Atrocity Jukebox

Here I list the "record of the week" (often a few records), which I listen to repeatedly all week long while I work, letting the music seep deep into my mind, and painting my activities with a color that I will forever remember whenever I later recall each piece. I also post other thoughts on music here too.



to repost about itchiness



pilfered from:



Fw: Test post from posterous

((Sent from my crazyphone))

-----Original Message-----
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2011 02:01:59 To: Posterous atrocity jukebox Blog
Subject: Test post from posterous

Gamelan and Korean gagaku and slowdive.
((Sent from my crazyphone))


(or Yr2-Wk1)

Natural Snow Buildings: Sunlit Stone: Moon (STUDY)

Juliana Hatfield: How to Walk Away outtakes etc (BIKE)
Juliana Hatfield: Daytrotter Sessions. (BIKE)



White Rainbow: Zome. (STUDY)
Yes yes yes.  This shimmering drone and post-spacerock psyche-twinkel soundscape is gorgeous.  Of course anyone who knows Adam Forkner's past spacerock projects understands.  I've heard a few other White Rainbow disks that were just okay, though.  I saw him play live once, basically just creating delay loops, and it was transcendental.  There's some murmuring singing actually, which is very pretty, and subtle enough that I don't get distracted by it.
V M Bhatt: Raga Des (STUDY)
As with the week before, I took another raga that I heard has been proposed to have healing properties.  They probably all do.  I wish I could understand this stuff better, but it's very challenging to approach it, and reading about it would be difficult too. I wish I had some local friends who knew about this stuff, and I could sit and drink tea and listen all night.  I read that you're not supposed to listen to ragas for too long, nor listen to them at the wrong time of the day (this one is a night raga I think), but that might defeat the whole "record of the week" ritual...  Listening to things on repeat causes the melodies to seep in deep.  This has been happening especially lately because I have been fussing a lot with the winamp pluging (Pacemaker, I think) that I use to alter the speed and/or the pitch;  mid-week, after I know the music quite well, I speed it up slightly or slow it down a lot, all sorts of different nuances and variations.  I think that kind of novelty is the spice of our cognitive lives, always learning and relating, remembering.

Pearl Jam: Merkinball. (BIKE)
Pearl Jam: Pearl Jam. (BIKE)
As you must notice, there has been an excess of alternative revival/revisit for my bike music.  I normally don't like music with words these days, let alone the testosterone of rock, but there is something alluring about the aging of the generation that raised me to think differently about myself and the world.  I keep thinking that the leaders of the alternative movement could have been hippies, but things were too corporatized, and the 80s alienated everyone.  It's a shame that it took Eddie Vedder so long to finally make songs like these, and it's also sad to think that such grunge-punk is a thing of the past.  His singing is actually quite interesting, as he has learned to control his growl.  I like a lot of the extra instrumentation, and some of the songwriting and jamming is interesting.  But who am I kidding.  The guy is no Dalai Lama, the band is no Who or Beatles, or even Sonic Youth.  There are some eastern-ish drone elements in "The Long Road" which is very nice, I think to myself, they could have gone where JOMF went, and being good rock musicians, they would have done it well, the way Ween does weirdo music well, or even SY.  Why am I writing so much about this?  The album was good, but it was also "okay".
Robert Pollard: Robert Pollard is Off to Business. (BIKE)
Robert Pollard, now this is getting interesting.  The music is really nothing special.  But then the melodies get stuck in your head.  Like Vedder, the guy has been learning his own vocal inadequacies over the years, and harnessing them.  I want to say that the lyrics contain a lot of poetic elements, but then he can say some total drunk cock chauvinistic stuff that makes me want to turn it off.  For the most part, like Vedder at his best, these old aging Alterna-gurus are great at confessing loss.



Various Ragas. (Raga Bhairav & Raga Ahir Bhairav) -- many different versions. (STUDY)

Throwing Muses: Hunkpapa. (BIKE)
Black Twig Pickers: Soon One Morning (BIKE)



Konntinent: If I could Buy a Map of Hope, Vol. 2. (STUDY)
Hammock: Chasing After Shadows... Living With the Ghosts. (STUDY)

Spiritualized: Let it Come Down. (BIKE)
Unwound: "Leaves Turn Inside You. (BIKE)



Ian Hawgood: A Life in Abstract Colors. (STUDY)
Harps of Fuchsia Kalmia: Devenir-Animal. (STUDY)

David Byrne: Uh Oh. (BIKE)
Sebadoh: Vs. Helmet. (BIKE)



