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The reviews by me thread

Discussion in 'Music' started by Mike Broadman, May 25, 2004.

  1. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Out of boredom at work, musical enthusiasm, and most importantly EGO, this thread will be a journal of my musical purchases, listening, and reviews. I have a bunch of stuff on order and just got a gift certificate to Best Buy, so I'm excited.

    Received in the mail yesterday: Deltron 3030

    This is one hell of a trippy hip-hop sci-fi concept(?) album. The lyrics often just assault you with some stuff about voids and viruses and pseudo techno-babble to rival a bad episode of Star Trek: Voyager, but in this context (where it's not supposed to make sense) it's a lot of fun. The MC even sounds kinda dorky, but the beats are not. The production is smooth and full and ties the whole record together. This takes the hip-hop I've been listening to recently (MF Doom, Kool Keith) to its logical extreme.


    Purchased last week at Best Buy:

    Prince- Dirty Mind

    Even though I have a bunch of his records and am a fan, I never heard his first two albums fully. Well, the title doesn't dissappoint. It's stupidly awesome (except that incest track freaks me out, I'll have to be skipping that one from now on). Very heavy on the synth and it's sometimes a bit too much, which is why I usually stick to the NPG material more.
    I may pick up Controversy tonight to complete my Prince "essentials" collections.

    Lightnin' Hopkins- Broken Hearted Blues SACD

    I've heard Hopkins here and there but never sat down and listened to a bunch of his songs straight through. With rhythmic drive of John Lee Hooker and tasteful, surprisingly elegant guitar playing, Hopkins is endlessly entertaining and effective. The SACD sounds gorgeous.

    The Zombies- Greatest Hits SACD

    Time of the Season, the only song of theirs I knew before getting this (but didn't know who the band was). I dig maybe half the songs, some are OK, some leave me cold. This is oldies stuff to me. I dig the harmonies and organ. A lot of these tunes will go great on the mixes I make for my car.
    And, once again, SACD sounds cool. Audio Fidelity hasn't done wrong my me so far.

    Awaiting in the mail: Hank Jones, some French jazz pianist, Mahler...
     
  2. Brian L

    Brian L Screenwriter

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    Totally OT, but in that case, I suggest you NOT watch the movie Joe Dirt[​IMG]

    I won't say why, 'cuz it would ruin the scene, but it does pertain to the above mentioned subject matter.

    But if you DO ignore my advise, there are a few other pee-in-your-pants scenes that are well worth the price of admission (assuming one thinks David Spade is funny, which I do, and you have a taste for low grade humor!).

    BGL
     
  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Redeemed my Best Buy gift certificate, so I have 5 new CDs.

    Phish- A Picture of Nectar

    Believe it or not, my first Phish album. Curious to see what all the hubb-bub was about. Well, I liked it. They're definitely good at what they do. The songs themselves are nicely arranged and quite pleasant to listen to. I understand they're supposed to be cute and funny, but some of the lyrics just bother me with their inanity ("Your hands and feet are mangos..."), and this coming from a Zappa fanatic. The vocals leave much to be desired, but I can learn to accept it if I take them the same way I take Primus- annoying on the surface but part of their charm.

    Tweezer and Stash are the highlights, and unsurprisingly the longest tracks on the album. I need to hear some live stuff, but I'll concentrate first on the essential studio material first.
     
  4. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Meshuggah- Destroy Erase Improve

    My first experience with this highly praised European metal group.

    So what's with the keyboards? That was unexpected. Like much of the rest of the record, they sound disjointed. There are some "what is that doing there?" moments, and it's kind of silly but it keeps me engaged as a listener. Some good riffs and I like the overall sound- real heavy but not unlistenable.
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Mahler- Das Lied Von Der Erde
    Conducted by Pierre Boulez, SACD

    As part of my slowly progressing dive into Mahler's work, this is my first exposure this work (song cycle? symphony? symphonic song cycle?). Boulez detractors feel free to lament this fact. [​IMG]

    I am now closing in on my second listen to this work. I'm in the finale, during the vocal-less transition section from the first poem to the second. Despite its disjointed nature, it all flows together quite logically, in its own way. More importantly, this music is Mahler at his more open, defenseless, with his heart on his sleeve. It did not surprise me when I read it was composed towards the end of his life.

    There are some Beethovian flourishes in the 4th and 5th songs stir things up a bit. The melodies are very engaging, and bits of harmonic complexity are not immediately recognised at first as they are hidden under Mahler's trademark lush orchestration.

    The SACD itself sounds OK. Certainly not reference quality and not the best of the Deutsch-Grammaphone SACDs, so maybe not worth and upgrade if you already have a good sounding version of this recording, but the price is right so I'm assuming this is the digital version to get.
     
  6. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Out of all of Boulez's Mahler recordings, his Das Lied is by far his worst. This is the one time that his emotionless indifferent attitude toward the music drags everything down. You'd be better off selling the disc and picking up one of the 'classic' recordings by Haitink/Concertgebouw, Klemperer/Philharmonia or Bernstein/VPO. Ormandy also has a surprisingly exceptionally strong recording. All are presented in fine analog sound. One of Mahler's best works (arguably the best) deserves better than Boulez's meandering.
     
  7. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    Mike,

    I like the Lightnin Hopkins idea. I will look for this. I have the Hopkins XRCD disc from JVA and it is superb, but Super Audio would be even better I bet.

    Get the Paavo Jarvi Stravinsky disc with L'Historie Du Soldat. It sounds great.
     
  8. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Seth, by "best digitil version" I meant of this performance, not of the piece, which I obviously can't judge because it's the only one I've heard. I will check out your recommendations next time I order from Amazon.

    Right now, I have my eye on Zander's 3rd, even though I have to versions of the 3rd already, but this symphony continues to haunt me and I really like Zander's telling of the 5th.



    I have not been impressed with Jarvi's Berlioz, so it remains to be seen where I go with Stravinksy right now.


    I'm giving the Phish a second spin. I'm really liking it- it's actually kind of stupid, but very entertaining.

    I got a bunch new stuff I listened to and will be discussing...
     
  9. AricB

    AricB Second Unit

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    recently back from Coachella in CA, I was tipped on a bunch of new stuff, mostly alt-rock kind of stuff, but most of it very good. May want to check some of it out?

    Snow Patrol
    Carina Round
    Cooper Temple Clause
    the martini's
    Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
    Oxford Collapse
     
  10. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    As I've mentioned in other threads, Gielen's recent recording is far more rewarding, as is the rest of his cycle compared to everything that has come out in the last 10 years.
     
  11. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Is there a box set that compiles Gielin's entire cycle (hopefully inexpensive)? I'll check out tomorrow (the Tower @ Lincoln Center has a pretty sweet classical section).

    When people speak of Mahler's symphonic cycle, does that include Das Lied Von Der Erde? If I do get Gielin's cycle, I would look forward to comparing it to the versions of Mahler's work I already have.
     
  12. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    It can go both ways. Das knaben Wunderhorn should be included in the cycle since it is so influential in the first 5 symphonies.
     
  13. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Well, obviously on-line stores have better selection. The problem with them is that the clicking makes it too easy and tempting to just keep clicking and ordering all this stuff. (Not that this has stopped me from ordering from elusivedisc, amazon, and ebay recently...)

    So now if I get the box I'll be missing out on some "filler" which, if the orchestra is that good, I'll regret missing.
    I'll sleep on this one...
     
  14. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    Yeah, but they are giving you a huge price-break on the box.
     
  15. JasonK

    JasonK Supporting Actor

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    Hey Mike,

    Good lookin' out on the Deltron 3030 album. While I don't think it has Dan the Automator's best production on it, it's still a good album.

    Del tha Funkee Homosapien did 2 tracks with Automator a few years earlier on the Handsome Boy Modeling School - So How's Your Girl? album.

    His solo album, I Wish My Brother George Was Here is good too.

    Then there's the crew he's part of, Hieroglyphics, which has quite a few releases as well.
     
  16. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Jason, I wasn't aware at all about the connection the Deltron album had to others. I'd love to hear some of it. I just read a lot about this album and it looked like something I would totally love, and I did. In fact, I listened to it again last night and was just laughing my ass off. The way he delivers his lines is great.
    "I wanna devise a VIRUS, to bring dire straights to your enVIRONment."
    Only an MC with a lot of personality can pull off something like that.

    I have King Geedorah coming in the mail.

    Seth, I picked up Gielin's recording of Mahler's 8th (with Schoenberg's Jacob's Ladder). It was just sitting there (at Virgin records in Time Square, but don't nobody go there now to get a copy, 'cause I got the only one) and it seemed reasonably priced, and I had always wanted to listen to Schoenberg.

    The album was full of surprises, to say the least.

    Schoenberg: I must admit, I am totally bewildered by this music. I have heard 12-tone before, so I guess I shouldn't have been surprised (and I know that this piece isn't mostly serial, anyway). But... I don't know, what the hell was I listening to?

    Mahler's 8th: Never heard this symphony, and it was a shock after having been listening to his first 6. It is remarkably melodic, accessible, and joyous. I'm it being a vocal piece has a lot to do with it. The orchestral opening to the second part is heart-breakingly beautiful. The way the vocals gently come in and lead in to the Faustian narrative- just brilliant. Mahler has to be the ultimate master of dynamics in symphonic music. Wow.
    Usually it takes like half-a-dozen listens to one of his symphonies before I start connecting with it (I still haven't gotten there with his 5th), but this was- BAM!- I was right there. If I had to start someone off listening to Mahler, I would give them this.
     
  17. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    This is the one Mahler Symphony that I don't like [​IMG] . To quote Bernard Haitink, I think it's just an overblown "pastiche." A lot of people clearly don't share my opinion; the 8th seems to polarize listeners. My complaint is that it's missing Mahler's ironic humor, grotesque awkward moments, and is just too loud.

    Since the 8th has seemed to have resonated with you, you should check it out live. No amount of technology can reproduce the concert experience of hearing such a massive work. James Levine and the Boston Symphony Orchestra are performing it at Carnegie Hall on October 25th. Buy your tickets today because it's going to sellout fast.
     
  18. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    From what I've heard, Gielen's cycle is the best of them all. Still, I prefer to pick and choose.

    As far as his No. 8, I guess I'm on the other side of the fence as Seth. I know that he's not alone in his viewpoint that this is the weakest of Mahler's symphonic efforts, but I, like you, find a tremendous amount of beauty in the work. Which composer did you get?

    Many feel that Bernstein recorded the best Mahler No. 3. I prefer the Jesus Lopez-Cobos recording with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. Of course, it is just my taste, but I like the recording quality, horns/woodwinds, and especially the fifth movement better than Bernsteins.

    Final note: I checked out your CD collection list. You are a record store unto yourself. [​IMG]
     
  19. DanaA

    DanaA Screenwriter

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    Oh, as far as the Zombies, I understand your reaction completely. They were hot stuff when the British Invasion hit the U.S. in the '60's, but are dated now. My feeling is that their best work, easily, was The Odyssey and the Oracle, of which Time of the Season was one of the songs.
     
  20. Seth--L

    Seth--L Screenwriter

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    It's certainly not the weakest. My issues with it are more personal taste. If there is a weakest, I'd say it's the 7th Symphony, which suffers from banal composition, especially in the last movement. Though it does have it's moments which I like.
     

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