Getting rid of my unsuccessful attempt to create a standalone English blog (was set up in 2008 and never really got any traction). A few ruminations on my favorite music are OK though, so I'll just move them all here, together with the linked MP3 files. Obviously, while writing those, I just envied ygam with his superb reading log.
Funnily, LJ doesn't really care to delete or purge project3pm that has been obviously dead as a skunk in the midlle of a highway since God knows when.
Andy, by Frank Zappa
There are many reasons I dig Frank Zappa. He was an extraordinarily sane person for his profession and generally for our sorry day and age. He was the perfect role model for people who call themselves professionals. Yet the main reasons are of course connected to his musical legacy. His music is fun, it’s full of emotional drive and, last but far from least, his music is interesting.
“Andy”, the culmination track from “One Size Fits All”, arguably one of Zappa’s best albums ever, is a good example of all those traits. Being the pinnacle of the whole album, it both drives the emotional tension to its maximum and abruptly resolves this tension in the end (flowing into powerful yet peaceful “Sofa No. 2″, a usual way for Zappa to finish his albums). “Andy” sounds very much like an art rock piece, neurotic and ornamental, with ragged machine-gun-tempo rhythms overlapping the main lines (and remember, this was written long before IDM).
Structurally, this is sufficiently more elaborate compared to standard jazzy theme-and-variations that it can easily be interpreted as a full-fledged sonata form. Look for yourself: introduction, first theme exposition (”is there anything good inside of you”), bridge built from the intro motive, second theme exposition (”show me a sign”), development section (first theme restatement, motivic variation on the second theme, first solo), first and second theme recapitulation, and, finally, a coda — the second solo that absolutely blows you away.
Clearly, this is not a sonata form as they define it in the textbooks — there are two hooks that really stand out (Haydn would probably disapprove, Beethoven would probably not give a damn). One hook is in first theme exposition — a blues-rock lick heavy as a Hummer. Another hook is the end of second theme recap, where Napoleon Murphy cries “Andy” in his nasty, reedy voice — but the tension is so high by this point and the whole band halts so abruptly that, if your heart doesn’t stop at this cry, you probably don’t have any heart at all.
I love “Andy” probably more than any other track on this magnificent album (including even the “Inca Roads” masterpiece). Enjoy it.
Cripple and The Starfish, by Antony and The Johnsons
I’m not very much into Antony and the Johnsons, being aware of them as mostly yet another act within David Tibet’s extremely broad and encompassing traveling circus. Until now, my absolute favorite of Antony’s output was his unintelligible moanings on “Whilst the Night Rejoices Profound and Still” from Current’s 2003 Teatro Iberico show, which made the emotion underlying Tibet’s declamation so obvious and explicit. However, Antony’s tracks appear on my radar from time to time and I don’t discard them automatically, as do many.
About a year ago someone (Vova Dmitrenko, I recall) shared Antony’s “Behold the Lamb of God” demo cassette, on which I found this particular track. It’s very Antony-esque, being so explicit and disgusting in its imagery and so subtle and sincere in its musical delivery. I often use such material as a cure to my emotional lows, but generally you don’t have to be in distress to enjoy Antony.
Mud & Starts by Dawn Landes
Her album “Dawn’s Music” was recommended to me by Amazon, based on my passion for Puerto Muerto. She’s a singer-songwriter from Louisville, KY. Treated myself to a couple of her albums (“Dawn’s Music” and “Fireproof”) and a live session bootleg. Not impressive overall (should I say, “bordering on anemia”), but a quality product if you like this kind of stuff. Attached sample is from the live session — I didn’t like her studio band and male back vocals at all, while during live sessions she sounds much more sincere and authentic.
Wolfpen Hollow by Puerto Muerto
For sure, Puerto Muerto are the very best singers-songwriters on the market right now.
I Do Not Choose To Run by Six Jumping Jacks
I’m still enjoying Volume 3 of the ”Flashbacks” compilation so much!
2011 update: Wikipedia provides us some link between this song and the US political history an the events of late 1920's.
Suicide's An Alternative by Suicidal Tendencies
2011 update: No text here, but this post received a comment from someone who identified himself as Mike Muir: "Don’t fuck with me subliminally, Dmitry!" "Don’t dare to, Mike," was my response.
The Lights Of Long Extinguished Stars by Reutoff
A few years ago I used to claim I didn’t listen to any Russian music. Ever. And when I had to, I didn’t like it at all. Unless it was some novelty stuff, like that nice one about killing the boatman, or the whole Polittechno’s output. Which was not about music after all.
These days I can at least mention Reutoff. Although these guys’ music is about as Russian as Tchaikovsky’s — that is to say, you have to look for their Russianness very carefully. Anyway, the guys are good. Really good.
Pygmy Twilight by Frank Zappa
Another piece of Frank’s pure genius.