Wonderful performance of JS Bach

I’m a fan of JS Bach in general and of his pipe organ work in particular. My mom was sometimes a church organist, so I’ve memories of reading while she practiced, though always with synths and not a full organ. I did get to hear the instrument at Cordiner Hall many times while working there, complete with hunchbacking down a five foot tall tunnel underneath the seats while it was played… anyway.

This is an excellent performance, a bit different than my favorite by Marie-Claire Alain, but its well recorded and definitely wonderful. Good headphones recommended, otherwise the pedal tones don’t come through as they should. That final chord resolution, singing through the hall, just goosebump inducing. Enjoy.

Music Politics


In addition to being one of my favorite Yaz tunes:

I discovered today that it’s also a sociology term

Sociologists have a very useful concept: the unmarked category.  An unmarked category is present when the category is considered so normal or ordinary in a particular context that it goes unnoticed.  The category is the default setting in regard to social expectations, and it in a sense remains invisible precisely because it’s so dominant.  Being black in Boulder is a marked category, which means (white) people won’t see a man picking up trash, they’ll see a black man picking up trash.  They see something, so they say something.

For example, if you had asked a lawyer in 1960 to name three characteristics that every current Supreme Court justice shared, it’s very likely the lawyer would not have mentioned either race or gender.  In other words, we notice characteristics we don’t expect to see much more than characteristics we assume will be present.  (The typical NBA fan will probably not notice the race of the players on the court if they’re all black, but would be almost 100% certain to notice if all, or even a large majority, of the players were white).

What “identity politics,” so-called, has done is to slowly and painfully and partially transform being a white man in America into a marked category.  And makes a lot of the people who have become white men rather than members of society’s invisible default category very uncomfortable.  And when people get very uncomfortable, they often get mad at whoever they blame for making them feel that way.  And then they vote for Donald Trump.

(LGM is a superb blog and you should read it daily)

Music Uncategorized

BWV 1008 – Cello suite No. 2 in D minor – All of Bach

One of my ongoing joys in life is a weekly-ish email from the ‘All of Bach’ project in the Netherlands. Not just a well-filmed and recorded performance, but conductor/performer notes and historical context.

I have a few performances of the cello suites, and prefer Rostropovich but this is well worth your time.

It’s odd, I’m used to modern rapid-rewards, short attention span videos so these require a bit of focus to watch.

via BWV 1008 – Cello suite No. 2 in D minor – All of Bach

Music Politics

Troll level: Expert

So there’s this Japanese band that we like, ‘World Order‘. It’s… complicated. I mean, their lead singer has the improbable name of Genki Sudo (cue xkcd link), they perform slow-motion-realtime synchronized dances with amazing choreography while wearing suits. Random screen cap:

Screenshot 2018-04-09 17.42.44.png

It’s … unique. Try ‘Machine Civilization‘ to start with.

Their latest bears the pitch-black title of “Let’s Start WW3” and features auto-tuned Trump (from his inaugural speech maybe?) and some godlike subtext involving the bronzed pig from the Seattle market.

Like I said, unique. Enjoy.

Music recommendations

Jet trails in the sunset

Jet trails in the sunset
Long way away
Cutting ‘cross the horizon and the end of the day
And it calls out to me
Come fly away

— James McMurtry, “Too Long in the Wasteland”.

A song that I discovered long ago on a music sampler CD, found in the used bin of a music store. Remember those?

I like the album performance, but there are plenty of live ones on YouTube.