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My blog is about music, art, politics and humour. I am a left leaning anarchist and do not smoke in bed
Articles: 1, 2


A big hello to both of you.
2008-02-06 11:32:00
Yes the comments are coming thick and fast here at ACOUSTISS. While visitor numbers are an even 150 or so a day and downloads approaching 4500 for the current batch, comments are spare on the screen.Oh well. I console myself that the greatest number of search hits are for Julian Schnabel, a man that I know little about and have even less desire to know of. I mentioned his appearance briefly in a film review, why so many hits? Who knows.Anyway, I discovered via a journal called Stereophile a wonderful jazz band called 'The Bad Plus' I'll post one of their albums shortly (its called Prog). It is so refreshing to hear a jazz band that is irreverent, talented and has a great sense of humour. Despite buying some serious jazz (Keith Jarrett's, 2007 'My Foolish Heart' for example) and some serious Pop, (Joni Mitchell's Shine) and various other bits and pieces, I keep listening to 'The Bad Plus.'I know nothing about 'The Bad,' if you've seen them let me know. . . . , pleas...
Retired generals push for humane treatment of prisoners.
2007-12-21 08:44:00
So sad that they even need to say this.The Honorable John D. Rockefeller IV, ChairmanThe United States SenateSelect Committee on IntelligenceWashington, DC 20510The Honorable Silvestre Reyes, ChairmanThe United States House of RepresentativesPermanent Select Committee on IntelligenceWashington, DC 20515Dear Chairman Reyes and Chairman Rockefeller:As retired military leaders of the U.S. Armed Forces, we write to express our strong support for Section 327 of the Conference Report on the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, H.R. 2082. Section 327 would require intelligence agents of the U.S. government to adhere to the standards of prisoner treatment and interrogation contained in the U.S. Army Field Manual on Human Collector Operations (the Army Field Manual).We believe it is vital to the safety of our men and women in uniform that the United States not sanction the use of interrogation methods it would find unacceptable if inflicted by the enemy against captured Ameri...
More About: Treatment , Prisoners , Generals , Push , Tire
Graffiti by Bansky
2007-12-16 11:53:00
Painted on part of the wall Israel built to separate Palestinians from their land.
More About: Graffiti
Kronos Quartet - Sculthorpe/Sallinen/Glass/Nancarrow/Hendrix
2007-12-16 11:26:00
An early Kronos Quartet recording. Peter Sculthorpe's String Quartet is marvelous. It evokes Australia, makes me think of the the bush, the outback, the climate. I don't know, maybe it is because I know he is an Australian composer, but I think his work is very evocative. The Hendrix is fun bit not very convincing. I saw them perform the piece about fifteeen years ago and even though I didn't particularly like it, it is the piece I most clearly remember.Kronos Quartet - 1986
More About: Glass
Tore Brunborg & Kjetil Bjerkestrand - Prima Luna
2007-11-20 09:34:00
This is album could not be more different from my previous post. Although both are from Norway, both from the same period, and both loosely called jazz, they exhibit strikingly different approaches to both music and recording.Prima Luna consists mostly of Norwegian folk tunes arranged by B&B for organ and saxophone.In this recording the space in which the recording takes place becomes a third player. I can't read Norwegian, but I guess the recording takes place in a church. The resonance of the space is clear in the recording and adds emphasis to works.On Manfried Eichers (ECM) recordings there is a seeming no space. The recording studio presents itself as absent from the recording. A little like the idea of the white walled gallery, which pretends it doesn't exist, but in fact speaks quite loudly about the values of its proprietor. So also ECM as a whole profess their modernism as the 'natural' way to record music. But it is just as natural as any other system.I think on th...
Ketil Bjornstad & David Darling - The River I-XII
2007-11-20 06:59:00
A long slow meditation on ? What I not sure. Bordering on 'New Age' (ie. pretty noises) this release by Bjornstad and Darling is nevertheless worth a listen. The recording, as you would expect from ECM, is faultless. The cello sounds gorgeous.The River I-XII - 1997
More About: David
rangeraver's departure lounge
2007-11-05 11:10:00
Blog for lounge music fans, there are a few oddities here too.Ranger aver's departure lounge, recommended.
