Here’s Brooke Valentine’s monstrously funky “Thrill of the Chase.”
What music has been on your mind this week?
Tags: Brooke Valentine, Friday Utilitarian Music, The Thrill of the Chase
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INXS, Shabooh Shoobah and Kick
Wynton Marsalis, J Mood
Ornette Coleman, Sound Museum, Little Man
Lee Ritenour, Wes Bound
ABBA, Gold Greatest Hits
I can forgive the INXS and Marsalis because of the ABBA. I love ABBA.
I’m at this very moment listening to Donna Summer’s Happily Ever After, which is awesome. Also listened to Pink Floyd’s “More” for the first time in ages….and I’ve been listening to Helloween, who are really fun. Oh, and some fIREHOSE.
Kick is a great album…and Robert, have you heard Beck’s weird cover of it in its entirety? Pretty good and worth a listen if you like the original (but not nearly as odd as his cover of Yanni’s “Live at the Acropolis.”)
Been listening to the somewhat under-the-radar prog band Family. Too early to know if I really like them, though some tunes definitely work.
Here’s the link to the Beck “Record Club” with both of the above and a few more.
Oh, “The One Thing,” “Don’t Change,” and “The Devil Inside” are first-rate singles. Don’t sell INXS short. Most bands can’t claim a record even half as good as one of these.
I’m guessing you’re not familiar with Ritenour. If you don’t like Wynton’s stuff, Ritenour will probably make you want to gag. It’s like elevator music taken to the next level–good for ghost-writing assignments, where it helps to be somewhat distracted, though not entirely disengaged.
Just recalled that the Replacements “reunited” and released some digital tunes to help raise cash to support former “Mat” Slim Dunlap. In their honor…here’s some of their early punkier stuff. “I Hate Music” is a great name for a song…
I’ve been preparing for a (very non-traditional) music appreciation class I’m teaching this summer. Here’s the playlist so far:
Something’s Coming – West Side Story
Ravel: String Quartet in F Major (II)
Aqualung – If I Fall
The Avett Brothers: Talk On Indolence
Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young: Deja Vu
Bernstein: Chichester Psalms: I. Psalm 108 vs. 2, Psalm 100
Jonathan Seet: Heart Attack
Joni Mitchell: Case of You
Ravel: Pavane Pour Une Infante Defunte
Honegger: Une Cantate De Noel
Jump, Little Children: By the Way They Dance
Britten: Choral Dances from Gloriana: Concord
Andy Stochansky – Mavis Said…
Rachmaninov – Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, I. Moderato
Corelli: Concerto Grosso Op. 6, No. 8 in G Minor, “fatto per la notte di na tale”: II. Adagio – Allegro – Adagio
Yes – Close to the Edge (Part I II III IV)
Huh…that’s an interesting list. Is there a theme I’m missing? Or would you mind talking a little more about how you’re conceptualizing the class?
I always forget that you’re a music and theater person….
Oh, sure. Let’s see… well, I work with a lot of young singers/actors (most in middle/high school). And though being a young singer is, I think, more frustrating than being a any other kind of musician (so much time spent just waiting for your instrument to grow up & no way at all around that), where the students in our studio struggle the most is in establishing a natural sense of musicality and emotional connection to music–vital to any musician, but especially to a singer. Expressive singing is my strongest area of expertise, but it’s not something I ever had to work at very hard, and I chalk that up to a childhood immersed in music pretty much every moment. Most of our students had no such childhood, which puts them at a disadvantage. So our mission this summer is to try to achieve in ten weeks what I had years to accomplish–a real love for and emotional connection to music–much of which is music unfamiliar to them. To do this, I’m combining my own background in Dalcroze Eurhythmics with Arts Integration techniques.
Each week, we’ll listen to anywhere between 1-3 pieces of music (later in the summer, the pieces get pretty long, so we’ll deal with fewer at a time), usually with a common emotional thread. For instance, the first week is all about experiencing a sense of anticipation (with some particular nuances in each piece). We’ll take three pieces of music (“Something’s Coming”, the second movement of Ravel’s String Quartet in F Major, and “If I Fall”), listen to them, study them through movement, and talk about how they each achieve their emotional ends. Then the students will be asked to take one of the pieces (the first week I’m giving them all the same assignment–“If I Fall”–in later weeks they’ll get to choose) and make something of their own out of it. They can use any creative/artistic method they like–photography, dance, poetry, prose, painting, video–anything at all. I’ll work with each of them to decide on a project and help them figure out how to execute it. And so on. Eventually, the pieces will be long enough that the projects will span several weeks at a time, so they really have an opportunity to make something substantial out of them.
What we’re hoping to accomplish here is to help them each make a personal connection with the music and to become deeply immersed in it, one piece at a time.
