Recent comments

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 1 day ago

    It's a "theory" (though I doubt it's far off, if at all). He doesn't elaborate on it anywhere, except that he says he rates albums on how much emotion they contain. Specifically, he seems to rate albums on "degree/density of emotional content" (with a penchant towards "singularly" emotional). This is simply what all his high rated albums have as their common denominator. There seems to be an attempt to place them accurately within that criteria, and there's no way its random or accidental. It's often too precise to be so. There is something on the order of a mathematical precision from one to the next (how closely they follow that criteria), but this can only be perceived (apparently, I suppose) if you're relatively "in tune" with that criteria, and if that's what you're looking for as well.

    By this, I don't mean he breaks out a calculator and makes sure his albums are exactly accurate by some mathematical formula. I simply mean he appears to make a clear attempt to rank them in a very precise order within that criteria even if he might be slightly off here or there (though that's subjective of course).

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Can you elaborate more on the mathematical precision of his music rankings? I don’t see it anywhere.

  • Greatest Rock Albums   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Highly recommend Twin Infinitives and Rock Bottom if you haven't heard them yet.

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Re: "tough for him given what he wrote" ... That could be a factor. It can be tougher to change a stance on something following an assertion such as that. Naturally, pretty much everyone wants to "be right" and going back on something can sometimes be difficult. What if he suddenly thought, say, a Beatles album, or Kid A, or OK Computer, is a masterpiece? Oh boy...

    But then I realize that, years ago, he once had TMR as an 8/10 (and I think Rock Bottom and Faust I around 8/10 too), and earlier this decade Frances the Mute was a measly 6/10, and in film he used to rate Tarkovsky relatively low (Mirror and Nostalghia didn't have "ratings" but they seemed to be in the 7.5-range for him about 5 years ago), and more recently Weckmeister Harmonies jumped from 7.5 - 8.5 ... nobody's perfect, one's interpretation can change over repeat viewings/listens. As a "critic" or "reviewer" or "fan", it's important to remember that it's totally okay to change one's view. For example, if I stuck to my guns from when I was 8 years old, we'd have Paula Abdul, MC Hammer and Janet Jackson topping my lists, or when I was 15, Live's Throwing Copper. So, it's all good :-)

    Re: "also recommended" for Astral Weeks ... hmmm, there may be a connection there that I hadn't previously considered. Maybe more of a precursor (structurally, in its opulent arrangements) for Moondance (with the obvious difference being Forever Changes has primarily classical elements while Moondance has jazz) ?

  • Clone of The Most Significant SF & Fantasy Books   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Great list! I have read;
    1 The Lord of the Rings J. R. R. Tolkien
    2 The Foundation Trilogy Isaac Asimov
    3 Dune Frank Herbert
    4 Stranger in a Strange Land Robert A. Heinlein
    5 A Wizard of Earthsea Ursula K. Le Guin
    6 Neuromancer William Gibson
    7 Childhood's End Arthur C. Clarke
    8 Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick
    10 Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury
    12 A Canticle for Leibowitz Walter M. Miller Jr.
    13 The Caves of Steel Isaac Asimov
    16 The Colour of Magic Terry Pratchett
    17 Dangerous Visions Harlan Ellison
    19 The Demolished Man Alfred Bester
    21 Dragonflight Anne McCaffrey
    22 Ender's Game Orson Scott Card
    24 The Forever War Joe Haldeman
    25 Gateway Frederik Pohl
    26 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone J.K. Rowling
    27 The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
    28 I Am Legend Richard Matheson
    30 The Left Hand of Darkness Ursula K. Le Guin
    32 Lord of Light Roger Zelazny
    33 The Man in the High Castle Philip K. Dick
    34 Mission of Gravity Hal Clement
    35 More Than Human Theodore Sturgeon
    37 On the Beach Nevil Shute
    38 Rendezvous with Rama Arthur C. Clarke
    39 Ringworld Larry Niven
    37 On the Beach Nevil Shute
    38 Rendezvous with Rama Arthur C. Clarke
    39 Ringworld Larry Niven
    45 The Stars My Destination Alfred Bester
    46 Starship Troopers Robert A. Heinlein
    48 The Sword of Shannara Terry Brooks
    49 Timescape Gregory Benford
    50 To Your Scattered Bodies Go Philip Jose Farmer

    read so far - 38

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Totally agree on Horses - I just think the increase would be tough for him given what he wrote. My misgivings on Forever Changes are definitely fading. Based on your description, would you consider FC for your "also recommended" list for Astral Weeks?

