. Blechman's animated film of Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat. My father taped this cartoon from PBS when I was a wee lad, and it -- together with Koyaanisqatsi, acquired in much the same way -- had a far-reaching (if largely subconscious) effect on my musical development: there's so much in Stravinsky that has always felt natural, intuitive to me. That might not have been the case were it not for Blechman's film.
(The kids -- all three what showed up, out of six -- didn't really seem into it.)
- I was listening the other day to Spool's album, and it made me want to write about it, but I'm not sure what to say that I haven't already said, elsewhere in these pages. (It was also a buzzkill when my neighbor asked me to turn it down, complaining about "all that banging" -- of all the possible descriptors for Spool's music, that was not one I'd have expected!) I still think the first two tracks are pretty close to perfect.
- On the other hand, the Hi-Fidelity Lounge Vol. 4 compilation pretty much sucks. I mentioned it here before, playing phase games with Bonobo's "The Shark" -- one of the two tracks that intrigued me when I heard a lo-fi stream over the Internet (the other one was Zeb's "The Water and the Sun"). Those tracks are OK, Zeb's being the better of the two, but the rest of the album...when I put it on the other day, I took it off about halfway through the CD, asking myself "Why am I listening to this?"
- I've thought about this before, and reading it gave me a (very) small frisson of recognition. Ah, the uniquely pathetic world of store brands...
- "One of the originators of that society was C.W. Leadbetter, a paedophile" -- and this is apropos what, exactly? It just seems so gratuitous, though it pales in comparison to, um, other things this guy has written. (In fairness, I'd heard of Britten's leanings before, though my understanding was that he never acted on them.)
(Either way, I'm bemused by what he writes about the Triple Concerto, describing it as "so self-conscious and largely introspective that it is tedious"...? Can you genuinely listen to the First Interlude -- I mean really listen to it -- and still think that? It's not a piece perfect in every detail, but c'mon...)
('Very exciting and tasty'!!!)
- Requiescat in pacem. I didn't know you well, but I still remember being knocked on my ass by the one-two punch of Chris A.'s "Mariposa" and your "Reconstitute". And you're indirectly responsible for introducing the term "ace" into my vocabulary. Reading back, we corresponded more than I'd remembered -- and I wish it had been more than that. A lot of people miss you very much.
Le Peau du Chagrin, Balzac
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