Sunday, January 15, 2012


I kinda went off some rails on that last post... I was actually intending to write some sort of quip about the Rolling Stones' song "Connection," a Richards/Jagger jangler about being hassled by transporation security...

As fate has it, a local group, Grand Rapids-based The Quaaludes, recently had their cover version of this song released via Gold Tapes' year-end compilation (download it here). Their version speeds up the drums to a pummeling pulse, blows out the vocals just enough to match the buzzsaw clang of the surging guitars and raps it up in about 40-seconds-less time than the original. (If you wanna dig deeper, this band's made up of members from another Michigan-based rock/punk group known as The Amoebas.

In any case, my crazy train rant was trying to reel in the contemplative kite that would question how deep of a connection we can make with music, when we are ever tumbling forth into-onto-and-out-of new albums by new bands at a rate unheard of in... hmm, can I put it this way, listener-history?

And just as soon as I think I've mined profound terrain in terms of musical appreciation, theory, history and its role (and impact upon) society (i.e., those same listeners...) then Phillip Glass comes along (stopping into Ann Arbor, no less) and puts things in perspective...
...while discussing with the Free Press music writer Mark Stryker, regarding one of the few-and-far-between performances of his groundbreaking avant-garde opera Einstein on the Beach (Fri, Jan 20/ Sat Jan 21 at the Power Center (on Fletcher St))... the Koyaanisqatsi-composer bemoaned how behind we all still were, how preocuppied with the shock value of experimental forms...

"The music world has barely recovered from 'Pierrot Lunaire' of Arnold Schoenberg," ...referring to an atonal piece from 1912 that helped define the austere modernism that dominated classical music for decades after World War II. "Even today, people program Bartok as if it was new work. We're talking about work written 70 years ago, and the big revolution in music that happened when my grandfather was a young man. It's insane! It's unconscionably slow, glacial change in the music world...."

Stryker asks: "...isn't it a lot better today than it used to be?"

Comes the reply: "...Marginally."

Read on

And find out more from the U-M School of Art & Design (who held a talk, this afternoon, regarding Einstein on the Beach...even as I post this...)


No comments: