Friday, May 09, 2008

Music Library: Animaniacs, Antietam, Antoni Wit/Messiaen

Animaniacs - "Yakko's Universe". I think I got this from David Smay. It's the formerly-popular cartoon characters singing about living in a notably secular universe.

Antietam - Music From Elba. This is music like a puzzle. Part post-punk, part jangle-pop, part roots-rock, and yet all art-rock, with three different lead singers coming together in strange, often discordant ways. Two bassists, one guitarist (the nimble Tara Key, one of the all-too-few female guitarists in post-punk's mid-80s flowering), a drummer, and some occasional sweet violin. I always thought "Elba" to be a reference to the often-flooded Alabama town, but most reviewers think that it's a reference to the island best known for Napolean's exile.

Antietam - Burgoo. Produced by Ira & Georgia of Yo La Tengo and sounding like it. This is a more coherent album with more direct songs (and only one bassist). I kinda miss the anarchy of Music From Elba, but I dig it on its own terms, anyway.

Antoni Wit - MESSIAEN: Turangalîla-Symphonie. According to Wikipedia, Messiaen explained this work by saying, "It's a love song." Also according to Wikipedia, he derived the title from two Sanskrit words, turanga and lîla, which roughly translate into English as "love song and hymn of joy, time, movement, rhythm, life, and death," and described the joy of Turangalîla as "superhuman, overflowing, dazzling and abandoned." As with most modern composition, I find it beautiful, but quite exhausting, and I lack the vocabulary and experience to explain why.


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