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Everything posted by DudeAsInCool

  1. Craig Armstrong - Piano Works You can check out a cut by following this link to KCRW's broadcast, exactly 1 hr 22:40 in, sandwiched between Moving Unit's Dangerous Dreams and REM's new album ram_wrap.ram
  2. This is a really beautiful album... You can check out a cut by following this link to KCRW's broadcast, exactly 1 hr 22:40 in, sandwiched between Moving Unit's Dangerous Dreams and REM's new album http://www.beatking.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9275&hl=
  3. music reviews Craig Armstrong - Piano Works Sanctuary Records Group / 06076-84710-2 / 2004 Scottish composer Craig Armstrong is usually better known for his collaborations, be it musical acts ranging from The Blue Nile and Massive Attack to - ahem - The Spice Girls and Hole, or the directors for whom he has scored movies including Moulin Rouge, Romeo & Juliet,Plunkett And Macleane, and Orphans. However, Armstrong has also recorded several solo albums, namely 1998's The Space Between Us and 2002's As If To Nothing. Both of his albums found Armstrong combining his instantly recognizable piano tones with lush strings, vocalists including Paul Buchanan and Bono, and electronic programming. The results were often quite stunning, revealing Armstrong quite capable of recording material that was truly lovely and emotional in its own right, without having to be in the service of someone else's creative vision. But when the disc faltered, as often happened on the disappointingly uneven As If To Nothing, it did so quite noticeably. His latest album, Piano Works, finds Armstrong creating some of the most minimal music of his career. As the title might imply, the disc is entirely piano-based (although the presence of digital treatments does lend some more color to the album's sonic palette), and finds Armstrong reworking some of his earlier material in addition to providing some brand new compositions. As you listen to Piano Works, the most obvious thing you notice is the man's playing style. Fluid and graceful, Armstrong's music literally dances, and yet even at its most complex and layered (note the flurry of notes that opens "Weather Storm"), he renders each note with seemingly crystalline perfection. Every note is vibrant and pure, practically shimmering there in mid-air and demanding all of your attention at that moment, even if only for a fraction of a second. At the same time, there's something meandering, almost lethargic about his music. Despite all of the clarity of the execution, there's very little sense of stiffness or that the music is calculated. It is still very much an emotional, and unabashedly romantic set of recordings. "In My Own Words" immediately sets the mood, as Armstrong layers two very distinct melodies on top of eachother, one innocent and hesitant, the other deeper and graver. Over time, the two merge into something quite complete and resonant. The aptly-titled "Gentle Piece" is the most fragile song on the album, and one that sounds as if it's nothing more than an echo from some long-lost memory. The song barely seems as such, the various elements - sparse piano melodies encircled by fluttering, digitally-treated piano fragments (or is it vice-versa?) - almost too delicate to cohere, lest they crush eachother. And yet it does come together, however tenuously, and with a very haunting and emotional effect. The aforementioned "Weather Storm" (which originally appeared on The Space Between Us) has an incredibly cinematic tone to it. A flurry of notes opens the song in a whirl, creating the sensation of a brisk autumn wind rustling through a rainswept city. Once the song begins in earnest, with its haunting melody accompanied by filigree after filigree, that notion is all the more apparent. One can almost see the opening credits that should accompany this song, the camera introducing the film's characters as they wind their way through lonely times and places, the music perfectly echoing their state. Apparently, Armstrong can't help but write film music, even for films that haven't even been made yet. "Fugue", on the other hand, is the album's most active track. A Reich-esque melody hops, skips, and jumps against a backdrop of plucked notes and bubbling, echoing tones. At times, the whole piece threatens to fall apart, before snapping back into place for another round. Piano Works finds Armstrong also reworking several pieces he's written for film scores in the past, including "Satine's Theme" (Moulin Rouge) and "Glasgow Love Theme" (Love Actually). However, the most notable of these is the new version of the Orphans theme (titled, naturally, "Theme From Orphans"). What's most impressive is how well the film's elegiac and nostalgic tone fits the film's story of a family coming to terms with their mother's death. But it's quite interesting to listen to this song while remembering the film's incredibly twisted sense of black humor; my memories of the film's more disturbing (and hilarious) scenes serve to make the track all the more poignant. "Childhood 2" is another aptly-titled song. As another bevy of digitally-processed tones flutter amidst a most nostalgic piano melody, the sounds of laughing children can be heard occasionally surfacing. While it sounds rather obvious and almost trite, it works to great effect, especially in the song's final minutes. Here, the lines between the different sounds begin to blur - all of the piano sounds, processed or no, begin to meld together into one surreal, fluttering state, and the bubbling laughter, which grows more and more distant, only adds to the dreaminess. In the end, the piece truly does become a very haunting ode to childhood, it's ephemeral tone making you feel as if you're glimpsing the song from across a gulf of years. It's tempting to go on in such a gushing manner about every song on the album, as they all very much exist in their own emotionally cinematic world. However, there are moments when the album stumbles, when Armstong's playing, as lovely it might be, meanders or becomes too overwrought and Windham Hill-ish for its own good (such as the reworked hymn that ends the album). But more often than not, it works, and works beautifully - even the overwrought moments, given the right mood, can be quite affecting. Piano Works easily contains Armstrong's finest work yet, and I find it a perfect soundtrack for waxing nostalgic for the movies that play on in my memory. Reviewed By Jason Morehead Posted 10/17/2004 ****
  4. You can read the following review and listen to some excerpts at Amazon. The band is worth a listen http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...932167?v=glance In New York, it's been convenient and popular to tap into the recycled angst fueling the early '80s revival that's on every iPod and every dance floor. Moving Units' Blake Miller, Johan Boegli (bass) and Chris Hathwell (drums) make music that is solely about the here and now. Ask Blake Miller, Moving Units' singer/guitarist, which records were in rotation during the making of "Dangerous Dreams", the L.A. trio's roiling debut album, and he won't mention the usual post punk suspects. "Dangerous Dreams has little to do with the latest dance-punk phenomenon and more to do with the restless inner workings of three clumsy musicians who have no choice but to throw their heart and soul into these songs. "The truth of the matter is, what we did at the time was a really honest emotional expression," Miller says of the band's beginnings, "but it just happened to coincide with a sort of musical zeitgeist." Nearly two tumultuous years in the making at various L.A. studios, the album boasts a tightrope sound whose volatility is both musical and emotional -- a result of either the band's perfectionism or it's unique chemistry. There seems to be no escape, for example, from the drum attack by Hathwell. He hits the kit like his pants are on fire, slicing off shards of spastic dancefloor grooves at will and stopping and starting on a dime with impetuous urgency. A raggedy crew who car-crashed in L.A.'s indie music scene three years ago, the only thing the trio's backgrounds had in common then was a pent-up fury waiting to be unleashed. Miller grew up lost in Detroit's down-and-dirty suburban wasteland and suddenly found himself in Los Angeles out of step with the city's industry-driven music scene. Mild-mannered and sophisticated, Boegli emigrated to L.A. from D.C. but strangely absent were the typical hardcore roots often associated with the seminal D.C. music scene. Hathwell ventured from band to band in Southern California, eventually bumping into Miller amidst the underemployed underground. The members finally crossed paths and melded their diverse backgrounds and styles to synthesize the early Moving Units style. Quickly going into the studio, the band recorded their first songs with a raw organic feel that instantly translated to tape. The alchemy of those sessions was proven when four new tracks became an EP released in early 2003. A steady flow of L.A. gigs established the band as a fan favorite in the All-Ages crowd. They selected the name Moving Units to