Posts Tagged ‘Anekdoten’

What’s spinning, June 18 edition

Monday, June 18th, 2007

If you’ve actually been following the last.fm widget up there at the top of the blog, you might know some of this, but in any case here is what has been occupying my ears for the past couple weeks.

  • Anekdoten - A Time of Day — Well, it’s better than Gravity, but that’s not exactly high praise. Jury’s still out on this one for me; I could see it being a grower.
  • Cato Salsa Experience & The Thing with Joe McPhee - Two Bands and a Legend — This was on my previous list of this sort, from back in April, and it’s still in heavy rotation. I’ll be reviewing it soon.
  • Do Make Say Think - You, You’re a History in Rust — This one is also a long-lasting pleasure, and will likely end up being one of my favorites of the year. This is post-rock at its most beautiful, yet sacrificing nothing in depth (unlike, say, some of the material by Explosions in the Sky).
  • Dungen - Tio Bitar — My first impressions so far are just that; nothing has really stood out to me. For some reason I get less and less excited about this band as time passes, and I was hoping this album would change that. Hasn’t happened yet.
  • Grails - Burning Off Impurities — This is a really hard band to pigeonhole; they’re somewhere between post-rock and prog and metal and ambient and world music, or something. Previous albums have not really excited me, but this one has some really great moments.
  • Isis - Live.04 — Isis’ latest limited-edition live CD is a mixed bag of cuts mostly from Celestial and Oceanic. Oddly, I like the earlier stuff the best; the band’s raw power really comes through in the live context.
  • King Crimson - Live in Heidelburg 1974 — Highlight of this one is pretty clearly the funky “Heidelburg II” improv, in which Bruford comes through with some of the most agile playing I’ve heard him pull off in a KC improv, and Wetton just levels everything in his path.
  • Joanna Newsom - Joanna Newsom and the Ys Street Band EP — I’m not really that thrilled by the re-recorded versions of “Clam, Crab, Cockle, Cowrie” and “Cosmia,” but the new song “Colleen” is up there with anything else Newsom has yet recorded. I cannot wait for her next release, and I’m even more excited for her next tour.
  • Nightwish - End of an Era — There are so many things I don’t really like about this band — the silly bombast, the terrible male vocals, the lyrics — but somehow in the end I’m always won over by their sheer energy and the obvious joy they get from playing their music. This DVD is addictive, and although there are several throwaway pieces, it’s great fun.
  • Pelican - City of Echoes — Not sure what I think about this one yet; I think I like it better than The Fire In Our Throats Will Beckon the Thaw, but I could be wrong. It definitely seems more dynamic, although the Pitchfork review is dead-on in picking out the drummer as a factor holding the band back from greater heights.
  • Sleepytime Gorilla Museum - In Glorious Times — Well, duh. This has been dominating my speakers for weeks now. My review basically says all I need to say about it: it’s awesome.
  • The Thing - Live at Blå — Basically two half-hour pieces consisting of “covers” of barely recognizable songs strung together by free improv sections. Definitely not the most accessible place to start with this band, and I find myself thinking it definitely has some dead spots that could have used cutting, but it’s an accurate picture of what they do when they play live.
  • Wilco - Sky Blue Sky — Now this is a huge disappointment. Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche are two premier innovators on their respective instruments (and the rest of the band are hardly slouches), but instead of a worthy followup to the skewed indie-pop of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born, we get a middle-of-the-road, mostly boring, totally straightforward album of pop-rock that’s to the band’s earlier output as David Gilmour’s On An Island is to Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. Some reviewers have been saying “but it’s so well-crafted!” but I disagree with that, too — some of Tweedy’s vocal lines and melodies here are nothing short of cringeworthy.

Art rock vs. prog rock, and more

Wednesday, July 12th, 2000

Man… who makes this shit up? (From the art-rock/prog-rock “music style” summary at the All-Music Guide)

The difference between art rock and prog rock is slight, but important. Art rock bands tend to draw more heavily on classical influences and show a tendency toward medieval and mystical lyrical imagery. Prog rockers do have some classical elements to their music, but they also have more of an overt jazz and psychedelic influences — and have a greater tendency to improvise.

Interesting tidbit from Jan Erik Liljestrom of Anekdoten, from an interview on their web page:

In 1993 we were surprised that so many of the reviewers of our first album thought we were Crimson-clones. I had been more worried that they would spot the references to Peter Hammill, Van der Graaf Generator and Trettioåriga Kriget. “Nucleus” probably turned more extreme because we wanted to show that we had other influences as well.

Surprisingly, I think this is pretty funny. Also from NME, this little quote from rapper Eminem, offered without comment:

“Boy/girl bands - little watered down pop groups, made bands, somebody sticks ‘em together and makes something that’s artificial, that’s fuckin’ phoney. You can only rhyme fuckin’ ‘fire’ and ‘desire’ and ‘heart’ and ‘fall apart’ so many times an’ I’m sick of seein’ it, sick of hearin’ it, and if I lose my fans ‘cos they find out Eminem doesn’t like N Sync, I don’t give a fuck. Fuck N Sync, fuck Backstreet Boys, fuck Britney Spears, fuck Christine Aquilera [sic], fuck all that bullshit, that shit is trash to me, fuckin’ no talent.”

Final couple of article links: The Wire bashes Zappa and interviews Magma (both are from 1995; the latter is by Paul Stump).

Droney Anekdoten

Thursday, June 29th, 2000

In Bob’s new review of Anekdoten’s From Within, he refers to a lot of long, drawn-out, droning passages that don’t go anywhere. He’s right on the mark - they appear quite a bit. Oddly enough, I like them. I can’t explain it, but I think “Hole” - the song most guilty of droning on and on and on - is a kick-ass song. Weird.

My mom likes Alberto Piras’ singing.