Bow Ideal. The New Yorker, Dec. 17, 2018.
#morninglistening to more of #LouisThiry’s excellent #OrganMusic of #Messiaen’s on @LaDolceVolta
Terrific 1972 recordings from the #Calliope label of the then complete #organworks of #OlivierMessiaen’s on the gorgeous 1965 #MetzlerOrgelbau organ in #SaintPierreDeGeneve
#classicalmusic #classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #solokeyboard #ladolcevolta #
#morninglistening to @missymazzoli’s #VespersForANewDarkAge on @newamrecords
#classicalmusiccollection #classicalcdcollection #contemporarymusic #21stcenturyclassical #missymazzoli
Indie might be one of the genres that’s harder to define. And the reason is that the term coined as indie simply referred at the beginning to artists who distributed their music independently, outside of the major labels. But as time passed, indie began to be more related to the attitude and aesthetics of those artists more than strictly to the means of distribution or commercial success. While sometimes the genre (especially indie pop) can be seen as cute and tame, indie crossed through styles represented by artists who knew how to show their teeth too.
Choosing just ten records within such a hugely influential and long-standing genre is simply impossible. So I feel like it’s worth mentioning a good bunch of artists and bands who haven’t made the cut but whose records have been hugely influential: The Jesus and Mary Chain, Dinosaur Jr, Guided By Voices, Galaxie 500, Modest Mouse, Wilco, Low, The Strokes, Red House Painters, Arcade Fire, Built To Spill, Deerhunter, Sleater-Kinney, Sebadoh, Tortoise… And that’s just to name a few!
Yes, everyone has a different idea of what indie means and represents, and that’s OK. With this list, our intention is just to offer an introduction to an endlessly enjoyable genre. Let us know in the comments what’s your favorite indie record of all time is!
Television Personalities were indies before indie was a thing. The band of Dan Tracey reached success thanks to their hit “Part-Time Punks” and their first LP set the template for many bands to come. Charming, witty, lo-fi, and very DIY. Their influence can be traced in bands as different as Hefner or MGMT.
Buy it on Discogs
Beat Happening incorporated the punk ethic into the indie aesthetics from Olympia, Washington. Instead of trying to hide their DIY recording process and amateur musicianship, they brought it right to the front of their music. Their first LP showed the world the beauty behind lo-fi sound and proved that with passion and love for music, sky is the limit.
Buy it on Discogs
Straight out of Boston, Pixies came into the scene slashing any previous ideas of what alternative rock could or should be. Their twisted imagery and soft/loud songs structure made them almost instantly iconic. But besides the aesthetic choices, it’s also hard to think of a band with better ability to blend seamlessly pop sensibility with quasi-hardcore punk influences.
Buy it on Discogs
Summer in New York can be a truly suffocating experience, and “Daydream Nation” is solid evidence of it. Recorded in the summer of 1988 by Sonic Youth, “Daydream Nation” solidified their status as one of the most defying and exciting bands in the United States. Few bands in history can release five masterpieces in just seven years, but Sonic Youth proved to the world they were ready to break through. “EVOL” (1986), “Sister” (1987), “Daydream Nation” (1988), “Goo” (1990), and “Dirty” (1992) are all masterpieces in their own terms. Hard to beat, huh?
Buy it on Discogs
Out of Ireland, the second album by My Bloody Valentine was released on November 1991, and it arguably changed music forever. Kevin Shields took his recording techniques a step further and created a new sound that took the scene by storm. Distortion, feedback, delay, and playing the whole time with the tremolo of his guitar were part of the process. The result is one of the most easily recognizable and challenging albums of all time. But you don’t need to hear me rave about how cool this album is anymore, just head to any of the songs of the album on Youtube and read the comments.
Buy it on Discogs
If “Loveless” changed the rules of recording forever, Nirvana commanded the assault of the underground to the mainstream the same year. ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit‘ took MTV and the world by storm, and allowed “Nevermind” to debunk the by-then number one album in America: Michael Jackson‘s “Dangerous“. And while we can argue this could just be a coincidence, it also marked the very beginning of grunge and alternative rock becoming popular and reaching massive audiences. Whether you have ever listened or not to this album, is there anyone on Earth who cannot recognize the iconic cover?
Buy it on Discogs
It’s hard to pigeonhole PJ Harvey‘s style. While she’s normally associated with alternative rock, her second album was clearly rooted in the Delta blues tradition and had elements of other genres as well. PJ Harvey‘s rawness was almost unparalleled and “Rid Of Me” felt instantly like a classic. Lust, revenge, loneliness, violence… The thematic palette of Harvey’s breakthrough album feverishly slashed any gender prejudice. Listening to it now, “Rid Of Me” still slaps as hard as it did 25 years ago.
Buy it on Discogs
“Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” started with a sentence that did little to no justice to the Pavement legacy: ‘Silent kid, no one to remind you’. Well, thankfully, Pavement will be remembered by plenty of reasons. One of the pillars of the American underground during the nineties, Stephen Malkmus and company created their own distinctive brand of songwriting blending with ease short bursts of absurd into the everyday common narrative. Also, isn’t “Cut Your Hair” one of the most endlessly enjoyable songs ever written?