Ata Och Sova. (STUDY)
James Blackshaw: O True Believers. (STUDY)
Alps: Spirit Shambles. (STUDY)

REM: Monster. (BIKE)
Sonic Youth: The Destroyed Room. (BIKE)



Freescha: Head Warlock Double Stare.  (STUDY)

Guided By Voices: Isolation Drills. (BIKE)
Guided By Voices: Half-Smiles of the Decomposed. (BIKE)
Guided By Voices: Earthquake Glue. (BIKE)



Ilyas Ahmed: "Goner"
Ian Hawgood: "Spiral into Somewhere"
Zach Wallace: "Glass Armonica"

Enon: "High Society"
Enon: "Hocus Pocus"
Enon: "In This City"



Scott Wells: "Day Songs"
Pawn: "Above the Winter Oaks"
Le Lendemain: "Fires"
Acre: "Monolith"

Bob Dylan: (various selections, to think about SSJ)



Jasper, TX: "I'll be long gone before my light reaches you"
James Blackshaw: "Celeste"
Hong Ting: "Chinese Traditional Zheng Music"

Smog: "Knock Knock"
Smog: "The Doctor Came at Dawn"
Windsor for the Derby: "We Fight Til Death"



Peter Whitehead: "Giselle"
Ontologist: "Arrow to the Sun"
Stephen Scott: "Vikings on the Sunrise..."

Animal Collective: "Fall Be Kind"
A Sunny Day in Glasgow: "ashes grammar"
Trembling Bells: "Abandoned Love"
George Harrison: "more tracks"



Selaroda: "Infinite Om"
Selaroda: "New Eternity"
Pleq: "Intelligible"

Bird Show: "Third Record"
Lake: "Let's Build a Roof"
V/A: "Leaves of Lives"



Kammerflimmer Kollektief (continued from previous week)

Nanang Tatang: "Muki"


No music, in SF/Oak/Berk


(no music, at Burning Man)



Kammerflimmer Kollektief: "cicadidae"
Kammerflimmer Kollektief: "incommunicado"
Kammerflimmer Kollektief: "absencen"
Kammerflimmer Kollektief: "hysteria"
Kammerflimmer Kollektief: "jinx"
Kammerflimmer Kollektief: "wildling"

Ween: "Shinola Vol. 1"
Ween: "La Cucaracha"
Ween: "Quebec"
Ween: "Craters of the Sac"
Ween: "The Mollusk"
Ween: "12 Golden Country Greats"



The Alps: "A Path Through the Moon"
I think I was once supposed to see these folks at a drone festival, but they didn't show, so I wrote them off out of spite. Their hum is a little pretty and straight, not as edgy as I like, but it is glamorous indeed, refreshing, twinkling, sparkly, a lovely stream. The slow whir, like wind, is propelling. This is very suitable study music, but if I weren't using stimulants, as I have been the past two months, the repetition mixed with slow whir pace might lead one to fall asleep.
Taiga Remains: "Descend from Ivory Cliffs"
This is just a 22-min track, and is also largely a slow whir, quite a beauty, but the nice thing is that it progresses, unlike a lot of drone. I love how Taiga Remains has been straightening out lately, it's not the din as it once had been, although you might think so if you hopped right to the end. That's the loveliness in art, the traverse, it's all perspective. When the crackles come in, when the wash accomplishes its scrub with scratchy grit, you still feel clean, if you came in on the sail of the whir's wind.
Barn Owl: "The Conjurer"
Mostly heady slow guitar spiderwebs, lots of reverb, some sustained cymbals, a prickly pretty crash, and oh that minor tonal bliss. However, I aver, it treads too similar to Steven R Smith, who I think is superlative, especially in capturing the east. Perhaps with time this artist will learn how to transform this peculiar whine into a flapping flag, for there is a sustenance inside these victuals.
Matt Bauder / Zach Wallace / Aaron Siegel: "Memorize the Sky"
There are some wonderful spots, but this experimentalism falls a little flat, however post-Sonic Youth post-Stockhausen it may be in its appreciation of the "otherness" of sound (the rhythmicity of tones, the melody of atonality, the thump and texture of using instruments in juxtapositions or nonconventions). It's still nice, but seems like that academic chamber-jazz-tonepoem stuff. I bet the chamber moments would be splendid in remixes or sampled. The long drone at the end is splendid, however. I love drone that does not rely on electrics (it's like the mid-late non-raga Pelt).

Guided By Voices: "Bee Thousand"
Guided By Voices: "Alien Lanes"
Guided By Voices: "Do The Collapse"
Why hadn't I listened to any of these all the way through before? Pollard is excellent, his lyrics are good enough for me to call them poetic, they sometimes leave a lot to be interpreted, so this time around, I'm trying to pay attention if there's anything swell in there. I can't help but wonder what his most recent stuff is like, since older equals deepening, so I expect to select some of his recent solo titles soon. Damn his melodies are nice, how does this not seem like pop? Why haven't pop-rock stars covered him? Another funny thing is that the melodies resemble a lot of Kim Deal's later melodies, so (although many people knew this), it's nice to see the connections of her being friends and influenced by him. I bet, if neither dies of drug abuse soon, in their old age they will have amassed a splendid history for rock and roll. (But listen to me, who cares, it's rock, i hate and eschew rock! I don't even know why I have been allowing myself all this alternative rock music for my biking records the past few months!!!)



Nils Frahm: "the bells"
Nils Frahm: "more bells for you"
Nils Frahm: "wintermusik"

The Books: "the way out"
Secret Cities: "the pink graffiti"
School of Seven Bells: "alpinisms"
School of Seven Bells: "disconnect from desire"



Library Tapes: "fragment"
Library Tapes: "Hostluft"
Library Tapes: "a summer beneath the trees"
Library Tapes: "alone in the bright lights of a shattered life"

Various Hokum:
V/A: "down in the basement"
V/A: "sissy man blues"
Harlem Hamfats: "complete recorded works"



Ian Hawgood: "Slow Films in Low Light"
Ian Hawgood: "The Great Allure"
Excellent post-drone, I'm trying more of him, and I'm in love with it. This colors everything with calm or allure or fantasy, a floor of heaven if it actually ever happens. A bit sleepy for study, maybe it's my medication which wears off, but it is this orchestral drone (so stars of the lid, but not as slow, less not-dense) which i notice abounding, percolating up, and though it all starts to sound similar, i'll never abandon its pursuit, never, not until i'm up to ask my question, the church's assay, the wine's abandon.

Adrian Belew: "The Lone Rhino"
Adrian Belew: "Desire Caught by the Tail"
Adrian Belew: "Inner Revolution"
Adrian Belew: "Mr. Music Head"
Adrian Belew: "Twang Bar King"
I am trying to catch up (and efficiently!) on all the alternative and et-cetera word-wielding song-singers trap-kit-trammellers that I once adored, but back when buying was the bottleneck, whose early work was never tread by me. I won't say much praise for Adrian Belew, he's popular enough that you should know. The lyrics are a bit easy but the sentiments are right on. And the singing inspires my idiosyncrasy (any warble can be beautiful), but it's actually the studio tricks and guitar edge-of-noise periphery that inspires me.



Evan Miller: "Transfigurations on lap steel"
Roll the Dice: "s/t"
Jouurney: "Dancers in the Time-Flux"
Higuma: "Den of the Spirits"

REM: "Murmur"
REM: "Reckoning"
REM: "Life's Rich Pagent"



Vibracathedral Orchestra: "Smoke Song"
Vibracathedral Orchestra: "The Secret Base"
Vibracathedral Orchestra: "Joka Baya"
HELL YES, new VCO, I needed this. Every new piece by them is always better than the last. I suddenly realized I've been listening to them for almost ten years, they have colored so much of my consciousness, perhaps belong in my personal echelon. I feel like I need to give this to everyone as presents, I love it so much. I didn't want the week to end, and even considered a repeat for a second week.

Caribou: "Swim"
Dan Deacon: "Bromst"
High Places: "03.07-09.07"


(Richland Week 29)

REM: Reveal (BIKE)
REM: Accelerate (BIKE)
REM: New Adventures in Hi-Fi (BIKE)

Black Dice: Beaches and Canyons (STUDY)


(Richland Week 28: Solve Sleeping Problem, trip to Portland)

Pearl Jam: Backspacer (BIKE)
Pearl Jam: Riot Act
Pearl Jam: Binaural (BIKE)

Ratatat: LP4 (STUDY)
Eluvium: Similes (STUDY)


(Richland Week 27)

Portastatic: Be Still Please (BIKE)
Portastatic: Bright Ideas (BIKE)

Johan Johannsson: IBM, A User's Manual (STUDY)
Johan Johannsson: Dis


(Richland Week 26)

Elegi: Varde (STUDY)
Fennesz: Black Sea (STUDY)

Flaming Lips: Embryonic (BIKE)


(Richland Week 25)

Brahms: Op.120, Sonatas (2) for piano and cello (STUDY)

Arthur Russell: World of Echo (BIKE)


(Richland Week 24: Seattle International Film Festival!)

Broken Social Scene: Feel Good Lost (STUDY)

Atlas Sound: Logos (BIKE)
Atlas Sound: Let the blind lead those who can see but cannot feel (BIKE)


(Richland Week 23)

Gareth Davis & Steven R. Smith: The line across (STUDY)
Es: Kesamann Lapset (STUDY)

Grizzly Bear: Veckatimest (BIKE)


(Richland Week 22: Thirtieth Birthday!)

Four Tet: There is love in you (BIKE)

Ken Camden: Lethargy & Repercussions (STUDY)


(Richland Week 21)

Dosh: Tommy (BIKE)

Shogun Kunitoki: Vinonaamakasio (STUDY)
Paavoharju: Laulu Laakson Kukista (STUDY)


(Richland Week 20: Ten year anniversary of big freakout!)

Broadcast: Investigate witch cults of the radio age (BIKE)
Broadcast: Mother is the milky way (BIKE)

Two-Dollar Guitar: train songs (STUDY)


(Richland Week 19)

Genesis: Nursery Cryme (BIKE)
Genesis: Trespass (BIKE)

Natural Snow Buildings: Shadow Kingdom (STUDY)


(Richland Week 18)

Starving Weirdos: Into an Energy (STUDY)
Starving Weirdos: Offerings at Midnight (STUDY)

Magickal Folk of the Faraway Tree: The Soup and the Shilling (BIKE)
Espers: ii
Espers: iii (BIKE)


(Richland Week 17)

Raga Guide: Disk two (STUDY)
Schumann: Arabeske, Fantasie (STUDY)

Movietone: The blossom filled streets (BIKE)
Movietone: Day & Night
Movietone: The Sand and the Stars (BIKE)


(Richland Week 16)

Danny Norbury: Light in August (+bonus disk) (STUDY)

Portastatic: I hope your heart is not brittle (BIKE)
Portastatic: Slow note from a sinking ship (BIKE)


(Richland Week 15)

Ethan Rose: Oaks (STUDY)
Steve Gunn /Shawn McMillen: End of the City (STUDY)

Dylan Group: More adventures in lying down (BIKE)
Samara Lubelski: Future slip (BIKE)


(Richland Week 14)

Jack Rose: Luck in the Valley (STUDY)

PJ Harvey: A woman a man walked by (BIKE)
Andrew Bird: mysterious production of eggs (BIKE)


(Richland Week 13)

Lucky Dragons: Rara Speaks (STUDY)

Califone: All my friends are funeral singers (BIKE)


(Richland Week 12)

Emeralds: Lanlocked (STUDY)
Emeralds: Lasting (STUDY)
Emeralds: Fresh air (STUDY)
Konntinent: Lonely in the Shadows (STUDY)
Yellow6: If you see something, say something (STUDY)

Channels: Waiting for the next end of the world (BIKE)
Mice Parade: s/t (BIKE)


(Richland Week 11)

Darwinsbitch: Ore (STUDY)
Vivaldi RV431: Concerto for Flute in E minor (STUDY)

Ratatat: LP3 (BIKE)
Passion Pit: Manners (BIKE)


(Richland Week 10 / DC Snowpocalypse)

One Ensemble: Other Thunders (BIKE)

Gareth Davis & Steven R. Smith: Westering (BIKE)


(Richland Week 09)

James Ferraro: Clear (STUDY)

Johann Johannsson: And Into the Endless Pause... (STUDY)

Beirut: Gulage Orkestar (BIKE)
Beirut: March of the Zapotec / Holland (BIKE)


(Richland Week 08)

Cheer: Festive (STUDY)

Disco Biscuits: Live 12/29/09 (BIKE)


(Richland Week 09)
Leland Kirby: Sadly the future is no longer what it was (3CD version) (STUDY)

Solex: In the Fishtank 13 (BIKE)
Juicy Panic: Otarie (BIKE)



Konntinent: Degrees, Integers (STUDY)

Crystal Castles: s/t (BIKE)



Rothko: The Longest Distance Between Two Points (STUDY)
Sparkling Wide Pressure: Seven Inside and Out (STUDY)

Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (BIKE)



Expo '70: Animism. (STUDY)

