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Tristan
(legendary cowboy)
04/06/06 05:59 PM
Medulla new [re: EASTMAN]  

Bjork's Tonight?

I disagree with you Medulla haters. Below are a few of the many reviews I've collected on Medulla. Read them!

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Björk has transcended any pop plinth she may (incorrectly) have been placed upon, to become, probably, our greatest contemporary female vocalist since Diamanda Galas.
In twenty years time, Madonna will probably perform ‘Vogue’ on TV, struggling like a turkey-necked karaoke star. Dull halfwits like Katie Melua will be distant memories. The thirteenth generation of Britneys will be infiltrating our kids' minds and taking up vital column inches of teen mags and popular press, but Björk will still be making music which pushes, challenges, invigorates and blows our minds.
Simon Smerdon, PLAYLOUDER 14 Sep 2004

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"Many of the artists at Björk's level of fame often suffer from musical dictatorship from their major label boss, and as a result the end product you hear is not their music at all. But not with Björk! She is very much in charge of the music you hear, and I am so envious of her position: she has earned herself the resources, the team and the musicians to make exactly the music she wants, at the moment she comes up with it. For me that would be a dream come true."
Shlomo, bjork.com, July 2004

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Weird sounds, Bjork's way
By GINA VIVINETTO, Times Pop Music Critic
Published September 17, 2004

Leave it to Bjork to come up with the year's most original album. Iceland's most famous export, Bjork, now a New Yorker living with her child and the acclaimed visual and film artist Matthew Barney - and certainly pop's most daring ingenue, Bjork is perpetually restless, thrilling and innovative.
Bjork is a pioneer. Even when her work puzzles more than it pleases. In the case of Medulla , her seventh solo studio album, Bjork has produced a beautiful work of art. Medulla is stunning for its simplicity: The album's "music" is composed almost entirely of human voices, the first instruments we ever had. Bjork explains in a news release for the album, whose title means "marrow", that she had one main rule for the album: no rules. Bjork says that while she knew she wanted 1997's Homogenic to be wildly extroverted and grandiose and 2001's Vespertine more muted and introverted, with Medulla she wasn't sure what she wanted. So she dispensed with a blueprint. Bjork found a fun team of sound pranksters, people with interesting voices and abilities, people she wanted to make noise with in the studio. The only other rule Bjork says she had for the new direction of Medulla "was for it not to sound like Manhattan Transfer or Bobby McFerrin ." In other words, Bjork wanted it to be, well, weird. So, Medulla runs the gamut of sounds and includes singing, samples of human voices, weird pastiches, loops, some primal grunts, some singing in English and some in Icelandic. Bjork's kooky cast of voice musicians is diverse. The Medulla players include the Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq Gillis, Japanese a cappella singer Dokaka and British art rocker Robert Wyatt , the drummer for Soft Machine in the 1970s and later a solo singer-songwriter. Wyatt duets with Bjork on the dreamy and doo-woppy Submarine .Former Faith No More and Mr. Bungle singer Mike Patton is also on board, as is beatboxer Rahzel , formerly of the Roots. "I liked all of us to make any special noises we could make on the new album," Bjork says. What seemed most rewarding to Bjork, she explains, was the freedom she found in working on Medulla. Not having a plan opened her up artistically. Also rewarding, she tenderly acknowledges, was the enjoyment of trusting nature and her subconscious, knowing it would all come together for her.

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RHINO:
Sound Bites on Bjork
A roundtable discussion of her new album, Medulla

Here’s a novel idea: Get a bunch of record company people together to talk about music. Yeah, music. No SoundScans, marketing plans, or various deals with the devil we like to refer to as “strategic initiatives.” Seeing as Medulla is kind of a big-deal release, we thought we’d hold a listening party where we play the record and share our thoughts. We paused the CD every three songs and recorded our unscripted, unpolished commentary. Here’s what folks said about Bjork’s latest, a strange and haunting work involving stacks of vocals and not a lot of instruments.

Jeff: It seems like it’s alternating. There’s an a cappella number -- just her -- and then there’s stuff with her with the choir and programmed stuff.

Glenn: There weren’t any instruments on that last song, were there?

Mac: I think she smoked a little doobie before she started making this album.

Sonja: It almost sounds like Mozart or something. It’s very symphonic. It goes all over the place. It’s really cool.

Saori: It’s kinda dark compared to the rest of her stuff, which is more uplifting.

John: Not exactly accessible thus far.

