Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Kyle, i'm sorry to disappoint, but i have to agree with you. I used to be a fan of hers back in da day but as for this work, i find it disturbingly MOR and i also find it disturbing that so many of the others have latched on to it like babes to teats. I fear they will be digging into Celine's back catalogue next as they exit their middle age. i'll give it another listen but not sure if i can make it through.

I find the title track somewhat offensive and disrespectful, but maybe i'm not getting something. I know that it is supposed to be playful but to me it come across as not taking northern culture seriously.
While you're scraping the last vestiges of my contact info from your address books, allow me to point you to this fun list of Pitchfork's Top Metal albums of 2011. I do so not to invite comment or ask if you've listened and/or enjoyed any of them but because the band names, album titles, and cover art are not to be missed.

The prevalence of occult symbols and skulls were no surprise but I was a shocked at the absence of umlauts.

Monday, November 28, 2011

I'm pretty meh on Kate Bush at the best of times. There are moments on her new disc that work, particularly the first few tracks, but the duet with Elton and the subsequent spoken word listing of the different words for snow strike me as pretentious twaddle. I realize that this may, in fact, be a contentious statement. I await your censure.

It appears that Big Boi is on your side(s), so I'm obviously in the philistinic minority.
Agreed...........Picked up madamn kate fri........ 10/10 somehow she has translated falling snow into a piano sequence.....completely conjures up the mood of a snowy day/evening...remarkable
Her last studio album aerial is highly underrated too if any of you missed that one...

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just listened to Jian's interview with the exceptional Kate this evening. Thanks Kyle. I'm loving the new album and I'm probably biased where Ms Bush is concerned but in my opinion she can do no wrong. At the tender age of 16 she had me firmly in her grasp with Babooshka and then with the release of The Dreaming 3 years later and songs like this there was no turning back.

Bjork, Tori, Gaga, Joanna eat your hearts out ladies. Suffice to say this is why my wall was bedecked with posters of the divine Ms. Bush.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thought you cats wuld like this.
But will his passing be as mourned as deeply as hers?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wow that was sudden. It seemed to me that Motian was healthy and active just recently. Some of his recent recordings with Joe Lovano were great. Check out this one sometime, I urge you. And yes, I saw him two years ago at the Vanguard when I was there with Gerald. Very good show.
Stuart easily has the coolest office. We're never allowed to drop acid, slow American holiday week or no.

Not sure if any of you saw that Paul Motian had passed away. Did you ever see him play live in any of your NYC trips, Bri?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

In our office we are listening to our 2nd hour of "smile" beach boys on rdio... they have the whole box set version for your listening the last 20 minutes we have commenced making diverse animal noises and we are running around flapping our arms while cursing ( turrets like) intermittently....

...please help....



Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Love the new KBush song, aka the single. Apparently every song is 8 minutes or longer.
FYI the Kate Bush album was released yesterday as I picked it up at HMV. Not sure why but new releases seem to be coming out on Mondays now instead of Tuesdays.
Alive and tinkling (so to speak)! He played 30 consecutive nights in honour of his 70th birthday. The man is a (small-Jewish-looking-though-I'm-not sure-of-his-racial-heritage-perhaps-middle-Eastern) monster! All those guys are about 70 actually, except for that Roney kid.

Loved the article about no-laying on the road. I always appreciate it when musicians de-bunk life on the road, or life in a "successful" band. It ain't all it's cracked up to be.
Chick Corea is still alive?!!! Hot damn. Well done, Bri.

Also, for those of you salivating over the new Kate Bush album's release today, I feel it's important to inform you that Jian will be interviewing her today on Q.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hey boys, sat five feet away from Chick Corea Thursday night as he played a 90-minute set dedicated to Miles Davis at the Blue Note. An all-pantheon group of musicians made this one very memorable: Gary Bartz was a revelation on sax, Eddie Gomez on bass (first time I'd seen Bill Evan's long-standing partner), Jack DeJohnette on drums, and Wallace Roneya relative lightweight (well, contemporary player anyway, at 51) on trumpet. Yowza.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I continue to refrain from engaging in discussions around the pending battle of the genres. Why? Is it because I want to hold my cards close to my chest and not betray any potential strategies that would be evident in any request for clarification or suggestion? Is it because I don't completely understand what I'm going to be defending/promoting/arguing or why? Or is it because I'm simply content to let the pre-contest process play out before trying to figure how what I need to do to adequately prepare? The answer is....yes.

