I’m sorry, y’all, I really am, I KNOW I’ve already linked this on Twitter twice. I’m posting it here in the desperate hope it’ll help get it out of my head. I was singing it on my way to work this morning! I was singing it in the shower!
Tchaikovsky thought theatrical “Arabs.” People who saw the Disney version think fish. People who like Spike Jones think of various kinds of sinister mayhem and low nightlife in a thick cinematic fog. Here’s why.
Classical music is in a weird place. Over the past century, it’s grown so crystallized and rarefied that people mostly think of it as either relaxing or good for you. This is bullshit; it’s neither. The way A Far Cry plays it, a Beethoven fugue can make you want to thrash. A Schumann concerto can make you feel like you’ve watched something burn to the ground.
In the five years of the orchestra’s existence, the Criers have gone from a handful of broke, determined kids to a nonprofit organization with a budget of just over $360,000, a residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and an upcoming European tour. On this day in January, they’re rehearsing for a concert with Yo-Yo Ma, perhaps the only real household name in classical music — a man who has used his technical brilliance to write himself a ticket to play anything he wants, from Philip Glass to bluegrass.
That’s what A Far Cry wants to do, too: to wrestle the music they love back from the cultural baggage it’s accumulated.
"When we walk into Symphony Hall and we see everyone all dressed up, we have to learn how not to pay attention to that," says violist Sarah Darling. "We have to learn how to shut out all the ridiculous trappings that classical music has somehow acquired — and only pay attention to the sound itself."
Read this article. All of it.
It took me thirty years of escaping my upbringing to realize that the culture surrounding “classical” music was not preserving it, it was destroying it. The faster we can get other people to throw away their baggage, the better.
Oh lord, Future Clouds and Radar is brilliant too. Ladies and gentlemen, if you need more proof of just how screwed-up the old-school recording industry was and why you should shed no tears at their passing, I give you: the career of Robert Harrison.
Above: “Dr. No.”
Found it!!! This is my favorite track from “Kontiki,” I think, although ask me again after I’ve listened to it all five thousand times …. “Hometown Cameo.”
Here’s Cotton Mather (see previous two items) performing a track NOT on “Kontiki” so you can see what they look like. This is the only actual video I could find for them. Despite singer/songwriter Robert Harrison being “somewhere between John Lennon and John Linnell” (to quote the excellent phrasing of the Boston Phoenix), the band was actually from Austin, Texas.
I hear that Harrison’s current project is called Future Clouds and Radar. I’m going to have to check them out.
Another track from “Kontiki” (see previous item). This one is “Camp Hill Rail Operator.” Try the YouTube full page if you’re having trouble deciphering the lyrics ….
Today I purchased a re-release of a 1997 CD, “Kontiki” by Cotton Mather. I don’t know where I was when this came out, but I’m damned glad to have a second chance at it. I unfortunately can’t find a clip of “Homefront Cameo” or “My Before and After,” but these two are good … the whole album is good.
This one is “Password.”
It took me a while before I realized OK Go actually had features of interest. The problem is, the songs they choose for all those sensational trick videos tend to be the blandest songs on the albums. They have hidden depths of weirdness and originality, but you’d never know it from what they choose to promote.
The video above is from a catchy track on their first album, “Don’t Ask Me,” that is theoretically one of its singles, although I never saw it promoted at the time. The track that was promoted was “Get Over It,” which has one of their Strange Videos and is a completely uninteresting song. The one above is, by OK Go standards, shockingly normal. The BEST tracks on the album - “C-C-C-Cinnamon Lips,” “Hello My Treacherous Friends,” and especially “The Fix Is In” - you have probably never heard unless you actually bought the album and bothered to listen to all of it. Where, I ask you, is the weird video to go with the deliciously unusual structure of “The Fix Is In”? Am I asking too much?
They have a new video featuring a car. I can’t watch it with the sound on right now. I’ll find out later if it continues their tendency of picking the worst songs for the best videos. I’m betting it does.
TUMBLR I AM EXTREMELY DISAPPOINT HOW COULD YOU FAIL TO BRING TO MY ATTENTION THIS MUSIC VIDEO FOR THE SHERLOCK HOLMES HANS ZIMMER SOUNDTRACK FEATURING, AMONG OTHER THINGS, ROBERT DOWNEY JR BEING THE WORLD’S WEIRDEST PIANO PLAYER.
DISAPPOINT, TUMBLR. DISAPPOINT.
I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON
BUT IT’S AMAZING
AND THERE’S RDJ AND A UKULELE AND THAT EXCELLENT LADY WHO PLAYS LOTS OF THINGS, OCCASIONALLY IN A BOX
No, musicians who worked on this score, thank you.
Just when I thought nothing could get more wacky or manic than the score itself.
Attn: violetimpudence — this is relevant to your interests.
Hey, that Tim Curry song I just posted? Well, it’s a cover. And one of the people seen above in the slide is … Jeff Lynne. Yeah, that Jeff Lynne.
Also, astonishingly, this is a GOOD song.