Wednesday, August 16, 2006

There's a Downtown Jersey City list I frequent (, I think) more for keeping up with local activities than for discussion, though there are at least a few interesting folk thereabouts. Someone today started the inevitable "Top X-number Greatest Albums" thread. This person chose 5. Of course, it's a silly proposition to think about, still--thinking about it, actually taking the notion seriously, causes some amount of discomfort. What if, for some ungodly reason, you really had to make this choice, picking five albums to take to your desert island (or Ellis Island, in Jersey City's case)? I think if I were given 500, I might feel OK with my selections. Maybe. I'm sure that "Duos for Doris" (Rowe/Tilbury) would be one, though. After that, bets are off. Needless to say, the titles crowding the list are the usual rock suspects. *yawn*. Just to get people confused/aggravated, I posted Doris, along with Mingus Presents Mingus, Partch's Delusion of the Fury, AMM's The Crypt and Feldman's For Bunita Marcus as played by Tilbury. Could do worse, I guess.


Anonymous said...

Five is impossible.

I'd take definitely take _Delusion_, Alvin Curran's _Maritime Rites_, and Rowe/M/Nakamura/Yoshihide's _ErstLive005_.

After that, it's probably _The Blanton-Webster Band_ and Mengelberg's 1939 _St. Matthew Passion_, but geez.

To leave off Talk Talk's _Laughing Stock_, AEC's _People in Sorrow_, Tilbury's _For Bunita Marcus_, and Ali Akbar Khan/Nikil Banerjee, _Signature Series, Vol. 4_, I just can't do.

And we haven't even gotten to Mingus & Dolphy, Ives's 4th Symphony, the _Langen Mandra Wanara_, any of Wanger's operas...

Love this blog, btw! There's a pretty good chance that whatver _future_ "DIDs" I discover will be brought to my attention via your sleuthing & ears...

Alex C.

Brian Olewnick said...

Hey, a comment!

Thanks, Alex (do I know you from anywhere on-line?)

The whole DID deal is silly, of course, but geekily fun at the same time.

I will put in a plug, though, if you're unaware of it otherwise, for Richard Pinnell's new label, Cathnor ( The first two discs are on their way now, a Herve Boghassian treatment of a Tibury/Mark Wastell persformance and a Will Guthrie percussion/electronics disc, both of which I'm highly anticipating.

I don't know the Curran disc you cite. I go back and forth on his work as a rule, my favorite probaly being his relatively straightforward "Era Ora".

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brian!

No, we never met in real life or on-line. I did just "delurk" on IHM under the partch666 moniker. I asked why do most experimental music fans tend not to listen to pre-20th C classical, and got interesting results.

I'm "with you" on Curran. Interesintg man, fascinating life, but nothing, recorded wise, strikes me as all that great. Except for the glory that is Maritime Rites! Daw W's Paristransatlantic review alerted me to its existence. By the time I had finished reading the review, I was on the phone to Forced Exposure. Here's the review:

(Loewy's at only confirmed that I had to get this. Curran's own website has the liner notes...)

Some of the most gorgeous, thoughtfully constructed field recordings-cum-music I've heard. Plus, I grew up in Monmouth County, making summer camps and daytrips all up and down the shore, so Maritime Rites had an unfair built-in advantage, and was already primed to resonate with me at a deeply personal level...

I'll be sure to check out those Cathnor CDS!

Alex C.

Brian Olewnick said...

Cool, I'll keep the Curran in mind.

I had some correspondence with with re: the Rowe bio a couple years ago. I get a little sense of a kind of "academic protectiveness" from he and other MEV members (Rzewski, especially, and I love Rzewski's work) regarding AMM and their tough-minded philosophy. Probably compounded at the AMM/MEV session where Rowe counselled, "No noodling". I get a similar sense from the other several Curran discs I have, "Animal Behavior", the thing with ROVA (Electric Rags) and the more recent duo with Domenico Sciajno. None of them bad, but none (aside from Era/Ora) that really struck home for me.

Brian Olewnick said...

erm, "with with" should read, "with Curran".