Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics


Posted by shannonclark on July 2, 2002

Heat wave and musical notes

Warning – this is a long post, due to a long quote from another site but also to my thoughts afterwords.

This afternoon there is a long discussion on Slashdot about music (the current poll that is running there). Here is two posts that have a list of music that this one poster recommends. Since I like many of these pieces, I suspect I would like the rest of them. So, for my own future reference, here is the full list.

Re:Too rock-centric … (Score:2)
by Cally ( on Monday July 01, @06:43AM (#3799850)

I was speculating the other day about which of my CDs I’d repurchase first if my house burnt down (or they were nicked, or whatever). Came up with…:

Pet Shop Boys: Behaviour. I’m not A huge PSB fan by any means but this is stunning. If you like Ennio Moricone, that is. Really really excellent, not much like anything else (AFAIK) that they’ve done.

New Order: Technique. New Order including Those basslines (and Those Barney lyrics) plus housey sounds and a lot of ecstacy. Undoubtedly their best album. Every track a classic.

Aphex Twin: Ambient Works I (A.W.II is pants.)
Orbital: the one with Halycon+On+on, lush etc.
The Orb, Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld
Kitchens of Distinction: Death of Cool. Obscure british indie band; that they released four superb albums to critical acclaim but very few sales, then broke up, is an indictment of the way the Bizz chews up and spits out talent without discrimination.

the Fugees: The Score

Public Enemy: pick one, personally I like Fear of a Black Planet lots.

Yes: Close to the Edge

U.N.K.L.E.: Psyence Fiction

The (“british”) Verve: Urban Hymns

Scritti Politti: Anommie and Bonhomie. Criminally overlooked, after for ten years in production every note and beat is tuned and timed to perfection. Mos Def’s rapping is excellent too.

The obvious Floyd stuff; in addition, AMUSED TO DEATH, Roger Water’s most recent solo album (wiith Jeff Beck on guitar.) VERY highly recommended,and very pertinent to these times…

Spiritualized: Let It Come Down (most recent album) – god-like genius; this music got me through six months’ unemployment last year withot killing myself or anyone else (or — worse — learning Java!)

Camaron de la Isla: Antologia
3CD set of the best of Camaron, the sort-of Jimi Hendrix of flamenco. Er, actually more like the Beatles of flamenco, plus the Stones O.F., and the hendrix, the Morrison, the Sex Pistols and the U2 of flamenco. It all starts here with the greatewsst cantaor of the 20th century. For those unfortunates who have never experienced that moment when you first GET flamenco… get some Camaron. Play it. If you don’t get it, play it again. Repeat until enlightenment is attained. Congratulations, you are through the pain barrier and your life will never be the same again. See the link in my sig.


Miles Davis: the Birth of Cool.

John Coltrane: A Love Supreme


Alfred Brendel playing Mozart;

the Bach cello concertos, plus the Art of Fugue / Musical Offering;


I’m a sucker for Requim masses (even though I can’t spell it? =): the Mozart, the Verdi,…


Phillip Glass: On the Beach, Glassworks, or perhaps Koyaanisquatsi.

John Adams: Nixon in China; The Wound Dresser.

Brian Eno’s ambient stuff (the early ones: music for airports, et al.)

Manic Street Preachers – I’m a huge fan, if I had to replace just one it’d probably be “This is my truth, show me yours”

American Music Club: San Francisco

Mark Eitzel: Caught in a trap and I can’t back out because I love you too much baby

Red House Painters: the one with `Evil’

The House of Love: best of

Stone Roses (first album)

King Crimson: tricky, I like something from all the albums… perhaps Larks’ Tongues in Aspic has the best hit/miss ratio.

Of course there are tons more that I’ll remember once I hit Submit…

Hmmmm, I just noticed I’ve not listed any American rock music. Odd… well, not really 😉

If you like some or any of these you might like some of the others; check em out if you have the time…

Camaron de la Isla

Re:Too rock-centric … (Score:2)
by Cally ( on Monday July 01, @07:11AM (#3799903)
(User #10873 Info)
damnation, of course I immediately came up with others:

The Blue Nile: Hats . Played it the other night for the first time in a couple of years, nice to see it can still bring tears to the eyes (in a good way 😉

The Doors: LA Woman. the token white US act =)

Neil Young: hard to say which one… Comes a Time, After the Goldrush, Harvest (perhaps). (live) Rust never sleeps.

Radiohead KidA, OK Computer…

the only good thing to come out of grunge (apart from Dinosaur Jr “Freak Scene” of course): Nirvana’s Nevermind, MTV Unplugged…

some Elvis Costello – a best of perhaps.

Nick Cave Best of.

Why has no-one mentioned the Velvet Undergound?!

Bob Marley: perhaps the Legend compilation, or Catch a Fire.

Pavement: Slanted and Enchanted. “Everything’s ending here…” The Jinks stuff is pretty cool too, esp. Trojan Curfew.


How could I forget the godlike genius of… Beach Boys “Pet Sounds”?? “Let’s go away for a while” is a fsckin’ symphony in three minutes.

The Clash “London Calling”… “when they kick in your front door / how you gonna come? / With your hands on your head / Or on the trigger of your gun? / You can crush us/ you can bruise us / but you’ll have to answer to / Oh, the guns of Brixton…” How horribly prescient (I speak as a resident of Brixton.)

I have a very different reaction to music than seemingly the rest of America, especially my generation. For me music is nice. I enjoy hearing it. But it is almost never something I pay attention to. It is literally painful and difficult for me to pay attention to the lyrics of a song, it take complete concentration on my part and is next to impossible for me – something about sung words that make them harder (not easier) for me to register them, to understand them, to comprehend the content of the words and lyrics.

As a result music is a very unimportant part of life for me. I like it, I enjoy it, but I do not need it.

I rarely buy music, perhaps buying less than 10 cds in a year (that would be a major year for me). Even the CDs that I own, I rarely listen to, for the most part I listen to music on the radio as background music as I am working.

When I am alone, not in the office, I usually listen to talk radio rather than listen to music radio – something about hearing conversations and discussions is more relaxing for me than hearing most music.

Don’t get me wrong, I like music – I enjoy it, I have great memories of concerts I have attended – but the most emotionally connected I have felt to music has tended to be to non-verbal music, classical concerts for example. I also enjoy Opera (mostly not in English) because while listening to it noone really understands the words. The ability of people to remember all the words to a pop song befuddles me, I can only barely comprehend that the sounds sung are words – let alone that they have any sense to them at all – something about how I process and retain information I suspect.

Probably what makes it possible for me to read very quickly and retain it, to have a physical connection to the information such that I can hold the book and basically open it to where I want to be to illustrate some point, is also why I have trouble with sung music.

I lost one of the only relationships I have been in over this point. Music was crucial to her, core to her being. Not the only reason why we did not stay together, but probably one of them – she could not understand the unimportance of music in my life, and perhaps I could not understand the importance of it in hers.

Music seems to serve as an identity for many people – the type and style of music you orient yourself with serves to define the group with in which you belong (Country Music, HipHop, “Alternative”, “Heavy Metal” and myrid sub-genres and distinctions within each) – for me however music is either something I enjoy or something I do not – and what I enjoy and don’t are all over the mix and range from country to folk to techno to some rock (I guess).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: