Monthly Archives: December 2011

Dave I.D. – The Takeover (Maria and the Mirrors Remix)

Reggaeton? LOL. Unless reggaeton is now some sort of slang term for “haunts your waking moments” and “haunts” now means “brutalizes your aural receptors” and “waking moments” means “while driving the kids to school” and “aural receptors” means “might have to replace the factory speakers.”

You’d also have to replace “amiable reggaeton beat” (which I didn’t even use) with “whispered death threats” and “whispered” with “static bursts and distorted drums” and “bursts” with “always on” and “remix” with “current front-runner for ‘soundtrack of the post-apocalypse'” and “post-apocalypse” with “the future is now, chumps.”

Dave I.D. – The Takeover (Maria and the Mirrors Remix)

HayzeusfackingKristallnacht. This thing… this thing is never going to be anyone’s idea of a “good time” or possibly even “music,” but if all you want is “good time music” you’ve obviously come to the wrong place and might need to adjust your bookmarks and surf away to sunnier venues like, I don’t know, Nick Jr. or something.

So, this is Dave I.D., about whom not much is known and the little bits that are known only seem to add to the mystery. And Maria and the Mirrors? They rustle up some sort of sonic death themselves, and they do all of it while looking like the illegitimate children of Sigue Sigue Sputnik and the B52s.

Odd. But good. Together, they’re what’s commonly referred to as “a force to be reckoned with,” although I would imagine that after hearing this track, most people would probably agree that said “force” probably doesn’t need to be dealt with today and probably better off dodging it altogether if an injury is to be avoided. “Live and let live” is the NEW motto.

Maria and the Mirrors – Travel Sex

/s/CLT

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Boner for Brahms

For the benefit of anyone who happens to live in the Twin Cities, a good friend of mine who does as well had the following to say about the classical concerts being offered by the Minnesota Orchestra in the second half of their 2011-2012 season.

The 1/14, 1/21, 2/9 though 2/11 and 3/22 through 3/24 concerts are the top-tier. None of their pieces should have you checking your watch. As for the 1/13, 2/16 and 2/17, 4/19 and 4/20, and 5/17 through 5/20 concerts, each features one really good piece and the remainder shouldn’t be too unpleasant.

1/13 – Bravo Brahms! Serkin and Piano Concerto No. 1
BRAHMS – Piano Concerto No. 1 (42′)
BRAHMS – Serenade No. 1 (40′)
Concerto is wonderful. The serenade is solid.

1/14 – Bravo Brahms! Ehnes Plays the Violin Concerto
BRAHMS – Variations on a Theme by Haydn (19′)
BRAHMS – Violin Concerto (36′)
BRAHMS – Symphony No. 3 (33′)
All three pieces are extremely good.

1/20 – Bravo Brahms! Serenade and Song
BRAHMS – Hungarian Dances (15′)
BRAHMS – Nänie (15′)
BRAHMS – Schicksalslied (Song of Destiny) (15′)
BRAHMS – Serenade No. 2 (29′)
If you can’t shake your boner for Brahms, then go. Otherwise it’s not worth it.

1/21 – Bravo Brahms! Serkin and Piano Concerto No. 2
BRAHMS – Piano Concerto No. 2 (50′)
BRHAMS – Symphony No. 1 (45′)
Brahms, the original emo kid. Arguably the best piano concerto ever.

2/9 through 2/11 – Ross, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky
MUSSORGSKY – Dance of the Persian Maidens, from Khovanshchina (07′)
PROKOFIEV – Sinfonia concertante (37′)
TCHAIKOVSKY – Symphony No. 6, Pathétique (45′)
First two very good. Symphony outstanding.

2/16 and 2/17 – A Russian Spectacular: Prokofiev and Shostakovich
PROKOFIEV – Violin Concerto No. 2 (26′)
SHOSTAKOVICH – Symphony No. 7, Leningrad (70′)
Replace the Brahms with this if you want something, well, Russian.

2/18 and 2/22 – Home Away From Home
STRAUSS – Don Juan (Running Time Not Given)
RAVEL – Mother Goose Suite (Running Time Not Given)
BARBER – Adagio for Strings (Running Time Not Given)
ELGAR – Enigma Variations (Running Time Not Given)
Not a terrible lineup, but not one that excites me much.

2/23 and 2/26 – Schumann’s Piano Concerto
ELGAR – In the South (19′)
SCHUMANN – Piano Concerto (31′)
WALTON – Symphony No. 1 (43′)
I like Elgar and Schumann. Totally stumped for something to do? Check it out. Otherwise, no.

3/16 and 3/17 – Vänskä Conducts Sibelius
SIBELIUS – Symphony No. 4 (32′)
SZYMANOWSKI – Violin Concerto No. 1 (23′)
KODÁLY – Dances of Galánta (16′)
Nothing special here.

