On the playlist, or many albums, few artists

After a marathon of writing earlier in the month, I managed to get my audition playlist down to about 14 hours. It usually averages around the high 20s or low 30s, but it can peak into the 40s. (That sounds like a weather report.)

It feels kind of weird not spreading my listening time over many days’ worth of material, but I’m taking care of that right quick.

This time around, I’m listening to multiple releases by a number of artists. It wasn’t planned.

  • Bang on a Can All-Stars, Renegade Heaven and Terry Riley: In C I have it in my head that I want to try my hand at writing a piece for the Bang on a Can All-Stars set up that somehow emulates Guided By Voices’ early ’90s albums. It’s research.
  • Bob Ostertag, All the Rage (Kronos Quartet) Part of the Kronos Reacquisition Project. I didn’t warm up to this piece when it first was released because I wasn’t yet out of the closet.
  • Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple Is this album meant to grow on you? Because it’s pretty damn dark.
  • Guided By Voices, Alien Lanes and Propeller See Bang on a Can All-Stars above. I am, however, pleasantly surprised by Propeller.
  • Huang Ruo, Chamber Concerto Cycle (International Contemporary Ensemble) A weird series of events led me to Huang Ruo, and I have to say I’m much impressed by these pieces.
  • Metalchicks, Metalchicks and St. Wonder Metalchicks didn’t sell any albums when they played SXSW 2006 (just a three-song sampler), so I’m very glad these two albums popped up on the Evil Sharing Networks. OMG can Sugar Yoshinaga shred!
  • R.E.M., Accelerate Thank you, R.E.M., for finally shaking off that frakking funk.
  • The Dead Betties, Nightmare Sequence and Fuck You, Avril, You’re in the Army Now I don’t usually keep albums on the audition list after I’ve written about them, but these two just kick a lot of posterior.
  • Varmint, Mr. Man in the Moon It’s tough enjoying a cover album without having much knowledge of the source material. Unless it’s Bill Frisell’s Have a Little Faith
  • Wayne Horvitz, Joe Hill: 16 Actions for Orchestra, Voices and Soloist Non-classical voices in a classical context is still something of an adjustment.
  • Wayne Horvitz/Gravitas Quartet, One Dance Alone Let’s see if I like this album better.
  • Wayne Horvitz/Sweeter Than the Day, A Walk in the Dark There’s a lot of overlap between this one and the Gravitas Quartet album. It’ll be interesting to compare and contrast.

I have to mention that Funplex by the B-52’s managed to get added and removed from the playlist before I got around to writing this entry. Was the album that bad? Perhaps not. But it wasn’t flattering to the band’s sound.