Friday, November 23

Memory Doesn't Speak For Itself Music

P.J. Harvey
驚覺我對PJ Harvey的認識就止於【Dance Hall at Louse Point】,之後怎麼啦?我不知道,只知道她每出版一張專輯,就會有朋友告訴我那是她最好的,不過就是沒有一個可以說出原因誘發我去聽一聽。這麼多年來我偶爾從隨手翻閱的雜誌,路過時看到被消音的音樂節目,得到有關她的零星片面的畫面和資訊,或許是誤讀的解讀是:我認識的野性難馴的PJ Harvey馴服了。

Rolling Stones, The

滚石的歌曲或许没有意义, 却一直被传唱, 就像乐队本身的定义, 一直都被做不同的(社会学或经济学的) 诠释。即使滚石的专辑的水平有上下之分, 不过更多时候那全凭个人喜好, 不必过份纠结。[通往巴比伦的桥] 不比前作(这完全是个人定义), 没有惊喜, Mick 和Keith一如既往供应了几乎是无内容的摇滚乐, 却还是一样激起涟漪。

(有想過要寫一些關於音樂的東西,不過很多時候就是亂七八糟,這是幾個FB的posts加私訊再加一些湊合的。)

關於滾石,我應該是從“Steel Wheels”(1989)開始的。這有點好運氣,因為我覺得這張“鐵輪”是他們做得比較好的一張。接著是主唱Mick Jagger的“遊魂Wandering Spirit”(1992),吉他手Keith Richards的“Main Offender主犯”(1993)還有滾石精選“跳回Jump Back 1971-1989”(1993)。整體來說這些專輯給我的印象都很好,“跳回”內頁附有很多資料讓我想要找回滾石以前的專輯來聽,而且不記得在哪裡讀到,滾石最好的時期是70年代的那4張專輯。不過還沒有機會聽他們的前作,“Voodoo Lounge”(1994)就降下來了。1994可以說是流行音樂史上最高成就的一年,同年出版的好專輯超過20張(隨便提提就有Blur的“Parklife”和Oasis的“Definitely Maybe”)“Voodoo Lounge”並沒有被淹沒在這些浪潮裡頭。

然後我們fast forward,10年後,除了“Undercover (1983)”和“Dirty Work (1986)”以外都聽過了。(詹宏志說過,幾天時間就可以把James Bond電影系列看完)。小小的總結是,60年代的滾石專輯,確實水平參差不齊;70年代有Mick Taylor那4張專輯確實“有味道”,接著的幾張不是很好。

不過,我要說的是,我沒有讀到任何一篇文章/書提及“鐵輪”及後來的專輯,這個我要到更後來才明白,因為我看到的那些文章/書,都是舊的,或者就是作者根據舊的文章/書/資料寫的。“Exile on Main Street”(1972)備受好評,可是我更喜歡另外3張。我也聽過Mick Jagger所有個人專輯,“She's The Boss”備受好評,可是我覺得不怎麼樣。我覺得Keith Richards的“主犯”專輯比得上大多數滾石的專輯,不過我好像只有在一篇文章裡頭讀過這些,基本上滾石還是以Mick Jagger為主。更重要的是,我最喜歡Voodoo Lounge”,可是這張在滾石的里程碑裡似乎被忽略了。

(這是來自一個FB帖文的回應)“Exile on Main Street”被推為滾石最好的專輯,那是70年代的事,原因很多。其一是滾石貴為世界第二天團,不過從來沒有一張專輯叫人滿意。因為60年代注重單曲,滾石主攻也是單曲,幾乎每3個月一張,不過來到專輯常常出現濫竽充數的現象,進入70年代專輯製作開始受到更多的關注,加上樂隊如雨後春筍,滾石不再如60年代般受到媒體關注。另外Brian Jones去世,盛傳滾石解散,Mick Taylor加入,他們總算可以專心製作專輯。“Sticky Fingers”(1971)是暖身,“Exile on Main Street”終於讓樂評無話可說,支持者籍此大吹大擂。不過,比較“Voodoo Lounge”,“Exile on Main Street”的18首歌如流水經過,有多少首歌可以留下深刻印象?“Voodoo Lounge”紮實,硬橋硬馬,同時顯示流行音樂/搖滾樂的深度和成熟度。最後一首“Thru and Thru”之後還有一首hidden track,撙地有聲,是“Exile on Main Street”所不能及的。

【When Angel Speak Of Love】

简短地说, 听Sun Ra不是致敬,因为总觉得他没有离开过。这张是1966年的专辑, mono, 第一首曲子就show off一下tape delay (一种延音效果,做得不好的就会偷鸡不成蚀把米), 简单的saxophone叫打击乐, 叫后来高摇试验爵士乐旗帜的脸红羞愧, 最后一首再来一次tape delay, 成熟稳健, 来自土星的果然比地球人超前许多 :-)

注: 很久没有听Sun Ra,因为几年前一个硬碟坏了(里边有超过100张Sun Ra的数码专辑)。




Boredoms, The
Few weeks ago, yes just few weeks ago I was thinking what happen to The Boredoms, the most amazing band from Japan, and probably one the the greatest band on earth, I haven't heard anything from them for almost a decade, I read about the 777 drums something, but I did not see the video or heard the audio, so the last thing I have from them was the "Sedrum/ House of Sun" in 2004. And just few hours ago, here is the links to 13 Boredoms' youtube video including live and some full albums (audio only, to me they are just fillers). anyway, ENJOY!

http://www.metrotimes.com/Blogs/archives/2015/03/24/here-are-one-dozen-clips-of-japanese-musical-ensemble-the-boredoms

Sonic Youth
I lost touch with the activity and output of Sonic Youth for years (maybe 2008 onward), I only listen to "The Eternal (2009)" at friend's place here and there few years after I came out, and hardly have any strong impression (neither good nor uninteresting). As the matter of fact I can hardly recall anything from SY after "A Thousand Leaves (1998)" (I mean I do know the album titles however to talk about more details can be a challenge). But I do know they split up in 2012 (after 1 year or so) and I know why (gossip are always round the corner).  I was listen to "Washing Machine (1995)" the other day, and it actually 'work', I was thinking if I find it boring I would stop the CD at any point... but there is no way to stop once "The Diamond Sea" begin to ring, right?

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From the book Memory Doesn't Speak For Itself. Reprinted by permission.
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Sunday, November 18

Memory Doesn't Speak For Itself

Quentin Tarantino
I could write a lots, about Quentin Tarantino. Maybe I will do movie by movie one day. But I just spent a few hours on "Kill Bill Vol. I" and "Kill Bill Vol.II" and "Death Proof". I like "Death Proof" better then "Kill Bill" (for this round ). I remember the first time I watch "Death Proof", it was without knowing anything about the movie, including Quentin Tarantino is the director of the movie. And the first time I watch "Kill Bill", it was with a lot of expectation, and it was a great film. "Death Proof" is a challenge, of how boring yet catchy a movie can be, the story is simple, the way of telling the story is the most simplest of Mr. Tarantino's movie so far. Especially the ending, once I have a discussion with a friend about how a movie should end, we both find "Psycho" (Alfred Hitchcock) has a very boring ending, that should not happen in a movie.

Lars von Trier
When I watched "Antichrist" I didn't know he is the director of "Dancer in the Dark". I don't remember most about "Dancer in the Dark", which mean "Not good enough". And I don't like / don't understand "Antichrist", only watched once, bad quality download. I watched "Dogville", "Europa", "The Idiots" and maybe more, but I didn't go see "Melancholia". Of those I had seen, some I like, some I don't remember most about. I just finished "Nymphomaniac: Volume I" over a week time, 30 minutes a day (more or less). No bad, but I don't like the narrative. I will see if Volume II make any different, if not I would say straight forward narrative will make it even more interesting, more punch in the face. The reason why is very simple. You have a good storyline, the only reason you want to break it is to make it even better. If not, why bother? If Mr. von Trier really intend to make it better, I'd say he failed (On Vol.I).

Gus Van Sant

I am new to Gus Van Sant too. I didn't know he is the director of "Good Will Hunting". It was famous back then if I am not mistaken? Anyway I watched "Drugstore Cowboy" a few days ago. And then I tried "Last Day". But it doesn't work, I have to stop somewhere around 20 minutes (or maybe 15?). Maybe I will go back to it one day, I'm not sure. I am not going to say anything about "Last Day". 

But "Drugstore Cowboy" is a simple movie, it has a very simple narrative, simple not in the good way, the casts are somehow I don't know what they were doing (maybe they don' know either), they just walk and talk, and a little bit of thinking, but a bit too philosophical for them (don't you think?).  


I think the movie is simple, it is not boring, it is a bit plain, the story is very much straight forward, the production is basically just moving forward based on the storytelling. There are some little sparks here and there, but it did not 'hold' the movie. When the movie end, it ended. It's like leaving a collapsed building and did not even bother to look back. 


So I then finished up "Last Day" bit by bit the other day. I don't like it. it has something from Antonioni and Godard (not sure it was the director's intention) but it doesn't help, it just make the film silly (like a cheap imitation, maybe unintentionally). And the lead cast keep on changing the 'well-known' costumes from one to another, and sometimes posing like from the 'well-known' photos, it is fun, or interesting for a few seconds, but then it gone (Including Kim Gordon's appearance). What's left for the rest of minutes is just a 'whatever it is, doesn't really matter'.

陳昇
陳昇(早期的)專輯就是可以偶爾聽一聽,然後可以說“其實他還很敢做的...“或者”很好聽..."不過關於“敢做”和“好聽”是不必深究的。

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From the book Memory Doesn't Speak For Itself. Reprinted by permission.
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Monday, November 5

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Yes you read this! You can order this album on CDR, with the options of soft packaging (8euros) or traditional hardcase (10euros), you can tell us which track you don't like, we'll remove it! Let us know if you like to have filler to make up 80 minutes! Just write in!

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Corn, Ready-made Object, 2014.