Alessandro Cortini is a member of Nine Inch Nails and somehow I never knew it before the release of his latest and best album, AVANTI. I got on board with the Italian synth maestro when I heard his Forse series, but I admittedly hadn’t paid much attention to NIN since The Fragile. I gave each new album a listen or more, but I didn’t keep up with the band; I didn’t know anything beyond “Trent Reznor and some people.”
I haven’t posted a weekly update in a while, so it’s about time. A lot happened, but I’ll stick to the highlights.
I hung out in wine country, biked about 500 miles, and finally saw my Japanese metal superheroes Boris in concert. Then I found myself on an extended deep dive into all the 60s jazz that I skipped over in the past. This total immersion is resulting in another evolution of taste.
Yesterday I decided to have a fresh listen of one of my old favorite bands, Rachel’s. This chamber-post-rock outfit may have disappeared soon after I was introduced, but they left an impact for years.
It was nearly 15 years ago when, funny enough, a girl named Rachel gave me a burned CD of Selenography, the band’s 1999 masterpiece. It’d been at least a decade, but when I cued the music up on spotify yesterday, this is the tune that struck me hardest, shooting right through the years to that old memory. It’s an incredibly catchy harpsichord jam called The Mysterious Disappearance of Louis LePrince.
I’ve been fond of this brilliant clip for well over a decade, yet I never quite put my finger on what 20th century sci-fi short story it reminds me of.
I’m thinking Bradbury, I’m thinking Clarke? Dick? I have no idea. I merely recall a short story in middle school English class that lodged its way deep into my mind. The story of kids in a future (on a different planet?) where they could not go outside because of some extreme weather phenomena, and finally had a momentary opportunity to do so. It could have been poisonous air, like this video. It could have been solar radiation. I could be entirely wrong.
Does this ring a bell to anyone? Does the video conjure memories, or the name of a story?
I know I could probably stumble through google trial and error and figure it out, but I prefer learning things directly from people. I like finding out what happened because someone told me. I like having a connection reveal the information I seek, at least some of the time.
It can get lonely, having all you need to know at your fingertips all the time.
I read today that Vertigo Music would have the first vinyl issue of Ágætis Byrjun since its original pressing 15 years ago, and was reminded that I hadn’t paid this group much attention in recent years. Their impact may have dulled a bit with the passage of time and a billion miles traveled in my music journey, but there’s still nothing quite like Sigur Rós.
If you can help with my search, or if you’re just reading this, thank you. I write for you.
In 2011, like every year since I’ve discovered how to harness the power of the internet (and a handful of discerning friends) to expand my horizons and unveil whole dimensions of music, has been an incredible year for listening: another slab in my monument to Why You Should Pay Attention. I held crushes on a number of albums and fell deeply in love with a select few. All deserve acknowledgement but only the most striking motivate me to gush at length. With a little luck, I can turn people on to something which will enrich their lives and change perceptions in small or significant ways. Or maybe even sell an album for one of these deserving artists!
I’m sharing with you today one of the best fan-made videos I’ve ever witnessed. Enjoy.
This is, of course, Starbound: All Burnt Out and Nowhere To Go, perhaps my favorite track on Disco Inferno‘s landmark album D.I. Go Pop (album posted here, and their singles collection posted here). It’s a tightly coiled bomb of liquid Durutti Column-esque guitar and off-kilter sampling antics, liberally seasoned with the knife-edge lyrical shards of singer Ian Crause. Nothing more to say than: enjoy the video, thank the fan on his youtube page, and if you’re not already an obsessive fan like myself, get right on my two prior Disco Inferno posts.
[and seriously, get the whole album. HERE. you’d be morally bankrupt not to! just kidding. sort of.]