Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sébastien Tellier - Sexuality

2008; 11 tracks

Here is an album that defies all previous understandings of sexuality. Tellier's music is flush with the facets of excitement, combining pure electronica with intimate lullabies. Sexuality is a "taste of fruit - very juicy and full of sugar."
Sébastien Tellier is a French singer and song-writer of international fame, and this is his third album. His music is sensual without being vulgar, each track exploring Tellier's idea of sexuality further - he finds women's sportswear to be very sexy, and the only instrumental track, "Sexual Sportswear," is dedicated to that fantasy. This album contains beautiful downtempo / electronica with a mysterious sexual aura that is at once heartbreaking and perfect for dancing.


The beautiful "L'amour et la violence."

And "Look," another favorite!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Happy Flowers - I Crush Bozo

1988; 16 tracks

Happy Flowers were formed in 1983 with two members of hardcore funband The Landlords. John Beers adopted the name Mr. Horribly Charred Infant and Charlie Kramer named himself Mr. Anus."

"Humourous and fun; unlistenable and terrible: Happy Flowers occupy a strange niche. Most tracks here are characterised by a single repetitive riff, or piercing feedback ‘experimentalism’ whilst drums pound and lyrics are spat or spoken. The lyrics are really where Happy Flowers shine though."

"All songs recorded LIVE in the studio, no mixing, no dubbing, no synths."

This is raw noise rock, as unbearable as it is entertaining.

The irony of the Flowers.
The irony of history.
The irony.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gustav Mahler - The 10 Symphonies

2007; 58 tracks
Simon Rattle / Berliner Philharmoniker

Gustav Mahler was a late-Romantic composer of Austrian / Bohemian descent.

I'd like it if I knew more about him, but at the moment I am at a loss of clever, insightful information regarding one of classical music's most famous contributor. Here are the 10 symphonies, no choral works can be found here.

The tenth symphony was Mahler's final work before his death, but he never fully completed the piece. Quite a few others have tried to finalize the work, tying up loose ends and such, but there is one attempt that has become a sort of standard for performances and recordings, and that is the revision of Deryck Cooke. There is much more information to be found on the subject here, and I'm only so interested in it because it is my favorite out of the ten.

Symphony No. 1 in D Major, "Titan"
Symphony No. 2 in C minor, "Resurrection"
Symphony No. 3 in D minor
Symphony No. 4 in G Major
Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor
Symphony No. 6 in A minor, "Tragic"
Symphony No. 7 in E minor, "Song of the Night"
Symphony No. 8 in E-flat Major, "Symphony of a Thousand"
Symphony No. 9 in D Major
Symphony No. 10 in F-sharp minor

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pinebender - Working Nine to Wolf

2006; 8 tracks

Pinebender is Chicago-based trio signed to Lovitt Records who has to date released three full-length albums and one EP. Working Nine to Wolf is their latest effort.

This is honestly one of the most beautiful albums I have heard in recent times - each track has its share of hnnnngg moments, and the varied sounds this band is capable of are evenly spread throughout. The first track, "Parade of Horribles," has been described as a "fourteen-minute synopsis of Pinebender." Their strong musicality carries with it notes of sadness and beauty, and each and every song on here is impossibly brilliant. "Mask Tree" and "Polly Gray" are two of my favorites. Well, I also love "Broadcast All Your Dreams" too, and the final track is mind-blowing. "She Destroys the Light," with its soft but intense energy also stood out to me. I guess I can't pick one favorite! Pinebender play a mix of loud, intensive indie rock and sludge, but some might call it "math rock" that has been slowed down.

"Working Nine To Wolf finds Pinebender at its most aggressive. Still, the band adheres to the modus operandi that makes it special. Playing long melodic compositions very slowly and very loudly is what Pinebender does. They do it well."

Get. Grasp. Have.

EDIT: The track "She Destroys the Light" has become my favorite track of all fucking time.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hey Colossus & the Van Halen Time Capsule - Eurogrumble, Vol. 1

2010; 8 tracks

"The latest offering from Riot Season's custom range of limited vinyl releases is further proof of the West Midlands label's status as a prime outlet for some seriously bad underground vibes. Whatever part of Van Halen is enclosed within their time capsule, Hey Colossus have expanded their name and membership and gorged themselves on the festering contents, spewing forth discomfiting screeds of musique concrete rock as if from a poisoned smokestack. The album bounds from reductive, tank-track riff plods to smothering psychedelics in charismatically haggard fashion, its dystopian distortion and mechanical wreckage inviting us deeper into the mindset of a band cracking open their minds and sealing off their hearts as they trawl through the sonic slagheaps they've manfully committed to posterity. Its closing trilogy of pieces is a monstrous achievement, yet even their titanic proportions are mired in a lethal, pig iron sludge that drowns their every lurching step. Eat 'em and smile."

Hey Colossus is a London-based noise rock band, and "the Van Halen Time Capsule" seems to indicate the addition of extra people, but this is not a split. Eurogrumble, Vol. 1 is perhaps one of the most monstrous albums of noise rock, but it varies in style from noise, sludge, and pure experimental doom. I initially came across this album by the track "13 Millers Court," which haunts as much as captivates, but that first fatal note in "The Question" is just mind-blowing.

You will find some pretty great reviews of this release here, as well as a fairly recent interview with the band and other exclusive links.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Indian Jewelry - Free Gold!

2008; 14 tracks

This is a psychedelic album full of great sonic moments, shimmering buzzing through the universe.
Indian Jewelry is a Texas-based indie rock / psychedelic group who, I've heard, aren't very good live. But that won't matter as you listen to this - particular highlights include "Temporary Famine Ship" and... yeah, that song is just fucking awesome. Watch the video!


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Heitor Villa-Lobos - The Complete Solo Guitar Music

2003; 23 tracks
Fabio Zanon, guitar

Heitor Villa-Lobos was Brazilian composer of modern classical music, as well as a leading composer of Latin American music. His style is derived from Brazilian folk traditions, as well as the classical European sounds of early 20th century classical music. After Villa-Lobos met with Darius Milhaud in 1917, a French composer who experimented with polytonality and jazz, the two influenced each other greatly. Milhaud gave to Villa-Lobos the a spectrum of new possibilities in the music of Debussy and Satie, and to Milhaud Villa-Lobos showed Brazilian folk and street music. Perhaps this is what prompted Milhaud to create his amazing Saudades do Brazil for piano.

This recording includes his Suite Populaire Bresilienne, Five Preludes, and Twelve Etudes.

Villa-Lobos' guitar music flourishes with colorful chords and tones, but it also is quiet - meditatively so. It is constantly changing, transmogrifying into new shapes and sounds as the landscape changes as well. From verdant hillsides to lulling cities above the clouds, I can actually feel myself melting away as I listen. In these pieces by Villa-Lobos, beauty is given a whole new meaning.

My favorite piece is the third of the Five Preludes, in A minor.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Still - Pale Face EP

1985; 5 tracks

Here is the 1985 EP released by Japanese experimental group
Still, the silken vocals provided by Toshie Santo. Their style consists mostly of jazzy guitars, poppy beats and an overall light and airy atmosphere. Some might consider their sound as new-wave. Pale Face is easy and whimsical to listen to, with not a second of filler that I could detect.

The live track "Orgel" is recorded in this link.


note: the folder included in the file is mistagged - it should say "pale face" instead of "real time."

少女時代 - 1st Japan Album

2011; 12 tracks

少女時代 is the correct Japanese tagging of the Japanese releases by South Korean pop group 소녀시대, also known as Girls' Generation and SNSD.

Here is 1st Japan Album, a conglomeration of a few singles ("Hoot," "Gee," "Genie") that have appeared on other releases, and some new tracks. It is awesome. Simple as that.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crust - Crusty Love

1994; 15 tracks

This is a terrifying, nigh unbearable, combination of tracks. It makes my spine crawl just to think about it.
Crust was a Texas-based noise rock band from the '80s and '90s signed onto the Trance Syndicate records. Crusty Love is their second full-length album.

