Saturday, May 12, 2007


I know this site is about books, but I have purchased some new music lately that I feel compelled to comment on. Who will be the victor of Bibliolatry's CD SMACKDOWN 2007?

In this corner: Maurizio Pollini and Chopin: Nocturnes

I recently purchased Chopin: Nocturnes performed by Maurizio Pollini. I purchased it on iTunes, where each of the 18 tracks was a dollar each. Pricey, I thought, but ultimately worth it, right? I went for the entirety because I love Nocturne No. 1 in B-Flat Minor (Op. 9 No. 1, duh) and I figured they'd all be just as good.

The problem is not with Chopin; rather, it's with Pollini and his HEAVY BREATHING hanging over EVERY song. I feel like I'm right on top of the guy. Did they hang the microphone from his nose? He sounds as though he's blowing and heaving like a horse who's just finished the Derby. Good lord, man. It's so bad I cannot NOT hear it. A good lesson for those who debate whether to first sample a track or just buy the whole damn thing at first. (By the way, he plays beautifully. Too bad I'm too entranced by the huffing and puffing.) Here is a link to Pollini playing Nocturne 8; his breathing is noticeably absent. Absent, or else the camera is too far removed.

In this corner: Tori Amos and American Doll Posse

I'm a big fan o' Tori. The woman can do no wrong. Well, there was Scarlet's Walk. But it's cool, girl - you came back with The Beekeeper! But now there's American Doll Posse. Gone are the days when every song on a Tori cd was amazing. Now there's only have a few. Sigh.

But, in truth, I'm sure she's in a better place now, happily married with a child and all. So that's good. At least when Tori gets all breathy it isn't freaky and distracting. Still, it's hard for me to take this, especially when I still have a brain to remember this. Double sigh.

In this corner: Nine Inch Nails and Year Zero

Ok, so the 90s are over. But Trent Reznor is still a bad muthafucker. To anyone who didn't like With Teeth, I say you must be deaf. Um, hello, "Only"? "Sunspots"??? I rest my case. However, many are saying that Trent is "back" with Year Zero. Okay fine, but I maintain he never left.

Year Zero has everything you ever loved (if you ever did love) Nine Inch Nails. Fun sidenote: I almost died in a NIN moshpit in 2000. True story. Scary stuff. Big Tough NIN Fanguy helped me out. If not for him, I'd not be here today, instead a trampled mess beneath a heap of Doc Martens, heavy eyeliner, and seething angst and rage. So shoutout to Big Tough NIN Fanguy, wherever he may be.

Here's my favorite song off the album. (Yes, I still say album. Whatever.) It's not the video, but you can still hear the song, and for added enjoyment, read the priceless comments at the bottom.

The victor: NIN for its lack of distracting breathing and crappy songs.

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