More About: Lounge , Departure , Gera
2007-11-05 10:58:00
From an exhibition by Jon Huck entitled couples
More About: Couples
Handel - Gloria; Dixit Dominus
2007-10-29 12:13:00
This is worth listening to just to hear Emma Kirkby sing." . . . . over the past 30 years, Emma Kirkby's hauntingly clear and limpid voice has won the devotion of Britain's music lovers without going anywhere near the mainstream opera circuit - or even the mainstream repertory." from "The greatest soprano never to sing a note of Verdi"By the way 'BIS' recordings are invariably good. The Swedish label founded in 1973, has a large and eclectic selection of artists and composers represented. The recordings I have from this label are all clean and clear. If I see them in a bargain bin, I buy them, that's where I got this one.Handel - Gloria - BIS recording 2001
More About: Domin
Whatever happened to Baby Jane?
2007-10-29 11:56:00
I saw this last Saturday night. Although the poster is in colour the film itself was shot entirely in black and white. The cinematography was stunning.I am still bemused by the film, perhaps it was too camp for my taste. However the acting was superb, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis were extraordinarily good. Victor Buono was delightful as the accompanist that Baby Jane (Bette Davis) hires in an attempt to revive her career. He had just the right degree of avarice and mendacity.The film was a prelude to a drag show in which 'stars' sang (mimed) their hearts out. Sue Valaki, Nana Mousaka and Amanda Markdown were great entertainment. As was also the little dog who occasionally wandered on and off stage. Thanks to Chris and Rey for a wonderful evening.
Cavale - Lucas Belvaux - 2002
2007-10-14 13:19:00
I saw this last week. It is an above average thriller by French director Lucas Belvaux. I guess very similar in a way to "The Bourne franchise" with a big difference.Belvaux manages to convey ideas about radical politics, the way we age, the intellectual immaturity of his gun toting hero, and touch on the silliness of machismo as it is depicted in film. The Bourne films touch on nothing, they are as unselfconscious as a dog's fart.I have decided that this is the big difference between American and French film.American directors use alot to convey nothing, French directors use little to convey alot.I know its a big generalisation. But last night I watched 'The Devil Wears Prada' on DVD, it confirmed the above. So much time and talent to produce such an empty piece of fluff.
Shirley Scott - Talkin Verve
2007-10-14 12:53:00
This compilation takes in the period from 1963 to 1971 though it is mostly early sixties. There is some lovely organ playing here. Scott is accompanied on various tracks by a who's who of American jazz, her husband - Stanley Turrentine, and Thad Jones, Art Davis, Ron Carter, Joe Newman, Phil Woods etc etc.."Shirley Scott launched her solo career in 1958, recording 23 albums for Prestige (1958-64), 10 for Impulse (1963-68), three for Atlantic (1968-70), three for Cadet (1971-73), one in 1974 for Strata East, two for Muse (1989-91) and three for Candid (1991-92). She was married to the late, great tenor sax player Stanley Turrentine (1961-71) and the two made some of their finest music - together - for the Blue Note, Prestige, Impulse and Atlantic labels. Her playing consistently possessed one of the most graceful and lyrical touches applied to the bulky B-3. But it was her deeply-felt understanding of the blues and gospel that made her playing most remarkable." from All About Jaz...
More About: Verve
Abdullah Ibrahim - the third world - underground
2007-09-13 12:24:00
Abdullah Ibrahim (formerly Known as Dollar Brand) is a great piano player and this record is a delight. It has not been released in CD yet, I cannot understand why."This is one of those jazz "albums" that is really a concert selection: Nov. 14, 1972 : Jazz-House Montmartre : Copenhagen, Denmark. The Third World Underground is actually: Don Cherry, Dollar Brand (one of my favorites), and Carlos Ward. . . . a little research reveals that Dollar Brand and Carlos Ward played together fairly regularly. Don Cherry seems to be a temporary addition. Don's Song/Cherry is the first of the disc's two "songs" (more like medleys) and it contains all of the things I love about Dollar Brand's piano-playing: his steady rolling left hand, a minimalism in chord changes, and an almost architectural quality in his chord variety and phrasing. He does a beautiful job of both laying a solid foundation and creating an open space in which the soloists can explore." from earfuzzDollar Brand-piano & vocal...
