Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Admittedly, I've been less excited about BDB since the Fish record. Though I will say the the latest one has become a bit of a grower.

Damon was actually a little annoying the other night. Dare I say, smug? Self-indulgent at least. The show lacked intensity, and while there were certainly great moments (Once Around the Block, The Shining, and three or four from the new record were truly great, for ex), there was a lot of down-time, energy-wise, and a number of BDB's more recent songs showed themselves as banal piano singer-sowngriter efforts. Billy Joel, anyone? OK, that's a bit harsh. He seemed kind of in love with himself and indifferent to the audience at the same time - had to start songs again on three occassions when he forgot words or chords. Which I can deal with if it's honest or from nervousness. When he really lost me was when he took twenty minutes to introduce the band over a cheesy 60's soul bazz and drum groove ("take it down......OK....bring it up again"....I kid you not), and then didn't "have time" to play a number of the goodies from the first two records (I'm including About a Boy) .....well, poor judgment, if nothing else.

All in all, about a six out of ten. Looking forward to Friday's choices....meanwhile, back to reading about chimps tearing each other to bits.

Monday, November 29, 2004

btw, marc...while we may yet see i2i on wilco, i'm rapidly moving to your position on the jens lekman disc, which becomes increasingly cloy and irritating with each listen. sarah thanked me for turning it off the other day, something that usually only happens when i play eletronica.
even though i'm not keen on his last two albums i'm still pretty jealous that you got comped tickets for the show, brian. bastard!!!

i'll use the time i'm not watching free concerts to craft a haughtily worded treatise on 2 of my disc selections plus 1 of my top 5 songs of the year. though i can't promise wallowing or anything close to what stuart just came up with (i'm waiting for the abridgement), i will attempt to incorporate words like 'deftly' and 'replete' as often as possible.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Particularly smug this afternoon 'cause I'm on the guest list for tonight's Badly Drawn Boy show. Yeah baby.
Actually I have an egolilly disc and I had the following thoughts on it.
The narcissic manifestations of the egalitarian purvue simply resonated with a certain tempered wallowing of superficiality that seemed to condescend to the meager intellectual offerings suggested capable for the average listener. (Just practicing my review stye for the upcoming disc reviews)
That's the one thing we can always count on from you Brian. Smug, narcissistic wallowing. Can't wait to see how you incorporate the Egolillys in to each of your best of the year reviews.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

I just noticed Derek's notion of each of us choosing two disks each week (I normally gloss over Derek's contributions and look for the meatier input from Kyle, Marc, or Stu....or simply re-read mine, savouring my choices of words and refreshing, thought-provoking concepts), and will reluctantly agree, despite my enthusiasm to offer up Kyle as a week 1 sacrificial lamb.

Two selections in the first week, let's say by next Friday, I can probably handle, though it'll still require more thought than I was budgeting. Goddamn it.
Five weeks, five best of lists. Perfect. I'm in. Just not first. I will, however, be the first to nominate Kyle as the guinea pig.

Just to ease Marc's fears re Wilco I too am coming around to the pleasures of this disc. It was only this past weekend, listening to it for maybe the 6th or 7th time on my MD player, on a cold and overcast Saturday morning that it finally struck a chord. I don't think you can ever rush a Wilco record.

In contrast I picked up U2's latest on Tuesday given that it was available for $10.99, had been garnering decent reviews and the last disc I have of theirs is "Achtung Baby" and that was over a decade ago and like REM their mainstream success has never completely soured me on their music. The disc certainly has its merits the main one being that it's immediately likeable. Methinks however that like a Canadian in an Olympic 1500 metre race it wont stay the pace.

