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The Circle of Sound (np: K.O.D. by Tech N9ne)

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Scarecrow
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Dec, 2008  Reply with quote

Glad you guys have taken to it, well Bruno at least. haha

Yeah, Jon, I feel the same way about The Wall, you have to be in a certain state of mind to really get into it. Along with Animals, or The Final Cut.



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Bruno
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Dec, 2008  Reply with quote

This album grows on me every time I listen to it. (I've been listening to it a lot). '73, when this album was released, punk still wasn't born, even in the US, but it's like Velvet Underground, you simply cannot ignore the whole punk thing going on full throttle in this album... mixed with, surprise of surprises, elements of prog rock! These guys were reinventing hard rock with this album, this is wild whiskey to the ears, it's like a Led Zeppelin meets Jethro Tull meets The Clash concept album.

And then there are these little reocurring musical phrases and themes, the shambling piano, the fanfaresque horns, and that leitmotif which Townshend and Daltrey sing to in Helpless Dancer. (I caught myself whistling that tune today, while buttering a toast for breakfast). This kind of things gets me really into the album, it extradicts the album to the rest of my living. I've been breathing Jimmy even when I'm not listening to this album, it makes such a strong statement that after listening to it some three times you can't get it out of your head, it changes your route and your pace for a while. (At least that's how I deal with music).


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PostPosted: Tue 02 Dec, 2008  Reply with quote

Cool! Never expected that, that's exactly how I feel with it. But I thought that everybody would be turned off by the reacurring "raaaiinn onn mee"

I love it in "I've had enough" at exactly 1:22 into the song, that part is actually one of my first childhood memories. That's why I chose this album.

Great!



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Bruno
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PostPosted: Tue 02 Dec, 2008  Reply with quote

James wrote:
I love it in "I've had enough" at exactly 1:22 into the song, that part is actually one of my first childhood memories. That's why I chose this album.

At the risk of going a little of topic, your comment reminded me of another song, REM's «Losing my Religion». My dad was obsessed with this song back when I was very little and we lived in the farm, and whenever we actually had to go to the town by car, he would play that album, and this song struck me really hard for some reason. Still today I don't like to listen to it next to other people, it's a somewhat personal song to me, it brings very old, dear memories.

Funny, huh? How these songs from our childhoods can, well, hunt us down for life with memories and emotions and wow. Heh.


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Bruno
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2008  Reply with quote

Another experience of sorts to report. Because today I had Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti play, and as I listened to «Kashmir», it suddenly felt right to listen to Quadrophenia in a different manner. So I changed my play queue to it, and indeed, the fifteen minutes of Zeppelin had changed my mood or something... The album just felt different.

I listened the first side, but as 5:15 started playing I needed to go back from rock to jazz, so I once again tweaked my queue, adding lots of Yoko Kanno & The Seatbelts to it: two hard bops, followed by a blues, a bebop, a bunch of blues and jazz, some rock, some pop, more blues, more jazz, some more rock and then two pieces of soul music.

It was quite a sequence! And Quadrophenia really fit in. I think I'm assimilating its mood or something, I can live by it at times and not live by it at others. I've been whistling it's leitmotif every now and then these days, and sometimes I pace myself on the rhythm of one of its songs, this musical immersion has been a really nice idea. I'll definitely join the circle of sound next month! 8D


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Amused Himself to Death
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2008  Reply with quote

Quote:
You should really ellaborate on your music appreciacion process one of these days, it sounds like you deal with music in a very particular, a very personal manner.
You are most certainly correct, dear Bruno. I've been "into" music for about 5 years, that's when I stumbled in on my brothers CD collection and began to listen to his stuff. Before that, I wasn't really into it. But I really liked this - I was listening to albums in their full forms and it was great. Mainly, I listen to an album, without skipping a song or a single song on it. The first 3-5 listens are really important I find, that if you're in a bad mood during those first few listens, you aren't going to listen to the thing again. Happened to me for Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsies, his best selling album. Screwed me over, it's supposed to be really good. Also, first few listens I decide if I want to keep listening to it. If it gets a good rating on wikipedia, like by music guide or something, and I still don't like it, I'll listen to it about 5 more times, and if I don't like it, I can (justifiably) put it away and come back to it later when I wanna listen to it some other time. Most of the time, I don't like all of the songs on the album initially, but over time I get to like it a lot.

Usually I listen to the music to enjoy myself, so I don't pay too much attention to lyrics, and just allow myself to think when listening to it. Makes for a good backdrop as well, if I'm doing something else. If I'm really into the album, and I really like it, I'll start listening to the lyrics a lot closer to see if I can find something in it more that I can get out of it that I haven't gotten already. That's usually around 30-40 listens. By then, if an album is unoriginal or typical of the artist, or if it has little depth to its lyrics that I do pay attention, I probably won't give it too much attention and stop listening to it. Most albums I won't listen to more than 25 times.

Now, this will come off as really anal, but I've established a bunch of rules for myself that I for the most part abide by, that I've found to be what works best so I get the best possible experience when I listen to music.

1. Never do more than one album by an artist at a time. (This is VERY important, it's easy to get tired of a band if too much is taken on at once. This is how I killed Bob Marley and Led Zeppelin for myself, I just never listen to them anymore because I was doing 4 of them at a time. Plus, artists where I didn't do too many at once, I can go again if they're really good, listen and enjoy it, where I can't really do that with Led Zeppelin or Bob Marley any more).
2. Double Albums: Only do one disc at a time.
3. Never skip a song on an album (unless it's irritating, like Mother on Synchronicity, even though I actually like the song now).
4. After 30-40 listens, you may listen to single songs off of an album, though it's still frowned upon.
5. Don't do Captain Beefheart albums.
6. Patience with new albums.
7. Don't listen to the same album more than once per day. Makes you get tired of it really quick.
8. Don't do too many albums at one period. (A good number I've found to be was about 4-5 max)
9. Some albums/artists are better in certain seasons, for instance, Bruce Springsteen in the summer, and Bob Dylan in late fall/winter. Enjoy them in their right seasons, for the most part.
10. Only branch out to new genres a little at a time. Easy to get exhausted from too much new stuff at once.
11. Later on, after 20 listens, don't force an album too often. A little is fine, but not too much. Makes you get tired of it fast.

There, that's the foundation I've layed for myself. It really works well I find. At times it can be damned irritating, but it's very rewarding overall. I was going to leave it at 10, as in, the 10 Commandments, but meh, 11 isn't bad either.


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Bruno
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Dec, 2008  Reply with quote

First of all, here goes some blatant advertising.

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on the effects of music to dreaming!
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Jon wrote:
1. Never do more than one album by an artist at a time.

I do the complete opposite! lach1 My usual routine is like, download the whole discography (disclaimer: it's legal in Brazil, please abide by your own country's law), add a beep noise between albums, listen to it end-to-end.

Jon wrote:
2. Double Albums: Only do one disc at a time.

This really depends on the nature of the album, I guess I wouldn't do that to a concept album. But most of the time, you're right, it can get tiring if you're really trying to appreciate, taste an album.

Jon wrote:
3. Never skip a song on an album (unless it's irritating, like Mother on Synchronicity, even though I actually like the song now).

Agreed.

Jon wrote:
4. After 30-40 listens, you may listen to single songs off of an album, though it's still frowned upon.

Hahaha, I have no problems with single songs or with playlists, but I guess that's because of my culture. I grew up in the countryside, most music I listened to came from custom-missed cassete tapes, in the «I mixed a tape for you» fashion, with a carefully thought set list and some funky transition effects. So I always valued songs for their value within a sequence, but not necessarily the album. A playlist can do to a song as much justice as its original album.

Jon wrote:
5. Don't do Captain Beefheart albums.

Who?

Jon wrote:
6. Patience with new albums.

True, and hard learnt.

Jon wrote:
7. Don't listen to the same album more than once per day. Makes you get tired of it really quick.

I don't have a problem with that, I can get burnt out and just prefer listening to something else, I've never gottent to the point where music actually gets annoying to me.

Jon wrote:
8. Don't do too many albums at one period. (A good number I've found to be was about 4-5 max)

Also true for playlists.

Jon wrote:
9. Some albums/artists are better in certain seasons, for instance, Bruce Springsteen in the summer, and Bob Dylan in late fall/winter. Enjoy them in their right seasons, for the most part.

Funny. I'd definitely put Springsteen on winter and Dylan on summer. Well, whatever, we get to listen to them at the same time.

Jon wrote:
10. Only branch out to new genres a little at a time. Easy to get exhausted from too much new stuff at once.

Also, if it's not something you're used to, go check a music encyclopedia (yeah, sure, wikipedia will do if you have nothing better) to learn the language. You can actually appreciate jazz a lot better if you understand how a song is split in parts and how they work; and you cannot ever appreciate hip hop without understanding what's at play there — the closest you'll get to hip hop without knowing their culture is being a crazy «yo ma, look at me, I'm from da hood» poseur.

Jon wrote:
11. Later on, after 20 listens, don't force an album too often. A little is fine, but not too much. Makes you get tired of it fast.

This tends to happen naturally for me so meh.

Nice to see your routine, I've got to put it to practise one of these days and see what happens. grin


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Scarecrow
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Dec, 2008  Reply with quote

Amused Himself to Death wrote:
1. Never do more than one album by an artist at a time.


Yes, I agree. Bands, or artists go through changes, and albums are always different as they progress. They always have a different feel.

Take Pink Floyd, the changes are obvious. Listen to Piper at The Gates of Dawn, then skip over to The Wall and tell me there are no differences.

Amused Himself to Death wrote:
3. Never skip a song on an album (unless it's irritating, like Mother on Synchronicity, even though I actually like the song now).


I don't know man, the song was placed there for a reason. If you listen to it you might get a message that you didn't get if you skip it. This has happened to me before.

Amused Himself to Death wrote:
4. After 30-40 listens, you may listen to single songs off of an album, though it's still frowned upon.


What, are you crazy? Maybe after two listens for me. That's enough time for the album's message, if any, to sink in. After that, I listen to favorite tunes. But I still go back and listen to the whole album though.

Amused Himself to Death wrote:
5. Don't do Captain Beefheart albums.


I did some looking and Bruno, apparently he's some sort of artist.

Amused Himself to Death wrote:
6. Patience with new albums.


Of course, although I tend to not have as much patience with The Stones as I would .. The Beatles. They were never creative with there stuff and most of their songs were filler (Stones). The only exception being Their Satanic Majesties, one of my favorite albums of all time.

But yes, patience is a good quality to have when it comes to albums.

Amused Himself to Death wrote:
7. Don't listen to the same album more than once per day. Makes you get tired of it really quick.


Not for me, I can listen to some stuff all day if I feel like it. But I have to be in a certain mood to begin with to listen to a whole album.

Amused Himself to Death wrote:
8. Don't do too many albums at one period. (A good number I've found to be was about 4-5 max)


Perhaps for one band, but why not listen to different bands at one time, it may even be beneficial.

Amused Himself to Death wrote:
9. Some albums/artists are better in certain seasons, for instance, Bruce Springsteen in the summer, and Bob Dylan in late fall/winter. Enjoy them in their right seasons, for the most part.


Although I do find Springsteen to be a summer guy, I wouldn't restrict him to a season .

Amused Himself to Death wrote:
10. Only branch out to new genres a little at a time. Easy to get exhausted from too much new stuff at once.


I don't usually branch out to new genres, I'm a music isolationist.

Amused Himself to Death wrote:
11. Later on, after 20 listens, don't force an album too often. A little is fine, but not too much. Makes you get tired of it fast.