3/22 through 3/24 – Varga, Haydn and Schumann
MENDELSSOHN – Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream (11′)
HAYDN – Symphony No. 52 (22′)
SCHUMANN – Symphony No. 3, Rhenish (32′)
This should be a good show. All three pieces are very lovely.

4/11 through 4/14 – Vänskä Conducts Beethoven
GINASTERA – Estancia (12′)
STEPHENSON – Violin Concerto (World Premiere)
BEETHOVEN – Symphony No. 6, Pastoral (40′)
I always hate to see a Beethoven masterpiece next to atonal hacks. But that’s the only way to lure people in sometimes.

4/19 and 4/20 – Skrowaczewski Conducts Bruckner
BRUCKNER – Symphony No. 8 (74′)
Either this or the Mozart [takes seventh place in the second half of the 2011-2012 season]. Bruckner’s symphonies are heavy, but not effed up dissonant.

4/27 and 4/28 – Daphnis and Chloe
BERKELEY – Oboe Concerto (25′)
RAVEL – Daphnis and Chloe (Complete) (50′)
Snore, unless you love Ravel’s impressionism.

5/3 through 5/5 – Järvi Conducts Rachmaninoff
STRAVINSKY – Symphony in Three Movements (21′)
SHOSTAKOVICH – Cello Concerto No. 1 (28′)
RACHMANINOFF – Symphonic Dances (35′)
Shouldn’t be a bad show, but I get nervous with the 20th century composers.

5/10 through 5/12 – Romeo and Juliet
BORODIN – Polovtsian Dances, from Prince Igor (11′)
GLAZUNOV – Violin Concerto (19′)
PROKOFIEV – Selections from Romeo and Juliet (35′)
Nothing special here.

5/17 through 5/20 – Vänskä, Sudbin and Mozart
PROKOFIEV – Classical Symphony (13′)
MOZART – Piano Concerto No. 24 (31′)
SIBELIUS – Symphony No. 1 (38′)
I would go for the Mozart alone. The others are enjoyable, but not among my faves.

6/7 through 6/10 – An Orchestra Hall Celebration: Deborah Voigt Sings Salome
STRAUSS – Dance of the Seven Veils and Final Scene, from Salome (25′)
MAHLER/COOKE – Symphony No. 10 (67′)
Yeah, Mahler died before he could finish No. 10. The Beethoven curse pwnd another.

There you have it, an incredibly brief preview of one city’s upcoming classical concerts.

/s/Mohammed Chang

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Completely Unrelated to the Subject Matter at Hand

But…

I’ve made Splitsider’s Best Humor Writing of 2011 list, rubbing elbows with McSweeney’s and Onion contributors. And Roger Ebert.

I don’t harbor any fantasies about this leading to me rolling in “writer money,” but I’ll be more than happy to flop around in a few accolades.

/s/CLT

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Cold Showers – I Don’t Mind

Cold Showers’ I Don’t Mind is a goth Camaro speeding through the L.A. reservoirs at midnight. Lights off. The only sounds are the machine-made wind and the super-heated drone of a motor being pushed to its limits.

Why goth?

Because it’s goth like the Misfits were goth.

Like Creaming Jesus was goth.

Like how even the dirty, broken-glass-covered rock of Iggy & the Stooges was “goth” if you stared at it long enough.

It’s three-chord rock that’s short a couple of chords and long on the seductive power of all things black and soulless. It’s rock that stomps all over the stage, looking ticket holders directly in the eye and daring them to break free of societal restraints and whatever they’ve got at home/at work/in their past that holds them back from doing something. It’s black-hearted rock that dares you to punch it in its diabolically painted face and laughs when you give in to your baser urges.

Why a Camaro?

Because it’s muscle without pretension. An American-made sheet metal rocket with an underperforming muffler, mismatched rocker panels, a meth lab in the trunk and a shotgun in the glove compartment.* If you want speed, you’ll get it without having to worry about scuffing up the faux hardwood finish or spilling beer all over the optional leather package. It’s just efficient danger, packaged in a damn near indestructible (but sharply edged) roll cage.**

Beyond all the stage posturing and Suicide conventions, it’s just purely and simply a fucking kickass blast of cathartic rock that reminds you that good things (with bad intentions) still manage to make it out of L.A. somewhat intact. It’s what the West Coast occasionally gives back after swallowing generation after generation of Greyhounds filled with the Midwest’s collective thespian dreams.

*American sports cars are MUCH bigger than their European competitors. The most you can fit in the average Euro speedster’s glovebox is a Lady Dillinger.
**NOTE: DOES NOT PROVIDE PROTECTION DURING ROLLOVERS.

/s/CLT

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Link Dump No. 2

/s/CLT and Mohammed Chang

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Filed under Classical, Link Dump, Pop, Rock

From All of Us

To all of you and yours.

