smtx030: (Joy Division)
I've always liked this song, but now that I have a proper Al Wilson greatest hits album, I can't stop listening to it.

smtx030: (Joy Division)
Okay, this is more an Emusic marketing thing than anything else, but it's an interestingly diverse (not much outside the pop rock world, though) quiz with a few very easy questions thrown in.

Your final score was 153/180

Musical Magician (145-180 points)

We doff our collective hat to your prodigious mind. You are a musical czar, with a profound knowledge of every genre and era. You met your current flame at a concert and, come to think of it, most of your friends too. You're always looking for the chance to pass on recommendations, knowing that if any of your disciples buy your suggestion it will change their lives the same way it has yours. Your love of music is genuine and deep and you match that passion with intellect. Because of that – let's face it – you're also the person that some folks love to hate. But who cares? Let's see their record collection! At this point, one can only take advantage of new ways to discover music and brush up on any obscure genres one might have missed.

I missed a question about the Beatles, one about the Monterey Pop Festival, one about Ryan Adams, and one about Coldplay. Startlingly enough for an online quiz, they don't generate the HTML for you to copy and paste into a post. On the upside, you can see the correct answers and the descriptions of the different scoring levels.
smtx030: (Joy Division)
So I was reading Bowie in Berlin yesterday. The author mentioned the guitar solo in a particular track on Low, and I thought, what guitar solo? So I stopped reading, started playing the song in my head, got to the right point of the song, and the guitar solo kicked in, and I realized, oh, yeah, that guitar solo. I've listened to that song so many times since buying the LP in 1980, I didn't need to actually hear it again to "hear" the bit I needed.

As much as I love being able to hear and explore a huge variety of music these days, there aren't many albums that I listen to as often and as deeply as the albums I had when I only had a few dozen, or a few hundred. I've heard songs, not recognized them, and then realized I have the album more than once. A lot more, actually.

I wish I could listen more the way I used to, nothing to do but sit with the record on, studying the liner notes and album cover and lyrics. To that end, I wish I could be independently wealthy, have an army of servants, and squeeze 96 hours into each day. That might do it. Anyone know how to make it happen?
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The mere fact that this exists must at least briefly lighten the darkest mood: Tragedy: All Metal Tribute to the Bee Gees. See their metal version of "Stayin' Alive" on youtube:

They have a whole album of metallicized Bee Gees songs. No, I don't have it; brevity is the soul of wit, and one song = brevity, a whole album = overdoing it.

I went to the bookstore at lunchtime and found a book called Bowie in Berlin: A New Career in a New Town by Thomas Jerome Seabrook. Bowie's Berlin period, when he worked with Brian Eno and Iggy Pop and recorded his albums Low and Heroes and Iggy's album The Idiot, has always interested me; I think some of his best work came from that era, and it was a major influence on a lot of my other fave music.

I went to the bank and sorted out some business. Always good to take care of some of that real world grown-up stuff.

Strongbow Cider on draft. That's always a reason to be cheerful. A can will do in a pinch. I think there's one in the fridge. If not, I know there's some Hockley Dark.

It's 4:27. Time to go home very soon. The cheerfulness is just bursting out of me now.
smtx030: (Joy Division)
From [personal profile] lonemagpie, though I think I've done this before...

List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your LJ along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they're listening to.

1. Neneh Cherry, "Buffalo Stance." An oldie (1989) but a goodie. I have an old 12" single with five different versions of the song. I recently got back into it. The different mixes are sufficiently different (i.e., indie dance, hiphop, house, etc) that you can actually listen to all of them without getting tired of the song.

2. Goldfrapp, "Happiness." One of the more synth/beat-oriented tunes on the aforementioned Seventh Tree, but there's a bit of Beatles psychedelia in there, too.

3. Cee-Lo/Dungeon Family, "Trans-DF Express." A newish hiphop/electro song with Cee-Lo (Goodie Mobb, Gnarls Barkley), Andre 3000 (Outkast, etc). Actually bought this a while back (and mentioned it in a previous music meme), but there's a little musical cue in Grand Theft Auto IV, which Laura's been playing, that keeps reminding me of it.

4. Scuba, "Disorder." Scuba's new album A Mutual Antipathy is one of the leading examples of the current dubstep/techno crossover sound. This is an album track, but the combination of reverbed single note melody and bang-crash almost industrial percussion always draws attention to itself.