An extended piece from one of the all time great classical outfits- The Quartetto Italiano– Schubert String Quartet, D minor, The Death and the Maiden. I recommend that anyone who gets into them should stick to the LP pressings. Plentiful and cheap on ebay. The CD reissues that I’ve heard are DOA.
One of the highlights from the old Sunday Night / Night Music show- NRBQ– Crazy Like a Fox
Want You to Feel Good Too
No doubt one of the all-time great American bands. Killer chops and as those clips prove- they knew how to party!
I’ve been compulsively alternating for the last couple of days between Majical Cloudz “What That Was” and Mercury Rev “Meth of a Rockette’s Kick” which somehow work almost perfectly together, I think.
Here are links to the songs:
What That Was
Meth of a Rockette’s Kick
“J Mood” is from Wynton’s earlier period, before he got bloated. His “Black Codes (From the Underground)” came just before that and is a very solid effort. Noah’s probably thinking after his post-1989 period where he was systematically consolidating the whole history of Jazz and consequently emasculating it as well. He consolidated everything all right, except for the most important thing- guts.
My favorite jazz from the past six months have been the brief youtube snatches from San Francisco’s John Coltrane Church. I don’t know if there’s any recording of there work out there. If not, I wish there was. Leave it to avant-garde players to know how to keep it earthy.
INXS was a mixed bag. They consistently thread the line between disposable shallow / groovy beguiling. Some tracks hold up well, like “Need You Tonite,” “Disappear,” “Kiss the Dirt.” Other tracks like “Devil Inside” sound callow as all get out. By many accounts though they were better live. And no doubt Hutchence made for a hell of a band leader; it wasn’t just looks with him.
Cricklewood Green, to smooth over Alvin Lee’s bardo-odyssey … and WFMU’s old mind control album to get me up to “speed” for dealing with recalcitrant clients
@Brandon – Mercury Rev are an old favorite, those first two albums with Dave Baker as co-lead vocalist are wonderful. I saw a more recent iteration of the group in 2008 and although they had the misfortune of going on right before My Bloody Valentine, they more than held their own.
@Noah – “The Nile Song” from MORE is awe-inspiring. “Maximum heaviosity” is truly achieved, and I strongly suspect that Mercury Rev were fans.
As for me, I’ve been listening to this wonderfully trippy Thai psychedelic group:
Even better, here’s a clip where the audience is a bit less indifferent and dances and grooves along as the band goes mobile. Nice to see an audience doing more than just the rock club head-nod.
I picked up a copy of the new David Bowie last night and I’ve been enjoying it. I think it comes out Tuesday but the record store apparently decided to put a few copies in the bins early. I love this song, “The Stars (Are Out Tonight),” and was happy to finally get to listen to it without the distracting video:
But mostly I’m still listening to the new Johnny Marr album and looking forward to seeing him live at Metro in April.
Also looking forward later next week to seeing Brian Blade on Thursday, at his drum clinic at the Chicago Music Exchange, and Friday night with the Brian Blade Fellowship at the Old Town School. I’ve seen him before with Chick Corea and then with Daniel Lanois, and he always brings so much joy to his playing. I’m only a guitar player but I have a feeling I’ll learn a lot from the drum clinic on Thursday night.
Yeah, that new Bowie is pretty good. Not every track, but much of it. Still available for free streaming on Itunes, but not for much longer.
Finally bought and listened to Patrick Moraz’s first solo album, The Story of I. I’m still enamored of the one Yes album he played on (Relayer) but I knew that if I listened to this in hopes of hearing Relayer 2 I’d be miserable, so I finally broke away from my overly precious attitude about these things and played it in the background while I cleaned house. As chore prog it worked fine.
Also picked up The Rough Guide to Scandinavia, which thus far sounds like a rapturous soundtrack to an excellent Swedish film.
I haven’t heard the Beck album. What’s the title?
I know Family. Roger Chapman’s singing can give a person chills.
Wow, quite a number of things I actually know about
I listened to the double Keeper Of The Seven Keys double album by Helloween a few months ago, yes fun, some great stuff going on, but I gave up on the second part because I found the singing relentlessly samey.
Family’s Music In A Doll’s House a few weeks ago and it was very good.
Replacements, I had about 5 of their albums and havent bought anything by them in perhaps 6 years or more.
