Archives

Purchase log, 2020-05-05

[Nakamori Akina - AKINA BOX]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

Catalog

CD
  • Nakamori Akina, AKINA BOX, 1982-1989
Vinyl
  • … And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, X: The Godless Void and Other Stories
  • Bruce Springsteen, The Rising
Files
  • Torche, Part Time Punks Sessions
  • TOUMING MAGAZINE, 4 TRACKS EP
  • Wayne Horvitz, Simple Facts

Tags: , , , , , ,

Purchase log, 2019-12-24

[Anton Bruckner - Symphonies Nos. 1-9]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

Catalog

CD
  • Anton Bruckner, Symphonies Nos. 1-9
  • John Zorn, 50 Birthday Celebration, Vol. 6: Hemopliliac
  • John Zorn, 50th Birthday Celebration, Vol. 12: Painkiller
  • Kate Bush, Aspects of the Sensual World
  • The Dismemberment Plan, Change
  • Various Artists, Kimus #4
Vinyl
  • Cameo, Word Up!
  • Deltron 3030, Deltron 3030
  • Prince, Dirty Mind
  • Torche, Torche

Unofficial

Vinyl
  • Frank Ocean, nostalgia, ULTRA

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Favorite Edition 2019 Year Final

[Sturgill Simpson - Sound and Fury]

I’m old enough now that I can no longer be mistaken for someone remotely connected to the zeitgeist. A phrase I would often employ was, “I know of them, but I’ve not heard from them.” These days, the first part of that phrase is a stretch.

That said, I’m surprised by the number of R&B titles that have crept into my playlist rotation. I’m still a rockist at heart, but rock is loosening its grip on my attention.

  1. Sturgill Simpson, Sound & Fury: How was Sturgill Simpson ever going to top A Sailor’s Guide to Earth? He didn’t. He veered so drastically in a different direction that the albums can’t be compared. None of his albums can be compared to each other.
  2. Torche, Admission: Torche can be found under the metal section of most music stores, but when I play their albums, I hear post-rock.
  3. Weezer, Weezer (Teal Album): It’s a karaoke album, but a painstakingly created one.
  4. Jeremy Denk, c.1300-c.2000: It’s a tall order to compile eight centuries of music into a single program.
  5. John Luther Adams, Become Desert: It was also stirring to hear this piece live.
  6. Cocco, Star Shank: We hear hints of clouds covering the sunniness of Cocco’s later work.
  7. BBMAK, Powerstation: I will not lie — I’ve anticipating this album for most of the year, and I do not care who knows.
  8. Shiina Ringo, Sandokushi: This album is a glorious mess.
  9. Solange, When I Get Home: Similar to Sound and Fury, this album is confounding and fascinating at the same time. There’s nothing on here that matches the tunefulness of A Seat at the Table, and it would be too disruptive to the album’s flow if there were.
  10. Jamila Woods, Legacy! Legacy!: “Basquiat” was playing on the in-store system at Sonic Boom, and it pretty much clinched my decision to get this album.

Other favorites of the year:

  • Kim Gordon, No Home Record
  • Michael Kiwanuka, KIWANUKA
  • James Blake, Assume Form
  • Sassyblack, Ancient Mahogany Gold
  • Anderson .Paak, Ventura
  • NUMBER GIRL, Kaiden no Kioku
  • The Drums, Brutalism
  • Ty Herndon, Got It Covered

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Concert Edition 2019

Perfume, Paramount Theatre, April 10, 2019
Perfume, Paramount Theatre, April 10, 2019

Jeremy Denk, Meany Hall, Jan. 15

Denk had yet to release his latest album, c.1300-c.2000, when he performed at Meany Centre. So he chose to focus mainly on Beethoven. The program did include John Adams’ I Still Play, which he wrote for retired Nonesuch Records president Bob Hurwitz.

Carolyn Shaw, Piano Concerto, Seattle Symphony, Benaroya Hall, Feb. 2

I think Shaw lost me in the second movement of her piano concerto, when the opening melody in the piano repeated. And repeated. And repeated. The first movement established this piece wasn’t minimalist, so why become one in the second movement?

Sergei Prokofiev, Symphony No. 7, Seattle Symphony, Benaroya Hall, Feb. 16

When I first started exploring classical music, I bought a cassette tape with Sergei Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony and Lieutenant Kije Suite. His Symphony No. 7 was tacked onto the album to fill out space, so I listened to it quite a lot. I haven’t explored other Prokofiev symphonies, but I have a fondness for the seventh.

Amadeus Live, Seattle Symphony, Benaroya Hall, Feb. 23

I had planned to attend the Seattle Symphony’s performance of Heiner Goebbels’ Surrogate Cities, but it was scheduled on the day I was flying back from London. The concert was rescheduled a day earlier, and I traded my ticket for Amaedus Live. I was glad to learn it was the theatrical cut.

Emerson String Quartet, Meany Hall, March 6

The program on this concert included the Barber Adagio, a Razumovsky quartet by Beethoven and the Britten’s String Quartet No. 3. I particularly looked forward to the Britten quartet, having stumbled across recordings of his quartets at the thrift shop.

