Browsing All Posts published on »August, 2011«

Awooga – V Column (progressive rock)

August 3, 2011

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Long songs (by the standards of popular music) are often casually referred to as epics: obviously the idea of an epic refers to more than duration, and although such commonplace coinages pretend to nothing more than a disposable shorthand, I think it’s worth examining that idea in relation to V Column, an album the best part of which is occupied by three tracks in excess of seven minutes. In critical theory the ‘epic’ is distinguished from ‘narrative’ and ‘lyric’ forms, all of which are given meanings somewhat different from those usually ascribed to them...

Robb Appleton – The Wood (ambient/ folktronica)

August 2, 2011

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Robb Appleton is a harmonica player, and his diatonic harps are a prominent voice on this album, but The Wood doesn’t sound like a harmonica album. In fact, it sounds more like an album made by someone who decided to get a harp player in because they wanted that sound. Instrumentalists have to play to their strengths when they record an album as leader, but rarely do they assemble a production to which their voice sounds such a natural and integrated complement.

Monday Musings: My Musical Utopia, What It Is, How We Might Get There, And Why We Won’t

August 1, 2011

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Once when I was making my first, abortive attempt at getting a degree, I was sitting in a seminar discussing H.G. Wells’ The History Of Mr. Polly. It was stated, quite forcefully, by the tutor, that because it didn’t articulate a clear alternative, the book’s critique of Edwardian petit-bourgeois life was flawed and incomplete: I objected to this on two grounds. Firstly, the book’s central character simply goes off and does something he finds more rewarding, that attracts less status, and that is an alternative (that’s what I’ve done with my own life) ...