Saturday, September 30, 2006

Amen, Brother and other links

Lefsetz goes to see Beck (that's Jeff Beck!) and notes why it sucks going to shows these days for music lovers:
Everybody TALKS! It’s as if going to an outdoor show is about the party, the hang, the music is secondary. It’s almost like going to a party at someone’s house, with the stereo filling up the holes in the background. So, "Cause We Ended As Lovers" was not a transcendent experience. Oh, Beck was perfect. But it needed to be completely dark, there needed to ONLY be the music. Instead there was a din. Of paying customers disrespecting the music. ... focus was always pulled from the performance. By people who just didn’t get it. I was reminded of why I oftentimes don’t leave the house. You get to the point where people just bug you too much.
This isn't just at outdoors shows. The Black Cat in DC would be a great venue if we could just get all the people at the bar to shut the fuck up. There's a bar downstairs unconnected to any of the music rooms. Why can't they go down there? So many of the bands these days play music with quiet introspective moments and it just sucks to have to crowd up front to hear them. An exception around here, almost, is the Birchmere in Alexandria. It's interesting that this is a sit-down venue (although the tables and chairs are so jammed together, it's pretty uncomfortable). I yearn for the clubs of yore that had circular tables and a dance floor off to the side. Of course, there's Blues Alley in Georgetown (within walking distance of the Vinyl Mine) but it's a hefty entrance fee usually and it's only jazz played there.

There's more about the Beck show at the link, by the way.

Anablog has been publishing almost daily Mp3 excerpts and pictures from a bonus disk of Harry Partch (1901-1974) describing (and editoralizing about music in general) and demonstrating the instruments he constructed and modified - among the usual erudite Anablog stuff. Quoting from the liner notes from Partch's Delusion from the Fury:
The one-of-a-kind, unique-in-this-world, far-out, beautiful works of sculptural grace that are his instruments defy description. They have to be seen as well as heard. To be able to play his own multi-tone scale, Partch had to design and build every one of them. There was no one else to do it. He has called himself "a music man seduced into carpentry." And now, at last, there is talk of reproducing every one of his instruments for the Smithsonian Institution. The whole world's catching up with Harry Partch. He still doesn't give a damn.
I wish I had a Diamond Marimba.
Speaking of different instruments, Dan Joseph was the drummer for the DC noise-punk band 9353. He has a new album out with three roughly 15-20 minute pieces based around the Hammer Dulcimer, of which he has become an accomplished performer-composer. Some decent sized samples from each piece are up at his site. It's a long way from 9353 but I happen to like it even better than that band. "Percussion and Strings" combines the dulcimer with strings arranged like "rounds" (you know how you sing "Row Row the Boat" and then the next person starts) -- it evokes Appalachia music which I guess is no surprise given where the dulcimer made its most inroads.

"Percussion and Strings" - Dan Joseph - Archaea
I'm in total love with this totally free album from Las Comadrejas. It's like Plugz meets Klezmer and Jazz in the 20's band all in one. WFMU has it.

Speaking of free albums of note, Explosions in The Sky, a band of whom I wrote earlier this week has their 2005 album Rescue up for grabs. Go to this page and click on the Rescue album icon. Thanks, anablog.

It's about 50 minutes worth of viewing but the funniest viral video of the week has to be the stoned professor. The video seems to have gone underground after it was linked to by Boing Boing direct to a Florida University website. But people downloaded & mirrored it and at least one person has put together some excerpts onto Youtube. I love this guy and hope someone else hires him - oh wait, Google video has the whole thing - the zany Prof certainly makes the topic of Business Management a lot more interesting than I remember it. I learned a thing or two and laughed alot. I don't know why he got fired. This excerpt could have been taken from Plato:
Student: "So what this is a management class?"

Professor: "So what, so what this is a management class. Wait a minute. I mean, duh? Do you think the only thing important is business - the only thing important is management. Get out of here! It's not! There's lots more stuff that's important"

Student: "And this is because?"

Professor: "And this is because? I'm going to slap him. This is because life is not about business. Life is not about management. That's because..."
Woebot talks about the leaked Joanna Newsom CD and also has pictures of some of her earlier CD-Rs.
This is the movie of the season that everyone is talking about but most haven't yet seen. I predict it will be a big hit. I loved The Devil's Backbone and this looks like a return to form for del Toro.
Finally, is it just me or is something fucked up with Blogger's spell checker. Sorry for any mistakes. It seems to have gone south just when I was trying to improve the "editing" of this here blog. Ha ha.

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