Monday, January 29, 2007

Terry Riley - You're no good

That Terry Riley (re?)Mix, You're nogood, reposted (and hosted) by Mr. Gable at aworks has been stuck in my head for days, floating in and out. I listened to it once (well, maybe twice) and its stuck- but theres no wonder in that, but this post has opened a link to two newish blogs which hold my interest (the two that posted this before Mr. gable and long before me) The colorfully named Dinosaur Gardens and music for maniacs. Both will probably be frequenly visited by yours truely.

I was taken back at first by the music's radicalism, particularly the excruciating opening which reminded me of no other riley i knew, followed by what might be possibly classified as pop-art music.All of the blogs above do a better job at describing the piece than i, and you'll have to go to Aworks to hear it.

Saturday, January 27, 2007



I just "updated blogger" now its in french, too. Ah well, no problem. Hopefully this gets published.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Frank Zappa- I promise not to come in your

So internet has arrives in the dorms. Unfortunately its crappy internet (ah, la belle france), so when i went about trying to post these few words ( below), i accidentally only ended up getting the first part of the title. (frank) and then i couldn’t go back and edit the post because the internet is rather... uh, special (though, to be honest, i kinda like a post that just says "frank", very reductive, you know, reminds me of a video i saw on you tube with john cage... but im rambling (and using too many (parentheses))). So ive been unsuccessful with blogger since, im back in my ordinary location,across the parking lot outside in the cold mooching wifi in a closed uni building next door

The first 10 seconds or so are a zappa cover of the first part of Philip Glass’ Music in 12 parts (transposed to some different key).Gorgeous guitar work runs throughout the piece, but those beginning 10 seconds are still my favorite. what can i say, im a minimalist fan before a zappa fan.

So far the only other zappa piece I’ve really latched on to his El condor Pasa. im not sure where el condor it comes from, but its certainly beautiful, and doesn’t follow the same kampy in-your face-satire that most of the zappa im familiar with does.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

John Zorn- Bikini Atol

....And 38 hysterical seconds later winamp’s shuffle feature changes it to Arvo Part. Interesting choice. Well, 46 seconds later, to be exact. Im still on vacation here, and without too much to do. The greatest task for today has been making a decision on how to prepare the chicken for dinner.

I think ive decided on mustard chicken.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Terry Riley- Rainbow in Curved air.

Youtube has become an easy way for me to become acquainted with some unknown contemporary music...and amateur art-video. There are three of these short videos which use this music, so im really only familiar with fragments, but I love them all the same. If I had the chance, when I have a chance, I might ask such a CD for a birthday present. Gorgeous stuff.

and while im at is, i'll also profess my love for adult swim comedy. This clip, also from Youtube involves "an old friend", a bebop cola machine, who contains such flavors as orangette coleman, fizzy gillespie, and dave bruberry.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

uh, more pictures. N'importe quoi.

Embrun, Jardins De Luxembourg (paris), Lyon, Annecy, Lyon, Paris

Monday, January 08, 2007


I currently have reliable internet access and am not on the battery clock, so im posting like a madman, First, Porto, Portugal

I c

Voici, Coimbra

et Lisboa!

Alright, im not going to add anymore due to the bizarre nature of blogger, or "old-blogger" and its photo handling abilities...


Im not good with distilling down the origins of my changes in attitude or ideas down to one book or one piece of music, or even my preferred works, so i will, in my typical flamboyant disregard for the rules, go about listing as much as i feel fit.

Name (1) a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies,-

America - The book. For christmas, i bought this book for no less than 3 people (who didnt know eachother) and for myself. Im not stepping down from my position, that book is a masterpiece of satire, and i would prefer it anyday, even on my most-baby-hating humor day, to a modest proposal.

It should be a text book, damnit.

(2) a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music,-
Debussy- Reflets Dans L'eau, Beethoven- 9th et piano sonatas, Dirty Projectors-Slaves Graves and Ballads, Sibelius- 6th, Stravinsky- Dances of the young girls, Apollo, Berg- Lyric Suite, Cage- Prepared piano pieces, Glass- Music in 12 parts et Einstein, Reich- Piano phase, Music for 18 musicians.

(3) a film you can watch again and again without fatigue,-
uhh... I dont think there is one. Films bore me more often than not.

(4) a performer for whom you suspend of all disbelief
-cirque du soleil.

(5) a work of art you'd like to live with-
A Barbazon School landscape. Or Corbet's Paris, Anything by Kadinsky, or a big Rothko, if i had space. or Canaletto, Durer is sweet too.

(6) a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life-

Are you my mother?

and... whats-his-face and the purple crayon.

(7) a punch line that always makes you laugh.-"Mes enfants ont besoin du vin!" (my children need wine!" not really a punch line, but a phrase that always makes me laugh.

Forward this to three people.

screw that.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Philip Glass -String Quartet #5

This is the first work of contemporary music I remember being interested in. I was 13 or 14 and in my English teachers room before class. Knowing that I was a pianist he showed me some of the tracks from the kronos quartet’s recording. I even remember the track, it was the 4th movement of the 5th, and in listening I paused, “wow, that’s gorgeous, and…. interesting… and…. contemporary (?)” how could contemporary music be all three of these things? I couldn’t understand, but I was fascinated.

