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Archive for September, 2009

[new feature!] Is This Music?

think music

Hey Playtonics,

Seeing as the intent of this blog is to deliver a blend of philosophical and musical musings, I want to introduce a new weekly segment called “Is This Music?” According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Philosophy of music is the study of fundamental questions about the nature of music and our experience of it. In keeping with these questions, every week I will post a video or link to a piece of “music” that begs the question, “Is this music?” Playtonic Dialogues is all about sparking discourse so please make a case for why X piece is or is not music.

This week I bring to you John Cage’s “4’33.” Keep in mind that when you play the video and no sounds comes out of your headphones or speakers during the piece, there is nothing wrong with your computer. Rather, “4’33” is an entirely silent “orchestral arrangement.” To read more on the composition, check out this wikipedia page on 4’33. Is this music?

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It is only fitting that today, when all I can seem to listen to is Dirty Projectors’ Bitte Orca, I stumble upon this video of Dirty Projectors on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. On Monday night, the band played a semi-new song called “When The World Comes to An End” (Stereogum notes that it’s a selection from the Mount Wittenberg Orca song cycle the band performed with Bjork at a tiny Housing Works benefit back in May). This tune features complex  background vocals that create a sonic stereo experience ontop of lead singer Dave Longstreth’s sweet croon.  Jimmy Fallon may be awkwardly finding his talk show groove, but Dirty Projectors are at the height of their game. Check out the video of their live performance on  Late Night with Jimmy Fallon as well as a backstage video taken by ?uestlove of The Roots:

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 houselist_logo

 Hey Playtonics,

For those of you who don’t know, in addition to writing semi-daily for Playtonic Dialogues, I also write concert reviews for The Bowery Presents The House List. Since moving to New York, I have written reviews for Animal Collective, Battles/!!!/Flying Lotus, and Moby. This month I will be reviewing the following shows for The House List:

 

10/3:  The Pains of Being Pure at Heart/The Depreciation Guild /Cymbals Eat Guitars, Webster Hall

10/13: The Dodos/ The Ruby Suns, Music Hall of Williamsburg

10/29: Justice (DJ Set),/ Jackson (DJ Set), Webster Hall

 

Check back for links to my reviews!

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[video] New Sufjan Stevens Song

Four years since Illionis, it now appears that Sufjan Stevens is ready to rollout a new album. The following video shows Sufjan playing a new song called “There’s Too Much Love” in Ithaca on September 23, 2009. For one, it is catchy as hell. Since hearing this song I have repeatedly found myself singing “there’s too much, too much, too much..” in falsetto. However, musically, it is a different side of Sufjan. Unlike Illionis, the song is sparse on narrative. Essentially, it is a 7:30 electronic jam, similar in nature to “You Are the Blood” on Dark Was The Night. My guess is his next album will not be a part of the 50 states project.

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Moby, Music Hall Of Williamsburg, 9/23/09

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Hey Playtonics,

Check out my review of Wedndesday night’s Moby concert at The Bowery Presents The House List:

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guitars...yummmmm

guitars...yummmmm

Hey Playtonics,

Today I figured I would inform you all as to what is bumping in my headphones. Stumbling around hype machine (a great music blog aggregator that allows you to play tracks off the site), I bumped into Cymbals Eat Guitars . This band has a great guitar rock sound that reminds me of Built to Spill. I recommend checking out the songs “And The Hazy Sea” and “Windy Phoenix.”

Listen to Cymbals Eat Guitars on Hype Machine

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Hey Playtonics,

Here is Part 2/ Sunday of my epic mini-series, I Want My ATP (check out I Want My ATP (Part 1:) Saturday at All Tomorrow’s Parties):

Sunday

1:30 AM

 

Music festivals are wonderful, unpredictable, and tiresome. After seeing Atlas Sound, I went with the family to a local Catskills institution, an Italian restaurant called Frankie and Johnny’s. If the portions weren’t enough of a thrill, on the way out of the restaurant I saw Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips. I yelled out “Hey Wayne!” and in response he flashed me a smile and a peace sign. Wayne is an omnipresent figure at ATP this weekend. Earlier I saw him checking out the beginning of Atlas Sound’s set. Now, I’m waving to him at Frankie and Johnny’s. Wonderful and unpredictable. (more…)

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