Monthly Archives: May 2006

To Miss It!

For a major label, Toshiba-EMI seems to have some adventurous A&R. Sony and Universal dominate where pop is concerned, but To-EMI have managed to court a large number of favorites at one point or other.

The label currently houses Shiina Ringo, Yaida Hitomi and Utada Hikaru. Zoobombs, Bleach and Number Girl were on its roster, and Hatakeyama Miyuki and PE’Z recorded for the label before moving on.

But it can’t hit a homerun everytime. So this round-up features some near-hits, almost-misses and Yorico.

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Yes, I’ve been rather neglectful of posting here. I’ve been busy trying to rip my music library to MP3. I finally managed to get it all done — some 60GB and 10.6K files — so now I have time to write.

Problem is, all that ripping has been incredibly distracting.

I’ve been unearthing music I haven’t listened to in years, and it’s scattering my focus. There’s some new music I’d like to feature, but there some old gems I’d like to uncover as well. So an honest-to-goodness update may not be in the cards for the immediate future.

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Encore! Kronos Quartet + Sigur Rós

I wouldn’t have really gotten into Sigur Rós if Kronos Quartet hadn’t performed the band’s "Flugufrelsarinn" as an encore a few years back.

Kronos has made that performance available on its MySpace page for a while now, and I hope one day they make it commercially available. And wasn’t Sigur Rós supposed to be working on a piece for Kronos? I’ve always wondered how Mr. Bungle’s commission worked out.

Kronos’ MySpace page also has a recording of "Star-Spangled Banner", transcribed from Jimi Hendrix’s performance. Didn’t Matt Haimowitz already go there?

Seven years ago, long-time Kronos cellist Joan Jeanrenaud left the ensemble after 20 years. Her replacement, Jennifer Culp, stayed with the quartet for six years. Jeffrey Ziegler is Kronos’ newest cellist, and I have to say — he’s, um, really hot.

CRI, R.I.P. (Three years belated)

Right now, I’m listening to The Music of Lou Harrison, an album part of the American Masters series from the defunct label, Composers Recordings, Inc. (CRI).

I spent a year in New York City on a college exchange program, and I worked for CRI that entire year. Back then, I had aspirations to be this avant-garde composer proletariat enough not to scoff at pop music. Working for CRI gave me a nice glimpse into the machinations of a non-profit record label.

Yes, there are non-profit record labels — New World and Tzadik being the most visible. (Of course, it could be joked that no independent label actually makes any money …)

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