Haken are an English progressive metal band. Their sound is very heavy, but contain some very complex progressions, and no screaming vocals. It is not normally a genre I listen to on a regular basis, but this particular album has had a lot of staying power. Its complexity and (make no mistake) heaviness make for excellent repeated listenings. In fact, I often use it for my long runs and workouts. Highly recommended. Above is Vector, their latest album.
Weyes Blood is an American singer, songwriter, and musician. Her name is actually Natalie Laura Mering.
Titanic Rising (Sub Pop) is her latest album. Do you know those albums that sink its claws into you on repeated listenings? This is one of those. It is a slow-burn yet cathartic album that really gets under your skin. Ethereal comes to mind. I have been listening to it, and little else these past few months. It is amazing and I highly recommend it.
Okay, apropos of nothing, Here’s a list of music I like to listen to when I am working out, either weight training, or running. I am doing a bit less of that since my stupid foot is sending messages to my brain, such as: I’ve had enough of this running lark, throw both of us under a table and get some Stella down your neck mate. Quite sure I don’t know why my foot would have an English accent. This music is motivating, or otherwise puts my head in a proper state by gently punching it, like an old lady at the grocery store does when she sees if the mangos are ripe. As I always say, if I can turn one person onto some of this music, than I’ve done a shite job.
In no particular order:
Protomartyr / The Agent Intellect
Dinosaur Jr. / Give a Glimpse of What Yer Not
Charlatans / Modern Nature
Radiohead / Moon Shaped Pool
Vaccines / English Graffiti
Built To Spill / Untethered Moon
Grimes / Art Angels
Teleman / Brilliant Sanity
Paul Weller / Saturns Pattern
Sleater Kinney / No Cities To Love
Beck / Morning Phase (for the cooldown haha)
Speedy Ortiz / Major Arcana
Foals / What Went Down
Blur / The Magic Whip
Alvvays / Alvvays
any Ty Segall
Here is the problem. No one has time for classical music these days. Let us explore the underlying issues. A commonly asked question is why there aren’t any composers of note today, like Beethoven, Mozart, et al. Here’s your answer. There is always something good on TV. With no TV in those pre-20th century days, there were long stretches of time in which composers could practice their craft. And avoid personal hygiene. These days, how can anything of note be completed when there is a new episode of Heroes?
Perhaps it is time to change the parameters. Why not make symphonies 5 minutes in length, 1 or 2 minutes per movement. This way, everyone wins. The composers are happy. They can create something in a fraction of the time, and still have time to program their PVR. The listenership too, is happy. No longer do they have to sit through long, ponderous symphonies, with the ever-present possibility of their mind wandering and thinking of whether Prison Break will be pre-empted for a Presidential Debate. In fact, many works could be squeezed in before even hitting the shower, before work.
Still not satisfied? How about a version of Beethoven’s Ninth in 2 minutes? And I don’t mean by just speeding it up. I mean by leaving ‘the boring bits’ on the cutting room floor, so that all you get is pure gold, as Beethoven would have wanted it. How many of you have fast-forwarded to that choral part that everyone knows?
Smack of something sinister, this tampering with what is sacred? Get over it! There is simply not the time to worry about these distracting side issues. Let’s face it, classical music these days sits and molders in public libraries across the country. Concert halls play their symphonic works to empty seats because, let’s face it, the home team got through to the third round. Oh, and that girl on House is so hot!
Next, I will tell you how you can watch a movie on a 2-inch screen, so that you can enjoy the works of Seth Rogen and Adam Sandler while sitting on the crapper. Oh wait, Apple already did that.