My method of consoling myself over rampant dental issues* is acquiring new CDs.** I went used CD shopping over the weekend, and then found one on sale while grocery shopping that I couldn’t resist. Do not go looking for consistency here….
Emmylou Harris, Red Dirt Girl I claim to be a fan, and this album was groundbreaking, um, eight years ago, but I finally got it last weekend. Some great tunes with the haunting atmosphere and exciting arrangements I’ve always liked in her music. I’m wondering if, before recording this album, she was talking with Steve Earle about how Nashville sucked. (He lives in New York City now.) It’s definitely not your typical country album, something for which we can be grateful.
Tracy Chapman, New Beginning This is the one with her giant hit, “Give Me One Reason,” The rest of the album is well worth listening to. Be forewarned that “Give Me One Reason” is the happiest song on the album. It all feels very meaningful, though, in the best way she’s always reached for.
Wendy Carlos, The Well-Tempered Synthesizer Wendy Carlos is a pioneer in the use of synthesizers in classical music (all music, really), and made a huge and unexpected splash in the 1960s with Switched-On Bach. This is the follow-up album, which includes works by Monteverdi, Scarlatti, Handel, and J.S. Bach, and featuring the Moog synthesizer. I saw this, and thought of Dave, but he says he has the original LP (which he has digitized), so I get to keep this one.
Michael Torke’s Color Music, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, David Zinman, conductor It has a big orange on the cover; the titles of the pieces are “Green,” “Purple,” “Ecstatic Orange,” “Ash,” and “Bright Blue Music.” They’re pretty much orchestral suites, all very modern. Yet Torke is one of the few modern composers who isn’t lost in a sea of atonal non-melodic notes. His works are fun to hear.
Barenaked Ladies, Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits, 1991–2001 Wow. I like BNL. I’ll admit it to anyone. The songs are well-crafted, yet quirky, and they’ve grown beyond their early frat-boy appeal. Their new songs aren’t turning up here in the states much these days. Fortunately, their tunes still frequently turn up on the radio. (P.S. They just released a DVD of a concert performed in Michigan. Ooh!)
*One extraction so far, two more to go plus a root canal, possibly followed by some cosmetic dental work. Ouch. We are not having fun.
**OK, I don’t usually need any excuse to acquire new CDs.