Monday, May 16, 2011

Radiohead - The Butcher/Supercollider vinyl single (an in depth review)

Radiohead - The Butcher/Supercollider vinyl single
The Butcher is really good. It's all minimalist and shit. Supercollider is pretty good, too. It sounds very little like the piano version from a few years ago. It's also 7 minutes long and therefore has ended Paranoid Android's 14 year reign as Radiohead's longest song.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bill Callahan - Apocalypse

Bill Callahan - Apocalypse
I don't put a lot of stock in lyrics. Partly it's because most lyricists ain't Shakespeare and partly it's because I'm not either. Mostly it's because I find the music the main concern when listening to, you know, music. Bill Callahan's no slouch in the lyric department, but the only reason I feel the need to probe his lyrics this time is his inclusion of the word "apocalypse" in the title of this album and two of its songs. Apocalypse literally means "revelation", but Callahan's journey as a songwriter stopped veering into unknown territory quite a while back. If there's any revelation here, it's Callahan's and he's keeping it to himself. The common usage of the word refers to the end of the world, but Callahan would never be that dramatic or anywhere near that sanctimonious. Whatever has ended or has been revealed will only make sense in the context of his future work. If it's anything, that is. The tendency of writers to over-reach and infer meaning that isn't there is another one of the reasons I usually stay away from that shit. But look how much space I've filled by discussing a single word! I have to admit it's partly because I don't know what to say about the music.

That isn't to say that the music isn't worthy of discussion. It's just that Apocalypse isn't going to surprise anyone who is familiar with Callahan's work under his own name, and I would only end up recycling adjectives from reviews of this album and others that I haven't read, but they may have. But Callahan's predictability is part of his appeal now; the quality of his work has reached a plateau, but it's a high one. Much like last year's live album Rough Travel for a Rare Thing, Apocalypse was recorded with a full band, but is still quite sparse and mostly acoustic. It's not the soundtrack to an apocalypse; it's an album you put on and have a drink, and if the world ends, the world ends.

Bill Callahan - Dream River
Bill Callahan - Rough Travel for a Rare Thing
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