Stravinksy, Requiem Canticles and The Flood
It blows my mind that more people into metal or "doom" don't listen to this man's music. I can only assume that a myriad of disgruntled music profs have so often made Stravinsky implicit in there shameful attempts to convince their students that everything in music has already been done. And now when those poor students hear a tone row, they have an accompanying back spasm.
Well, don't let those twats sour the entire musical output of one of humanity's most profound musical geniuses.
I chose The Flood and Requiem Canticles because they're among his very last works. They look into a future of music that is only now beginning to kind of happen, and happen out of complete necessity. There are moments in RC that directly inform the modern "mash up". The Flood's opening bassoon/choir theme is about as filthy as hip hop as it gets. Now, we can accredit both rock n' roll (i.e. The Rite of Spring) and hip hop, to one man.
Can you tell that I'm a fan? His music dramatically altered the trajectory of my whole life. I bought a $4 copy of Les Noces and Oedipus Rex and was never the same.
Listen to Stravinsky!!!!!!
P.S. Robert Craft recordings are pretty good. Strav conducted ones are great also.
R. Kelly, Trapped in the Closet
I know that R. Kelly seems to move in and out of fashion quite frequently (that was kind of a closet pun). But I really appreciate the Trapped in the Closet series for it's absurdity. There isn't enough of the bizarre (I mean TRULY bizarre) in music, art, or film for that matter, today. Not to mention, I just like the music. "You can do it Pimp Lucius!"
Bloodlet, The Seraphim Fall
I truly think that this is a masterwork. I seem to find a way to draw from it on every project I do. It's heavy, disgusting, disgusted, hilarious, putrid, ethereal, etc…I love the jagged presentation and wonky production. It was proposed to me, not that long ago, that the album actually gets louder as you listen to it. Fucking awesome. It's unfortunate that Bloodlet are so under appreciated.
The Well Tempered Clavier
I'm currently taking counterpoint lessons. And as you quickly find out, Bach is the final word on "tonal" counterpoint. Tonal being in parentheses because Bach seems to find as many ways as humanly possible to defy the restrictions of the major/minor system he so aggressively championed. And in the process, he actually makes a good case for having some musical restrictions placed upon composers.
Musically, the fugues are unparalleled. I find I can listen to them as any genre of music I see fit at that moment. They are so amorphous and so evocative and soooo subtle, that you can never quite know them. They seem to refresh themselves after every listen. Playing them is a whole other experience entirely. Don't do it unless you have the rest of your life to spare.
Prince, Any and all
I used to think that he was a second rung MJ. But I'm finding lately that amidst his musical wallpaper moments, he's just not that concerned with hooks. He seems far more attuned to orchestration and harmony. The Batman soundtrack is a standout at the moment. Vicki Waiting and Electric Chair are killer. I find the more Prince you're exposed to, the more you enjoy him. Pussy Control!
The Goldberg Variations
Well it's more accurate to say that I play them ad nauseum. I learned the first five, including the aria, in an attempt to blow my family away at Christmas. They were only mildly blown away. Now I just play them most days after work. I extract so much enjoyment from playing Bach. It's like praying for me.
Jesus Christ Superstar (film version) and Oedipus Rex by Igor Stravinsky…..AT THE SAME TIME!
That's right. Occasionally I'll buy a mickey of rye and get entirely smashed while playing several whole albums simultaneously. This pairing seemed to have an especially serendipitous relationship.