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Friday, February 10, 2012

TONIGHT IN PALM SPRINGS, CA: DUNES/ABE VIGODA\Neverever @ THE ACE HOTEL

EVENT PREVIEW
Friday, February 10th, 2012
THE ACE HOTEL IN PALM SPRINGS, CA.

DUNES
ABE VIGODA
NEVEREVER
COST IS FREE, FREE, FREE


  DUNES is another band on the "put out records on both Art Fag Recordings & Mexican Summer" short-list.  Art Fag Recordings put out a 7" and Mexican Summer put out a 12".  It is tough for bands to spread out their pre-LP output between different labels.  The pre LP1 physical out-put for a band in 2012 should be something like:

tape (optional)  - any time
tape (optional)  - any time
7"   -  month one
7"   -  month four
7"   - month 6-8
12" EP - month 12
LP1 - month 18
LP1 promotional cycle -  month 18 to month 30- 42, depending on success of LP1.


  You look at a band like DUNES- a respectable but not exhilarating 32k last fm plays, and 2 7"s and 1 12" EP spread out over a couple of years, you've got a band that is ready for an LP.  For me, DUNES will always remind me of their July 2010 interview for LA RECORD, with the immortal pull quote:


The whole seeing things through your music is really cool but I don’t want to create some- thing that’s for sale. It’s better thinking of it as something for fun than for sale. I feel this.


    Abe Vigoda is a band with a solid catalog and 1.5 million last fm plays in the can- with a sound that has matured beyond their early "tropical punk" days while simultaneously inspiring a legion of would-be imitators who haven't been able to pull it off.   Juan Vigoda has emerged as an almost independent indielebrity, but it's been almost a year and a half since Crush was released on the combo of PPM/Bella Union.   Did you know that Crush got a 7.8 but was still ranked the #40 album of the year by Pitchfork in 2010?


     It's funny. because Crush came out the same week as the Crocodiles 2nd LP, Sleep Forever, and I've just heard about what has gone into the next Crocodiles record- and I wonder if the experience for Abe Vigoda has been, similar, different, etc.  I note that once you take into consideration the relative amount of output for each  act, they are roughly equivalent in Audience size.  The fact is, if you're an Artist, and you can clock an average of 500k last fm lps for an indie lp release, you are generating enough money for SOMEONE to live off of- maybe not the Artist, because a Record Label is lightly to get the initial fruits of that release.   Once you reach an initial threshold by putting out a first LP (or second) that raises your Audience beyond a certain size, you can obtain a momentum, which will continue provided you either a) release new materials consistently or b) tour consistently or both.


  Before you've reached the threshold Audience size, it really doesn't matter who you are or what your do or where you do it- you just need to put together an LP and get people to listen to it.  After an individual reaches that initial point where momentum is generated, things like "Which record label is putting out the next record?" "Who is handling my booking in the us and Europe?" and "Do I have a manager?" become significant considerations, in that those are the ways to maintain and increase your momentum.


  All the rest of what people generally think about in regards the development and maintenance of Artistic careers can simply be thought of as either establishing initial momentum of increasing audience size, maintaining that momentum or increasing/decreasing it- I'm talking about press, album sales, touring, etc.


  Neverever (35k lastfm plays) is this:


Jihae and Wallace Meek are a couple with a keen ear for POP who’ve travelled the world together in search of the perfect tune. Having met in Glasgow while Ms. Meek was the singer for pop phenoms The Royal We and Mr. Meek helmed the excellent Bricolage, they eventually relocated to LA to soak in the sunny vibes and pop history. Neverever is their new band, a tough group with a flair for echoey three minute symphonies, marrying classic pop melodies with punk-informed crunch and glam-infused 70s stomp. (LAST FM)
  They put out an LP on Slumberland Records in 2010.  They have a blank Pitchfork search return- how is that possible?  I feel like Pitchfork ignores LA based bands that would be established indie level acts if they lived in Brooklyn or Chicago.


  My thought about DUNES is that one or more of the members is trying to make it through school, and the first LP won't come out till after that happens, and that when the LP comes out they will make a push and tour etc, and it just might work.  For Abe Vigoda my only question is "When does the next record come out?"

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

FRANCES BURNEY: THE LIFE IN THE WORKS

Book Review
FRANCE BURNEY: THE LIFE IN THE WORKS
Margaret Anne Doody
p. 1988

  I like writing about 18th century literature because it's a legitimate cultural subject, and it's pretty much impossible to offend anyone with your opinion.  Five years of blogging about music and literature have taught me that the easiest thing to do with a blog is offend someone with your opinion.

 The stand out figure in my recent audit of 18th century British literature was Frances Burney.  She is an appealing Author/Artist for several reasons:

 1. EARLY WOMAN AUTHOR.
 2. Daughter of well know 18th century musician/author Charles Burney.
 3. HAD PLENTY OF HITS: Evelina, Cecilia, Camilla.

