Friday, May 27, 2005

Opportunity to Rhapsodize

mc gregg says to follow the meme and forget my focus on photography and answer the following questions, and so I do.

[Total volume of music on my computer]
34.36 GB (5679 songs, 21.4 days music)

[The last CDs I bought]
Electrelane, Axes (Too Pure)
The Rey Krayola, Singles (Drag City)

[Song playing right now]
Karlheinz Stockhausen, Helikopter Steichquartett (Helicopter String Quartet)
[I really didn't want this album to be playing when I got to this question. I tried to avoid it, creating new criteria for what "right now" might mean. I worried about its modernism, its academicism, its radically un-hip associations, its potentially astronomical levels of pretension. But, dammit, THAT'S what was playing, and it is an interesting piece of music (maybe merely interesting, as Michael Fried is fond of saying). I'll stand by that, and trust that listing it will just sound like honesty, knowing however that it will not...knowing that, if I'm really honest with myself, I'm caught.]

[Five songs I listen to a lot, or that mean a lot to me]
Gastr del Sol, Camoufleur, "Blues Subtitled No Sense of Wonder:" possibly the best song ever written. I mean it.

Henry Flynt, Back Porch Hillbilly Blues Volume 1, "Blue Sky, Highway and Thyme:" my absolute favourite song that goes nowhere fast and takes 15 minutes getting there. It transfixed me in a coffee shop, where I heard it for the first time.

David Grubbs, The Coxcomb, "The Coxcomb:" the most spectacular and gorgeously controlled train wreck I've ever witnessed. David Grubbs and his French "saloon band" play Grubbs' adaption of a Stephan Crane short story "The Blue Hotel." It's about the strangest short story you'll ever want to read, rendered not a whit less strange or less wonderful in the song. I love to see music be so voracious.

Luc Ferrari, Interrupteur-Tautologos 3, "Tautologos 3 (For Eleven Instrumentalists And Magnetic Tape, 1970):" I'm very not-qualified to talk about this piece. I think it has all the chops and grandeur and precision of (good) academic music and all the drama of a rock song. I got to see Ferrari perform recently and in one slightly glib 15 minute composition he made it abudantly clear what skills, assurance and insight can come from a long life of passionate dedication to one's work (not that there aren't many other viable ways of doing good work—actually, Ferrari sort of re-lit my fire for this more traditional way)

Palace, Arise Therefore, "Arise, Therefore:" the piano!

[Five songs you’ve been listening to a lot recently, from several genres (genres given are from CDDB database)]
Matmos, The Civil War, "Reconstruction" (genre: "electronica/dance" meets Renaissance music, I kid you not): I think this album is incredibly brave.

Shellac, Terraform, "Copper" (genre: NA): one of the funniest songs I've ever heard.

The Sea and Cake, The Fawn, "The Argument" (genre: "alternative and punk"): the intro section of live + programmed drumming (by John McEntire), and the way that intro moves into the song proper. One of the most engaging openings I know.

The Necks, Aether, "Aether" (genre: "jazz"): I just saw them play here in London so they're much on my mind. This is a *very* patient band.

Kevin Drumm, Sheer Hellish Miasma, "Turning Point" (genre: "data"): Data?! Indeed. Be still my beating heart. The album title is neither joke nor irony. That's what it sounds like.

UP NEXT: maybe Katrina will talk about her favourite music to listen to on the bus?
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