andy and i just joined ye olde netflix. expect to see more movie commentary in the near future.

a quick annotated run-down of what i’ve been listening to lately:

john adams: i was looking at the ceiling and then i saw the sky: classical “post-minimalist” american composer tries his hand at musical theater w/ a typical “individual lives affected by natural disaster” scenario, in this case the 1994 LA earthquake. overall an odd mix of styles that never quite flies.

bjork: medulla: by now people prob. know about the gimmick to this one: the CD’s (almost) all voices. rahzel pulls some unreal beatboxing, and it’s great to see bjork collaborating. although her vocal lines are oftentimes overly familiar here, she does pull out some good tunes like “where is the line” and “oceania”, and the arrangements are interesting. overall this one’s not destined to be among her top albums, but it’s a good addition to her oeuvre.

lauryn hill: MTV unplugged no. 2.0: an old CD i put back in rotation. liked it before, liked it a bit better this time around, although the individual tracks have more of an impact out of context than on the CD. not the best arrangements, but still has some good hooks and some really good tracks. put the DVD in the netflix queue.

porcupine tree: stupid dream, tortoise: standards: echh. both of these were pretty humdrum. the tortoise CD was particularly dull. also, it’s sad when people like porcupine tree have one really good track, but then all their other stuff is lousy. not even mediocre, lousy.

mary j. blige: no more drama: i still can’t get into R&B, but there were some tracks on this that weren’t bad. i just wish she wouldn’t do the exact same melisma and angst-filled coda on every single track. also, the song “PMS” was pretty funny. especially since lenny kravitz plays guitar on it.

dawn upshaw: the girl with orange lips: dawn upshaw’s first major label solo CD. the concept, namely exotic, lush orchestral songs, is good, and the CD features such rarities as stravinsky’s three japanese lyrics (translated into russian). expertly done, but the recital isn’t particularly tuneful. still, props to dawn for not rehashing the same old bellini arias that every other diva does.

gamelan gong gede of batur temple: of my latest listens, this one’s one of the better ones. surprisingly hypnotic and addictive.

i feel like i haven’t listened to anything really good in a while. what was the last CD that made me glad i had ears? i can’t even remember. i’m glad i coerced carl into sending me a mix though. still waiting for some mixes from winnie … 😉


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