Archive for January, 2002

Reading over the old reviews

Sunday, January 27th, 2002

Ok… I’m awake at 5:30 in the morning for no apparent reason. I’ve been looking at some of my older reviews on this site, and noticing a couple things: (1) often as not my opinion about various albums has changed noticeable over time; and (2) damn, some of those old reviews are pretty bad. However, on the upside, I’d have to say that a lot of those reviews really make me want to go listen to the albums in question. I suppose that’s a good thing.

Sean’s review of Lizard is awesome.

Pot, kettle, black

Saturday, January 26th, 2002

“Has this guy been asleep somewhere since 1986? Ask him who the current president is.”

Saw this quote, re some guy playing Boy George at the office. It’s funny, but it’s highly, highly ironic given that a prog fan wrote it. Substitute “1973″ for “1986″… and ouch.

On judging contemporary art

Monday, January 21st, 2002

Hans-Georg Gadamer says in an article on historicality and hermeneutics:

…the judgment of contemporary works of art is desperately uncertain for the scientific consciousness… the permanent significance of something can first be known objectively only when it belonds within a self-contained context. In other words, when it is dead enough to have only historical interest. Only then does it seem possible to exclude the subjective involvement of the observer.

So contemporary art cannot be judged with any accuracy, because we are within its time period and therefore our judgments are burdened with biases that are invisible to us. But does that have to mean that once we are able to contextualize and fairly judge a piece of art, it is dead and has no real meaning anymore? (Even asking this question sort of presupposes that a sort of “objectivity” in judging art is a goal in the first place, something I have a problem with.)

There are lots of little irritating issues like this in critical theory. This one just happened to jump out at me as I was reading tonight.

What’s spinning, individual songs edition

Tuesday, January 15th, 2002

Something a bit different: songs (as opposed to albums) that I’m digging.

  • Aksak Maboul, “Palmiers en Pots” (from Un Peu de l’Ame des Bandits)
  • Biota, “Reckoning Falls” (from Object Holder)
  • The Coup, “Hip 2 Tha Skeme” (from Genocide & Juice)
  • DJ Shadow, “Midnight in a Perfect World” (from Endtroducing…)
  • Explosions in the Sky, “Have You Passed Through This Night” (from Those Who Tell the Truth…)
  • 5uu’s, “Noah’s Flame” (from Abandonship)
  • The Gathering, “Morphia’s Waltz” (from if_then_else)
  • Mr. Bungle, “Desert Search for a Techno Allah” (from Disco Volante)
  • Mogwai, “Dial:Revenge” (from Rock Action)
  • Nathaniel Merriweather, “Book of the Month” (from Lovage)
  • NeBeLNeST, “Stimpy Bar” (from Nova Express)

I saw a bunch of movies over Christmas break. One of them was Vanilla Sky. I enjoyed it until the awfully hackneyed sci-fi plot twists during the latter part, which sort of reminded me of Brazil but with a cheesy pseudo-happy-ending. However, I thought the soundtrack was awesome. Radiohead’s “Everything in its Right Place” couldn’t have been used more effectively, and the three Sigur Rós songs were also very well-placed. I recognized a couple other pieces too, but couldn’t name them. Good stuff.