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Archive for September, 2000

New GYBE! is good stuff

Monday, September 18th, 2000

The new album by Godspeed You Black Emperor! hasn’t been out of my player more than a few minutes since I got it on Saturday. I’ve only listened to the first disc so far, but it is really good. More details to come when I write a full review, hopefully soon. Things have been insanely hectic back at school but I hope it’ll all settle down as the semester wears on.

I got an 18″x24″ print made of a digital photo I took of Thinking Plague’s performance at NEARfest, with some text superimposed using Photoshop. It makes a great poster on my wall.

New Haven is rocking these days. Trey Gunn played here last night (missed him), and the Flaming Lips, Sunny Day Real Estate, and De La Soul will all be playing in October. Also Höyry Kone and King Crimson and doubtless many other interesting groups will come awfully close - New York City - within the next couple months.

Robert Fripp and gamelan

Wednesday, September 13th, 2000

After the End of the World has a lot of interesting stuff, including “A Lot of Noise With One Guitar”, a collection of articles and writings about Robert Fripp.

I find Javanese gamelan music relaxing and occasionally beautiful, but it doesn’t really thrill me all that much. Balinese gamelan, on the other hand, straight out rawks. We listened to some in my world music class today, and I was struck by how “proggy” it is: lots of dramatic, abrupt changes in dynamics and tempo; extremely complicated polyrhytmic parts involving large numbers of percussion instruments played at insanely fast speeds; and loud, deep bass sounds coming from the larger gongs. This is stuff I really like… I’ll have to explore it further sometime.

I’m learning about world music

Monday, September 11th, 2000

As a nice counterpoint to my recent review of Discus1st, we are currently studying Indonesian gamelan music in my music class (entitled “Musical Cultures of the World”). The text, Worlds of Music by Jeff Todd Titon (ed.), is a great book, providing a satisfying in-depth overview of various world musics - Indonesian, Japanese, West African, Native American, Eastern European, etc. Some of it is actually rather too technical for me, but I enjoy wading through and decoding musical terminology, which is a real challenge for me given my complete lack of background in music theory. is up for auction on eBay. As of this writing, though, you’d have to be willing to part with $10 million if you want it.

I’m really digging Josh’s suggestion of The Dismemberment Plan’s Emergency & I. I don’t feel like describing the music, but suffice it to say that it’s very inventive, very cool, very effective pop/emo/whateverthehellyouwanttocallit kind of stuff. Lots of keyboards used quite creatively, as a bonus for proggers.

A personal note

Sunday, September 10th, 2000

In any conventional sense, this doesn’t belong here, but in another sense, it has every right to be here. The death of Robert Kim Winslow, Yale class of 2000, on Saturday the 9th, was such a shocking event that it deserves mention - that is, he deserves memorial - in any way possible. Bobby Winslow was my freshman counselor last year; he was one of the most truly excellent people I’ve ever met. This year he was living in New York City with a cushy job, cushy apartment, and with good friends. He went out for a jog and never came back; reportedly he had a chronic heart condition that suddenly reared its head in a particularly ugly manner, but I’d never heard of such a thing when I knew him.

I was never particularly close to Bobby, but he was such an infectiously cool guy that it’s difficult not to be affected by his passing. This is my feeble attempt to dedicate something in his memory, and although it can’t be enough, it’s something I can do.

New Zealand and Japanese Psychedelic Noise

Thursday, September 7th, 2000

New Zealand and Japanese Psychedelic Noise, for those of you whose tastes run parallel to Dominique’s. Pretty interesting, and quite comprehensive it seems, but it doesn’t make me want to go out and buy the mentioned 50-CD Merzbox boxed set.


Monday, September 4th, 2000

I am pissed. I left a few CDs at home by accident, among them both Änglagård studio albums. And on my copy of Buried Alive, the last track (”Kung Bore”) skips like crazy and won’t play through. That last track is the only track on the album I think is better than the studio version, too. Sheeit.

Insound has a pretty cool video of Godspeed You Black Emperor! - interview and in concert.

Bitches Brew is amazing

Sunday, September 3rd, 2000

I tell you, Bitches Brew is absolutely fantastic. I spent several hours the last few days studying it closely, and it’s utterly breathtaking. Live-Evil has louder grooves and is easier to digest on casual listening, but Bitches Brew is just incredible. Is the box set worth getting, even at its astronomical price for 4CDs? (Hell, The Great Deceiver is only 4CDs and costs $70, but it’s worth every penny…)

Long car rides demand good music

Friday, September 1st, 2000

Will spend twelve hours on the road today, mostly with the highly engaging company of Mos Def, Miles Davis, and Höyry-Kone. Peace.

They say they want you successful
But then they make it stressful
You start keeping pace, they start shaking up the tempo

Mos Def, “Mr. Nigga”