Didot 3 – At long last, I’ve found it!

lithops didot

There's a particular electronic song that’s so invigorating that it just keeps popping into my head every so often, at random, without warning or prompting. The problem is that I’ve never quite been able remember what song it is, or who performed it. I can hear it note for note, but every time I think i've come close to identifying it, it slips away. I've long suspected that it was e*vax or esem, but a exhaustive searching of the library failed to reveal it.

But, this morning, out of nowhere, voila! comes that same pulsing, driving beat, over-lapped with the dirtiest grinding wahwah flange that I’ve been search for. Suddenly pounding my ears was Didot 3, the third song on the album Didot, by Lithops, aka Jan Werner who is one half of the one of the few bands whose t-shirt I’m still willing to wear Mouse on Mars.

At last, this particular tunequest is over!

Didot is a very good example of what I call is “listenable experimental electronic music”. A lot of “experimental” music shies away from traditional songcraft and musical appeal. Didot, on the other hand, uses fairly straight-forward arrangements, which despite being composed of harsh electronic sounds, makes it fairly enjoyable to listen to and keeps it from falling into the realm of “difficult but rewarding.”

Give Didot 3 a listen:


This album is very hard to come by. So if you find it, get it.

Wherein I ponder all the music I could listen to in my lifetime

I did some thinking today about my library and listening to music in general. I’m 27; given the average American life expectancy, I’ve got another 50 years in me. If the size of my iTunes library remains constant (big if), I could expect to listen to every song in it a maximum of 429 times, if i were to listen to each song an equal number of times. However, that would require listening for 24 hours a day for the next 18,000+ days, so that is really not a practical measurement.

Given that on days when I’m really trying hard to listen to as much music as possible, I only clock about 3 hours of listening, it brings the number of listens down to 53 per song, roughly enough time to play each song only once per year, That’s all the more reason to clear out the less-than-stellar songs and albums from my collection, because I know I’ve got music i want to hear more than once per year.

meanwhile, here’s today’s tracks.

  • broken social scene [bee hives]
  • uakti [aguas de amazonia]
  • nautilis [are you an axolotl]
  • mouse on mars [cache coeur naif]
  • counting crows [august and everything after]
  • underworld [beaucoup fish]

No laughing at the Counting Crows. I’ve only got a handful of tracks from their first album (from before they tanked) and I don’t care what anyone says, Omaha is a damn impressive song; it’s their best. •

Honestly, today was a great day for music. Underworld’s Beaucoup Fish is a masterpiece of progressive house music that relies more on songcraft than thumping beats–though their are plenty–to create some compellingly danceable music that’s not just for dancing. It’s enjoyable as music in its own right. I’ve had the album for more than six years and it has consistently been among my favorites. It’s surprising to me that the group’s others albums haven’t broken through the clutter in my library. •

Mouse on Mars teams up with Stereolab on the Cache Coeur Naif ep. Two powerhouses of the upper echelon of indie-dom combine to create… a rather run-of-the-mill couple of tracks. It’s good; don’t get me wrong, just not very compelling. I think it suffers from “too much expectation” syndrome. •

Lastly, I was totally prepared to weed the Uakti album. Despite the fact that it’s a collaboration with Philip Glass (or perhaps because of), I was ready to write it off as a superfluous acquisition from a more experimental time in my listening habits. But it appears my perceptions of it had become corrupted over time (it had been quite a while since i last heard it). Aguas de Amazonia’s unique percussive style really makes this album a fascinating listen. Then again, I’ve always been a sucker for percussion, which is funny, ’cause Ican’t dance. at all.

Dvorak and Mouse on Mars for a Drive Home

Now that’s more like it. Eight hours of music over two days should put a dent in the deficit i developed over the weekend. If i can keep up the pace of 4 hours of music per day, i’ll complete this project on october 23, 2006. However, 4 hours appears to be my practical listening limit, fat chance on that. Of course, i could be more generous in my weeding, but i suppose that would be cheating.


Dvorak’s 9th is among my favorite orchestral works; It so made my evening drive though suburban atlanta much more pleasurable.

Also mixed in today was, for intents and purposes, the Mouse on Mars remix album. It’s not billed as such, but that’s essentially what Agit Itter It It is. It takes material from Niun Niggung and reworks it as if it were from the Idiology session. untitled states of and Spedualist are pretty damn cool that way.

Live Music Thursday!

One of the effects of loading the iPod alphabetically by album is that I’m getting a refresher course in live music. The tagging scheme I use for live performances looks like this:

year.month.date venue, city

Thus, all the shows are listed chronologically. As far as iTunes is concerned, each show is just an album that starts with a number.

Today found me listening to a 1995 Soul Coughing show in New York City, a completely rockin’ Toronto 2004 performance by Mouse on Mars who I’ve managed to see, twice. If you get the chance, go! and a 2001 show by Air [french band] in Los Angeles.

Also sandwiched in there was A Data Learn the Language, an uber-smooth postrock record by The Mercury Program. Good stuff that.