Like your idea Kyle with respect to our year end picks. Each of us should select 2 discs per week over the next 5 weeks and wax rhapsodic about them on the site. Looking forward to see who's been holding out with the hidden gems.
hey, i like and respect stuart even if he can't manage to crank out a sentence without multiple spelling errors so respecting someone who has a different take on a given piece of music or art barely rates a second thought. though we like similar types of films, i find my impressions diverge greatly from those of derek and brian on any number of films. for example, where brian will enthuse over any mediocre piece of crap released by an independent film company and derek will instinctively loathe any film i give an advance rave, i actually think about what i've seen and....okay, okay, kidding...

disagreement is far more interesting than agreement. as any book club member will attest, when there's a wide consensus on a given month's selection, the ensuing conversation is usually pretty dull and short-lived. when there is a lack of consensus, the ensuing conversation is still short-lived but is at least much livelier. if i haven't liked the book, i find i usually come to appreciate it a little better after hearing a spirited defense. i may not agree but at least i understand where that person is coming from.

we're coming up on the end of the year and i'm sure that we'll each want to share lists of our favourite discs or to posit the best releases of 2004. may i suggest that we take turns presenting and defending our top 5 or 10 discs, songs, etc. for the year. there are 5 of us presently contributing to the blog and coincidentally 5 weeks (after this one) until the end of the year so could spend a week on each person's list.

what say you?

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Incomplete thoughts on a provocative subject…

What I find curious about music, art, friends, life et al, is that I never know what is going to strike a chord with me… jump out of the crowd and turn me on in one way or another. For me, music (and so much else of what I deem to be important in life) speaks to me on so many different levels that can range from the intellectual to the purely visceral. Equally, I think we can each extract such differing qualities from any given stimulus.

I find it fascinating one can be drawn to a particular artist that someone else is also into, and yet you can not see eye to eye on their body of work. The new Wilco might be a prime example of this. I cannot get enough of the album, while Kyle who is a die hard Wilco fan is less than indifferent about it. Could it have something to do with the fact that it’s my first Wilco album? Will I be disappointed with Yankee Foxtrot when I finally pick it up? Will my expectations of Wilco be formed by their latest departures?

We are all individual looking for different things in art at any given time. Interesting how it is possible to so pass things by at one point in one's life and then be so drawn to it months or years later.

The problem with music (art) review is many fold. Firstly, I think that the majority of readers are looking for the quick fix…am I going to like this album or not…should I buy it…am I going to get into it. I think that the majority of music listeners never go deeper into their music than that. Are they the ones reading the reviews in the Globe, probably not. They are more likely picking up a free rag like now or eye. Rag writers may well lose many of their readers at the mention of complex concepts and argument; besides if they were capable of profound concepts and arguments they would be going for a job that did not suck, like at the Globe. I think that people rarely listen to music in a profound way and seek out reviews that are as superficial as the way they think about the music.

I think that much of what is released these days is sophomoric and does not stand up to serious criticism or thought. It’s easy to write a dissertation on, say Moby’s Play, but try to find something meaningful to say about yet another release by a prolific artist who might have done better work?…it gets a bit harder.

Unfortunately, the way we see things critically in our society is by comparison…..”I like London. It’s such a cool place, but Paris is so much more romantic” …”Timothy’s is o.k but Starbucks is way better”...“Kerry’s frightening but Bush is worse”. Things rarely stand alone to be judged on their own merits without reference because that reference becomes the common ground for describing or understanding…at least superficially. It’s the easy way out.

As for Metabeats Blog reviews, I’m all for them, but how can Kyle possibly respect my opinion when we can’t even see eye to eye on the latest Wilco! and how can any body respect someone who's a pathological cleptomaniac!
For those who aren’t digging the futbah repartee skip down a few paragraphs. For Brian and Derek, a few notes:

I read a lot the past week about how the Wally Buono/Pinball Clemmons matchup tilted more towards the Lions and I thought, huh? As coach of the Calgary Stampeders, a team that had the most regular season wins in the 1990s and that should have won 5 or 6 Grey Cups (they won 2, lost 3), he had a bit of a history of choking in big games, be it the title game or the western final. And so I figured if anything, Clemmons would bring more to his team in terms of intensity than would Buono.

