Monthly Archives: August 2011

The SMiLE Sessions

Details on the release of the Beach Boys’ The SMiLE Sessions. [via Pitchfork]

The Beach Boys’ lost 1966-67 SMiLE sessions are finally seeing the light of day. And how. On October 31 internationally and November 1 in the US, Capitol/EMI will release The SMiLE Sessions in several formats: 2xCD and 2xLP, digital album, iTunes LP, and a giant box set. Brian Wilson, Al Jardine, and Mike Love all participated in the release. The SMiLE Sessions contain “an approximation of what was intended to be the completed SMiLE album, compiled from the Beach Boys’ original session masters,” according to a press release, plus bonus tracks, demos, and stereo mixes. The box set consists of five CDs, two LPs, two 7″s, a 60-page book, and “three-dimensional shadowbox lid.” The SMiLE Sessions‘ artwork is based on the sleeve and booklet art Frank Holmes made for the original, shelved album.

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Haunted House

“Writing is not pleasure. It’s just not. And you’re pulling things up from the depths of memory and feeling that should really be left alone. Most people leave them alone for very good reasons. They should be left alone. […] And the imagination is this haunted house, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re writing down the first time or rewriting, you’re working with that all the time, and that is not pleasure. And maybe some people get pleasure from it, but I would call it pain.”

Colm Tóibín at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, on the emotional possibilities of the simplest phrases, pleasure and writing, and how to pronounce László Krasznahorkai’s name.

[Video via the Guardian]

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Six-hour song.

Apparently, the Flaming Lips are trying to make a six-hour song. [via Consequence of Sound]

Well, I suppose it could be like watching Sátántangó.

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Mahler matters.

Norman Lebrecht talks about how Gustav Mahler changed music. An excerpt:

But Mahler is not composing a forest scenario in the manner or Weber or Wagner, or a pastoral symphony like Beethoven and Brahms, or a recherche de temps perdu like Marcel Proust. He is taking a huge imaginative leap in attempting to change the public expectation of what a symphony is, and might be. He spends the first four minutes of the work venturing snippets of sound and atmospheric emanations before he delivers anything that might be recognised as a melodic theme, holding the audience attention by force of will. What’s more, throughout the score he introduces peripheral disruptions, sounds that are blown in from outside the text and texture of the music and threaten to drive it off course.

[via the thought fox]

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Rojak: “It killed a swan.”

Rojak is a regular collection of assorted links as well as a bulletin summarising the week (or thereabouts) on this blog.

Assorted

Alex Ross pokes fun at a few album covers. [via Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise]

Sergio Chefjec’s My Two Worlds looks like an interesting book. [via Three Percent]

Brodsky and Ukraine. [via The Book Bench]

Review of the Weeknd’s Thursday. [via Consequence of Sound]

Was The Tempest meant to be a musical? [via The Telegraph]

Bulletin

This week:

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Omnivore: The weekend is here.

Omnivore is a regular report on some of the things that I’ve been enjoying during the week (or thereabouts).

This week has been a lot of Laura Mulvey and Vertigo. I’ve also started reading Javier Marías’s Your Face Tomorrow, and should be done with the first book by Monday or something. I’ve returned to Anna Calvi, some Pink Floyd, and some Nelson Freire for my music.

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P.S. Happy voting day, little merlions.

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Film buff.

The schedule for the 24th Singapore International Film Festival has been put up over at the website. [via SIFF]

I’m interested in catching The Tree of Life, Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams, and Chongqing Blues. A couple of other pictures really have my attention, but honestly, I can’t be divesting my entire purse at one go.

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Material world.

Here is the trailer for George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Martin Scorsese’s documentary on the Quiet One. It will debut on HBO on 5 and 6 October, and will be available on DVD and Blu-ray on 10 October. (It’ll make a nice Christmas present, for sure!)

[via YouTube]

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Bloom’s Anatomy

Over at The Millions, there is a feature on Harold Bloom and his latest book, The Anatomy of Influence. I especially liked this bit:

Bloom is obsessed with one character above all: the Prince of Denmark. Hamlet is the wildest, “supremely outrageous,” most coruscating intelligence to be found anywhere in the work. His special book length study on the topic is entitled Hamlet: Poem Unlimited, and it’s not unlimited for nothing. Hamlet is a character who destroys everything in his path, composing cognitive splendors of almost nihilistic intensity, he is mad but “mad north-northwest.” Bloom can’t get enough of him – he links him with Paradise Lost’s Lucifer, for one, and wonders what it would be like if he had Edmund or Iago to contend with onstage. The Dane’s instantaneous cognition and meta-cognition is enough to send Bloom awhirl. The Lucifer comparison is apt in many ways, though one gets the feeling that his Oedipal theory of poetic influence is based on such prodigious and intimidating reading (he’s said to be able to read several hundred pages an hour) that it’s exhausting to keep up. He once mentioned that his only attempt at therapy resulted in his therapist explaining that he was being paid by the hour to listen to lectures on the proper way to read Freud. If that isn’t the mark of a true literary man, I don’t know what is.

[via The Millions]

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Happy birthday, Jorge Luis Borges.

Today is the 112nd birthday of Borges. I’m going to throw a party inside my head full of imaginary beings and gardens of forking paths.

Here is a lecture on the metaphor in two parts.

Part one:

[via YouTube]

Part two:

[via YouTube]

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