Buy it on Discogs
Yo La Tengo were not exactly new to the scene when they released “I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One“. Actually, this is their eighth album! As good as they’ve always been, Yo La Tengo were unashamed music geeks with the ability to go from the minimalistic tenderness of ‘My Little Corner Of The World’ to the sugary and highly caffeinated noise pop of ‘Sugarcube’ effortlessly. Many bands would kill for this to be a compilation of their whole body of work, Yo La Tengo made it all together in just one record.
Buy it on Discogs
As I mentioned long ago in the introduction of this post, indie can be considered more of an attitude and aesthetic than a hard genre. And Neutral Milk Hotel are hard evidence of this statement. It’s hard to word this better than my colleague Sean did for our Best Records Of 1998 article:
In The Aeroplane Over The Sea was idyllic, melancholy, joyful, obtuse, welcoming, eccentric, endearing, and downright bizarre all at once. From the almost unintelligible hum of guitar on Holland, 1945 to the somber brass on the title track to the bagpipes on Untitled — not to mention the singing saw, zanzithophone, and a shortwave radio! — the album cobbles together castaway sounds to create its own language. In the ensuing decades, many have borrowed bits and piece of Neutral Milk Hotel’s musical DNA, but no one has duplicated it.
The post A Beginner’s Guide To Indie: 10 Indie Records You Should Own appeared first on Discogs Blog.
The press obituaries for Peter Boizot, who has died aged 89 after a lengthy illness, have largely concentrated on his role as founder of the Pizza Express restaurant chain. He had enjoyed pizza while working in Europe and brought the first specialist oven to the UK, opened his initial Pizza Express outlet in Wardour Street in 1965 and the rest is history, as they say.
More pertinently for Jazzwise readers he began to feature jazz performances in the basement of his Dean Street restaurant in Soho. Initially, these involved pianists like the late Lennie Felix, but gradually under the auspices of successive bookers Dave Bennett and KC Sulkin, Dean Street became a seven-nights-a-week haven for every visiting American musician and a whole school of mainstreamers like Warren Vache, Ruby Braff and, particularly, tenorist Scott Hamilton, who continues to appear there often. Peter later took on Kettner’s, a venerable Soho landmark and employed a series of pianists, Jazzwise’s own Brian Priestley included, to play there for the lunch-time diners. Gradually other Pizza Express outlets also began to offer jazz, including the Maidstone restaurant and Pizza on the Park, eventually London’s principal cabaret venue until it was sold off and converted into a boutique hotel.
Boizot, who had already started an employee’s newsletter, later initiated Jazz Express, a monthly magazine which employed writers like Peter Clayton and Max Jones (as well as me) and covered the wider jazz scene. There were also occasional releases on his Pizza record label and he supported two resident bands, the Kettner’s Modern Jazz Sextet, which gave musicians like Alan Barnes and Gerard Presencer early prominence, and the more mainstream Pizza Express All Stars, led successively by Dave Shepherd and Tommy Whittle. He also sponsored the Soho Jazz Festival and underwrote the all-star Pizza Express Jazz Festivals.
Very much a man of eclectic tastes and interests other than jazz, Boizot held contributor’s lunches at Kettner’s where one might rub shoulders with the likes of Spike Milligan or the artist Eduardo Paolozzi whose work he collected. A keen hockey player into his early sixties, Peter liked to host his hockey friends and his Liberal Party associates at Dean Street. He had twice stood unsuccessfully as a Liberal candidate.
He became substantially wealthy when the Pizza Express chain went public in 1993 and later returned to his home town of Peterborough, investing heavily in the town’s cultural and sporting life. Boizot owned Peterborough FC for 10 years, bought the town’s Great Northern Hotel which hosted Peterborough Jazz Club and ploughed extensive funds into a new cultural centre.
Boizot later sold the hotel and returned only occasionally to his old Soho haunts. He had been one of London’s primary jazz impresarios and we, musicians and punters alike, owe him a great deal. Peter was mercurial, generous, impulsive, always dynamic and sometimes exasperating, but a wonderful companion and ambassador for jazz.
– Peter Vacher
Welcome to the Christmas issue of the BBC Music Magazine podcast, presented by editor Oliver Condy along with reviews editor Michael Beek and editorial assistant Freya Parr.
This month, we discuss the winners of Young Chorister of the Year 2018, the bank-breaking Pavarotti art case and the research that shows that classical music recordings are getting significantly faster by the year.
It’s officially the festive season, so we’re all finally permitted to don our finest reindeer jumpers, have mugs of mulled wine thrust upon us on entry into any room, and generally indulge in all things rich and fruity (that counts for food and music in equal measures).
To coincide with our Christmas playlist on Apple Music (available here), the BBC Music Magazine team have chosen their favourite seasonal pieces.
