Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I Will Never Wash My Ears Again (Sorry, Mom)

I Will Never Wash My Ears Again (Sorry, Mom) Listening to tunes in NYC is furlough fun Published on 6/23/2009
Rick  Koster Rick Koster
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Rick Koster has covered music, books and dining for The Day, and is a regular columnist. He also host’s the paper’s online Behind the Scenes feature. A native Southerner, Koster is the author of two books, Louisiana Music and Texas Music. He thinks, for the most part, dogs are better than people.

Rick’s Playlist - June 23, 2009

1. Hands -- Strangelet

2. Harry Nilsson -- Sings Randy Newman

3. Riverside -- Voices in My Head

4. Isis -- Wavering Radiant

5. Peter Chilvers -- Stormwatcher


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 I Will Never Wash My Ears Again (Sorry, Mom) 6/23/2009 

These furlough things are sorta fun.

I’ve had two of them, now, and while I can’t really afford any more — at least until the ol’ blood-alcohol level recedes sufficiently that I can sell a few more pints of plasma and recompense a bit of the income loss.

One very cool thing that happened, though, is that the Bride Unit and I were invited down to Avatar Studios in Manhattan for a listening party to premiere The Incident, the newest Porcupine Tree CD, which will be officially available in September.

You may or may not be weary of my frequent pontificating on the Greatness of The Porkers — archival records here at the Mighty Day indicate I haven’t mentioned them in weeks — but forget that for a minute. Pretend you were sitting in a world class recording studio with a chance to hear, well, any new recording. In an acoustically perfect room with equipment of this calibre, the pure sound quality alone is worth the trip and the experience.

In this case, it so happened that the album is by one of our favorite bands — plus you can throw into the equation the fact that Porcupine Tree’s last CD, the still-immortal Fear of a Blank Planet, was nominated for a Grammy for sound quality. Whether you like their music or not, the Porkers make records that sound breathtakingly beautiful.

This wasn’t ZZ Top, in other words.

Perhaps the only trouble with such an event is that, as noted above, the CD won’t hit the streets for several weeks. And given that The Incident is a 55-minute song cycle with a variety of connected snippets interjected within longer works, it was just a huge batch of musical creativity to wrap one’s head around in only one listen. Segments hang inside my brain like cave-bats, but a lot more is only a blur in memory. It'd be nice to be able to hear it all again and start to digest it. Soon ...

Head Pork Man Steven Wilson was on hand at the soiree although, perhaps undestandably, he stayed in a separate reception room nursing, it appeared, a glass of red wine. I can imagine it would be fairly odd for him to sit in the same room with a group of strangers staring at him, particularly since he’s heard the damned thing already about 63,000 times.

In any case, it was a pleasure to meet him, at which time I offered typical and bumblingly moronic adulatory comments that he fielded graciously by not falling into a full-bore sleep. I was so lame that I almost wish he’d commented on my thunderous lack of anything new or clever to say, but he’s too nice for such things.

So I offered him a free horse in gratitude for all his work.

Not really.

If you could attend a listening party to an as-yet-unrleased album by an artist, who would it be?

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