A lot of sportswriters are giving Buono a (pardon the pun) pass for starting Dickenson over Printers but I’m saying you don’t leave the league MVP sitting on the bench. Other than the opening drive in the first quarter and the spirited scramble into the end zone in the fourth quarter (sending me into nervous fits), Dickenson was only average. Wouldn’t it have made sense to switch things up a bit for the second half by having Printers come in? Wouldn’t it have forced the Argos to change their game a bit?

Apart from the QB decision, I think the biggest mistakes B.C. made were:

1) Abandoning their running game when it appeared to be doing very well; is there an unwritten rule that says you have to pass at some point during your drive? I was tearing my hair out watching Antonio Warren barrel his way through the Argo D with abandon and then breathed a collective sigh of relief when they started attempting passes again. Had the Lions run on every other play, my team would have been in deep shit.

2) Punting the ball with 2:00 minutes remaining in the game. Why not go for it? It’s a lot easier to erase an 8-point deficit when you actually have the ball. Had the Lions gone for it on 3rd and presumably long, and missed, the Argos would have had the ball at around midfield. Which would have meant what? That B.C.’s defense would have had to stop Toronto from getting the first down. Well, don’t they have to stop Toronto from getting the first down after the punt? What does it matter where they stop them? Let’s say you do stop them at the 20 instead of the 50? The Argos punt and you get the ball back with, say, a minute left in the game? You’re back where you were before, around midfield, down 8 points, except this time with no timeouts and less time on the clock. Now as a Toronto fan, I was thrilled to see my team get the ball back and overjoyed when they picked up enough first downs to run out the clock and clinch victory, but I was thinking, “Man, I’m glad the Lions were stupid enough to give us the ball back”.

3) Punting short and wussily: not what you’d call an impressive special teams strategy. Alarmed by the prospect of the Argos returning the ball for great field position, the Lions decided to kick short and away which kept the ball away from the Argo return team and resulted in… the Argos getting great field position. Though they abandoned this strategy later in 2nd half to much success, the damage at that point was already done.

By contrast, Toronto’s offensive and defensive coordinators ran the best strategy they could with the players that they had. The defense let the Lions run but shut down the pass. The offence knew they couldn’t rely on getting by BC’s run defense so they passed a lot but mixed up the passing plays to pick apart the Lions’ rather weak secondary.

As a long suffering Leaf fan, I am especially grateful to the Toronto Argonauts for rewarding my support with 5 championships in my lifetime. Sometimes they’re terrible, sometimes they’re mediocre (as they were midway through this season), but the last few weeks, and on Sunday in particular, they were champions!

Back to the (great, btw) topic of music reviews…

I like music reviews. I like reading them and agreeing or disagreeing with the reviewer’s comments. If not for print/online reviews (and my close proximity to Derek’s ever expanding though largely unwrapped collection) where would I find out about good music? Certainly not from FM radio, at least here in Toronto and in most cities in the United States. While the Ryerson and UofT stations feature one or two decent programs, I’m usually not fortunate enough to be listening when these programs are aired; whenever my dial dips into the 88s and 89s I’m treated to dancehall reggae or a spirited discussion on the history of the labour movement in aboriginal communities.

[Side Note: Not that the Globe and Mail is the definitive word on music but I’d really like it if they reviewed more than one or two discs each week. Carl Wilson and Robert Everett-Green both contribute interesting pieces each Friday but I always find myself looking for more. Perhaps we could do away with the far-from-droll comics or have them supplant Saturdays’ repulsively flippant ‘hatch/match/dispatch’ feature in the Toronto section, to make way for an expanded music review section].

Now I love digging into the reviews in Now, Eye, Exclaim, the Rolling Stone, and various websites. But I take all the reviews I read with a grain of salt and I’m willing to enthusiastically disregard any discouraging piece if my heart is set on the disc or if I just have a feeling that I might like it. A record review, be it negative or positive in tone, is really just an expression of the writer’s experiences, biases, and preferences. In the case the local publications, a lot of the writers are young and attempting to make a name for themselves and so they ratchet up the hyperbole in order to establish a ‘voice’, however irrational or asshole-ish this voice may be (ahem, Mr. Perlich).