‘Troika’ from Lieutenant Kijé Suite by Prokofiev
‘Troika’ from Prokofiev’s Lieutenant Kijé Suite conjures up a crisp, bell-filled wintry scene and fits this time of year perfectly. After a grand brass introduction, the famous fourth movement ‘Troika’ breezes along, creating the impression of a fast-moving sleigh. The music was written for a Soviet film in 1933 – when Prokofiev returned to his homeland after a ten-year residency in Paris – and charts the life of a fictional military officer.
Recommended recording: Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra/Andrew Litton BIS BIS1994
Tomorrow shall be my dancing day by John Gardner
There seems to be a dearth of cheery Christmas choral works – most tend to be reflective rather than joyful (think Warlock, Howells, Michael Head, etc etc). But John Gardner’s sprightly two-minute burst of joy is inspired, its off-set rhythms and constantly changing time-signatures giving a wonderful sense of forward movement. Gardner, born in 1917, was a prolific composer of orchestral, chamber, vocal and instrumental music, but it’s for this delightful Christmas miniature that he’s almost solely known today.
Recommended recording: The Sixteen/Harry Christophers CORO COR16004
‘Hail Mary, Gracious!’ from El Niño by John Adams
Adams’s nativity oratorio is one of the more unusual retellings of the Christmas story. The text is drawn from various biblical sources as well as a number of poems written by Latin American women, and the musical language is littered with inflections of Latin American folk music. Its theatrical writing is John Adams to a T, and the floating harmonies and unusual rhythms in this movement are warm and otherworldly. The trio of countertenors make this movement completely magical.
Recommended recording: Lorraine Hunt-Lieberson, Dawn Upshaw, Willard White, German Symphony Orchestra/Kent Nagano Nonesuch 7559 79634-2
A Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten, particularly Interlude (Harp Solo)
Amid all the choral hurly-burly of Britten’s wonderfully invigorating A Ceremony of Carols comes the moment of extraordinary stillness that is the Interlude for solo harp. Based on the plainchant that we hear at the beginning of the work, this is music that reminds me of a frozen, deserted landscape, in which the only movement is the occasional drip from a slowly melting icicle. It’s extraordinarily atmospheric, and an essential part of my festive listening each year.
Recommended recording: James O’Donnell (organ), Sioned Williams (harp), Choir of Westminster Cathedral/David Hyperion CDA66220
O come, O come Emmanuel
If I haven't heard or sung O come, O come Emmanuel at least once over Christmas, even an extra mince pie won't stop me feeling short-changed on the festive front. This haunting hymn for Advent and Christmas has an ancient quality that I love. The text and tune developed separately through the centuries, and various versions exist, but the familiar words-and-music combination in English came into being in 1851. Rejoice, Rejoice!
Recommended recording: Choir of King’s College, Cambridge/Sir David Willcocks Warner Classics 9992365032
As well as mop-wielding Mickey Mouse, Disney’s feature-length cartoon has a gorgeously animated section devoted to The Nutcracker, including music from the Sugar-Plum Fairy, the Arabian Dance, the Russian Trepak and the Waltz of the Flowers.
Barbie in the Nutcracker (2001)
Further cinematic Nutcracker delights, as a computer-animated Barbie embarks on a ballet adventure. It is, needless to say, all very pink, though our heroine does dance a neat little Sugar-Plum Fairy routine.
The Simpsons Christmas Stories (2005)
‘I hope I never hear that God-awful Nutcracker music again,’ complains a typically grumpy Homer Simpson. And guess what comes next? Yup, the Simpsons cast sings a Christmas medley to the tune of the Act I March.
Duke Ellington’s The Nutcracker Suite (1960)
Few musicians have fused the worlds of classical and jazz as sublimely as The Duke, whose 1960 take on Tchaikovsky comes complete with natty titles such as ‘Sugar Rum Cherry’ and ‘Toot Toot Tootie Toot’.
Nut Rocker (1962)
Two years after Duke Ellington, American rockers B. Bumble & the Stingers were inspired to create their own high-octane arrangement of The Nutcracker’s March, a version that’s been covered by Emerson, Lake and Palmer, among others.
Joan Collins is in quintessentially sassy form in this splendidly awful British film about a Russian ballerina defecting to the west. Finola Hughes is the dancer in question.
Cadbury's Fruit & Nut Advert (1976 etc)
From Frank Muir pootling around in a punt in 1976 to a 1980s office worker being serenaded by a singing chocolate bar and her hunky-chunky almonds, Cadbury’s brilliant ad campaign had us all singing ‘Everyone’s a Fruit and Nut case’ to the Dance of the Reed Pipes.
Block-dropping fun galore, as the Nintendo Gameboy version of this ultra-popular game was accompanied by The Nutcracker’s 'Trepak'.
Hospital For Overacting (1970)
Here’s one for sharp-eyed Nutcracker spotters, courtesy of Monty Python’s 1970 sketch. As Graham Chapman enters the Richard III Ward at the Royal Hospital for Overacting, a group of King Mice pass in the other direction.