Saturday, December 30, 2006

“Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated” if you will pardon me as I dust myself off after crawling out from under a massive rock, or should I say slabs of limestone, granite and skids of cherry ply…

Frankly it’s been hard for me to get into any new music recently. I seem to have spent much of my time in the past year removed from my primary source of all things different, CKLN. It would seem that their 10w transmitter can’t quite reach the likes of Orillia and Glen Abbey. I spent much of the year acquiring some older music and making an unsuccessful attempt to learn about all things great in jazz. …I’m still working on it! I might try and post an addenda in 2007 or 2008. (haha!)

I don’t think that anything I bought that was released in 2006 is going to stand the test of time and be one of those albums in my collection that i can’t be without. Did I miss that much? Was it a lousy year for music? Am I just getting old and out of the loop?

Some notables that I actually did enjoy and think are well worth a listen:

Sergio Mendes, Timeless
Electrolane, Rock it to the Moon (2005)
Yo La Tengo, I am not afraid of you and I will beat your ass
Jamaica to Toronto, Soul Funk & Reggae
Soledad Brothers, The hardest Walk
Konono #1, Congotronics (2004)
Gotan Project, Lunatico (If any album is a must have, it is this one. Includes some very interesting work with Calexico)
Dirty Three (don’t own it but will)
Grupo Fantasma, Moviniento Popular (2004)

…but I must admit that no disks found their proverbial grooves worn thin through endless play as is the norm.

Favourite singles:
Crazy, Gnarles Barkley, (St. Elsewhere)
I got cash, Lati Kronland & Sylvester (from the Brooklyn Funk Essentials, Make ‘em like it) This is such a hilarious track you have got to check it out for yourself. DUMB FUCK! (actually released in 2000!)

…ah, if only I had a tiny bit of time to put together a couple of compilations.

Other musings on the year:

Worst concert of the year: Calexico and friend @ the Docks
Best Concert of the year: Calexico @ the Phoenix

What I would most like to ask of a rock star: Mr Dylan, what motivates you to do this year after year? Certainly there must be something else that you would rather be doing with your life than playing the same brilliant tunes over and over again in soulless and lacklustre arrangements with a band of musician you don’t seem to be able to communicate with or relate to? That having been said, Bob, I did like a couple of the cuts you performed from your new album; they were fresh and you actually put some of your heart into them. …but really. What’s with the endless tour? …is it some kind of drug for you that numbs pain? … why do you do it? Unlike other “rock stars” you don’t look like you even enjoy the adulation!

Best to all in the New Year.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

final pre christmas thoughts:

1-marc, are you still alive, man? your christmas disc is in the mail...look for it next week. stu, bri, big daddy d...i'm bringing yours to bettys tomorrow.

2-any comments on the pitchfork list? i had the usual, logically inconsistent reactions...a tiny thrill of validation when one of my faves was chosen (they are so right), immediately followed by scorn derision when something i hated (they know nothing, nothing!), was also lauded. have any of you ever bought an lcd soundsystem disc? for some reason, this band seems to make 2 to 3 per year and they're always included on pitchfork's year end list. also, for all the music that i think i've heard over the past year, i'm still way behind. it's fun playing catchup, though.

joyeux noel.

Friday, December 15, 2006

i just happened to have 13 remaining downloads, the total number of 'The Thrill of the Hunt' disc, so i picked it up, figuring it to be a sign of some kind. going through the first listen right now. lyrically and vocally closer to neutral milk but the quieter guitar strumming is reminiscent of earlier elliot smith and heatmiser. i'm doing a lot updating of spreadsheets and other somewhat tedious work today so i'm enjoying listening to some interesting music in the background.

also occasionally looking around for any albums that would qualify for 'worse' covers and realize that there are far more good covers than bad. for example, if you troll through the list of albums released in 2006 at, you'll see what i mean.

