Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Music Library: A.C. Newman, ABBA, Abd Al Malik, Abigail Washburn, Able Tasmans, AC/DC, Brahms, Aceyalone, Acid Mothers Temple

Inspired by Chris Roberson and the guy at the Onion's AV Club, both of whom are ahead of me in doing this, I thought I should listen to everything in my iTunes library. 250 Gigs, 140-odd days, 47,000+ songs. There has to be some real crap in that, right? So I started yesterday with A.C. Newman, aka Carl Newman, aka "that guy in the New Pornographers". I'm up to AC/DC. Here's a recap so far:

A.C. Newman - The Slow Wonder. Delightful, if a bit melancholy, power-pop.

ABBA - Gold. I can't believe I listened to the whole thing. 19 tracks? I can understand having about three of these. "Dancing Queen"? Yes. "Fernando"? Maybe. "Thank You For The Music"? Um, not so sure.

Abd Al Malik - Gibraltar. French Muslim rapper. I speak nary a word of French, but I understand that he's a Sufi questioning his faith after the events of September 11, 2001. Heavy! Except I can't understand anything.

Abigail Washburn - Song of the Traveling Daughter. 'Sokay. The first song is pretty dull, but the songs and arrangements get better the less hoedown-y they are.

Able Tasmans - The Shape of Dolls. New Zealand guitar pop. Some of the tracks are just wonderful examples of the Flying Nun (that's the foremost NZ guitar pop label, if you don't know) sound, all revved-up guitars and jangling Feelies rhythms, but a few tracks have amped up the portentiousness to an unsafe level.

AC/DC - High Voltage. You've heard AC/DC? Well, this is that. It's great, even though a little goes a long way.

AC/DC - Highway To Hell. Funny, I thought I had a little more Bon Scott-era AC/DC. High Voltage was the 2nd of those, and this is the 7th and last. Remember when I said that this (AC/DC) is that (AC/DC)? This is still that, possibly the best of that.

AC/DC - Back In Black. Still that, even with a new singer. Beginning of the end, really, because this is where the double entendres started regressing to the later single entendres. God, I can't believe I listened to three AC/DC albums in a row. I feel like I just drank a whole case of really cheap beer.

Academy of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields Chamber Ensemble - Brahms: String Sextets Nos. 1 and 2. This is the exact opposite of AC/DC. There is nothing that is less AC/DC. Good as a palette cleanser, but my ear for classical music is not so refined that I hear much besides ambient pleasantries.

Aceyalone - Grade A. I only have three tracks off this one. But it's killer hip-hop and a great turnaround after an hour or so of Brahms.

Acid Mothers Temple - In C. First they do the craziest version of Terry Riley's "In C" ever recorded, somehow both breaking the minimalist rules of the piece and exemplifying them in the same step. Then they perform a wacked-out extemporaneous piece inspired by "In C" that they call "In E." Then, for the CD version, they throw on another one, the wild drone "In D." At the end of it, I am exhausted and ready to give up on music and sound for the day or week. And then my iPod serves me more.

Acid Mothers Temple - Electric Heavyland. Oh, man. Was that, like, only in my head? Or was it in your head and I, like, heard it through the aethernet? Who's driving this crazy train? What drains a crazed tie? Why dry cranes trace live goose? My brain is melting!

Acid Mothers Temple - Starless and Bible Black Sabbath. Oh, god. I'm trying to function here. I just can't do it. I'll have to come back to this tomorrow.


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