Monthly Archives: September 2006

Today is her birthday, they’re smoking cigars

I’m not sure what the big deal is with the Sugarcubes reunion. Even Bounce is reporting on it. The reunion is a one-off concert for charity. Yes, Björk is performing with her old band for the first time in 14 years, but I think it would be a bigger deal if they decided to record and tour.

(I hear Einer Örn’s debut solo album from a few years back is decent.)

It’s like every time Bill Berry shows up to drum with R.E.M. for some random event. Granted, Berry’s departure from the group signaled a true turning point for the band and not in a good way. But what’s the big deal with a random reunion here or there? Log it under a bullet item and move on.

I’ve mentioned this to friends time and again, though — it wasn’t until Homogenic that I took Björk seriously as a solo artist. Debut was far too polished and had none of the rawness of Life’s Too Good, but then she wrestled free of Nelle Hopper’s boring ass and came into her own. Were the Sugarcubes to reform, it would be something of a step back for her.

Unless she pulls a Shiina Ringo and forms a new band. What’s the Icelandic word for "incidents"?

Going once? Going twice?

The highest bidder so far in the auction for Tower Records is offering $90 to $95 million for the beleaguered chain, so reports Musical America.

Great American has so far placed the highest bid, according to Tower. The company specializes in liquidating assets.

I remember when the Tower location in Austin closed back in 2004. I went there hoping to score some discounted goods, and the discounts were still priced higher than I would have gotten from Waterloo, even without my employee discount at the time.

At the same time, it would suck to be in Harmonia Mundi’s shoes. $1.2 million owed and a liquidiation still wouldn’t help? Damn.

Pro-choice in the digital music realm

Just because you own an iPod doesn’t mean you shop at iTunes, so the Beeb tells me. According to Jupiter Media, only an average of 20 tracks found on an iPod were bought from the iTunes music store. It makes me wonder about the poor sap who has only 20 music files on his iPod.

The whole debate about legal vs. illegal music downloading has frustrated me on all sides. On the one hand, I can’t stand the demonization by the record industry of listeners who use the tools at their disposal to become better consumers. Why are sales down so much? Because the Evil Sharing Networks let people be choosy about how they blow their cash. I mean c’mon — we’re not living in the Clintonian boom time now, are we?

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Elevated readings of tachyon particles, ca. 1791

This New York Times article (registration required) posits what would have happened if Mozart lived the same lifespan as his father Leopold or his sister Nannerl.

I guess I watched too much Star Trek Voyager in my formative years because my first reaction was that it would have major repercussions on the timeline, and it would obviously violate the temporal prime directive. (Loser! == me)

Put it another way, he probably wouldn’t have heard Berlioz or Chopin perform or compose their major works because he probably would have left some sort of influence to inspire a random, unknown person to take those ideas elsewhere. Who knows?

Yes, I know the point of the article was to imagine something along the lines of what Jimi Hendrix would have thought of Lenny Kravitz. Or Kurt Cobain of Justin Timberlake. Or JS Bach of Ludwig van Beethoven.

But all that time watching Voyager makes me more interested in the science fiction of who else would have emerged alongside Beethoven and Hadyn.

UA x Kikuchi Naruyoshi: cure jazz

There’s a bit of Engrish word play happening when UA and Kikuchi Naruyoshi bill cure jazz as a "standard jazz" album.

Indeed, there are jazz standards on the album, but the strictly acoustic setting — not a pop hook or an exotic sample to be found anywhere — makes it a "standard jazz" album.

In classic UA fashion, she once again challenges her listeners by making another seismic creative shift. It’s fitting with the big band abandon of Sun and the avant-garde electronics of Breathe.

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Furukawa Miki: Mirrors

Supercar will definitely be missed.

Like Number Girl or fra-foa, the sum of Supercar was greater than its parts. The chemistry between the band’s four members — Nakamura Koji, Furukawa Miki, Ishiwatari Junji and Tozawa Kodai — gave Supercar a forceful presence as a unit.

Now that unit has disbanded, and it’s a challenge for a listener (that is, me) to see past the whole and to appreciate the individuals.

Ishiwatari and Tozawa have gone onto production and session work. Nakamura embarked on an impenetrable electronica project named iLL. Furukawa, on the other hand, picks up where Supercar left off.

Mirrors, Furukawa’s debut solo album, features the mix of British rock and electronica that fueled Supercar’s muse.

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Love Psychedelico: Live Psychedelico

I can appreciate from where Love Psychedelico comes. The duo loves their classic rock, but there’s little point in slavishly recreating that era’s low-tech sound. So they indulge in the convenience of a drum machine or the cleanliness of a studio environment.

And it’s not like they’ve written bad songs.

But it wasn’t evident just how much gets lost in the studio till Love Psychedelico recorded some performances at Budokan for its live album, Live Psychedelico.

The band is on fire from the start, and the songs possess an energy lacking on their original recordings.

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eMusic Round-up

I’ve been using eMusic as something of a preview and back-up service. I’ll download an album on eMusic, and if I like enough, I’ll buy a CD and use my download from eMusic as a back-up in the unlikely chance something goes awry with the CD.

Some stuff I don’t feel too attached to get a CD, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like it. (I may not love it …)

Here are some recent acquisitions from eMusic.

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