found a more interesting set of 'best of' lists at most of the hip-hop is what i'm seeing in most places but the indie list contains many unfamiliar artists, and there are plenty of free mp3 links and youtube clips for each entry. just realized that if i ever decide to pursue a music career, it will be in electronic music, where the competition isn't as fierce; if herbert and the latest basement jaxx (a truly godawful album) can make a best of list, pretty much anybody can. enjoy.
Another record I really enjoyed (but forgot) from 2006 was Kind of Like Spitting's - The Thrill of the Hunt. This is really a one-man show, the guy's name is Ben Barnett, who's released six or seven records since 2000. He's essentially a folk writer who sometimes rocks out, sings and performs in Neutral Milk Hotel meets Elliott Smith fashion, and is a pretty compelling writer. Never heard of him until this year, discovered through Pandora (my favourite site five days a week) and explored more through emusic. Well worth a listen.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

worst album covers of 2006, courtesy of pitchfork. kind of a bland list. surely there are worse. i'll try to dig some up myself. as for best, i kind of like the cover of thom yorke's solo disc, which is reminiscent of an edward gorey poster.
OK, so it turns out that many of my fave 2006 disks were released in 2005. I was afraid of that, so just checked before launching myself at my best of list. Ah well..... (bloody rug rats are keeping me from being optimally cool). I will list them anyway because they were still the ones I purchased and enjoyed most this year. Hoping none of them was on your best of 2005 because then I'd really feel schmuck-esque.

Novillero - Aim Right for the Holes in Their Lives (June 05) - some of the best song writing, arranging, and performance of power pop in years.

The High Dials (July 05) - the second best songwriting, arranging and perfomance of power pop in years. I mean it, this is fantastic stuff. The Holy Ground is a song for the ages, to be featured on my best songs of this (OK, last) year. This band has more JOY in it then I have in my little finger - or something like that. Sure makes me feel good. Thanks to Kyle for pointing me/us at this one on the blog early in 2006 (OK maybe late 2005).

The Silver Jews - Tanglewood Numbers...sort of Malkmus meets Stephen Merritt meets Lou Reed delivery...these guys have been around for a while but hadn't released a record for a few years when this came out in October (I mean, come on, it was OCTOBER) 2005. It's great.

Yo La Tengo - I am Not Afraid ....hey, a 2006 record! I think this is very strong stuff, bringing the usual disparateness and great songs. The only question with YLT is are they still "relevant" in the way they were ten years ago. Certainly I enjoy the music a lot, but it doesn't astound me like Electropura and I Can Hear The Heart did. The moral is, it's hard being a pop star, 'cause things are often not judged purely for what they are.

Eleventh Dream Day - Zeroes and Ones....OK, I'm rolling now. ANOTHER 2006 record for the big guy. No, don't congratulate me....unlike YLT, this band, which has been around longer (like, 23 years?) still manages truly to kick my ass every time they release something. This one's no exception - simple-ish songs delivered with urgency and heart. Even their irony sounds like they mean it. Heartfelt irony, if you will. Great flipped out guitar solos and Chicago midwest drawls on their oft-shared girl boy vocals. Reminds me of a non-quirky Feelies sometimes (another old fave of mine), in terms of their construction of songs from the bass and drum groove up.

I also love the Kingsbury Manx one that Kylie listed. Quite a unique band this, making music that is not particularly in style, doesn't feel that much like other quiet folk, country rockers...I hear some early seventies influences like CSN. And the National record (Alligator) is a fine 2005 release, though I am slightly more troubled by what I feel are its pretensions.

TV On the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain. Uber cool record. These guys are working in a creative space on their own (as far as I know). A fascinating channeling of influences, technologies and technique with a strong enough vision to tie it together into a digestable piece of art. Makes me think of the Books (another '05er that I discovered this year....dammit) only in that they are consciously trying to break down boundaries and create new music. The Books sound nothing (much more self-conscious basement-studio music) like this but their last record is well worth investigating.

The Young People - All at Once. Incredibly moody, dark, mostly quiet, but with the occassional Sonic Youth dissonant moment...I really like this band. This year's record might not be my favourite (go with the first, eponymous one from 2003) but it's still very interesting.

I also spent a lot of time catching up on small-label music from 2000 - 2004 or so, thanks primarily to emusic. Some of my recommendations from that process are Movietone and The Microphones (these references are mostly for posterity, as I already spoke of and played both of these at CD clubs).

I don't know all of the music that was on your lists but will for sure check it out in due course. I can say that I thought the Cat Power record was a little boring for Chan compared to her previous. I have only a very small soft spot for quiet country music, and it seems there is a plethora of it right now, so I've stopped giving artists the benefit of the doubt. Same is true for me of M Ward's latest- I love a few of the songs (Right in the Head for example) but the production grates a bit on me (way too much reverb on the vocals and drums), and I think many of the songs are frankly dull. If you're going to have soft simple country songs then the lyrics and vocals need to step up to create the connection or else it can become trite (Stuart, I'm waiting.....). So I found the record uneven.

I didn't buy much in the way of new classical or new jazz this year I don't think. Still mining chestnuts that I'm more interested in right now.

I'll get back at this next week with songs and other stuff.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

my bad. i had mistaken 'make the cut' for 'make the grade'. thanks for the clarification, as i was beginning to regret including a mountain goats song on your disc.

the end-end lists are beginning to appear online. here is the onion/av club's various best of lists. not that much different from what we've shared thus far.

also, rollingstone (are they still around) have their list of best songs, most of which i've never heard. not sure in this case that i'm too worried.
I guess my rant in error had nocked Brian out of metabeats, I will have to buy him a beer now .....Kyle the emily haines (thanks to you) and the Gonsalves disc would probabl;y make it to my list...I went back last night to gop through what i bought last year and I had forgotten about the Ascobi disc which I picked up at soundscapes a few weeks back and reallly love...(I was planning on bringing it to the next cd club as I new you and Derek love that shoegazer stuff...damm you both) The Junior Boys disc aklso makes it....I played that for Marc and he and mary Ellen flat out rejected it....just shows to go you....I TOTALLY agree on the Kaos, I simply dont get it, but Derek you must pick up the previous disc Kyle referred to as it may be my favorite Hip hop disc ( although its kinds hip hop / pop) Its amazing how the new one sucks so much....I like what I hear on the beck disc as someone at the office plays it, I will get it shortly...
My classical and jazz lists and more concert faves next.....
Please note that the title "missed the cut" is an indication of 5 albums that I enjoyed very much but if I'm creating a top 10 list I had to unfortunately leave them off. Thus Asobi Seksu, Beck etc are some of my favourites from 2006. So there was no about face on my part. Hope that clarifies the situation.
I should have posted earlier. Now it looks like I’m cribbing from the notes of Messrs. Watson and Mercer. Damn!

Reflecting on the list, it appears I’m either mellowing considerably with age or the pop world has failed to provide me with a sufficient array of rock-all-out selections. Let's go with the latter.

Derek, I think you nailed the overrated albums. Can’t believe all the press for Herbert, which annoyed me from the get-go and had me clicking ‘Move to Recycle Bin’ after 2 or 3 listens. Loved the 2004 K-os album. The new one kind of sucks, which I attribute to the fact that it's played regularly on both CBC’s Metro morning and Here and Now, which consistently praise shite music.

However, I do like Asobi Seksu. I must point out--but not in an aggressive, Stuart-style nail your ass to the wall tone--that you recommended I download this album a few weeks ago. Did you have a change of heart after repeated listens or you were trying to get me to blow some of my allotted monthly downloads? Either way, I’m happy with it so no harm done. Not a profound record by any means but a pretty nice, airy, poppy record with sweet, Lush-meets-Pizzicato-Five by way of Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins vocals (like my Pitchfork impersonation?).

Onto the list:


Jose Gonzalez - Veneer – Hurray Stuart for introducing me to this artist and this album, which has such a quiet, beautiful integrity to it.

Patrick Watson – Close to Paradise

I brought his first album to Stuart’s in the spring; this is his most recent and is a little more varied than his other work. At times, his voice reminds me of Rufus Wainwright, at other times Grant Lee Buffalo, at other times M. Ward, though his music recalls a dreamier, more ethereal Devendra Banhart. I could try to cram a few more names into this review but I think you get the idea.

Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton – Knives Don’t Have Your Back
I’ve never been that big a fan of Metric, as I’ve often found their lyrics and sound a little bracing. This set of polished, predominantly piano-driven lullabies complement her warmer, sophisticated vocals and I dug it big time.

Neko Case – Fox Confessor Brings the Flood
Can she do any wrong? Methinks not. From the first listen, I knewthis was going to be one of my favourites of the year and it has not disappointed on repeated listens. She can belt out a heart-on-your sleeve lyric without sounding self-absorbed (see singer-songwriter discussion from a few months back) or precious (see Newsom below).

Cibelle- The Shine of Dried Electric Leaves
Though the English songs detract from the album as a whole, those sung in Portuguese are beautiful and more than compensate.

TV on the Radio – Return to Cookie Mountain
Easily the most interesting album of the year, with some songs sounding like musical experiments (the opening I Was a Lover veers from off-skilter syncopation to ear-splitting distortion to a dub-interlude), flat out rockers (Wolf Like Me), to Peter Gabriel impersonations (Dirtywhirrl).

Beach House – Beach House
Kind of sounds like a cross between Stereolab and Mazzy Starr, with occasionally more heartfelt vocal expressions than either of these reference points. Only discovered this one in the last month and it’s very much a winter-album, so may explain be why I’m enjoying it so much.

M. Ward – Post-War
An album which caused me to go back and listen more closely to his earlier work. My only complaint is that it’s only 37 minutes long and I could do with a more Sufjan-sized helping.

The Submarines – Declare a New State!
Pretty songs about breakup and unhappiness and sunshine and rain that don’t push any boundaries but aren’t overly sweet, with some nice arrangements. Very similar to artists like Stars or the Delgados.

Best Songs:

Crazy/Gnarls Barkley
Hang Me Up to Dry/Cold War Kids
SexyBack/Justin Timberlake
Wolf Like Me/TV on the Radio
Black Swan/Thom Yorke
The Funeral/Band of Horses
Woke Up New/The Mountain Goats
Drain Cosmetics/Serena Maneesh
Chinese Translation/M.Ward

One final note on the best list: expect to find some or all of these artists on your Christmas cds, which were completed yesterday and will be delivered this Friday evening at book club.

Best Comebacks/

Tie: Yo La Tengo & Belle and Sebastian

Best 2005 albums that I discovered in 2006/

The Kingsbury Manx-The Fast Rise and Fall of the South (with a tip of the hat to Brian, who brought it to a meeting)
The National – Alligator

Joanna Newsom-Ys – No

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Have to say that 2006 was another interesting year in music, discovering interesting new bands (The Drift, Nomo, Islands) and welcoming back some old faves like the always underrated Lloyd Cole. Couldn't really say there was a specific direction in music this year and for me that's always a good thing and it's probably reflected in the albums that make my best of list which is as follows:

Neko Case - Fox Confessor (I still think Neko has a wall-to-wall brilliant record in her and I look forward to it but this came the closest so far)

Calexico - Garden Ruin (after seeing them at the Docks I wasn't sure these guys had much left in the tank but this was a brilliant return to form, sadly overlooked)

Nils Peter Molvaer - An American Compilation (hardly the greatest title for an album but it does tell you exactly what you're getting. Norwegian trumpeter who works with the likes of Eivind Aarset and Rune Arnesen and yes it's electronic jazz and very fine)

