Emerald City (John Vanderslice album)
Emerald City is the sixth album by American singer-songwriter John Vanderslice. It was released in the United States on July 24, 2007; the album is named after the nickname of the fortified Green Zone in Baghdad. "I was so beaten down after the 2000 election and after 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan," said Vanderslice. "I was so depleted as a person. I had to write political songs because for me it is a way of making sense and processing what is going on." "Kookaburra" "Time to Go" "The Parade" "White Dove" "Tablespoon of Codeine" "The Tower" "The Minaret" "Numbered Lithograph" "Central Booking"
A music genre is a conventional category that identifies some pieces of music as belonging to a shared tradition or set of conventions. It is to be distinguished from musical form and musical style, although in practice these terms are sometimes used interchangeably. Academics have argued that categorizing music by genre is inaccurate and outdated. Music can be divided into different genres in many different ways; the artistic nature of music means that these classifications are subjective and controversial, some genres may overlap. There are varying academic definitions of the term genre itself. In his book Form in Tonal Music, Douglass M. Green distinguishes between form, he lists madrigal, canzona and dance as examples of genres from the Renaissance period. To further clarify the meaning of genre, Green writes, "Beethoven's Op. 61 and Mendelssohn's Op. 64 are identical in genre – both are violin concertos – but different in form. However, Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 511, the Agnus Dei from his Mass, K. 317 are quite different in genre but happen to be similar in form."
Some, like Peter van der Merwe, treat the terms genre and style as the same, saying that genre should be defined as pieces of music that share a certain style or "basic musical language." Others, such as Allan F. Moore, state that genre and style are two separate terms, that secondary characteristics such as subject matter can differentiate between genres. A music genre or subgenre may be defined by the musical techniques, the style, the cultural context, the content and spirit of the themes. Geographical origin is sometimes used to identify a music genre, though a single geographical category will include a wide variety of subgenres. Timothy Laurie argues that since the early 1980s, "genre has graduated from being a subset of popular music studies to being an ubiquitous framework for constituting and evaluating musical research objects". Among the criteria used to classify musical genres are the trichotomy of art and traditional musics. Alternatively, music can be divided on three variables: arousal and depth.
Arousal reflects the energy level of the music. These three variables help explain why many people like similar songs from different traditionally segregated genres. Musicologists have sometimes classified music according to a trichotomic distinction such as Philip Tagg's "axiomatic triangle consisting of'folk','art' and'popular' musics", he explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria. The term art music refers to classical traditions, including both contemporary and historical classical music forms. Art music exists in many parts of the world, it emphasizes formal styles that invite technical and detailed deconstruction and criticism, demand focused attention from the listener. In Western practice, art music is considered a written musical tradition, preserved in some form of music notation rather than being transmitted orally, by rote, or in recordings, as popular and traditional music are. Most western art music has been written down using the standard forms of music notation that evolved in Europe, beginning well before the Renaissance and reaching its maturity in the Romantic period.
The identity of a "work" or "piece" of art music is defined by the notated version rather than by a particular performance, is associated with the composer rather than the performer. This is so in the case of western classical music. Art music may include certain forms of jazz, though some feel that jazz is a form of popular music. Sacred Christian music forms an important part of the classical music tradition and repertoire, but can be considered to have an identity of its own; the term popular music refers to any musical style accessible to the general public and disseminated by the mass media. Musicologist and popular music specialist Philip Tagg defined the notion in the light of sociocultural and economical aspects: Popular music, unlike art music, is conceived for mass distribution to large and socioculturally heterogeneous groups of listeners and distributed in non-written form, only possible in an industrial monetary economy where it becomes a commodity and in capitalist societies, subject to the laws of'free' enterprise... it should ideally sell as much as possible.
Popular music is found on most commercial and public service radio stations, in most commercial music retailers and department stores, in movie and television soundtracks. It is noted on the Billboard charts and, in addition to singer-songwriters and composers, it involves music producers more than other genres do; the distinction between classical and popular music has sometimes been blurred in marginal areas such as minimalist music and light classics. Background music for films/movies draws on both traditions. In this respect, music is like fiction, which draws a distinction between literary fiction and popular fiction, not always precise. Country music known as country and western, hillbilly music, is a genre of popular music that originated in the southern United States in the early 1920s; the polka is a Czech dance and genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particular
Romanian Names is the seventh album by American singer-songwriter John Vanderslice. It was released in the United States on May 19, 2009. In a review by NME in May 2009, Laura Snapes said, "Not since Bon Iver's'For Emma, Forever Ago' has there been such an accomplished album of torch songs...if you can spend a little time with'Romanian Names' and not feel duly captivated by its sun-kissed longing, West Coast harmonies and occasional krautrock minimalism, your heart's made of stone." "Tremble and Tear" "Fetal Horses" "C & O Canal" "Too Much Time" "D. I. A. L. O." "Forest Knolls" "Oblivion" "Sunken Union Boat" "Romanian Names" "Carina Constellation" "Summer Stock" "Hard Times"
William Blake was an English poet and printmaker. Unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age. What he called his prophetic works were said by 20th-century critic Northrop Frye to form "what is in proportion to its merits the least read body of poetry in the English language", his visual artistry led 21st-century critic Jonathan Jones to proclaim him "far and away the greatest artist Britain has produced". In 2002, Blake was placed at number 38 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. While he lived in London his entire life, except for three years spent in Felpham, he produced a diverse and symbolically rich œuvre, which embraced the imagination as "the body of God" or "human existence itself". Although Blake was considered mad by contemporaries for his idiosyncratic views, he is held in high regard by critics for his expressiveness and creativity, for the philosophical and mystical undercurrents within his work.
