Sunday, October 28, 2007

Big Fish Eat The Little Ones

So has anyone actually listened to the new Radiohead album yet? For all the clammering and excitement over its distribution I have yet to see any ink shed on how the damn thing actually sounds. Granted this isn't particularly new considering the band we're talking about. After they hit their stride with The Bends, Radiohead has done a fantastic job of wrapping each of their album with a Gimmick that takes the lion's share of the attention. OK Computer was the return of the concept album, Kid A was a record made by robots, Amnesiac the lost album by the ancient robot-masters. By the time of Hail to the Thief (my favorite, if it matters), the act of making an album without program or protocol, essential sans Gimmick, was Gimmick itself. I'm not saying that these aren't great albums, I'm saying that this is where the press was spilled.

Usually I can depend on all my pretentious friends to tell me how the album sounds. Nothing. The only chatter amongst this crowd has taken a new sinister turn. It would not be inaccurate to call Radiohead fans partial to elitism, but now a new pecking order has been established amongst their own kind! "How much did you pay for it?" Now you can prove your devotion to your favorite band the same way lobbyists have been doing for years.

Of course there are more reasons than that why no one has discussed the album proper. Odds are I run in the wrong circles, where the future of music distribution is more on topic. Also the fact that this downloaded version is supposedly only half the album, and in 128k MP3 nonetheless. Any proper audiophile can you tell that's scarcely better than having your drunk friends hum it to you, so essentially you're paying for a trailer? If anyone can tell me whether it's the long-awaited return to their Pablo Honey sound, let me know.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

53 Days Since Time Lost Due To Injury

I don't know how the rest of you in Internets Land are doing but Boston town has entered a freakish hot spell for late October. Usually the playoffs are when you have to bundle up to sit outside but I had to open all the windows in my apartment and actually punch new openings in the walls for it to cool off. I've been looking for a picture of someone wearing summer gear in front of a changing tree for the past couple days but I fear that idealized picture only exists in my head. Besides it would difficult to capture with the Populist. (I'm almost done with this roll guys, I swear.) Good thing global warming is a hoax.

My weekly lesson was moved to Saturday this week, a cause of anxiety because due to my work schedule most of my extended practice time comes on what I would previously have referred to as a "weekend". However after it was over I found myself taken back by having a Saturday without the impending stress of my lesson. It was really just a few hours of not having something due right fucking now. Unsettling.

Now having done a bit of math while I'm at work now I've realized the last day I went without stepping foot inside the Boston Conservatory was August 29th. I'm going to start a counter like they have at construction sites, and to be quite honest this is a trend I expect to continue until Thanksgiving. I'm relatively sure that every pretentious academic like this where they find that grad school is not the Diet Life that they are mocked for and then go on a crabby streak when they contemplate how it is supposed to get worse than this.

Picture source, the cartoon appears to be signed but I can't make it out.

Monday, October 08, 2007

To Raise My Cup Artfully

Through black magick or some such other voodoo the Boston Conservatory got a number of tickets to last Thursday's opening of the BSO, one of which I promptly scooped up. This seemed more exciting than normally getting free tickets since I had always been led to believe that Opening Night of a major orchestra was Sort Of A Thing. I haven't had much interaction with the Society portion of the classical music scene, and while I'm a great fan of pretension I was wondering whether I was getting in over my head. Would someone be wearing opera glasses, or a solid gold pince-nez? Is the the sort of crowd who hires people like me to read the New Yorker for them? Sadly, if such shenanigans were going on I missed them. My accomplices had to filthy their hands with employment until but short half-hour before the show. We weren't, however, too late to miss some rediculous appetizers and order wine far too close to show time. (Wine tip: Do not pound a shiraz.)

But the program was all Ravel! I was worried about getting punked and having to sit through Eine Kleine Nachtmusik again. On paper it seems a little unexpected to dedicate a whole night to Maurice, he's not quite one of the safety composers that usually get the nod for these sort of events. Furthermore, since his signature is building gigantic dissonance to resolve them in oblique ways I wasn't sure if the joke would stay funny. Turns out the program was goddamn brillant. It helped that his bouncy Iberiesques (Alaborada, Piano Concerto) were interspersed with more lush and contemplative works, but unless you've been spending time with them in the woods it is a hell of a welcome back for the BSO. It would not be inaccurate to refer to their string sound as full.

Like many of the BSO shows, my impression is more of the program than the performance since I'm familiar with depressingly little orchestral rep. It feels like I've been talking about Ravel at lot lately, but since my music history sections place me simultaneously in the Middle Ages, early classical Vienna, and turn-of-the-century Paris I feel like I've spoken of damn near anything recently. In the interest of mentioning however, when pianist Yves-Paul Thibaudet, who was a monster on the Piano Concerto, came back for bows he was wearing a red velvet smoking jacket that calmly and succinctly stated "Look at my outfit. I am a pimp." You don't get away with that shit if you phone it a performance. I want that jacket.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Like The Ancient Navigators, Except With the Citgo Sign Instead of Stars

Sorry about the lapse (one of these again!), but a joke got way less funny.

I mentioned previously about the anal-retentive way I blog, and have been trying to streamline my workflow as so I can do it better. I'm trying out moving to Google Reader so I can read everything everywhere, but feel a little cautious about surrending yet another part of my life to The Google.
Other infrastructure stuff has been tinkered with as well, nothing actually amounting to anything.
Now this is the best part. I've actually got some guitar playing in the pipe, but I must keep in a secret. More like none of it is double-dog confirmed yet and I don't want to look foolish.
Carry on, back to work.
P.S. Holy suite Jesus! I know I've taken to a number of Boston area teams, but go Rockies!
Picture source, by the way.