Monthly Archives: February 2011

Is it Due to a Deep Interest in the Afterlife?

I had a conversation with a friend recently that included the above question. When pulled from its context, it makes a great title for a blog post, don’t you think?

We were chatting about a work by Édouard Manet (Jesus Mocked by the Soldiers, 1865) and, as the conversation meandered, we spoke of Madrid’s excellent Museo del Prado and so I revealed that I really love a lot of that explicitly religious style of medieval art that characterizes Old World collections like El Prado’s. When she pressed further on what drew me to it, I fell back to an old standby of mine, Hieronymus Bosch and his work The Garden of Earthly Delights. You likely have seen the painting; Bosch is well known for his especially creative and visually exciting depictions of religious scenes, the most popular of which are his depictions of Hell and damnation.

The Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1450-1516

The Garden of Earthly Delights, c. 1450-1516

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Two for Thursday

Instead of the usual “Three for Thursday” shtick, I’m caving and giving just “Two for Thursday.” Don’t feel you’re getting short-shrifted though! One of these almost made me cry!

Emotion! Beauty! Music! Bybe gives you all the sustenance you need for life. And we’ll make you pancakes the morning after!

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The Debut May Have to Last Me All My Life

The Avalanches - Since I Left You

The Avalanches - Since I Left You

This post continues the anniversary series on albums with some personal significance, but I want to digress before writing about the album. Some time ago, while out with friends for drinks, a discussion sprung up regarding sampling. The debate centered on its artistic validity, and whether the albums of say, Girl Talk, deserved the label “music” or a dismissal as glorified mixtapes. I supported the former, and in my argument, used an analogy with the visual arts inspired by my best friend.

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Music for Airplanes

Brian Eno is the closest thing electronic music’s got to a household name – quick fact: he created the start-up sound for Windows 95 – and his 1978 album Music for Airports is generally considered to be the paragon of ambient music. Eno’s vision with the work was a gentler, atmospheric soundtrack to calm the stress of airport terminals and it was born out of his own frustrations while stuck during travel.

Enter Mux Mool and his newest release, Drum EP 2. Now I realize that it’s borderline blasphemy to compare anyone to Sir Eno, and I’m not even necessarily going to make that case here with Mr. Mool, but some tenuous connection in spirit came to mind when I first heard these tracks.

Mux Mool

Mux Mool (via Lorena Cupcake/Flickr)

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Three for Thursday (Snowed In!)

As Chicago continues to dig itself out from under piles of snow several feet high, I thought I’d drop a few videos from artists that have been grabbing my attention recently. As always, no common theme… though these all might be good on your “Snowpocalypse 2011” playlist: Ólafur Arnalds as the snow falls, Com Truise for the dance party with your blizzard buddy and Matt & Kim for the snowball fight. Good luck finding out where exactly they towed your car if you abandoned it on Lake Shore Drive! Continue reading

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