Archive for August, 2008

Belated update

Sunday, August 31st, 2008

Where have I been?

Well, I spent about two weeks in China for the Olympics - one hell of a family trip. I don’t really have much to say about that trip that relates to this website whatsoever, except for one small anecdote. One of the places we explored was the 798 Art District, a rather stunning space on the outskirts of Beijing with numerous spaces for avant-garde and modern art — much of which was excellent and some of which was surprisingly political. At my favorite gallery, there was a particularly impressive sculpture made of a wrecked car painted entirely black, with tiny models of cars (think Micro Machines) swarming all over it, bulging out around cracks in the wreck, looking like nothing more than maggots infesting a recently deceased corpse.

Relevant to this website, though, was merely the fact that in the museum gift shop, Mogwai was playing softly, a desolate soundtrack and the only time I heard anything approaching interesting contemporary music during our entire two-week trip.

Musically, where have I been? Mostly expanding my horizons in metal listenership. Revisting stuff like Enslaved and Demilich, and familiarizing myself with obscurities like Book of Black Earth, local doom band Salome, the new Asva, and Georgians Kylesa (admittedly more hardcore/punk than metal). I’ll try to write about some of this stuff in the near future as most of this has been dominating my recent listening.

For now, I’ll leave off with this image of Salome, whom I saw with Behold… the Arctopus and Intronaut some three weeks ago, and who really left an impression on me. I wrote up that show at Black Plastic Bag and won’t duplicate that here, since it’s old news anyway. Click on the photo for the full image set at Flickr.

50 songs from 25 years

Tuesday, August 5th, 2008

A coworker of mine is making a mix CD for his 30th birthday that includes one song from every year he’s been alive (no duplicate artists allowed). This got me thinking about what such a mix would look like for me. I decided to do two songs per year and just go up to my 25th birthday. There are so many damn epics in the following list that if I ever actually burned this to CD it would have to be a box set, but anyway, it was kind of a fun and interesting exercise. This was all very much off the top of my head, and if I did it again tomorrow I’m sure it would look pretty considerably different. (Well, maybe not the early 80s - pretty slim pickings for me there.)

So without further ado:

  1. Los Jaivas - “La Poderosa Muerte” (from Alturas de Macchu Picchu)
    King Crimson - “Discipline” (from Discipline)
  2. Dire Straits - “Telegraph Road” (from Love Over Gold)
    Begnagrad - “Cosa Nostra/Waltz” (from Begnagrad)
  3. Etron Fou Leloublan - “Phare Plafond” (from Les Sillons de la Terre)
    Solaris - “Marsbéli Krónikák IV-VI” (from Marsbéli Krónikák)
  4. Univers Zero - “Presage” (from Uzed)
    David Gilmour - “Murder” (from About Face)
  5. Shub Niggurath - “Entresol” (from Shub Niggurath)
    Rush - “Mystic Rhythms” (from Power Windows)
  6. Metallica - “Master of Puppets” (from Master of Puppets)
    Pat Metheny & Ornette Coleman - “Endangered Species” (from Song X)
  7. Pink Floyd - “Learning to Fly” (from A Momentary Lapse of Reason)
    David Sylvian - “Orpheus” (from Secrets of the Beehive)
  8. Cowboy Junkies - “Misguided Angel” (from The Trinity Session)
    Queensrÿche - “Revolution Calling” (from Operation: Mindcrime)
  9. John Zorn - “Latin Quarter” (from Naked City)
    The Cure - “Pictures of You” (from Disintegration)
  10. U Totem - “One Nail Draws Another” (from U Totem)
    Ozric Tentacles - “Sunscape” (from Erpland)
  11. Massive Attack - “Safe From Harm” (from Blue Lines)
    My Bloody Valentine - “Only Shallow” (from Loveless)
  12. After Crying - “A gadarai megszállott” (from Megalázottak és megszomorítottak)
    Quaterna Requiem - “Madrugada” (from Velha gravura)
  13. Autechre - “Basscadet” (from Incunabula)
    Anekdoten - “Karelia” (from Vemod)
  14. Änglagård - “Sista somrar” (from Epilog)
    Portishead - “Wandering Star” (from Dummy)
  15. October Project - “Deep As You Go” (from Falling Farther In)
    Bob Ostertag - “Positive” (from Fear No Love.)
  16. Tim Berne/Bloodcount - “Bro’ball” (from Unwound)
    Tortoise - “Djed” (from Millions Now Living Will Never Die)
  17. Mogwai - “Mogwai Fear Satan” (from Young Team)
    Grey Eye Glances - “Chills” (from Eventide)
  18. Mos Def & Talib Kweli - “Thieves in the Night” (from Black Star)
    Thinking Plague - “Dead Silence” (from In Extremis)
  19. The Dismemberment Plan - “A Life of Possibilities” (from Emergency & I)
    Opeth - “Godheads Lament” (from Still Life)
  20. Sigur Rós - “Dánarfregnir og jarðarfarir” (from Englar alheimsins)
    Radiohead - “National Anthem” (from Kid A)
  21. Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - “Ambugaton” (from Grand Opening and Closing)
    Cannibal Ox - “Iron Galaxy” (from The Cold Vein)
  22. Paatos - “Quits” (from Timeloss)
    NeBeLNeST - “Nova Express” (from Nova Express)
  23. Spring Heel Jack - “Part II” (from Live)
    Pelican - “The Woods” (from Untitled EP)
  24. Magma - “K.A II” (from K.A)
    5uu’s - “Resolve” (from Tel Aviv Construction Events)
  25. Bar Kokhba Sextet - “Khebar” (from 50th Birthday Celebration Volume 11)
    Iron & Wine and Calexico - “In the Reins” (from In the Reins)
  26. Joanna Newsom - “Emily” (from Ys)
    Nelly Furtado - “All Good Things” (from Loose)