On the playlist, or 140 characters or fewer

I’ve always been a fan of conciseness.

Where other writers love to pack their prose with florid language, I go for economy. Less is more.

I signed up for Twitter back in Nov. 2006, and I knew right away I would love the challenge of summarizing moments of time within the strict limit of 140 characters. Twitter turns five years old soon, which means I’ve been expressing myself 140 characters (or fewer) at a time for half a decade.

Note that the previous entry in this blog is dated May 1, 2011. I haven’t posted anything here in a month and a half, and I think that Twitter ceiling has affected how I perceiving the medium of blogging. This here entry? Too many words.

It feels too expansive. It takes too much energy. In short, I’ve gotten out of the habit of writing in longer forms. It was that or blame the job for the lack of entries here.

You would think all that time away would allow me to dig up some awesome listening. I think maybe the quality releases were mostly stacked in Q1. Q2 seems a bit more elusive in finding the gems.

  • CHARA, Dark Candy CHARA tempers the balls out rock of CAROL on this follow-up.
  • Do As Infinity, EIGHT ETERNAL FLAME was a tepid comeback, but after many a workout session, I can safely say EIGHT is a far better follow-up.
  • Emmylou Harris, Hard Bargain Compared to Stumble Into Grace and Red Dirt Girl, Harris’ lyrics on Hard Bargain seem more prosaic. I’m not sure if producer Jay Joyce really found the best material Harris could offer.
  • Explosions in the Sky, Take Care, Take Care, Take Care You hear one Explosions album, you’ve heard them all. But they are engaging in their own ways. Except this one. This album refuses to seep into subconscious, where Explosions’ music works best.
  • FLiP, Michi evolution I feared after so many mini album releases, FLiP would run out of ideas before making a full album. That is not the case.
  • John Adams, Son of Chamber Symphony/String Quartet Nico Muhly tweeted that Adams’ String Quartet is crazy. I agree, because Son of Chamber Symphony is overshadowed by it.
  • Kate Bush, Lionheart I pretty much bought this album to round out my collection before the release of …
  • Kate Bush, Director’s Cut Oh Kate. Would it have killed you to get an actual mastering job done on this album?
  • MO’SOME TONEBENDER, BEST OF WORST The self-titled compilation MO’SOME TONEBENDER offered on its US tour put the band’s work in a better light than this overview released in Japan.
  • Nico Muhly, Seeing Is Believing Muhly’s work is put alongside the work of composers which inform his sound, and it’s a nice compare/contrast. Certainly far more compelling than either of the albums of his work released last year.
  • Onitsuka Chihiro, Ken to Kaede This album is almost as messy as LAS VEGAS, but it has the gutsiness of DOROTHY as well.
  • Philip Glass, Dances At the price eMusic was offering this album, I was expecting a quick album. I didn’t realize each of the five works on this album lasted more than 15 minutes.
  • R.E.M., Collapse Into Now Yeah, sorry R.E.M. The Decemberists filled the gap you left behind.
  • Steve Reich, 2×5 Remixed I’m kind of glad someone brought out the rock aspects of a work actually scored for a rock band.
  • STRAIGHTENER, STOUT I kind of like the three self-covers I recognize on this album — they’re a lot more crunchy.
  • SuiseiNoboAz, THE (OVERUSED) END OF THE WORLD and I MISS YOU MUH-FUH The band’s first album sounded too much like ZAZEN BOYS, but on this self-produced second album, they sound more like, well, not ZAZEN BOYS. Perhaps themselves?
  • Technotronic, Pump Up the Jam I’ve had "Pump Up the Jam" and "Get Up" stuck in my head for weeks before I decided to download this album.
  • The Outfield, Play Deep For all the 80s arena rock trappings, this album is actually really well written.
  • Tina Turner, Private Dancer "1984" really dates the album, but Turner never lets the humanity of her voice get overrun by the robotic tick of synths and drum machines so fashionable at the time.
  • toddle, the shimmer It’s been so long, I’d almost forgotten how melodic toddle’s music can be.
  • Tokyo Jihen, Daihakken I’m beginning to think Tokyo Jihen albums work like Star Trek movies — the even-numbered albums are better than the odd-numbered ones.
  • Wendy & Lisa, Snapshots Wendy & Lisa find just enough time between their film and TV gigs to dig into their archives.
  • XTC, Drums and Wires I’m trying to educate myself on the discography of XTC.