October 16, 2015
Highline Tavern, Seattle
Oddly, it seems Red Ribbon's Bandcamp page is down at the moment, but I'll put the link up there anyway. It has been too long since we've heard Emma Danner and crew, and in the interim they have grown solid at the core. Her vocals are not as pushed as they were those first few shows, allowing her voice to revel in quirkiness, floating blissfully in the wash of the five-piece instrumental flangethrash.
Ephrata is a four piece, advertising themselves as "Seattle's best all girl and all guy shoegaze dream pop band." I'll buy that. What is remarkable is that their go-to vocal sound is four-part harmony, and the happy combination of two girl voices and two guy voices has a classical balance that works well for them. And they look so wholesome! What a nice family!
Prom Queen is a "cinematic 60's rock band from Seattle", in costume and wig. In front of some solid drumming (nice looking gold sparkle set!) the dynamic between bluesy guitar and female vocalist had something of a Mickey and Sylvia flavor to it, but all done in stripper tempo and with a don't-you-dare-come-fucking-hither attitude. A heady brew, to be sure.
Salad Boys are on tour from New Zealand, of all places. Two skinny tall prancing guys up front on guitar and bass, and one apparently nearly asleep drummer in the back who, when playing, is all in and steady as a rock. At first blush the vocalist reminded me a little of the Rod Stewart of Maggie May, but veered off into more REM territory, possibly due to the density of sound provided by electric-twelve string. (I want one). We enjoyed it thoroughly, but we had to take off before their last two songs in order to catch our bus home. And now I need to take a nap.
October 11, 2015
Wozzeck - Berg - Paris National Orchestra, Pierre Boulez
It measures: place in time, place on compass, place on social hierarchy. Wozzeck is unmoored in all. The orchestra is not an accompaniment as in Mozart, nor an enveloping world within which the singers live, but is more like a malign antagonist - jeering, heckling, commenting on the action to itself. It's like sitting next to a rudely loud person at a movie, or as though the heckler characters in Ludwig Tieck's Der gestiefelte Kater had been transformed into a music, a doppelganger of the play.
October 13, 2015
Music for Small Orchestra - Ruth Crawford Seeger - Schönberg Ensemble
One might imagine her puzzling out how the pitches in Le Sacre du printemps work around each other, and ignoring everything else.
Ionisation - Varèse - New York Philharmonic, Pierre Boulez
Something uncivil is occurring, just around the corner.
Romeo and Juliet Suite #1 - Prokofiev - Seattle Symhony Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz
Of a piece with Disney animation of the time: something creepy masquerading as an anachronism.
Anitra's Dance - Donald Lambert [from Alan Lowe's That Devilin' Tune]
A series of masks.
Concerto in D - Stravinsky - Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra - Neville Mariner
Peapod racing. Very fast. Very tiny.
Kreuzspiel - Stockhausen - London Sinfonietta
Ceremoniously theatrical. The tunes wander as though blindfolded.
Roll Over Beethoven - Chuck Berry [from The Best of Chuck Berry]
Atlas Eclipticalis - Cage - The Wesleyan Symphony Orchestra,with The Hartt Contemporary Players and The Arditti Quartet, Melvin Strauss
30 minutes of the most lovely of nearly-overs, of almost-dones, of penultimatisms, spent in contemplation of my constitutional inability to hear sounds as themselves, empty of meaning. To hear a sound as itself I would need to not be aware that it was made by a human being, or that it was laden with social freight. Such a position seems deeply misanthropic, murderous. Would music be best for Cage if none were there to hear it?
One More Heartache - Marvin Gaye [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
Indian Reservation - Paul Revere and the Raiders [from The Legend of Paul Revere]
Social consciousness (of a sort) as a TV theme song.
October 15, 2015
Space Oddity - David Bowie [from Changes One]
The Once Over Twice - X [from Wild Gift]
The sound is packed under pressure, squeezed tight from both sides.
Papa Don't Preach - Madonna [collected from Dave Marsh's The Heart of Rock & Soul]
That's B.A.D. - Moe Tucker [from I Feel So Far Away: Anthology 1974 - 1998]
Banned Sectional 24 KEE NWM - January 1996 - Keith Eisenbrey, Neal Kosály-Meyer
Two grappling avatars furiously constructing a drummer. As it thins out Neal's tenor sax blurts create ghost echoes both before and after (it was recorded on cassette tape and loud sounds will leak both up and down the layers of spiral in storage). This is an effect that, I think would be impossible to duplicate live - echoing an event that has not yet occurred.
Downtime - Benjamin Boretz [from Open Space 20]
There is a favorite moment of mine in the middle of Shostakovich's Symphony #1 where the piece comes to an emphatic and unambiguous end. Thud. There is a short pause and the pianist suddenly bangs a big chord, knocking the remainder of the symphony down a staircase where, eventually, it does end. There is something of the kind at work here as well, though the effect (if effect it is) repeats itself thematically, drilling into deeper rock each time, but which is nevertheless completely other than S's satiric-comic model, since it occurs not in quotidian time, but in spirit or soul time, kairos rather than chronos.
In Session at the Tintinabulary
October 10, 2015
Maple Leaf 151010 - Keith Eisenbrey
We had a bit of a blow and a drench, so I recorded a few minutes of it. Of course things mostly settled down as soon as my recorder was set up, but I did get some nice white noise and an occasional rattle from our decrepit wind chime.
October 12, 2015
Attic 151012 - Keith Eisenbrey, with Karen Eisenbrey assisting
Karen and I are, at long last, going to have our attic insulated. This necessitates hauling all the stuff that we were storing up there back down into the house. I aimed the microphone up toward the attic access and did my best to refrain from profanity.
Banned Telepath 38 Seattle 151012
Banned Telepath 38 Somerville 151012
Banned Rehearsal 896 151012 - Karen Eisenbrey, Keith Eisenbrey, Steve Kennedy, and Neal Kosály-Meyer (in Seattle); and Aaron Keyt (in Somerville)
Among other joys, Aaron and I play a cross-continental piano trio (I had two keyboards at hand).
October 13, 2015
Trio 151013 - Keith Eisenbrey
Toy piano, german concert zither, and electric bass.