More About: Third World , Abdul
Breathless: French New Wave Turns 50
2007-09-02 14:43:00
I went to see both of these this weekend. They were showing for free at the Gallery of Modern Art. About thirty people showed up to the cinema, to see two of the finest films ever made.Sometimes I don't understand the world. I'm sure there were vast crowds to see the latest hollywood lacklustre at the commercial cinemas.Anyway, I enjoyed them both immensely and will try to get to two of the festival screenings every week for the next few months. Am looking forward to Melville's 'Bob le Flambeur' and Malle's 'Lift to he Scaffold', next week.
More About: French , New Wave , Wave , Brea , Breathless
Yusef Lateef - Psychicemotus
2007-08-29 13:27:00
Possibly not as good as Eastern Sounds, one of my favourites, but this is still very enjoyable.Personnel:Yusef Lateef (tenor sax, tambourine, flute, bambo0 flute, Chinese wind flute )George Arvanitas (piano)Reggie Workman (bass)James Black (drums, percussion, Indian bell)Producer: Bob ThieleRecording Date: July 22, 1965Yusef Lateef - Psychicemotus
More About: Motu
Various Artists - Respekt!
2007-08-25 08:19:00
This is a compilation put together by German Jazz journalist Christian Broecking. As you can see by the track list there is some pretty impressive stuff here. Possibly the best jazz compilation I have ever heard, it is all strong. The opening track is Billy Holiday's 1939 recording of 'Strange Fruit", and it is compelling. There is also the alternate take of 'A Love Supreme - Part One - Acknowledgement' by John Coltrane's sextet.Anyone who loves Jazz can't go wrong here.[01.] Strange Fruit, Billie Holiday, 3:13 [02.] Alabama, John Coltrane Quartet, 2:26 [03.] Original Faubus Fables, Charles Mingus 9:08[04.] A Love Supreme, Part I - Acknowledgement (Alternate Take 1) John Coltrane, 9:25 [05.] Mendacity, Max Roach 8:55 [06.] Free For All, Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, 11:11 [07.] Malcolm, Malcolm - Semper Malcolm, Archie Shepp, 4:50 [08.] Broken Shadows, Ornette Coleman 6:09 [09.] Damn If I Know (The Stroller), Ar...
More About: Artists , Vario , Artis
John Coltrane - A Love Supreme
2007-08-22 14:06:00
I bought this recently. A very nice reissue by Impulse (vervemusicgroup.) Coltrane 's liner notes to the original vinyl record are included in the package. They are inspiring. This was all recorded in one evening session. From the opening strike of a Chinese gong through the incantation and right to the overdubbed ending this is some awesome music.Coltrane also recorded the following day with a slightly different line-up (Archie Shepp and Art Davis added to the quartet). That recording was not included on the original album. If you look up the track list on my next upload you will see that it is included there.John Coltrane - A Love Supreme - December 9 - 1964
More About: John Coltrane
2007-08-21 14:05:00
photo by Simon Crubellier
More About: Graffiti
Johnny Cash - American V
2007-08-21 12:23:00
I have been enjoying this so much. The CD had an enthusiastic, if controversial, reception when it came out and then I promptly forgot about it. Now on listening, I realise what a great recording it is. There is so much tenderness and acceptance in Cash 's voice, I guess he was aware that body and soul would not be together for much longer. Rick Rubin has done a service in recording a great singer at his most mature. The voice may be failing but the songs lose none of their power for it.Johnny Cash - American V: A Hundred Highways - 2006
holiday in sydney
2007-07-16 09:59:00
Click for a larger view.Had a nice holiday in Sydney last week. The Sydney Opera House is really a very beautiful building. The other aspect of Sydney that I enjoyed was the food, especially the Chinese food which was heavenly.Peking Duck pancakes, yum.
More About: Holiday
looking for a cover
2007-07-05 10:20:00
If you are in to jazz here is LP cover heaven. They are not especially well organised but Commodore and Blue Note are very well represented. There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of LP covers (front and back) at gokudo.
