Dedicated to classics and hits.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Tuesday, September 08, 2009
Bethany Best Coast
COLD CAVE: I have a great deal of admiration for Wes Eisold. He's a guy who's played the music game and pretty much won regardless of the success or failure of this particular project. In fact, I don't doubt there will be other projects after this one. It's funny, because when I watch Cold Cave, I'm thinking about the entire project: originality conception, success of execution. Now, when I know how a project came to be, and have an appreciation for the artistic independence of it's inspiration I am far, far, far more likely to have a positive emotional connection to a particular song. That's because I share ethical values with the artist. By the standard I've just laid out, Cold Cave is a winner. The songs have hit potential, he's working in a musical genre (gloomy synth pop) that I already like, he has a track record fronting other diy acts, etc. The fact that I happened to see Cold Cave in a room filled with a bunch of folks who look like they'd gotten lost on the way to Voyeur or El Dorado (and they all loved Cold Cave, fyi) is simply irrelevant.
BEST COAST: Best Coast is already generating sad take-down style posts from haters but out here, where she actually plays shows and doesn't exist as some kind of straw man for depressed Canadian indie bloggers (Coke Machine Glow #1 Album 2008: Erykah Badu New Amerikyah Part one (COKE MACHINE GLOW)) she is gathering momentum. I walked into the Casbah during her set and was almost startled to find a crowd gathered, and listening attentively. I have grave concerns about how the live show is going to be perceived in the mid west and east, though they are probably save if they stick to super good bills.
DESIRE: I'm not that in to electro rock since 2007 except at Coachella or in London/Paris/Berlin on occasion but I want to relate the facts: Show was sold out, people were super into it, dancing around and generally having an objectively fun time. The live drummer adds a little weight to the otherwise fluffy two keyboard singing routine.
GLASS CANDY: Glass Candy sells out the Casbah.
Monday, September 07, 2009
Statue of Dionysus
It's hard not to write about Friedrich Nietzsche with out sounding pretencious. But the thing is that his ideas were really succesful, and powerful ideas are interesting: that is almost a tautology. Any idea that people continue to find interesting over time is an interesting idea. If people stop caring, it's not interesting anymore.
The three facts to understand about Nietzsche is that he was a professor specializing in Greece, he was a huge fan of Schopenauer the philosopher and an even bigger fan of Richard Wagner. So if you don't understand the context of his work including: what Schopenauer thought about art, the music of Richard Wagner and the state of knowledge about ancient greece circa 1872. And, you need to know that the Birth of Tragedy was his first published book. Wow. Stunner. Still in print in 2009. Whatever you want to say about Nietzche, the ideas have staying power.
But what idea? Basically, in the birth of tragedy Nietzsche sets up a dialectic between "Apolline" and "Dionysiac" spirit and talks about the impact of these traditions on ancient Greek music and theater. What's funny about Nietzche is that he was a huge music fan. His view, dervied from Schopenauer, is that music is the salve for the human that apprends the artificality of existence (see Buddhism, Hinduism, Existenalism, Pre-Socratic Greek Philosophers). In other words "If you are someone who has seen through the essential meaninglessness of existence, the only way to endure is by the appreciation of music, which expresses the Dionysac spirit , as supposed to theater, which is largley Apolline."(Thanks Euripedes!)
In the Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche is arguing Buddhist style about escaping from the wheel of karma, but music (specifically Richard Wagner and german style classical music) replces of meditation and other such eastern practices.
Melanie Oudin is a 17 year old American Tennis Sensation!!!!
Pre Order GG Allin cover 7" w/ Graffiti Island, Male Bonding, Pens and Fair Ohs (ITALIAN BEACH BABES RECORDS)
Graffiti Island Mp3 download: Drink Fight and Fuck (GG Allin cover)(PLATFORM)
Posted by catdirt at 12:10 PM
Sunday, September 06, 2009
Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band
TROUT MASK REPLICA
by Kevin Currier
Continuum Press 2007
33 1/3 Series
I bought this book at M Theory records sometime in 2008, and it sat on my book shelf till about last week, when I read a Last Blog on Earth post where Seth Combs slagged this record. Which is funny, because I bought this book in an attempt to understand Trout Mask Replica, an album I have never liked. Appreciated? Perhaps. Not really, though. I also bought this book because I've been meaning to delve into the 33 1/3 series: Each book about a different album, even though to me it seems to embody everything about popular music culture I hate.
From this book I learned the following interesting facts: Frank Zappa and Don Van Vliet grew up together in Lancaster CA. Frank Zappa did really well for himself while hardly embodying indpendent culture outside of the music he actually produced. Don Van Vliet is a crazy a**hole. Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica was inspired by Southern Blues and the combination of free jazz and beat poetry. Trout Mask Replica should not be considered a "DIY" record, or really a part of DIY culture, because Zappa had plenty of money to do what he wanted.
In fact, I think that the self-indulgent sonic experimentalism that this record released is, in the end, a total fucking disaster. I think that the attitude that Beefheart embodies, that of the dedicated romantic artist trodding on his own path come hell or high water, is literally, the stupidest thing an artist could do. DIY is about the mode of production and the relationship between artists and the music industry. DIY is not (or should not be) about self-indulgent jazz fusion combined with ripping off African American blues artists from the 20s. In fact, Trout Mask Replica is more like a wierd off-shoot of the late 60s southern california MOR Rock scene then a precursor of DIY culture.
Despite the fact that I found nothing to love about Trout Mask Replica in this book, I thought the 33 1/3 series well represented. Probably the best service these books provide is by compiling out of print magazine interviews with the artist involved. I will probably buy more. As for Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band? Well, I think everyone needs to understand where Trout Mask Replica came from, even if you don't like it.
A modern take on an ancient look: SHAMANISM!!!!
Book Review: Shamanism
Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy
by Mircea Eliade
with foreword by Wendy Doniger
published by Mythos: The Princeton/Bollingen Series in World Mythology
I'm not sure why indie musicians are, by and large, such uninteresting people. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that they all think that they are interesting people and therefore spend no time learning about new things or thinking about new ways to make themselves interesting to others. It's not like everyone has to be interesting: I don't expect a gas station attendant to engage me in sparkling conversation, but it seems that if one is going to create art/culture that this person would go out of their way to learn about new things, try new experiences, etc. Such is clearly NOT the case, here in San Diego, or anywhere else, for that matter. The indie music world often seems about as interesting to me as junior high. I don't have any truck with the social world of junior high, with it's cliques and posturing, but, simply put, it's a boring world. It's the same thing with the indie music world: Like junior high, but with bands.
I was super excited to read Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy after seeing the citation in the Shape of Ancient Thought. I was even more excited when I realized that Wendy Doniger, my favorite scholar/professor, was mentored by this guy (Mircea Eliade is a Romanian, and a man, not a chick.) Shamanism was originally published in English (from the French) in 1951, but the book I have is a 2004 re-print with a new foreword by Doniger. Eliade's scholarship is a leetle out of date 50 years on, but that doesn't detract from the fact that this book was the first comprehensive approach to Shamanism that treated it as something other then a "degraded" "uncivilized" object of scorn. In fact, Shamanism appears to be the basis of all religious thought everywhere, showing up not only in the civilized religions of the Near East, West and East, but also in the indigenious peoples of Australia, New Guinea, Polynesia and North and South American. Shamanism is the closest things humans have to a "universal" religion prior to the emergence of the great world religions of Christianity, Islam and Buddhism (sorry Hindus!!!!)
So what is Shamanism? Eliade defines Shamanism as religious practice governed by the reaching of non-conscious ecstatic states by the Shaman. During this state, the Shaman travels to the sky or the underworld and rescues the souls of the sick/ill etc. That is Shamanism in a nut shell, but it's the description of the ritual ascents and descents that I found most interesting. I don't want to spoil the joys of the world tree, the soul egg and the bridge for those who might actually read this book, but suffice it to say that Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstasy, contains enough food for thought to keep the reader thinking for months. Also, all the quoted sources are in Russian or German, so you don't have to worry about follow up reading.
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