A sideways look at the world of music
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Sunday 06 March 2011
Friday 04 March 2011
For his film-score follow-up to There Will Be Blood, Jonny Greenwood has chosen Tran Anh Hung's adaptation of Haruki Murakami's coming-of-age novel Norwegian Wood – a cult success globally, but a cultural landmark in Japan. Dealing with troubled adolescents in a sanatorium, it offers Greenwood plenty of scope for mournful progressions, bleak mist-curtains of strings, and more daring strategies like the looming dissonances lurking like massing insects beneath "Naoko ga Shinda", realised here by the BBC Concert Orchestra and The Emperor Quartet. A couple of tracks feature delicate tracery of classical guitar, but the most baffling feature of the album is the inclusion of three old tracks by Can, which possess a lightness, and dynamic character somewhat absent in the rest of the score.
Wednesday 02 March 2011
Friday 25 February 2011
"The eight songs here are less like an album and more like two EPs in a set: one of spectral, understated ballads, and the other of spectral, understated takes on left-field electronic music." nymag.com
Thursday 24 February 2011
"Inside Job shows who really is in power... I would recommend this film to everyone who wants to know what really happened."
Tuesday 22 February 2011
Thom Yorke's dance begins in silhouette before building to a convulsive climax. The latest Radiohead video, "Lotus Flower", has amassed more than 3.5 million YouTube hits since being uploaded on Friday. It looks like the nervous jitters of a madman. It is, in fact, the delicately choreographed work of one of modern dance's greatest talents.
Monday 21 February 2011
Sunday 20 February 2011
The announcement on Valentine's Day of an imminent Radiohead album was greeted as enormously significant in many quarters, like Moses coming down from the mountain with a brand new slab under his arm.
Saturday 19 February 2011
Friday 18 February 2011
Friday 18 February 2011
Tuesday 15 February 2011
Radiohead shocked the music world three years ago when they released an album that could only be downloaded from the internet, then invited fans to pay whatever they thought it was worth.
Sunday 30 January 2011
What are we talking about?
Norwegian Wood, the film adaptation of Haruki Murakami's 1987 novel about those classic themes: love, sex, death, and liking The Beatles. The UK premiere opens the Pan-Asia Film Festival in March.
Sunday 23 January 2011
Following pretend conjoined-twin duo Evelyn Evelyn and an EP of ukulele Radiohead covers, Goes Down Under is a relatively conventional release from prolific singer-pianist Palmer.
Friday 14 January 2011
Is there another music critic writing today who could change key within an essay from John Dowland to Led Zeppelin (specifically, "Dazed and Confused"), JS Bach to Robert Johnson, without fluffing the notes or tumbling into an ear-splitting dissonance? Alex Ross of the New Yorker can span endless octaves of period and genre without the slightest sign of strain. Those particular leaps between Renaissance dance and song, and the pillars of hard rock, come in a bravura piece on the chaconne and its offshoot the lamento: a descending bass line "like a chilly staircase stretching out before one's feet". Such strands of musical DNA migrate from epoch to epoch, culture to culture. They crop up as foundation and inspiration with a fertility that makes a nonsense of moribund divisions between the "pop" and "classical" traditions.
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