They go over the edge, Crust does, with no limits in sight. Their sound varies slightly from track to track, but their initial heaviness will stay with you, and haunt you. My personal least favorite track, although I recognize it's brilliance, is "Country Lesson." Oh yeah, there is also "How About You," which takes the listener on the journey of an innocent young man picked up on the side of the road by a psychopath who gets off on the idea of having sex with hermaphrodites. That particular narrative doesn't seem to end well, as the song draws to a close before we can find out what happens to the young kid... hmm. I actually really love the first two tracks a lot, and you probably will too if you're willing to take a risk.

"Unhinged and packed with humour, Crust played a very special brand of noise rock, namely: AAAAHHH NOISE ROCK. If the bludgeon of Cherubs met the off-the-wall attitude of Killdozer, the result would be this very album, albeit with some apt samples and a vague predisposition towards 90’s industrial included."

Sometimes, it's fun to be scared

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

¡Cinco Años! Compilation

new records!

my brother takes taekwondo at this place and met a new friend there - christopher. christopher's grandmother takes care of him and runs a small section of the flea market. she sells mostly vintage kitchenware and things like that, but she also sells awesome hats from the 50s and 60s and.... RECORDS! mostly classical records, i found out today. my family and i went to watch my brother at TKD practice and christopher's grandmother invited me and my sister and cousin to check out her hat collection because we were getting bored. in the backseat of her car, which was filled to the brim with just an unimaginable amount of crap, i spotted a large pile of records. i pulled them all out and set them on the back of her very old sedan and was just.. in awe. among opera and jazz records i found the most amazing classical recordings you could imagine, and started making a pile of records that i would consider buying. i ended up buying them all lol, and they were only $1 a piece. here is a complete list of what i bought:

Igor Stravinsky
~ The Firebird Suite
Duo Concertant for violin and piano
George Szell / Symphony Orchestra
Louis Kaufman, violin
Helene Pignari, piano

Johannes Brahms
~ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor for piano and orchestra, Op. 15
George Szell / The Cleveland Orchestra
Leon Fleisher, piano

~ Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat
Firtz Reiner / Chicago Symphony Orchestra
Van Cliburn, piano

~ Symphony No. 3
Variations on a Theme by Haydn
George Szell / The Cleveland Orchestra

~ Symphony No. 3
Academic Festival Overture
Bruno Walter / Columbia Symphony Orchestra

Frédéric Chopin
~ The Nocturnes and Waltzes
Artur Rubinstein

~ The Piano Concertos:
No. 1 in E Minor, Op. 11
Stanislaw Skrowaczewski / New Symphony Orchestra of London
No. 2 in F Minor, Op. 21
Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise in E-Flat, Op. 22
Alfred Wallenstein / Symphony of the Air
Artur Rubinstein, piano

~ Complete Waltzes
Guiomar Novaes, piano

Sergei Rachmaninoff
~ Second Piano Concerto
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Leonard Bernstein / New York Philharmonic
Gary Graffman, piano

~ Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3
Fritz Reiner / Chicago Symphony
Van Cliburn, piano

~ Piano Concerto No. 3
Eugene Ormandy / New York Philharmonic
Vladimir Horowitz, piano
Recorded live at Carnegie Hall
January 8, 1978

~ Piano Concerto No. 3
Kiril Kondrashin / Symphony of the Air
Van Cliburn, piano
Actual Carnegie Hall performance
May 19, 1958

~ Piano Concerto No. 1
Piano Concerto No. 4
Eugene Ormandy / The Philadelphia Orchestra
Philippe Entremont, piano

~ Varations on a Theme by Corelli, Op. 42
Etudes Tableaux, Op. 39
Vladimir Ashkenazy, piano

Ludwig van Beethoven
~ Piano Concerto No. 3 in G, Op. 58
Erich Leinsdorf / Boston Symphony Orchestra
Artur Rubinstein, piano

these are basically all of my favorite composers, although i would have loved to see some shostakovich, grieg or tchaikovsky in her collection. the only other classical ones she had that i didn't buy were a sibelius symphony and an offenbach ballet or something. i have so many different recordings of those rachmaninoff concertos, wow! i still think i will love the abbey simon / saint louis symphony orchestra recordings of all four since that was the one i grew up on and relate to the most, but... it is always wonderful to hear different interpretations. i mean, they are just eternally lasting pieces of music that seep beauty from every note, every rest, every swell and ebb of the orchestra and piano strings. *sigh* :3

these amazing treasures are all sitting right here next to my chair! i can't believe it... i don't have a record player at the moment, but i will definitely buy one soon. i am so glad that she was so generous to give me all of them, and i'm glad to have helped her sell some of her stuff, i think that is her sole income and she takes care of christopher all by herself, so. she told me that the van cliburn recordings were a must have, and i'd never heard of him before, so i took her word. he was quite good-looking then, so maybe that has something to do with it. she also had quite an assortment of hats, and my aunt even bought one. she really likes hats, especially the crazy bright-colored ones. i never wear hats... i don't think anyone does, regularly. i wonder why that is. actually, i wonder what the purpose of a hat is. most are for decoration, some keep the sun out of your eyes, some keep you warm, and some are used solely for protection. they're just so weird to me. hatboxes are even weirder, but very convenient, i think...

if i knew how to upload these records and share them i would =\

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ovens - Ovens

Harvey Milk - Special Wishes (Live)

October 27, 2006; 9 tracks

Here the Athens, Georgia-based sludge band
Harvey Milk play through their 2006 album Special Wishes at the Drunken Unicorn in Atlanta, GA. I haven't heard the original album, but this live album is full of crushing tracks that hook you in almost immediately. My personal favorite would have to be "War," it being just so damn catchy, but many tracks here lend themselves to a deluge of heaviness and earthmoving brilliance. For a while now I've admired their 1996 album Courtesy and Good Will Toward Men, a milestone in this experimental / sludge genre. There is something about their guitar sound which blends southern drone with a Boris-esque dread, completely inundated with mystery, and the utterly spine-tingling voice of Creston Spiers, reminiscent of Jandek and Cohen, that innately draw me to them. It is said of Creston that he would only do Cohen covers if he could, and I don't think that would be a bad idea. On Courtesy they did an incredible cover of "One of Us Cannot Be Wrong," I can't remember if I've already mentioned that in an earlier post or not, but listen to it right now if you haven't already. Live albums are always spontaneously alive and awe-inspiring, and this is no exception!


Monday, June 13, 2011

the sun has poisoned me

I went to the beach today. It was hot. It was cloudy. I got sunburned. I smell like seaweed. My hair is salty. My legs are burning my arms are freezing and my shivers last extra long.

My family leaves the day after tomorrow. Then I will be able to get a full night of rest, possibly, and have time to talk to people / listen to music / post music, etc. And practice piano. I haven't even attempted to in slightly over a week. This depresses me.

I haven't read at all in slightly over a week, either... I think my two library books are like a month overdue. I know I have somewhere around $30 in late charges at the library. That depresses me.

I just downloaded Clockcleaner's EP Auf-Wiedersehen and Straitjacket Fits' album Hail. Going to listen to them soon.

Sleep is beckoning me and my eyes hurt so fucking bad but I can't bring myself to lie in bed and face that terrible dark vacuum that I know awaits me. I don't want to dream, and I have a feeling that I won't, but lately... something that used to haunt me has made another appearance in my dreams. A black figure standing beside my bed, always facing the side to which I have my back turned. The figure is armed and ready to murder me. I used to feel it swinging down to kill and would imagine that swift movement for such a long time. I would scream because of it... I remember my dad coming in to ask if I was on drugs, but I laughed at him because I was 14 and never left the house except to go on a walk every now and then. Anyway, I would rather not meet that creature again in my dreams.

I've told people about the figure but they always told me I was crazy - always. No one would even try to console me, or help me to realize the reality of the situation. They always tried to snap me out of it and hurt me further by instilling inside of me that I am crazy. I feel like I'm whining now.

Sorry for so many dumb posts about nothing. On the way home from the beach I listened to that Deathspell Omega track "Jubilate Deo" probably a dozen times. The final half - starting at around 4:00 - is just incredible... some of the greatest black metal I've ever heard. I don't want that last 2 minutes / 7 seconds to ever end. The whole SMRC album reminds me a lot of Phonsie, I remember when he listened to nothing but that album for weeks on end. Literally, nothing else. I miss him so bad. Well, that's it for the musical side of my life, I guess. I went through Blue Bell Knoll again earlier, "Itchy Glowbo Blow" is a very nice song.

verlies - "loss" (Dutch)
mouette - "seagull" (French)
vankityrmä - "dungeon" (Finnish)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Umberto - Prophecy of the Black Widow

2010; 8 tracks

I really like this review and I really love this album:

Umberto is the alter-ego of which one talented young man - Matt Hill, delivers his fresh and inventive take on the sadly overlooked Italo-Horror soundtracks of the mid-seventies. Total Goblin worship at it's finest, with his own magic-dust sprinkled over it. Matt is no stranger to epic musical landscapes either,he is also the main man behind drone/psych juggernaut Expo 70, who also dish out some fantastic purely instrumental ear candy.

With his fairly recent Umberto project, he conjures up the ghosts of early horror film and soundtrack pioneers like Goblin, John Carpenter, Claudio Simonetti, and even the more recent Zombi works. I can't help but imagine a giant backdrop flashing images of classic Argento films, in a live performance. Hill almost effortlessly creates hypnotic layers of haunting synthesizers, topped with some rather stunning synth arpeggios, as a damp low-end growl slithers around them. His tasteful use of soft synth patches, mixed with the buzzing sine-waves melts together almost too perfectly, creating a dense black cloud of deep chords and brooding swells. He's got quite a knack for melody too, which has been proven time and again with his incredible and expansive work in Expo 70, and he applies the same tuneful wizardry to these blackened electro numbers.Leaning more towards the subtle-yet-danceable downbeat, opposed to the symphonic-progressive rock styles of most of his predecessors.

Now, this isn't a total throwback to the Italian horror genre. Sure, the song titles are spooky nods, and the artwork is just screaming 'Obscure Horror Soundtrack,' and yes, the music is very similar to the aforementioned acts, but with Prophecy there is a much more modern and revitalizing take on this outsider sub-genre. Hill is clearly paying tribute to something that has been greatly overlooked for decades, and he is doing it so,so right. Songs for chasing someone through the woods, peeking through a stranger's window, creaking doors and some late night dancing in the dark."


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Donovan - Sunshine Superman

1966; 10 tracks

Donovan is a Scottish singer-songwriter and guitarist whose groundbreaking sounds gained him much popularity in the UK, and eventually the world. Here is his third album. I just love "Celeste" so so much...

"Sunshine Superman blended his original folk style with American folk-rock, jazz and psychedelia, also managing to bring in eastern and medieval flavours into the mix. Whilst his earlier albums had been mostly performed solo, his new material had his voice and guitar augmented by electric guitars, drums, strings, percussion, sitar and more. Donovan was one of the first artists to make extensive use of the sitar, and on Sunshine Superman it is played by Texan singer-songwriter Shawn Phillips, who he had met in '65 and become close friends with.

Sunshine Superman kick-started a new period in Donovan's career, both in terms of chart success and recognition as well as musical exploration. It is widely considered a landmark psychedelia album."

my songs are merely dreams visiting my mind

Monday, June 6, 2011

Today I went to a Tibetan Buddhist temple with two of my friends and one of their boyfriends. I don't even remember how I got caught up in that, but I wasn't doing anything yesterday and they invited me along and I ended up saying YES. It was called the Kadampa Center (website here) and we were lead around by a Tibetan Buddhist nun. She wasn't a native of Tibet or any other Asian country, but she was extremely kind and knowledgeable and she told us she just got back from a long trip to India. Her head was shaved and she wore a red-colored traditional Buddhist nun robe which wrapped around her shoulder. We attended a small service but there was hardly anyone else there... before the prayers and teachings we were told to recite The Four Immeasurables:

May all sentient beings have happiness and its causes,
May all sentient beings be free of suffering and its causes,
May all sentient beings never be separated from bliss without suffering,
May all sentient beings be in equanimity, free of bias, attachment and anger

I remember thinking that that was an amazing, perfect prayer. I was stunned at the conciseness with which it expressed the overall beliefs of the Buddhists. I think I told myself I really wanted to devote my life to their teachings. But that moment flickered and faded as I remembered what life was really like... After that we chanted a few songs and did a 10 minute meditation. I closed my eyes and could distantly hear train flying past somewhere, going nowhere. It was steaming hot in the inner room of the temple, but for some reason I wasn't that affected by it. The woman had a nice, calm voice, and I let my mind drift away a tiny bit but not too far away. She told me to imagine a blank, black space - to put my mother to my left, my father to my right, those I have an issue with in front of me, and all of my friends and loved ones behind me. Then she told me to generate love in my heart and extend it in all directions. First of all, I can't even picture my dad anymore. And my mom... I wanted to put her in front of me too. Everything became a little fuzzy. I kept picturing all of these people I have hurt in my lifetime, and they were placed all around me in no particular order. All of these people who shouldn't have ever met me and would be better off if they never did. Also I was really hungry and was nervous about my stomach making loud noises because that reeeeally embarrasses me. Love is just... I don't know. The woman said to not worry that the love we generated would run out, because it is an infinite amount of shimmering energy and that we were to imagine it as a bright light. I thought "Love will ruin your mind," and I felt like my mind really was ruined. When, in my whole life, had love brought me anything positive or radiant or beautiful? I can only think of illusions and strange tinges of grief. All the colors of my mind mixing together, runny and dark and drying up, hardening in a center at the core of my existence. I couldn't generate the love in time, before she said to open our eyes... One of the guys that worked there gave me some water when I asked for it. WOW I actually think that is significant, but it was. He was cute. After we left the temple I went to hang up some of my art at this indie coffeehouse place in the really old, desolate part of the city. My art class is having this art show on Wednesday night. I.... am awful at art. I can't even draw a person, cat, or car - I can't draw anything. I guess I can copy pictures alright. But I'm not very artistic in that cool artistic way.

If I think about it, there isn't all that much to me. I'm not a book snob, a film snob, and I'm definitely not an art snob either. I don't know enough about anything to have all of those strong opinions. I don't play that many videogames. All I really know is music and classical music and composers. I guess it doesn't matter.

My grandma said she was buying me a fluffy beach towel for college. And shampoo. She is very nice. I have to finish (I mean.. start) my Chemistry final project. I want to record myself playing a certain song for my friend, so I need to go practice that. I've been working on 4 piano songs, 3 for myself and 1 for my teacher. Here they are, in order of least difficult to most difficult and my estimation of the percentage completed:

Maurice Ravel - Sonatine, III. Animé (95%)
Ludwig van Beethoven - Piano Sonata No. 6 in F major (30%)
Frédéric Chopin - Nocturne Op. 48, No. 1 (80%)
Franz Liszt - Un Sospiro (25%)

On Thursday night I have my last piano recital EVER, ever ever in the history of high school and middle school and elementary school. I am not looking forward to the actual pieces I'm playing (Chopin - Nocturne Op. 27, No. 1 & a Bach Prelude/Fugue) but I am looking forward to the piano I'm playing on! It's a Bösendorfer (a really awesome piano that is extra long). I have played on it before, but that was like when I was 10 or 11. It should be fun I guess. I am graduating on Saturday. My cousin and two aunts are coming to visit us on Thursday.

