Good Math/Bad Math

Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday Random Ten 5/19

  1. Bach, "Wiewohl Mein Herz In Traenen Schwimmt" from "St. Matthews Passion". Wow, we're off to a good start this week! The St. Matthews Passion is, in my opinion, one of the finest pieces of music composed by one of the finest composers who ever lived. This section is a solo by a soprano; magnificent.
  2. Phil Glass, "Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra: Movement III ". Quite interesting how smooth the transition from the Bach to this turned out; but after listening to a two minute long fragment of Bach, the Glass sounds incredibly trite. Normally, I like this piece rather a lot; but listening it after Bach just doesn't work.
  3. Norah Jones, "Seven Years". My sister gave me this CD as a gift; she thought that given the kinds of female vocalists that I like, this would be up my alley. For some reason, it grates on me horribly. Ugh, ugh, ugh. (Sorry Deb!)
  4. Gordian Knot, "The Brook the Ocean". Spectacular instrumental progressive rock. Gordian Knot is an amazing bassist named Sean Malone, and whatever gaggle of folks he can convince to play with him; different tracks on GK CDs include Steve Hackett, Trey Gunn, John Myung, Bill Bruford. This is a great track.
  5. The Clogs, "Sticks and Nails". The clogs call themselves a "post-rock ensemble". They're a quartet consisting of a violist, a bassoonist, a guitarist, and a percussionist. I really don't know how to describe them; they're like a fusion of modern classical, jazz, rock, and I'm not sure what else. But they're absolutely fantastic, fascinating stuff.
  6. Pain of Salvation, "Martius/Nauticus II". Pain of Salvation is a great metalish prog band. This is off of their album "Be", which is an extremely ambitious concept album. It's not entirely successful, but it's got spectacular moments. This track is quite a good one.
  7. Hugh Blumenfeld, "Longhaired Radical Socialist Jew". The greatest gospel song of all time. How can you not love lyrics like "Sometimes I fall into deep despair/When I hear those hypocrites on the air/But every Sunday gives me hope/When pastor, deacon, priest, and pope/Are all singing out their praises to/Some longhaired radical socialist Jew."?
  8. Dirty Three, "It Happened". Another "post-rock ensemble". Dirty Three is slightly more accessible than the Clogs, but no less amazing. They're a trio consisting of a cellist, a guitarist, and a percussionist. They're a bit heavier on the jazz influence than the Clogs, I think mainly because of the style of the percussionist. These guys and the Clogs are really must-listens.
  9. Thinking Plague, "Rapture of the Deep (For Leslie)". Today seems to be a day for deeply strange music. Thinking Plague is a really wierd group. Their guitarist is a member of Robert Fripp's League of Crafty Guitarists, and plays very much in the guitarcraft style; the vocalist is very unusual in that instead of singing as the lead-line of the music, she treats her voice as just another instrument in the band. They tend towards dissonant, sometimes even atonal music, with bits of 12-tone.
  10. The Clogs, "Witch Stick". And the Clogs come up again!

Overall, I think this is my favorite FRT list so far.

2 Comments:

  • MarkCC said:

    "after listening to a two minute long fragment of Bach, the Glass sounds incredibly trite"

    Don't be too hard on Glass, that statement would apply to 95% of all music ever made

    By Anonymous steve, at 11:28 AM  

  • steve:

    True, absolutely true. I'm actually a fan of Phil Glass; in particular, some of his recent compositions (like the Itaipu symphony) are really wonderful. (And some really is just trite.) I don't think that the sax concerto really belongs in the trite category in general.

    But Bach... I think Bach is the greatest composer in the history of music. Every note is perfect, never one thing more or less than necessary to make the music work. Then you listen to Glass - and one of Glass's greatest weaknesses is not knowing when to stop. Minimalist composition is necessarily repetitive; but Glass often takes it much too far. Hearing Glass immediately after Bach just exaggerates the impact of that repetitiveness.

    By Blogger MarkCC, at 12:39 PM  

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