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 1 day ago

    For Forever Changes, it mainly depends on how emotionally significant and transcendent he finds the strange, surreal dichotomies the album presents (may take several listens to fully assimilate; the album is much more deft and multi-faceted than it might at first suggest). It's extraordinarily beautiful, yet it's a "false", hallucinogenic beauty (not "schmaltz" imo; it's surreal and strange and seductive -- think Lynch's Mulholland Drive for a modern, cinematic comparison to this aspect of it). Just as every moment of the album is immersed in pristine classical beauty there is also -- in every aching rhythm, verse, chorus, brass/violin part -- an undercurrent of danger, impending death, and hanging suspense. This is an extremely important aspect of the album that turns it into a stunningly vivid, "technicolor" axis between the real and the imagined, the beautiful and the bizzare, the normal and the supernatural; it becomes a vertiginous experience, driven by a horribly lonely, aching beauty hanging on a precipice between love and death. It is essential when listening to the album to not simply be going through the implied motions of verse-chorus-verse etc -- which still makes for an excellent listen -- but (like The Doors) to realize these additional factors in each rhythm/verse/chorus, which turns it into a much more extraordinary experience.

    For Horses, it's long pieces in particular (Birdland, Land) extend the theatrics of The Velvet Underground's Heroin and The Doors (The End, When the Music's Over) to extreme emotional boundaries and are a collision/prediction of future artists such as Nick Cave, Carla Bozulich (Evangelista I) and Joanna Newsom (Emily, Sawdust & Diamonds, Only Skin) yet are even more emotionally overwhelming, structurally complex and profound (than Bozulich, Newsom and most of Nick Cave). I think it's HIGHLY unlikely that he won't upgrade Horses to at least 8.5/10. Just those two tracks alone would make the album 8.3+, but then there's other amazing tracks to add to that, such as Gloria and Free Money, each contributing to her achievement (more than any other artist before her and probably since) of turning punk into intellectual, (virtually) free form, works of art.

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 1 day ago

    Based on the below Google translation of the Forever Changes review, I don't think it'll rise higher than 8.0 for him (currently 7.0, as are a few others you listed). I think he's a little biased against artists who hire an outside arranger. But if you believe this interview, Arthur Lee was the brains and arranger David Angel merely influenced his aesthetic: Also, I think he overstates the Hollywood schmaltz factor of the album, but compared to your take, so do I. I have it at somewhere between 7.3 an 7.5, depending on how distracting the brassy parts feel (not sure).

    "Forever Changes (Elektra, december 1967) was part of a compromise with the music consumer and partly a case of yet another record "psychedelic" in reality Dapper tools not rock producer / arranger (in this case David Angel). But it is undoubtedly an original disc, with orchestrations here and la` worthy of classical music that fit perfectly with the rock instrumentation. It is also the most light and evanescent album of their career, full of surreal vignettes and idyllic dreams hallucinogen, including Andmoreagain, Alone Again Or, You Set The Scene, Old Man. It is the most far-fetched album Baroque and their Pet Sounds. A House Is Not A Motel The Daily Planet Bummer In The Summer".

    Related...he seems to feel that Horses (another 7.0) is spoken word poetry performed intensely with intriguing music (however great) to add to the impact of the words...rather than being music driven (music on it's own terms). But that would apply to many great albums too (Lou Reed's New York gets an 8 for example), so it seems silly.

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 1 day ago

    There is a certain "mathematical" precision to the order of many of his rankings, making them difficult to dismiss providing one has a criteria similar to his (and that one has listened to them enough to realize their full potential). That being said, it's also worth knowing that his last full update of his "greatest rock" albums list was 1998 (aside from some minor changes he's made to the bottom 3rd of it). I've asked him by email and he told me that the list is not fully reliable any more (though he was unclear past that). In 16 years I would bet there have been some (unpublished) changes. Though I would also adjudicate (from my own experiences with them) that those top 3 aren't likely to change that much (though I do think there may be 1 or a few additional 9.5's (rock and/or jazz).

