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Showing posts from October, 2010

Listen Cloze, Now: Joanna Newsom's "Have One On Me" (2010)

"...do her words really need to be broken down like formulae? I think not. Simply to escape into the world of Joanna and be incapsulated into it and applauding it is enough. And maybe not understanding completely is the more beautiful act of musical appreciation, lack of total understanding leaves the listener with a humbled nice sense of ignorant awe."

- Guardian-commenter

(Forgive me; I'm rarely satisfied by ignorant awe.)



1. "Give love a little shove and..."

It is commonly and truly noted that this woman's work is hard work. Well, Have One On Me is a map of the heart, and you shouldn't expect such things to offer themselves lightly. The album traces the several forms of love: divine or agape (tracks (3, 7, 14); filial (track 9, 14); courtly (track 2); obsessional (tracks 1, 5, 10); maternal (track 6! but touches in 1, 5, 11, 14); platonic (passionate friendship: track 8 and maybe 11); panicked (track 4); dependent (track 5, 10, 16); wilful (track 1, 16)…

Jazz-Death

You can tell a lot about someone* from the historical year after which they stop listening to jazz.
After white folks took it. (1917) Maybe you've an orderly mind ("What is this thing "improv", but anarchy?") in which case Satchmo goes and ruins jazz as early as 1925.

For loads of people it's 1945, where we noticed that, at some point in the Second World War, jazz ceased to be pop music and had donned the unwieldy headgear of art music. ("STOP DANCING AND LISTEN, DAMNIT." - signed, Gillespie, Parker, Monk) Jazz became agitation, spontaneity, the sound of your nerves.

Or there's 1952, when Chet Baker kills the piano (and thus yanks out the moderating seatbelt of standardised chord-accompaniments).

What might look like the grandest self-obsession of an egoistic time (1955-63) and place ("Mingus Ah Um"; "Mingus Dynasty"; "Charles Mingus Introduces Charles Mingus"; "Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus Mingus") is really…

To the Other's Side (Songs With Metaphysical Claims In)

The content of folk is fundamentally metaphysical. Our failure to recognize this is primarily due to our own abysmal ignorance of metaphysics and of its technical terms. . . . The true folklorist must be not so much a psychologist as a metaphysician, if he is to 'understand his material'.
- Ananda Coomaraswamy

On Spotify Here




1. Black and Gold - Sam Sparro (the fear of reductionism)

Cause if you're not really here
Then the stars don't even matter -
Now I'm filled to the top with fear
But it's all just a bunch of matter
'Cause if you're not really here
Then I don't want to be either...




2. Do You Realise? - Flaming Lips
(unreality of time/mortality)
You realize the sun dunt go down/
It's just an illusion caused by the world spinning round
.



3. Childlike Faith In Childhood's End - Van der Graaf Generator (existentialism: song of a scientific human trying, trying...)
Frightened in the silence- frightened, but thinking very hard,
let us make computations of th…