fivemack: (Default)
I've just listened to Woody Guthrie's Grand Coulee Dam three times, because there's nothing in my collection quite like it.

Among my readers are some vastly better-listened than I. Can you suggest similar eulogies to reinforced concrete and thirty-foot turbines? I suppose Leslie Fish's Hope Eyrie is something of the same kind of thing.
fivemack: (Default)
If I want to listen to well-done classical music in Cambridge, I can look out for adverts announcing bits of the standard repertoire to be performed by various people in West Road, in college chapels, or (if the 'various people' are thoroughly famous) the Arts or the Corn Exchange.

In non-classical music, I don't see so much of a standard repertoire: I don't understand the way that random local performers encode what kind of a thing they are. I have a couple of sets of fairly pronounced tastes - I like well-produced undisguised pop, Spice Girls and Steps and Aqua. I like lyrics-driven pieces, fairly regardless of genre - Tom Lehrer, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen, I suppose some bits of Franz Ferdinand; I prefer the funnier of The Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs. I like Oysterband a great deal, from the mixture of ceilidh bouncy enthusiasm with politicised lyrics; the Levellers a bit less, Billy Bragg on politics much more than Billy Bragg on people, same for Bob Dylan. Bounciness is probably the unifying feature there, and would explain why I'm pretty keen on everything on the Best of Pete Waterman double album. Politics isn't necessary, I like Meatloaf and quite a lot of other Eighties rock, but it helps - very fond of Laibach's NATO.

Most rap I'm actively unkeen on; I picked up the new Kate Bush album and it did nothing for me. Most soul strikes me as wallpaper, there was nothing on the recent Goldfrapp that particularly stuck. Straightforward 'how I love him' solo-singer hasn't appealed when I've listened to it; whilst I like some of the recordings of absolute jazz standards, I've not enjoyed much live jazz.

So, what should I be listening to, and when are they next performing at the Corn Exchange, the Junction, or some smaller and more accessible Cambridge venue?
fivemack: (Default)
This month, I have


  • Fallen asleep in a production of Prokofiev'sRomeo and Juliet by the Russian State Ballet Company of Siberia.
  • Remained awake for a CUMS concert featuring Shostakovitch's Festive Overture and the Rite of Spring performed by an orchestra with two contrabassoons.
  • Fallen asleep in a production of Howell's insufferably tedious Requiem
  • Remained awake for Rossini's Petite Messe Solonelle in the second half of the same concert
  • Fallen asleep while one of my colleagues was presenting interesting research to an audience of four people including the owner of the company
  • Remained awake and rapt for a production of Tosca this evening


I think I may be a dormouse; in other news, there's an awful lot of music around in Cambridge.

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