Visit to the Village

Visual/Aural/Personal Discovery

 Bleeker Street Records

Kay and I went down to Barrow Street to hear the second Keys to Future concert last night. In addition to some pieces with which I was very familiar, the program also included works that were new to me. Discovering a new piece or previously unfamiliar composer in a live venue can be thrilling; especially when Amy Briggs and Stephen Gosling are playing! It was an excellent show; my review of it should post on Musical America later this week.

 
We got to the Village a little early, and had time to enjoy a preconcert dinner and stroll around the shops on Bleeker Street. A browse through Bleeker Street Records reminded me of one of the reasons why I’m so glad that there still are a few brick ‘n mortar stores around; and why I’d be sad if they went away. ‘Digging’ for vinyl or CDs can reveal sought-after treasures; but it can also lead to pleasant digressions and discoveries. While looking for something else, one of the CDs I grabbed off of the rack struck my visual fancy. I have no idea who the band is, what style of music they play, or whether they are any good. The artist who rendered their booklet cover, on the other hand, had such a vivid imagination that it was worth the five bucks just to see if the music could compare.

 
One of the debates as we ‘go green’ and cut costs is about the efficacy of digital distribution; whether we really need artifacts or whether digital copies, with all their conveniences (and foibles) instead suffice. I have grudgingly converted to obtaining some recording acquisitions via digital download. Even with the current sonic compromises of MP3, the convenience and comprehensiveness factors of many digital stores are seductive. And the 30-second sonic snippets can be handy for triaging selections.

 
Still, the experience of digging through shelves of recordings in person and having some album art catch your eye, paging through the storybook of lyrics and wondering if the musical rendering will compare – that’s magical!

 
One of my favorite places to browse in the digital domain is Silber Media. The imprint specializes in experimental artists, particularly of the alt-electronica persuasion. A number of their artists are on tour this summer; dates below!

The mystery CD from Bleeker Street is in the changer. I’m about to press play – wish me luck!

Silber Artists on Tour
Aarktica ( www.myspace.com/aarktica )
May 21 2009 8:00 PM
AARKTICA w/ Mark Van Hoen (Seefeel), Millimetrik, Luxa (Loveless Music Presents) New York

Northern Valentine ( www.myspace.com/northernvalentine ) – indie ambient
May 26 2009 9:00 PM
 Northern Valentine @ Greenline Cafe Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hotel Hotel ( www.myspace.com/hotelhotel ) – post rock
May 22 2009 9:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ rgrs denton, Texas
May 23 2009 9:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ the foundation kansas city, Missouri
May 24 2009 8:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ nomad pub minneapolis/st. paul, Minnesota
May 25 2009 9:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ LEMP st. louis, Missouri
May 26 2009 8:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ tba columbus, Ohio
May 27 2009 9:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ bela dubby cleveland, Ohio
May 30 2009 9:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ friendship cove montréal, Quebec
May 31 2009 8:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ tba boston, Massachusetts
Jun 1 2009 9:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ goodbye blue monday bushwick, brooklyn, New York
Jun 2 2009 9:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ the khyber philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jun 3 2009 8:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ the good cherry forest, Virginia
Jun 4 2009 9:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ caledonia lounge athens, Georgia
Jun 5 2009 9:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ kavarna decatur, atlanta
Jun 6 2009 9:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ the blind mule mobile, Alabama
Jun 7 2009 9:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ tba new orleans, Louisiana
Jun 9 2009 9:00 PM
 hotel hotel @ superhappyfunland houston, Texas

Remora ( www.myspace.com/remora ) – post apocalyptic pop
May 25 2009 9:00 PM
 Remora @ The Nightlight Chapel Hill, North Carolina
May 30, 2009 – 8:00 PM
 Remora @ BFF Bog   Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Small Life Form ( www.myspace.com/smalllifeform ) – aggressive ambient
May 31 2009 8:00 PM
 Small Life Form @ Badgerhaus Raleigh, North Carolina

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