Reading reviews requires a strategy akin to that of deciphering the Film Festival Programme Book. Words like ‘driving’ and ‘forceful’ usually connote straightforward drumming, ‘expansive’ hints at the presence of long stretches of nothing but guitar, ‘textured’ means that some 40 different guitars were used and dubbed over one another in the editing, and ‘personal’ usually means that the sound quality is going to be crap.

I also look for consistency among reviews. If more than one source is telling me an album is worth checking out, or is describing that album in a way that appeals to me, than I'm more inclined to bite. That’s not to say that 5, 10 or 200 reviewers can’t be completely wrong (most praised the latest Wilco album which, despite repeated listening, I’ve yet to embrace) but if a trend emerges it does give me a clue as to what to expect. What would be nice is if there was a website along the lines of www.rottentomatoes.com that would compile all sorts of different reviews and give an overall positive/negative rating based on the content of each review.

As for longer reviews along the lines of NYT I’m all for it but I suspect that those who review discs often find themselves at a loss as to what to write about. This is why you get the inevitable comparisons/references to other, recognizable bands and silly proclamations like ‘A triumph...’ or ‘Shimmering brilliance...’.

My question for you: Are music reviews inherently limited because they are attempting to express in words what an artist is expressing in another medium, ie. through music?

Not that I’d embrace a review conveyed through a series of yodels or violin solos. And I recognize that the role that lyrics play in music but...I dunno...I suspect that music reviewers, perhaps unconsciously, recognize that they can't adequately describe that to which they have just listened.

Plenty o’ thoughts to share re: music reviews and, yes, the awesome Argonaut victory/piss poor decision-making by B.C. coach but first things first. Here’s the music that was brought and enjoyed/loathed last Monday evening:


Panda Bear – Young Prayer
Archer Prewitt – Genoa Songs
Fred Hersch Trio - +2
Death Cab for Cutie – Transatlanticism


The Hidden Cameras – Mississauga Goddam
Hugh Masekela – Grrr
The Futureheads – Self-Titled
Tyrannosaurus Rex – Unicorn
Devendra Banhart – Rejoicing in the Hands


The Arcade Fire – Funeral
K-OS – Joyful Rebellion
West Indian Girl – Self-Titled
Elliot Smith – From a Basement Apartment
Snow Patrol – Final Straw


Interpol – Antics
Jens Lekman – When I Said I Wanted to Be Your Dog
P18- Urban Cuban
Tinkertoy – Electric Wilderness


Brian Borcherdt – The Remains of Brian Borcherdt
Tom Waits – Used Songs
Jolie Holland – Escondida
Sindig – Violin Concerto No. 1 in A Major, Op. 45

Post-Argo victory gushing and deep, deep thoughts on the state of music reviewhood to come....

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The only thing stunning about the Argos victory was how stunningly stupid Wally Buono was as coach of a team that had all the tools to win the big one. Let me just say as a Ti-Cat fan in all seriousness that Mike Clemons and Damon Allen are two of the classiest individuals in the sporting or any other world and its extremely hard to be upset about them winning anything. Oh yeah and Mike O'Shea is still a world-class knob. He probably downs post-game pints with Marty York. Now back to the music.

First off, excellent topic. God knows with the proliferation of websites professing to be the last word and testament on what we should be listening to its certainly a timely subject. Personally I've always been a sucker for a glowing review. Now, perhaps more than ever given that my musical horizons have expanded to include almost all types of music.

Back in the early 80's I would read NME and Melody Maker with religious fervor and rush out to buy the latest import from Manchester or Glasgow based solely on their word that this record was the future of rock and roll. But they basically only covered that musical genre and my tastes surely didn't run to jazz, classical, country, rap, Mongolian skirl etc. Now though I pick up Exclaim and with the exception of the "Hard, Thrash Metal" section I feel I have to read every bloody review for the fear that I may miss the next big thing. (btw can someone explain why they feel the need to devote 3 or 4 pages to metal records)

So I am a sucker for reviews, good or bad. Unfortunately I spend as much time reading reviews as I do in immersing myself in the actual art. This is a problem.