5. Tuxedomoon, "Crash." Another oldie, it's a circa 1980 art rock/new wave instrumental with weirdly distorted guitar (or something else -- sounds like Billy Currie's electric viola or violin from some Ultravox song), piano, keyboard bass, and either distorted real drums or distorted drum machine. It's beautiful, melodic, atmospheric, propulsive, and dark all at the same time. Don't take my word for it, see what Soren de Selby blogged about it last year.

6. Martha and the Muffins, "About Insomnia." Another oldie. From the 1980 or '81 album Trance and Dance, which doesn't seem to have been released on CD yet. It's Roxy Music-influenced new wave. Strong beat and bass line, simple guitar and keyboard lines, warm female vocals, skronky saxophone solo. "As daylight disperses the spectres of night, my marginal musings don wings and take flight" -- the word "flight" held on a sustained note that is doubled by the saxophone, which then goes into a more melodic solo, then into the coda of the song. Another beautiful tune.

7. Joy Denalane, "Change" (featuring Lupe Fiasco). Kind of missed out on the Mary J. Blige hiphop soul thing, but came across a pointer to Joy Denalane, a Blige follower, on emusic and loved it. It's one of those "why isn't this huge" albums.
smtx030: (Joy Division)
I picked up Goldfrapp's newish album, Seventh Tree, last week when I went out to buy Portishead's new album, Third. Goldfrapp started out doing a sort of post-Portishead sound, but with less emphasis on beat, more on atmosphere (not that Portishead ever lacked that, really). But the next couple of Goldfrapp albums were aimed solidly at the dance floor, with a synthpop/disco sound that Madonna also brought back on her Confessions on a Dance Floor album. Seventh Tree, however, is more Sunday morning calm than Saturday night clubbing, a collection of primarily slow, languorous songs, many with strings rather than electronics. It's beautiful, upbeat in a relaxed rather than hyper way. Critics have been comparing it to the Cocteau Twins and Kate Bush (two all-time faves of mine) and they're not wrong; some tracks remind me in particular of Kate Bush's Aerial album, and the current song, "A&E," with its acoustic guitars and more propulsive feel, sounds a bit like Sarah Mclachlan.

The odd thing is, a couple of the songs remind me of the Electric Light Orchestra. Think of some of ELO's mid-70s songs like "One Summer Dream" and you may have a better idea of the pastoral pleasures of Seventh Tree.

Funny thing is, I've listened to the Goldfrapp album a lot more than the Portishead album I went out to buy. Third is distinctly uneasy listening, a refusal to go back to the trip hop sound Portishead co-invented more than a decade ago, a sound co-opted and watered down by a lot of less interesting bandwagon-jumpers. You've still got a lot of interesting sounds and textures, and singer Beth Gibbon sounds as tormented as ever, but it's a noisier experience, more avant garde than the first two albums. More listening is called for, some time when I can concentrate on the music a bit more.
smtx030: (Joy Division)
Bored. So, why not put Winamp on shuffle and post some comments on the songs that pop up.

Read more... )
smtx030: (Joy Division)
I never got as much into making mixtapes as some of my friends did; I like listening to full albums, and I wasn't the type to hand out mixtapes to friends who needed to drop everything and share my musical obsessions immediately. (Now, for instance, I can't think of anyone I know who'd be interested in a dubstep mixtape, though I've got a lot of good stuff to work with. It just isn't the kind of music anyone I know offline is likely to get into. And that probably goes double for most of the people I know online. At least Laura likes some of it...)

Point being: Laura likes to have a little music playing on her PC at work, and she doesn't like taking CDs to work and remembering to take them home and then remembering to find some other ones to take in the next day. She's also not crazy about having a bunch of albums on her hard drive to pick and choose from. She wants something to put in the drive and give her a full day of music that flows reasonably well. So I do CD ROM mixes of several full albums ripped to mp3. Maybe a bunch of jazz albums, or classic country albums, or ambient electronica, or roots reggae, or underground hiphop, or traditional British/Irish folk, or '80s postpunk -- that kind of thing. Laura also often likes to have our newer purchases handy so she can listen to them, but if our new purchases are sonically all over the map, well, it may take some time to get the right mix. Today I think I have a good one, involving electronica DJ remixes of jazz; neo vs retro R&B and soul; and some reggae and reggae-influenced pop.

So here's what Laura will be listening to at work tomorrow...


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