    I would be willing to bet that In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Spirit of Eden, Highway 61 Revisited and Starsailor are virtual locks to enter his 9/10+ list sooner or later (they each thoroughly meet his criteria and their singular, emotional significance is practically impossible to seriously dismiss), and that several others are good possibilities (such as Exile On Main St, Forever Changes, Laughing Stock, Horses, From Her to Eternity, Daydream Nation, Tago Mago, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Who's Next, Beggars Banquet, Sticky Fingers, Magma's "Mekanik...", Absolutely Free, Litanies of Satan, Downward Spiral, Passion [Peter Gabriel], What's Going On, possibly Dylan's Desire...).

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I know. I wanted him to elaborate me.

    This whole Trout Mask Replica/Rock Bottom/Faust thing is a joke. It's all over the internet. Hundreds of people "individually" coming to the "conclusion" that these 3 albums (and only these 3, and only in this particular order) are "actually" the "greatest" rock albums ever. It's even more boring than the Beatles/Radiohead/Floyd cliche.

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 2 days ago

    I think it was meant as a joke.

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Why are you sure I will find the cough deeply meaningful in the future?

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 2 days ago

    "Why" what? o.O

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2015   2 weeks 2 days ago

    Thank you for continuing this game.

    here you go I'm down

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2015   2 weeks 2 days ago
  • Fave literature   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Henry James Sr is reported to have said--half-exasperatingly, half-admiringly--to his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson, "O you man without a handle!" I think this description could be profitably applied to Shakespeare. Every time I return to his texts there is almost a feeling of unfamiliarity: I notice something new, and feel like I understand less. In the Lighthouse is yet another text I've neglected!... I like A Portrait but prefer Ulysses and sections I've read of Dubliners. Fathers and Sons is a full blown masterpiece.

    It's nice seeing a list about literature around here!

  • Jazz Masterpieces   2 weeks 3 days ago

    I had the same experience. I also started with a bunch of avant-garde jazz guys like Sun Ra and Pharoah Sanders (which I liked because they didn't sound much like jazz) and then I gradually got into the more classical stuff. Now I enjoy the subtleties and the beauty in Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young's sax and only now can I find something truly electrifying in Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie's improvisations (instead of just a boring stream of notes).
    I also think that Mingus' Black Saint and the Sinner Lady is one of the crowning achievements in jazz. Have yet to listen to a favorite of yours, Don Cherry's Mu.

  • My favorite top 50+ overlooked modern trance tracks   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Good day eclectics! Anyobdy like a good riddle ?

    I'm looking for a 90s trance song that was something of a hit that I used to hear together with many of the songs listed here.

    There's a woman moaning and I think the title had to do with sex.

    It was heavily syncopatic, like Barthezz.

    It was something with DJ and 2000.

    A shot in the dark tells me there was something to do with 'silver' or something shiny. Not Quiksilver, thank you.

    I remember there were some C's in the name.

    Any luck?

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 3 days ago


  • Fave literature   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Completely agree with what you said about Winnie the Pooh: it's amazing how simple the style is, and yet it doesn't feel empty at all. It's the most unpretentious thing ever.

    Re Catcher in the Rye: Hard to explain what's so great about it. I didn't mind Caulfield being unbearable...can't think of anything else to say right now. Maybe I'll be able to explain better after a re-read.

    Re Notes from Underground: That's a pity :P Hope you'll get it soon. As for other Russians, I have neglected them to a shameful degree. I might have read Tolstoy's novella The Death of Ivan Ilyich (not sure about the spelling) long ago, but I don't remember much about it now!

    I'm reading Frankenstein these days, planning to read the short story House of Asterion (recommended to me by Zacharyyy above) soon, along with several novels: In the Lighthouse, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Fathers and Sons, etc. Need to revisit Shakespeare's plays as well: I read a few when I was quite young, and I'm sure I didn't get them all that well!

  • Rock : 100 Greatest Albums   2 weeks 3 days ago

    I disagree. The coughing is actually one of the most amazing aspects of the track, and I'm sure future listens will reveal to you just how profound and stunning that particular moment is.

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Art of the Week (2014)   2 weeks 3 days ago

    Probably sounds something like T$!hG$TB@$B%^YU#6hj$H@$H$%G@FWEDFAsdfwf :-)

  • Top 10 Movies, Music & Miscellaneous Art of the Week (2014)   2 weeks 3 days ago

    I wore a helmet. It broke during Free Form Freak-Out III. This is really good!

  • 1,001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die   2 weeks 3 days ago

    happy to join you

  • Films Seen: Listology Scoreboard 2015   2 weeks 3 days ago