Thursday, October 29, 2009

Echo Chamber

Great post from M.E. Dub the other day. If you haven't read it, have a go and then peruse this July New York Times article about 78s collectors.

The picture here is what my 1923 Victrola VV-105 would look like with a tassel and a much better finish. As for the player's software...there but for the grace of the angels go I. The idea of chasing down and procuring desirable 78 titles and labels is so seductive, and the reality so expensive. I am quite happy employing my O/C gene with the procurement and cataloging of music I discover and enjoy. If I dived into the 78s and cylinders hobby my familiarity with the sun would rival that of a St. Paul resident in February.

Oh, and here's a fun little bar-bet tidbit: the number of grooves on one side of a 78 and an LP is exactly the same.


More echo-chamber stuff: Mr. Fig's point about live music being the last commonly-found concentrated listening experience is right on the money. While I contend that as much (or more) good new music can be found now as ever before, extended situating between the speakers and zeroing in to the exclusion of all other external stimuli seems an ever-more bygone experience. And this is not merely a lament about the wacky ambiences bedeveling the upper kids have so many more distractions these days too. Not the least of which is constantly moving on to the next torrent before absorbing the last one.

Give me good acoustics, sound system, and seating, and I can be rapt. Last night for instance: Mondavi Center, Salzburg Mozarteum Orchestra, and a first half that included a Mozart overture and a Haydn Cello Concerto. Bliss. OK, so I nodded off a bit during the Schubert 9th, but come ON! The thing sprawls and meanders.

One suggestion for all live venues: in addition to the usual admonitions about cell phones, illicit recording, and brown acid, stage announcements could be amended to include a request that 'all overpowering perfumes and after-shaves must be neutralized at this time.' Last night's heady mix was omnipresent. Hardly anyone noticed my Vitalis.


If I could be granted one wish in this blogging enterprise, it would be to offer up a single playlist of, say, a half-dozen songs and have them all be playable on a single site. I wanted to do this with Rhapsody (to which I am subscribed), but in order to hear 'em you gotta sign up for the 14-day free trial. I love the service, but I'm no shill.

But I like the idea of an occasional 'Thursday Random 6-Pak' thing, so let's do it the old-fashioned way: with MySpace and YouTube. The only common factor with all six is that I like each of 'em a lot. Please keep in mind that your host is a deep-middle-aged 3-minute-pop-tune-lover. I hope at least one of these brings you the inspiration to dig deeper...

Let's start with Robert Gomez. His indie pop is all understated charm and would appeal to Musee Mecanique fans. When you get to his MySpace page, try 'Hunting Song.'

Wovenhand, anyone? This has been David Eugene Edwards's project since 16 Horsepower disbanded. Edwards is at once scary and entrancing. Try 'Winter Shaker' to start.

And...oh, let's see: how 'bout some ska? Here is Andy & Joey, doing the 1966 Studio One original of 'You're Wondering Now,' since covered by The Specials and Amy Winehouse.

Spinnerette: This is a Queens of the Stone Age-related group fronted by Brody Daille, formerly of The Distillers. This is 'Impaler' on YouTube, with only the album's cover art as a visual.

Time for another journey with Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Here is Be Bop Deluxe from 1976, with 'Crying to the Sky,' as posted on YouTube, also without motion visuals.

Finally, Celestial. They are a Swedish jangle-pop outfit. Just good, clean, throwaway fun. Try 'Dream On.'

No comments: