Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Tuesday Afternoon Loose Ends
As I type this I am listening to a Red House Painters cover of a Cars song, "All Mixed Up," and, as usual, Mark Kozelek, the man behind Sun Kil Moon, makes it haunting and remade and wonderful. I wrote about *Tiny Cities* in the blurb about last week's This Week's. Last night on All Things Considered, Will Hermes had an audio review of *Tiny Cities.* The review includes snippets of songs from the album and from Modest Mouse. You can listen to it here.
Speaking of NPR, this morning's Morning Edition had this audio article about the financial/business struggles of the ogres and trolls over at Clearchannel Radio. The gist? They are soulless fatbastards who apparently are not as good at fatbastarding as they thought they were. None of you need to read a screed against commercial radio, and I don't need to write one, but it's good to hear that their business model of flooding markets with sound-alikes is struggling. Mind you, it might be Clearchannel's incompetence more than consumer rejection of the formatting. I'd like to think the latter, but I can't envision a public clamor for stations broadcasting much different than what they do.
Speaking of radio: I was listening to the Red House Painter cut on www.kexp.org, a public radio station out of Seattle. Check out the website: it has different streaming choices, offers podcasts, and archives live performances in their studio and programs up to two weeks after broadcast. Weeknight between 6pm - 9pm PST they have specialty programs: two of them, Best Ambience on Mondays, Wo'Pop on Tuesdays, offer three hours each of African music and world music, respectively; when I can't listen live, I use the archives - I don't miss one. Most of the time kexp broadcasts Variety Mix. Each of the DJs (who have as much autonomy as possible) has a different sound, and you can go back through the playlists to get a sense of each personality. Me, I recommend Stevie Zoom, Monday and Tuesday nights between 9pm - 1pm PST and Sunday afternoons 12pm - 3pm PST. He has the largest palette of the bunch. (And as a bonus, I waited until this week to mention kexp - if you tune in for a taste, you'll have missed last week's fundraising drive. You're welcome.) blckdgrd.
Some bands I respect more than I love, and the Velvets are one. I am deeply respectful of their importance in the history of rock and am especially mindful of their DNA in much of the music I listen to, but I never fell in love with them. I like some of the songs, am indifferent to most, and I honestly don't think there's any overarching reason other than the songs just don't move me.
I am a huge John Cale fan. I think his solo albums are always fascinating and frustrating and eerie and subversive and ultimately satisfying, things I can not say of, oh, Lou Reed's solo efforts.
John Cale has a new solo album out, *Black Acetate.* (And really, I recognize that pre-Christmas is THE time for new album releases, but what is it about this season that many of my old favorites are releasing new stuff simultaneously?) You can sample the album here (flash required).
It is much more rock than his two previous (and, to me, better) albums *Hobo Sapiens* and (especially) *Walking on Locusts.* One song, my favorite, "Perfect,"is a wonderfully executed formulaic pop song. I haven't warmed completely to *Black Acetate* yet, but I've only given it five or six listens. It is a back to instead of towards album it seems to me, and I'm not sure if my hesitancy is based on the quality of the music on *Black Acetate* or my expectations of where Cale would go following the two previous albums. It is, in effect, a back to moment for me: it is an album I respect more than like, so far.
I am curious: I've never heard the album Cale did with Terry Riley, who I am unfamiliar with except for seeing Riley's name on S21 and other blogs. Has anyone heard the Cale/Riley collaboration? And what Riley would anyone suggest as a starting point for a newby?