  Burney published Evelina, her first book, in 1778- she was 26.  It was a hit, though the combination of Burney's status as a single woman and the nascent state of the development of the market for literature combined to deprive her of financial rewards that would have equaled her critical success.

  Evelina was published anonymously, but that only lasted until the critics made their positive statements and the initial press of 2500 copies sold out.  An important biographical fact of Frances Burney's life was her relationships with her "Daddies"(her words, not mine)- her actual father Charles Burney- court musician and author of the path breaking History of Music- and her "Uncle"- Samuel Crisp.  It is Crisp whom Burney most often referred to as "Daddy" in her correspondence.  Burney and Crisp played a crucial role in her career- a role best illustrated after the success of Evelina, when Frances decided to write a play.

   The play (never produced) was called The Witlings, and it was essentially a satire on modern life.   Doody wrote this book before Seinfeld aired, but the over all tenor of the play would have to be described as Seinfeldian since it is essentially a "play about nothing."

   Even after reading an entire chapter on the subject, it's still unclear to me why Crisp and Burney pere conspired to suppress The Witlings.  The common take on this circumstances is that Burney/Crisp thought it was too "unladylike" for Frances to be writing plays, but if that was the case, they didn't put it like that.  Rather they told her that the play was terrible, and too imitative of antecedent plays, and that she would, essentially, ruin her literary reputation as a result of its performance.

  By the time The Witlings had been suppressed it was 1781, and she was pressured to write a follow up- a book which became Cecilia.  Burney wrote Cecilia for an existing Audience, one that anticipated the release.  Cecilia was published in summer of 1782- either 30 or close to it- was the "age of spinster" in late 18th century London.

  In December of 1782, Burney met Owen Cambridge, a minister from a good family.  They spent the next couple years in a halting court ship that resulted in no proposal. OUCH.  After the Cambridge fiasco, Burney secured a job- via her father- as a lady in waiting to the Queen of England.  She took her position in July of 1786- having wasted a full four years with Owen Cambridge.   She was not excited to take the gig- it involved being "on call" day and night, and spending many an hour standing around and doing nothing at all.

  Ironically, it was her journals during this period of servitude that proved to be Burney's most enduring work before her late 20th century revival at the hands of feminist inspired literary scholars.   She had a front seat to what we now of as "THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE"- she was right there, and taking notes the whole time.   She managed to escape the clutches of the Queen, essentially by feigning severe illness, and was released with a 100 guinea a year life pension in 1791.

  She was now 39, unmarried, childless. So what does she do? She goes out and lands an exiled French military man and has a kid.  Boom.  Then to secure her lively hood she writes Camilia:  Also a hit. BOOM.  Eventually she ends up in France with her husband and her child, and never writes another hit, but lives up until 1840.  She was... 88? When she died.

  There must be some interest in Burney- since Cambridge University just republished this book.  I find Burney interesting because of her unique perspective on 18th century social practices and her status as an early successful Author/Artist.  What's interesting is she was simultaneously an outsider (a young woman) and an insider (daughter of Charles Burney, court musician.)

TONIGHT IN RAVENNA ITALY: DIRTY BEACHES TARLABASI RELEASE PARTY










PICTURE OF BRONSON VENUE IN RAVENNA ITALY
ADDRESS: Via Cella, 50, 48121 Ravenna, Italy
website


TONIGHT, FEBRUARY 7th 2012
DIRTY BEACHES
TARLABASI RELEASE PARTY
ADMISSION
SEVEN EURO OR TEN EURO FOR ADMISSION + 7".

VIDEO OF ALEX DIRTY BEACHES TARLABASI RECORDING SESSION:




HERES ANOTHER AMAZING DIRTY BEACHES VIDEO SHOT IN EUROPE:

Monday, February 06, 2012

M.H. ABRAMS ON READING POETRY ALOUD


Irony in New Criticism

Irony as a universal quality of good literature: Twentieth-century critics, notably T. S. Eliot and the “New Critics” I. A. Richards, Cleanth Brooks, and Robert Penn Warren, argued that (as Abrams puts it) “the greatest poems are invulnerable to external irony because they already incorporate the poet’s own ‘ironic’ awareness of opposite and complementary attitudes.”  Irony in this broadest sense entails the avoidance of sentimentality through the incorporation of multiple attitudes in a single work.  Furthermore, New Critics argued that it is precisely the resolution of internal tensions that gives a literary work its strength.  “To His Coy Mistress” is a key example in its blending of witty, grotesque, lyrical, and violent imagery.  “I Knew a Woman” is another key example--a great love poem blending lyricism, bawdy humor, and spiritual mysticism.

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