some birds are funny when they talk








Stuck in my Head
"Kiss Me Harder" by Bertine Zetlitz
"Hot" by Avril
"Brain Problem Situation" by They Might Be Giants

Now Reading
Number 9 Dream by David Mitchell
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

Recently Finished
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by David Eggers
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Mad Tony and Me by Carl Hoffman
Sweet Soul Music by Peter Guaralnick
This Must Be The Place: Adventures of Talking Heads in the 20th Century by David Bowman
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Movies Lately
4 Months 3 Weeks 2 Days
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts
Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour
2 Days in Paris
United 93
The Savages
The Bourne Ultimatum
Sweeney Todd
The Departed
What Would Jesus Buy?
Ghost World
I'm Not There
She's The Man
Lars and the Real Girl
Romance and Cigarettes
No Country for Old Men
Into the Wild
I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With
Across the Universe

Shows Lately
Damo Suzuki/Stinking Lizaveta @ Mill Creek
Death and the Maiden @ Curio
Devon Sproule/Carsie Blanton/Devin Greenwood/John Francis @ Tin Angel
Assassins @ The Arden
Oakley Hall and the Teeth @ Johnny Brendas
Isabella and Flamingo/Winnebago and Map Me and Gatz and Songs of the Dragons Flying to Heaven and Sonic Dances and Strawberry Farm and The Emperor Jones and No Dice and Hearts of Man and Principles of Uncertainty and Isabella and BATCH and Addicted to Bad Ideas: Peter Lorre's 20th Century and Car and Sports Trilogy and Explanatorium and Wandering Alice and Must Don't Whip Um and Festival of Lies and A Room of Ones Own and Recitatif @ the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe
Martha Graham Cracker and Eliot Levin and Kilo etc. @ the Fringe Cabaret
Lullatone and Teletextile @ Boulder Coffee [Rochester]
TV Sound @ the M Room
Aretha Franklin @ East Dell, Fairmount Pk.
Romeo + Juliet in Clark Park
Daft Punk @ Red Rocks
Spoon @ Rockefeller Park
Ponytail at Pony Pants' House
Mirah/Benjy Ferree @ the 1UC
Tortoise @ World Cafe Live
Hall & Oates...ish
"Nuclear Dreams" - Mascher Dance Group, x2
The Four of Us @ 1812
Machines Machines Machines Machines Machines Machines Machines by Rainpan whatever
Mascher Dance Group/Nathaniel Bartlett
Cornelius @ TLA
Sloan @ World Cafe
In Fluxxxx
Slavic Soul Party!/Red Heart the Ticker @ I-House
the Fantasticks @ Mum
Peter Bjork + Jorn/Fujiya + Miyagi @ fkaTLA
John Vanderslice @ Johnny Brendas
The Books & Todd Reynolds @ 1UC
Into the Woods @ LPAC
The Fishbowl @ the Frear
Caroline, or, Change @ the Arden
Low & Loney, Dear. @ 1UC

Tuesday, October 5

minding the gaps

so, organizing my record collection over the last few weeks - i haven't exactly finished, mostly because i more or less gave up trying to perfect the ordering once all the cds were actually on the shelf. but at least i've been trying some innovative techniques. it's by genre generally, with chronological and stylistic gradations. but the jazz is now chronological by album (not by artist), and the electronic music is by spine color (rainbological), which works out to a bit more than one shelf of white, a shelf of black, and two shelves of full-color spectrum.

taking stock of what i have is fun, of course, but it also inevitably makes me think about of all kinds of records that i don't own, many of which i've never heard, but which by many accounts are in some sense or another indispensable. it's the kind of collecting i specifically disliked when i was first a kid - the amount of music you own is always going to pale in comparison to the amount of music you're aware of and, in some stupid sense, "need." if i didn't like music so durn much, i would never have gotten mixed up in all this.

anyway, in that spirit, i offer you this catalog of aporia; these are the variously-sized holes in my musical dominion; in particular those absences that somehow seem to be implied by the presence what i do have; the negative space formed by the edges of my record shelves:

the top 100 gaps in my record collection
a bulleted list by ross hoffman

  • classical music
  • mahler, just for instance
  • and stravinsky
  • some more steve reich
  • indian music
  • afropop/afrobeat
  • more tropicalia
  • calypso
  • more reggae, and dub
  • catch a fire - deluxe edition insists ben
  • louis armstrong
  • billie holiday
  • django
  • bud powell (and art tatum?)
  • some more monk
  • also more bird, and dizzy i guess
  • a little more ellington; guess i'm doing okay on miles
  • sonny rollins?
  • s'more mingus and ornette would be nice
  • albert ayler? more zorn?
  • those ecm guys
  • vocal jazz - sinatra?
  • jazz in general
  • blues in general
  • ie. muddy waters and howlin' wolf
  • also, like, bessie smith
  • and etta james!! (and ruth brown, perhaps?)
  • and anything else ben tells me i can't live without
  • any bluegrass at all, really
  • doc watson
  • george jones
  • merle haggard? lefty frizzell? tammy wynette?
  • and whoever else is important besides hank, patsy, willie, loretta, and johnny cash
  • plus more by those guys
  • cash's sun records stuff
  • more elvis than just the sun records stuff
  • roy orbison
  • new sounds in country and western, etc.
  • doowop
  • sam cooke
  • james brown @ the apollo
  • otis redding - more than just very best of - specifically, blue and …dictionary…
  • solomon burke (older stuff now?)
  • more al green and marvin gaye while i'm at it
  • curtis/live
  • black moses
  • minnie ripperton
  • nina simone
  • donny hathaway
  • oscar brown! (sin and soul)
  • the o'jays
  • the spinners, harold melvin and the blue notes, the stylistics…
  • so, basically, i've just really been feeling a need for soul lately, especially philly soul, especially being in philly, especially since i read this list in the philly weekly. but i'm not sure how best to progress. so much of what's available is compilations, which are always so problematic from a collecting standpoint…help?
  • to a lesser extent, funk and disco - more funkadelic i guess. kool and the gang?
  • oh, right, and fresh and maybe stand!
  • anyway, carrying on: purple rain and 1999
  • um, thriller.
  • backing up a bit…early sixties pop - girl groups, bubblegum, etc.
  • the four seasons
  • the lovin' spoonful
  • the turtles
  • sunflower/surf's up? and, oh yeah, SMiLE
  • with the beatles and magical mystery tour
  • some solo lennon
  • exile, for christ's sake
  • quadrophenia (okay, and tommy)
  • the first two hendrix records
  • the second two cream records
  • traffic
  • jefferson airplane
  • crosby, stills, and nash
  • neil young
  • pre-electric dylan; also the basement tapes
  • leonard cohen
  • tim buckley
  • more zappa
  • more brian eno
  • roxy music? (besides avalon)
  • ziggy stardust and young americans (and t.m.w.s.t.w. and heroes and lodger and)
  • something/anything
  • prog
  • neu, faust etc. (but i have tago mago)
  • white light/white heat and the velvet underground (s/t)
  • more than two clash albums
  • the name of this band is talking heads (duh)
  • early british postpunk: gang of four and wire and whatnot
  • something else by the jam
  • yeah, yeah, joy division, whatever.
  • american '80s (post)punk
  • to wit: mission of burma, the minutemen, the mekons, hüsker dü…
  • minor threat…fugazi…see, i try to be good and like punk. oh well.
  • punk in general
  • rum, sodomy, and the lash
  • mid/later cure
  • galaxie 500
  • laughing stock or so they say
  • later tom waits ('80s and '90s)
  • lyle lovett
  • born [in the usa/to run], nebraska, greetings
  • richard buckner
  • palace and smog (aka the two indie-folky songwriters named william that i never really got into)
  • and also the other two, named mark, and their associated bands (eitzel and kozelek)
  • earlier lambchop
  • telephono
  • we have the facts and we're voting yes
  • the sea and cake
  • the 3 eps
  • aegitis byrjun
  • f#a#(infinity) and yanqui u.x.o.
  • boredoms
  • hey, where's my copy of the soft bulletin?
  • not to mention innervisions and the smiths, which seem to have gotten lost at angela's party
  • also, jen ku still has two of my cex cds
  • and i've been missing living in clip forever
  • anyway… how about some (more) old school hip hop
  • in particular: run-dmc, bdp, pete rock
  • it takes a nation of millions…
  • the chronic
  • reasonable doubt?
  • wu tang clan…snoop…straight outta compton
  • first two missy albums
  • first two outkast albums
  • the orb
  • autechre
  • oval
  • more ninja tune stuff
  • jungle/d'n'b that i actually like
  • trance

[disclaimer: this should not be taken as a "wishlist," or at least it wasn't intentionally intended that way, even though i have a birthday next week. in fact, most of my current wish list is not represented here.]