Post & Discuss Your Weekly Charts

 
    • gwalla said...
    • User
    • 1 Mar 2012, 07:52

    Post & Discuss Your Weekly Charts

    In which we post the top 10 artists in our weekly snapshots, along with commentary.

    This is a continuation of a thread from the Weekly chart chat group, which was itself a continuation of a thread from the late, lamented Music Nerds group.

    I'll get it started:

    1. David Sylvian & Robert Fripp (39) — After the breakup of the Discipline-era lineup of King Crimson, guitarist Robert Fripp asked ex-Japan frontman David Sylvian if he'd like to join in on a new incarnation of King Crimson. Sylvian said no, and KC later reformed in the mid-90s "double trio" lineup. However, Sylvian and Fripp did collaborate as this side project, producing a studio album and a live album, Damage, which is what I listened to last week. For Crimson fans, it represents a sort of might-have-been. Sylvian's voice is lighter and more traditionally enunciated than Adrian Belew's (KC lead singer from the '80s to present), a bit reminiscent of earlier KC vocalists Greg Lake and John Wetton although the music is quite different from those eras. Although some tracks aren't particularly memorable, there are several good ones here. Track pick of the week: Firepower.

    2. The Muffins (29) — Listened to Open City. Found this on a share blog, where it was described as appealing to fans of "complex -style prog fusion", which I am, and these guys are apparently pretty well respected in avant-prog circles. I was a little let down by the album, though. Lots of sax blarps and farts and kazoo-like noises (why does that particular timbre seem to appeal to so many avant-gardists?), signifying nothing. The live improvisation Blind Arch stood out as a highlight, a nice sedate bop/fusion number amid all of the hyperactivity. Apparently this album is a "outtakes and rarities" collection so it probably wasn't the best place to start.

    2. Igor Stravinsky (29) — Digging into my box set of Stravinsky conducting Stravinsky. In particular, I'd been reading about the flugelhorn and listened to the Threni to hear a rare orchestral use of the instrument, which led to listening to the rest of that disc of sacred works (including the Canticum Sacrum, Introitus, A Sermon A Narrative And A Prayer, and Anthem) then followed up with half of a disc of "Miniature Masterpieces" that included the Dumbarton Oaks concerto, which somehow I'd managed not to have heard before (loved it BTW). Stravinsky rocks my socks.

    4. Fugees (27) — Borrowed The Score from the library. The Fugees occupied the occasionally awkward intersection of politically outspoken "conscious" hip-hop and mainstream gangsta rap, as well as incorporating reggae influences. I even hear a bit of Digable Planets or Guru's Jazzmatazz on The Mask. The album suffers a bit from the late '90s fad for sketches on rap albums. Some great tracks here, though. My pick of the week is Ready or Not.

    5. Rachel's (26) — Post-rock bordering on chamber music. Checked out the album The Sea and the Bells for the first time. Really excellent album. Track pick of the week is Cypress Branches.

    6. Deathmøle (22) — A fictional doom metal garage band from the webcomic Questionable Content, consisting of a few of the characters from that comic (but actually recorded by the comic's artist/writer Jeph Jacques with a guitar and GarageBand). Listened to the most recent "albums", Meade's Army and Fear of Black Horses. I was a bit disappointed: they felt weaker than earlier albums like Moletopopolis or Long Songs.

    7. Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor (18) — No Protection, an album of remixes by dub producer Mad Professor of Massive Attack's Protection. This is something I found long ago at Hear Music (before they were bought by Sony), which was cool at the time because they were one of the first record stores to have listening stations (and had good taste in selecting albums for them) and also featured a listening bar where you could take any CD in the store and listen to it before buying. Anyway, this has been a favorite of mine for a long time, though for some reason I never ripped it to my iPod until now. I have no excuse for myself. This album still blows me away. The Prof chops up the original tracks and transforms them into laid-back soundscapes of slow, echo-drenched percussion and the occasional ethereal vocal sample. Highly recommended. Pick of the week: Backward Sucking (Heat Miser), with its odd burbling rhythm like a couple of glass marbles being dropped on a table.

    7. DJ Shadow (18) — Finally got around to checking out The Outsider, in which Shadow tries his hand at the local hyphy rap movement. I'd heard a lot about it, some down on it and others saying it was underrated. Reluctantly, I have to join the first group. I'm not even anti-hyphy (hell, a Mac Dre joint is my 9th most played track on Last.FM), but this just didn't work. Hyphy is bouncy and wobbly, while Shadow's usual approach is downtempo and atmospheric. For the most part he supplies fairly basic beats for his guests to rap over, which seems like a waste; when I listen to DJ Shadow, I want to hear some creative beats.

    9. KILLER BONG (13) — Listened to Togashi Dub Murder Scene, which is still the only album I have by El K-Bong. I ought to try to find more, because he's really good. A Japanese DJ who fuses spaced-out dub reggae with instrumental hip-hop; on this album building woozy beats out of free jazz samples.

    9. Paul Motian (13) — Listened to I Have The Room Above Her, which I picked up from the library on an old recommendation from the previous incarnation of this thread. It reminds me a lot of '50s cool jazz, at least in feel. A trio date with Motian on drums, joined by Joe Lovano on tenor sax and Bill Frisell (the man is everywhere!) on guitar.

    • mugginz said...
    • User
    • 2 Mar 2012, 06:36

    Re: Post & Discuss Your Weekly Charts

    Glad to see someone start this thread again. I've been busy moving house so could be a while before I contribute a top ten.

    1. David Sylvian & Robert Fripp (39) — After the breakup of the Discipline-era lineup of King Crimson, guitarist Robert Fripp asked ex-Japan frontman David Sylvian if he'd like to join in on a new incarnation of King Crimson. Sylvian said no, and KC later reformed in the mid-90s "double trio" lineup. However, Sylvian and Fripp did collaborate as this side project, producing a studio album and a live album, Damage, which is what I listened to last week. For Crimson fans, it represents a sort of might-have-been. Sylvian's voice is lighter and more traditionally enunciated than Adrian Belew's (KC lead singer from the '80s to present), a bit reminiscent of earlier KC vocalists Greg Lake and John Wetton although the music is quite different from those eras. Although some tracks aren't particularly memorable, there are several good ones here. Track pick of the week: Firepower.


    Love a lot of Sylvian's stuff but never really got into KC. I will have to check this collaboration though.

    7. Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor (18) — No Protection, an album of remixes by dub producer Mad Professor of Massive Attack's Protection. This is something I found long ago at Hear Music (before they were bought by Sony), which was cool at the time because they were one of the first record stores to have listening stations (and had good taste in selecting albums for them) and also featured a listening bar where you could take any CD in the store and listen to it before buying. Anyway, this has been a favorite of mine for a long time, though for some reason I never ripped it to my iPod until now. I have no excuse for myself. This album still blows me away. The Prof chops up the original tracks and transforms them into laid-back soundscapes of slow, echo-drenched percussion and the occasional ethereal vocal sample. Highly recommended. Pick of the week: Backward Sucking (Heat Miser), with its odd burbling rhythm like a couple of glass marbles being dropped on a table.


    When this came out, I absolutely hated it. Echo-drenched it is but it drove me mad. Maybe, I'm not that much of a prof. or maybe it needs revisiting...

    9. KILLER BONG (13) — Listened to Togashi Dub Murder Scene, which is still the only album I have by El K-Bong. I ought to try to find more, because he's really good. A Japanese DJ who fuses spaced-out dub reggae with instrumental hip-hop; on this album building woozy beats out of free jazz samples.

    One of the best recommendations I've had on lastfm. I've checked out 4 or 5 of his albums and haven't been disappointed.

  • Re: Re: Post & Discuss Your Weekly Charts

    gwalla said:

    9. Paul Motian (13) — Listened to I Have The Room Above Her, which I picked up from the library on an old recommendation from the previous incarnation of this thread. It reminds me a lot of '50s cool jazz, at least in feel. A trio date with Motian on drums, joined by Joe Lovano on tenor sax and Bill Frisell (the man is everywhere!) on guitar.
    Hmm, I really never thought that trio sounded like 50s cool jazz, but then I don't really know too much 50s cool jazz. Who would you suggest they sound like from that era?

    mugginz said:

    9. KILLER BONG (13) — Listened to Togashi Dub Murder Scene, which is still the only album I have by El K-Bong. I ought to try to find more, because he's really good. A Japanese DJ who fuses spaced-out dub reggae with instrumental hip-hop; on this album building woozy beats out of free jazz samples.

    One of the best recommendations I've had on lastfm. I've checked out 4 or 5 of his albums and haven't been disappointed.
    Given that I think I was the one who originally recommended this, I really need to get more of his stuff besides TDMS.

    • mugginz said...
    • User
    • 8 Mar 2012, 06:00
    Finally have a bit of time to scribble about my last 3 months chart rather than the weekly one...
    1. Sun City Girls - After discovering that the Master Musicians of Bukakke included Alan Bishop who was a mainstay of SCG, I decided to check out a few of their albums. I had thought they were just a bog standard post punk outfit for some reason and never bothered giving them a chance. Listened to 330,003 Crossdressers From Bey and Torch of the Mystics, which is just the tip of the iceberg. They must have made over 30 albums from the early 80s till 2007 when Charles Gocher's death effectively ended their prolific output. Like MMoB, they draw from a range of music styles and subject matter. Check out Soi Cowboy, which is an intoxicating Isan tune that sounds crazier than the music from that region in Thailand even as it is sung during the drunken shenanigans you encounter on that soi in Bangkok .On the whole, I preferred Torch of the Mystics though, especially Esoterica of Abyssynia, with Sir Richard Bishop's psychedelic / surf guitar work.

    2. Amon Tobin - Still enjoying his latest offering especially the stuttering dubstep tinged Bedtime Stories. Kicks any dubstep cliches into touch and stamps his own mark on it. Much prefer this album to previous ones.

    3. The Flashbulb - Finally checked out another of his albums after liking Soundtrack To A Vacant Life. Red Extensions of Me took a while for me to get into but am enjoying it a lot more now. I was led to believe it would be breakcore heavy but although it's a little hectic in places, it's has more drum & bass than outright breakcore and it's also layered with soothing guitar and piano passages. I suppose tracks like Lawn Wake II do invoke Venetian Snares but in general this is more Squarepusher and a calming undertone is always there. Recommended.

    4. Master Musicians of Bukakke - Nothing much more to add from my previous post. Still enjoying the 3 albums I've managed to track down.

    5. Sir Richard Bishop - He of SCG's fame went solo and his guitar instrumentals show a wide range of influences mostly from the Middle East. Checked out 3 albums of his. Loved the hypnotic mood piece, Taqasim for Omar on Fingering the Devil.

    6. Flying Lotus - For me, Cosmogramma never quite settles into a groove and in that way it is both interesting and challenging but also frustrating. Do the Astral Plane just about does it for long enough and you feel the warm possibilities coming through but then you are returned to the awkward sounding juxtapositions that deny you a comfort zone. Sometimes I love it, other times it annoys but I always go back for more.

    7. Tortoise - After hearing one of their earlier albums years ago and being very disappointed and thoroughly bored, I didn't bother with them again until fairly recently and Beacons Of Ancestorship might just have turned my head again and made me think I was a bit rash. Still getting into it but it is an eclectic mix of influences and instrumentation that is far from boring.

    8. Mr. Gnome - I have followed this band since receiving a mixtape that featured one of their tracks from the debut album. Their latest Madness In Miniature is everything you want from an indie rock band. Full of contrast, from Nicole Barille's vocals, which range from whispered and plaintive to raucous and strident, to the pile driving guitars that dissolve into playful little acoustic struts. Outsiders gets my vote so far.

    And that's it. work calls...

    • gwalla said...
    • User
    • 9 Mar 2012, 06:25

    Re: Re: Re: Post & Discuss Your Weekly Charts

    mugginz said:

    7. Massive Attack vs. Mad Professor

    When this came out, I absolutely hated it. Echo-drenched it is but it drove me mad. Maybe, I'm not that much of a prof. or maybe it needs revisiting...
    I loved it from the first time I listened to it. It was so utterly unlike anything I'd heard before.

    brianshazaaam said:
    gwalla said:

    9. Paul Motian (13) — Listened to I Have The Room Above Her, which I picked up from the library on an old recommendation from the previous incarnation of this thread. It reminds me a lot of '50s cool jazz, at least in feel. A trio date with Motian on drums, joined by Joe Lovano on tenor sax and Bill Frisell (the man is everywhere!) on guitar.
    Hmm, I really never thought that trio sounded like 50s cool jazz, but then I don't really know too much 50s cool jazz. Who would you suggest they sound like from that era?
    Not sure I'd say they sound like anybody in particular from that era. It's more a general mood they have in common, laid back and with a minimum of pyrotechnics. Maybe some Chet Baker, just a little.

    mugginz said:
    Finally have a bit of time to scribble about my last 3 months chart rather than the weekly one...
    1. Sun City Girls - After discovering that the Master Musicians of Bukakke included Alan Bishop who was a mainstay of SCG, I decided to check out a few of their albums. I had thought they were just a bog standard post punk outfit for some reason and never bothered giving them a chance. Listened to 330,003 Crossdressers From Bey and Torch of the Mystics, which is just the tip of the iceberg. They must have made over 30 albums from the early 80s till 2007 when Charles Gocher's death effectively ended their prolific output. Like MMoB, they draw from a range of music styles and subject matter. Check out Soi Cowboy, which is an intoxicating Isan tune that sounds crazier than the music from that region in Thailand even as it is sung during the drunken shenanigans you encounter on that soi in Bangkok .On the whole, I preferred Torch of the Mystics though, especially Esoterica of Abyssynia, with Sir Richard Bishop's psychedelic / surf guitar work.
    Now this sounds interesting. I'll have to look for it.

    2. Amon Tobin - Still enjoying his latest offering especially the stuttering dubstep tinged Bedtime Stories. Kicks any dubstep cliches into touch and stamps his own mark on it. Much prefer this album to previous ones.Wait, there's a new Amon Tobin album? Why didn't anybody tell me?

    Wish I could find my copy of Out From Out Where...

    3. The Flashbulb - Finally checked out another of his albums after liking Soundtrack To A Vacant Life. Red Extensions of Me took a while for me to get into but am enjoying it a lot more now. I was led to believe it would be breakcore heavy but although it's a little hectic in places, it's has more drum & bass than outright breakcore and it's also layered with soothing guitar and piano passages. I suppose tracks like Lawn Wake II do invoke Venetian Snares but in general this is more Squarepusher and a calming undertone is always there. Recommended.I've only got a couple of tracks from that album. Sounds like I really should get the whole thing.

