May 21, 2016

The vinyl and the concert

On Saturday April 16th I went with Matt to Mojo in honor of the 9th annual Record Store Day. My intent was to just hang out, but soon found an excuse to join the fun (even without a turntable). When I got home I ordered the Audio Technica LP60 with USB.


DSotM is a good re-interpretation that should get more attention. Not great, but entertaining. ItAOtS was purchased blindly simply because Neutral Milk Hotel always comes up on lists of Best Albums Ever and one of those lists was fresh in my head. It came with a digital download and has gotten heavy rotation so far. Really love "Two-Headed Boy" and the distorted (overdrive?) vocals. The Art Tatum (listed as "Masterpieces, Leonard Feather Series MCA2-4019, MCA, 1973" in his discography) is a nice complement to the two volume CD The Complete Capital Recordings I've had for forever. The Star Trek stories (good details here) I have not yet listened to because it's in such awful shape I'm terrified it's going to destroy my needle. Some major clean up will be required.

Last weekend, after meeting up with Lisa and the gang for lunch, they went back to Shaky Knees and I Vespa-ed over to L5P to go to Criminal Records. On the way, Wax n Facts intervened with memories of visits driving in from West Georgia College in Carrollton and purchasing my first Sonic Youth album blindly just to see what all the fuss was. Listening to Daydream Nation for the first time was as powerful as reading Gravity's Rainbow for the first time.

j dilla kool keith savages savages herbie nichols

I've had a long time nagging need to dig into classic hip hop (inspired in part by the Reddit discussion What are Masterpiece Rap Albums?) and this made for a good opportunity. I knew Kool Keith from Dr. Octagonecologyst and had heard of J Dilla but never listened to his stuff. Still absorbing both albums (well, four albums with a total of seven sides), but J Dilla seems to have more of a groove and KK more abstraction and complex rapping. The Savages purchases came from Lisa and Matt raving about them from Friday's festival. Chick punk band whose performance blew everyone away. I was expecting updated Bikini Kill but got more of an updated abrasiveness of Lydia Lunch. Great lyrics. Would love to see them live some day. Like everyone else, I have the Herbie Nichols complete Blue Note recordings on CD (comprising The Prophetic Herbie Nichols Vol. 1, The Prophetic Herbie Nichols Vol. 2, and Herbie Nichols Trio; his first three albums), and this 2 LP set is the same in album form. I think of him, inelegantly, as a Thelonious Monk but with impeccable technique.

Sunday tickets for Shaky Knees with the hardcore concert-goers. My only reason for being there was to see the closers: a reunited At The Drive In!!1! Line up until then was Ought (Canadian post-rock that reminded me of The Lapse), Atlas Genius (a little too poppy for my taste), Frightened Rabbit (fun!), Eagles of Death Metal (so much fun!), Nothing (very young emo/punks), Explosions in the Sky (moody with a hint of rock), and then ATDI. Damn they were good. Have put Relationship of Command back in heavy rotation since then.

at the drive in

Send transmission from the one armed scissor

posted by sstrader at 1:59 PM in Concerts , Music | permalink

May 5, 2016

It's not him, it's us

I've encountered over the last few weeks several centrist and liberal people who have, after once denouncing him as a dangerous embarrassment, come to argue that Trump As President would merely be ineffectual and harmless. Concern gives way to a contrarian acceptance. It's a reversal that feeds the Trump support late in the game, and one I hadn't anticipated.

There are, I suspect, several impulses at play here. One is the hope that your original concern was either exaggerated or over-generalized. And in fact there has been a lot of rhetoric surrounding Trump criticism that started at the superlative and increased from there. Once you run through all manner of labeling him most vulgar, most ineloquent, or basest, there comes a point where you hope that few people are That Bad and question if someone That Bad could really get This Far. Thus, fallacies be damned, since he got This Far he's not That Bad. Another impulse is, possibly, the simple desire to contradict the global concern that is being voiced. The entirety of Republican politicians dislike Trump (albeit less than they dislike Cruz) and so such absolute polarity must be countered with a balance or equivalence, false or not. It's a natural impulse to consider the opposite when one opinion is prevalent. Rutting around for a counter-debate angle is intellectually healthy, even if the results are sophistry.

And coming from the once anti-Trump contingent, these weak approvals of his vulgarity-as-performance-defense reinforce and at times echo those defenses of his defenders. The mincing, contrarian crowd are indiscernible from those who support Trump because he "tells it like it is" and "isn't afraid to be brutally honest" at one moment and deflect that "he was just joking" at the next. This is the same approach that makes Bill O'Reilly respected and the same that produces "because I just don't trust her" as an thoughtful explanation.

posted by sstrader at 9:26 PM in Politics | permalink