LED ZEPPELIN – IV ((My first by them, I like a lot of bands inpired by them. I enjoyed it but dont feel compelled to get more, unless anyone can tell me if they did anything with more grandeur))
PENTANGLE – Basket Of Light ((good but didnt connect with it as much as many have))
SCOTT WALKER – Bisch Bosch ((Tilt is a contender for my all time top 3 albums, I loved Drift too, but I didnt love this one as much as the previous two, but I cant complain because it is still fantastic, visionary, full of hilarious lines (“take that accidentally in the bollocks”) and unique despite the similarities with Drift. This one has far more lyrics emphasis and I can only wonder what it might sound like to a non english speaker. You can rely on Scott Walker))
PROCOL HARUM – Grand Hotel ((Spectacular, I know they are famous, but why arent the old fart magazines banging on about them more? I’m sick of old farts banging on about how music was better in the 70s yet they dont bother to explore and praise the wealth of great music that I have been astonished by from those times. They just want to listen to the songs they already knew from their youth. Procol Harum rock! Great use of orchestra. Amazing that they wrote such an epic song about David Frost and Mighty Mouse on tv in “TV Caeser”))
TODD RUNDGREN – Todd ((I love him, but this is a mixed bag, some overlong ballads, beautiful instrumentals and hilarious little quickies. I think perhaps half of it could have been cut out))
ELP – Tarkus ((a few great moments but largely not so thrilling, I have three of their albums so far, this is by far the weakest, none of them manage to maintain the heights they sometimes achieve))
JUDY COLLINS – Wildflowers/ Who Knows Where The Time Goes (( I saw her in an episode of Girls this week! David Paleo recommended her years ago, very nice stuff. Bizarrely, she recorded songs by Leonard Cohen, Sandy Denny and Joni Mitchell before they recorded their own versions, there is even Cohen songs which he never recorded his own versions of))
JETHRO TULL – Songs From The Wood ((Good fun stuff. I want to see some live dvds, his dancing was so cool and hilarious))
ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN – Ocean Rain ((Not bad, I like loads of this sort but aside from a few songs it aint grabbing me much))
GODSPEED YOU BLACK EMPEROR – Lift your skinny…((A landmark album which somehow I never heard til now, I couldnt be bothered to begin with but I’m gradually becoming very intrigued. I used to be right geared up for this stuff but just lost track of it with so many other interests in music, I really havent done a lot of post rock despite it being the sort of thing I can do. I love late Talk Talk and Bark Psychosis))
I quit my job two months ago and found I cant get jobseekers money until the end of july and the thing I’m most worried about is music! I only have a couple of new albums left and my family only has about 9 albums I want to hear between them. I really need some Queen Adreena, Art Zoyd, Kate Bush, Young Gods, Voivod, King Diamond, plenty of goth and shoegazing soon!
Have been listening to SXSW acts because I will be there next week!!! And want lots of backups in case my preferred acts are sold out.
At top of (newly discovered) list are:
My full wishlist is here, btw, in case any of you kind souls would – in your infinite kindness – like to suggest more bands for me and (especially) my mom to check out.
Follow the link I put up there, Robert. It’s just titled “Kick”–and the cover is a pencil drawing of the INXS cover. It’s part of the Beck “Record Club.”
I love that Echo and the Bunnymen album.
Oh and Zeppelin’s Physical Graffitti has “more grandeur” if that’s what you want (I prefer I, II, and III to IV if only because IV is overplayed).
I’d try other Zeppelin, Robert. IV is great, but maybe not my favorite of theirs. Try I, II, or III.
Melinda Beasi, that music class sounds fun! When I was in school I would have run, not walked, so sign up for a class in expressive singing that involved Yes and creative multimedia expression.
What’s Dalcroze Eurythmics?
Robert Adam Gilmour, I’m sorry you didn’t like Tarkus… it’s a fave of mine, one of those albums that got in my bloodstream at an impressionable age, and now I can’t tell what 39-year old me really thinks of it because 16-year old me keeps interrupting. Brain Salad is my other preferred ELP album… for some reason none of the others clicked with me.
I only know Procul Harum’s most obvious song, but I’ll dig deeper. I’ll check the rest 2.
@Aaron: Thanks! Response from our students has been positive so far. I’m hoping we’ll have a nice, full class.
As for Dalcroze… this About.com article isn’t too bad in terms of describing Dalcroze Eurhythmics in simple terms. It varies so much in practice, but essentially it is a method of training musicians that heavily utilizes movement as a way of understanding/internalizing things like rhythm and tempo. It is usually combined with the study of Solfege (and was when I studied it, both as a separate discipline and integrated into Eurhythmics classes themselves). I do not teach pure Dalcroze (for one, I’m not certified to do so), but I was lucky enough to study Eurhythmics with the brilliant Marta Sanchez as an undergrad at Carnegie Mellon University back when there were very few places in North America to study it at all. For its application to singing, Timothy Caldwell wrote a great book in the mid-nineties called Expressive Singing: Dalcroze Eurhythmics for Voice which I personally think should be standard in vocal performance programs everywhere, but even now, Dalcroze is underutilized in American music schools. I use Dalcroze methodology heavily in my own teaching at all levels. For singers, especially, I think learning to use their whole instrument, rather than just focusing on the mouth, lungs, and vocal chords, is vital to understanding music.
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The 2006 Johnny Ryan interview from the Comics Journal.
September 3, 2007 | 5 comments
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