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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for January 30, 2016

Update 6:55 - Oh yeah, I guess there's supposed to be stuff written here.

I had a really crappy morning - computer problems, no coffee in the house, no place to buy coffee in Union Square that doesn't involve standing in line for 5+ minutes, techy stuff at BFR. A metal band playing in the SCATV studio during the broadcast. I actually apologized to Tikva for the sort of malevolent way I ended up promoting her show at the top of the second hour.

A relatively jazzy show, with some artful pop thrown in, with a somewhat generous amount of cello. Plus, more Paul Bley along with two of his ex-wives.

See for your self after the break...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Playlist for the Unpopular Music webcast for January 23, 2016

In my triumphant return to the internet airways, a typically jazzy first hour leads into an attempted mutual memorial tribute to three artists from separate fields who left this world during my hiatus - Paul Bley, Pierre Boulez, and David Bowie.

Now bear with me, this shouldn't be a strange as it seems. They each drew influence from many sources. Bley often channels sounds from 20th-century chamber music. Boulez, while seeming to draw little or no influence from popular culture, was often inspired by visual art and poetry. So too was Bowie, who was also inspired by Brecht and Jacques Brel, mime, kabuki and fashion. All were keyed into the more disturbing aspects of post-World War II European and American society.

Ultimately, all three made lasting contributions to their respective crafts and will influence generations to come. And since I feel there's no reason not to enjoy these crafts in tandem, or at least rotation, here you go.

See the playlist after the break....

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Alex Ross on Boulez


I pledged to write something on Pierre Boulez, but alas the muse and the energy have eluded me.

As would be expected, Alex Ross has posted an excellent memorial piece on the New Yorker's website.

However, I do have one quibble. Boulez was a notoriously slow composer, especially in his later years. Promised new works never appeared, or often ended up being reworkings of older works (not that they weren't often brilliant in themselves), so I always took the talk that Boulez was composing an opera based on Waiting for Godot to be a joke. Finding out that the keen-witted Daniel Barenboim, who waited for decades by a tree on a country road for his commission of an orchestrated version of Notations to be completed, was the source of the this rumor only made it more so.