Friday, November 23, 2007

Casual Listening Extra 11-23-07

Casual Listening

November 23, 2007

Live Albums Part 2: Daft Punk, Opeth

In last week’s blog, I said that certain types of music benefit from the intimacy and immediacy of a live setting, while others don’t. These are two great examples of music that does benefit, largely because it’s not music you tend to hear live. Daft Punk plays Euro-dance-rock, stuff made for clubs that almost never gets played live. The fact that Daft Punk does play live, does it well, and does it in robot costumes has made their shows famous, and the energy of the show comes through brilliantly on “Alive 2007,” out this week. Opeth plays progressive metal, the lovechild of Slayer and Pink Floyd, very aggressive music broken up by folk and atmospheric interludes. Contemporary metal tends to be a studio art, where the darkness of it is accentuated. In a live setting, you’ve got a cheering crowd behind the band to remind you that this is still social music, not a completely misanthropic art form. It works, and the variety in Opeth’s music makes for an interesting listen. Both of these albums are recommended.

David Buchbinder – Havana/Odessa (world)

Two cities half a world away, and one musician who’s not afraid to try to bring the two together. Cuban rhythms and old world Klezmer find common ground in jazz, and the mix works better than one might expect.

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