Thursday, July 27, 2006


I’m still chiselling my way thru the first volume of The Stones of Venice, which started with a bangup first chapter on the historical & spiritual significance of Venetian architecture, but has shifted to a primer on the elementary basics of architecture in general – not what I was expecting, but if that’s where Ruskin wants to start, I’m sure it’ll come in handy for me later. Report to follow.
In the meantime, I’ve discovered YouTube, & in between watching Borat & Ali G I found this video of one of my all-time favorite groups, the sublime Oysterband, along with the Scottish folksinger June Tabor, demonstrating that Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” can be performed as a beautifully moving song. (They demonstrated something similar with New Order’s “Love Vigilantes” some years ago, but you’ll have to hunt up the album Ride for that one.)
On the earbuds: Hasidic New Wave and Yakar Rhythms, From the Belly of Abraham, in which a far more electric spin-off of the Klezmatics collaborates with a trio of Senegalese musicians as part of what is billed as Episode 5762 of the "Adventures of the Afro-Semitic Diaspora." Pretty damned cool stuff – cross-cultural fusion music that manages to avoid all of the Banana-Republic-wallpaper levelling of most "world music" projects, thanks largely to the constantly shifting bop and klezmer chops of Greg Wall and Frank London, the subterranean guitar of David Fiuczynski, and the irresistable propulsion of the various drums of Alioune Faye, Ousmann Sali, Adboulaye Diop, & Aaron Alexander.

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