Month: July 2018

Container — LP

Container LP Spectrum Spools I’ve been digging on Container now for a few years, Ren Schofield, the man behind the name, makes some immediate, in-your-face, pounding electronic music. Schofield is from Providence, RI, but has spent a long time in Nashville, which makes me just like him more. Nashville has a burgeoning, exploding music scene, as anyone can tell you.  But Nashville’s music scene is more attuned to country and roots rock, not techno. There is, of course, a thriving scene in the city, but it’s underground.  Way underground. Schofield is getting clever with LP. This was also the title of his last release, in 2015.  It was brilliant, by the way.  Reviews of that album talked about moshpits and hard-rocking beats, like I was reading reviews of the Crystal Method c. 1997.  That does Schofield a disservice.  He is most certainly not the second coming of the Chrystal Method, nor even of the Chemical Brothers.  He is something else entirely. On 2018’s LP, he ratchets it back just a tiny bit.  There is more melody overtop of the fuzzed out, syncopated beats.  The distortion remains just as heavy.  On some tracks, though, like ‘Peppered,’ he even slows things down a bit to give us a bouncy, loopy and even trippy beat, over which the distorted noises skitter and dance.  But, for the most part, it is the same unrelenting battering. Container are...

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Smallwood

The small, bright lake shone every morning, even when it rained. You could see the sky without looking toward heaven. All souls were reflected there. I walked its two-mile circumference every day for almost a month. I was in exile, upstate, estranged from my wife, waiting for her to move out of the apartment in the city. Only once was the water roused enough by wind to punctuate the surface with neat white-tipped commas. It was late in my stay. That was when I noticed the withered forest in the lake. The trees were still standing, so I supposed...

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From the Vaults: The Charlatans — Tellin’ Stories

From the Vaults: The Charlatans – Tellin’ Stories The Charlatans have long been one of my favourite bands, if not my outright favourite. Though they’re not from Manchester, they burst onto the scene with the Madchester Sound in the late 80s/early 90s, together with the Happy Mondays, the Stone Roses, Inspiral Carpets, and the like.  Unlike all those bands, which imploded/broke up/etc., the Charlies have kept on trucking for the past 30 years.  They recently celebrated their 30thanniversary in their hometown of Northwich, hosting the North By Northwich festival. This summer, I was living in an extremely rural area, no cell service, and about a 20 minute drive to find a signal.  The car is where I do my serious music listening; I usually just stream it. Not an option that far in the boondocks.  So I dug up a bunch of CDs and threw them in the car.  But the one that remained in the disc drive (my car model year was the last to have a disc drive) was the Charlatans’ 1997 album, Tellin’ Stories. This album is a moment in time for the band.  Founding member, keyboardist Rob Collins, died in a car accident whilst recording the album in Wales.  But it was also the band’s most successful album, hitting #1 in the charts in the UK and Ireland and yielding 3 Top-10 singles in the UK,...

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Giacometti at the Guggenheim

Thursday is the Guggenheim’s day off. I can’t tell you how many tourists brayed at the announcement. I was watching them from the shade of the main entrance, waiting for my girlfriend to join me for a private showing of the new Giacometti exhibit at 3:00. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a tourist, too. I’ve been here ten years, and I still can’t measure the immensity of the place. Now the guy who arranged this private showing lives in my building along with other museum curators and more bizarre individuals, opera singers and the like. He builds things, always...

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Knock on Stone: A Brief, Informal Acoustic Experiment at the Barcelona Pavilion

The original Barcelona Pavilion is believed to be the first time that stone was “hung” in the form of thin panels from an internal structure, with an airspace separation instead of mortar. In other words, it is the first case of a non-monolithic stone wall, as opposed to the solid, load-bearing masonry walls of time immemorial. The reason for using thin panels was probably to save money, as well as to be able to reuse the precious stone after the pavilion had served its purpose. Yet, the pavilion walls also contains segments of traditional solid stone, namely at the ends of its characteristic “free” walls. This was presumably done to avoid having to expose an edge of a stone panel when turning a corner, which would reveal its thinness. It’s a simple detail, but it shows how important it was for this building to convey a desirable appearance over and above its constructional reality; in essence, to establish a certain decorum. It was built for an international exposition, after all, a type of event which is entirely scenographic. In fact, it’s known that the back-sides of the pavilion had stuccoed brick walls painted to look like stone. I have visited this building on countless occasions, and never actually noticed that it contains both monolithic as well as superficial stone, and that the only way to distinguish these is by knocking on them...

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