In the meantime, an amusing lament for the female musician, who, in addition to many other challenges faced in making it in the ever-shrinking biz, also apparently doesn't get laid.
I've been thinking about the battle of the genres. I'm leaning towards "Novelty Songs" - or possibly a sub-genre such as "Country Puns", "Ultra Raunch" or "Post Jankovic". I'm just not sure that my catalog has enough depth to do the category justice.

Actually, part of my problem in coming up with a genre to tackle is that I have a hard time sorting my music into anything but the broad categories that I mentioned earlier. For example, let me put this test to the group. How would you categorize this old favorite?

Oh - and as a response to the earlier question about favorite albums that are generally considered to be flops, one of mine is "The Final Cut" by Pink Floyd. And I agree about "In Through the Out Door".

Thursday, November 17, 2011

All this talk of movements....a tad unseemly for middle aged gentlemen or inspired because it's music related? Discuss.

Yes, the new Field mainly works on the level of moving me out of my seat and onto a treadmill or dance floor, but I do find something moody and emotional about it as well. There's something Steve Reich-like in what you nailed as the metronomic structure to many of the tracks. Beauty, art possibly.

We're completely on the same page when it comes to Atlas Sound. Bradford Cox can really do no wrong these days.
Kyle, taking a listen to The Fields currently and although i find it kicks ass and is very groovy, it fails to "move" me, and would not do so unless i was, perhaps, on a treadmill and in need of a metronome ...don't get me wrong, i like it, but it doesn't move me. What did move me today was my first listen to Atlas Sound "Parallax" available on Rdio (of coarse)
10+ listens into the High Places disc, I'm still unmoved. I can only imagine how underwhelming their live show must have been. Another 'band' I wouldn't want to see live but who's new album/ep is pretty damn kickass, IMO, is The Field's 'Looping State of Mind'. Warning: NSFBaM.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

If you be talkin bout the High PLACES, the company was good but the show was craaap (IMHO) ...still, worth getting out on a Monday night. The pair of them were un-animated, drum pad thwacking, knob twiddling automatons. Mary Parsons does have a nice voice but i thought it was too frequently lost in the mix. I do like the music and actually enjoyed the show more when we retired to the front of the hall, away from the stage, where we could talk but still hear the music and did not have to look at the two of them performing ...what does that say about a show!
how the high dials show had good funnings?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ok Brian 10 points... you had me laughing out topic,
damn I love that new pj harvey album......tracks england and battleship hill just two of many standouts....certainly the greatest album ever created in the history....ok, I will tone down the hyperboly, but anyone who didn't see dereks tip on this...please indulge really is quite unlike anything she has ever done, so dont be shy if you have not liked her in the past...

Monday, November 14, 2011

Hey Stu, yes i would say you need to get very specific about your folk sub-genre, given the expansiveness of that genre overall. So something like English late 60's/early 70's folk revival, Protest folk, Folk Rock, etc, each of which has fairly distinct boundaries. Then I would suggest that you need to state what your definition is to the group, and we would agree or question the sub-genre. So come smackdown time, your playlists would need to align to the definition that you're provided. Easier for me to think of this in jazz sub-genres, for example cool jazz, or west coast jazz. Make sense?
Frankly I will miss seeing Brian do country.....but I will park my sadist views and agree whole heartedly with you all..... I have already started with folk so if no one minds ( and I realise Derek has been pining for this category but too bad) I will stick with it..... I was wondering if we should try to define the category we have selected a bit ie with folk music does that mean folk rock is in? country infused folk?hard to say...If i do bring folk rock, perhaps a song like wooden ships would not be appropriate as no acoustic guitars at all, but suite judy blue eyes would be acceptable??/ also some electric guitars ok if the song and songwriter is promarily acoustic? Something like that maybe works or else not much separation between my category and rock...
what do you think?
It's your baby Brian. I'm quite happy to let you decide how we should set it up.
Having mused on this for a few days, I'm tempted to say that we should each pick a sub-genre that we're most interested in exploring - likely therefore within the major genres of pop, rock, or jazz - vet it with the group, and run with it. Keeping in mind you'll potentially have to play 20 tracks over the course of the night, so the genre would have to have some depth / breadth, while also still being a true, containable sub-set of the major genre. How does everyone feel about that?
Mike needs a category sop perhaps he should do country / or blues leavi8bng Brian to the do the other....or he takes country blues and Brian takes garage bands...or the like...
re the albums that are not really so bad link.... I never new In through the outdoor was dissed...always loved that record...

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Food for thought on smackdown 2012. I think that Country and Blues are disparate enough that they should not be in the same grab basket and would thereby propose that Brian draws for either Blues or Country and the genre that he does not draw, would then be taken up by either Kyle or Derek (let them pull straws for it amongst themselves).

I think that we also need to be proposing some sub category for the last remaining Pop Rock category...perhaps something like Christian Death Metal? ...seriously, perhaps something like Experimental? has a long history to draw on but is a tough nut to crack in a crowd.

...other suggestions? ...perhaps Garage and it's post 60's revival?

...any thoughts on my thoughts?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Found this to be quite an interesting article about albums that are generally dismissed by fans and critics alike but on further listen might have more going for them than most would think. Not sure I ever need to hear anything again by Living Color though.

Do any of you have albums that rank high on your list while being written off by most.
In your words Derek, "there will be blood!"
After some discussion with Marc (great food man) tonight I am more than happy to let all but Kyle and I run with the full on category that's been assigned to them. I'm not sure that country, blues, electronica, or jazz (in Mike's case) need to be sub-divided any further. In the sake of fairness it makes sense for all but the rock categories to be given the full-on scope from which to choose from to state their case.

If there is still a gripe factor to be parlayed then state it now. Otherwise I think we should proceed with the assigned categories. I'd like to hear all of you chime in with your thoughts on what's about to go down.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ah, now the engagement!! Hmm, why do I get feel like you only just read some of my earlier blogs Mike :)

In truth I'm all good with whatever is agreed upon. I'd certainly rather research an obscure jazz sub-genre than country music (sorry Stuart), but we took this approach so as to challenge us to (similar to the Decades event) to evolve our breadth of music and support a (in this case) genre that you may not have a strong connection to. It worked quite well for the Decades - I've often decried the 80's as a lost decade of music but really enjoyed obsessing about /re-discovering that period for a month - it may work less well, or be less fun for all, when the theme moves from Decade to Genre.

So back to the drawing board? We all just choose genres we love?
So it appears that I committed a little too late, and I missed the draw. Luckily, we have over 2 months before the actual event, so we should be able to react. We need a taxonomy that includes 6 categories. We could go with broad categories such as rock, pop, dance, folk, blues, classical, jazz, country, opera, showtunes and world. Or we could go with very specific sub-genres such as avant-garde metal, breakbeat hardcore, freak-folk, gypsybilly, punk jazz and tin pan alley (all of which are included in Wikipedia's comprehensive list of music styles). Whichever way we do it, I think it would be more interesting if we were able to choose the genre we wish to defend, rather than having one thrust upon us.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

You’re just making me out to be your whipping boy ...set me up to be trounced in the first round once again ...what did I do to deserve this ...I will rise to the occasion and bring honour to the genre ...either that or just end up annoying the hell out of the lot of you.
Ah yes, well, looks like some hard cheese on this one given Mike's note. We may need to re-visit this approach, or at least this assignment of categories. So.....Derek and I randomly drew categories the other night at Betty's (ah, what an establishment) as follows:

Rock and Pop 1 - Derek
Rock and Pop 2 - Kyle
Folk - Stuart
Electronic - Mark
Country / Blues - Brian

Arguably it's pretty clear who will be having the most and least fun preparing for this event. If it's entirely untenable let me know. My heart would not be broken if we were to switch it up, as I am somewhat lukewarm to blues and country. And Mike, well, I believe I've heard him refer to jazz as "just random noise" more than once over the years. Once we settle on genre assignemnt, then we'll need to choose our own sub-genres, subject to group approval.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

And now the bad news....Brian?
I should respond to the invitation to come down and join another musical playoff. First, I have to say that I've never liked genres - or perhaps it's sub-genres that I don't like. I accept country, blues, rock, classical and jazz. But I've never had any use for alternative, art rock, roots rock, pop, new country, etc. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the battle of the decades, and I'd like to participate in this next big event. Barring something unavoidable and undeniable, I'll make the trip to the big Smoke on the weekend of Jan 20-21 armed with an ipodfull of choice selections for whatever piece of the music pie I am assigned. I should point out that my music collection is ill-equipped to handle jazz, classical or blues. I have lots of rock and folk, and some country, all of which spans innumerable arbitrary classifications.

Monday, November 07, 2011

I like it but don't love it Brian so much music these days. I picked up the cd way back then ...perhaps one the more recent that i have purchased; I Met Up With the King has still not worn out its welcome. We have spoken at length about the changing music scape and part of me wonders how much of my lack of enthusiasm is due to the changes in the musical landscape, technological and otherwise, and how much of it is due to me getting old and jaded ...they do, after all, have very sweet voice!

On a brighter note, i did go see Gluck's Iphigenia in Tauris by the coc back in October. It resonates with me to this day and pulls at my heart strings. I think that i would have to say that it is my favourite Opera performance that i have seen to date. It bridged its era with its antiquity past as well as alluding to our present torments was curiously timeful and timeless at the same time. Brilliant staging, stripped down and contemporary, clever and yet not annoyingly so. I would encourage anyone to see it next time it comes around in the COC cycle. I was astounded. The use of water on the stage was breathtaking. The opening aria was accompanied by a peculiar sound was only when the light slowly came up that you realize there is water cascading down the backdrop and towards the front of the stage ...can you use the word wicked to describe an opera?
Hey Marc, really?? Oops. Was it any good? Ahem. Well, I like it. Thanks for sharing. No takers on comments on the F/Foxes?

Saturday, November 05, 2011

why do i even bother bringing stuff to the club nights!

....just kidding Brian.
Derek, yes, yes and again yes. I'm in. Let's get together soon to names and genres. Others may join.

Incidentally, has the group at large spent any time with the latest Fleet Foxes record? I listened to it front to back at high volume yesterday - it's remarkable. Such clarity and soulfulness. The vocalist sounds a bit too much like Graham Nash but that's not his fault.

Another folky band I happened upon that is very nice weekend morning listening is First Aid Kit - a sister duo from Sweden. Incredible harmonies and some good songs, considering the lasses are only 17 and 20. Any lauders or dismissers among you?

Friday, November 04, 2011

Not sure that it was a cabal more like a coterie truth be told.

As it was about 5 days ago and a few pints in to a typically rambling discussion at the Rex late on a Sunday evening the details are now rather blurred. Brian has more or less outlined the proposed change in the setup.

Given that the original format of genre competition encompassed huge swaths of music under the terms rock, jazz, classical etc Stuart and I felt that it would make more sense and be a fairer contest if we made the categories much more refined.

First off we lop off the whole idea of classical and opera from this particular go around.

Let's keep the idea of rock, jazz, country, folk and electronic on the table. However rather than making it that simple and quite likely hearing many of the same tracks that were played 2 years ago I (we) propose that each of us has to select a "micro-genre" that perhaps spans a period of around 3-5 years so that one has to dig a bit deeper than the obvious candidates for this type of playdown.

So we could choose from the likes of post-punk, early 70's glam, bebop, the Manchester scene, acid house, alt-country, new wave, IDM, chill-wave, fusion, prog etc. I'm not really up on my categorization of the country and folk scenes per se but you get the gist.

I think it would be up to each individual to select their own sub-genre (perhaps one that they are less familiar with) and then let the group as a whole give it the stamp of approval over the next week or so.. We wouldn't for example want someone to pick 60's pop. Far too broad.

Anyway that's a rough sketch and I think it would be quite fun to hear some nuggets from genres that I am quite unfamiliar with.

What say the rest of you?

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I've heard rumours of a late-Sunday summit of a small cabal of music men, who would like subversively (drunkenly) to re-introduce the notion of a sub-genre level (slightly varied from Marc's orignal, brilliant idea) to the proposed Genre night. Intriguing.

Would anyone care to elaborate?

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

all good.... i agree with everything......russian opera thats my vote