If You Find The Earth Boring...

Afternoon Of A Georgia Faun

Two nice tributes to Marion Brown (here and here).

So Tough

Just was catching up on the daily news this morning and I am sad to report that Ari Up, vocalist for the band The Slits, passed away.  While The Slits record Cut is a classic, I also love her work with the New Age Steppers.   She was a profound influence on punk fashion and one could easily argue that she contributed to shaping the face of modern music.

Jan Garbarek & The Hilliard Ensemble

It feels like I am still recovering from a week of music performances aligned with Nancy’s annual Jazz Pulsations music festival.  Unfortunately, in my opinion, the name of the festival is somewhat of a misnomer, as I really didn’t see too many performances I would have labeled as Jazz.  Probably the closest thing to Jazz at the festival for me was a performance by Jan Garbarek & The Hilliard Ensemble. The performance was at Nancy Cathedral, which is the largest of Nancy’s three main cathedrals.  I really can’t think of a more perfect place for this otherworldly music.  This performance was in support of the newly released third collaborative album from the group, Officium Novum, on the ECM record label.  The only recordings of theirs I am familiar with is 1994’s Officium, which has been one of the most well received releases on the ECM label, and was a hot seller when I worked at my local record shop in college. Jan Garbarek is a Norwegian saxophonist who has played with Bill Frisell, Charlie Haden, Gary Peacock, Kenny Wheeler, and Keith Jarrett, just to name a few.  The Hilliard Ensemble is a vocal quartet specializing in “Early Music”, mainly from the Medieval and Renaissance, but they also have devoted some time to modern contemporaries such as Arvo Pärt and Heiner Goebbels.  The five unamplified performers were sensitive to the movements of each other and the audience, and to borrow a term from basketball obliquely, the open acoustics of the Nancy Cathedral acted as the “6th” man of this performance.  Echoes reverberated throughout the space as the performers walked through the cathedral and intermixed with the audience.  The location notwithstanding, there was a devotional or invocative quality to the performance that is really rewarding, especially in light of my spiritual yet non-religious beliefs.

Remember To Remember

Been digging this Neon Indian remix of Au Revoir Simone and thought I would pass it on.  I haven’t heard much from Au Revoir Simone, but this remix - please excuse the expression - is the bees knees.  Somehow manages to meld 1983 with 2103 in 2010. Neon Indian’s Psychic Chasms record was one of my favorites of 2009. This remix has been available for a while, but I avoided checking it out after a Pitchfork review said it was weak.  I disagree with this review, but you should see for yourself: Au Revoir Simone - Another Likely Story (Neon Indian Remix)

Third Uncle

I’m very proud to announce that I am now an uncle for the third time.  My new niece, Lila Marie, was born yesterday.   Welcome to the world! Here’s a song to celebrate: Brian Eno - Third Uncle