Friday, November 21, 2008

The White Album/ Alps

Fans of musicology will want to check out the 40th Anniversary celebration of The White Album that PopMatters's Zeth Lundy and Bill Gibron assembled. Not least of all because today (the last day of 5 days worth of writing) features a short essay on "Cry Baby Cry" by yours truly.

Nicholas Bromell, author of Tomorrow Never Knows, saw the album as the band's experimental attempt to mystify and codify (rather than commodify or consolidate) the decade's intensity into an impenetrable talismanic art object. "Referencing so much as the history of popular culture, The White Album ridicules efforts to assemble that history into a sequential story", Brommell said.

The Beatles seem increasingly hesitant, as the double album progresses, to settle on one solution, one genre, one vision, one truth, one reality. It's necessary then for them to present the possibility that it's all a game, a laugh at our expense. After all, there is no mysery. The walrus was Paul and everything recondite is actually exactly as it seems.

Central to the "clues" of The Beatles is "Cry Baby Cry", my selection:

here's the full feature

here's the specific page with my entry

Also, I have a short review up for the wonderful new album by The Alps (members of Tarentel, Tussle, Arp). This probably would have made my Top Ten year end album list for PM had my list been handed in later. Oh well, this blog will probably see a much different list by year's end.

Read the review here

As a third note, I have a follow-up bit of information with regard to my Sound Affects piece on the texturalists (see two posts down). It turns out that one of the primary reasons Edison became interested in phonography was to capture the voices of dead loved ones after they're gone. I thought this was an interesting point as it correlates to the theme of decaying sound and perhaps gives a little more credence to digital music for its ability to perfectly preserve the dead the way they were when they were alive. However, I retain my position that we will be losing something culturally and sonically if all sound becomes faultlessly mummified in such a fashion.

Read the aforementioned piece here

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