"I could not tell if my eyes were open or shut"

While researching the Atom Orr review, we came across this blog post, leading to this Wikipedia backgrounder, and finally leading to this. Which is a howler. It begins as a very technical description of compound preparation...


<sup>study:</sup> There is a loudness war after all, melodies are becoming blander, the timbre palette is suffering, and there is little end in sight. Here's Tom with the weather.

What can we say? Slow news day. An near-infinity of music channels to choose from and yet there's nothing cheap cialis on. On that note, The Huffington Post reports: Researchers in Spain used...


"Emotional Cues in American Popular Music: Five Decades of the Top 40."

That's the title of a paper by E. Glenn Schellenberg and Christian von Scheve, from the May 21, 2012 edition of Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts. Here is the abstract: Some musical characteristics...


Stream of Montreal – “Feminine Effects”

Record Store Day is just a few short weeks away and so everyone's getting all worked up and saving their hard earned cash in order to support their local vinyl dealer. There's even a smart...


hit and run: “Emboldened Orchestras are Embracing the New”

From Anthony Tommasini of The New York Times. Executive summary: Classical music audiences seem more curious than ever, and performers have been emboldened over the past decade or so to take more chances. Composers from...

Nietzsche page by page: in summary

nietzsche_olde_022We’ve reached Chapter 18 of Dr. N’s Birth of Tragedy, which, according to reliable sources, is far enough, thank you very much. It’s a perplexing book, difficult to read, widely ridiculed, all but renounced by its author … and brilliant.

In today’s marketplace of ideas, the marquee issues all pertain to our collective survival, and rightly so.  So the questions “what differentiates music from the other art forms, and why is our response to music so disproportionate?” are sidelined until we solve the puzzles of global warming.  Economic collapse.  Jihad.  Resource allocation.

Yet some of us would still like an answer to the off-label questions.  Surely you did not start dancing the last time you read a John Grisham novel.  Just as you were probably not moved to tears the last time you saw a Bosch painting in a museum.  Just as you would  never go deaf for an Annie Liebowitz photograph.  When you study for a test, do you put on a movie?  Or when you want to set the mood for your wife, do you bring out her scrapbooking project?  No you don’t.  Why?  Here is one explanation: “We are so moved by music because all matter is composed of music.”  Why the hell not?

Here is another: “Our first nine months of life were very noisy. We miss the noise we heard in the womb.” Sure.  This is philosophy, there are no wrong answers.

This is what Nietzsche believed: “The individual, with all his limits and moderation, was destroyed in the self-oblivion of the Dionysian condition and forgot” for a brief moment his mortality. In other words, music makes us remember, then it lets us forget. This, says Nietzsche, is why music is our most precious form of art. More so than painting. More so than photography. More so than literature and poetry and tv and film and scrapbooking.

Maybe you believe this to be ridiculous, or scholarly hot air. But think back to the early days of The Beatles, when the band would appear on variety shows and the girls in the audience would race to see who passed out first. None of them would have reacted this way had they encountered the band alone, in the living rooms of their parents’ house. None of them would have thought to.

So, self-oblivion? The birth of tragedy out of the spirit of music? 

Why the hell not?

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