Monday, September 04, 2006

Grab Bag

I think that the term "Genre-Defying" has become so overused in modern music writing to the point where it has been rendered relatively meaningless. Aristotle, here used as the fountainhead of Ancient Greek philosophy and ingenuity, decreed that the world must be organized, and it is essentially one of the strives of human nature to attempt to classify our world. Since then, humans have struggled to group, organize, separate, and distinguish between various sets and subsets of our world.

Music has been no exception. We simply love defining genres of music, as music defines who we are people. I like rock and roll, I like hip-hop, I like R&B, etc. What is funny to me, is how non-disciplined we are in our levels of classification. The style of "classical music" has spanned four centuries, several continents, and countless technological and stylistic changes. Nevertheless, we tend to ignore the drastic differences (baroque, romantic, chamber, concerto, etc.) and tend to to group everything as simply "classical." Conversely, we pick apart modern music to the point where simply having an electronic snare drum (as opposed to an organic one) can be the difference between alt-country and rockabilly. At this point, most Americans classify ALL music that is indigenous to a foreign country as "world music." However, we have a tough time determining if something is post-punk, electroclash, lo-fi, shoegaze, noise rock, or math rock; depending upon what New York City borough originated the music.

Anyway, I had originally wanted to write that the albums I am putting up are genre-defying, but after realizing the ridiculousness of that notion, just decided to put up a few of my favorite albums that meld different established musical styles.

"Acme," by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. I imagine that Jon Spencer suffered from G-Love Syndrome. There is no reason that G-Love shouldn't have been the biggest thing in music. Soulful white guy from Philly - blending blues and hip hop (hell he helped discover Jack Johnson). Why would he not get due respect outside of white suburbanites, and yet Beck comes to define the late 90's with "Odelay?" Anyway, I listened to Jon Spencer in high-school and still like him today. He is a blues artist at heart, that often uses hip-hop beats, punk riffs, etc. to create a big mish-mash of fun music. The songwriting on this 1999 album is ok, and if anything I am more curious to see who here had known of him before (as my group of friends in high school loved this guy).

"Thank you For Giving Me Your Valuable Time," by Kaada. John Kaada is a Norwegian DJ who is probably best known for collaborating with Mike Patton. He is a DJ in the sampling, cut-n-paste sense who has a hard-on for old Americana. For whatever reason I have read several comparisons between him and Yann Tiersen (the French composer who did that piano song from Amelie) which I don't really see. If anything, I see him as more cohesive than the Real Tuesday Weld and more fun than the Cinematic Orchestra (if you don't know these bands let me know and I will put them up). This 2001 album is fun.

"Sleep" by DJ Olive. A one song CD that I never actually listened to all the way through. DJ Olive is a Brookyln based sampling artist who made this CD specifically as a sleeping aid. Therefore, I find that quite ironic that at a musician puts in so much time and effort to create a piece that (if he succeeds in his art) is not meant to be listened to. Weird. Anyway, it's ambient and it helps me sleep. I am putting this up here if anyone else needs something to help them sleep.

Enjoy. Let me know what you think. Happy Labor Day!


Blogger The Big Red Box said...

Mr. Ritter. Well done.

Whats that? 60's bubblegum? SoCal Metal? The stew of musical styles that collided in the late 90's?

this is what Feldheim needs.

I have heard mention John spencer in the past. I never gave it a listen, cause well, I thought most of your music was crap.

But that was before you introduced me Andrew WK.

I will listen to your John Spencer Blues Explosion. Will You listen to White Pony disc 1?

11:52 PM, September 04, 2006  
Blogger Toonzie said...

John Spencer Blues Explosion: Fastastic (but you probably knew I was gunna say that)

Looking forward to checking out the other two if for no other reason that anything begining with the letters DJ always sparks my interests.

Angela: I like your ngotiation technique

9:31 PM, September 05, 2006  
Blogger Jafar said...

Sir Ritter....I can't find DJ Olive in your box.

12:46 AM, September 10, 2006  

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