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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for July 26, 2014

[insert snappy introduction to the playlist here]

More inspiration went into putting the program together, I swear. Trust me, after the break....

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for July 19, 2014

This week we pay tribute to the great Charlie Haden. As it turns out, we also have several Ornette Coleman tunes and an array of modern big bands. Plus, well actually included in the above, a couple of tunes dedicated to famous communists.

Lose your chains after the break ...

Chrlie Haden on Democracy Now!

Here's Charlie Haden talking to Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! (heard weekdays at 4PM on Boston Free Radio by the way), including his recollections on being arrested in Portugal in 1970 after dedicating Song for Che to anticolonialist movements in Portugal's African colonies. Quite the tale.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for July 12, 2014

So I was up late last night putting together the jigsaw puzzle which is this show, and then woke up this morning and read the news that the Charlie Haden has died.

Doing this program for about four months now, I've been struggling a bit to avoid the over-repetition of certain artists, Charlie Haden among them. Today's program is a mixed success on that front, but there was no Charlie. I did go back and take out a couple of the more arbitrary choices ("OK, I need an upbeat 2:46 to go before the promo at the bottom of the hour") and replaced them with some Charlie Haden features. I'll surely have some more next week. (Many appearances as a sideman can help get around Live 365's rather arbitrary (IMHO) but strictly enforced rules about playing multiple tracks from the same artist.)

The complete playlist is after the break....

Lie back in your easy-chair and meet my polar opposite

I came across this post on Listverse titled "10 Pieces of Music to Make Your Ears Bleed" in which the author lists 10 "unlistenable" pieces of classical music, almost all of them bedrock staples of the 20th century repertoire (‘Gesang Der Junglinge’ by Stockhausen, Penderecki's Threnody, Berg's Wozzeck, Varèse's Ionisation) and highly influential on later generations.

The post brought to mind the quote from Charles Ives - "Is not beauty in music too often confused with something which lets the ears lie back in an easy-chair?" [from the "Postface to 114 Songs" which can be read here.]

Rather than describing this music as "unlistenable", I would say this is music to which you have to listen, it requires you to be an active listener, to be a participant in the music making experience, not just sit there and passively give up a predetermined  response.