Tuesday, June 05, 2018

Oneohtrix Point Never AGE OF (2018)



I'm increasingly mostly playing music when I can have it on in the house, usually on the Sonos system which has one speaker in every room.  I really like moving through the music.  (Headphones it's mostly audiobooks or podcasts.) I think it might have something to do with modern digital compression standards, but it just feels a little cramped and claustrophobic even on a set of decent Bose.  AGE OF is an example of an album that I wouldn't go out of my way to listen to on headphones, but it is cool; has some of the propulsion of GOOD TIME with some nocturnal groove to it, but I'm not sure how deep it is as an album.  I think we (as shitty music nerds) have a vacuum where we would like to have some heteropatriarch genius dudes we can look up to, as we have for decades, and there's just a dearth--OR there's dearth within those who have been appointed.  Father John Misty, et al.  OPN is an old head, he's better than that for sure, innovating vaporware and moving on, but at the end of the day he's a soundsmith, a collagist, and I think if he wanted to make music that truly stands the test of time, he'd produce for Grimes or something.  Otherwise its like a MR. ROBOT Bon Iver album, which yeah, but diminished delights have diminished ends.

I'd suggest Still Stuff That Doesn't Happen as the best track on its own and as a summation of the album as a whole.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Jóhann Jóhannsson THE MINERS' HYMNS (2011)



I became aware of this film score via the Battleship Pretension and their musicologist West, the only person I've heard who's as apoplectically passionate about the fact that JJ's (discarded) score must be released for BLADE RUNNER 2049, as we suspect it to be superior to Hans Zimmer's. Not to get too far afield, this piece stunned me.  It is just about the most noble, resolute, elegiac composition I've ever heard.  There is a particular crescendo in the shortest piece- There is No Safe Side But the Side of Truth-- that nearly stopped my heart the first time I heard it.

I have a very clear recollection of our last music meeting at WSND my senior year.  I'd been pushing us away from the labels' weekly slog of uninspired indie rock (I guess four years of that had me unfortunately callused) and during our elimination game (easily the best thing I invented in college) I had the poor judgment to put forth JJ's FORDLANDIA, a wonderful but quiet album, perfect for wee-smalls-hours radio in my opinion. The other DJ's listened very politely, and then my co-director asked for consensus that Animal Collective had made the album of the year. All the seniors agreed. It was time to graduate.  Paths in woods, divergence, etc.

Notre Dame has one showy graveyard, on your left right as you drive up to the Golden Dome.  Fifteen foot tall Irish crosses, the whole nine.  Then they had a potter's field out back, on the way to the ladies' college.  Lots of kids had died of cholera and other communicable diseases, the priests often lied about mortality statistics to keep the school open in the early days.  It should have been shuttered multiple times.  But those were the times, kids died.  One of my DJs actually died on the practice field, filming drills for the football team on a cherry-picker in a windstorm.  The thing collapsed. Blood on Brian Kelly's hands.  It's tough to root for the team when they have that coach.

It is tough to live a joyful life and still know things.  I guess you have to make joy in places you could never imagine.  Resilience in keeping some ethics within an empire.  Is that enough?  Mostly no.  Art it is, then.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Jon Hopkins SINGULARITY (2018)



a(n?) euphoric nocturnal beat album, alone but not lonely, to feel singular within the cosmos, a monkey with a battle plan.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Chris Reimer HELLO PEOPLE (2018)



a quiet ambient-drone-y pastiche of an album, with well-placed jazz interludes. sacramental yet breezy and affirming but mysterious.

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Tinashe JOYRIDE (2018)



better than anything from the much-heralded 2017 class of Rnb torch singers, and yes I'm looking at you SZA. As someone said on the Popcast, Tinashe is the Carly Rae Jepsen of her genre.