January 10, 2006

listening list

Dominic Frasca - Deviations
Konomo No. 1 - Congotronics
Gutbucket - whatever they let me download from their site
Philip Glass - Heroes Symphony
Beethoven - String Quartets

I have been on a big Philip Glass kick lately. Thankfully, the Minuteman Library Network seems to have quite a number of his cds available, and even more thankfully, they have reinstated inter-library loan of audio-visual materials. It was pretty tough there for a while being restricted to borrowing exclusively from the Bedford Library. In any case, Mr. Glass is pretty amazing. Some of his stuff is better than others, for sure, but his style is remarkably unique and is amazing how influential it has been over the past 40 years and how it has wormed its way into our collective ears.

Posted by halsey at 02:11 PM

December 05, 2005

listening list

NIN - The Fragile
Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky - Symphony Nr. 5
The White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
Joseph Hadyn - The Creation
Underworld - Everything, Everything


I love it when it is cold and snowy outside and there are Christmas lights up inside and a fire in the fireplace and there is classical music playing. This is so calming for me. The music best suited for this is choral music, I think, so I pulled out my copy of Haydn's The Creation and have been listening. This music may be over 200 years old, but it ain't bad!

Posted by halsey at 03:13 PM | Comments (42)

October 28, 2005

listening list

OK, so I haven't posted one of these in a while, but that doesn't mean I haven't been listening to anything. I've just been distracted...

Jeff Buckley - Sketches (for my sweetheart the drunk)
Sigur Ros - Takk
Boards of Canada - the campfire headphase
Shostakovich - Piano Sonatas
Frank Zappa - Make a Jazz Noise Here


Just the other day, a friend of mine asked me what my favorite album of all time was. I couldn't answer as there is so much music I love, but the question stuck with me for a while and then I thought: Make a Jazz Noise Here!! We all know (or at least should know) that Frank Zappa was a genius, but there is something special about this album with the combination of incredible arrangements for acoustic instruments along with very tasteful use of electronics and general all around incredible musicianship. And then you realize that it was all done in front of a live audience with no overdubs or anything and it becomes simply flabbergasting. FZ was so far ahead of his time, I doubt if we'll ever catch up.

What's your favorite album?

Posted by halsey at 07:03 PM | Comments (5)

May 27, 2005

listening list

Luciano Berio - Sequenzas
Ornette Coleman - Beauty is a Rare Thing
System of a Down - SOAD
DJ Spooky - Optometry
Skin on Skin - The Mongo Santamaria Anthology

It was quite remarkable to listen to Berio's Sequenzas and Ornette Coleman's free jazz in quick succession. This is not the nice sensibly melodic music we are all comfortable with, but it is pretty amazing to listen to. Notes jumping around all over the place like Jackson Pollack.

Posted by halsey at 02:59 PM

May 05, 2005

cinco de listening list

Beethoven - The Nine Symphonies!!!
Morten Lauridsen - Lux aeterna
Shostakovich - Complete String Quartets
Moby - Hotel
Beck - Guero
Nine Inch Nails - With Teeth

This trio of new albums was fun to listen to. It's always interesting to hear the new (or not) directions that musicians go in with subsequent albums. Although I have only listened to each of these once, I can say that the Moby is really bad (not a big surprise), the Beck is totally good (even less of a surprise) and the NIN seems like it will settle in nicely as well (thank you, Trent).

(I know I normally have five items on these lists, but it would have been overload today...)

Posted by halsey at 04:09 PM

March 31, 2005

listening list

Evan Ziporyn - This is Not a Clarinet
John Adams - Nixon in China
Adam Green - Friends of Mine
Steve Reich - Works - 1965-1995
Evelyn Glennie - Rebounds

This woman Evelyn Glennie is totally incredible. She is a virtuosic percussionist and she is 'profoundly' deaf. I'm not kidding. She performs barefoot because by some twist of Darwinian persistence, she has effectively turned her feet into listening devices. She feels the minute sound vibrations through the floor and her feet rather than through the air and her ears. Weird, huh? I don't know how she does it, but what is entirely clear is her ability to perform at the highest levels with countless other musicians.
It is incredible when you think about it, but I have not done her justice here at all. Being a deaf musician is fascinating, but being an incredibly talented and multi-faceted musician is what is truly worth writing about. When you are a percussionist, unlike virtually all other musicians, you have to master a huge number of far flung instruments. Believe it or not, playing the maracas is totally different from playing timpani, or marimba, or snare drum or... Yes Evelyn, you are amazing.
As far as this cd goes, the concerto for marimba by Ney Rosauro totally kicks ass.

Posted by halsey at 07:36 PM

March 08, 2005

listening list

Terry Riley - In C
Baden Powell - three originals
Morton Feldman - Piano and String Quartet
Rachel's - Systems/Layers
Gary Burton - Reunion


The Morton Feldman cd is one track, 79.35 long! And it feels like there are about 4 notes in the entire thing. Really quite remarkable in its own incredibly sparse and beautiful way.

