Take the Give

Posted by admin on Apr 3rd, 2013

L Bedford Station, Brooklyn 2013

There are times when moments of the present variety will be analyzed at a later time for it’s unique place in history. It can be good, bad, and at times both, considering the perspective of the particular person. I’ve been in the middle of the 1st, some say, failed modern gold rush of the late 90’s with the dot com tech boom/bust in San Francisco. And after that period, falling back on the world I tried to escape from, I was back in the mortgage world for that inevitable horrific destruction. I am now back on the colder coast, and in what I believe to be a wholly positive historical period which will be looked upon in the future as a moment where people will wish that they were here to experience it. An influential time that will have a ripple effect upon the people it will effect. What is it ? It has nothing to do with music, so I’ll share it at another time, and another place. Sorry. Here’s some music that will help you into Spring.

DOOM – Retarded Fren (Feat. Thom Yorke & Jonny Greenwood) – Until we get another Madvillian album, and with the spotty track record of Doom in recording, or in a live format, for sure, we get this gem from the two creative geniuses from Radiohead with the lazy slurry delivery of the masked man.

Atoms for Peace – Ingenue – Off of the second release from Thom Yorke’s solo venture, and this time with a band in tow, you get this moog-y water droplets in space tune. It’s probably one of the better songs from Thom in terms of melody in years.

Thao & The Get Down Stay Down – Every Body – I used to volunteer at the after school tutoring program at 826 Valencia, and one of my friends pointed out Thao who was also volunteering there, which introduced first me to this special artist. Once she organized this incredible version of Jingle Bells with all of the kids providing percussion by banging on something. This track is off of her latest, and what I think to her greatest album, We The Common.

Bibio – À tout à l’heure – If the Instagram app could be turned into music, or if there was an artist that synced perfectly with the filters, it would be Stephen Wilkinson otherwise known as Bibio. It’s modern with that 70’s retro mustache feel. I guess some might say hipster with slurred speech and four clicks to the left of perfect vision.

Jamie Lidell – Blaming Something – Once again blending soul with credible beats. The entire album sounds like something I would have heard on pop radio in the 80’s, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing, but who else has these chops and the credibility with beats (see Warp Records). The Prince of electronic music……possibly.

Origamibiro – Sedimental Value (Aus Remix) – I need to do a post on some more abstract stuff like this track. It’s been awhile.  Aus is Yasuhiko Fukuzono, and this track is from ReCollected which is a collection of his remixes. Music for your pillows to lay on tonight.

 

All I Want Is Another Chocolate

Posted by admin on Aug 24th, 2008


Outside Lands Festival, 8.22.08, 10:26pm

Thursday evening, The Wordless Music series came to San Francisco’s Herbst Theatre in the form of the Magik Magik Orchestra conducted by Benjamin Shwartz to play pieces by John Adams, Fred Firth, Arvo Part, Mason Bates and Jonny Greenwood. Greenwood’s Popcorn Superhet Receiver was making it’s West Coast premiere, but all of the pieces from the evening made for a powerful night of twisting your mind around the conventions of music. The evening’s most abstract piece, Save As from Fred Frith had tape recorded sampling, tin cans being thrown about on stage, crumpled pieces of paper, and a cello being played like a high guitar solo. Most of the elements from the other pieces were from the string family of instruments, but every piece had one foot in the past with one foot into the future, and each could have easily been translated from the arsenal of Aphex Twin, or Autechre’s squelched synth sounds and spastic 808 kicks.

As the night started, the founder of the series, Ronen Givony mentioned many of today’s leading abstract electronic artists and how he wanted to create this crossover between both of these worlds by tearing down the rigid classifications often given to music. What was once thought of as unconventional is now accepted as today’s norm. It’s refreshing to see things skewed using mainly tools that are part of today’s convention of music. Check out more of the Wordless Series, which is mainly in NY, but hopefully will be making more visits to San Francisco. They have some incredible artists coming up, which have been featured on this site, including Flying Lotus, Steve Reich, Goldmund, Hauschka, Stars Of The Lid and Tim Hecker.

The next day was Radiohead’s somewhat annual visit to the Bay Area. For this trip, they headlined Friday night at the Outside Land’s Festival. The evening started out with Cold War Kids, the Black Keys and then to the Laser Light Show featuring Radiohead. It was the best visual display that I’ve ever witnessed from the band and even with a few sound problems, it was a great experience for all of the senses. The unexpected hysterical laughter from Thom Yorke at the beginning of You And Whose Army was the sentiment for most of the evening. And no, text messages along with phones do not work in a festival environment which consisted of 60k people.

Radiohead, for lack of a better comparison, are the Beatles of our/your generation. They have often reinvented themselves, and have created timeless music that continues to influence artists today. I hope they break up soon, only to reform in 20 years at Coachella. Yeah, that would be perfect.

Here are some pieces from the artists featured on Thursday evening for the Wordless Series.

John Adams – Shaker Loops – 1. Shaking and Trembling – this track was part of one of the pieces that was played on Thursday evening.

Fred Frith & Evelyn Glennie – Scuttlebutt – a great collaboration of two brilliant musical minds.

Jonny Greenwood – Smear – from the Ether Festival in 2005

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