Monday, July 30, 2007

A little bit of fun

Waaaay too serious around here lately, so thanks to a nice new feature of the great Blogger software I am proud to announce the first (wait for it, drum roll.........) Learning to Listen Poll.

Its over there on the left, and we begin with one of improvised musics toughest questions, "What is your favourite AMM album?"
I know, I know, its a tough question, and I fully expect very few votes for a few days as many of you have sleepless nights deliberating over your decision, but it'll be there for a week so you have plenty of time to choose...

There are six albums to choose from, which I would have thought covers the most common choices, but if you don't like any of those click Other and you can always leave a comment here to say which album you prefer for whatever peculiar reason.

I'm intrigued to see if we can get the votes into double figures...!

18 comments:

Jon said...

well, I'm not voting on that. the best single performance is the middle disc of Laminal. the third disc is weak, though, so can't vote for the whole set. I have some personal issues with Fine (the record, not the dancer) that I probably shouldn't get into here, so I can't vote for that either.

I don't think AMM discs make nearly as much sense in isolation as they do collectively, but I have a soft spot for Generative Themes, which was the one where I first fully connected with their aesthetic.

Richard Pinnell said...

Generative Themes was my first AMM album too so I also have a soft spot for it fo rnostalgic reasons.

The question though is what is your favourite AMM album, not necessarilly the 'best'. If you were stranded on a desert island and could only keep one disc which would it be?

Jon said...

Duos for Doris. :)

Brian Olewnick said...

Heh, yeah I'd go with Doris as well...

My soft spot is for Newfoundland, the "new-agey" one! But I've been listening to The Crypt a lot the last couple of months and it's totally won me over so, what the hell, that's where I'm casting my vote today.

Brian Olewnick said...

Heh, yeah I'd go with Doris as well...

My soft spot is for Newfoundland, the "new-agey" one! But I've been listening to The Crypt a lot the last couple of months and it's totally won me over so, what the hell, that's where I'm casting my vote today.

Richard Pinnell said...

hey! you're only allowed to vote once!

Yeah well Doris would get my vote too if it was allowed but it isn't! Good to hear from you Brian, Just Outside has been unusually quiet... have you been getting some work done on the biography instead of blogging? That's the only excuse I'll accept you know ;)

Brian Olewnick said...

scribble, scribble, scribble...

can't talk, bio-writing....

scribble....

Robert said...

I voted for Fine as I think it is completely solid. But like Jon my favorite is the 2nd disc of Laminal though I'd rate Newfoundland right up there. Those are my top three but they are closely followed by The Crypt Next for me would probably be Combine+Laminates + Treatise '84. But really there are so many good ones.

Personally I love many AMM discs and listen to them all the time so I can't agree with Jon's assessment that they require some sort of collective assessment. That to me seems to indicate that AMM are more important for their influence then for their music. Obviously I think their influence is tremendous but I genuinely think they made great music. Music that I return to over and over again.

Jon said...

"Personally I love many AMM discs and listen to them all the time so I can't agree with Jon's assessment that they require some sort of collective assessment. That to me seems to indicate that AMM are more important for their influence then for their music."

no, no, that's not what I meant, maybe my feelings here are hard to convey but I'll take another shot.

I think of AMM as a collective entity that was constantly in progress/motion for 40 years, and every concert was a window into that ongoing whole, which continued whether or not they were actually playing at the time (meaning in between concerts). whereas with other artists/groups, records generally stand on their own, I think that with AMM, the more you hear, the more you grasp the overall picture, so it's hard for me to pick just one, although I do enjoy a bunch of them.

for me, it's like asking what someone's favorite chapter in a favorite novel is. obviously some are better than others, but it's the novel as a whole that's the work of art.

Alastair said...

no "Norwich"?

Richard Pinnell said...

"no "Norwich"?"

No, otherwise I'd have included Doris too...

Anonymous said...

i would actually have voted for norwich for my favorite under the amm name. howveer i was listening to generative themes on the radio the other day and followedf the pattern i find of all amm before fine which is a real nice twenty minutes and then addie prevost starts losing his mind and joins a different band bashing away on his toms.

Richard Pinnell said...

Two questions:

1. Re: Norwich - Are you mad?
2. What radio station played Generative Themes for more than twenty minutes??

:)

Anonymous said...

wkcr in new york played almost all of generative themes on theri new music show in the afternoon. they did manage to get almost all the background info wrong but still kudos to them.

I really like norwich. I think it is some of tilburys best playing and prevost stays in nice territory throughout. I think that and doris are better than any of the trio records they made, but i dont think it is because of lineups just rather an advancment in how they played, moving away from areas too old fashioned to sit well in light of developments in eai improv in the new millenium. its too bad they never followed up fine as a trio.

Jon said...

WKCR's new music afternoon show has played most of the Erstwhile catalog straight through over the years.

Richard Pinnell said...

" I think it is some of tilburys best playing and prevost stays in nice territory throughout. I think that and doris are better than any of the trio records they made, but i dont think it is because of lineups just rather an advancment in how they played, moving away from areas too old fashioned to sit well in light of developments in eai improv in the new millenium."

Hmm I don't agree with any of this. Norwich doesn't come even faintly close to Doris to my ears, but then not many CDs do.

I agree that the duo playing on Norwich is quite nice (its not a bad disc in any way, don't get be wrong) and I agree that the duo seem to work with sounds more suited to the duo format than they would have used in AMM. However I think this is entirely down to the fact that there are just the two of them playing though, and they are trying to find ways to compensate for the missing (and in my opinion badly missed third element to the group. I don't hear any kind of response to "eai improv" at all to be honest, and I'd be very surprised if the duo allowed that to influence how they played. I think much "EAI" responds to AMM and on Norwich we are just hearing AMM with a little more space in the mix and without the powerful emotion and tension of Doris.

---

17 votes so far though, I'm impressed, thanks guys!
I must admit to being somewhat surprised by how the voting has gone though. 4 votes for "Other" CDs..? One presumably for Norwich, anyone want to tell about the others? I really thought I had the most likely responses listed there, but clearly not.

Anyway we don't have a decisive winner so far. Maybe we should do this poll somewhere else with more readers? Or maybe not :)

Richard Pinnell said...

Oh and WKCR sounds great. Can their programmes be heard via the web at all?

Richard Pinnell said...

So the poll closed... and I've got to admit to being somewhat surprised at the results. The 21 votes were divided up as follows:

Newfoundland-4
Before driving to the chapel...-4
"Other"-4
The Crypt-3
Laminal-2
AMMusic-2
Fine-2

Well Newfoundland doesn't surprise me, one of my favourites and a disc often mentioned in conversations regarding AMM, but where did Before driving to the chapel... come from? A great CD but I'm surprised to see it ranked so high.

Anyway I guess 21 votes is too low to judge anything from, was fun to do however.
I still stand by Fine as my favourite, even if only one other person agrees with me!