Phish: Joy. (BIKE)
Phish: Party Time. (BIKE)



Yellow6: Merry 6mas (STUDY)

Sea and Cake: The Biz (BIKE)



Yellow6: When the Leaves Fall Like Snow (STUDY)

Ratatat: Classics (BIKE)


James Ferraro: "Edward Flex Presents: "Do You Believe in Hawaii"
James Ferraro of the Skaters, once again, proves that he has a transcendent mind. It's music like this (is it music? Is it just psychedelic white-noise, your internal hum, the harmony of a school of fish -- which is, at the same time, their complete and utter disc(h)ord?); music like this makes me proud to live in our important schizophrenic era, postmodern need-no-rigor never sounded so nice.

(bike: Panda Bear: "s/t"
Animal Collective" "Water Curses" ep)
I thought, based on the immense bliss I experienced a few weeks ago of Panda Bear's newest album, that I would revisit his oldest work, and the newest Animal Collective, but neither is anything worth talking about. A failed week of bike music, no memories have been burned in, but at least I know now.


Whitetree: "Cloudland"
This is really quite nice, definitely earns the genre I made up "post-post-rock", though it verges on being just plain chamber-space-post-rock a la Rachel's. Contemplative, pretty, with enough electricals to fool you that it's space music. A keeper, lovely and relaxing, great for studying or sleeping, or nearly anything.

(bike: Esquivel: "See it in Sound")
Is there anything that needs to be said about Esquivel? If you haven't listened to him, GET HIM. GET ANYTHING. But most important, BLAST IT. I've never heard anything even compare to him, yet the style is so straight (re-worked lounge and showtunes? hello, could the "topic" get any worse?). So this suggests it's not just his technical studio wizardry, it's something holy about his spirit. Everyone's got spirit, but this man is magic, historic.


Xenis Emputae Traveling Band: "The Crooked Pool"
Awesome. I used to call this "space folk", indeed it still ought to be. But my recent love for false drone and beautiful space-noise has elevated this to a sort of holy status.

(bike: Phasen: "The Crisis is Over")

Who is this musician? I know nothing about them, and very little about the genre it's a part of (spacy non-dance downtempo electro schizophrenia?) It is quite aligned with your typical Boards of Canada sort of stuff, a little more morose, thus I like it. Another instant memorabilia, this burns deep.


Pete Fosco: "Dust, American Dust"
This is excellent, shimmery reverb drone, beautiful. Move over, Peter Wright!! File instantly under favorite.

Super Minerals: "Pelagics"
space noise drone, more aligned with Skaters and Ashtray Navigations. Murky. Ringing, beautiful echo-clatter. Love it / Live it.

(bike record: Black Moth Super Rainbow: "Dandelion Gum", Epic45)


The Gentlemen Losers: "Dustland"
file this under my idea of "post-post-rock", and also excellent. This is a keeper!

North Sea / Fabio Orsi: (Demix / far & wide)

(bike: various live versions of new Phish songs)


Expo '70: Black Ohms
Expo '70: White Ohms
I did an interesting thing recently to discover new musicians. I did this by downloading the first track off of many records by bands I'm not acquainted with, found from a user on Soulseek whose tastes I could tell I am sharing. I went through them and separated those which I liked from those whose worth was not immediately striking, and then studied the striking ones to decide which albums to investigate. One of the most illuminating sounds came from the band Expo '70. I know nothing about them, but their sort of post-krautrock post-postrock space drone (read: space drone played with apparent buzzing near-easternness and clean reverb-y stringed declarations) is much in line with other things I enjoy, which might deserve such a ridiculous genre-name as "post-postrock" (I'd put Yellow6 and Rothko in that category, maybe Emeralds and Colleen and Fabio Orsi, certainly Chessie).


Ashtray Navigations: How Do Siamese Twins Arrange...
The first side is moderately noisy for this group, and the second side is some great False India shit. Not as sparkling as some of their rare shorter tracks, but it's a keeper.
Aphex Twin: Xylem Tube
I wanted to remind myself what his work sounds like. It's too fast for my liking, but he's definitely talented. Okay, I admit: the former botanist in me was attracted to the ep title.
GHQ: Requiem For Bhopal
This is more like a straight drone from this group, less differentiation of the actual instrumentation. It matched the Ashtray Navigations quite well.


Emeralds: What Happened
Suddenly, Emeralds are playing some stellar stuff. I always enjoyed their ambient space drone, which is very enveloping and languorous, but it buzzed a bit too much. I don't mind noise, but the older stuff seems a bit nondescript (if using noise, it should be used gloriously for texture, for instance, like Starving Weirdos tend to do, or Zaimph). But the latest recordings from this year, as evidenced by this record are a twinkling magical gem (perhaps a green one?!) It suits well for sleep, for kitchenry, study, bicycling, and meditation. Multiple listens do not dull it, and it is much less drowsy than their older stuff. In a way, it reminds me of Ash Ra Tempel's less-folksy stuff.

(notable bike record):

Panda Bear: Person Pitch
Wow. I put off listening to this because I have not been enjoying the direction that the Animal Collective albums have been going in (too cluttered and inelegant, despite their growing repertoire for sound). But, this solo album is bliss. Some of it is obviously looped samples that come in and out and are sung over. The segues between the melodic parts are sublime. There is a lot of EXTRA reverb on the vocals, and personally I love it. It makes it sound more like a Beach Boys relic than modern stoner hipster pop.


Willie Lane: Known Quantity


Mark McGuire: Guitar Meditations


Colleen: Everyone Alive Wants Answers
Philip Glass: Animals in Love

(notable bike record)
MVEE: Livestock Moon Forms


Ben Reynolds: Two Wings
Fabio Orsi: Audio For Lovers, Disk Two


Mahler: Symphony #5
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto #1
Prokofiev: Violin Concerto #2
Koto Ensemble of the Ikuta School


Philip Glass: 1000 Airplanes on the Roof
Philip Glass: The Illusionist


Mogwai: Mr. Beast
Tycho: Past is Prologue

(notable bike record:)
Jethro Tull: Benefit


Dosh: Pure Trash
Dosh: The Last Take


Dosh: Wolves & Wishes
Sir Richard Bishop: Polytheistic Fragments


Chessie: Meet
Fabio Orsi: Audio For Lovers, Disc One


Christ.: Blue Shift Emissions
Christ.: Seeing & Doing


Yellow6: Painted Sky


Ravel: Valse
Varese: Ameriques
Gershwin: An American in Paris


Manitoba: Start Breaking My Heart


Schubert: Symphony #4 ("Tragic")


Inca Ore: Birthday of Bless You
Area C: Sea of Rains


Freescha: What's Come Inside You
GHQ: Everywhere at Once
Phasen: Quarterlife Crisis


Flying Saucer Attack: Further
Flying Saucer Attack: Distant Station


Red Sparowes: "Every Red Heart Shines Towards the Sun"


Smetana: String Quartet #1 ("From My Life")


Peter Wright: At Last a New Dawn


Xenis Emputae Travelling Band: A Selenographic Lens
Taiga Remains: Beehive Sutra
Phasen: Yesterday Was Tomorrow
Red Sparowes: Aphorisms


Yellow6: Sthlm
I learned about Yellow6 originally from a 3way split album that included Rothko, and unfortunately, I haven't been able to separate their styles from each other. Thus, I'd characterize this as also whirring reverb and melancholic delay, mostly relaxing, slow, mostly electric, pseudo-chamber, definitely slow wordless post-rock. I've been seeking out more post-rock lately, if you haven't noticed.
Vodka Soap: Shee-Ro Gatewy Temples
Oh, the ineffability! Find this, if you think you're hip. If you are on a spiritual quest, if you are a psychedelic warrior, a perambulant wonderer, a salivating postmodern, a fancy genre-fucker, a cigarette-smoking musicologist... or just, you -- yeah you! find something by Vodka Soap, drink some wine, and just fucking DEAL WITH IT. The people passing by my bedroom at the co-op I've been residing at, no doubt, hated the stretched out slow drone that leaked out of my tiny study cavern. But I bet if you got them to sit and endure it, they'd love it. Maybe not. Maybe I'm just a complete weirdo, who has fucked his ears up from listening to Sonic Youth's "the diamond sea" over and over again as a teenager, when everyone else was listening to butt-rock and Weezer. But there is something definitively holy here, and, hey, I don't believe in metaphysical things.


Rothko: Eleven Shades of Intervention
I forgot about this group for a long time. This is amazing stuff. Somber bass-driven sparse reverb delay and shimmer. Whirring, sighing, undulating, trembling. It was perfect for the three-hour walk I took along the ocean while in Pacific Grove for a microbiology conference. Oh, I yearn for more music like this. And I learned how incredible music can be if you listen to it in the proper setting.
Steve Gunn: Rif
It's been a while since I listened to any GHQ or Steve Gunn. I like this a lot. It's no different from the rest, but it's good sometimes-acoustic fingerpicked guitar psychedelia, some guest humming and moaning, and plenty of Eastern angles for the lovers of mystery.


Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen
I went to see the Japanese film, Zigeunerweisen, at the Pacific Film Archive. This musical piece was a central theme and even plot item of the film. Great film, but moreover, great piece of music. I ended up downloading every version I could get my hands on. One version actually played an arrangement that included gypsy instrumentation, and that one (James Last, not the techno version though) is highly recommended. So are the ones with less orchestra, such as Simon Hewitt Jones, Sandor Lakatos, Arthur Grumiaux. Please, if you have any recommendations of music like this, let me know; it's really fabulous.
Machinefabriek: Marijn
This group collaborated with Jasper TX on one of the albums from last week, so I decided to check them out. I know nothing about them. But I like it. Whirring somber post-drone post-rock. (Gosh, why do I let myself drop such apellations?!!!)


Jasper TX: Vintermusik (with Machinefabriek)
I don't recall how I came across this musician, but I did and downloaded some albums and found it to be right up my alley. Ambient hum drone with a bit of dissonance, postrock chamberishness, and postmodern electricalismo. The only problem is the occasional clack or static that is a stain upon the beauty. Oh postmodernists and their blasphemous irony!
Jasper TX: Pilgrims
See above comment. The pieces were indistinguishable for me. I should stop listening to multiple albums from the same artist within the same week, so that I can actually form an opinion about the actual work.
Skaters: Physicalities of the Sensibilities of Ingrediential Stairways
Yes! More! Sometimes I'm not in the mood for the Skaters, because, well... it's pretty darn annoying and noisy. But once you let about 30 seconds go by it sucks you in. I miss having them in the Bay Area, because now I don't get to hear them live anymore.


Death Chants: I Have Seen A Thousand Swim Through Skies
A new short release by this neat space folk outfit, a member of which I once corresponded with. I really like them, and wish that they would release music more often.
Eluvium: Time Travel of the Sloth
I think this came from a split album with someone else. I am in love with this music. Sometimes he makes ambient space drone, sometimes he makes gorgeous reverb piano pieces. Sometimes he even does both. I have never been disappointed by his work and I am sadly nearing the end of his catalog.
Ligeti: Continuum, Nouvelles Aventures
In response to my wonderful experience hearing "SF Polyphony" at the UC Symphony last week, I tried to find more work by Ligeti that I might like. I found these pieces, thinking I might like them, but they seemed to be too conceptual and not "holy" enough. I listened to both the organ and the harpsichord version of continuum, and the latter piece was a bunch of voice that coalesced into a din. yuck.
Scriabin: Poeme De L'extase
I had to revisit this piece after the glory of hearing it performed live last week.


Ligeti: SF Polyphony
(I picked these pieces in preparation to hear them at the UC Symphony on the Saturday at the end of the week.) Wow..... I had once seen Ligeti's "atmospheres" performed at the UC Symphony, and was floored... This was just the same. This music is really no different from the electric drone that I listen to. Not all of Ligeti's pieces are like this. People might describe it as dense sound, but I resent that description.
Shostakovich: Symphony 1
Eh... It's turning out that I'm not so interested in Shostakovich. He's great, no doubt, but there's a self-indulgence that I've found in all his works. If I had the patience, I might cull the best moments... But I don't.
Stravinsky: Petrouchka
While I don't dislike this, I didn't listen to it much, and it apparently didn't matter because the orchestra decided not to play it, and instead played Scriabin's "poem d'extase", which I listened to a year ago and loved.


Fursaxa: Kobold Moon
New album! In love! Listen!!!!! Glorious hymns and loops and pseduo-spirituality.
Uton: We're Only In It For The Spirit
Much easier to listen to than the previous Uton album I listened to a couple weeks ago.


WEEK OF 081027: MOZART'S 25TH // BF/BS
Mozart: Symphony 25
I listened to four different versions. This is actually the first Mozart I've ever listened to in any deep way. It wasn't bad, but I think I'll go back to Beethoven and the melancholic Romantics.
Black Forest / Black Sea: Portmanteau
I forgot about this band. Very nice electric space folk drone atmospheres.


WEEK OF 081020: UTON // KOTO
Uton: Shiva Blues
Good electric klanging cleansing false-drone.
Japan Music: Koto Traditions
I can never get enough of this stuff. If I ever get some stability in my life I would purchase a koto. I once had the privilege to try one out, when a koto orchestra came to Berkeley for a lecture/performance/demonstration.


