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Jeff Kolb

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Everything posted by Jeff Kolb

  1. I have a lot of work to do on this album, as with every Henry album. But that's the fun part. The first thing that really caught my ear is the lack of straightforward tunefulness[\i] and clean tonality. Tiny Voices provided a shimmering polish atop what was essentially a pop sonority, admittedly amidst some wonderful clanking and crashing backdrops. Bloods From Stars was similarly approachable, harmonically speaking, with a musical familiarity that was only slightly twisted by Ribot's atonality and Henry's nasal swoops and slides. In contrast, I find Reverie quite a bit more rickety, tonal
  2. I was digging through some old stuff the other day and found (among many surprising and poignant items) a large collection of True Tunes News mags...including the one with TPC on the cover. While I rarely listen to much from that era of my taste, Mercury is one of the very, very few that I actually go back to. In hindsight, the wandering, epic 'Sky High' is a standout. Also, 'Bendy Line' is just really cool. Other albums from my days in that alternative christian music ghetto that, for whatever reason, bear the weight of time and still occasionally get played: - Springchamber (both )
  3. Yeah, I swore off college football after week one. Regretfully, - ND employee with degrees from Oregon. But don't worry, I'll be back on the wagon soon enough...
  4. Jeff Kolb


    My understanding is that it all comes down to how the wines are made. A decent Meursault or almost any Montrachet will get better -- much better -- with a decade of aging. The same goes for (moving to the realm of mortal prices) an Alsacian or Pfalz Riesling. This is because those regions have a tradition of and a reputation for making wine that will age. However, if made in the popular style, white wine does tend to loose its freshness rather quickly. The primary difficulty is getting enough acidity without loosing flavor by picking too early. Red wine faces a similar problem, but the tannins
  5. Jeff Kolb


    There's a tradition in France (and elsewhere?) of buying 'birth-year wines'. These are wines from the year of a child's birth, to be drunk on special occasions throughout his/her life. Since the wine has to survive 5, 10, even 20 years, many use the birth of a child as an occasion (excuse!) to buy some really nice wine. Good idea, I thought. My daughter Eva was born in 2008. Apart from finding wines that will age, the most obvious criterion is affordability. Also, a number of the serious wine-producing regions around the world had tough seasons that year: Southern Tuscany, Champagne, Burgun
  6. I've been listening to this for a few months now. Josh Ritter has for quite some time been one of my favorite modern singer/songwriter types. But he lost me a bit on 'Historical Conquests', with the glaring exception of one of his best songs ever, 'The Temptation of Adam". The album as a whole just doesn't interest me that much. There's little that makes an emotional dent. My response to his new disc is similar, but there's no "Temptation..", although there are some rather poignant numbers (Change of Time, The Curse, Another New World). In fact, my strongest reaction to the album is a sort
  7. Jeff Kolb

    Arvo Part

    Great to see a Part thread! I first heard his work when an Estonian choir visited my choir in Oregon and performed a few of his pieces. For a nice introduction, I recommend "Da Pacem"...a collection of works for choir and organ...including 'Da Pacem Domine', which is one of his best. While essentially a choral album, the album still demonstrates his unique approach to the organ, where the human voice and the organ seem almost to mimic one another. For those interested in sacred modern Estonian choral music , also check out Urmas Sisask. His #3 Mass is a lovely, austere thing. Modern so
  8. Jeff Kolb


    Is it my wife or my donkey?
  9. Exactly. This whole season has been a revival for the series, and the finale had all the makings of a classic. Still good, but an implausible ending. The writers should have known better.
  10. Jeff Kolb


    Haven't posted to this thread in awhile. Here are some recent thoughts on / experiences with wine. Living in France has made me appreciate exactly how good a Bordeaux can be for less than $10 (converting from Euros, of course). There's this funny pricing structure in the French grocery stores: lots and lots of $5-10 wines, and then a fairly even selection up to ~$60. We've tried roughly 30 Bordeauxs under $10, and they range from barely drinkable to pretty darn good. But to get more than pretty-darn-good, you start to pay quite a bit more. I've had a few in $30 range than were superb...but
  11. It was my intro to the 77s, too. But I remember older fans and True Tunes and the like giving it a hard time.
  12. Oooh, good call, Crow. Remember how folks were so disappointed with that album when it came out? I've long thought that it has a few really good songs, including the two you mention.
  13. For this category, I'd go with Knott's song "Rocket and a Bomb" ahead of "Double." Nice to see that another A&F'er has heard of him, though. "Rocket and a Bomb" is probably a better song, but "Double" is so full of a certain familiar, all-too-human failure.
  14. I'll throw in a few more: Iron & Wine : Sixteen, Maybe Less -- the plodding, deliberate pace of the song kills me. And though an autumn time lullaby Sang our newborn love to sleep My brother told me he saw you there In the woods one Christmas Eve, waiting." "I met my wife at a party, when I drank too much My son is married and tells me we don't talk enough Call it predictable, yesterday my dream was of you." ...I dreamed I traveled and found you there in the woods one Christmas Eve, waiting. Over the Rhine : Happy to Be So -- can OTR really mak
  15. Some thoughts, 12 pages into the thread: Much of the discussion in later part of this thread has been formulated in terms of propositions based on the biblical text and our own presuppositions, and responses to other's propositions. This is, of course, the nature of debate and fine as such. In recent years, debates like this, particularly those regarding homosexuality, have left me in a frustrating tension. I find inside myself different sets of presuppositions, which lead to incompatible conclusions. For instance, the belief that the content of the bible is somehow essentially and always
  16. OK, so the "Let's Make a Record" schtick on the OTR website is pretty creative, I'll admit. I kept not expecting the next (ridiculous) level of "support". But it also comes of a bit poorly, or at least at odds with my long-established notions of who OTR are. Particularly the emphasis on private shows, exclusive experiences, limited merchandise, etc. While they've flirted with such things before, this really comes off to me as a sell-out. OTR has always presented themselves at shows, in liner notes, etc. as "the friends you haven't yet made", and have lived up to that promise for a few people t
  17. Good call, Andrew. And I'll add to that: 'In Paradisum,' from Durufle's Requiem. Also the 'Nyne otpushchayeshi' (#5), from Rachmaninov's Vespers. The text is the 'Nunc dimittis', or Simeon's prayer.
  18. A couple of thoughts, regarding (1) the "exclusive arthouse" accusation from Jeffrey's fan, and (2) the "glacial" bent of the Top 100. (1) As others have said, the list can't possibly cover all angles of the message (if you will) that A&F wants to convey to the world via the publication Top 100 list. Of course there is value to a more accessible film...as a tool for learning, as pleasure with less commitment, etc...all the usual points. We could probably even come up with 3 or 4 Top 100's, each with a different goal or set of selection criteria or target audience. But A&F is somewha
  19. Jeff Kolb

    50 for 40

    I'm afraid that I'm gonna have to download from iTunes the 45/50 of these songs that I don't have. Call it Andy Whitman's Primer on Late 20th Century Pop/Rock. Git myself ejucated. Thanks.
  20. Oh oh, great idea! If we ever get around to doing it...
  21. Man, she's REALLY anxious to avoid labels and other theological specifics or jargon. Andy, I wonder if, having conducted the interview, there is any more you can say about this...about her presentation of and reaction to, um, spiritual things, for lack of a better term.
  22. I second Grep P.'s recommendation of the Gottman literature. My wife and I found it particularly help during our first year of marriage, and I think it would work well before marriage as well. And let me throw in a recommendation for a sex book: 'The Gift of Sex', by Cliff and Joyce Penner. It's based on a lot of clinical research, but comes from a Christian perspective. They strike a good balance by being straightfowared but without being insensitive to the nature of the topic. The Penner's also have a specific pre-wedding sex book, but I found it awkward.
  23. I'll leave the careful reviews to those with the time and experience, but I can't help but pointing out an interesting personal connection to Greg P.'s post about Gillian Welch's Time album. Blood From Stars may well end up being something like the album of the decade...it's too early to tell (although I love what I've heard so far). But when someone starts throwing around "album of the decade" talk, the only album that really comes to mind is Time (The Revelator). I don't listen too it too often. And it took a few years of owning it and listening to it to really get a feel for it in my bone
  24. Historical Conquests...really? I think you're the first person I've met who prefers that record to his earlier stuff. I appreciate the review at your blog, though. Good stuff.
  25. Fun list, Andy. You've made a couple of forgivable omissions: - Goldfrapp - Felt Mountain - My Brightest Diamond - Bring Me the Workhorse - Loudon Wainwright - Strange Weirdos but I really can't forgive you for the lack of any Josh Ritter albums. Surely, at least "Hello Starling" or "Animal Years" are worth considering.
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