Tag: 1979

1975, 1979, 1988, Music

Knussen: Symphonies Nos. 2-3, Trumpets, Ophelia Dances, Coursing, Cantata (1988) by Various

This is a compilation of a few of Knussen’s pieces, which, far as I can figure, are performed by three different ensembles, including an ensemble conducted by Knussen himself.

1956, 1979, 2007

Khachaturian: Spartacus (1979, 2007) by The Bolshoi National Orchestra

As far as I can tell, this is the orchestral music from a 1979 performance of Khachaturian’s Spartacus. It is the complete four suites, I believe (or, rather, all the music). I definitely prefer listening to it all at once, instead of hearing one suite or something like that.

1979, 1981, 1982, Music

Vox Humana? / Finale / Fürst Igor Strawinsky (1991) by Mauricio Kagel, performed by Ensemble 2e2m, Lyon National Opera Chorus conducted by Paul Méfano

This record collects three of Kagel’s longish “choral” pieces. Kagel was a weirdo is the best ways. Listening to Kagel’s work, rather than watching it, is a bit of a problem, because Kagel’s work is often “theatrical” not just in the sense of being influenced by the theatre, but of having the musicians act out …

1979, Music

Buy (1979) by James Chance and the Contortions

Take English post punk, add some free jazz, some Pere Ubu and some Magic Band (specifically the slide guitar) and you get this record. New to No Wave (it seems), this is totally not what I thought this was going to sound like. I thought it was going to be Branca-eque detuned guitar industrial noise. …

1979, Music

Setting Sons (1979) by The Jam

This is apparently an abandoned concept album. That wasn’t very apparent to me, before I read that somewhere online, but that could just be because I’m not paying attention. The songs are strong again and the sonic palette is ever expanding (compared to their previous albums). This is very well done but remains just not …

1979, Music

Lubbock (On Everything) (1979) by Terry Allen

Some folks will tell you that this is one of the great country albums of All Time. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t think the songs are quite there, or because I secretly prefer country rock and alt country to traditional country, but I don’t really hear it. What I do hear is …

1979, 1984, Music

The Missing Link (1979, 1984) by Fred Anderson

Anderson apparently got lots of exposure in the ’60s as part of the AACM but never got an album as leader until this one, and then this wasn’t released for five years. Listening to this music, it’s hard to understand why that was. Anderson plays relatively straight-forward (and often slower) lines for a “free jazz” …

1979, Movies

All That Jazz (1979, Bob Fosse)

I am not a fan of Fellini. Well, that’s not exactly true, I like early Fellini. But I find “peak” Fellini highly overrated and I pretty much can’t stand late Fellini. Of all the “Great Directors” I a have attempted to appreciate, Fellini is among my least favourite. And, well, this is among the most …

1994, Music

Miserere et. al (1994) by Henryk Gorecki, performed by John Nelson et al.

This is a collection of Gorecki’s choral music, mostly performed by choruses from Chicago. (Yet another release where the performers differ from track to track! I really need to get over this.) Fortunately, I wouldn’t have known that, if they didn’t tell me. So that’s something. The “Miserere” is an incredible piece of music. I …

1985, Music

Satyagraha (1979, 1985, 2009) by Philip Glass, Performed by the New York City Opera, Orchestra and Chorus, conducted by Christopher Keene

This is the middle of Glass’ “portrait opera” trilogy (which aren’t really operas in the traditional sense, as they lack narratives) though I’m listening to it last. It is significantly more traditional – in terms of music, not conception – than Einstein on the Beach but I feel like it is still readily identifiable as …

1979, Movies

Woyzeck (1979, Werner Herzog)

It’s interesting to see something that is so popular in one culture and yet unknown in another. I wouldn’t have guessed this was considered part of the German canon if you had asked me. And so, I feel like I have to ask the question, why not? But I won’t answer it, I don’t think …

1979, Books, Non-Fiction

The Old Patagonian Express (1979) by Paul Theroux

This is Theroux’s second excellent train travel book. In it he travels from Boston to Patagonia, mostly by rail (with the odd flight involved). As usual, he is astute, he is observant and, perhaps above all, honest. One of the engrossing – and I must admit frustrating – things about this book is how honest …

1979, Music

This Heat (1979)

This is like some unholy combination of ’60s avant rock, early industrial music and the earliest post-punk. And that description really isn’t fair. Really, there’s little out there like this, especially so stylistically diverse. Usually experimental music is experimental in one or two ways; this manages to run a whole gamut. Like little else. 9/10

1979, Music

Pelleas et Melisande (1979 EMI) by Claude Debussy, performed by Berliner Philharmonic, Von Stade, Stilwell, Denize, Van Dam, Raimondi, Von Karajan

Though I am growing in familiarity with late 19th / early 20th century “art” music, I am still not there yet. So it is very hard for me to judge something like this, Debussy’s only completed opera, especially as it relates to other performances of the same work. So forget about that part.

1979, Music

Armed Forces by Elvis Costello & the Attractions (Columbia 1979)

It’s slightly overproduced but this actually sort of makes it fit in with what was going on in the world. Costello is more biting here (and more cohesive) which appeals to me. It lets me forgive some of the more bizarre flourishes. Like the past one, it feels like a step forward and a step …

1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1988, 2003, Music

The 50th Anniversary Collection by James Brown (Polydor 2003)

James Brown’s importance can not be understated. He is on The List of the most important musical figures of the twentieth century (along with Louis Armstrong, the Beatles, Miles Davis, Dylan, Duke Ellington, Schoenberg, Stockhausen, Frank Zappa and maybe a few others). This compilation of his hit singles gives a very good idea of his progression …

1973, 1979, 2005, Music

Friday night

I’ve given up on my essay for today and I’m drinking “Austria’s Finest Beer” I’ve been listening to Pink Floyd a lot today and I can’t help thinking how great a guitarist David Gilmour is. Yes, there are far better guitarists in terms of say speed or innovation, but I think few rock guitarists rival …

1979, 2005, Movies

New candidate for worst movie ever: Caligula (1979, Tinto Brass, Bob Guccione, Giancarlo Lui)

There’s Manos: the Hands of Fate. There’s Battlefield Earth. Now there’s Caligula. DON’T SEE IT!!! 1/10