September 18, 2008
Brian Eno Sucks
Yes he does.
But... he's a rock legend.
I started seriously listening through his albums last year. He's been around for a long time, and he's prolific, so he's released a lot of stuff. It took me a while to get a grasp on his entire career. But now I can say with confidence that he sucks. A lot.
His music doesn't exist, if you know what I mean. It's the safest music I've ever heard. Pretentious elevator music. Like hippies with computers, and the computers are programmed to bore you to death.
Nevertheless, after making music for more than thirty years, it's almost inevitable that he's made something worth listening to. I won't deny him credit where it's due.
So here, to save you the agony of sifting through his entire catalogue like I did, are the songs and projects worth looking into:
-his 1975 album Another Green World is good, and there are a couple truly beautiful songs. For example, the track 'The Big Ship.' Take a listen (as usual, ignore the video):
-the song 'Deep Blue Day' is great. Really nice use of pedal-steel.
-the song 'An Ending (Ascent)' is nice, and you've heard it before in the films Trainspotting and Traffic. Most of his music is like this, only more so -and way way way less interesting.
-and of course, his work as a producer on U2's great albums has to be acknowledged. His influence is most obviously seen on Unforgettable Fire and their rarely-heard, ambitious, influential (Kid A anyone?) Passengers album.
Have you ever heard of Rouben Mamoulian?
I knew of him only as the director of the 1933 Greta Garbo film Queen Christina. I'd never seen one of his films. Until this week.
I watched his 1929 film Applause in a film history class this week. It was lovely. Coming two years after the invention of sound in cinema, the soundtrack is a bit iffy sometimes, but I'm telling you it is some of the most beautiful black and white cinematography I've ever seen. Gorgeous. But in an awkward way. That strangely charming sort of awkwardness.
Anyways, if you're ever in the mood for a really early American (pre-Hollywood) film, it's a gem.
And finally, I went to see The French Kicks on Tuesday. I like them a lot.
The song above -'Trial of the Century' is, in my opinion, one of the best songs of the last several years.
Anyways, it was a very strange show.
NOBODY showed up. The venue was totally dead. It's my favourite venue in town. It holds about three or four hundred people. At one point I turned around from my table and counted 28 (twenty eight!) people.
They seemed pretty amused. It wasn't a great show, but it was an interesting experience.