TV on the Radio - Return to Cookie Mountain (their 2003 EP and 2004 LP had moments of brilliance but who knew they had this in them. My fave of 2006 and a record that like Cormac McCarthy's latest dark book stays with you for days and days)

Junior Boys - So This is Goodbye (never understood the hubub over their 2004 release but this one I got in a big way. "In the Morning" is the "Destroy Everything You Touch" for 2006. Assuming the kids still dance? this should keep them on the floor)

Belle and Sebastian - The Life Pursuit (It's been 8 years since I liked a B&S album this much but it was worth the wait. There are a few missteps "The Blues are Still Blue" and "Sukie in the Graveyard" but the remainder more than makes up for it.

Manu Katche - Neighbourhood / Martin Speake - Change of Heart - I'm cheating here by putting 2 picks as 1 but they're both on ECM and in a similar languid but challenging jazz style. Katche is a French drummer and Speake a British saxophonist and both their combos make beautiful 21st century jazz with players like Tomasz Stanko, Bobo Stenson and Paul Motian in the mix.

Gabriela Montero - Piano Recital (a young Venezuelan pianist plays beautiful music by Rachmaninov, scriabin, liszt and others in a disc that came out in 2005. The real bonus is the 2nd CD of jazz style improvisations on classical pieces. Brilliant stuff and it sells for the price of a single CD.)

Field Music - self-titled - another disc from 2005 that I came late to. Really the only true indie pop record that appears on my list. Fans of the Shins, High Llamas, Apples in Stero should give them a spin.

Easy All Stars - Radiodread - yes Radiohead's music done in reggae fashion. Sounds like a terrible concept but it really works. Listen to "Airbag", the Specials like sound of the horns in "Paranoid Android" and "Let Down" sung with upbeat, infectious reggae stylin.

Albums that didn't quite make the cut - Beck, The Mountain Goats, Asobi Seksu, Califone and The Knife.

Terribly Overrated - Ghostface Killah, K-Os, Herbert and most definitely Danielson, the most annoying record of 2006.

Disappointments - Destroyer, Cat Power
Haven't finished my list yet but it will likely contain some of the albums listed here. If you haven't yet subscribed to this podcast yet, I recommend it. The conversation is particularly interesting whenever they have a panel discussion.

Cat Power's The Greatest is one of those discs which hasn't quite clicked for me. It's bound to be on many a top 10, or even top 5 of the year but I guess I'm amongst those who find the admittedly professionally sounding music a little too conservative or polished, how you say...without ze edge....for my liking.

How can you say you liked Cache, Brian, when only a few posts ago you ripped it for being....okay, thought I'd riff on the stuart gaffe a bit....glad you enjoyed it. We must discuss it soon.
i really should proofread my stuff...the decemberists reference at the front of my list was trying to refer to last years favorites , where the decemberists album and concert were my favorites....
OK so best albums of 2006;
For me hands down my favorite album and concert was Band of Horses...(interesting how for me my favoerite disc was also my favorite concert with the Decemberists)
Band of Horses to me does it all....sincere heart on your sleeve stuff , but not cloying....interesting lyrics that stand up after repeated listenings.. I dont know that they bring in anything all that new and the lead vocals are perhaps a little too much the sound of the band , which might make the next album difficult to build upon, but the songs are so damn good that I cant stop listening to it...
second best album for me would be cat Power the greatest....wherein our heroine pulls together a tight nashville band to bring out all the nuances of her insecure songwritting abilities...Though I like bits of her earlier work a great deal, this album is consistent all the way through and agin the songs are the main strength...
Sure the band is professional ( to a fault for some) but for me its about the songs and though I have a soft spot for the nashville sound , I dont think it matters with this record...her doing all the songs solo like her show at Lees did just that and though it had a few weak moments , those renditions were very strong too...
Albums by Sparklehorse, decemberists , M.Ward (thanks Kyle)and Neko Case all worked for me this year and though I have multiple albums from these bands, and though they dont offer anything new from their old sounds ...they can keep cranking them out if they keep up the consistently high quality songs.....
I will add more albums later.....we should all try for 10 as some of our lessor faves might be good for others amongst us...
Stu, who loves ya baby.

