Listen . . . Oka!/Oneohtrix Point Never
Post-Everythingism Meets Nature
Listen . . . Oka! (Oka Productions)
This beguiling piece of post-rock is neither a proper soundtrack nor a field recording‑-not with the African musicians offered the chance to hear their own inventions on headphones and add overdubs. It's a soundtrack-based Bayaka Pygmy audio collage, very much doctored by producer and frequent co-composer Chris Berry, a Californian adept of Zimbabwean thumb piano. With their dream songs, 54-bar structures, and propensity to turn anything from a babbling brook to a scrap of plastic pipe into an instrument, these culturally threatened Central African Republic hunter-gatherers seem to live music even more than most Africans. Women are the chief creators, which has major consequences as regards both prevailing pitch and how much the music hunts and how much it gathers. But either way, it pervades their lives. By manipulating recorded sounds and songs and inviting the Bayaka to do the same, Berry translates that pervasiveness into a form comprehensible in a culture differently pervaded by music‑-ours. A
Oneohtrix Point Never: Replica (Software)
Daniel Lopatin may be a deconstructionist, but he's no ascetic. Unlike too many post-rockers, he has a taste for content as well as form and for creation as well as contrarianism, harvesting a healthy plateful of diverse sounds and textured note sequences from his beloved analog keyboards and then arraying them in songlike tracks that stay in the four-minute range until the quietly celebratory seven-minute finale. Chugging, grinding, crackling, swelling, bubbling, babbling, these tracks don't sound like part of the natural world, but they certainly sound cognizant of the natural world. And although I may be missing some of their formal interrelationships, I swear they behave as one thing. A MINUS
I normally don't really go for live albums, but I'd love to see some recommendations!
I don't much go for live albums, either. But two come immediately to mind, both career summations/redefinitions: Leonard Cohen's Live in London and Loudon Wainwright's Career Moves.
And The Who Live at Leeds is a sentimental favorite because it was the first live album I ever bought.
KISS are in talks for 'Angry Birds' spin-off
This reminds me of when Kiss were somehow aligned with Lane Bryant stores, because Gene and Paul love women of all sizes (seriously, that was the rationale). You'd be in the store, and every few songs, their usual diet of light r&b and dance-pop would get interrupted by Kiss.
(BTW, Michael, I loved the Kiss Downloader's Diary)
I'm going to the Cities this weekend to see Jeff Mangum, and I'm excited.
Every time I see that guy's name, I think people are talking about Jim Dandy Mangrum of Black Oak Arkansas and I get all excited (their first album is a masterpiece of possibly unintended weirdness - try "When Electricity Came to Arkansas" if you can). Then I realize they're referring to some more-overrated-than-Weezer indie dude (sorry Joey).
Which do you prefer? I think they're close to equal, but Check Your Head has the edge.
Check Your Head has higher peaks and lower valleys (the singles are pretty much the worst tracks on the album), Ill Communication is leaner and has more going on lyrically. I love the instrumentals on both - in fact, Beastie Boys-style funk instrumentals are one of my favorite genres. I'd like to hear more stuff in that ballpark: the JBs, Incredible Bongo Band, Budos Band... suggestions? At the time they came out, I would have given Check Your Head an A and Ill Communication an A-, but I'm not so sure anymore.
I've wondered what electronically treated "natural" pygmy music might sound like.Only on this blog could you come across a sentence like this. But that's the beauty of the Dean's picks...all of a sudden you're scrambling for some Hassell and that Bosavi collection. All of which I own but rarely play. Here's the inspiration: One part Bosavi (any side), Heart of the Forest, Replica, Listen...OKA, Aka/Darbari/Java, and Forest for the Trees (you know there had to be a ringer) and mix into CD tray. Play at random...and now let's see the mind wander. Thank you blog
Probably the two Beastie Boys albums you can compare against each other are Ill Communication and Check Your Head (can't understand how that was a neither). Which do you prefer? I think they're close to equal, but Check Your Head has the edge.
offered the chance to hear their own inventions on headphones and add overdubs
about the blogger
Starting in 1967, Robert Christgau has covered popular music for The Village Voice, Esquire, Blender, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and many other publications. He teaches in New York University's Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music, maintains a comprehensive website at robertchristgau.com, and has published five books based on his journalism. He has written for MSN Music since 2006.
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