His paintings and poetry have been characterised as part of the Romantic movement and as "Pre-Romantic". A committed Christian, hostile to the Church of England, Blake was influenced by the ideals and ambitions of the French and American Revolutions. Though he rejected many of these political beliefs, he maintained an amiable relationship with the political activist Thomas Paine. Despite these known influences, the singularity of Blake's work makes him difficult to classify; the 19th-century scholar William Rossetti characterised him as a "glorious luminary", "a man not forestalled by predecessors, nor to be classed with contemporaries, nor to be replaced by known or surmisable successors". William Blake was born on 28 November 1757 at 28 Broad Street in London, he was the third of seven children. Blake's father, was a hosier, he attended school only long enough to learn reading and writing, leaving at the age of ten, was otherwise educated at home by his mother Catherine Blake. Though the Blakes were English Dissenters, William was baptised on 11 December at St James's Church, London.
The Bible was an early and profound influence on Blake, remained a source of inspiration throughout his life. Blake started engraving copies of drawings of Greek antiquities purchased for him by his father, a practice, preferred to actual drawing. Within these drawings Blake found his first exposure to classical forms through the work of Raphael, Maarten van Heemskerck and Albrecht Dürer; the number of prints and bound books that James and Catherine were able to purchase for young William suggests that the Blakes enjoyed, at least for a time, a comfortable wealth. When William was ten years old, his parents knew enough of his headstrong temperament that he was not sent to school but instead enrolled in drawing classes at Pars's drawing school in the Strand, he read avidly on subjects of his own choosing. During this period, Blake made explorations into poetry. On 4 August 1772, Blake was apprenticed to engraver James Basire of Great Queen Street, at the sum of £52.10, for a term of seven years.
At the end of the term, aged 21, he became a professional engraver. No record survives of any serious disagreement or conflict between the two during the period of Blake's apprenticeship, but Peter Ackroyd's biography notes that Blake added Basire's name to a list of artistic adversaries – and crossed it out; this aside, Basire's style of line-engraving was of a kind held at the time to be old-fashioned compared to the flashier stipple or mezzotint styles. It has been speculated that Blake's instruction in this outmoded form may have been detrimental to his acquiring of work or recognition in life. After two years, Basire sent his apprentice to copy images from the Gothic churches in London, his experiences in Westminster Abbey helped form his artistic style and ideas. The Abbey of his day was decorated with suits of armour, painted funeral effigies and varicoloured waxworks. Ackroyd notes that "...the most immediate would have been of faded brightness and colour". This close study of the Gothic left clear traces in his style.
In the long afternoons Blake spent sketching in the Abbey, he was interrupted by boys from Westminster School, who were allowed in the Abbey. They teased him and one tormented him so much that Basire knocked the boy off a scaffold to the ground, "upon which he fell with terrific Violence". After Basire complained to the Dean, the schoolboys' privilege was withdrawn. Blake experienced visions in the Abbey, he saw Christ and his Apostles and a great procession of monks and priests and heard their chant. On 8 October 1779, Blake became a student at the Royal Academy in Old Somerset House, near the Strand. While the terms of his study required no payment, he was expected to supply his own materials throughout the six-year period. There, he rebelled against what he regarded as the unfinished style of fashionable painters such as Rubens, championed by the school's first president, Joshua Reynolds. Over time, Blake came to detest Reynolds' attitude towards art his pursuit of "general truth" and "general beauty".
Reynolds wrote in his Discourses that the "disposition to abstractions, to generalising and classification, is the great glory of the human mind".
Pixel Revolt is an album by American singer-songwriter John Vanderslice. It was released on August 23, 2005. In addition to the normal track listing, a track titled "The Kingdom" can be found on the Japanese and vinyl versions of the record. According to Vanderslice, the piece thematically belongs on the record but "bogs it down", was left off the American CD release. "Letter to the East Coast" "Plymouth Rock" "Exodus Damage" "Peacocks in the Video Rain" "Trance Manual" "New Zealand Pines" "Radiant with Terror" "Continuation" "Dear Sarah Shu" "Farewell Transmission" "Angela" "Dead Slate Pacific" "The Golden Gate" "CRC 7173, Affectionately" "The Kingdom"
Mass Suicide Occult Figurines
Mass Suicide Occult Figurines is the debut album by John Vanderslice, released in 2000. It is named after a line in Neutral Milk Hotel's "Song Against Sex". In anticipation for Vanderslice's fourth album Cellar Door, CMJ New Music Monthly's Louis Miller described the album as "a disjointed pop album."
The Mountain Goats
The Mountain Goats are an American band formed in Claremont, California by singer-songwriter John Darnielle. The band is based in Durham, North Carolina. For many years, the sole member of the Mountain Goats was Darnielle, despite the plural moniker. Although he remains the core member of the band, he has worked with a variety of collaborators over time, including bassist and vocalist Peter Hughes, drummer Jon Wurster, multi-instrumentalist Matt Douglas, singer-songwriter Franklin Bruno and vocalist Rachel Ware, singer-songwriter/producer John Vanderslice, guitarist Kaki King, multi-instrumentalist Annie Clark. Throughout the 1990s, the Mountain Goats were known for producing low-fidelity home recordings and releasing recordings in cassette or vinyl 7" formats. Since 2002, the Mountain Goats have adopted a more polished approach, recording studio albums with a full band, while still maintaining organically emotional lyrical motifs; the band's name is a reference to the Screamin' Jay Hawkins song "Yellow Coat".
Darnielle released his first recording under the band name, Taboo VI: The Homecoming, on Shrimper Records, in 1991. Many of his first recordings and performances featured Darnielle accompanied by members of the all-girl reggae band The Casual Girls, who became known as The Bright Mountain Choir. One of this group's members, Rachel Ware, continued to accompany Darnielle on bass, both live and in studio, until 1995; the first five years of the Mountain Goats' career saw a prolific output of songs on cassette, vinyl and CD. These releases spanned multiple labels and countries of origin released in limited numbers; the focus of the Mountain Goats project was the urgency of writing. Songs not recorded adequately to tape within days of being written were forgotten. Cassette releases during this time include The Hound Chronicles, Transmissions to Horace, Hot Garden Stomp, Taking the Dative, Yam, the King of Crops. In 1994, the Mountain Goats released their first full-length studio album, Zopilote Machine, on Ajax Records.
It is the band's only full album featuring the entirety of The Bright Mountain Choir. By 1995, most of what could be considered classic Mountain Goats conventions were abandoned in favor of a more thematically focused and experimental sound; this period was marked by Darnielle's collaborations with other artists including Alastair Galbraith and Simon Joyner. In November 1996, Darnielle announced a vow to "clear his musical tendency for profanity" to promote a more optimistic reception to the ideas outlined in his material. In 1995, the album Sweden was released. Soon after its recording, a sequel titled Hail and Farewell, Gothenburg was recorded, but never released, it remained unheard by the general public until 2007. In 1996, the Mountain Goats released the album Nothing for Juice, Full Force Galesburg the following year. Rachel Ware left the band between recording the two albums, bassist Peter Hughes took over her position. Between 1998 and 2000, the Mountain Goats slowed down their prolific output, releasing The Coroner's Gambit in October 2000.
The album returned to the band's roots, as most songs were sporadically recorded on Darnielle's old Panasonic RX-FT500 cassette deck Boombox, which produced a loud background noise to the songs. 2002 saw the release of two Mountain Goats albums: Tallahassee. These albums mark a distinct change in focus for the Mountain Goats project, being the first in a series of concept albums that explore aspects of The Mountain Goats' canon in depth. All Hail West Texas featured the resurrection of Darnielle's early boom box recording for a complete album. Darnielle considers this album to be the culmination of his lo-fi recording style. Tallahassee, recorded with a band and in a studio and concludes the relationship of a couple whose lives were the subject of the song cycle known as the Alpha Series. Released that year was Martial Arts Weekend, attributed to The Extra Glenns, a collaboration with Franklin Bruno on several unreleased Mountain Goats songs. Following that recording, Bruno joined Darnielle in the studio along with bassist Peter Hughes, the second official member of the band and accompanies Darnielle on tour.
These three musicians formed. In 2004, the Mountain Goats released We Shall All Be Healed; the album marked a number of changes for the Mountain Goats, as it was the first time Darnielle worked with producer John Vanderslice, the first album of directly autobiographical material. We Shall All Be Healed chronicles Darnielle's life with a group of friends and acquaintances addicted to methamphetamine in Portland, though the album is set in Pomona, California; the following year, The Sunset Tree, was released. Again autobiographical, Darnielle tackled the subject of his early childhood spent with an abusive stepfather. Darnielle had dealt with this subject in what he refers to as the only autobiographical song he had written before 2004, the unreleased song "You're in Maya." The Mountain Goats relocated to Durham, North Carolina in 2006, issued Get Lonely, produced by Scott Solter, who had worked with Vanderslice on engineering for prior Mountain Goats records. Jon Wurster joined the group in 2007.
The band recorded tracks for its next album at Prairie Sun studios. Entitled Heretic Pride, the album was released on 19 February, 2008. Produced by John Vanderslice and Scott Solter, the album saw Darnielle and Wurster joined