Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Defying the Genre

The first question that crops up is, "What kind of music do you play?"

It rolls across the table from genuine faces and goodly people who mean well. But it's the wrong questions. I've asked it myself, and it's poor communication of what I'm hoping to unearth.

What I really mean to say is, "Who are you?"

That is, if indeed your main vehicle for communication is music, then how can I get to know you through your music? Or photography. Or poetry. Or cooking, cobbling, building. Somehow, who we are always shows up in our work, especially when we're passionate about it. "What kind of music do you play?" or "What sort of shoes do you make?" are just shortcuts because we feel pressed for time. And perhaps rightfully so. It does take more than a lifetime to really know a person.

Because of all this, I am appreciative of beauty in defiance of genre. I was privileged to share in some as my friend Rob Laliberte took the stage at the Square Room this past Friday. Take time and listen to his work and that of a few other gents I know. I'm terrible at writing reviews without sounding insincere, so I'll let the music speak for itself. Enjoy.

Rob Laliberte

Brantley and Stephen Cox

Peter Barbee

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

My Excused Absence From the Interweb

There was a short list of valid excuses for absence from school. It allowed for sickness if only a doctor could prove it. Therefore, if you had a two-day stomach bug which would quickly pass, your parents had to fork over the money for the doctor's appointment to secure that Golden Ticket signed in illegible scrawl that would guarantee you a clean record. One can see the lack of motivation. Other than that, there was a death in the family. I always wondered if that had to be done on official paper as well. In my mind I saw confused kids bearing legal copies of coroner's certificates to their grim and stoically encouraging teachers.

"Grandpa died. Here's the paper. Can I make up my work now?"
"Our condolences, little Johnny. Here's your fractions worksheet."

Well, here, in ascending order of importance, are my excuses for not writing on my blog. I have the papers to prove that one of them exists.


This, A Walk Across the Rooftops, was the final installment of a four-piece collection of records I have by The Blue Nile. Being their earliest one, it originated from an equipment company hiring the band to record something to show off the quality of the recording hardware. The music was so good that the company formed a record label just to sell it. I'll stop geeking out now. See me if you want to hear more.


My parents got this for me for Christmas, and it's already warming me heart with its quirky personality. Sonically, the grace of Excuse #2 is a little more subsumed than that of the album, but it's undeniably present nonetheless. Said the interweb to the typewriter, "We are displeased." Said the typewriter, "Perhaps I could tell you a story. That might cheer you up."


I've had this one since October. Its aesthetics are not as refined as either the album or the typewriter, but its sheer sonic range exceeds them both. Also, it poops, pees, vomits, cries, eats, sleeps, babbles, wiggles, smiles, watches, and is in general the prettiest of the three.

Sorry for any delays in blog updates. I am occupied. I shall endeavor to improve.