    6. Flying Lotus - For me, Cosmogramma never quite settles into a groove and in that way it is both interesting and challenging but also frustrating. Do the Astral Plane just about does it for long enough and you feel the warm possibilities coming through but then you are returned to the awkward sounding juxtapositions that deny you a comfort zone. Sometimes I love it, other times it annoys but I always go back for more.I was really impressed with that album. In fact, I think I'll stick it in tomorrow's playlist.

    • mugginz said...
    • User
    • 14 Mar 2012, 05:39

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Post & Discuss Your Weekly Charts

    gwalla said:

    Wait, there's a new Amon Tobin album? Why didn't anybody tell me?

    Wish I could find my copy of Out From Out Where....

    I did mention it in my previous chart list. It's a good album and you can see him assimilating a lot of different styles and almost effortlessly rising above so many other artists trying similar things.

    gwalla said:

    I've only got a couple of tracks from that album. Sounds like I really should get the whole thing..

    I rate it. Am getting into other releases now and am on a bit of a 'bulb' overdose at the moment. All good though. I especially like how even when he's churning up steam on the beats and nob twiddling, it always has this supremely calming effect.

    • gwalla said...
    • User
    • 16 Mar 2012, 06:49

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Post & Discuss Your Weekly Charts

    mugginz said:
    gwalla said:

    Wait, there's a new Amon Tobin album? Why didn't anybody tell me?

    I did mention it in my previous chart list. It's a good album and you can see him assimilating a lot of different styles and almost effortlessly rising above so many other artists trying similar things.
    You did? Damn, I must be going blind in my old age.

    gwalla said:

    I've only got a couple of tracks from that album. Sounds like I really should get the whole thing..

    I rate it. Am getting into other releases now and am on a bit of a 'bulb' overdose at the moment. All good though. I especially like how even when he's churning up steam on the beats and nob twiddling, it always has this supremely calming effect.
    That's true. He's the most chilled-out IDM producer I know of.

    My latest:

    1. Flying Lotus (18) - Listened to Cosmogramma, like I said I would. Funny thing, I'd previously marked Picked! with one star, which is how I set tracks aside for deletion when I decide I really don't like them (it keeps them from coming up in regular rotation), but this week it stood out as my favorite. Weird. It's not at one star anymore...

    2. Paul Motian (15) - Listened to Time And Time Again, another album with the same trio as on I Have The Room Above Her. Jazz that doesn't swing so much as saunter.

    3. György Ligeti (14) - The Ligeti Project, Vol. 4 features the Hamburg Concerto (for horn and chamber orchestra), Double Concerto for Flute, Oboe, and Orchestra, Ramifications for string orchestra, and Requiem. Ligeti is a composer I've been meaning to check out for some time, and I was knocked out. Dense, dissonant, thorny, and beautiful. Reminds me a bit of Stravinsky and Bartók, but with even more experimentation with sonorities. I'm not sure I understand Ligeti's concept of "micropolyphony", but the pieces sure sound good.

    4. Mavis Staples & Lucky Peterson (13) - Spirituals & Gospel: Dedicated to Mahalia Jackson. Something I picked up from the library on a whim. A collection of traditional spirituals sung with conviction by Staples, accompanied by Peterson on Hammond B3 organ. Peterson's an odd choice: he normally plays a slick urban kind of blues, and mostly plays guitar, but he proves to be a very capable organist as well. Very good interpretations of classics like Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen, He's Got The Whole World In His Hands, I'll Fly Away From Here, Go Down Moses, and Swing Low Sweet Chariot. Not usually my kind of music but a fine album.

    4. 久石譲 (13) - Joe Hisaishi, Hayao Miyazaki's go-to film music composer. Listened to the soundtrack to Miyazaki's Nausicaä of the Valley of Wind. The use of synth dates it somewhat, but it's a nice soundtrack. In particular, the use of a sing-song children's chant to represent the giant pillbugs called Ohmu really adds a lot to the film.

    6. Wes Montgomery (11) - Full House, an album I picked up a while back because (a) I like Montgomery, and (b) it says right on the front that it was recorded live in my hometown. Here the guitar great plays with Johnny Griffin on tenor sax, Wynton Kelly on piano, Paul Chambers on bass, and Jimmy Cobb on drums. Good stuff, though it doesn't reach the heights of Jazz Guitar, his best album IMO.

    7. The Crystal Method (9) - The big beat movement has long since faded into electronic music history, but Vegas is still a damn fine album.

    8. Aaron Copland (7) - Copland's best known for his "American populist" works such as Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, and Rodeo (beef: it's what's for dinner). But that's not all there was to him. Listened to Copland: The Modernist, performed by the San Francisco Symphony under the baton of Michael Tilson Thomas, which features the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, the Orchestral Variations, the Short Symphony, and the Symphonic Ode. This was prompted by going to a SF Symphony concert that included the Orchestral Variations on a program along with a couple of my favorite composers. I'd filed Copland away as "pleasant, but not very interesting" long ago, but this revealed a side of him that I'd been unaware of.

    9. 安室奈美恵 (6) - Scattered tracks. Namie Amuro is a Japanese pop idol noted for her relatively deep and rich voice (compared to the high, piping voices that are the norm in J-pop) and for a (mild) dance music influence, which sparked a brief fad for the "amura" sound. The songs are, for the most part, standard idol singer fare (primarily love songs), though good at what they are. The requisite snippets of English in the lyrics don't contain any serious clunkers.

    9. Syzygys (6) - Various tracks from the Complete Studio Recordings. Last.FM reminded me I hadn't listened to them much in a while. This Japanese duo bases their avant-pop ditties around Harry Partch's Chromelodeon (a harmonium retuned to Patch's 43-tone-the-octave just intonation scale), with strangely catchy and charming results. Pick of the week: Suicide on a Fine Day.

    • [Deleted user] said...
    • User
    • 16 Mar 2012, 12:55
    I think it's a bit obvious what I've been playing obsessively this week. Lifelover. Also Akira Yamaoka, Combichrist, Garden of Sadness and Opeth too.

    • gwalla said...
    • User
    • 17 Mar 2012, 20:50
    Well, post your list and describe them.. :)

    • gwalla said...
    • User
    • 17 Mar 2012, 20:50
    (sorry about the double post)

  • 1. Califone (24) - Lo-fi blues mixed with electronic elements and an indie rock soul. Or something like that. An old favorite I really don't listen to enough. Plays from Roomsound.

    2. Pullman (18) - Chicago acoustic side project of members from Tortoise, The New Year, and REX. Plays from their second album Viewfinder, which does include some electric elements unlike their first. Darn good stuff if you like a mix of acoustic fingerstyle guitar and post-rock (which I do).

    3. Henry Threadgill (17) - That Threadgill isn't as well known as John Coltrane, or at least Eric Dolphy, is something of a travesty. Somehow manages to be both one of my favorite jazz composers and improvisors. Plays this week from one of his stellar 80s albums, Just The Facts And Pass The Bucket.

    4. Amon Tobin (12) - Y'all know Tobin. Plays from Permutation.

    4. The Dodos (12) - Creative and sentimental 00s singer-songwriter/indie rock. Plays from Beware The Maniacs and my favorite track from Visitor, The Season.

    6. Ben Williams (11) - Modern jazz with hip-hop and R&B influences (and strings!), featuring a tight band of new talent including Christian Scott, Gerald Clayton, Jaleel Shaw and the next guy on my chart. Pretty boss stuff, probably be spinning this a lot. Album is State of Art.

    7. Marcus Strickland (10) - Modern jazz saxophonist. Album is Twi-Life, a double album in which he leads two different bands. The first disc is an acoustic band of Robert Glasper on piano, bassist Vicente Archer, and brother E.J. Strickland on drums. The second group is an electric quartet with Glasper swapped out for guitarist Lage Lund and Archer for Brad Jones on electric bass. This week listened to the electric disc. Solid stuff.

    8. Glenn Jones (8) - More acoustic fingerstyle guitar goodness from the guitarist of Cul de Sac. One of my favorite post-Fahey style guitarists. Album: Against Which The Sea Continually Beats.

    8. Choking Victim (8) - 90s anarcho-punk/hardcore. An old high school favorite I decided to throw on. Not the same as it used to be, but interesting to hear.

    8. Couch (8) - German post-rock of the early Tortoise variety. Album: Profane.

    8. The Field (8) - Micro-house? I think this is Micro-house. As much as I love electronic music, I can never keep up with the hyper-genrefication. Either way, great late night jams. Album: From Here We Go Sublime (which is really an appropriate title for this).

    • gwalla said...
    • User
    • 24 Mar 2012, 07:08
    brianshazaaam said:
    3. Henry Threadgill (17) - That Threadgill isn't as well known as John Coltrane, or at least Eric Dolphy, is something of a travesty. Somehow manages to be both one of my favorite jazz composers and improvisors. Plays this week from one of his stellar 80s albums, Just The Facts And Pass The Bucket.
    I've got two Threadgill albums (Zooid, specifically: This Brings US To vols. 1 & 2), but I don't really get him. I think maybe they were the wrong place to start. Any suggestions?

    6. Ben Williams (11) - Modern jazz with hip-hop and R&B influences (and strings!), featuring a tight band of new talent including Christian Scott, Gerald Clayton, Jaleel Shaw and the next guy on my chart. Pretty boss stuff, probably be spinning this a lot. Album is State of Art.Whoa, that track you linked knocked me out. Great stuff! Gotta find this.

    On to my latest:

    1. Saul Williams (39) - Picked up The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust. A hip hop record produced by, of all people, Trent Reznor. Plus, if that wasn't enough, he covers Sunday Bloody Sunday! A whole bunch of weird decisions. But, while there are some places where it sounds like Nine Inch Nails with a different vocalist, for the most part it works (and the cover is really good! Saul's actually a pretty good singer). Track of the week is Scared Money, with its horn-driven, laid-back reggae loop contrasting with Williams' aggressive flow, though it's a tough choice between that and WTF?.

    2. Barenaked Ladies (29) - Listened to Gordon. Everybody's heard the big hit from this album, If I Had $1000000 ("I'd buy you a green dress / But not a real green dress, that's cruel"), and there's an element of humor to a lot of their songs, but they've also got some very good "serious" songs as well, like Brian Wilson, that I think get short shrift. Still, my pick of the week is New Kid (On the Block), a joke song from the point of view of a member of the eponymous '80s boy band. "I'm a New Kid on the Block / 'Though I may not be Johann Sebastian Bach / So we may not write the songs we sing / But look at Elvis, he sold his soul and you crowned him King"

    3. Goldfrapp (28) - The album was Supernature. I managed to miss the whole electroclash movement, the great '80s-revival-with-a-twist synth-pop resurgence, when it was underway, but I'm glad I did find it eventually. Great pop hooks and Alison Goldfrapp's breathy but powerful voice. Pick of the week: Ooh La La.

    4. Vitalic (25) - Flashmob. Electronic music. I have no idea what genre this would be considered: techno? house? Vitalic is just Vitalic. It manages to sound very mechanical while also having a groove. Pick of the week: One Above One.

    5. The Police (20) - Zenyatta Mondatta. This was on clearance at Amoeba Music. This is early Police, when the reggae influence was still obvious, but one of the nice things about The Police is how Stewart Copeland would keep the rhythms interesting. While they cultivated a "New Wave" image (including all of them dying their hair blond to look "punk"), they had jazz and prog rock backgrounds, which resulted in a more sophisticated art rock approach (especially in later albums, but still noticeable early on) while keeping to more single- (and radio-) friendly song lengths. They apparently consider this their weakest album, but even still, it has several memorable tracks: Don't Stand So Close to Me, Driven To Tears, Canary In A Coalmine, Man In A Suitcase, and of course De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da (though I can OD on that one pretty quickly). As a child of the '80s, I grew up on this music, even though we never owned this particular album (we did have Ghosts In The Machine and Synchronicity on vinyl)

    6. Henry Cowell (18) - The past couple of weeks, the San Francisco Symphony was doing an "American Mavericks" festival devoted to modern American composers. That's something I'm really into, so I got tickets to a few of the concerts (the Copland performance I mentioned last week was one of them). Two of them featured pieces by Cowell: a chamber music program included some of his pieces for solo piano, and one of the full orchestra programs included his Piano Concerto. He's best known for his piano writing, which makes use of extended techniques, including strumming the strings inside (Aeolian Harp), scraping them (Banshee), and, most famously, "tone clusters" played by pressing the whole hand or even the whole forearm down on the keys (The Tides of Manaunaun and many others), a technique he became so associated with that Béla Bartók once wrote him to ask permission to use the technique in his own work. These plays are from a CD of his music I got at the Symphony store, American Piano Concertos, with Stefan Litwin on the keys, which includes the concerto. It also has several solo pieces (some of which I already had on an excellent disc by Sorrel Doris Hays, Piano Music Of Henry Cowell), and a
    set of four pieces for piano and orchestra that are later arrangements of some of those solo piano pieces, which I found interesting.

    6. Everything But the Girl (18) - Walking Wounded. I've had the EP Everything but the Girl vs. Drum & Bass (which is all remixes of Walking Wounded) since college, but only now got the album itself. Pretty good trip-hop. Tracey Thorn has a great voice. Picks of the week are the title track and Big Deal.

    8. Dirty Three (16) - Toward The Low Sun. Post-rock, mostly acoustic. When I bought this, the guy at the counter said "The new Dirty Three. I've heard this. It's...pretty much what I expected". That's kinda how I feel too. It's good, but...it pretty much sounds just like their previous work. It's all pleasant but interchangeable.

    8. Lou Harrison (16) - The opening concert for the American Mavericks festival included a piece by Harrison, one of my favorite modern composers (actually, one of my favorite composers, period): the uncharacteristically thorny but still rewarding Concerto for Organ and Percussion Orchestra. That was a couple of weeks ago. These plays are mostly from a CD I bought at the Symphony store after the concert, Just West Coast: microtonal music for guitar and harp, which includes Harrison's Suite No. 2 and Six Sonatas alongside pieces by La Monte Young, Harry Partch, and John Cage (Last.FM has samples of the album if you're curious). Also, on a CD I borrowed from the library, his incredibly gorgeous Symphony No. 2 "Elegiac". All of these pieces were new to me and are great. Harrison is heavily influenced by asian music (especially Indonesian gamelan) and uses a lot of microtonal tunings, all in service of great melodies.

    10. Lucas (14) - Lucacentric. Another one I picked up on clearance. Hip-hop with jazz elements. I was pretty disappointed in this; the one track I knew from it, the great Lucas With the Lid Off, which I already had on mp3, is really the only memorable track on it. Oh well, I only paid a couple of bucks for it so I don't feel that bad. He namedrops Kool Keith on at least two tracks, which is kind of odd since their styles could not be more different.

