The Hobgoblin in the Room

I liked one question Gwen Ifill asked Cheney and Edwards, and was disappointed neither answered it: "What's wrong with a little flip-flopping?" I keep hoping someone will quote Emerson: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds." A foolish consistency, which is the word missed by many people who quote the line. Of all the faults, misdeeds, and crimes against humanity that can be laid at George Bush's door, for which a special roasting pit in hell is doubtless being prepared for him, what would be easier to convict him of than a … [Read more...]

Slowest of the Slow

Of all the slow, stationary, eventless recordings on Postclassic Radio, Elodie Lauten's Harmonic Protection Circle is the slowest, most stationary, and most eventless. And absolutely gorgeous. It features the Elodie Lauten Ensemble: the composer herself on synthesizer, Jonathan Hirschman on guitar, Mustafa Ahmed on percussion, and Mathew Fieldes on contrabass. The brand new Studio 21 recording arrived in my mail last week, and is already up for your listening pleasure. … [Read more...]

Fluxus on Record

All through my avant-garde-obsessed youth I heard about the notorious Nam June Paik, but there were no recordings of his music, and, given its conceptual nature, there didn't seem likely to be any: one of his most famous performances was to leap into the audience with a pair of scissors and cut off John Cage's tie; another (never confirmed) was that he interrupted playing a Beethoven sonata to moon the audience; and one published score consisted of the words: "Creep into the vagina of a living whale." However, in the early 1980s I finally ran … [Read more...]