I haven't been listening to that many complete albums lately, other than this one Frogs album and a Sun City Girls one. I might post those later, but I still don't really know what I think about them. I feel bad for not posting more awesome musics. I want to, really... hnnnnnnngg. Today I heard Grieg's first piano concerto on the radio and it was SUCH a bad recording! I think it was like 50 years old, but seriously... I had to turn it off. I forgot the name of the pianist - a Frenchman whose birthday is today, or tomorrow, I think. At first I thought it was like Rachmaninoff's second or third because I really always get those mixed up with the Grieg, much to my shame. They're just all so beautiful.

More to the point, there are two lists of amaaazing songs that I keep listening to over and over again. Here they are:

list # 1 - random songs that I like
Bombay Bicycle Club - The Giantess
Elysian Fields - Sleepover & Red Riding Hood
Vangelis - Bicycle Riders (Harps of the Ancient Temples) & Chew's Eye Lab
Blouse - Shadow
Pinknruby - Lusima
Frédéric Chopin - Nocturne Op. 48, No. 1

list # 2 - songs from M., my new best friend in the whole world
Matt Howden - Intimate; Allude
Anne Clark - At Midnight
10,000 Maniacs - Our Time in Eden
Philip Glass - Symphony No. 3, III.
Niccolo Paganini - Caprice for solo violin in A minor (Theme & Variations), Op. 1/24, MS 2
Joseph Haydn - Cello Concerto No. 2 in D Major
Mogwai - Friend of the Night
Current 93 - The Seahorse Rears to Oblivion
Donovan - Celeste

Here is the acoustic version of "Celeste," one of the most amazing things in the universe to me right now:

Also I wrote two poems in my head last night before I went to sleep. I wonder if I can remember them. :3

Here is a picture of Jhonn Balance that I honestly saw for the first time like last week. It is a beautiful, dark picture. I think he looks like an angel.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Senator Flux - Storyknife

1991; 10 tracks

Senator Flux was a D.C. hardcore band from the late 80s. Their syle is more indie rock, but influences of pop and punk are pervasive in Storyknife. This is a nice record of interesting music, I think I like "Canadia" the most.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sergei Rachmaninoff - The Complete Preludes

1990; 24 tracks
Alexis Weissenberg, pianist

"The practice of composing sets of piano preludes in all twenty-four keys became increasingly popular after Chopin’s Op. 28 appeared in 1839, yet it seems that Rachmaninoff did not originally plan to write a full set of twenty-four preludes. His first, "Prelude in C-sharp minor," was written in 1892 as part of five Morceaux de fantaisie. In 1903 he composed Ten Preludes, Op. 23, still without any intention of creating a cycle, but seven years later he decided to complete the set by writing Thirteen Preludes, Op. 32 in the remaining keys.

As a genre, the piano prelude was quite common in Russian music of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but, as opposed to the rather intimate preludes of Lyadov or Scriabin, Rachmaninoff’s are much larger, much more developed pieces with a very obvious 'concert' profile. As ever in Rachmaninoff's music, allusions abound in these pieces. In some the composer uses certain genres – a Minuet, a March, a Barcarole – yet these are just hints of the original dances. For instance, in the D minor Prelude, the fateful pace of a Sarabande can be felt more than an innocent Minuet. Some preludes, especially those based on a motoric motion, are very similar to Chopin’s Études, and are definitely influenced by Chopin’s piano style.

With points of reference spanning the years, Rachmaninoff's twenty-four preludes present a microcosm of his music and his major musical ideas. Contained within these pieces one can find every single element of his style, with its poetry, depth and originality."

I love these preludes, every last one of them. You may recognize his first, that fateful piece which would come to define the composer's life long after it was first penned at the age of 19 (which brings to mind Anthony Burgess' thoughts on A Clockwork Orange... a piece he was not altogether proud of, but would later be his most well-known work). The truth is, each of these are extraordinary. I am no critic on interpretation, and it seems like that of Weissenberg's is either loved or hated, but I certainly could find no fault with it. I saw Berezovsky has done the full cycle (as did Ashkenazy, but why not switch it up a little) so I'd like to give those a listen. One of my favorite of the Preludes is the second of the Op. 23, in B-flat Major - here is a look at the opening measures:

how well he hears silence

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