Music Is A Scented Candle

You should read this article in the Guardian by the ever insightful Tom Ewing on how music fanaticism has changed.  Check out Tom’s blog here.

Sleeves Received

The Wire magazine has a new blog in addition to their blog called The Mire.  This blog is called Sleeves Received and is devoted to “documenting gems from the mail bag” and focuses on documenting artistic sleeve art and eye-catching packaging that arrives in the magazine’s office.

Occupy Posters

Here’s a nifty collection of posters from the Occupy Wall Street contingent.  Check it out.

Dark Side Of The Rainbow

When I was in college I probably spent more time tirelessly toiling away working at my local record store than I did studying.  Once, while I was working, I was approached by a fellow student wanting to interview me.  He was writing an article for the college newspaper on the synchronicity of music and video.

The first question he asked was how I felt about watching The Wizard Of Oz while Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon, which I had never heard of before.  He told me you could push play on the good ‘ole VHS and manually drop the needle on the record player at just the right moment and the two would play in synchronicity.  I answered questions for his article, but I don’t know if I provided any special insight, especially into this phenomenon now known as the Dark Side Of The Rainbow.  I went out and rented The Wizard Of Oz from my local library and tried it for myself.  I don’t know if I did it right.

Fast forward a few years later and there are plenty of resources (here, here, and here) to help you in your quest for maximum synchronicity.  There are a few lists (here, here, here, and here) of all the synchronous events, yet no lists for all the asynchronous events.  See for yourself, you can watch it here now:

DRC Music

I’m really enjoying the DRC Music record, Kinshasa One Two, that is out now on Warp Records.

Here’s a video to give you a little background on the project:

…and here’s a blog about news related to the project.  Proceeds from the DRC Music project go to support Oxfam‘s work in the Democratic Republic of Congo fighting poverty, repairing infrastructure problems, and establishing humanitarian aid.  I was hooked  minute into the first track on the record.  This track, “Hallo“, is the focus of a DRC Music Remix Competition.  Listen here: [wpaudio url=" Music Hallo.mp3" text="DRC Music (Featuring Tout Puissant Mukalo & Nelly Liyemge) - Hallo" dl=0]

Goodbye Bert Jansch

Best Jansch has passed on after a long struggle with cancer.  See here, here, here, here, and here for more information, and see here for loving tribute from Roy Harper.  I know what I am doing tonight: it’s gonna be a Bert Jansch and Pentangle tribute night.

Happy Birthday Steve Reich!

When I started working at my college radio station, I was 18 years old and getting into Jazz and other “out” music.  Thankfully, a veteran DJ – one who was a faculty member at the University and who had hosted a radio show for years – took me under his wing.  He passed many records my way – and he lent me actual LP records – and to this day, that’s the main way I listen to music.

One memorable pile he let me borrow, if I remember correctly, included a couple of McCoy Tyner records, Cecil Taylor’s Unit Structures, and John Coltrane’s Sun Ship.  That pile in particular was a lot more memorable than other piles, because it had a record I never got around to listening to: Steve Reich’s Music For 18 Musicians (on Manfred Eicher’s ECM record label, a label I already mentioned here).  When I returned the records to him, I admitted to not listening to it and he scolded me and told me it was my major loss.

His words ran through my head for a few years, until I caved in and purchased Music For 18 Musicians for myself.  That piece has become one of my all time favorites and the music of Steve Reich has been very important to me for many years.  Happy 75th Birthday Steve Reich – To celebrate, see birthday tributes at NPR and Nonesuch.

I Wanna Move To Finland

Here’s a video (basically a University of Helsinki propaganda video – which is a great University I might add) that really exemplifies the incredible solidarity and socialism held by the Finnish people.  Apart from being a very well produced video, it focuses on the Finnish people’s desire to place social equity, health, education, and sustainability as pillars of society.  People are willing to pay taxes for these things because they know it leads to a better life.

I just don’t understand how some people (I’m talking Tea Party people here, people) in the United States can be so ignorant, especially in striking opposition to the high regard the Finnish place on such things that better society.  Some people in the United States attack “Socialism” like they know what it is.  Others argue that the United States is too diverse and large to achieve the same sort of solidarity as the Finnish, but I can dream, can’t I?