Kylie, emusic actually has a pretty decent collection of classical. Not sure how much time you've spent looking so you may already know this....I find it's best to choose by composer -Janacek's sinfonietta, a lovely piece as Derek pointed out, is available, just as an example. As long as you have some idea what you're looking for you often find it. It's mostly Naxos on emusic but that label is much better than it used to be.

And, pardon the rambling, but Janacek's other chamber music is outstanding - his solo piano music is somber and gorgeous, and his string quartets are among the finest you'll find. In fact, I would argue that a Best of the Czechs, from Smetana and Fibich down through Dvorak, Janacek, and Suk is about as good as classical music gets. Nothing like a downtrodden culture to create good art (though the Poles appear to have leaner pickings...well, other suppose there's Szymanowski, who also has beautiful piano music and fine symphonic work).

Starting to think about my best of the year as well, though it has mostly been a year of accumulating music from other periods, and a really low film-seeing year. I'm sure I have a few. Kyle - I saw Cache the other day and loved it. What a fantastic film.

Monday, December 11, 2006

oops...damn I guess i shopuld read more carefully, the quote on the 8th is actually by Mr Mercer.....damn I had such a smug look on my face when I was nailing Brian to the wall there....I should have known it was too easy.....well Brian , I will eat humble pie and try with your shortlist of symphonies and see if I can be moved.....
sorry Brian, I cant let this go....(you know i love a debate)....On the 8th you said "I cant think of a single symphony that I turn to when looking to be thoroughly moved by a classical piece" yet on the 11th you say "and you guys who cant find a favorite symphony are missing out....." for me if it dont move me, it cant be a favorite, or at least to me a favorite of a list of classical pieces that dont move me is somewhat irrelevant....sort of like my favorite Van Halen songs list ....(please no letters about how great van halen are.....)
An admitted greenhorn when it comes to classical music, I find that I also lean towards the quieter chamber pieces and the concertos. I'll have to branch out and start trying some more symphonies. For Shosto, I probably most familiar with his 8th String Quartet and Cello Concerto No 1 so these would currently be among my 'faves'.

Merci, Monsieur Mercer (3 pts for alliteration, 2 for french) for the tip on Lilburn. I’ve been looking to download a few more classical pieces from emusic but haven't been sure about any of the recordings. May have to pick up a guidebook on classical over the holidays.

Haven't seen this much buzz about physical attributes of a female performer since stuart brought the carla bruni disc to the cd club. But, you may well ask, which of the two wins a googlefight?

As for end of year picks, I'm hoping to post these sometime this week. I will include a list of favourite songs, albums, films, and possibly books. I'll also link to any articles with interesting end of year selections.
Actually, Derek, I was looking for your favourite Shostakovich music. I often have trouble with the English thanks. I'll come up with a brief list of favourite classical pieces in a separate note.

Some of my favourite Shosta music is: the 24 Preludes and Fugues (piano), the Bolt Overture, Cello Concerto #1, the Piano Trios #1 and 2, Symphony Numbers 1, 5, and 10, and String Quartets 8 and 12.