There is no doubt that some venues are better than others when it comes to the art of the review. For example when NOW reviews a book they often devote barely 150 to 200 words and tell you its a 5 star book. So why not cut out the ads that are covering the remaining 90% of the page and give the book the space that it obviously merits. Suffice to say I ignore these reviews.

On the other hand, as Brian has mentioned to me several times, the NY Times Review of Books makes almost every book they review worthy of your undivided attention. Good review or bad the reviewers make you feel as if they have spent time with the book, and the authors body of work, and not merely skimmed it in order to dash off a quick review.

With music the reviews that I find the most annoying are those that spend their allotted 100 words telling you what other bands this record sounds like. Or like every review for Luna CDs since Penthouse or any Paul Westerberg album, telling you that this record wont win any new fans but will continue to please the faithful. How presumptious without really telling you anything about the musical progression the musicians have made.

I think Stuart has the right idea when he talks about a greater need to share the knowledge. Between the 5 of us it cuts a pretty deep and wide swath. I would be happy to read complete disc reviews by any of us right here. It doesn't do a record justice, 3 or 4 beers in, to say "this band's from Minneapolis and this disc rocks." Let's post some detailed album reviews, good and especially bad, on the blog. I think Brian has already started us off.
Re Reviewers;
Brian, I think its a very sharp double or triple edged sword. On the one hand I have had exactly the same experience you had with the smith disc. And been equally annoyed at the reviewer ( and myself moreso)....On the other hand I have been pointed to some truly beautiful music (like grant lee phillips last solo disc) ... which only came through reading reviews.
The other option of previewing discs reither at soundscapes or on the web (at all music guide) is equally dangerous because one ends up more likely to pick up music which is initially approachable, (and therefore usually quickly tiresome)...
Perhaps the best approach is to do what marc does and simply steal them ... just kidding..perhaps the best approach is to share the discs we have more sistematically, in other words share in larger quantities but record who has what. Listening repeatedly is the only way. I guess downloading off the web is the other option for some...
Derek is likely in a deep depression over the stunning, and yes, immensely satisfying, Grey Cup victory by our beloved Argos this past weekend. Or more accurately, not the win itself so much as Kyle's enjoyment thereof. See you at the parade big guy?

So new topic. I spent last week listening to the Elliot Smith disk almost exclusively, and after multiple repetitive listens (something I do all too rarely these days, though I'm trying to change my stripes), I've decided it's among his best recordings, rivalled only by XO. It's a very different animal then his previous ones, and of course we'll never know how fully realized it is, but I think it's brilliant. Increasingly the big boomy drums, layered discordant guitars and growly fuzz bass are working for me in the context of Smith songs. They add depth to the sadness and angst that is at the core of his music. Taken at face value, he was apparently re-inventing himself on this disk, going back towards his Heatmiser days (on the "rock" songs anyway), and the four or five harder songs are among his best - Coast to Coast, King's Crossing, Shooting Star, Don't Go Down. On the other hand, the still-plentiful ES quiet confessional material is equally beautiful - Twilight, Memory Lane, and maybe the best song on the record, A Fond Farewell.

But enough. Safe to say, I like it a lot.

So, to my question. I made the mistake of reading the Pitchfork review before buying and listening to the album, and was inevitably refering back to its (often misguided, ill-informed, or just plain wrong) comments as I listened. As a result it took me longer to like the album than it deserved , and ultimately, I got a little pissed at Pitchfork for dashing off such a piece of crap review and almost marginalizing the record for me.

