Recent comments

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   2 weeks 3 days ago

    I disagree. Whatever Please Please Me lacks in songwriting quality/originality (whatever the complaint is) it makes up in spirit and euphoric feeling (Twist and Shout was never repeated). There's an air of pure innocent joy in their debut that is only present on She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand and some others tunes and covers from the beggining (Second Album). A Hard Day's Night, while more consistent, always sounded too mechanical and less inspired to me.

    And what would you guys consider the mediocre songs on the debut, btw? I only found 'Love me do' and 'P.S. I Love You'. Everybody underrates Chains, Misery, Anna, and Ask Me Why, which are awesome. Love Lennon's vocals on this album - so many tasty details, and that harmonica is perfect.
    A Hard Day's Night has many terrific songs with darker undertones but it also has some unremarkable ones and Can't Buy Me Love, which I could never stand for some reason.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I checked out Creature Comforts. It's a great work. I don't know my rating yet. Will probably have to listen to it again, but so far I'd probably say high-7 maybe 7.3/7.4. It doesn't seem like it's as amazing as Beaches and Canyons to me, but that could change. Regardless, it's definitely worthy of high praise.

  • My Favorite Music   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Ok I checked Rise of the Common Woodpile out. Quite an interesting find. Could be great, though I'm undecided at the moment just how emotionally/conceptually resonant it is. I'll know for sure once I get past the immediate disorientation and novelty of it by familiarizing myself with it a bit more. So far, I'd say it's reminiscent of Zappa (such as Absolutely Free) + Residents (Meet the Residents).

  • My Favorite Music   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Just listened to Schnittke's concerto for piano and strings. Very impressive. Funny how its chaotic nature and iconoclasm reminded me of The Residents. I see why you like it.
    Yesterday I watched a russian film by Larisa Shepitko which featured a gorgeous melody that I later found out was by Schnittke (he worked as a film composer throughout the seventies) and got me interested in his work -
    You may also like to check out this text about Schnittke's oeuvre.

  • My Favorite Music   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Thank you, I'll check them out!

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   2 weeks 4 days ago

    I wont matter to me either way. Though I often agree with his ratings, that doesn't mean they determine mine. Its more a guide of what to listen to as a priority (usually the higher ratings first.)

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   2 weeks 4 days ago

    Here's an idea: don't look at the Scaruffi rating for Confield, though you've probably seen the Autechre page already so no use. If so, try to forget it or something.

  • My Favorite Music   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Yep, I recommend Rise of the Common Woodpile most. Most of it is on youtube here (missing one track):

  • My Favorite Music   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Thank you, I hadn't heard about them at all. Upon reading this, I also checked out Scaruffi's mini bio. Seems like they could really have potential. Ill see if I can find their stuff. Would your recommendation be strong enough that I should include it on my "Please Recommend..." list?

  • My Favorite Music   2 weeks 5 days ago

    I'll listen to it. Have you ever heard of Caroliner? If you can find any of their albums (and they are pretty hard to find), give them a listen. Very interesting stuff.

  • Favorite Rock Albums (Eclectic)   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Totally makes sense, thank you for the clarification. I'm looking forward to watching your lists as they evolve.

  • Year-by-year music rankings, for the sake of nothing more than organization on my own behalf   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Also, please vote on my tournament for best album ever.

  • Year-by-year music rankings, for the sake of nothing more than organization on my own behalf   2 weeks 5 days ago

    Cool, thanks. I more or less agree with what you said there. While good music is still being made and musicians are more knowledgable than ever, I also have the sense that things have been artistically stale for a long time and the few exciting things happening in popular music are being made in the peripheries, within different specialized niches (this is obvious in rock music today) by and for those who care.
    Also, I'm too ignorant about hip hop to know what would be considered 'new' or 'relevant' in the genre (I get that these notions may not be suited for such post-modern music) but some hip hop artists do seem to be pushing the genre forward and those innovations/trends are actually reaching mainstream pop music even if in a simplified way. Mainstream pop music has pretty much sucked since the late 80s/90s (it's either horrid dance music or bland piano ballads) but I have to admit it's still more palatable when it's hip hop influenced than when it's rock/pop influenced (Gaga, Perry, Cyrus, etc.).
    Maybe I'm too much into rock to judge what's happening in other fields. Maybe a hip hop expert sees the changes between today's hip hop and hip hop made ten years ago as being bigger than the difference between 1970 and 1980 rock music. Same with a electronica expert. My ears certainly don't agree.
    Maybe it's techno music we should all be listening, I hear that's where things are happening, but who wants to listen to that?

