Get Over It (& Some Wideos)

from Sunday, September21st of the year2008.

So for some weird reason I’ve managed to avoid listening to any of Andrew Bird‘s music. It was one of those weird things where people kept on say, oh, you’d love it, you’d love it, and I kept on resisting and nodding knowingly whenever it came up in conversation. Finally, the other day, somebody or other had his name in their mouth, and I finally broke down and bought the whole thing on iTunes: everything. I bought all the weird remixes and singles and all that shit and have been listening to it constantly since then. And: I do like it! Weird! I was just being stubborn. He has a beautiful voice, the songs are solid, I’m into the whistling. I’m not, however, into the titles of the songs, which have the ring of SAT questions. And that’s the end of that story.

My iPod is officially insane. Today, it randomized three different recordings of Stravinsky’s Greeting Prelude. What a wonderful little nugget:

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Igor Stravinsky Greeting Prelude for Pierre Monteux

Anybody who wants to read my thoughts about Bernstein’s Mass at Opera News, check it out here. I am super interested in composers commenting on other composers’ work. Surely, it’s a weird practice, because you end up saying so much more about yourself than about your subject? Also: composers will say any old thing. Music history books (and, for that matter, classes) make big dill on these feuds, to such an extent that I can’t remember what the actual content was. Did Tchaikovsky hate Brahms or something? Did Brahms hate…somebody else? Schumann something something; I always forget how it actually works. It’s like those people who have to “not eat” one thing or another, where after a certain point you can’t remember if they hate fish or only eat fish, or if they’re allergic to pineapple or obsessed with pineapple. Anyway, I’m trying to get into a new habit vis à vis thinking about (and talking about) music, at least in public, in an attempt to avoid becoming some crazy lady spouting bons mots that are self-contradictory and shamelessly autobiographical. And here are the rules:

1. Talking about music is either going to be trashy and gossipy (Mozart wrote this bassoon line for some guy who used to fart a lot, Bach hated the oboist at church and gave him whole notes only, whatever) or super analytical and divorced from biography. Notes, rhythms, shapes: this pitch, this duration, this texture. Similarly, I’m going to talk about it either totally personally (when I hear this, I feel this, which reminds me of that one time) or completely apersonally: telling the truth about what the music is up to.

2. I’m not ever going to compare anything to anything else to give an example of how it sounds. “Like Moondog meets Final Fantasy” or “Alban Berg plus Rufus Wainwright minus Jacques Brel plus Minnie Riperton” “” it’s just a waste of everybody’s time.

All I can do is watch this:

and this:

We should all have such close harmony. I’m dying.

More:

I feel like everybody needs to watch this whole movie in every different language just to learn something about your own weird racial stereotypes. Also what is more gorgeous than her singing halfway through this:

Yes:

No:

Maybe?

How is this alright:

Thank you.

6 Comments

  • “Telling the truth about what the music is up to”?! Are you kidding? THE truth? THE music? Who exactly taught you musicology in college? What would Gayatri and Dr. Fish say about this?

  • that is funny. i sang along where i could, but that’s not relevant. ciao!

  • Breaking rule #2: last vid=Meredith Monk plus Tuva singers plus Saliva minus Germs.

    And Grrg nailed you on capital T Truth, but otherwise, [perhaps because of] fabulous post; hilarious, smart, and thank you for the generous glimpses into the workings of your brain.

    PS-You’ve read Bourdieu on “taste”? Love your resolve to speak about music divorced from “fish/no fish” but clearly informed by your perspective. BRAVO. Look forward to reading/hearing much more!

  • that poor baby is going to grow up to be a total size queen

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P6UU6m3cqk

  • You could try sounding like Ned Rorem instead. Oh, sorry, you are already doing that!