/s/Minor Scratches

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James Blake Feels Ways About Stuff

James Blake is disappointed with dubstep; lack of consistent coloration.

Critical favorite and nearly omnipresent dubstep producer James Blake has boldly stepped up to decry something popular for being popular. It looks as though he’s not happy seeing his genre being dragged through the comparative mud by other dubstep/bass producers who have the unmitigated gall to play up the “big room” aspects of the music, presumably at the expense of “pushing the genre forward” or “stroking its collective chin thoughtfully.”

“I think the dubstep that has come over to the US, and certain producers– who I can’t even be bothered naming– have definitely hit upon a sort of frat-boy market where there’s this macho-ism being reflected in the sounds and the way the music makes you feel. And to me, that is a million miles away from where dubstep started. It’s a million miles away from the ethos of it.”

As “disappointing” as it must be to see crowds flocking towards the subjectively shallow end of the pool musically, it’s equally disappointing when an artist decides that his version of something operates on a “higher level” than someone else’s. Trying to figure out what exactly is going to resonate with the masses is like throwing darts blindfolded to determine your roulette bets. Once the magic number is hit, though, you can reasonably expect that the bandwagon will fill up quickly because people are inherently social animals. We like what other people like and gravitate towards crowds and gatherings of like-minded individuals.

Just because this crowd is suddenly filled with the sort of people we wouldn’t normally associate with doesn’t inherently make the music in question any less important. It does seem to add a ton of kneejerk resentment, though. No doubt Fatboy Slim was somewhat horrified that 15 years of musical experience culminated with him being crowned “Fratboy Slim” after the success of You’ve Come A Long Way, Baby but at least he still seemed interested in making asses move when appearing live and looked genuinely happy to be the sudden center of attention. His followup (Halfway Between The Gutter And The Stars) might have been a bit too calculated, with its odd combination of dancefloor stormers and chaff-from-wheat “deeper” cuts, but when all was said and done, Mr. Slim just wanted to make you dance like a madman when he got behind the decks.

Now, if you’re anything like me (possibly a good thing, but the jury is still out), occasionally you’d just rather go out and get lit up, possibly partake of illegal substances (entirely optional!) and lose yourself for a few hours. Who’s going to hook you up? Someone who shows absolutely no sense of restraint when it comes to hellacious bass wobble? Or someone who’s going to spend two hours talking down to you with their record collection?

Even more insulting than the presumption of “popular=stupid” is Blake’s next statement:

“It’s been influenced so much by electro and rave, into who can make the dirtiest, filthiest bass sound, almost like a pissing competition, and that’s not really necessary. And I just think that largely that is not going to appeal to women. I find that whole side of things to be pretty frustrating, because that is a direct misrepresentation of the sound as far as I’m concerned.”

So, if I choose to follow this line of thinking, any music that’s more popular with x demographic is therefore exclusionary, no matter who makes up the underserved y. Trying to attribute sexism to natural selection is weak sauce and while it may grant you the attention of more “sensitive” types, it does little to dispel the “elitist” vibe being given off by this mini-rant.

Using that thought process, action movies are inherently sexist, seeing as they’re generally more popular with young men. (Which may also make them ageist.) Country music is inherently racist as it’s infinitely more popular with whites. The same for IDM. Is Richard D. James (Aphex Twin) a sexist simply because his music resonates more with males? Is Tori Amos deliberately excluding men by writing female-centric music? [Possibly, but let’s not let that derail a perfectly good argument/rant.] Does Bjork hate anyone considered “normal,” male or female?

As disingenuous as it is to decry a musical form simply because some practitioners are playing to packed houses of underdressed females (and males) and raking in Four Loko endorsement money, it’s even worse to try to hold your particular blend of the same genre up as a paragon of virtuous composition. This is nothing more than granting yourself a certain status that you’re not willing to bestow on other producers and DJs who have worked just as hard to get where they are as you have, Jim.

But you know what I really think prompted this brief defense of the Blake brand over all other brands?

I think that James Blake is worried that, thanks to a cockup somewhere in the spacetime continuum, he is actually Justin Bieber at age 22.

You know, that point where the Beeb forsakes his original fans by deciding he wants to be “taken seriously as an artist,” a move that in theory is a Good Idea, but in practice just means that Bieber now believes he is talented DJ who must Educate the Dancefloor by briefly dabbling in the current Underground Genre Du Jour.

This career switchup is affectionately known as Falling On Your Sword While Biting The Hand That Feeds You, as old fans flee to the next pop thing and potential “recruits” ridicule him for his presumption. This will eventually lead to the belated Return to Form which is greeted with a brief spike in sales, swiftly followed by deafening indifference for the next x number of years, at which point the multiple trips to rehab stop becoming a cheap form of publicity but rather an indication that Bieber/Blake may have A Real Problem.

/s/CLT

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