Morsel Trio, Good Shepherd Center, March 8

My violin teacher (Luke Fitzpatrick) and my music theory T.A. (Daniel Webbon) had pieces on this program.

Michael Tilson-Thomas, San Francisco Symphony, Benaroya Hall, March 19

I’ve known about Michael Tilson-Thomas for years, and I even have a number of his recordings as a pianist. So I wanted to hear him with the San Francisco Symphony before he ends his tenure in July 2020. The centerpiece of the concert was Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony. I love the first movement of the piece, but I’ve never really internalized the remained of it.

untitled 2, Seattle Symphony, Benaroya Hall, March 22

Pierre Boulez never struck me as a person you’d really want to meet in real life, and that impression has spilled over into his music. So I don’t think I really heard a piece by Boulez until this concert. It wasn’t as grating as I was expecting it to be.

Perfume, Paramount Theatre, Apr. 10

I’m sure there were parts of this concert that were … prefabricated, but I didn’t mind. It was visually stunning, and Perfume were entirely gracious to Seattle fans. If I hadn’t gotten out of the hospital a few days before, I probably would have stood in the excessively long line at the merchandise table.

Joël-Françios Durand, Trope de:Bussy, Seattle Symphony, Benaroya Hall, Apr. 13

I listen to a lot of modern classical music, but I still sometimes feel odd listening to works from people I’ve met. Prof. Durand was my music theory instructor for one quarter back in 2016.

George Walker, Sinfonia No. 5, Seattle Symphony, Benaroya Hall, Apr. 20

When the orchestra finished playing the premiere of George Walker’s Sinfonia No. 5, one audience member didn’t even wait for conductor Thomas Dausgaard to signal for the applause. It was a pretty monstrous piece.

Alexander String Quartet and Joyce Yang, Meany Hall, May 22

Samuel Carl Adams has followed his father’s footsteps into the world of composition. His father is John Adams. Alexander String Quartet and Joyce Yang performed a piece by the younger Adams, and he sounds nothing like his father. In fact, I would like to hear more from Sam Adams.

untitled 3, Seattle Symphony, Benaroya Hall, June 7

A reimagning of Schubert and Schumann. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

In the Spotlight: Bolcom, Jolley, Poteat & Hausmann, Octave 9, June 11

Seattle Symphony transformed its education space into a high-tech venue to showcase more experimental programming. I’m looking forward to attending concerts in this new space.

Torche, Highline, Sept. 15

Sturgill Simpson made me realize I was getting too old for rock shows, so I almost decided against seeing Torche, despite loving the new album. Then I saw they were playing at a venue that is a 6-minute walk from my apartment. I’m glad I went.

Bugs Bunny on Broadway, Seattle Symphony, Benaroya Hall, Oct. 5

I wasn’t going to miss hearing What’s Opera, Doc? performed live. Even the 3-d animated new shorts weren’t too bad.

untitled 1, Seattle Symphony, Benaroya Hall, Oct. 18

This first untitled concert of the 2019-2020 season showcased works for brass, and alternated between early and modern music. At the end of the concert, I was asked what I thought. I answered, “It was more conservative than I prefer.”

John Williams, Violin Concerto, St. Louis Symphony, Powell Hall, Nov. 3

I debated whether to take in a St. Louis Symphony concert while I was attending WordCamp US. A Sunday matinee seemed like a good option for someone navigating an unfamiliar city without a car. The light rail and bus system got me to the concert hall, which has a really nice sound. James Ehnes was the soloist for the Williams concerto, and yes, it’s unmistakably John Williams. For an encore, Ehnes did Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 3.

Sleater-Kinney, Paramount Theatre, Nov. 23

I chose to sit in the mezzanine for this show because, yes, Sturgill Simpson.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Purchase log, 2019-09-24

[Torche - Harmonicraft]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

Catalog

CD
  • Brandi Carlile, By the Way I Forgive You
  • Interpol, Turn on the Bright Lights
  • Kraftwerk, Trans-Europe Express
  • Madonna, Remixed and Revisited
  • Men at Work, Business As Usual
  • Modern English, After the Snow
  • R.E.M.: Essential R.E.M.: In the Attic
  • Simon and Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Waters
  • Soundgarden, Screaming Life / Fopp
  • Torche, Harmonicraft
  • Torche, Meanderthal

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Purchase log, 2019-09-17

[Art of Noise - Re-works of Art of Noise]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

New releases

CD
  • Sassyblack, Ancient Mahogany Gold

Vinyl

  • Torche, Admission

Catalog

CD
  • Art of Noise, Re-Works of Art of Noise
  • Charlie Robison / Jack Ingram / Bruce Robison, Unleashed Live
  • Common, Like Water for Chocolate
  • Grizzly Bear, Yellow House
  • Kanye West, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  • The Cult, Sonic Temple
Vinyl
  • Johnny Cash, American Recordings
  • Rick Springfield, Tao
  • The Xx, Xx

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Purchase log picks, July 2019

[Hans Abrahamsen - Schnee]

Hans Abrahamsen, Schnee

Seattle Symphony performed this piece as part of its [untitled] series, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Sonic Youth, Confusion Is Sex / Kill Yr. Idols

I’ve read a number of record guides, and very few of them recommend this album. They are wrong. Confusion Is Sex is probably the closest Sonic Youth has gotten to its modern classical roots, and I like it a lot.

Duffy, Rockferry

On Facebook, I posted this controversial stance: Duffy > Adele. Maybe I like Rockferry because it’s not piped into every restaurant and waiting room.

Johnny Cash, American IV: The Man Comes Around

I scored when I found a copy of this album with a DVD of the video for “Hurt” at the thrift store. Then I heard the rest of it, and … wow.

Torche, Admission

This album entered the Favorite Edition list on pretty much the first listen.

Various Artists, Living In Oblivion, Vol. 1

I had a copy of this album, but the booklet got water damaged in a refrigerator leak. So I gave it away. Welcome back.

Washed Out, Within and Without

Part of me wishes the cover of the album were homoerotic, but the music on it is great.

Anderson .Paak, Ventura

I’ve heard of Anderson .Paak but not from Anderson .Paak, so a $2 copy of this album at Goodwill, unopened, seemed like a low-risk way to find out who he is. I’m impressed.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Purchase log, 2019-07-16

[Torche - Admission]

I catalog my music purchases on Collectorz and Discogs, but they don’t give me a sense of change over time. So I’m noting them here weekly as well.

New releases

CD
  • Torche, Admission

Catalog

CD
  • Alabama Shakes, Boys & Girls
  • Bangles, A Different Light
  • Clannad, Atlantic Realm
  • Elliott Smith, Figure 8
  • Fleetwood Mac, Behind the Mask
  • Front 242, Tyranny for You
  • Gabby Pahinui and Atta Isaacs, Two Slack Key Guitars
  • Grandaddy, The Sophtware Slump
  • Hapa, In the Name of Love
  • John Zorn, The Classic Guide to Strategy, Volumes One and Two
  • Johnny Cash, American IV: The Man Comes Around
  • Lorde, Pure Heroine
  • Morrissey, You Are the Quarry
  • Mumford and Sons, Babel
  • R.E.O. Speedwagon, Hi Infidelity
  • SING LIKE TALKING, DISCOVERY
  • Skrillex, Scary Monsters and Nice Sprites
  • The Style Council, Confessions of a Pop Group
  • Tricky, Maxinquaye
  • Various Artists, Every Band Has a Shonen Knife Who Loves Them
Vinyl
  • ABBA, The Singles: The First 10 Years
  • Cyndi Lauper, She’s So Unusual
  • Krzysztof Penderecki, Violin Concerto (Isaac Stern, Minnesota Orchestra, Stanislaw Skrowaczewki)
  • Leonard Bernstein, Leonard Bernstein Conducts His Symphonies (New York Philharmonic)
  • New Jersey Percussion Ensemble, Percussion Music
  • Stephen Sondheim, Company (Original Cast Recording)
  • The Alarm, Strength

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Looking ahead, June-July 2019

[John Luther Adams - Become Desert]

MONO, Hymn to the Immortal Wind (Anniversary Edition), June 14

I’m not usually a sucker for fancy packaging, but the limited edition vinyl reissue looks gorgeous. Also, this album really is MONO’s best.

John Luther Adams, Become Desert (Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot), June 14

I’m not sure a recording will capture the surprise when a men’s chorus emerges from the texture of the orchestra — behind you. Perhaps in surround sound?

Renée Fleming, Lieder, June 14

An album of Brahms, Schumann and Mahler. I’ll pass.

The B-52’s, Cosmic Thing (Expanded Edition), June 28

It took a while for me to warm up to the B-52’s rougher early work because my first exposure to the band was the slick and polished Cosmic Thing.

Torche, Admission, July 12

I have three of the band’s four albums, which gives me enough familiarity with their work to look forward this upcoming release.

The Flaming Lips, King’s Mouth, July 19

Oh, so this was an actual new album? When I spotted it on Record Store Day, I assumed it was another one of their oddball projects.

NUMBER GIRL, Kanden no Kioku, July 24

A new live album! Or rather, raiding the archive to capitalize on the reunion.

Vinyl

Midnight Oil, Armistice Day: Live at the Domain Sydney, June 14

Oh, man, was I ever glad to catch Midnight Oil live on The Great Circle tour.

Solange, When I Get Home, late June

Solage’s Blonde to the Endless that was A Seat at the Table. How’s that for a difficult analogy?

Everything But the Girl, Amplified Heart, July 5

I’m surprised this album hadn’t been reissued on vinyl before now. Could we get a repress of Walking Wounded too?

NUMBER GIRL, SCHOOL GIRL DISTORTIONAL ADDICT, Aug. 7
NUMBER GIRL, SAPPUKEI, Aug. 7
NUMBER GIRL, NUM-HEAVYMETALLIC, Aug. 7

The Jet Set Records vinyl reissues in 2015 were pretty much sold out before they hit the stores, so jump on these pre-orders if you want to hear NUMBER GIRL in glorious analog.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,