Archive: June 2007

Favorite edition 2007: Quarter second

(As you probably noticed, I’m breaking the radio silence I announced last week. I reached a point with my various projects where I have to step back for a while. I’ll be going back down the rabbit hole around the July 4 holiday.)

The second quarter is pretty much done, and I’ve got to say that old English band name is quite prescient — pop will eat itself. Rather than spreading the release schedule out, the labels are stacking all the marquee names for fall. Used to be spring would ramp up to the summer tours, while fall ramped up to the holiday shopping season. Now it seems everything gets dumped in the fall, which means a lot of material overlooked.

Last quarter, I assumed releases wouldn’t start picking up till Q2. They haven’t really. And it makes drafting preliminary favorite lists difficult. That doesn’t mean I won’t try.

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Favorite year of music: 1987 (Part the first)

A few weeks back, a friend of mine posted a bit of trivia regarding a chart-topping song from 20 years ago. Ah, yes — 1987. I turned 16, the perfect age for music to leave an indelible impression on a young mind. I posted a reply listing a number of albums released that year. I figure I may as well expand on that list. Not surprisingly, all these titles are in my music collection.

I’m splitting this entry into multiple parts. I wrote it all in one sitting, but the scroll is a bit long.

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Looking ahead: July 2007-Sept. 2007

This entry summarizes the release posts made over the last few weeks. I am really not impressed with how the US fall release schedule is shaping up. Every time I look at what’s coming up, I have to stifle a yawn. So this round-up is 99 percent Japanese.

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Requisite gay pride entry, new music edition

While I was browsing around my music library for the gay pride entry, I scrolled right past the Gay American Composers discs released by CRI in the late ’90s. At the time, classical labels were marketing directly to gay audiences by packaging the music of gay European composers in provocative covers. CRI put a spin on that kind of commercialism by compiling its own such series with the music of American composers.

Gay American Composers, Vol. 1 was released in 1996 and contained mostly works by living composers. Gay American Composers, Vol. 2, released in 1997, focused on dead composers. Lesbian American Composers (1999, I think?) focused on — wait for it — women.

CRI went out of business in 2003, and while its masters are now owned by New World Records, these discs are pretty much out of print. Here, then, are select works from all three volumes of the series.

Ruth Anderson, "SUM (State of the Union Message)"

Henry Cowell, "The Lilt of the Reel"

David Del Tredici, "Fantasy Pieces: Allegro Minacciando… Diabloique"

Lou Harrison, "String Quartet Set: Estampe"

Jennifer Higdon, "running the edgE"

Robert Maggio, "Two Quartets: Desire-Movement"

Harry Partch, "Ulysses at the Edge of the World"

Ned Rorem, "The Nantucket Songs: The Dancer"

Nurit Tiles, "Raw Silk (A Rag)"

Virgil Thomson, "Symphony No. 3: Allegro Moderato"

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Requisite gay pride entry

Last week, Towleroad linked to a bevy of MP3s by gay musicians offered up by Hypeful. The list contains the usual indie-ish suspects: Rufus Wainwright, Anthony & the Johnsons, Sleater-Kinney, Pansy Division, the Magnetic Fields.

They’re not the usual mainstream gay pop figures — Erasure, Pet Shop Boys, Boy George — but they’re not exactly … undiscovered either. I was hoping to make some new discoveries, but no one in the Hypeful entry was unknown to me.

So I’m going to extend Hypeful’s offerings with a few artists previously mentioned on this site. It’s not as extensive a list as Hypeful’s, and a number of these files were offered before.

Garrin Benfield, "Don’t Panic"

The Butchies, "Make Yr Life"

Ex-Boyfriends, "Him for Me"

The Gossip, "Standing in the Way of Control"

Ari Gold, "Wave of You"

James William Hindle, "Silence"

Levi Kreis, "I Should Go"

Ivri Lider, "Af Echad Mishnaynu" (Neither of Us)

Jonathan Mendelsohn, "Forgiveness"

Dylan Rice, "March of the Misunderstood"

Sacha Sacket, "I Just Can’t"

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Hajime Chitose releases new single in August

Hajime Chitose is set to release a new double A-side single, titled "Anata ga Koko nite Hoshii/Miyori no Mori", on Aug. 22, so says Oops Music. The four-track release also includes the coupling tracks "Bojou Love is a many splendored thing" (could it be a cover?) and "Ushinawareta Monotachi e". Each track is associated with a TV tie-in, which I won’t go into detail. It’s been a little more than a year since Hajime released her previous album, Hanadairo.

Quruli previews new album on MySpace

Quruli streams its forthcoming new album, Tanz Walzer, for three days on its Myspace page, so says ITmedia News (via Oops Music.) From June 22-24, the complete album will be available for preview on Myspace before its official release on June 27. Although standard practice in the US, album previews on Myspace are not common in Japan. Of course, I hear the album has already been leaked on the Evil Sharing Networks anyway …

TOKIE forms new band, releases first album

TOKIE, who’s played bass for RIZE, AJICO and LOSALIOS, has formed a new band named unkie, and they release their debut album on July 11, titled The Price of Fame. unkie also includes guitarist Aoki Yutaka (VOLA & THE ORIENTAL MACHINE, downy) and Kido Hiroshi (JUDE, Fujifabric). More details are available over at Bounce.com. The band’s web site isn’t quite launched, and a quick web search this morning didn’t unearth any sound clips. I’m really curious to hear what this band sounds like.