30 December 2006

Glenn Gould

With a tip of the hat to The Daily Dish, enjoy this extraordinary footage of the idiosyncratic and inimitable Glenn Gould in the studio in 1981, recording Bach's Goldberg Variations. Here are the first seven variations:

Variations 8-14 can be found here; 15-17 here; and 18-24 here.

29 December 2006

Album of the Year

The calendar year is nearly over, which means that the awards season is upon us. My pick for Album of the Year goes to Bahamut, the first effort of the New York band, Hazmat Modine. This is a wonderful album: ingeniously resonant of genres past and present, it's a tour de force.

Here is how they describe themselves:

"Hazmat Modine
draws from the rich soil of American music of the 20's and 30's through to the 50's and early 60's, blending elements of early Blues, Hokum Jugband, Swing, Klezmer, New Orleans R & B, and Jamaican Rocksteady. The band is fronted by two harmonicas which use call and response, harmony, melody, and syncopated interweaving rhythms. The band includes tuba, guitar, and percussion, claviola and Hawaiian steel guitar. The band's sound reflects musical influences ranging from Avant-garde Jazz to Rockabilly and Western Swing to Middle-Eastern, African, and Hawaiian musical styles."

The sound is more cohesive than the cacophony of styles mentioned here might suggest. Highly recommended!

Testing 1-2-3

Yet another blog ... I know. But you don't have to read it. Close the window, for all I care.

No, wait! Don't. I have some things I need to get off my chest. So, when time permits, I'll post some thoughts about the artworld here—notably, music, theatre, and the visual arts. This will include lists, notices, links, and images: a commonplace book of sorts. From time to time, I'll review work that I think is important or interesting. Occasionally, I'll discuss matters philosophical. And even less often, I might rant about matters political. So drop in from time to time, and I'll do my best to point out some things that aren't being pointed out, to say some things that aren't being said, and to reiterate some things that aren't being said loudly enough.