Schumann: Davidsbundlertanze
Some of Schumann's piano work doesn't appeal to me immediately, but I know that with repeated listens I am able to probe into it to find his fractured mind. By the end of the week I don't want to stop listening to it.
Haydn: String Quartet, Op.20,no.6
I decided that this week I would have to find something less somber to listen to, as I finally ended my long stretch of homelessness and found a home (the graduate student co-op) in which I am now residing (albeit on a temporary basis). Although this quartet comes during Haydn's "Sturm und drang" period, this quartet is very light and pleasant, and has helped me feel some comfort this week as I embark on a new experience of a complicated yet bold new living experience, and grapple with my own directions in life.
Beethoven: Piano Quintet
I believe this is an earlier piece of Ludwig's, and I've listened to a version of it that has again smoothed out his idiosyncrasies, but that is fine for me right now, as I'm not looking for terror or agitation this week. The wind instruments in this piece are appealing, as lately I've been intrigued by them. This seems to be a rather lighthearted piece (though there is depth if you look for it in the right places, as there always is with Beethoven).


Brahms: Symphony #2 (Op.73), D Major
There was no better choice for the record of the week this week, following Kirsten Brydum's murder, than to invest myself in the frustration of a Brahms symphony. Even in a major key, the man manages to infect you with his paranoia and nervousness. Whatever worried him is beyond me, but clearly there is a lot to loathe when a friend is put to her abrupt end by bullets. I was able to attend a performance of this piece by the UC Symphony at Hertz Hall at the end of the week, and found the live version to be far superior than listening to it on headphones. I found it to be quite rhythmic and repetitive, which is a flair I hadn't noticed in Brahms before.


Mark McGuire: Light Movement
This week has become a monument in my life, and the music could not be more apt. It is simply a gracious coincidence that I selected this solo shimmering work of a member of Emeralds the day before I found out about the dismal murder of my friend, Kirsten Brydum. In the midst of my homelessness (and a small personal murder I've been enduring this past month), I was thrown even deeper into the strange conundrum of meaninglessness that our sliver of living holds. Rather than bash the world with my desperation, I was stilled and robbed of my emotions. This reverberating music filled me with wonder, as a salve. It bounces and reflects and builds and becomes complex. It gave me this strange feeling that even while I'm outside in the strange October hot Berkeley sun, I'm really still indoors; I feel now, every time I walk down Hearst's hill that there is a greater gate that leads out of this sphere, and the magic of being here is enveloped by rich images and their ability to inspire in the face of this meaninglessness. I am heartened by the curiousness of all the Earth's peculiar colors, and think that we must do our best to chase wonderment even if it never leads us to enlightenment. We must try, otherwise life is too mechanical. Kirsten's ideas will persist in this hearth, although she has certainly left the room.
Schumann: Cello Concerto in A Minor
I needn't say much about Schumann other than I have felt a great affinity for his confusion and worry and sadness and fear and trembling and occasional dashes of hope and grandeur, particularly his (failed) attempt to persevere.


Rachmaninov: Preludes (minor keys only)
I had a good success last week with Chopin's minor-key preludes (I had been hankering for something as splendid as Chopin's Nocturnes), noting with ever more cogency that it is minor-key works that I enjoy. I have once stated that "(noise and) dissonance are just extra colors with which one can paint a beautiful picture", but moreover dissonance directs the mind to the conflict of living. As I am also in utter rapture of Rachmaninov's Rhapsody, and his Third Concerto last week was also fulfilling, I felt a need to explore this composer some more, and follow the path I took with Chopin. Unfortunately, these pieces are not very stellar, and I found myself less compelled than usual to put on my headphones this week. Some of them are rather gaudy, like Liszt, and did not convince me of any urgency. So, now I've learnt that Rachmaninov, like most artists, is hit or miss. (Schumann and Beethoven, on the other hand, have yet to disappoint me.)


Chopin: Preludes (Op.28) (minor keys only)
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto #3 (Horowitz)


Tchaikovsky: Manfred Symphony


Beethoven: Serioso Quartet (#11, Op.95)
Beethoven: Mandolin Works
Beethoven: Egmont Overture (Op. 84)


Schumann: "Zwickau" Symphony
Beethoven: Unfinished Symphony
Schubert: Unfinished Symphony
Emeralds: Solar Bridge

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I study photosynthetic microorganisms.