Jeff: It’s really cool. God bless her for following her own path. I would love to have been in the room when she presented this to the record company.

Glenn: I think it’s just as accessible as the last album [Vespertine].

Glenn: The last song ["Where Is The Line?"] reminded me of The Wizard Of Oz -- the oweeoweeo-oh part with all the deep voices.

Saori: It’s perfect for a rainy day.

John: Yeah, not exactly top down on PCH.

Mac: Unless you’re being chased by the law.

Mike: I liked the machine-gun, rapid bass drum electronics, but then the slower, weaving back and forth orchestral-vocal interplay.

John: Pretty bottom heavy.

Kate: If that [“Submarine”] had a different arrangement, it could totally be a hit. The lyrics are great. There’s such a hook in there, but they just have it arranged in such a way that it’s Bjork-like and not Top 40.

Mac: Thank God for that.

Craig: A couple of you guys said that it seems like a dark album. I agree with that, because it’s being conveyed by the artist as that, with the text [in the booklet] all being in black, and she’s kind of behind a mask. And some of the songs are from long ago, when she did some of the songs in native tongues. It’s almost to me like an experiment in history. Also that’s she’s found her voice as an instrument. I really liked the Vespertine album and “Hidden Place” and the electronica sound, so I was glad to hear that last track going back in that direction.

Glenn: That fourth song ["Vokuro"] reminded me of my Torah reading at my Bar Mitzvah… And that made the fifth song ["Who Is It?"] more disconcerting, when she started going, “Heil, heil, heil” at the beginning.

Randy: You hear things, and a lot of it is Scandinavian classical. It’s got that feel, that sort of Grieg and Sibelius… That one had the same kind of chords you hear in Russian music. It almost sounded like the national anthem to some breakaway republic.

Saori: It almost sounds like an opera, like different chapters within a song.

John: We’ll wait and see if there’s any verse/chorus/verse action going on in any of these.

Kate: I thought that second all-a cappella track was pretty amazing. You hear, ‘Oh, there are a cappella tracks on it,’ but you don’t think about 12 tracks of her on top of each other.

Jeff: Each track is astonishing, I think. In each one, something happens where you’re just, ‘Whoah, where did that come from?’

Glenn: I like the use of heavy breathing -- it’s like an instrument. Like an obscene phone call, but it works.

Sonja: It’s interesting, because it verges into that territory but it doesn’t go all the way there. It’s kind of tactful that way.

Jeff: I think it’s interesting that in some ways it’s very minimal, but it’s also very complicated, really layered, and there’s a lot going on. I keep thinking of tons of different musical references -- really disparate ones. It sounds like Bach and then it sounds like Fairport Convention. Just all over the place.

Randy: I was listening for mistakes, but I didn’t hear any. [laughter]

Jeff: There were, actually. That was kinda cool. There was a little glitch that was built in. It seemed like it stuttered, almost.

John: I like number eight [“Desired Constellation”] -- the ‘How am I going to make it right?’ vocal part. It struck me as a classic Bjork melody. And I like that rattle-y Radiohead thing as the only instrumental part.

Randy: It’s something that would’ve infuriated me years ago.

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If I want to think about having sex with 87 peacocks I can and it's not a crime,
but in reality they mightn't be up for it, you know
?


eraserhead
(stardust savant)
04/07/06 03:59 AM
I would never support Arsenal new [re: Dara]  

Dara and Nick - you're both wrong. If I would switch team, and leave Aston Villa for real, I would never switch to one of the popular teams. Well, of course, every team is popular, but some teams are more popular than others.

This is a serious post, by the way. What I'm about to say, and have said, is true. I'm not joking when I say that, for the last six months, my new favourite club in the English Premier League is... Bolton Wanderers.

I became a Villa fan around 1990, when I was 10, and I will never leave them completely, but right now, I'm more excited about Bolton. Basically, they, the Wanderers, are what Villa is not. They have practically no hard-workers in the starting line, only talent. Yes, old talent, but talent nonetheless. Ivan Campo, Bruno N'Gotty, Hidetoshi Nakta, Fadiga, Stelios Giannakopoulos, Gary Speed, El Hadji Diouf, and, of course:



Most of these are 50-plus years old, but they are great. I love all of these players, because they're all artists, and have character. Also, Kevin Nolan and Kevin Davies. Both Kevins should be in the English national team.