In this context, the question is I asked myself is, am I too guilty of letting reviewers tell me what's good, particularly in music (I'm less likely to be fooled by a movie or book review) and do I truly listen to music openly once the reviewers have "told" me what it's about and what to like or not like? It seems to me we're all in search of the quick hit to good music with our busy lives (mea culpa anyway), and at times are over-using or over-valuing critical info as a means of getting there. Has the web made review a lost art (or at least diluted it down)?

Your thoughts.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Say Derek, any word on the twentieth century classical picks?
Say Kyle...how bout that there cd list?

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Marc - thanks again...very fun night.

And for those unaware, Marc somehow managed to lift my copy of GBV's Earthquake Glue on Monday....wow, kind of eerie. How does he do it? And why doesn't he choose a band he actually likes?

Nice to see that y'all are interested in keeping that classical thing going. It could be a nice addition to the whole CD Club dynamic.

Stuart, my first thoughts for less jarring 20thC symphonies (mind you, it's 20th C which is jarring almost by definition) would include:

Sibelius' Fifth - clean, brooding, northern sounds
Shostakovich's Fifth - a little more jarring but amazing.
Janacek's Sinfonietta - beautiful, full of life
Prokofiev's Fifth - what is it with fifth symphonies?
Charles Ives - Three Places in New England (Orchestral Suite Number One)...weird and wonderful (but not too jarring).

I've ignored concertos, tone poems etc for now. Symphonies are actually pretty rare in the 20th century but these ones are all pretty great. Derek, anything to add?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Kudos to Marc for his gracious hosting duties last evening, which included providing extremely yummy snacks, an amazing sound system, and putting up with Stuart's apparently baseless accusations of malfeasance.

I'll second the inclusion of a classical music review each meeting; I'm very much a novice when it comes to classical music so I find these discussions/listenings very educational. The classical music section of the cd store is a bit overwhelming for a neophyte and having some starting points/suggestions is always appreciated.

I also like Stuart's (or was it Brian's) suggestion that we try to post a 'most ridiculous review of the week'. While I suspect we will be frequently referencing the pitchfork site, I still think it's a worthy endeavour. I've been a little lax of late when it comes to reading reviews so this will force me to pick up the slack.

I have the list from last night but I left it at home. I'll post these later this evening.

A few comments re last night; A) I thought the classical music group review to be pretty great and wondered if you guys were into a repeat performance, and if so picking one now would be better as I think Brian you might be right about the complexity issues with the Honniger, and perhaps if I had more time to digest the piece it would help. Suggestions for next piece anyone???
B) It was not my guided by voices comp that marc had ( Apologies to marc for the abuse...)
-so how did marc pick up a spare copy at the cd trade night from Brian???
c) Any suggestions of perhaps slightly more subtle 2oth c works that you guys like would be appriciated for my general info. (not necessarily for the cdclub disc choice)

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Another entry in the rediculous music critic review. See below for review of new Can cd.

"Can's music anticipated both the musical trend toward decontextualization via electronics, post-production, and editing, and the cultural trend toward collective experience and shared information. "


Monday, November 08, 2004

Ahhhh yes! Young to a 13 year old is a little different than it is to us! Thanks for the great suggestions. Some artists I had not heard of before and some that I was not aware were so young ie. Brad Mehldau born in 1970…had no idea! That sent me off on a tangent and discovered that Medesky Martin and Wood were younger folk than I thought. Must be I’m just getting old!
A fair number of "youngsters" come to mind (quotes because when you're 40 everyone seems young) - Brad Mehldau, Matthew Shipp, Joshua Redman, Ingrid and/or Christine Jensen, the Sex Mob, the Bad Plus, even cross-overs like the Chicago Undergound Duo/Trio/Quartet - but I agree that "young" and "jazz" don't go hand in hand these days. My sense is that the record companies have no idea how to sell jazz instrumentalists anymore, so they've gone the route of trying to create superstar cross-over acts like Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Cassandra Wilson, etc, rather than pure jazz artists. I think music without words is pretty difficult for most (although some of the popular techno belies that I suppose), and jazz has evolved (or deconstructed) to a point where it can be pretty strange to the average set of ears. Not to many pianists sounding like Bill Evans out there any more.