I went about hunting down some more Philip glass recordings, even listening to my English teachers cd in full. To be honest I was disappointed. I didn’t get all the repetitions I didn’t understand why he insisted on repeating the same phrase 4 times in a row, and so I sort of dropped my hunt for classical music recordings, and read about it instead. I remember being frustrated for years because I really wanted to get my hands on some Steve Reich, but I wasn’t able… within my means. (20 dollar CDs were out of the question, especially for something I might hate)

Im still feeling far too limited, I have practically the complete works of reich and enough (read: a ton) of glass and a lot of adams, dutilleux, I know some stockhausen, a little boulez and xenakis, and I enjoy late Coltrane quite a bit, I love me the George Crumb, my only riley is In C and the only La Monte Young piece is his well tuned piano, Im enjoying the aggressiveness of John Zorn and Animal Collective, along with the surrealism of The Dirty Projectors, Godspeed you Black Emperor and Broken Social Scene Meridith Monk has some wonderful pieces, I am familiar with a little Nyman and I love Berio’s symphonia, Messiaen is usually cool, John Cage’s prepared piano warms my heart, I also enjoy his tape works but Varese bores me, and is there anything at all interesting in Feldman’s string quartets? The Kronos Quartet is always reliable source of interesting music, Aphex Twin, Bjork and even (this is clownsilly’s fault) The boards of Canada have my interest, A Silver mount Zion, Red hot chili peppers and Nirvana often keep me company as do Sonic Youth and Radiohead. I may be in love with Michael Gordon and Julia Wolf. I love Arvo Part’s atmospherics and the Books subtle humor. I only know Ligeti’s etudes, and they honestly disappointed me. Theres a ton more out there though, that I haven’t gotten to.

Any suggestions?




Here he is at the louvre.

Returned from my Paris museum tour. I saw all the museums I hadn’t seen in a while. The Louvre, of course, the Pompidou, the D’Orsay and the Rodin museum, I also got to see the interior of Soufflot’s masterpiece, St. Genieve, or as its now known, the Pantheon who’s crypt holds the bones of Voltaire, Rousseau, and a whole bunch of over guys who probably wouldn’t like people staring at their coffin. Soufflot was there too. I saw the church of st. Sulpice and some other random neo-gothic one while walking around. I walked around the marais and latin quarter. In my last hour of paris, before my train, I saw the near-by Montparnasse cemetery. I couldn’t find anyone I had heard of… I tried to find Satre’s and Baudelaire’s but in my rush I didn’t find them. Saint- Saens , D’indy, Chausson and Franck are all there too.

The only one I really like is Franck anyway. But no big deal. Now I know where they’re buried.

Friday, January 05, 2007

I returned to Nantes the 26 after 10.5 days in Portugal and one in London. All went well. Portugal is a beautiful little country, and for a small country it has a lot. It would kick Belgium’s ass in a beauty contest.

My mother and I started in Porto, Portugal (the name of the country comes from this, portugal’s 2nd city) And spent two relaxing days there. It’s a diamond in the rough. Sprucing it up would send tourism into crazy mode, since its has an array of spectacular churches, picturesque backstreets and grand squares. im actually quite glad they’ve let it be the working town that it is

Then, Coimbra, where I ended up with a nice tee shirt. There was a beautiful old university there, and with it, amazing baroque Versailles-style library. I ended getting to go up inside it and the guy working there showed us a book from 1560 something. Pretty sweet.

I heard Fado, traditional Portugese music, at the local house of fado in Coimbra. It was striking music, evocative and bittersweet, consisting of a small guitar ensemble (maybe 2 or 3, Portuguese guitars of different types) and a singer. In Coimbra its traditional a male who sings, but elsewhere its usually a woman.

Lisbon Followed, and we spent some 5 days there. It was a great city. Surprisingly. it reminded me a lot of San Franciso, and even felt like san fran does in the winter. Sun, clear skies and high 50s. Not terrible by any means but not particularly warm. We were there during a cold spell so it didn’t really get to the 60s, which, for me at least, was disappointing. Better than Nantes though, or back home.

Saw the good sites in Lisbon, Some beautiful old neighborhoods. Went out to Sintra for some fairytale castles, it was spectacular if a little bit ridiculous. Saw a overly-restored Moorish castle. I at least I saw a few authentic walls.

Went to Evora for some Alentejo scenery. God it reminded me of California. The vegetation (palms, washingtonia Filifera and a few washingtonia robustas, and many phoenix species, as well as oaks, cork trees, open grassland and eucalyptus) Very sparsely populated for western Europe. Gorgeous landscape though. A warm sun, but not real warm temperatures, and an authentic roman temple, or whats left of it, as well as ruins and an old roman gate and tower. The town itself oozed the picturesque from its whitewashed, blue and yellow trimmed walls and red tile roofs.

I think I like the Iberian Penninsula.