Avant-Garde

A Month of Listening: January 2016

This entry is part 2 of 13 in the series Best Of

This entry is part 2 of 13 in the series Best OfThis is a record, embedded below (or downloadable here), of my January month of listening. It’s not everything I heard, but it is all the new and recently released recordings that I listened to. Everything on this list passed by my ears at least(…)

Best New Music Albums 2014

This entry is part 6 of 13 in the series Best Of

This entry is part 6 of 13 in the series Best Of Best Downtown Music 2014 Best New Music Albums 2014 This is the second half of the classical list, music that has common origins in the Western tradition, in the expansive sense of music that began with a social purpose and then developed an abstract(…)

2014 Year In Lists

This entry is part 10 of 13 in the series Best Of

This entry is part 10 of 13 in the series Best OfLists. I know, I know, many music fans find this lazy, unfair, and no substitute for criticism. That point of view is generally true, although lists can be useful and informative. And speaking inside the world of criticism, where it is essentially impossible to(…)

Ashley in the House

Thinking and writing about Robert Ashley has been an involved, major project for me the past many weeks, and I am close to tying it off. There’s no feeling of relief, because his work is extraordinary, and his loss—which was inevitable—is immense. There is such a dearth of new thinking in opera, exacerbated by the(…)

Tele-Visionary

The cliché of the visionary artist is of someone like William Blake, so involved in the worlds in his head that his wife said of him, “I have very little of Mr. Blake’s company, he is always in Paradise.” This is the idea of vision as hallucination, a mystical third eye seeing into dimensions and(…)

The Radical Simplicity Of The Avant-Garde

Landmarks tell us where we are, they help us get to where we’re going. They appear differently to us depending on our distance and angle, and it is that relation which orients us. No matter how concrete and specifically defined they are as objects, their meaning and function are mainly subjective and relative. In Brooklyn,(…)

Event Posting

I’ll be at Roulette tonight for some old-time experimental electro-acoustic music.

Revolutionary Chic

David Byrne and Brian Eno have a new record, available today. Perhaps it will be good. “My Life In The Bush of Ghosts” is decent enough – more on that later – but the free download song off the new record is decidedly ordinary. That probably would surprise a lot of people, but it shouldn’t,(…)