    I agree we live in fragmented, disperse, post-modern times and I understand cultural narratives can only be made about the past but I doubt these two last decades are going to be remembered as a particularly exciting creative period (when compared to the preceding decades anyway). More like the start of a long period of over-abundance and randomness.

  • Favorite Rock Albums (Eclectic)   2 weeks 6 days ago

    I tried to keep the number of times I've listened to albums as a separate list, but there is some correlation to how much I listen to albums and how much I like them. Since I am rating my personal preferences and not only the historical greatness of these albums, I consider how often I listen to albums as an indication of how much I like them, but it doesn't always have a direct relation. For example, I have listened to Bee Thousand by Guided by Voices all the way through many more times than Joanna Newsom's albums, but I don't feel as rewarded from listening to it. Therefore, I put Bee Thousand way below Have One on Me and Ys. Maybe there is even a connection between the difficulty I have with listening to albums and how rewarded I feel from listening to them (like Csikszentmihalyi's flow concept, in which both higher skill and higher challenge can lead to more concentrated and enjoyable states). Earlier today I was reading your "Criteria For Art" post, as well as Scaruffi's, and it makes sense to me that more aesthetic skill and knowledge of the listener can make some albums seem more interesting and others seem less worthy. There are probably albums that I might like a lot more if I had more knowledge of music and other art, so I try to take more time with albums that sound interesting but are inaccessible to me at first. All the albums that I have ranked, I have listened to enough times to form a reliable opinion. However, I need to listen to the unranked ones more times before I try to rank them.

  • Favorite Rock Albums (Eclectic)   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Regarding your criteria for your rankings: Do you need to listen to one album more times than another for it to rank above it, or can you upgrade based on how much you like it (even if you've listened to it less) ?

  • My Favorite Music   2 weeks 6 days ago

    Thanks :-)

    Being the huge fan of the Residents that you are, you'd probably really like Father Murphy's Croce (2015). Its probably one of the best albums of that year. It's an avant-folk album that gets pretty otherworldly and haunting -- has a bit of a Residents feel to it.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   3 weeks 3 hours ago

    Thanks Im revisiting some Autechre right now and may make my way to Confield soon. With Black Dice, Ill try and get to it soon, probably starting with Beaches and Canyons.

  • My Criteria For Art   3 weeks 4 hours ago

    I made several updates throughout the article, mainly in regards to "evocative conceptual content" being a major factor in my criteria.

  • Albums I've Burnt Out/Outgrown to Various Extents   3 weeks 6 hours ago

    I never really got Scaruffi's high rating for Hey Babe tbh, though it's a very good album. 8/10 or even 7.5/10 would be ridiculous.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   3 weeks 12 hours ago

    I can't really think of anything to compare them with, especially Confield. They have to be heard to be believed.

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   3 weeks 1 day ago

    From your perspective, what is it that makes Confield and Creature Comforts extraordinary? Are there any selections on my lists that compare and that make you feel there is a good chance I might rate them higher than Scaruffi?

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   3 weeks 2 days ago

    If only I could multiply... :-)

  • Please Recommend Music, Films or Paintings to Me   3 weeks 2 days ago

    "Plus, Scaruffi adding it to a high position on his Piano Concertos list kinda sealed the deal."

    Well, well... What do we have here at #18 and #20 of the greatest symphonies list... :p

  • Music Rankings & Notes   3 weeks 2 days ago

    Parts of it. I remember the bit about Lowering being a magician. I guess I assumed I was watching a presumed (yet in reality somewhat false) "document" rather than the director's artistic vision.

  • Best Upbeat & Optimistic Albums   3 weeks 2 days ago

    In 2016, The Monkees reemerged with their first new material in 10 years. "Good Times!" is an efficient collection of jangle-pop songs, each of them easily hummable, melodic hooks that should please fans of their early output, or who enjoy The Beatles early career (especially their first 3 albums). The album is not revolutionary or unique in any substantial way, nor is it intended to be. The emotional releases evoked are each superficially expressed and offer a minimum of illustration of time, place, environment or experience. It is basically a band reliving its past, giving its die hard fans exactly what they want. And, there's nothing wrong with that. For fans only, not for seekers of transcendent music.