And look at the manager department. Sam Allardyce is, I think, generally regarded as the best manger in the league (again, Mourinho excluded), and has been with Bolton for as long as I can remember. He's always getting results, without spending too much money. You have to agree that there's something very charming and fun about Bolton's, and Allardyce's approach, their way of choosing players. The only go for so called "has-beens", well-known players, who should be retired, but, once they come to Bolton, these oldies rise again. Look at Nakata, who played for 5 or 6 different clubs in Italy, and never succeeded. Bolton has made him rise from the ashes.

In the future, I forsee them buying the likes of David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Alessandro Del Piero, Paulo Maldini, and Ronaldo.






Arlequino
(cracked actor)
04/07/06 11:18 AM
Re: Don't read unless you know who Darren Huckerby is new [re: Dara]  

Bah, how did I miss all of this football talk? Damn my complete disinterest in Tin Machine!

O'Dreary truly, truly is a terrible manager. Bit of a legend on the field, but a bit of a duffer off it. Nevertheless, Eraserhead, you're not allowed to change teams. You just can't! Look at all those Sunderland fans who are praying for Niall Quinn to be their saviour. Niall Quin for chrissakes! And Bolton. Bolton? BOLTON?!

Also, I've managed to miss being confused for EuropeanCanon. I'm secretly delighted. Publically.

later,
Chris...

I could stay if you asked me,
So for God's sake don't ask me to stay

Edited by Arlequino on 04/07/06 11:19 AM (server time).



Dara
(acolyte)
04/07/06 12:02 PM
No gloryhunters wanted new [re: eraserhead]  

In reply to:

Bolton Wanderers.



Fat Sam's mercenaries???? A team built by Sam sallying forth every time the transfer window opens to see what ageing foreign talent is rotting on the finest benches of Serie A and La Liga and can be borrowed until the next transfer window on the promise of paying their wages and a bit on the side? A team whose main strategy is to kick the opponents (espeially if they're soft Southern softies), nick a goal, and then hang on grimly? Bolton are about as attractive as I imagine Sam Allardyce's mother to be after she's been on a gin bender.

You, sir, are no fan of football.

In reply to:

Kevin Nolan and Kevin Davies. Both Kevins should be in the English national team



Or the Irish one, in Nolan's case.

In reply to:

Sam Allardyce is, I think, generally regarded as the best manger in the league (again, Mourinho excluded)



This is a joke, right? Better than Ferguson, the most successful club manager in the English game ever? Better than Benitez? Wenger? Jol?

I think you have to actually win something before you can be generally considered the best. Also, here's an interesting fact for you. You say that Allardyce has spent very little money. Relatively speaking, this is true. He has, however, spent a lot more than Wenger. Wenger's spent less money net over the period he's been at Arsenal than every other Premiership manager. Yet he's won a brace of Premship titles, FA Cups, just guided a team of youngsters to the CL semifinal, and all by playing attractive football. Guess who has scored more goals than Bolton in the Premship this season? Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, West Ham and even Middlesbrough!

In reply to:

In the future, I forsee them buying the likes of David Beckham, Zinedine Zidane, Alessandro Del Piero, Paulo Maldini, and Ronaldo.



But only when they're 47 and nobody else is willing to pay them the inflated wages to which they have grown accustomed.

Slan libh,

Dara

"David O'Leary is a club killer. Seriously, if you want your club to disappear down the tubes, just appoint him as manager and wait a few years" - Mireille O'Kearney

EJ
(byroad singer)
04/07/06 12:12 PM
Duality new [re: Dara]  

Isn't it fantastic how two parallel universes exist in this thread? One is music, one is football and they totally ignore each other's existence. Art.

And I want to believe that a light's shining through somehow


eraserhead
(stardust savant)
04/07/06 02:10 PM
Re: No gloryhunters wanted new [re: Dara]  

Firstly, about O'Leary, because I forgot to say this in my last post. He is Irish, isn't? I mean, the O' gives that away. And he played for Arsenal for...half a century, no? From the early 70s to the early 90s, right? I think he was even the Arsenal captain for a while. So, being this symbol of both the Irish national team, and the Gunners, shouldn't you, well, adore him? Do you have something personal against him, some old grudge from way back? Did something happen between you in the mid 80s, when you were young and perhaps a little too big-mouthed during one of the games at Highbury, and O'Leary confrontated you after the game, à la Cantona. Did he kick you Cantona style?