Posted by halsey at 11:15 AM | Comments (1)

February 17, 2005

listening list

A Perfect Circle - eMOTIVe
Krishna Das - Pilgrim Heart
George Antheil - Ballet Mecanique
Kroumata Percussion Ensemble - Works by Cage, Cowell, Lundquist and Taira
Peaches - The Teaches of Peaches

This percussion cd actually says on the label in big red letters: "WARNING! Contrary to established practice, this recording retains the staggering dynamics of the ORIGINAL performance. This may damage your loudspeakers, but given first-rate playback equipment, you are guaranteed a truly remarkable musical and audio experience. Good luck!" How cool is that? They wished me luck! This music is so crazy, it might just break my speakers! Now that's good stuff.

Posted by halsey at 06:54 PM | Comments (1)

January 20, 2005

listening list

aevidence - words and voices
aevidence - words and voices
aevidence - words and voices

ha ha ha

Heitor Villa-Lobos - Piano Concertos
Tool - Lateralus
Manu Chao - Proxima Estación: Esperanza

thank god there is other music!

Posted by halsey at 03:37 PM

December 17, 2004

listening list

Franz Liszt - Complete Works for Piano
Rachel's - Music For Egon Schiele
Sparklehorse - Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot
Morphine - Yes
Pantera - Vulgar Display of Power

I like this band Sparklehorse a lot. It seems like it is sort of a one man band with an non-eponymous name like Badly Drawn Boy or, say, aesthetic evidence.

Posted by halsey at 11:21 AM

November 29, 2004

listening list

Tom Waits - Real Gone
Steve Reich - Electric Counterpoint
David Byrne - live bootleg (March 2004)
Eminem - Encore
Mogwai - Happy Songs For Happy People
Olivier Messaien - Meditiations Sur Le Mystere de la Sainte Trinite

It's been a long time since I have listened to Electric Counterpoint. I heard it once played live while in college and it blew me away. 10 recorded electric guitars along with 2 basses (Pat Metheny playing on my recording) accompanied by one live soloist. The rhythmic complexity Reich creates with short simple motives working off of one another is unbelievable. This is minimalism at its absolute best.
I like to listen to it when it is raining.

Posted by halsey at 08:57 AM

November 03, 2004

listening list

Tricky - Blowback
Fatboy Slim - Palookaville
Poulenc - Complete piano sonatas
Avalanches - Since I Left You
Morcheeba - Big Calm

1) why are ALL classical composer websites terrible?
2) Ed Kowalczyk is great on the Tricky album

Posted by halsey at 12:04 PM

September 21, 2004

listening list

Catatonia - International Velvet
Weezer - Pinkerton
Alan Moore - Snakes and Ladders
Grandaddy - Sumday
Bjork - Medulla
The Prodigy - Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned

I think that the woman in Catatonia has the sexiest voice I have ever heard.

Posted by halsey at 01:09 PM

September 02, 2004

listening list

Peter Gabriel - Up
The Shins - Oh, Inverted World!
Disturbed - The Sickness
Mum - Summer Make Good
Muse - Origin of Symmetry

Turns out that I was right in my feeling that Mum's newest music was probably better in recorded form than live. Summer Make Good is a very cool and unique album. They have come far from the Sigur Ros-ishness of Finally We Are No One.

Posted by halsey at 12:16 PM

August 12, 2004

listening list

Gustav Mahler - Fifth Symphony
The Prodigy - Fat of the Land
Heitor Villa-Lobos - The Little Train of the Caipira
John Antill - Corroboree
Paul Oakenfold - Tranceport

the Villa-Lobos has some of the coolest percussion I have heard in a classical piece in a long time...

Posted by halsey at 07:35 AM | Comments (2)

July 20, 2004

listening list

Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson (with Sigur Ros) - Angels of the Universe
Eels - Shootenanny!
Fatboy Slim - You've Come a Long Way, Baby
Cake - Prolonging the Magic
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come For Free

Posted by halsey at 11:54 AM | Comments (3)

July 05, 2004

listening list

Arnold Schoenberg - The Complete String Quartets
Underworld - Everything, Everything
Anders Eliasson - Concerto for Bassoon and Strings
Stabbing Westward - Ungod
Toru Takemitsu - Riverrun, Water-Ways etc.

This is a slightly incongruous list. Apparently I've been into classical lately.
How about you?

Posted by halsey at 07:40 AM | Comments (3)

June 23, 2004

listening list

Sneaker Pimps - Bloodsport
David Byrne - Grown Backwards
Muse - Showbiz
Einojuhani Rautavaara - Seventh Symphony
Praxis - Collection

What are you listening to today?

Posted by halsey at 11:43 AM | Comments (6)

June 15, 2004

listening list

Modest Mouse - Good News For People Who Love Bad News
B-Tribe - Fiesta Fatal!
Beastie Boys - To The 5 Boroughs
Juana Molina - tres cosas
Lost in Translation - OST

Posted by halsey at 01:40 PM | Comments (1)