More About: Cover
bob dylan - theme time radio hour
2007-07-04 12:42:00
The more I listen to 'theme time radio' the more I like it. The musical selections are first class, as you would expect, and Bob's commentary is informative. He also has an almost slovenly laid back style that belies what is obviously a heavily scripted show.Episode 5 'Coffee'First aired on May 31, 2006. Java Jive - The Ink SpotsOne Cup of Coffee and a Cigarette - Jerry IrbyThe Coffee Song - Frank SinatraBlack Coffee In Bed - SqueezeCigarettes and Coffee - Otis ReddingCaffeine and Nicotine - Curtis GordonCigarettes and Coffee Blues - Lefty FrizzellCoffee Blues - Lightnin' HopkinsKeep That Coffee Hot - Scatman CrothersCoffee Cigarettes and Tears - The LarksBlack Coffee - Bobby DarinRaindrops In My Coffee - Ron Sexsmith and Don KerrCoffee & TV - BlurForty Cups of Coffee - Ella Mae MorseLet's Have Another Cup of Coffee - Glenn Miller OrchestraLink to the show is in the comments.All the shows can be downloaded at ttrh
More About: Radio , Time , Bob Dylan , Theme , Hour
tunnel house
2007-07-03 13:27:00
More About: House , Tunnel
tord gustavsen
2007-07-01 11:09:00
The Tord Gustavsen Trio have a new CD, 'Being There' it is as good as their previous two.
2007-06-27 10:09:00
Click the image for a larger view, then scroll up and down.Moviscrolliosis - Images that appear to change as you scroll them. Link
matmos - the civil war
2007-06-26 10:48:00
My favourite Matmos CD. Their newer CD 'The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of A Beast' is much less interesting. Full discography here. There are some sensual delights to be found this CD. 'For the Trees' is something lovely.Funny about democracy in the middle east. The Palestinians vote for Hamas and suddenly democracy isn't good anymore. From day one the west rejected the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people. The US of course began meddling, aiding Fatah with money, advice, guns and sidelining Hamas. The US is not averse to overthrowing elected governments, remember the Contras.And who, surprise surprise, showed up in the middle east to coordinate Amercica's subversions, Elliott Abrams, the man who helped organise Reagan's arming of the Contra's to overthrow the Sandanista government in Nicaragua.The Hamas takeover of Gaza was preemptive, there was ample evidence that the US was inciting a coup to overthrow the elected Palestinian government.See this p...
More About: Civil War , Civil
links are now in the comments
2007-06-20 12:34:00
From the previous post (songs) onwards links will be in the comments.
More About: Links , Comments
2007-06-19 15:03:00
Today a dry cold wind blew leaves from the trees. Even though we had some rain recently the ground is still hard. Green is sprouting here and there on our brown lawn, the only lush part of the garden is the bamboo which gets the water pumped out of the washing machine. The nights are getting colder. Late at night when its cloudy I can hear the coal train. At 3-00am it's thunder and rumble runs along the river bed a mile or more to our house.I made this compilation to listen to in the car. Some of these songs are from Hal Wilner's tribute to Leonard Cohen concerts. Others are folk songs the rest are just songs that I enjoy for one reason or another. A track list and link are in the comments.
More About: Songs
Siegfried Palm - intercomunicazione
2007-06-05 13:57:00
There is an austerity to this disc which is a little to severely modern for my taste. That said it is a fine recording with an ECMish clarity and extraordinary playing. Palm plays works by - Webern, Xenakis, Kagel, Zimmerman, Penderecki, Brown and Yun. Accompanied by Aloys Kontarsky on piano."This is a great disc, a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of contemporary trends. Most of the works here were either written for or premiered by cellist Siegfried Palm. The performance of Zimmermann’s Intercom unicazione for cello and piano is worth the price alone. Or you could get this just to hear Palm play Webern or tear through the Xenakis."Full review at La Foliaseigfried palm - intercomunicazione - 1969
Poul Henningsen - Artichoke light
2007-06-04 13:25:00
Poul Henningsen's artichoke light (1958) has long been one of my favourite designs. It reminds me of light coming through leaves. Much Danish design of the period reflected elements of the natural world. The lamp provides a filtered light, you cannot see the globe.The original is made of copper or stainless steel and costs several thousand dollars. Last week I bought Ikea's plastic version for $40-, it has much of what Henningsen intended and I could afford it. I guess philosophical modernists would be proud of Ikea, aesthetic modernists may be less so.
More About: Light
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