Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I am guilty of not always viewing some of the blogs I hold in highest esteem and link on the sidebar there. But i recently stumbled upon some excellent posts in On An Overgrown path (which is named after one of my favorite works for piano)

This post reflects several of my thoughts at the moment, so i figure I best divert attention that way.

My one beef is with the term itself.- "world music" seems like an insult if we somehow exclude western classical traditions from the group. If we're talking about "traditional world musics" It better as hell include it ALL, balinese gamelan to native american pow-wow musics, to shostakovich and back. (i dont think many people would approve, though) Otherwise, we're using an essentially categorizing music in a very ethnocentric way- ie. "classical music" and "everything else thats traditional on the planet", knowing full well that separate is inherently unequal in this kind of dialogue**, I would propose that we specify which traditions we're talking about. If its Northern Hindustani Classical or Tuvan Throat singing, or Taureg traditional music. "world music" just doesn't cut it.

**I'm not going to sit around and discuss music in terms of one kind being more or less important than some other kind, and thereby creating value judgments about the nature of different music traditions. Nor am I automatically calling all music equal. The "importance" in the western sense can not be applied to other cultures where music functions and is perceived differently, and the musical values do not necessarily translate. It is simply stupid to try weigh the importance of someone like Veena Sahasraddhe against Pavarotti, just as one does not judge a Kandinsky as they would a Botticelli.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Yesterday I went to the capitol hill block party, good times.

Fleet Foxes played, it was good stuff. Listened to different bands, but the foxes were why I even went. That, and i had nothing else to do yesterday.

Good band, great music. Local group who might be bringing plad back, or at least in this region. They've certainly cultivated a 1970s eco-hippy mountain-man image.

I approve.

Friday, July 11, 2008

This music gets my back all tingly and crap.

no, really. Just this first movement. I love the whole thing, but man, this is gorgeous. And is it wrong for me to hear just a little Don Giovanni in it? I've known this music for years, but im back to it, after watching an episode of Curb your enthusiasm, which features two excerpts of Berlioz.

I said to my roommates. "THATS BERLIOZ!!! OMFG!!!"

alright, maybe not quite like that, but pretty close. so now im on a romanticist kick i guess. Berlioz and Liszt. Oh, trusty old Liszt, i always listen to him. Anytime i need something cool to listen to, i pull out a transcendental etude or mephisto waltz. This morning i was almost late to work because i was obsessing over the beauty of this performance:

I love the intensity. Its really just perfect and amazing.

{romanitic} sigh.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Beirut captures my sentimentality

And im talking about the band, not the Lebanese capital. (which i'd love to visit some day)

is the second track on Beirut's second album The Flying Club Cup, a great new album. While I generally make a point of strongly disliking people who are my age or younger and more successful than me, I'll make an exception for Beirut's lead singer.

The music in this album is an eclectic- mixing folk, french chanson, brass band, even lounge sounds and other influences into a sweet lyrical and graceful expression. There are many french references in the music and title, which is kinda fun (for me anyway). The greatest song on the album is the sublime Mausoleum, but this is less of a album review and more of a personal note, so im not going to dive into any detail, so just trust me.... its good.

Nantes, the song makes no references to my city in its lyrics (its MY city now days), but just that title is enough to capture my attention, and the beauty of the song taps into my nostalgia for last year and my idle life as un etudiant etranger en france.

But the place (though beautiful and charming as it is) i miss a lot less than my friends i left.