Listening

Mp3 Digest: July 12, 2006

Last weekend, my wife and I had two perfect New York days. We had friends over for dinner and stayed up late. We saw a very moving Douglas Gordon survey and ran around Manhattan. We visited with more friends, we had dinner in a restaurant, stayed up late and slept in, and on Sunday we visited with friends, ate in a restaurant, then watched our team lose the World Cup from the heart of an Italian neighborhood where the winners—the little kids outside—ran around blowing air horns to rub it in. Afterwards we had dinner in a restaurant with friends.

Brazil was disappointed a lot earlier than we were when it comes to soccer. When it comes to music, Cansei de Ser Sexy (CSS) seems to completely lack disappointment (i.e., there’s no disappointment in the songs; whether you’ll be disappointed depends on how much you love big Brazilian oddball collectives).

» Hear CSS on Gorilla vs. Bear


* * *


My Brightest Diamond, otherwise known as Shara Worden, has infiltrated my head. First showing up gradually on lots of music blogs, then appearing yesterday on Soundcheck and sounding terrific, and now playing on Friday at Joe’s Pub. The album’s not due until August, but tracks are being leaked. “Some of an End” reminds me of Kate Bush. Enough said.

» Hear My Brightest Diamond on Brooklyn Vegan


* * *


I find writing about music impossible and frustrating. It’s pointless and silly. That previous “enough said,” which may look like typical magazine copy—i.e., a cozy paragraph-end kicker—is meant literally. Truthfully, I can say no more. Music is unrelatable. It’s unnatural, it doesn’t exist in nature. Music journalists write about the artist or the concert, or how the music was composed and how its structure works or who it compares with in music history, but the music itself? The impressions of the sound? Put your head in the oven.

But why not? Oranges in a bowl. Then night. Yellow headlights. Why I’m excited for new mail even when most days it’s catalogues and credit card offers. The number nine. Twins with different parents. Ana Morelos. All the windows open. Street in a headscarf.

» Hear Sol Seppy on Shake Your Fist


* * *


From Otterhouse:
The famous German conductor Otto Klemperer who was making records for the Vox company, was complaining to its director George Mendelssohn, a descendant of the composer, that he could not find any of his [records]. “That can’t be,” Mendelssohn answered. “I will take you to the biggest record shop downtown and you’ll see by yourself.” They both arrive at the shop. Klemperer asked a shop girl [for] Beethoven’s 5th symphony conducted by Klemperer. The shop girl looked at the records and said: “I am sorry. I have it by Toscanini, by Walter, by Furtwaengler but not by Klemperer.” Then Klemperer turned toward Mendelssohn and shouted: “You see, I never can find any of my records in the shops and it is the same thing everywhere in the world.” He turned toward the shop girl again and said: “You are stupid, you must have records by Klemperer, they are wonderful records and I am Klemperer myself.” Then the shop girl, thinking she was dealing with someone more or less insane, said to him: “Oh yes, and your friend must be Beethoven.” Klemperer shouted: “No, you are stupid. He is Mendelssohn!”
Ah, Klemperer humor.

» Hear Otto Klemperer on Otterhouse


* * *


Eight bars into Andrew WK’s “Pushing Drugs,” I’m laughing. I’m listening to it again and it’s even funnier. If I’m not quiet, I’ll wake up the whole house, but this is insane. Someone is stomping on the horns. Someone is strutting. This calls for white jeans with the cheeks cut out.

(And, finally, am I the only one who thinks, while hearing snacks from the new album, that John Legend is transforming himself into the next Tom Jones?)

» Hear Andrew W.K. on Fluxblog
» Hear John Legend on Soul Sides
biopic

Rosecrans Baldwin co-founded TMN with publisher Andrew Womack in 1999. He is the author of three books, including his latest novel The Last Kid Left (NPR’s Best Books of the Year). His nonfiction appears in a variety of magazines, mostly GQ. More information can be found at rosecransbaldwin.com. More by Rosecrans Baldwin

blog comments powered by Disqus