1973, 1983, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, and Music. 1973, 1983, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, Modern Classical, Modern creative, Music, and Orchestral Music.
This is a collection of Knussen’s orchestral music. Read More
I keep a list of movies to watch. There are thousands of movies on the list and I will never watch all of them. I add titles to it all the time. Occasionally, due to laziness, I omit the year a movie was released when I add a movie. I did that with the film noir Body and Soul. So when I reached the “Bo” section of the list I didn’t know which Body and Soul I was looking for. The library had one, and it had Kristin Scott Thomas in it, so I naturally assumed it was the “movie” Read More
This disc collects Kagel’s final quartet and the first quartet by Tristan Keuris, a Dutch composer I have never hear of before. The works were composed 30 years apart. Kagel’s fourth and final quartet is similar to his third in that it contains more radical elements, but these elements are incorporated into more traditional and recognizable forms (even if the quartet is two movements of 8 or so passages each, which is very much not traditional). It’s perhaps the most conservative of his string quartets, but don’t let that trick you into thinking this is a particularly conservative piece of Read More
One of the best album titles ever. I can only imagine my mom’s reaction had I purchased this album when I still lived at home. It would have been pretty great. This is on the nosier side of post hardcore. It’s also on the grungier side. I get a bit of a Flipper vibe from them, actually, if Flipper were more interesting musically and had better production. This is the kind of music which takes a while to get into, but once you get into it, it clicks. I don’t like it as much as some of the other great Read More
1887, 1888, 1993, and Music. 1887, 1888, 1926, 1978, 1993, Music, Orchestral Music, Orchestral Suite, and Romantic.
This disc collects two of Janacek’s pieces for string orchestra with an orchestrated (and abridged) version of his cycle, On an Overgrown Path. The ‘Suite for Strings’ is quite pleasant; a pretty typical Romantic tone poem to my ears. Though it’s certainly not as interesting as his later music, it’s extremely pretty. The suite based on On an Overgrown Path is entirely unnecessary. It’s one of numerous string versions of Romantic piano cycles/suites, and I’ve rarely heard one that adds to the original. This is no different, especially given that it’s abridged so we don’t even get the full set. Read More
1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1993, and Music. 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1993, Music, Pop, Rock and roll, and Rockabilly.
At the time of its release, this was, apparently, the closest thing a to “complete” edition of Holly’s work as existed. (So I have read.) So that alone makes it pretty good. Holly managed to bridge the gap between rock and roll and rockabilly on the one hand and respectable pop music on the other better than perhaps any other performer of his era. He brought a more sensitive side to rock and roll lyrics (befitting his spectacles, I guess) that was hugely influential – his influence on John Lennon in particular is immense – and wrote a number of Read More
1896, 1897, 1901, 1904, 1993, Books, and Fiction. 1896, 1897, 1901, 1904, 1913, Books, Fiction, Russian literature, and Short Story.
This is a fine collection of Chekhov’s four most famous plays. The Seagull is my least favourite – it’s concerned with the theatre a little too much for my liking. The ending is great, though. Uncle Vanya is the kind of thing I would have devoured in my early twenties. It’s borderline existential the conflict between the old and the new (or the pretty and the ugly) is something that has always fascinated me. Three Sisters feels to me like the most iconic of these plays – not being familiar with it I still felt like I have seen echoes Read More
I have read about Harvey a lot, her albums are often in year-end best of lists and she’s been around long enough that everything that she releases gets a lot of coverage. But I’ve taken a really long time to listen to her.About 12 years ago I won this massive, not very good compilation of a bunch of artists to play at this music festival in Sydney. It wasn’t very good because the music on it was just random tracks licensed from the 50 or so artists’ discographies, with no rhyme or reason. This was the first time I ever Read More
This record should really be called the Roy Hargrove Quintet with the Tenors of Another Time or the Roy Hargrove Quintet with the Tenors of Our Parents’ Time. I didn’t know Wynton had discovered Hargrove; had I, I wouldn’t have borrowed six of his cds from the library. Oops. At the time of this record’s release, Hargrove was 24. But his guests: Griffin was 65, Henderson was 56, Turrentine was 59; only Brandford and Redman are of Hargrove’s generation. And it’s notable that the elders here are all pretty much pre-Trane tenors. (Yes, they were his contemporaries but they never Read More
1993 and Music. 1867, 1883, 1886, 1888, 1891, 1893, 1895, 1896, 1899, 1901, 1993, Music, Piano music, and Romantic.