mock the sales-obsessed record industry they were united in despising, but it is open to a variety of interpretations. By 2003, America and the rest of the world had taken notice. The band was hand-picked by Damon Albarn to open Blur's North American Tour. Contemporaries Hot Hot Heat invited the band to tour across the US and throughout the UK. Recently, a secret show on the eve of the Coachella festival found Moving Units opening for none other than the Pixies. In addition to the dreams that haunt Miller, Boegli and Hathwell on their debut album, their waking life seems to point toward a future that will find some of their more idyllic dreams - like musical innovation and success - being realized as well. For now, they're less focused on "moving units", and more devoted to perfecting the sound of their group. "We have a clear idea about the musical territory we want to explore. It has to be raw, and it has to sound like us," Miller says of the band's top priority. "Who knows what that means? But in our heads we hope we know what that seems to mean." Album Description Moving Units' hotly anticipated 2004 debut full-length Dangerous Dreams is filled with the tension and hopes associated with the beginning of a musical revolution. Their proto-post-punk sound from 2003's self-titled E.P. invited comparisons to the Rapture and Yeah Yeah Yeahs - the spirit of Dangerous Dreams invokes the wonder and excitement of the first time you heard the Pixies' discordant melodies or the Minutemen's anti-establishment punk aesthetic. Moving Units' unique sound is truly in a class of its own, and their live show has inspired nothing short of fanaticism and wild abandon, described by Nylon magazine as "...a euphorically smutty, joyfully disenfranchised, danceable call to arms."
  5. Nice find, BMC :scratchin:
  6. More great stuff to listen to :bigsmile: *** On this edition of Sounds Eclectic, host Nic Harcourt plays new, upcoming and recent releases from The Dears, Magnet, and the latest from R.E.M. Plus a live in-studio performance from Earlimart, all this and much more on Sounds Eclectic. http://www.kcrw.com/cgi-bin/db/kcrw.pl?sho...tmplt_type=show ram_wrap.ram
  7. Everyone has their day in the sun. But sure as you are reading this post, they will be eclipsed. American politics is topsy-turvy, and when these guys are exposed for the reactionaries they are, they will go the way of the dinosaurs. Make no mistake about it, the other half of the country is gearing up to stop them...and we will
  8. Yep...and welcome to Beatking, 70MPH... :strumma:
  9. That shouldnt be a surprise - look who they voted for
  10. Published: November 5, 2004 Hoping to head off the kind of rampant online piracy that has plagued the record industry, Hollywood's major movie studios said yesterday that they would begin filing lawsuits this month against people who make copyrighted films available for downloading over the Internet... The move is the first major initiative for Dan Glickman, the former congressman and agriculture secretary in the Clinton administration, who in September became president of the Motion Picture Association of America... Independent experts, however, remain unconvinced that litigation works. Jonathan Zittrain, an expert in Internet law at Harvard Law School, said the lawsuits had had "an insubstantial effect," given the millions of people still downloading copyrighted music. Read more at the NYTimes.com: http://www.nytimes.com/2004/11/05/business/media/05film.html
  11. As if they Republicans do - they're too busy with church...
  12. If they so much as try, I promise you there will be a much more united effort than the campaign to defeat them
  13. Curious as to what their thoughts were?
  14. Has a stellar cast. Heard it's well made. FYI, this is a remake of the 60s film starring Michael Caine.
  15. True. I'm already polishing my boxing gloves - I'm in this fight for the long run and don't intend on losing or leaving :bigsmile:
  16. Americans flock to Canada's immigration Web site Fri November 05, 2004 01:30 PM ET By David Ljunggren OTTAWA (Reuters) - The number of U.S. citizens visiting Canada's main immigration Web site has shot up six-fold as Americans flirt with the idea of abandoning their homeland after President George W. Bush's election win this week. Read the full story here: http://www.reuters.co.uk/printerFriendlyPo...&storyID=616225
  17. I love Tacos - cute pup and nice to seeya, too
  18. Might be more fun to have a treadmill for the birds
  19. Anyone hear it yet? I'm becoming a fan
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