I would never consider "forcing an album". Like I said, if I'm in a certain mood, I'll play an album that is relative to it. The Who's by Numbers is a good one if you're angry.

I have to say I do not like your set of rules man. I mean, yes there are faux pas, like patience with an album, but you seem to have made music into a science, which is wrong!



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Amused Himself to Death
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Dec, 2008  Reply with quote

Bruno wrote:
I do the complete opposite! lach1 My usual routine is like, download the whole discography (disclaimer: it's legal in Brazil, please abide by your own country's law), add a beep noise between albums, listen to it end-to-end.
I have a friend that does that actually. I suppose it comes naturally to some, like he typically likes music the first time he hears it somehow, so whatever works I suppose.

Quote:
I grew up in the countryside, most music I listened to came from custom-missed cassete tapes, in the «I mixed a tape for you» fashion, with a carefully thought set list and some funky transition effects.
Ooh, I should try that sometime. I tried that once, it sounded pretty good. It takes a while to find music that flows into each other naturally, and most of the time the artist (if the album is good enough) has already done that for you.
Bruno wrote:
Jon wrote:
5. Don't do Captain Beefheart albums.

Who?
Captain Beefheart

He's an artist that is impossible to like. He plays bad on purpose, like, a lot of flats and sharps, and is just painful and exhausting to hear. I've had a lot of patience with the guy, but it's just not working. I should give him another shot one of these days though...maybe someday I'll like his stuff.
Quote:
I don't have a problem with that, I can get burnt out and just prefer listening to something else, I've never gottent to the point where music actually gets annoying to me.
Well, I don't get tired of music, I just get tired of the artist, or the album really quick, and generally I find I get a lot more out of it by listening to it a maximum of once per day than if I were to listen to it twice per day instead. Like, Joni Mitchell's Blue, a really really good album, I listened to it twice per day for a long time, and I got burnt out from it. That was too bad, because it's really, really good.

Jon wrote:
9. Some albums/artists are better in certain seasons, for instance, Bruce Springsteen in the summer, and Bob Dylan in late fall/winter. Enjoy them in their right seasons, for the most part.
Bruno wrote:

Funny. I'd definitely put Springsteen on winter and Dylan on summer. Well, whatever, we get to listen to them at the same time.
hahaha, I play this one a bit looser than most of the other ones. If I feel like listening to something, usually I do, just I find when an artist is "out of season" per se, I don't enjoy it as much as I would if it were the "right" season.

Bruno wrote:
Also, if it's not something you're used to, go check a music encyclopedia (yeah, sure, wikipedia will do if you have nothing better) to learn the language. You can actually appreciate jazz a lot better if you understand how a song is split in parts and how they work; and you cannot ever appreciate hip hop without understanding what's at play there — the closest you'll get to hip hop without knowing their culture is being a crazy «yo ma, look at me, I'm from da hood» poseur.
Interesting. I found that with sports, like European Football or American Football, that if I knew what one team was trying to accomplish by using a particular tactic, I enjoyed it a lot more than if I was just watching it clueless. I never would have thought that this idea might carry over to music...

Bruno wrote:
Nice to see your routine, I've got to put it to practise one of these days and see what happens. grin
Hehehe, it's less of a routine and more of a code of law tounge1

Jon wrote:
3. Never skip a song on an album (unless it's irritating, like Mother on Synchronicity, even though I actually like the song now).

Working Class Hero wrote:
I don't know man, the song was placed there for a reason. If you listen to it you might get a message that you didn't get if you skip it. This has happened to me before.
Mother, by the Police Some songs are just unlistenable. Never is a strong word, which is why I used it, but there are songs which deserve to be skipped.
Jon wrote:
4. After 30-40 listens, you may listen to single songs off of an album, though it's still frowned upon.
Working Class Hero wrote:
What, are you crazy? Maybe after two listens for me. That's enough time for the album's message, if any, to sink in. After that, I listen to favorite tunes. But I still go back and listen to the whole album though.
Meh, do what you like, I'll do it mine. I get a lot more out of listening to full albums than I ever will with single songs. I find the "hits" that people tend to like upon the first listen are usually my least favourite track by the time I get around to the later stations in my listening, and that the album tracks that radio stations overlook are much better songs.

Jon wrote:
6. Patience with new albums.
Working Class Hero wrote:
Of course, although I tend to not have as much patience with The Stones as I would .. The Beatles. They were never creative with there stuff and most of their songs were filler (Stones). The only exception being Their Satanic Majesties, one of my favorite albums of all time.
Well, unless you were listening to their 80's stuff, what I am about to say is completely void, I completely understand. The Rolling Stones were very crappy in the 80's, quite frankly, they stopped trying, and they sucked. However, to brush aside Aftermath, Between the Buttons, Sticky Fingers, Beggars Banquet, Exile On Main Street and Let It Bleed as "filler" shows that you really need to listen to them more than twice to "get" them. Because Exile On Main Street is certainly not filler, neither are any of the albums that I've mentioned. All of them, at worst, are very solid works, and at best are straight up masterpieces. They may not be the Beatles, but they are certainly pretty close.

Music snobs tounge2

WCH wrote:
Not for me, I can listen to some stuff all day if I feel like it. But I have to be in a certain mood to begin with to listen to a whole album.
Fair enough, they tend to get old pretty quick that way though, for me at least.

WCH wrote:
I have to say I do not like your set of rules man. I mean, yes there are faux pas, like patience with an album, but you seem to have made music into a science, which is wrong!
What are you, one of 'em creationists! Not likin' Science? aheeh heeh heeh!

Fair enough, my style isn't to your liking. I do have it down as a science, it is true. Still, under this science of mine, I've enjoyed music more in the past 1-2 years under it than I have away from it.

But, anyway, why is this science wrong? Other than calling it that, you didn't really give any reason as to why you dislike it.


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Scarecrow
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Dec, 2008  Reply with quote

It's good that you like the way your doing things and that it's working for you, I wasn't challenging you. That what makes music great, it works different for everybody.

Oh, and mother, I couldn't stop laughing.



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PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2009  Reply with quote

can i revive this with some obscure tunes?

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Bruno
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PostPosted: Wed 22 Apr, 2009  Reply with quote

Choose an album. Torrents are legal in Brazil for another couple of months for sure (then the guys upstate vote on this bill to make it illegal, which will probably not pass on the grounds of being unconstitutional, but that's another story), we have time. siiw

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PostPosted: Thu 23 Apr, 2009  Reply with quote

well listen to this first. this is for bruno and jon

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dbpOoTEFD_g

and the album i would choose would be Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea. it is one of my favorite albums ever.



from wiki

Quote:
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is the second studio album by American indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel. The album was released in February 1998 in the United States on Merge Records and in May 1998 in the United Kingdom on Blue Rose Records.

Jeff Mangum moved from Athens to Denver, Colorado to prepare the bulk of the album's material with producer Robert Schneider, this time at Schneider's newly-created Pet Sounds Studio at the home of Jim McIntyre.
...
The album continues to sell well, and was the sixth-best-selling vinyl album in 2008.
...
Initial reviews of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea were mixed. A review in the College Music Journal called Aeroplane a "A true lo-fi pop landmark" and cited "Holland, 1945" as a highlight.[5] Pitchfork Media's M. Christian McDermott gave the album an 8.7 out of 10...A review by Ben Ratliff in Rolling Stone was more negative: "Unfortunately, Mangum went straight for the advanced course in aura and texture, skipping basic training in form and selfediting. [...] He sings loudly, straining the limits of an affectless voice. [...] For those not completely sold on its folk charm, Aeroplane is thin-blooded, woolgathering stuff."[7]

Jason Ankeny of Allmusic wrote, "lo-fi yet lush, impenetrable yet wholly accessible, In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is either the work of a genius or an utter crackpot, with the truth probably falling somewhere in between." Ankeny also praised Mangum's vocals as "far more emotive" than they were on On Avery Island, but criticized the lyrics as vague in meaning, saying, "While Mangum spins his words with the rapid-fire intensity of a young Dylan, the songs are far too cryptic and abstract to fully sink in — In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is undoubtedly a major statement, but just what it's saying is anyone's guess."
...
Subsequent reviews from Pitchfork and Rolling Stone were more positive; the latter gave the album four of five stars in its 2004 The New Rolling Stone Album Guide: Completely Revised and Updated 4th Edition, with reviewer Roni Sarig writing, "Mangum had put together something resembling an actual band, resulting in a far richer and more organic sound [than On Avery Island]. What's more, the songwriting had blossomed far beyond the bounds of Elephant 6 (or indie rock as a whole), with Mangum etching out timeless transcendentalist pop steeped in a century of American music (from funeral marches to driving punk)." Sarig also commended the album for its "passionate acoustic-guitar strums, irresistible melodies, and lyrics that rarely feel obtuse even when they're nonsensical."[11] Pitchfork, in a 2005 review written by Mark Richardson, gave the album a perfect score. Richardson praised the album's lyrical directness and "kaleidoscopic" musical style.[12] PopMatters named a reissue of the album one of the best of 2005, and wrote, "Aeroplane is a manifesto for a different way of making pop. To hear 'Two-Headed Boy' in 2005 is to realize that Mangum's art is simply superb songwriting. But most of the record adds an ingenious mixture of accordion, brass, organ, fuzzed-out guitars, tape, and other glorious miscellanea."[13]
...
All songs written by Jeff Mangum except where noted. Horn arrangements by Robert Schneider and Scott Spillane.

1. "The King of Carrot Flowers Pt. One" – 2:00
2. "The King of Carrot Flowers Pts. Two & Three" (Jeremy Barnes, Julian Koster, Jeff Mangum, Scott Spillane) – 3:06
3. "In the Aeroplane Over the Sea" – 3:22
4. "Two-Headed Boy" – 4:26
5. "The Fool" (Spillane) – 1:53
6. "Holland, 1945" – 3:12
7. "Communist Daughter" – 1:57
8. "Oh Comely" – 8:18
9. "Ghost" – 4:08
10. Untitled – 2:16
* On the album's liner notes, the track is identified as "10".
11. "Two-Headed Boy Pt. Two" – 5:13
...
Personnel

* Jeff Mangum – guitar, vocals, organ, floor tom, bass guitar, tape, shortwave radio, art direction
* Jeremy Barnes – drums, organ
* Scott Spillane – trumpet, flugelhorn, trombone, euphonium, horn arrangements
* Julian Koster – Wandering Genie organ, singing saw, bowed banjo, accordion, white noise
* Robert Schneider – home organ, air organ, bass, backing vocals, piano, horn arrangements
* Laura Carter – zanzithophone
* Rick Benjamin – trombone
* Merisa Bissinger – saxophone, flugelhorn
* James Guyatt - Percussion
* Michelle Anderson – Uilleann pipes
* Chris Bilheimer – art direction
* Brian Dewan – illustrations


Pitchfork review of the 2005 reissue

Quote:


So, then, seven years later Domino reissues In the Aeroplane Over the Sea and the arguments can begin anew. I've talked about this album with a lot of people, including Pitchfork readers and music writers, and while it is loved in the indie world like few others, a small but still significant number despise it. Aeroplane doesn't have the near-consensus of top-shelf 90s rock artifacts like, say, Loveless, OK Computer, or Slanted and Enchanted. These records are varied, of course, different in many ways. But in one key respect Aeroplane stands apart: This album is not cool.

Shortly after the release of In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Puncture magazine had a cover story on Neutral Milk Hotel. In it Mangum told of the influence on the record of Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl. He explained that shortly after releasing On Avery Island he read the book for the first time, and found himself completely overwhelmed with sadness and grief. Back in 1998 this admission made my jaw drop. What the hell? A guy in a rock band saying he was emotionally devastated by a book everyone else in America read for a middle-school assignment? I felt embarrassed for him at first, but then, the more I thought about it and the more I heard the record, I was awed. Mangum's honesty on this point, translated directly to his music, turned out to be a source of great power.

In the Aeroplane Over the Sea is a personal album but not in the way you expect. It's not biography. It's a record of images, associations, and threads; no single word describes it so well as the beautiful and overused "kaleidoscope." It has the cracked logic of a dream, beginning with "King of Carrot Flowers Part 1". The easiest song on the record to like on first listen, it quietly introduces the listener to the to the album's world, Mangum singing in a muted voice closer to where he left off with the more restrained On Avery Island (through most of Aeroplane he sounds like he's running out of time and struggling to get everything said). The first four words are so important: "When you were young..." Like every perceptive artist trafficking in memory, Mangum knows dark surrealism to be the language of childhood. At a certain age the leap from kitchen utensils jammed into dad's shoulder to feet encircled by holy rattlesnakes is nothing. A *** of the head; a squint, maybe.

Inside this dream it all begins in the body. Moments of trauma, joy, shame-- here they're all experienced first as physical sensation. A flash of awkward intimacy is recalled as "now how I remember you/ how I would push my fingers through your mouth/ to make those muscles move." Sometimes I hear this line and chuckle. I think of Steve Martin in The Jerk, licking Bernadette Peters' entire face as a sign of affection. Mangum here reflects the age when biological drives outpace the knowledge of what to do with them, a time you're seeing sex in everything ("semen stains the mountaintops") or that sex can be awkward and unintentionally painful ("fingers in the notches of your spine" is not what one usually hopes for in the dark). Obsessed as it is with the textures of the flesh and the physical self as an emotional antenna, listening to Aeroplane sometimes seems to involve more than just your ears.

Then there's the record's disorienting relationship to time. The instrumentation seems plucked randomly from different years in the 20th century: singing saws, Salvation Army horn arrangements, banjo, accordion, pipes. Lyrical references to technology are hard to fix. Anne Frank's lifespan from 1929 to 1945 is perhaps the record's historical center, but the perspective jumps back and forth over centuries, with images and figures sucked from their own age and squirted out somewhere else. When "The King of Carrot Flowers Part 3" mentions "a synthetic flying machine" our minds leap to something like Leonardo da Vinci's 15th Century drawings of his helicopter prototype. The image in "Two-Headed Boy" of a mutant child trapped in a jar of formaldehyde is pulled from Dr. Moreau's industrial age island. The radio play powered by pre-electric pulleys and weights, the nuclear holocaust in the title track. What's it all about? Mangum offers an explanation for these jarring leaps in a line about Anne Frank in "Oh Comely," where he sings, "I know they buried her body with others/ her sister and mother and 500 families/ and will she remember me 50 years later/ I wished I could save her in some sort of time machine." If you can move through time, see, nothing ever really dies.

Seven years it's been, and whether Mangum has had personal trouble or somehow lost his way with music, it's not unreasonable to think that we've heard the last from Neutral Milk Hotel. I hope he does, but he may never pick up the guitar he set down after "Two-Headed Boy Part Two." Even so, we have this album and another very good one, and that to me is serious riches. Amazing to think how it started, how at the core of it all was guts. I keep thinking of "It's Alright Ma, I'm Only Bleeding," and one of Dylan's truest lines: "If my thought-dreams could be seen/ They'd probably put my head in a guillotine." Aeroplane is what happens when you have that knowledge and still take the risk.

— Mark Richardson, September 26, 2005


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Scarecrow
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Apr, 2009  Reply with quote

Ahh some good ol' fashioned ld4all elitism, alive and well!


Current LD goal(s): Have an SD with that cute little crow.
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Bruno
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Apr, 2009  Reply with quote

Daniel. When I think I've seen weird music, you bring me, you always bring it to a whole new level. I'm in.

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