    Edited by gwalla on 25 Mar 2012, 05:25
  • gwalla said:
    2. Paul Motian (15) - Listened to Time And Time Again, another album with the same trio as on I Have The Room Above Her. Jazz that doesn't swing so much as saunter.
    Glad to see you're getting into this group. I haven't picked up Time And Time Again yet, so far I've listened to I Have... and two earlier albums, One Time Out from '89 and Trioism from '93, the latter with the great Dewey Redman subbing for Joe Lovano on one track. Love your description of it as "jazz that saunters."

    I've got two Threadgill albums (Zooid, specifically: This Brings US To vols. 1 & 2), but I don't really get him. I think maybe they were the wrong place to start. Any suggestions?Yea, his new Zooid stuff is a bit more "difficult" than his earlier albums. You can't go wrong with any of his 80s albums, I'm particularly fond of Just The Facts... and Rag, Bush and All. The Vijay Iyer Trio actually does a version of one of his tune from his 90s electric band (Little Pocket Size Demons from Too Much Sugar For A Dime), but I'm not yet terribly familiar with that period.

    Whoa, that track you linked knocked me out. Great stuff! Gotta find this.It's pretty badass, I wish he used strings on more of the tracks on that album. I need to find more modern jazz with strings, the only other album I can think of offhand is Terence Blanchard's A Tale of God's Will (A Requiem For Katrina).

    8. Lou Harrison (16) - ... Harrison is heavily influenced by asian music (especially Indonesian gamelan) and uses a lot of microtonal tunings, all in service of great melodies.This sounds like something I'd really enjoy, I'll have to look into his stuff.

    • gwalla said...
    • User
    • 30 Mar 2012, 07:30
    1. Fred Frith (57) - Step Across The Border. Found this on a share blog and grabbed it because I've enjoyed Frith's work in several groups, from the '70s Henry Cow to French Frith Kaiser Thompson and Death Ambient. This is technically the soundtrack to a film, but since the film is a documentary about Frith it's really more of an overview of sorts of his solo work. Frith is an avant-garde rock guitarist, though that's oversimplifying things a bit: on this album he plays several other instruments (including some scratch-built ones), and stylistically ranges from avant-folk (Too Much Too Little) to wild improvisations. Just about the only constant is excellent musicianship.

    2. Stereolab (50) - Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements and The First of the Microbe Hunters. Picked up from the clearance bin. I'd been meaning to check out this band for ages. Transient Random-Noise Bursts features a guitar distortion wall-of-sound that is reminiscent of shoegaze, but more dissonant and erratic. Pick of the week: Tone Burst.

    3. Slapp Happy (26) - 1998's Ça Va. From the same share blog as the Frith. Art rock, but far different from their '70s avant-progressive work that I'd heard before, like their collaborations with Henry Cow. Singer Dagmar Krause has jettisoned her earlier cold, Lotte Lenya-esque vocal style and almost sounds like a torch singer at times. Tuneful and interesting. Pick of the week: King of Straw.

    4. Ludwig van Beethoven (21) - It struck me that I listen to the baroque (especially Bach) and earlier, and to 20th century and later art music, but I'm really not that familiar with what came in between, which is kind of embarrassing. I'd even say I like Beethoven...I just can't say I know his work that well. So I'm trying to remedy that a bit. Listened to several symphonies (1,2,4,5, and 6). The Fifth (dun dun dun DUNNN) is hard to beat.

    4. Van Halen (21) - For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. More stuff from the clearance bin. This is Sammy Hagar-era VH (and I'm not going to get into the Roth-Hagar wars). The best track on it is the single, Right Now, but The Dream Is Over is interesting too. Spanked makes me chuckle: when this album came out, the coy references to mild BDSM probably seemed pretty daring.

    6. Rahsaan Roland Kirk (18) - The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color. Picked this up because it was labelled "out of print". A weird album (but then, it is Rahsaan Roland Kirk), it seems to be some sort of concept album due to the (rambling) intro and several tracks with identical names, including 6 short tracks all listed as "Dream". It also features two different versions of Scott Joplin's The Entertainer, including one recast as a blues.

    7. Dr. Steel (15) - Read Along Album. Mad scientist industrial hip-hop, because why not?

    8. Trash80 (14) - Icarus. Some pretty spiffy chiptunes from the 8bitpeoples netlabel. The soundtrack to a nonexistent Nintendo game.

    9. Richard Yardumian (11) - Listened to Richard Yardumian, Symphony No. 2, which also includes his Armenian Suite. Yardumian was a 20th century Armenian-American composer with a flair for counterpoint who, I think, should be better known. He developed his own method of twelve-tone composition, unrelated to Shonberg's better known tone row technique, based on stacks of alternating major and minor thirds; the Symphony No. 2 (a choral "symphony of psalms") uses this "chromatic quadratic" technique.

    10. Dieselboy (9) - Scattered tracks. A little D'n'B to keep things lively.

  • gwalla said:
    1. Fred Frith (57)
    I need to get more into Frith, I only him a little bit from Henry Cow and his 1974 solo album Guitar Solos.

    2. Stereolab (50) - Transient Random-Noise Bursts with Announcements and The First of the Microbe Hunters. Picked up from the clearance bin. I'd been meaning to check out this band for ages. Transient Random-Noise Bursts features a guitar distortion wall-of-sound that is reminiscent of shoegaze, but more dissonant and erratic. Pick of the week: Tone Burst.I'm glad someone else noticed the shoegaze influence on early Stereolab.

    6. Rahsaan Roland Kirk (18) - The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color. Picked this up because it was labelled "out of print". A weird album (but then, it is Rahsaan Roland Kirk), it seems to be some sort of concept album due to the (rambling) intro and several tracks with identical names, including 6 short tracks all listed as "Dream". It also features two different versions of Scott Joplin's The Entertainer, including one recast as a blues.I love Kirk, but I can't get into that album. He tends to lose me with his 70s albums.

    • mugginz said...
    • User
    • 2 Apr 2012, 08:59
    Had a few problems with the puta so my charts are based on unscrobbled tracks on my mp3 player...
    1. Sun City Girls have been the mainstay for the last week or so. Moved on to the double album Dante's Disneyland Inferno. It's very different to the previous two albums I had been listening to, mostly spoken word from Charles Gocher, which reminds one of The Residents in places, Burroughs in others but also Zappa (that sardonic anti 'cool' humour) and when the music does kick in and the band break into song, it's almost in drunken celebration of the perverse absurdity of it all, Bitter Cold Countryside for example. Hell, they even do Tom Waits out of a job on Book of Revelations. The album's title more or less sums it all up, delving into the abyss with a Mickey Mouse outfit on. Great find!

    2. John Zorn - Hadn't listened to him for a while and after playing a few Ornette Coleman tracks on my mp3 player, I decided to listen to Zorn's renditions of Coleman on Spy vs Spy again, which led to scattered tracks from other albums. I do like the variety, every album is different.

    3. Also listened to various tracks from The Residents' albums. Do like Mark Of The Mole for its almost comforting bed time story spookiness.

    Others still doing the rounds include The Flashbulb (kinda overdosed on him now so may have to go back once I've had a break), Tortoise (still enjoying TNT) and Mr. Gnome (for some reason, their latest just does it for me).
    Otherwise just scattered favourite tracks on random play...

    • gwalla said...
    • User
    • 3 Apr 2012, 04:50
    brianshazaaam said:
    gwalla said:
    1. Fred Frith (57)
    I need to get more into Frith, I only him a little bit from Henry Cow and his 1974 solo album Guitar Solos.
    I recommend this since it covers a lot of ground, and the second French Frith Kaiser Thompson album, Invisible Means, which is one of my favorite albums, period.

    6. Rahsaan Roland Kirk (18) - The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio ColorI love Kirk, but I can't get into that album. He tends to lose me with his 70s albums. It's pretty uneven. Lots of filler. The two versions of The Entertainer are pretty great though.

    mugginz said:
    1. Sun City Girls have been the mainstay for the last week or so. Moved on to the double album Dante's Disneyland Inferno. It's very different to the previous two albums I had been listening to, mostly spoken word from Charles Gocher, which reminds one of The Residents in places, Burroughs in others but also Zappa (that sardonic anti 'cool' humour) and when the music does kick in and the band break into song, it's almost in drunken celebration of the perverse absurdity of it all, Bitter Cold Countryside for example. Hell, they even do Tom Waits out of a job on Book of Revelations. The album's title more or less sums it all up, delving into the abyss with a Mickey Mouse outfit on. Great find!
    Okay, I'm sold.

    3. Also listened to various tracks from The Residents' albums. Do like Mark Of The Mole for its almost comforting bed time story spookiness.I gotta find my copy of The Commercial Album. Actually, that's not quite right. I know where it is, I just need to get the guy who's got it to bring it back. :/

    • gwalla said...
    • User
    • 8 Apr 2012, 07:00
    1. The Yardbirds (62) — The Studio Sessions 1964-1967. The most important second-string British Invasion band. Not as well known (at least in the States) as The Beatles or the Rolling Stones, or even The Kinks or The Animals, yet this band featured at different times guitar work by Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Jimmy Page, including a brief Beck/Page double lead lineup. As this disc shows, they started out like many after the death of the skiffle fad playing mostly rhythm & blues based rock & roll, but took a chance with the early psychedelic pop tune For Your Love, which was a hit. Clapton, in a fit of purism, left in protest because he thought they were getting too far away from the blues, and was replaced by Beck; ironically, some of their most purely bluesy work came after Clapton left, while Clapton would dive headfirst into psychedelic rock with Cream. After they broke up, Page put together a band that he originally called "The New Yardbirds", but when told that it would "go over like a lead balloon", changed the name to Led Zeppelin. Lots of great songs here. Heart Full of Soul is a personal favorite (though not the sitar version; the sitar works fine for the Indian-influenced melodic lead but not so much the chordal parts, and the heavy reverb on the vocals detracts). Shapes Of Things, recorded for the soundtrack to Blow Up, is a psychedelic rock classic. Also, the sole Beck/Page track in this collection, Stroll on, is dynamite. Sure, it's just new lyrics to Train Kept a Rollin' (which they'd done a great version of earlier with just Beck), but they really tear it up. The only track I can really do without is My Girl Sloopy, a pretty standard R&B number horribly marred by the fact that the girl's name is freakin' "Sloopy".

    2. Beastie Boys (37) — Put Paul's Boutique in my iPod rotation. Not my favorite of their albums, but it's got some good stuff on it. It seems like a transitional album: they'd started branching out in their rhyme material past their early party-rap style, and the beats were more sample-heavy, but they still feel pretty bare-bones and had not yet developed the funky, off-kilter sound of albums like Check Your Head, Ill Communication, and beyond. It does have some really good tracks even if I don't think they're their best: Shake Your Rump, Hey Ladies, Shadrach.

    3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (35) — I may be the only person on Earth who could jump right in on Harry Partch and Henry Cowell, but has to acquire a taste for Mozart. Like Beethoven the week before, this is me trying to familiarize myself with the repertory that everybody else knows. "Acquiring a taste" is probably not really the right term: it's not that I found it unpleasant before, it's just that between the dense polyphony of the Baroque, and the exciting harmonic and rhythmic experiments of the moderns, this stuff always seemed too genteel to really interest me. Now I'm trying to get over my prejudice. It still tends to fade into the background for me if I'm not paying full attention, but I'm getting better. Last week was mainly dedicated to symphonies: No. 35 "Haffner", No. 36 "Linz", No. 39, No. 40, and No. 41 "Jupiter". I liked the last two the most, particularly No. 40.

    4. Vijay Iyer Trio (29) — Somehow I had forgotten to put Historicity on my iPod. Whoops! Fixed that this week. Pick of the week: Galang (Trio Riot Version), which manages to turn a song that's honestly a little annoying and turn it into pure gold. Is the new album out yet?

    5. Saskrotch (26) — Nintendo Breakz Volume One. Brief (around half a minute long) breakcore remixes of BGM from classic Nintendo games like The Legend of Zelda, Excite Bike, and Super Mario Bros. 3. Good fun, but the tracks are way too short (the originals were written to loop, he couldn't remix more than one iteration?). Also, it kind of bugs me that he gives all tracks from the same game the same title.

    6. Alec Empire (24) — Hypermodern Jazz 2000.5. Downtempo IDM, infinitely more chilled-out than his work with Atari Teenage Riot. You almost wouldn't recognize it as the work of the same guy, if it wasn't for his trademark use of white noise hissing. The title is probably to suggest the laid-back atmosphere and unsteady pulse, but you couldn't really call this stuff jazz. Pick of the week: God Told Me How to Kiss, which is built around a looped vocal sample that doesn't line up with the beat, which has a very strange effect.

    7. Alan Hovhaness (21) — The Hovhaness Collection, vol. 2. A 20th century Armenian-American composer I like, who combines an interest in asian music and the natural world with a gift for melody, a Romantic approach to evocative gestures, and a Baroque mastery of counterpoint. He was incredibly prolific: by the end of his life his opus numbers went up to 434, including a whopping 67 numbered symphonies, and that's after he burned his early works (apparently about 500 of them) and started over at opus 1. Unfortunately, he can be uneven—he could have benefited from a little more self-criticism even if it meant fewer pieces—but when he's good he's great. The Prelude and Quadruple Fugue is a tour de force of contrapuntal writing. The Symphony No. 50 "Mount St. Helens" is about the mountain in Washington, and uses rumbling percussion, trombone glissandi, and trumpet fanfares to evoke the famous eruption. Symphony No. 2 "Mysterious Mountain", probably his best known work, features a great double fugue for a second movement. The suite from String Quartet No. 2 includes a gamelan-inspired movement. And God Created Great Whales is a generally strong piece marred by the use of recorded whale song, which makes it seem like something you could have heard over the store PA at The Nature Company if the strings weren't quite so nervy.

    8. Discus (17) — 1st. An Indonesian(!) prog rock group. They seem determined not to stick to any identifiable style, and their tracks are all over the map, ranging from prog rock to jazz to bordering on modern composition; they even incorporate some gamelan influence in places. Unfortunately, the quality is also all over the map, from the very cool suite Contrasts: Opening & Meditation / Gambang Suling / Q/A & Odd Time Improvisations / Ostinato (Metal Attack!) / Lydian Piano Theme & Minor Dance / Gambang Suling to the insufferable smooth-fusion pablum of For This Love.

    9. György Ligeti (15) — Still getting into this composer. The Ligeti Project, Vol. 3 Disc 1, which includes the Cello Concerto, Clocks And Clouds, Violin Concerto, and the song cycle Sippal, Dobbal, Nádihegedũvel: Weöres Sándor Verseire. I didn't care much for the cello concerto—it's a whole lot of nothing happening—but Clocks And Clouds is a very interesting piece where polyrhythms morph into masses of sound (and features a wordless chorus notated in the International Phonetic Alphabet, which is kind of a neat idea). I'm reminded a bit of experimental shoegazers lovesliescrushing. Unlike the amelodic cello concerto, the violin concerto has lovely melodies, particularly the aria in the second movement, and Ligeti plays around with juxtaposing microtonal scordatura on the violin and viola and the untempered harmonic series on the horns against other, normally tuned instruments. The song cycle, for mezzo-soprano and percussion, wasn't really to my taste (but I'm not all that big on art song in general).

    10. Freestyle Fellowship (14) — Finally listened to Innercity Griots. It didn't really do it for me, though. I did like Heavyweights.

    • mugginz said...
    • User
    • 9 Apr 2012, 09:21
    gwalla said:
    6. Alec Empire (24) — Hypermodern Jazz 2000.5. Downtempo IDM, infinitely more chilled-out than his work with Atari Teenage Riot. You almost wouldn't recognize it as the work of the same guy, if it wasn't for his trademark use of white noise hissing. The title is probably to suggest the laid-back atmosphere and unsteady pulse, but you couldn't really call this stuff jazz. Pick of the week: God Told Me How to Kiss, which is built around a looped vocal sample that doesn't line up with the beat, which has a very strange effect.


    Haven't listened to that in some time. I seem to remember liking that album although I must say that most of his other stuff gets pretty annoying, pretty damn quick.

    gwalla said:
    10. Freestyle Fellowship (14) — Finally listened to Innercity Griots. It didn't really do it for me, though. I did like Heavyweights.


    The opening two tracks on that album do it for me but it does kinda dive from then on. Shammy's amuses though...

    • gwalla said...
    • User
    • 11 Apr 2012, 06:39
    1. Ludwig van Beethoven (51) — Mostly piano sonatas this time: No. 3 (dedicated to Joseph Haydn), No. 8 "Pathétique", No. 12 "Funeral March", No. 14 "Moonlight Sonata", No. 17 "The Tempest", No. 21 "Waldstein", No. 23 "Appassionata", No. 26 "Les Adieux", and No. 29 "Hammerklavier Sonata". Of those, I particularly liked the Appassionata, Moonlight, and Hammerklavier sonatas.

    2. Havergal Brian (45) — A 20th century British composer, one of the few with a working-class background, and self-taught. This is kind of cheating, since I only listened to his Symphony No. 1 "The Gothic" once through on a disc from Naxos that breaks each movement up into several short tracks, which inflates the playcount considerably. But it's not entirely cheating, since the symphony is in six movements and takes up a whole double CD all by itself. It's a massive work in more ways than one, featuring a complete Te Deum setting from the Catholic mass for the second half and requiring about a thousand musicians including four solo singers, four adult choirs, children's choir, and brass bands. Mahler's 8th is called the "Symphony of a Thousand", but that's just marketing hype from a promoter; Brian actually does it. It's powerful stuff too. It's his best known work, mostly due to notoriety for its size (it's in the Guinness Book of World Records), and partly because despite several breaks, Brian never really managed to take off; his other talent besides music seems to have been for sabotaging his own career. I'd like to hear more of his work.

    3. Violent Femmes (43) — Add It Up (1981-1993). I really liked these guys' big hits back in the '90s (Add It Up, Gone Daddy Gone), angry odes to teenage sexual frustration. They still hold up pretty well too. Pick of the week: Kiss Off.

    4. Los Straitjackets (31) — Twist Party. Lost Straitjackets are a surf guitar band (that plays in lucha libre masks), but this album is a bit of an anomaly because the tracks all have lyrics (sung by Kaiser George), and is a paean to the 1960s Twist dance craze (they include a cover of Peppermint Twist). Some of the tracks are pretty fun, but after a while all the variations on the lyrics "let's do the twist" start to grate. Pick of the week: The Mad Scientwist.

    5. Franz Joseph Haydn (26) — Another major classical figure I barely know. Haydn was Beethoven's teacher, and considered the father of the symphony and of the string quartet. This week I concentrated on symphonies: No. 44 in E minor "Funeral", No. 46 in B major, No. 59 in A major "Fire Symphony", No. 100 in G major "Military", and No. 101 in D major "The Clock". The Clock is the one that made the most impression. I could probably do with another run-through.

    6. Hoosier Hot Shots (24) — Everybody Stomp [Disc 3] Are You Havin' Any Fun?. More fun from the novelty-country-jazz band. This disc includes the classic From the Indies to the Andes in His Undies. The slide whistle gets a real workout on some of these numbers.

    7. The Bad Plus (20) — Prog. I really dig modern jazz takes on more recent pop and rock hits. I think it gets back to the original idea of "standards": improvising around tunes that the audience can recognize. The title of this album is a little odd, since none of the pieces they do on it are prog rock (the closest is Tom Sawyer, originally by Rush, but it's not one of their proggier tunes). I really like their cover of Everybody Wants to Rule the World (originally by Tears for Fears).

    8. Lou Harrison (14) — Lou Harrison: A Portrait. This disc, by the California Symphony, includes the Concerto In Slendro and the Symphony No. 4 "Last Symphony". The Concerto In Slendro, for violin, two tack-pianos (pianos with thumbtacks stuck in the hammers), celesta, and percussion (including galvanized garbage cans) is inspired by Indonesian gamelan, and uses an approximation of the Indonesian pentatonic slendro scale. Symphony No. 4 includes asian and Native American influences, and has one movement in the medieval European dance form called estampie. I'm not so fond of the fourth and final movement, which is a recitative setting some Native American coyote stories (the vocalist in this case is Al Jarreau, of all people) with orchestral accompaniment. Otherwise, great stuff. The album also includes one track that isn't included in this tally, because it was a collaboration with John Cage.

    9. Beastie Boys (9)
    10. The Yardbirds (7) — Spillover from last week.

    10. DANGERDOOM (7)
    10. Raymond Scott (7)
    10. Amon Tobin (7) — Random plays, mostly.

    10. French Frith Kaiser Thompson (7) — Invisible Means. Recommending this to brianshazaaam made me want to listen to it again.

  • Really hope to be able to start posting my charts again, but continue to be mondo busy.

    gwalla said:

    3. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (35) — I may be the only person on Earth who could jump right in on Harry Partch and Henry Cowell, but has to acquire a taste for Mozart. Like Beethoven the week before, this is me trying to familiarize myself with the repertory that everybody else knows.
    I seem to have a similar relationship with classical music, I'm a lot more familiar with modern minimalist/avant garde stuff than the more popular periods. Something I've also been trying to work on.

    4. Vijay Iyer Trio (29) — Is the new album out yet?It most definitely is.

    7. The Bad Plus (20) — Prog. I really dig modern jazz takes on more recent pop and rock hits. I think it gets back to the original idea of "standards": improvising around tunes that the audience can recognize.Funny you should mention this, I just happened to have recently put together two short posts on the subject, one focused on piano trios and the other on full bands.

    • gwalla said...
    • User
    • 15 Apr 2012, 06:53
    brianshazaaam said:

    gwalla said:

    4. Vijay Iyer Trio (29) — Is the new album out yet?
    It most definitely is.
    Sweet, must get.

    7. The Bad Plus (20) — Prog. I really dig modern jazz takes on more recent pop and rock hits. I think it gets back to the original idea of "standards": improvising around tunes that the audience can recognize.Funny you should mention this, I just happened to have recently put together two short posts on the subject, one focused on piano trios and the other on full bands.Nice posts! I especially like those Radiohead covers, and that version of Little Susie still knocks me out. The the one on full bands, I'd add the Steve Lehman Octet's Living In the World Today (Gza Transcription), which is a cover of a track from the album Liquid Swords by GZA/Genius of the Wu Tang Clan.

