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Messages - Brian Bieniowski

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Everything and Nothing / Re: Vinyl
« on: January 18, 2008, 08:50:12 AM »
I do enjoy vinyl and, since getting a new turntable, I've found myself picking LPs up more readily than I did in the past.  I have a sizable collection of old lounge records from the 50s—they're only available on LP and I play 'em pretty often.

Since so many artists are still doing vinyl-only (not to mention the tons of great stuff that hasn't made it onto CD), I think it's worth having the equipment around.  I would always prefer a CD over vinyl or CD-R, but I don't have any audiophile reasoning for it—it's all about convenience and accessibility for me.  I'm still stunned when I see guys buying rare LPs on eBay for a fortune when they're readily available on CD at a far cheaper price.   ???

Everything and Nothing / Re: Best of 2007
« on: January 06, 2008, 10:12:47 AM »
I do the same thing as Dave.  ;D  My list, and the link to the mix:

Alio Die & Luciano Daini—End of an Era (Hic Sunt Leones)
Panda Bear—Person Pitch (Paw Tracks)
Northern—Drawn (Infraction)
Adam Pacione—From Stills to Motion (Infraction)
Tetsu Inoue—Inland (Fax)
Grouper—Cover the Windows and the Walls (Root Strata)
Black Moth Super Rainbow—Dandelion Gum (Graveface)
Brian Grainger—Eight Thousander (Attack 9)
Fennesz + Sakamoto—Cendre (Touch)
Jim Cole & Spectral Voices—Innertones (Spectral Spiral Music)
Rapoon—Time Frost (Glacial Movements)

Short stuff/compilations:
Tim Hecker—Norberg 3"
Taylor Deupree—Landing 3" (Room40)
Gregg Kowalsky—Tendrils in Vigne one-sided 10" (Root Strata)
Jesu/Eluvium split 12" (Hydra Head/Temporary Residence)
Michael Cashmore—The Snow Abides ep (Durtro/Jnana)
Felix/Chris Herbert split 7" (Low Point)
Roy Montgomery—Inroads (Rebis)
Benoit Pioulard—Fir 7" (Type)
Pub—Rainclown 3" ep (Talent Hoover/Ampoule)

Stuff I Played Frequently from Other Days:
The Best of Tim Buckley (Rhino)
Black Ships Ate the Sky by Current 93 (Durtro)
Steve McQueen by Prefab Sprout (Kitchenware/Columbia)
Old Rottenhat by Robert Wyatt (Hannibal)
The Ape of Naples by Coil (Threshold House)

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: January 06, 2008, 09:38:53 AM »
A few recent acquisitions:

Pretty, pastoral folky ambient, somewhere between the ambient works of Milieu and Boards of Canada.  A really nice record.

Taj Mahal Travellers—August 1974
I always heard a lot about this album and it was always tough to find (Japanese import, often out of print).  They just repressed it to coincide with the new Julian Cope book about crazy Japanese psych rock, so I picked it up.  Not sure if it really hits the spot for me, since it's a lot of freeform noise, but there are some genuinely interesting and beautiful moments spread over the two discs.  Maybe it'll grow on me.

Telomere—The Stellar Sea
Outstanding space music in the grand tradition, as I've come to expect from Telomere.  Love it.

Steve Roach—Arc of Passion
One of Steve's recent best, in my opinion.  Nice to hear him return to more "classic" sounding stuff again.

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 29, 2007, 09:36:11 AM »
The new one from Telomere, The Stellar Sea. Yet another soaring floating majestic slice of classic spacemusic played on the mighty Serge and other synths, Chris MacDonald may not be the most prolific artist out there (this is his third release in, I think, 10 years) but if you like old-fashioned spacemusic, a la Stearns, Braheny and demby, he's your best bet, IMO. Probably is unbelievably cool listening on 'phones late at night while stargazing.

Thanks for the tip, Bill.  I love Telomere and I'll order this ASAP.   8)

Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 13, 2007, 08:07:53 AM »
Up first is Wolfgang Duren's "Eyeless Dreams".  I love this; it's like the soundtrack to some strange seventies sci-fi film.  Tinges of early Kraftwerk, mixed with Klaus Schulze; very cool.  The LP has been out of print for 35+ years; I found this online somewhere as a download.  Worth hunting for.  The cover is priceless, too:  it even has a label that says "electronic album" so you won't confuse it with real music...  :-\

I read "seventies sci-fi film" and all of my green-lights went off.  Thanks for the tip!

Here's the link to the legal, free download:

Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: British dronemeisters
« on: December 10, 2007, 07:17:40 PM »
Low Ground sounds great!  Almost like a more "evil" Robert Rich.  Any leads to where I might find this one for purchase?

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: December 08, 2007, 03:20:40 PM »
Bill, that is a terrific icon you have.   ;D

9Dragons, have you ever tried out William Hope Hodgson?  Judging by your enjoyment of Dunsany and the rest, I'm sure you'd like him also.  I have been picking up the new volumes of Clark Ashton Smith's work, finally a complete edition of his fantasies.  I have always thought he was underrated so it's nice to see him get first class treatment.

Mike, I think writers like Greg Bear and Greg Benford are extremely important because there are fewer and fewer real "hard" SF authors who really get their hands dirty with the scientific aspects of their books.  These two are certainly titans from that perspective.  Unfortunately (especially for those of us in the business who edit science fiction and not fantasy) it would seem the more rigorous kinds of SF are somewhat out of fashion in favor of other things.  I would highly recommend the recent books of Robert Charles Wilson and Robert Sawyer to you, if you're looking for cool concepts and interesting science (not to mention deft storytelling).

I saw The Golden Compass last night and thought it was pretty good.  Not exactly like the book, but I thought they did a good job with such involved material.  I have to be honest—I never expect very much out of movies, so I wasn't disappointed, even if it did seem a little flat.

Chris Carter & Cosey Fan Tutti were original members of the seminal industrial/noise group Throbbing Gristle.  When that band disbanded, they began making a darker stripe of synth-pop (among other styles) under the name Chris & Cosey.  They have tons of albums and have made some great music over the years.  CarterTutti is simply their new nom de plume for musical projects.

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: December 07, 2007, 01:10:20 PM »
I'd add, furthering the subject of "college lit majors who are too cool to read sci-fi," that I recall it was "cool" for lit majors to read stuff like Philip K. Dick, Stanislav Lem, J.G. Ballard, and Anthony Burgess, while turning up our noses at Heinlein, Asimov and the like.

SF has gotten more acceptable for lit majors in some colleges, where it's taught alongside the "real" literature.  Interestingly enough, the older masters like Asimov still get passed over for more "respectable" names like PK Dick and Lem.  It's preposterous of course, but I guess it fits the typical college curriculum.  I enjoy Ballard and Lem and Delany and all the rest, but I'd never have become interested in SF if it were not for Asimov and Blish and many of the other old timers.  I find that most of those books are still compulsively readable ... not something I can say about many of the more experimental works by "acceptably hip" SF writers.ß

Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now reading
« on: December 07, 2007, 11:53:56 AM »
I'm a big sci-fi and fantasy reader myself (who'd have guessed).  I haven't picked up an Earthsea book since high school, but, back then, I don't recall them making much of an impact on me.  I'd like to try them again, though.  I've enjoyed Le Guin's science fiction novels.

I just finished reading The Golden Compass and I am halfway through the second book in the Philip Pullman series.  I would like to add my name to the list of Harry Potter Haters, and I confess I dismissed the Pullman books as of the same diluted ilk.  I couldn't have been more wrong—these are surprisingly adult and ambitious books, and I can't wait to see the movie now!

Everything and Nothing / Re: This new SMF forum
« on: December 07, 2007, 06:07:25 AM »
I was hoping the new forum would disallow

obnoxiously wacky html
but I see I'm going to have to deal with that eyesore here too.   :'(

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