too much music

some stuff i've been listening to

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Wednesday, March 13, 2002
Resting. Look for gigantic 'Trout Mask Replica' update soon enough.

Wednesday, February 27, 2002
OMD 'Waiting for the Man'

So the OMDs are into the Velvets, makes sense. The term 'New York shoes' makes three megatons worth of sense in this interp.

Thursday, February 14, 2002
Listening to quite a bit of the Fall's 'Wonderful and Frightening World of...'. Since returning to my long-forgotten copy on monday afternoon, I have listened to the CD about ten times the whole way through. I remember being turned away from the group about a year ago.

I was at my friend's house. We were playing video games and listening to CDs. After the Modest Mouse CD sputtered to a close, I decided to put on something he had not yet heard. My choice? The Fall's supposedly 'most accessible' album.

To understand what happens next, you have to know how I act as a purveyor of music. Whenever I am listening to something and somebody happens into the room, I immediately adjust my perception of the CD that I am listening to so as to accomodate the new listener. For example, if I am listening to the latest Autechre release and a rockist comes into the room, I take a rockist's perspective of the music. 'It's all drums', 'Where's the music?', 'This disco is broken'. I have to censor myself as a music appreciator so much as to not alienate the visitor(s).

This particular friend was not so much into punk, or whatever you will call the Fall, this friend was more of the pop kind of person. 'Lay, lay, lay, lay, lay, lay' the Fall began chanting. He was not particularly excited. 'Armageddon!' Mark E. Smith intoned. I am cracking up inside, but he doesn't quite get the joke, his face crumples up as the gymnast guitar spirals up and down the sloppy drums. We didn't quite get through 'Lay of the Land'. From that moment on, the Fall were unfairly classified in my mind as an 'aggressive' band. In the days and weeks ahead, I wasn't really in the mood for 'aggressive', so thanks to my poor level of fad-hopping (at the time) I was miles away from the Fall by the time I even considered returning to 'aggressive'.

Interesting and pointless- Today, as I left for a 'meeting', I decided I would play 'Wonderful and Frightening World of...' on the CD player in my studio and see if I could make it home by the time it had finished playing. I made it back just as it finished, as the CD changed to 'Is This It?'.

Monday, February 11, 2002

Forget Clinic. If its art-school electronic theatrics and great voice you are looking for, the Notwist is where to turn.

Saturday, February 09, 2002
Clinic 'For The Wars' - track eleven from the forthcoming "Walking With Thee"

Wow, 3/4. You wouldn't think such a signature existed, having listened to the rest of the album - an almost sickening two or four feel. The fact that the rest of the album (with the exception of Mr. Moonlight) has been such a chug-fest adds greatly to the wistful feel of the song. The arrangements aren't as slap-you-in-the-face-simple as the rest of the album, even Ade's vocals feel different. The propulsive drums and obvious-interval basslines are here, but they are placed behind the rest of the song, a chiming keyboard line and an ethereal vocal that lends itself to fuller harmonizing than on tracks previous. The break is gentle, compared to the almost nonsensical stop-time of other songs. The emotion is a little less subtle, Ade's voice flaring mildly as distorted guitar sparks and dies. The final flute interlude disintegrates all tension built up during the album, ending the cd as if it had never existed.

Friday, February 08, 2002
Clinic 'Sunlight Bathes Our Home' - track ten from the forthcoming "Walking With Thee"

Harmonica begins slightly more-complicated song. The individual voices seem to be poorly orchestrated, but if you don't look at it too closely its fine. The song really works itself back together after the typical pause. A good word to describe the guitar sound - 'wacky'. Taken as a whole the song seems like industrial pop, the drums pound beneath a semi-glorious polyphony. Semi-glorious in that its remarkable that it doesn't fall apart. It seems like Clinic could have made this song in five minutes, like many other songs on the album. The bass part is pretty much the same through the song. The drums are pretty much the same (the hi-hat gets louder near the end). The real magic, like all the other songs on the album, is that it works together really well. Congrats guys.

Thursday, February 07, 2002
Clinic 'The Bridge' - track nine from the forthcoming "Walking With Thee"

A clunky cowbell leads into this bizarre western-sounding romp. The lyrics sound like something out of a self-help guide. The form is much like all the others on the album, simple notes forming simple chord progressions as Ade sings. -Slight break-. More of the same. What did you expect? An progressive rock album? The ending on the song's pretty great, a churchy sounding organ oomphs its last, emerging from seemingly nowhere. Actually, the prog-rock joke wasn't totally unfounded. Any given song on this album can change ever-so-subtly over its course, ending up as a very different beast. Voices come from nowhere, sounds do completely logical things, the form remains rather unchanged, but the songs manage to accomplish something.