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Gift Giving the Fifth

December 4, 2010

Last week I was entirely stumped over what I should be asking for this Holiday season.  I’m personally privileged enough that when something new comes out, if I’m interested in it, I generally go ahead and get it.  So, I generally have to make up stuff I don’t really want, or things that are a few years old that I forgot I wanted a long time ago.  I also find the idea of requesting things from other people generally weird, so I don’t put very much effort into it.  Anyway, I figured I’d feature a handful of things that I think are pretty cool but not the newest or hottest things that you would find on any featured gift list.  They’ll also all be radio and music related, maybe.

My introduction to William Brittelle was a very aggressive song cycle on an album by Anti-Social Music, which was pretty cool, but didn’t stand out any more than any of the other great pieces on the album, and so I just lumped it together with the rest of the album as an “awesome collection of crazy music on this album by lots of different people.”

Then I got my hands on Mohair Time Warp, and I was sold.   I found it to be both a revelation and familiar at the same time.  It was the sort of album I forced on people with no interest in new music.  It might have been a poor move, since I wasn’t actually trying to get them into new music, but just force them to listen to the awesomeness of tracks like

Mohair Time Warp is not for the meek, shy, or those needing calm in their life.  Designed to be a set of music for an ensemble with lip syncing vocalist (Brittelle, who at the time couldn’t sing through an entire performance due to health reasons), the music barrels through a series of nonsensical phrases, catchy hooks, and interesting textures.  The song cycle is equal parts cleverly organized, emotionally fueled, and exciting.  I probably listen to this album just as much as his darker and thought provoking album Television Landscape, even with TVL being the new kid on the block.  This album is what got me plugged into all of the great stuff going on at New Amsterdam, and allows me to say I beat Pitchfork Media to newest cool label.  Take that!  You can also find a lot more out about MTW and TVL at A Dove on Fire.

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