woohoo to 4 digits!

at 5:19 pm eastern, i officially crossed into 4 digit territory. i now have less than 10,000 songs to go before i complete the tunequest. that is of course if i don't add a lot of new songs to my library…

for those who are interested, the lucky song was the first movement from dvorak's symphony no 1 performed by the royal scottish national orchestra. good piece, that is. 

We Can Be Heroes

Today’s I-285 adventure was sponsored by Philip Glass’ 1996 "Heroes" Symphony (or Glass’ Symphony No 4), a fantastic orchestral suite in 6 parts that’s based on but not an orchestral transcription of the Bowie/Eno album of the same name.

Unlike some of glass compositions, which can be inaccessable at times, this symphony is very compelling. Yeah, it’s full of his trademark cyclicality, but because it is rooted in a more popular form of music, this record really draws you in.

I’m particularly enthralled by the tension in Abdulmajid.

American Composers Orchestra & Dennis Russell Davies - Philip Glass: Heroes Symphony

the day of rock

started the day off with pearl jam's live show in katowice poland, from the group's massive bootleg dump in the year 2000. in high school, i collected a number of pearl jam shows (including one i had been to–what a treat!), but petered out after no code as my teenage devotion transformed into adultly-casual fanhood. when those bootlegs were released, i thought it would be a good idea to try to collect them all (like grungy pokemon). i think i got about 10 of the shows before it dawned on me that i really didn't need 25 nearly identical concerts cluttering up my music space, so i cut the list down to 3 shows: london, katowice and milan. then just last week, i further trimmed the lot by removing the london show; that recording just felt a little flat.

which brings me to katowice. this show is amazing, from the choice of songs to the gravity of the performance to the quality of the recording to the energy of the crowd. the show is more than 2 hours long and packs in nearly every great pearl jam song as well as the ol' standby: rockin in the free word.

update 3:44pm: continuing that seattle sound with soundgarden's down on the upside. it's a good record; too bad they broke up.

and if that's not enough rock for you, hum's electra2000 was next on the playlist. while not as complex or sophisticated as you'd prefer an astronaut or downward is heavenward, that album has some very good pounding, straigh-ahead rock. 'scraper' will blow your doors off.

rounding out the day was nirvana's classic debut, bleach, featuring 'love buzz' and 'about a girl.' i don't think anything else needs to be said about that one. 

In review: for the week ending may 13, 2006.

stats: 262 songs played for 19 hours and 22 minutes of listening time. 6 songs were added this week (new tracks from stereolab’s fab four suture) and a whopping 81 songs were removed from the library, for a net progress of 337 songs, which is excellent progress indeed. the graphs have been updated for the week, and for the first time, the projections actually seem to suggest that i’ll be able to listen to all these songs by year’s end. in fact, the current trendline estimates that i’ll finish around the first of december.

complete list of this week’s albums is on the flip.

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stuck in my head right now: tchaikovsky

i heard tchaikovsky's 5th sympony on the way into work this morning and i can't stop humming it. this particular recording is by the leningrad philharmonic and was recorded in 1960. the 5th symphony has a number of very catchy themes that quickly burrow into your head and just get stuck there. every time i hear this symphony, i love it more. it has even eclipsed my appreciation of his 6th symphony, though i don't think it'll ever surpass his slavonic march.

I embarrassingly still have this

get born

I listened to jet's get born this morning (well, selections from it). And despite the fact that i know they're just a crappy band with one good song not a great song, mind you, I haven't yet brought myself to get rid of the album. parts of it are long gone, particularly the awful beatles-imitation ballads.

on that, i envision a scene like this unfolding in the recording studio: dons an australian accent

boys, i've been listening to the record and, it sounds good, but we simply rock way too much. we need to up our wuss-factor with some slow tempo pianos and crappier lyrics that usual. you in?

bloody right. chicks dig wusses.

cheap shot, i know. but i can't escape the feeling that the group is a bunch of ponces. which is why i'm slightly embarassed to still have retained 7 songs from the album. don't hold it against me, ok?

besides, 'are you gonna be my girl?' still kinda rocks, just not in a 5 star way.

Jet - Get Born - Are You Gonna Be My Girl

Dennis McCarthy – Deep Space Nine: Emissary: An Unexpected Treat

In the pantheon of composers who have worked on Star Trek, none are more prolific than Dennis McCarthy, who has been working with the franchise since the debut episode of The Next Generation to the final episode of Enterprise. Of course, whether you think that's a good thing or bad depends on your opinion of his music.

With the rather large caveat that Mr. McCarthy's composing abilities were limited by the franchise’s producers and production capabilities, who placed less emphasis on bold thematic music in favor of reusable "mood" and "atmospheric" cues, I must admit that, on the whole, I've not been impressed. I know it's not the composer's fault, and that I'm probably unfairly comparing his work to the more grandiose Star Trek film scores, but it's hard to wrap my head around the largely ambient, mood-setting scoring. a similar complaint I have regarding the bulk of Christopher Franke's Babylon 5 music. Maybe it's just a general limitation of writing music for television.

However, I recently listened to McCarthy's score for the premiere episode of Deep Space Nine (Emissary) and was quite surprised at its musical complexity. Though I've never been a big fan of the lumbering syncopation of the show's main title, I can’t help but get caught up in its a magnificent crescendo. It’s a perfect segue into each episode.

While McCarthy's music for the Borg Battle at Wolf 359 is not nearly as menacing or action-packed as Ron Jones' from The Best of Both Worlds, it too ends on a dramatic note that works, both by itself and on screen as we see Sisko's escape pod leave the Saratoga just before its destruction.

The score, from there, delves into the backdrop zone until the track Cucumbers in Space, an oddly-named piece of futuristic head-bopping source music. The score reaches a highlight on Into the Wormhole which evokes Jerry Goldsmith's exquisite V'Ger flyover music from the first motion picture. Later, during Reconciliation there's a cue that's reminiscent of one of my favorite passages from the third movement of Mahler's sixth symphony.

All in all, I found the score to Emissary to be an unexpected treat.