About Sam Allardyce. He's the only English manager in the English league that I can think of right now. True, I don't follow the Premiership that closely these days, but I'm pretty sure that if there are other English managers in the Premier League, they manage teams in the lower regions of the table. Well, there's that guy who hate Sven-Goran. The red-headed guy. Can't remember his name, but he's English. Then there's the Charlton manager. But most if not all of the teams you mentioned, who have scored more goals than Bolton, have foreign managers.

I would say Bolton is a tough team, very physically hard to meet and beat, which is quite extraordinary, considering that most of the players are prima donnas. I would also say that Bolton seems to be one of the (few) English teams who are tactically aware. Bolton is an intelligent team, with intelligent players and an intelligent coach. I don't know how many different nationalities there are in the side at the moment, but my guess would be...20, or something. That in itself is, well, it makes Bolton a very exotic club, an interesting mix of people from all continents, whereas most other Premiership clubs consist of Finns, Swedes, Norwegians and Danes. And Frenchmen. As well as a lot of Scotish, Welsh and Irish players. And a few English.

Are you sure about Nolan being Irish though? He wasn't in the squad when Ireland trashed Sweden recently, was he? Why?


In reply to:

This is a joke, right? Better than Ferguson, the most successful club manager in the English game ever? Better than Benitez? Wenger? Jol?


Jol who? The Spurs manager? As far as I know, none of these are English. If you take only the English managers in the Premier League in consideration, it's very easy to rank them. Because there can't be more than a handful of them. Whereas in Italy, none of the 20 clubs in the Serie A has a foreign manager. But this is not news, but my point here is that Sam Allardyce is probably the best English manager in England, even if that isn't saying a hell of a lot, but still.









Dara
(acolyte)
04/07/06 02:51 PM
Arsenal just keep beating Serie A new [re: eraserhead]  

O'Leary's at least somewhat Irish. At least as much as anyone born in England who has spent his entire adult life in England can be.

But that's not the point. It's okay for Irish people to find fault in other Irish people. In fact, it's kind of our national sport.

Similarly, the fact that he played for Arsenal doesn't grant him lifelong immunity. The way the football fan's mind works is this: when he's in the shirt, you love. When he's not, it's negotiable. O'Leary blew it by
(a) being a Thatcherite Tory
(b) being an arsehole
(c) suggesting that Pires was homosexual.

When he did (c), Pires was wearing an Arsenal shirt and he wasn't, so that kind of sealed it.

However, I have a confession to make. When I was a lad, O'Leary was my favourite player. I wrote him a fan letter. He sent back a nice reply with a signed photo. I put it up on my bedroom wall beside all my other posters of him. Well, they weren't all of him, there were one or two of the other Irish players, Brady, Stapleton and Devine. And quite a few of Devine's wife, Miss Ireland (Michelle Rocca, who ended up on a Van Morrison album poster, and on Van Morrison). But O'Leary was my favourite.

Well, Dave, I hope you know I ripped all of your posters off my wall.

In reply to:

He wasn't in the squad when Ireland trashed Sweden recently, was he? Why?



Probably not good enough. Who needs him when we have Robbie Keane? Heck, I'd even pick Keith Doyle ahead of Nolan, I think.

Anyway, it was only Sweden. I think I could have played up front that day and we'd still have won.

In reply to:

As far as I know, none of these are English. If you take only the English managers in the Premier League in consideration, it's very easy to rank them.



Maybe, but you never qualified your "best manager" (or "best manger" even) remark with English before. You even excluded Mourinho explicitly. If you were just talking English managers, there would have been no need.

Anyway, I think the best English manager in the Premship is probably Alan Curbishley. Liam Brady rates Paul Jewell highly too, but I'm suspending judgement on him until next season.

The one thing I do like about Fat Sam is there's none of this little Englander bollocks with him about teams needing to have a quota of English players. He just goes out and slurps up the best foreign mercenaries his money can buy. Not sure his tactical awareness extends much beyond "everyone behind the ball when we don't have it" though.

Slan leat,

Dara

"David O'Leary is a club killer. Seriously, if you want your club to disappear down the tubes, just appoint him as manager and wait a few years" - Mireille O'Kearney

Strawman
(acolyte)
04/09/06 07:34 PM
A swift reality check new [re: Dara]  

In reply to:

The one thing I do like about Fat Sam is there's none of this little Englander bollocks with him about teams needing to have a quota of English players. He just goes out and slurps up the best foreign mercenaries his money can buy.


Great statement, Dara Of course the likes of Scotland, Wales & the Irish duo would've made an even mightier impression on the world stage of football without the English league and the representation of their players therein.

FIFA WORLD CUP 2006


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