Friday, December 09, 2005


Thanksgiving happened. University of Arizona losing to Arizona State in the football did too. Attending was, however, still engaging.

After the game I saw the Phoenix Symphony. This was the second concert of my half-season; they did Kabalevsky's Colas Breugnon overture, Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto and, surprisingly, Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances. Some Prokofiev had been scheduled; I can't recall getting any information on the change. The Tchai was the highlight of the night (not surprising) and was a bit quicker overall than what we saw two years ago with Van Cliburn at the piano.

I failed to go to a couple shows for various reasons, finished the Left Hand of Darkness.

I also received, started and finished 33 1/3: In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Kim Cooper. It is about that album by Neutral Milk Hotel... in a broad sense.

The most surprising thing was how exciting reading this book was. When I was alerted to the fact that this book was coming out I knew it was a good idea; everyone I know that owns this album would totally read a book on it... but the books in this series have been a little hit and miss, at least from what I've heard. Various reviews on OK Computer make it sound like it's a technical analysis of the music whereas the reactions seem very mixed to Unknown Pleasures, Harvest, the Velvet Underground and Nico and, well, Loveless and Endtroducing... aren't out yet. This book, however, is exactly what it should be.

It discusses what it took to get to the album much more than it touches on the album itself. This is a good thing, I think, as the one chapter devoted to track-by-track comments is probably my least favorite (but still interesting.)

Most of the people involved (Julian Koster, Scott Spillane, Jeremy Barnes, Laura Carter, Robert Schneider) except Jeff were interviewed and we hear from them quite a bit.

It concerns the history of the band from the early home recordings in Ruston, LA to later home recordings in New York, Athens and Denver (OK, fine the Denver recordings were the ones released on the CDs that we've been listening to for years but they were still fairly primitive.) It also discusses how things changed after the release of Aeroplane and what has happened since.

In other news I hopefully will remember to write something about the Propagandhi show tomorrow night at the Clubhouse and the Rogue Wave show next Thursday at Modified Arts.


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