  • gwalla said:
    Sweet, must get.
    Yes, yes you must.

    Nice posts! I especially like those Radiohead covers, and that version of Little Susie still knocks me out. The the one on full bands, I'd add the Steve Lehman Octet's Living In the World Today (Gza Transcription), which is a cover of a track from the album Liquid Swords by GZA/Genius of the Wu Tang Clan.Thanks! If you like Radiohead covers, you should check out Chris Potter's version of Morning Bell on his album Underground (I would have included it, but I couldn't find a video of it). Thanks for the heads up on the Lehman tune, I hadn't realized he had any covers on that album.

    • gwalla said...
    • User
    • 20 Apr 2012, 07:05
    1. Ludwig van Beethoven (24) — This week it was the "Hammerklavier" Sonata (No. 29), the Große Fugue (in both string quartet and piano four hands versions), the 6th Symphony "Sinfonia Pastorale", and the epic choral 9th Symphony. The last was in a "historically informed performance" (apparently controversial) by the London Classical Players/Sir Roger Norrington that adheres to the metronome marks Beethoven wrote in the score. Orchestras don't always follow these, sometimes because it's felt that another tempo is more suitable, and sometimes because they don't always make sense at first glance. For example, Beethoven marks an allegro (fast) section and an adagio (slow) section with the same quarter note beats per minute. In the liner notes, Norrington explains why he thinks this is and how he interprets it. The performance is pretty good, and who can resist the Ode to Joy?

    2. Takeshi Terauchi & The Bunnys (23) — Put on both Let's Go Classics and Seichō Takeuchi-Bushi. Thanks go to WFMU's Beware of the Blog for this discovery. A Japanese surf band covering, on the former, popular classical pieces, and on the latter, traditional Japanese folk tunes, in the surf style. They make a strong case for both, sans kitsch. Pick of the week: Kazoe Uta.

    3. Magma (22) — Put on my best of playlist, which I'll admit is pretty long (a couple of hours of music), but then they are one of my favorite bands. Most of the studio albums are represented by a few tracks, with the exception of the first two before the zeuhl sound had really come together, and Merci, their ill-conceived and doomed attempt to go pop. Why they thought that going pop, from their Carl Orff-and-John Coltrane-drop-acid-together-and-read-Stranger In A Strange Land style, would be a good idea, I will never understand; it makes even less sense for them than it did for Gentle Giant. Anyway. Pick of the week is De Futura from Üdü Ẁüdü.

    4. Benga (21) — Scattered tracks, mostly from Diary of an Afro Warrior. Dubstep, of the pre-Skrillex, non-brostep variety, but not without aggression. Pick of the week: E Trips.

    5. Sonny Sharrock (18) — FINALLY GOT AHOLD OF Ask The Ages! I had to resort to Amazon's (boo!) mp3 downloads, but I got it. For some reason it hadn't registered on me that this album also features Pharaoh Sanders and Elvin Jones. Great lineup! And great playing. I think my favorite track is Many Mansions, but hell, it's all good.

    6. Orbital (17) — In Sides. I'm not sure which electronic genre this really belongs to, even ignoring the absurd balkanization of subgenres that electronic music is plagued by (I think only metalheads get more anal about specific sub-sub-subgenres). At any rate, this album is a favorite. Amazingly for a double album (well, the 2nd disc is a bonus disc featuring some singles and a couple of live mixes), there really isn't any filler. Later I found that other countries got different stuff on the bonus, so I tracked that down and it's also great, including the full-length version of The Box. Pick of the week: "Daddy, what does regret mean?" "Well, son, a funny thing about regret is that it's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't done. And by the way, when you see your mom this weekend, would you be sure and tell her Satan Satan Satan Satan"

    7. The Prodigy (11) — The Fat of the Land. I feel like they really peaked with this album. I'm not as fond of their earlier work (though Voodoo People is a good track), and I haven't been all that impressed with their more recent work either. But this one was one of the highlights of the brief "big beat" fad out of the UK. My favorites off of it are Breathe and Diesel Power, the latter featuring Kool Keith. I can't stand Smack My Bitch Up, though. Not only does the lyric's casual misogyny annoy me, but it's just boring.

    8. Cranky (10) — Japanese "rave" DJ who also does some piano stuff. Something I'd found out about years ago via iichan and a great flash vid featuring the awesome party 4u "holy nite mix". A lot of his music is available on his website: http://www.rave-slave.com/

    9. The Cars (8) — Threw on my best-of playlist. Some old favorites from my youth. We had a cassette of their Greatest Hits and I played the hell out of it as a kid. I was really disappointed when I got the DVD of Ghostbusters and they'd replaced Magic on the soundtrack with some more recent (and way out of place) throwaway track. They probably had to because of licensing, but still, boo.

    9. Spring Heel Jack (8) — Amassed. Picked this one up on the recommendation of your ABCs of 00s Jazz journal, brianshazaaam, and because I'd liked what I'd heard of Spring Heel Jack before (just a remix of Everything But the Girl). I was expecting a little drum & bass in here, but the jazz guests (of which there are a lot) really take center stage while Spring Heel Jack provides some barely-there electronic atmospherics. Not sure what I think of this yet.

    9. Paul Motian Trio (8) — You Took The Words Right Out Of My Heart: At the Village Vanguard. At the library's music section they had a small display of albums by artists who'd died in the past year. This is the same lineup—with Joe Lovano and Bill Frisell—as on the albums credited to Paul Motian solo. I can't pick one track to highlight; this is really the sort of album that you throw on and then just sit back & let wash over you.

    • mugginz said...
    • User
    • 23 Apr 2012, 07:23
    gwalla said:

    6. Orbital (17) — In Sides. I'm not sure which electronic genre this really belongs to, even ignoring the absurd balkanization of subgenres that electronic music is plagued by (I think only metalheads get more anal about specific sub-sub-subgenres). At any rate, this album is a favorite. Amazingly for a double album (well, the 2nd disc is a bonus disc featuring some singles and a couple of live mixes), there really isn't any filler. Later I found that other countries got different stuff on the bonus, so I tracked that down and it's also great, including the full-length version of The Box. Pick of the week: "Daddy, what does regret mean?" "Well, son, a funny thing about regret is that it's better to regret something you have done than something you haven't done. And by the way, when you see your mom this weekend, would you be sure and tell her Satan Satan Satan Satan"


    Never really got into these guys, although The Box is ok. The 'Satan' sample worked better for me when the Buttholes used it on Locust Abortion Technician.

    gwalla said:
    7. The Prodigy (11) — The Fat of the Land. I feel like they really peaked with this album. I'm not as fond of their earlier work (though Voodoo People is a good track), and I haven't been all that impressed with their more recent work either. But this one was one of the highlights of the brief "big beat" fad out of the UK. My favorites off of it are Breathe and Diesel Power, the latter featuring Kool Keith. I can't stand Smack My Bitch Up, though. Not only does the lyric's casual misogyny annoy me, but it's just boring.


    'Breathe' is probably the only track I like from them and Kool Keith actually came up with the lyrics for 'Smack my Bitch up' while still with Ultramagnetic MCs so not much originality coming from the Essex boys there.

    Must get back to work but will post soon I hope...

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