The Flaming Lips’ “The Soft Bulletin” #PetSounds

Capa

So where does a band go after releasing the most defiantly experimental record of its career? If you’re the Flaming Lips, you keep rushing headlong into the unknown — The Soft Bulletin, their follow-up to the four-disc gambit Zaireeka, is in many ways their most daring work yet, a plaintively emotional, lushly symphonic pop masterpiece eons removed from the mind-warping noise of their past efforts. Though more conventional in concept and scope than Zaireeka, The Soft Bulletin clearly reflects its predecessor’s expansive sonic palette. Its multidimensional sound is positively celestial, a shape-shifting pastiche of blissful melodies, heavenly harmonies, and orchestral flourishes; but for all its headphone-friendly innovations, the music is still amazingly accessible, never sacrificing popcraft in the name of radical experimentation. (Its aims are so perversely commercial, in fact, that hit R&B remixer Peter Mokran tinkered with the cuts “Race for the Prize” and “Waitin’ for a Superman” in the hopes of earning mainstream radio attention.) But what’s most remarkable about The Soft Bulletin is its humanity — these are Wayne Coyne’s most personal and deeply felt songs, as well as the warmest and most giving. No longer hiding behind surreal vignettes about Jesus, zoo animals, and outer space, Coyne pours his heart and soul into each one of these tracks, poignantly exploring love, loss, and the fate of all mankind; highlights like “The Spiderbite Song” and “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” are so nakedly emotional and transcendentally spiritual that it’s impossible not to be moved by their beauty. There’s no telling where the Lips will go from here, but it’s almost beside the point — not just the best album of 1999, The Soft Bulletin might be the best record of the entire decade. – Review by Jason Ankeny

* * * * *

An excellent documentary by Pitchfork TV reveals the genesis of the Lips’ masterpiece:


Directed By RJ Bentler. 45 minutes.
Download The Soft Bulletin (320 kps). Read reviews at Metacritic.

Advertisements

Franz Liszt (1811-1886), “Faust Symphony”

Fantasy Based on Goethe’s ‘Faust’ (1834), by Theodore Von Holst (1810-1844)

Fantasy Based on Goethe’s ‘Faust’ (1834), by Theodore Von Holst (1810-1844). Via Tate.

A Faust Symphony in three character pictures (German: Eine Faust-Symphonie in drei Charakterbildern), S.108, or simply the “Faust Symphony”, was written by Hungarian composer Franz Liszt and was inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s drama, Faust. The symphony was premiered in Weimar on September 5, 1857, for the inauguration of the Goethe–Schiller Monument there.

The first clue as to the work’s structure is in Liszt’s title: “A Faust Symphony in Three Character Sketches after Goethe: (1) Faust, (2) Gretchen, (3) Mephistopheles.” Liszt does not attempt to tell the story of Goethe’s drama. Rather, he creates musical portraits of the three main protagonists. By doing so, though this symphony is a multi-movement work and employs a chorus in its final moments, Liszt adopts the same aesthetic position as in his symphonic poems. The work is approximately seventy-five minutes in duration… – Wikipedia

1000x1000

* * * *

You might also enjoy…  Composers & Musicians previously published on Awestruck Wanderer: Fela Kuti || Dvořák || Jeff Buckley || George Harrison || Love’s Forever Changes || Jimi Hendrix

Antonin Dvořák (1841-1904) – Slavonic Dances [Op. 46 & Op. 72] #PetSounds #MarvelousMusic

Dvorak

Dvořák, comrades! Such an awe-inspiring musical genius!


Antonin Dvořák
 – Slavonic Dances

The Slavonic Dances are a series of 16 orchestral pieces composed by Antonín Dvořák in 1878 and 1886 and published in two sets as Opus 46 and Opus 72 respectively; they were inspired by Johannes Brahms’s own Hungarian Dances.

The types of dances upon which Dvořák based his music include the furiant, the dumka, the polka, the sousedská, the skočná, the mazurka, the odzemek, the špacírka, the kolo and the polonaise.

Opus 46
0:00 No. 1 in C major: Presto (Furiant)
3:38 No. 2 in E minor: Allegretto scherzando (Dumka)
8:21 No. 3 in A-flat major: Poco allegro (Polka)
12:31 No. 4 in F major: Tempo di Minuetto (Sousedská)
20:19 No. 5 in A major: Allegro vivace (Skočná)
23:31 No. 6 in D major: Allegretto scherzando (Sousedská)
28:05 No. 7 in C minor: Allegro assai (Skočná)
31:19 No. 8 in G minor: Presto (Furiant)

Opus 72
34:58 No. 1 (9) in B major: Molto vivace (Odzemek)
38:33 No. 2 (10) in E minor: Allegretto grazioso (Starodávný)
43:42 No. 3 (11) in F major: Allegro (Skočná)
46:51 No. 4 (12) in D-flat major: Allegretto grazioso (Dumka)
51:48 No. 5 (13) in B-flat minor: Poco adagio (Špacírka)
54:08 No. 6 (14) in B-flat major: Moderato, quasi Minuetto (Starodávný -“Ancient”-)
57:43 No. 7 (15) in C major: Allegro vivace (Kolo)
1:00:51 No. 8 (16) in A-flat major: Grazioso e lento, ma non troppo, quasi tempo di Valse (Sousedská)