2005. State Of Music.

2005-12-23 01:02:00

In this year hysteria of mass consumption moved even further from electronics as such. Guitars are everywhere and loud enough to wake up Pink Floyd, INXS and other conveyors of guitar-and-drums industry. At the same time more specific projects, dedicated to electronic music, live through not so good times. London-based magazine Wire pays more and more attention to neo classics and avantgarde, magazine Grooves halts its paper publishing and distribution switching to digital form only. Megaopening of the year 2005 - german DVD-magazine Slices - is okay with 4 european countries and has no plans to move on.

It's getting too much music and, therefor, name/albums rotation gets faster whereas there's less proportional attention to each of them. Endless online labels, ads, shops, review sites - it all grows in geometric series, stable interest keeps only for those places, names and publications that showed a good account of oneselves in the past. Current situation very much resembles of mp3.com in its apogee, when selection is unbelievably big and a chance to find something suitable is disastrously slim.

Because of that, it's easy to develop a consumer distrust to commercial products - why to buy a $20 CD when it could be less interesting than a free web release (not even mentioning a genie of piracy, which is very unlikely to be put back into a bottle). At the same time, attention span gets slimmer too - for instance, new Depeche Mode CD only spent 2 weeks in Billboard Top 40. In this situation the only business model available is maximum momentary profit. Industry doesn't have enough instruments to work on indie scene, however, it doesn't leave attempts to make it work for itself - musically poor new album of Sigur Ros released on EMI is a proof for that.

Similar situations are cyclic and neighbour industries like cinema and press suffered it as well. Yet in music it's hard to do something just on initial budget and special effects. Most likely, further way of the music industry will be something like the following. Cost of album production will get cheaper, offer on a market will constantly grow. For the end user and even larger stores/sites it will be impossible to cover all the spectrum of music, this means - music market will be splitting into narrow segments - pop, rap, indie, dance etc. Indie avantgard and electronics will take their rather small yet stable niche, that will allow to develop itself more or less independently from big industry bosses. The most important values in this music will be talent and elegancy of music thought expression.

Aulis Vierhovssen for everMusic.
December 2005.

Master and Margarita

2005-12-22 22:46:00

Finally there is the screen version of the great mystic novel "Master and Margarita" by Mikhail Bulgakov. The one that exists in reality, not on archive shelves of some polish TV station. I watched two first episodes of it today and am happy with what I saw, very strong actors, good montage, laconic screenplay. Wonder what the Satan Ball will look like in further episodes.

Some figures are somewhat questionable, like Basilashvili playing Woland, but I guess there can't be a total agreement on everything when it comes to Master & Margarita. At first, TV persona Dmitry Nagiev wanted to play Woland, that would be awful for sure.

The book iself is definitely worth reading, and it's translated into many languages. It was banned in the Soviet Union and I saw photo copies of typewriter pages of the book - my mom read it this way.

Many people like to present Master & Margarita as Bulgakov's protest against Stalin or whatever - it was not (yeah, and Ligeti's Musica Ricercata from Eyes Wide Shut OST was not a "knife in the heart of Stalin" either - Ligeti was so full of moronic bullshit in that interview!). M&M is a strictly personal story of feeling and understanding, as I see it. Look at who Bulgakov was - a son of well-known conspirologist - what else to expect from him? Whereas Ligeti is a just a moron, Beavis and Butthead are Einsteins comparing to him.


2005-12-20 04:08:00

Too much knowledge really hurts. Especially when you have no idea why someone gave you that bunch of stuff - is it for a purpose or just like that?

Got the New Year package from home today. Stamps of Northern Korea, mom's new photos, Pelevin's book - the lot is very strong. Happy New Year me. And Christmas, too.

Had an unpleasant discussion recently about if disappeared old friends are still friends or not. Rhetorical question it is. Yet for my own good - respect but keep distance.

The next year promises to be packed like sardines in a box. Well, which one wasn't?

Played bowling with collegues recently, all body was hurting the next morning.

I'm not gonna watch King Kong. I didn't like von Trier's Manderlay. But how I loved Gore's concert!

If it comes to Gore, Depeche Mode's Playing The Angel turned to be a really good one. Even though I disliked it at first. After having some fun with Depeche Mode, I fell into Erasure, Duran Duran and Pet Shop Boys.

Pippo Caruso's soundtrack to Maladolescenza is another pearl. Don't tell me King Kong is more interesting than Maladolescenza, please.