And you guys who can't find a favourite symphony are missing out! I love the concertos, and the chamber and smaller pieces too, like you, probably more overall, but some composers were at or near their best in symphonies - Brahms, Sibelius, Bruckner, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiev, and to debatably even Beethoven and Mozart. Bah! Hayden is a total yawner in my opinion but even he had some great symphonic moments! Particularly his London symphonies.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Hey Stuart, couldn't agree with you more where Ms Grimaud is concerned. She should be a French movie star. I've yet to see a bad picture of her in any of the magazines or CD covers she appears on. Anyone ready to start posting their 10 fave discs of the past year? Any definitive list toppers out there?
by the way Brian I just picked up Grimaud ( man aoh man she makes me hurt)
doing Schumanns piano concerto (rather then me unfortunately) ....only listened a few times but it has potential....glad to see its on your shortlist...
I gotta say, the symphonys or symphonics works in general just dont rock my boat either....
My current faves for larger scale works are all concertos....Vengerovs Shostakovitch Violin, Sibelious violin, Brahms Piano #2, but I really have a soft spot for the etherial sparseness of solo Violin or cello partitas Bach, or Chausson poem (op25) or Grieg solo piano...etc......Shostakovitch sure takes a thumping from the press in general, even on his centennial...pour guy ...Id like to see the critics trying to cope with Stalin as their boss...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Some classical favourites of mine include Chopin's Piano Nocturnes, great late night listening music, Bizet's L'Arlesienne Suite No.2, Ysaye's six solo violin sonatas, Schubert's masterful piano quintet in C major, Janacek's Sinfonietta which I've listened to about 20 times since only really hearing it for the first time at the CD club, Schumann's Piano Concerto, Britten's Phantasy Quartet, Barber's Cello Concerto and pretty much any of Saint-Saen's 5 Piano Concertos.

Strangely enough although it was complete symphonic music that drew me to classical music in the first place I can't really think of one symphony that I turn to when I'm looking to be thoroughly moved by a classical piece.

FYI in last month's BBC Music magazine the recording selected as the orchestral CD of the month was a Naxos disc of works by New Zealand's late and most renowned composer Douglas Lilburn. It is also a disc of the month in December's Gramophone. This disc is available for download at e-music and at 75 minutes and only 7 tracks is a steal.
If you listen at all to CBC Radio Two, then you're aware that 2006 is the centenary of Shostakovich's birth. You might have known that anyway. They're playing lots of his music currently (focusing it in a few week period) which has been awfully nice, as I personally am a fan. Washing the dishes, just as an example, is a much more rewarding task when accompanied by a Shosta Cello Concerto. I have a bunch of his output on record but nowhere near a complete collection, and have heard a number of pieces, primarily chamber, that were new to me. And gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous.

On that note, for those among us who are classically inclined, how about a brief list of some favourites.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

stuart, it's probably better to listen via itunes, which is generally more stable than the website and plug-in (real player, windows media) option. itunes is a free download (suggestion, de-select the two email box options so you don't have to enter an email address).

once it is downloaded and installed (shouldn't be more than a few minutes), you can choose the 'Radio' option from the menu on the left, then click on the arrow to the left of the 'Eclectic' category. KCRW is among the choices, listed alphabetically. KCRW music will get you just the music played on the station. KCRW simulcast will play what's on live, which includes all the NPR (talk) programming, also quite good.

just tried the kcrw site, which looks a lot brighter than the previous, black and green incarnation. i moved my mouse over 'Music' on the yellow-orange menu bar, then clicked '' from the drop-down menu that appears. in the middle of the screen, to the top-right of the picture of the washed-out-charlie-watts-looking nic harcourt is a little headphones icon with the word 'Listen' beside it. when i clicked on this, it launched that little real-player window, which did play a 15-second ad, but then went right into music.

anyhow, hope it helps.

btw...anyone notice that the who played last night? i saw a clip of their show on the morning news and i've gotta say...they were completely dreadful. an elderly drunk man who's just had his balls kicked in would have belted out a finer vocal performance of 'i can't explain' than roger and pete croaked out. who still goes to see this s-h-i-fucking-t? good god.
It may be my ludite capabilities with computers but the KCRW morning becomes eclectic website is driving me crazy...I used to be able to hit the "listen w realplayer button " and stream the previous days show with no problem but now you get 3 options at the top of the morning becomes eclectic page....listen live, listen, and something else and none of them get you the show (it throughs you to a different show entirely), and when you go to past shows an advertisement comes up saying listen on demand to previous days show, but there is no button to click to do you now need to subscribe to access this? any of you having better luck... its my favorite site