However, head down to the Rex on Monday night and check out the open stage, you'll see a mix of players and listeners that'll remind you that jazz still lives among young musicians (maybe the most exciting music to play....after punk of course) and young music fans - the Humber College set, the dweeby jazz guys with the glasses, the bad hair, and the nervous twitches, are still as prevalent today as they were in the forties.

We were having Sunday dinner with family last night and the subject of music came up. We were talking about young musicians and Anthony wanted to know why all jazz musicians are old, to which we replied that young people do get into jazz, but damned it I could come up with any names. Even many of my electro/jazz favourites seem to have been around the block once or twice.

…so help me out, can you think of any good jazz that is being be played /recorded by young musician these days, or is jazz truly something that one has to grow into, give time to develop and mature? (it never used to be that way) Is the jazz market so slim and already saturated that it simply cannot support young talent? Am I just clueless as to what is going on in the jazz scene?

Friday, November 05, 2004

you guys will find the attached article interesting.
It deals with the relationship of the brain and music, updated by recent scientific research on brains. It gets into consonant verses dissonent
sounds and there impact on us. I have only skimmed it, but I'll delve into it prior to the cd club.
(On the other hand maybe its not such a good idea to know whats really going on as one can then find it more hard to get "lost" in the music as one is constantly tring to analyse it).......

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

we is rockin' out to the A.H. ...have been for weeks...ok, ok, i ploughed through it a couple of times when i first got it...Warren has been served notice of his duties!

Well, now that the American election has ended to my satisfaction, time to focus back on the CD club.

(a) Is everyone listening to Honneger?

(b) Has anyone (other than me and Derek) even bought Honneger?

I'm assuming "no" to question b, and would like to add some encouraging words. Get on it boys, this is very serious business.

Has anyone mentioned to Warren that he is being asked to break out of his (let's face it pretty narrow though cool) comfort zone for a week Monday? Won't he be bummed if he's the only guy who's not completely diggin' the Honneger?

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Interesting points lads, and its your flatulant comments about the Band, Kyle , that brought to my mind the earlier debate about sincerety in music, and at the risk of being boring, I wonder if the whole live music debates sums up similarly.... that A) Pop bands in particular playing the same songs over and over again must sap all emotional integrity out of the music leaving it dead or "insincere"..
B) Seeing many live shows-- we all have experienced the somewhat rare event of a pop band giving its fuckin all (think arcade fire lees palace) .....and then some... but I bet next year it would not be as fresh for them or us.
C) Jazz artists have an extra chance at it because of the variations and independant experimentation which constantly evolves and changes there live shows nightly.

Monday, November 01, 2004

I have several of the Peel session 12" and I like pretty much all of them. The Slits, the Undertones and Madness are all personal faves. They always came with at least 4 tracks and for $5 at the time were a pretty good intro to any band that you weren't quite sure what they were all about. One thing Peelie did better than anyone else, Soundscapes included, was suss out all the music that everyone else seemed to overlook. An invaluable resource when there is so much music out there.
I guess what I'm saying is that once it's recorded it kind of loses its exciting qualities, some of which are attributable to what the musician or singer does and some that are beyond his/her like the acoustics of the venue or quality of the instruments that day (did the humidity in the tour bus adversely affect the string tension on the guitar, does the dj need a new belt on the ole wheels o' steel?) and that yes, a 'live recording' is a paradox. If I've been fortunate enough to experience a great live show then it's probably better to savour that memory rather than try to recreate it with a recording...

...Peel sessions. I'm embarassed to say that I haven't really listened to many of the sessions. I always used to browse the 12-inches in the 1980s and heard some that friends bought in that time period but never bought any myself. I recall that a lot of the live recordings were crappy, an opinion consistent with my thoughts above. However, for those who want to sample some of the Peel sessions you may have missed, this website has some downloadable recordings, including this live version of "Here" by Pavement.