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Music Consumption: random listening
11/03/2000 random listening

A trip to the West Coast once again separated me from my CD collection, but I was prepared this time--I ripped a bunch of MP3s from my CD collection to my laptop. Dirty Three's Whatever You Love, You Are was essential ("I Really Should Have Gone Out Last Night" was a significant part of my mental soundtrack the last time I was out there), as was Nick Drake, Bloodcount's "Loose Ends," and the latest Steely Dan. Things went very well, thank you...

09/27/2000 random listening: Supersphere

Check out Supersphere.com, which has a number of streaming RealMedia shows from Silkworm and others. I've tried to point the people coming here for Don Caballero stuff to check out the streaming shows, but most of those visitors never leave the Music Listening Archive page. There's a great Tortoise show, and a very moving show from Dirty Three. Brokeback proved to be engaging, and I've been checking out a number of other bands as well. I must say that the Silkworm show in the 'burgh was much stronger than the one on Supersphere--one of those "had to be there" nights. So if you like the one archived there, get on out and see them in person.

03/27/2000 random listening: Spence, Steely Dan, Silkworm

Mental soundtrack of the weekend

Without access to CDs, I've found it curious what's getting played in my mind. The short list: Skip Spence's "Dixie Peach Promenade," "Broken Heart" (not that I have one, but rather the solemn giddiness [yep, you read that right] of some of the lines have lodged in my head), and particularly the movingly ethereal "All Come to Meet Her." If you don't have Oar, you're missing something really special.

For a while on Sunday, I was stuck with "Negative Girl," my least-favorite song from the new Steely Dan. That it's grown on me enough to stick, with its weirdly tricky repetitive chorus (which has generally seemed like a mistake to me, but it's got to be deliberate), is proof of, well, something. I'm actually coming to like it.

Another tune I once wasn't so fond of has taken up significant room in my psyche. As much of a Silkworm fanatic as I've become, Andy Cohen's songs have generally eluded me--I think his often embittered cynicism has for the most part put me off, particularly because some of the songs have been pretty catchy. "Grotto of Miracles" from Libertine gave me some resistance because the lyrics are about as snide and self-loathing as they come, but all three solos (particularly the last), and the final chords are positively stunning. Taking the beauty of the music together with the self-loathing lyrics, I'd have to say the internal tragedy of this song has really grabbed me (not that I'm doing any self-loathing, however). For as busy and arguably up of a weekend as I've had, when Monday came around, this was on my brain in a big way, in yet another layer of irony, in kind of a cynical disbelief of apparent good fortune (which later turned out to be justified). And if you're stuck in the self-loathing, check out Tim Midgett's "Cotton Girl" immediately after it, a glorious drunken pop love song in hard-hitting punk clothes.

03/27/2000 random listening

In the bag recently:

Skip Spence's Oar

01/16/2000 random listening: Phelps, Silkworm

Phelps/Downer Trio: Blackbird, Silkworm: Libertine, Richard Hell and the Voidoids: Blank Generation, Painkiller: Execution Ground, Fuck: Conduct, Pere Ubu: The Modern Dance, Dub Housing, and New Picnic Time.

12/18/1999 random listening: Silkworm, Phelps, Television

Joel Phelps/The Downer Trio: Blackbird and Silkworm: Libertine Of course. These have hit me pretty hard, and my obsessive listening is very much like the obsessive listening I did to Television when I first heard Adventure and Marquee Moon. If you at all think you like music made with electric guitars, you can't go wrong with any of these mentioned in this paragraph.

12/18/1999 random listening: Zorn

Painkiller: Execution Ground and Naked City: Naked City and Absinthe I've had a need for aggressive noise lately, which has also come out in some new recordings I'm doing with a longtime co-conspirator. But when I need CDs to fill that need, these are what I'm listening to.

08/08/1999 random listening: Zorn, Phelps

Still listening to Zorn's Filmworks, and the Phelps. And Television's The Blow-Up.

01/10/1999 random listening: Phelps, Bedhead

Still listening to Joel Phelps and the Downer Trio's "3", and Bedhead's Transaction de Novo. Still beautiful, still moving. Reviews can be found "here".

01/10/1999 random listening: Visitation Rites

And I've still been listening to Tim Berne's Visitation Rites. A review is available "here".

08/07/1998 random listening

Listening to Tim Berne's Paraphrase again, as well as Patti Smith's Horses.

And one of the Great Lost Bands of the 80s and 90s, the Volcano Suns. Drummer/Vocalist Peter Prescott went on to play guitar and sing in the now-defunct Kustomized and now Peer Group (no web page yet, sorry). Bassist Robert Weston is now in Shellac.

One of the best shows I'd seen in, oh, 90-91 or something, was the Volcano Suns in Pittsburgh, Easter weekend. I've seen interviews with Robert Weston, once he was in Shellac, alluding to him being happy "as long as he doesn't have to wear a bunny suit." This was the show they were talking about. This was the tour in support of their fine recording Thing of Beauty, which I quickly bought. It's punk that ages like wine or cheese, just getting increasingly better. There's a bunch of songs on this CD that by all rights should have been hits: "Barricade," "No Place," "Soft Hit," "Man Outstanding," "How to Breathe," "Arm and a Leg," "Fill the Void," "Noodle on the Couch," the cover of Brian Eno's "Needles in the Camel's Eye," the covers of the MC5's "Kick out the Jams" and Devo's "Red Eye Express," and I could go on. Anyway, that's what I'm listening to.

In the course of looking up this information, I came across Roger Miller's Mission of Burma page. He's now in Binary System. And I found another article on Mission of Burma in the Worcester Phoenix.