Saturday, December 17, 2011

Scottish Screen Archive

Some amazing videos over at the Scottish Screen Archive. Loads of educational/public information films to browse through -- my favorites all seem to be about the textile industry. Don't miss Teenage Money, Cashmere is Scottish, The Climbers, and Beautiful Drima, which is about a new kind of sewing thread (and has great music). There are a lot of "new town" documentaries as well; Cumbernauld, Town for Tomorrow looks like a nice place to settle down.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Meaning of Time

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Eclectic Curriculum

Beth Landis and Polly Carder, The Eclectic Curriculum in American Music Education: Contributions of Dalcroze, Kodaly, and Orff. I can't remember what the family tree of footwear is meant to illustrate. "The Eclectic Curriculum" is a good name for a b-sides comp.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Lindsay Blue

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! posted here !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Teeme Muusikat

Here is some more Estonian folk music from the Teeme Muusikat (Let's Make Music) series, which I posted about earlier. I love love love these records. For me they are an outline and manifesto for the kind of pop music that needs to be made today: haunting, melancholy choral folk with twinkly percussion and woodwinds -- like the soundtrack to a lost TV broadcast of an Eastern European fairy tale. Since I don't speak Estonian the singers give the sense of casting spells or reciting ritual incantations. And in some songs there is a fairly lively "beat" percussion that wouldn't be too out of place on a garage or psych 45 (the yelping on one of the R. Kangro tracks sounds a bit like a parallel universe Lizzy Mercier Descloux.)

Above is the third record in the series, arranged by Heino Jurisalu. I believe the songs are mostly trad., but they are occasionally credited to individual songwriters. Beautiful, plaintive pastoral tunes. I love the typesetting and photos, including the portrait of Jurisalu on the back. He might have been the head music teacher in the project, as he wrote the back cover blurbs for many of the albums. If anybody could translate I'd be much obliged. The practical academic function of these records -- they were clearly meant for classroom activities -- is part of what I like about them, so it would be good to know what sort of instructions they have in mind.

This one is, I believe, the fourth record in the series. The color palette all matches up, from Kangro's tie to the armchair to the girl's dress. We actually have a table cloth like that, too. Some of these tunes remind me of the drool-worthy Finders Keepers release of the Malá Morská Víla OST, which was the center of gravity for my musical world this past year. The sleeve may seem a bit twee and goodie two shoes, but it's amazing how edgy and punk some of side 2 sounds if you listen with your third ear. Below is a taste of my favorite track. Enjoy and play for your friends!

Saturday, December 3, 2011


A while ago my wife and I rented Polanski's "The Tenant." It seemed a clear enough proposition to just sit down and watch it, but it had one of those complicated DVD menus where you're never quite sure what you're clicking. I pressed play and we proceeded to spend the next two hours in a state of total confusion. "This movie isn't all it's cracked up to be," I loudly asserted. "Everyone talks so weird -- it sounds horrible." It wasn't until the next day that we discovered I had accidentally clicked the dubbed English audio option.

This album reminds me of that experience. But in a good way. It's hard to pin down stylistically but I think that's the point -- a bit avant-garde, a bit gauloise-smoking session drummer, a bit Polanski. I like it. See what you think.

My fellow weird-music enthusiast Tom says that one of the tracks, "Afro-theme" (also known as "Centre national de documentation pédagogique") was the theme song for a children's TV show in France in the late-70s. By the way, Tom is the creator of probably my favorite mix-tape of the year, which can be downloaded here. You should all listen to it.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The New Ice Age

I now have a youtube channel! Not very well stocked though. This is a clip from Johan van der Keuken's The New Ice Age, a documentary partially about a group of ice cream factory workers in northern Holland. I love the hug sequence and bed linens. For some reason the subtitles didn't go through, but basically the woman's letter goes something like "Dear Johan... It's good to hear from you... How are you doing? I like your cat... Your cat is nice...I will see you in two weeks..." over and over again.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ruusujen aika

"A Time of Roses." Awesome, weird Finnish sci fi from 1969. Takes place in a fantasy 2012 that looks exactly like 1969. A beautiful woman appears -- the spitting image of a nude model who passed away in 1976. Or is she? Bloops and bleeps by Erkki Kurenniemi, and a lovely flutey soft psych number during a love scene. Also, a look into the future of dodge ball.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


A few things I've been listening to lately. I hope everyone's doing well!

Cap Canaveral Sun - Gérard Doulssane
Optical Sound - Human Expression
Pacification - La nouvelle frontière
The Doting King - The Dream
Of Soul and Deed - Mike Tingley
Die Screaming, Marianne - Kathe Green
Laul juurviljadest - R. Kangro
Viaggio nel tempo - Umberto di Grazia
Creed - Frances Hunter Gordon
Orjakivi - H. Jurisalu
Path Through the Forest - Cliff Ward
Bir Masal Türküsü - Esin Afsar
Scene Through the Eye of a Lens - Family
Continuation - Waterproof Tinker Toy
Jennifer Lee - The Folklords
Agnus Dei - Frances Hunter Gordon
Afro-theme - Gérard Doulssane
Come to flavor - Marlboro
In My Mind - Roek's Family


Sunday, November 20, 2011

giochi d'acqua / giochi di terra

I received the nicest email from Linda of Le rêve de la poupée yesterday. She sent me photos of two books from her collection: Giovanni Belgrano's Giochi d'acqua and Giochi di terra, both from 1977. What beautiful books -- thanks Linda!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Aleatoric music

from Marylee McMurray Lament, Music in Elementary Education: Enjoy, Experience and Learn.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Some nice surprises at the library book sale the other day. They must have been pruning their music section -- I came away with a nice stack of music education and electronic music books from the 70s. I also found this mysterious Japanese children's book with blue flexi-discs. The only characters I can make out are 'Kodama,' which I think is the name of the press. I love the little tabs attaching the flexi-disc to the book. Good system.

Friday, November 11, 2011


This is so good. A 1972 TV broadcast of a play - Jean Anouilh's retelling of Antigone. I can imagine seeing this and totally not understanding it as a kid, only to commit certain key details to the subconscious: Stacy Keach as the urbane sexually ambiguous chorus, outdoor scenes filmed in the glass and concrete new atlantis of Lincoln Center, the lovely Geneviève Bujold getting arrested on a hillside by gestapo motorcyclists?!? I love that this is on Netflix.