This is an arbitrary single-disc collection of Grieg’s “Lyric Pieces” (of which Grieg wrote 66 – there are 24 here). I am a man who likes complete sets, for whatever reason, and so I always find it difficult when listening to a new (to me) composer’s work when it is excerpted arbitrarily like this. I don’t know if Mr. Gavrilov (or his producer, or his label) has similar taste to me or to anyone else. I can’t ever know that either, until I get the chance to hear a whole set. So right off the bat, I’m a little underwhelmed. Read More
This is a collection of Grieg’s songs that includes both Haugtussa and other songs from his numerous sets, picked, I guess, arbitrarily. Haugtussa is the highlight for me and a reason to rate this set higher than just an arbitrary collection of a composer’s songs should be rated. This is a strong cycle and, though I am not normally a lieder fan, it strikes the same chord in me that some of Schubert’s has (that’s not to compare them musically, of course). Particularly, the 8th and final song (“At the Brook” in English) just slays me. Had I any musical talent, I would Read More
I recently listened to this band’s performance at Newport and was underwhelmed. It just goes to show you the power of mood. I guess just wasn’t in the mood and I imagined the Newport show as some kind of semi-modernist response to Ellington’s Newport show of the year before. I think I was over-thinking. Here we get that music plus lots of other music. And in theory I should like the live concert better because, um, you know, it’s jazz. Live jazz is supposed to be better than recorded jazz. And I generally agree with that. But I find myself Read More
This is one of those albums that is perhaps even more radical and important than it sounds – in fact it really doesn’t sound all that radical. Frisell and his band take on Americana, but they take on a very expansive definition of Americana: a Copland ballet – a sacred cow at that – some Ives, Dylan, Muddy Waters, Sonny Rollins, John Philip Sousa, traditional American pop, Stephen Foster!, John Hiatt…and Madonna!?!? And the rather incredible thing about it – after the incredible idea that all of this is on the same musical level – is that it sounds all Read More
This band seem to have stumbled upon something pretty unique, in their mix of “angelic” vocals borrowed from the western classical tradition and alternative rock. It’s pretty hard to pin down. It also feels like it came out of nowhere. But, on the other hand, the production isn’t particularly great and the “mantra” style of singing (for lack of a better word) means the lyrics are a little lacking. But, for the most part, a unique and great record. 8/10 Read More
I came at Archers of Loaf backwards: years ago (and I mean years) I ripped White Trash Heroes from my old radio station’s copy. So though I knew their reputation, the only thing I new about them was that the album I had, and which I liked, was apparently utterly not representative of them. Read More
This is, to my ears, a significant improvement on their most famous album. First off, its better produced! Hooray! Much of the gloss is gone, thank science. Second, the songs are generally more mature. We still get a healthy dose of sentiments I can’t relate too but there are far more I can. And there’s diversity in the music (well there was on Nevermind to an extent, but there’s much more here)! It makes me happy. I like this a lot more. I’m not sure I like it quite as much as their horribly named final album but it’s pretty Read More
1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and TV. 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, Comedy, Parody, Satire, Talk Show, and TV.
Having recently (re)watched The Larry Sanders Show: I think The Larry Sanders Show is one of the great American television programs and one of the great comedy programs of all time. Though it was certainly not the first TV show to parody TV, nor was it the first show to be about talk shows, it was the first laugh-track-less American comedy I know of (setting the stage for the numerous laugh-track-less comedies we have now) and it was about as dark and outrageous as anything then on television. The acting is so good that you sort of forget it’s a Read More
1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and Movies. 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, and 1999.
Again I need to warn you about my ratings. In many cases the one and only time I watched these films was in high school, when I was far less discerning. In other cases, I really liked a movie then, then watched it 5 to 10 years later and saw that it was mediocre or bad and got embarrassed and my rating is often a reaction to that feeling, meaning I am subsequently harder on a film if I liked it the first time and I now see it for what it is. I have added asterisks to movies I don’t Read More