Friday Random Ten, Sept 22

It’s friday again, so in addition to a bizzare programming language, you get a random ten.
1. *Transatlantic, “Mystery Train”.*: very cool neo-prog rock track.
2. *Darol Anger and the Republic of Strings, “Dzinomwa Muna Save”.* Darol Anger is one the most creative artists of our generation. He’s a violinist who is constantly out pushing his limits. He’s played classical, jazz, bluegrass, folk, rock, and stuff that just can’t be classified. This tune is his take on a traditional african song, performed by his latest band. Brilliant, amazing, fascinating, and beautiful.
3. *Bach, “Erkenne Mich, Mein Hueter” from “St. Matthews Passion”*. One and one half minutes of sheer perfection. Bach is, in my opinion, the greatest composer of all time, and the St. Matthews Passion is one of his finest works.
4. *The Andy Statman Klezmer Orchestra, “Golden Wedding”.* Andy Statman is an amazing musician who comes from the same family of musicians as Darol Anger. A few years ago, he rediscovered his Jewish roots, and ended up being an Orthodox jew. As part of that exploration of his roots, he started playing Klezmer. It’s frankly *shocking* to see how well he can play klezmer after such a short time.
5. *Hamster Theatre, “Litost”*. Strange, strange stuff. HT is a RIO offshoot of “Thinking Plague”. They describe themselves as “straddling the edges of folk music, avant-garde, world music, early 20th century French composers, such as Erik Satie and Maurice Ravel, contemporary composition and many other musical forms, bringing together elements of all these styles while never sounding ‘just like’ any one of them.” I’d say that’s a pretty darned good description.
6. *The Clogs, “Compass”.* Post-rock from one of the best classical-leaning post-rock ensembles. I really *love* post-rock, and there’s no one who does it better than the Clogs.
7. *Godspeed You Black Emperor, “Antennas To Heaven: Moya Sings “Baby-O” / Edgyswingsetacid / Glockenspeil / “Attention… Monami… Fa-Lala-Lala-La-La / She Dreamt She Was A Bulldozer, She Dreamt She Was In An Empty Field / Deathcamp Drone / Antennas To Heaven”*. My but that’s a whopper of a name. More post-rock, but GYBE is more on the electric side of the genre.
8. *Thinking Plague, “Marching as to War”.* Cousin to this weeks number 5. A deeply strange band; very clearly influenced by King Crimson. They’re part of the “Rock in Opposition” movement; very similar to my beloved post-rock, but with a bit more atonality.
9. *Frank Zappa, “Valley Girl”.* One of Zappa’s sillier tracks. Not one of my favorites, frankly.
10. *Phish, “Rift”*. I don’t know why so many people hate Phish. Sure, they had some pretty damned annoying fans. But they wrote and played really great music. I particularly love this album.

0 thoughts on “Friday Random Ten, Sept 22

  1. Blake Stacey

    I second you on the judgment of Frank Zappa’s “Valley Girl”. It is, however, nicer to hear than several other tracks on Have I Offended Someone?; like so many things under the Zappa name, it just can’t stand up beside We’re Only In It For the Money.

  2. Mark C. Chu-Carroll

    Interesting question… Matisyahu actually grew up attending my synagogue. We didn’t overlap at all, but most of the people at the synagogue know him quite well, and he’s come back to perform in our building.
    I hate to be harsh, given the connection… But I think he’s absolutely *awful*. Andy Statman is an incredibly talented musician, who came to klezmer, learned its musical sensibility, and performs it with respect, grace, and skill. In contrast, to me, Matisyahu sounds kitschy; like the Reggae thing is just a gimmick for a hasidic performer to get some attention. I don’t think he’s particularly talented; and I think he’s a thoroughly awful singer and songwriter.

  3. Chad Groft

    Transatlantic, “Mystery Train”.: very cool neo-prog rock track.

    Have you listened to any Dream Theater or Liquid Tension Experiment? I’ve heard of Transatlantic through them, always wanted to pick up an album, but somehow never got around to it.

  4. Thony C.

    Your tastes in music are excelent but your grasp of history is somewhat suspect. Andy Statman did in fact start out as a blue grass mandolin player (in fact he was a pupil of The Dawg!) and then moved on to Coltrane inspired jazz on the saxophone but his move back to the jewish music of his youth took place in the 1970s which means he has been playing klezmer for more than thirty years!
    Do you know his “Between Heaven and Earth” a truely beautiful album of Coltrane inspired Jewish Jazz.


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