June 27 2023
Remember to order Earlier and let your web browser (not a submersible) take you into the deep sea. I almost drowned at the beach when I was a teen and that was enough to scare me straight. Lose once to the sea and it’s hard to hang on to the hubris. Compress all the billionaires, now, and remember that the record labels love nothing more than selling you music that they (and possibly you) already own. When people say “catalog,” don’t think about how old it is, because that’s not how labels think. What appeals about older titles is they don’t require any outlay—they’ve been paid for, so any income they generate is pure profit, minus the small upkeep fees of, say, engineers fluffing up the master with Atmos.
The new Aphex Twin reminds me that few people can make machines sound both alive and tentative. Go to the 41 minute mark in this Art21 episode to see Tauba Auerbach talk about marbling paper and the power of patterns. I didn’t intend that alliteration but I will accept it as a mirror of an imperfect repetition.
After Ahmad Jamal’s death, I started going through his catalog. No wonder Miles Davis told his band to pay attention to Jamal. Steppin Out With A Dream (1976) is elegant and wild (like the plaid suit he wears on the cover) and One (1978) has one of the best Billy Joel covers I’ve heard in a minute.