Month: April 2017

1997, Music

Glee (1997) by Bran Van 3000

I love genre-bending. A number of my most favourite bands are bands that can play a wide variety of genres well, and make these genres sound like their own (or, alternatively, convince you they are an entirely different band). So I should like this. I should like this even though it is based in music …

1997, Music

Full Circle (1997) by Pennywise

I don’t love 90s punk, I generally find it too polished and too formulaic for my tastes. I’m not sure what it adds to the legacy of hardcore and frankly it’s all too one note. You can get away with one-note when you’re doing something brand new, but when you are doing a slightly more …

1997, Music

Dig Me Out (1997) by Sleater-Kinney

The songwriting has improved here – the arrangements feel tighter and the hooks are  arguably stronger. This is only the second record of theirs I’ve heard, so I’m not sure I can argue that it is their best (I believe it has that reputation) but if you are looking for 90s punk that still feels …

1992, Music

Diva (1992) by Annie Lennox

I am generally opposed to albums dominated by “modern” (read: contemporary) instrumentation. I hate bad 80s (and 90s!) synthesizers and generally do not like music that is made primarily by these instruments. Things that sound modern once do not normally sound modern later and that is a huge issue with so much of the pop …

Daily Log, Personal

The Log for Friday April 21, 2017

What I Ate Breakfast: Harvest Crunch in 1%, smoothie; glass of tea Morning: 2 glasses of green tea; apple; chocolate with plum Lunch: salami, cheddar and tomato sandwich on marble rye with mayo and mustard; piece of cheese; chocolate with plum; apple Afternoon: couple of chocolate plums Dinner: half a steak tartar with poached egg; …

1997, Music

Her Point of View (1997) by Olga Konkova

Konkova takes aim at a number of jazz standards and reinvents them and makes them her own. She makes them sound of a piece with her own compositions. And this is what I like about jazz: fresh interpretations of old music so that it sounds more modern, with plenty of improvisation to go around. (As …

1977, Music

The Lee Konitz Nonet (1977)

Perhaps it’s because I was just listening to Duets but this almost feels like a spiritual sequel to that album – Konitz’s band tackles a variety of jazz styles and performs them all very well. It’s compelling music and it’s easy for me to see why this is considered one of his better albums.

1968, Music

The Lee Konitz Duets (1968)

Konitz presents a series of duets, plus some brief solo playing a one full band track, that explore a wide variety of jazz styles available in 1968. Konitz is excellent throughout and the guests are all great (even though not all of them are as famous). It works really well as a survey of jazz …

2017, Podcasts

Shit Town (2017)

Shit Town, known as S Town in its marketing because the US is a country full of prudes whose heads will explode if they hear the word “shit” in public, is a remarkable new podcast from This American Life. It is unlike any other podcast I’ve heard so far, in fact. If you were one of the …

2009, Music

Improvisational Four: Piano Improvisations Inspired by Joni Mitchell (2009) by Olga Konkova

I was actually looking for a different Konkova album when I found this. Being a pretty big fan of Joni Mitchell and not remembering why I was looking for Konkova (but generally liking piano jazz), I thought: this should be right up my alley.

1974, Music

The Silent Corner and the Empty Stage (1974) by Peter Hammill

This is a weird combination of what sounds like super eccentric singer-songwriter solo stuff and music that is basically Van Der Graaf Generator. It’s an odd mix that I would find less appealing if I didn’t like Hammill or VDGG so much. It’s great that Hammill wrote so much so that even when the band …

1962, Music

Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music (1962) by Ray Charles

Though is definitely a pop soul version of the soul Ray Charles helped create, and though the backing vocals and syrupy strings date the record horribly, this album transformed two genres so drastically it’s probably hard to imagine either without it.