Friday, April 27, 2007

the new york times reports....

"Mstislav Rostropovich, a cellist and conductor who was renowned not only as one of the great instrumentalists of the 20th century, but also as an outspoken champion of artistic freedom in Russia during the final decades of the Cold War, died in Moscow today. He was 80 and lived in Paris, with homes in Moscow, St. Petersburg, London and Lausanne, Switzerland."

wait, he was still alive?!? well, at least we still have yo-yo ma and lynn harrell

Thursday, April 12, 2007


quick comment on the new blonde redhead: it's good, but they've sort of lost that "edge" that I love in their older albums. They've also lost some of the noisy crap as well, which I'm not complaining about. but the new album sounds a bit too polished and controlled (a pity: I had such high hopes). though, I have to say this is consistent with their trajectory

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

fox confessor

neko case show last night at the barrymore: neko case is a very good live performer. specifically, she's very good at making subtle changes to her songs without ruining them (unlike andrew bird who sometimes sings the harmony rather than the main melody, so if you don't know the song, it just doesn't make any sense and if you do know the song, you're just disappointed).

Friday, April 6, 2007

February/March Album Reviews

do make say think "You, you're a history in rust": good instrumental stuff. sounds like tortoise and the sea and cake. recommended.

field music, "tones of town": upbeat, neat piano lines. new pornographers-sounding vocal lines and harmonies. but, no one song was extremely memorable. still, nice stuff going on musically. sort of confusing though : the vocal lines don't seem to go exactly with the character of the instrumental stuff.

papercuts, "can't go back": voice sounds like billy corgan's. first song is really good, but then its all down-hill after that. kinda boring.

postmarks, self-titled: album starts out slow, but gets much better in the second half. these songs really grow on you. the song "you drift away" is especially good.

explosions in the sky "all of a sudden I miss everyone": another solid album from explosions. no surprises (in a good way).

apples in stereo "new magnetic wonder": ok, I just sort of find apples in stereo annoying with the exception of the song "the benefits of lying (with your friends)," which might be one of the best songs ever. unfortunately, that song wasn't on this album. but still, the great melody lines keep me from completely writing off this band (that and my respect for the elephant six collective)

dexys midnight runners "projected passion revue": kind of fun, but not really that good.

andrew bird "armchair apocrypha": expectedly good. I cant imagine andrew bird actually putting out a bad album at this point, though I was hoping he'd step it up and do something surprising.

panda bear "person pitch": might be secretly good, but every time I listen to it, I end up daydreaming or paying attention to something else. so, I guess what I'm saying is that it might be good background music - it just doesn't hold my attention.

air "pocket symphony": very good, but maybe not quite as good as the last two albums.

eluvium "copia": pretty forgettable, but I still do like it. I think most would say that it's perfect study music; nothing distracting in it, and it has a very calming effect. I especially like the prelude. I will say this, though: the perfect place for a mediocre composer is in the indie-rock music world (though it's completely derivative, it's at least derivative of music unfamiliar to the rock world)

low "drums and guns": usually I don't like low, but this album deviates (in a good way). it's a bit slow in the beginning, but the last half of the album is actually pretty enjoyable.

P.S. tap tap is a band I sort of missed...pretty good, worth listening to. sorry I missed it when it came out.

up and coming albums worth buying/listening to: blonde redhead and voxtrot

Monday, April 2, 2007


finally made it to L'Etoile - a french restaurant in Madison that has been ranked one of the top 50 restaurants in the nation. the food was great, although, I do wonder how they rank these restaurants...there have got to be at least 30 restaurants in Chicago that are at least as good (I imagine...really, I have no idea since I'm not in the habit of wining and dining in such a(n expensive) fashion). some pictures of the eats below: