“Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita…” Introduction: I’m 36 at the time of this writing, just about the same age as Dante Alighieri – “halfway along our life’s path” – when he himself descended into the Hell, noble Virgil (and occasionally Beatrice) at his side. Dante, I should mention, was not received into Hell as are most: […]Read more "Top 10 Albums You Can Take Straight to Hell: 1 of 10"
Heccra by Matt Meade I like to experience music in a way that may be uncommon. I am typically sitting alone in a dark room, digesting all the constituent parts, the YouTube video, the band website, the viral marketing campaign, like it is all a part of some pastiched, multi-faceted found-footage film. Each song, each […]Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #12 – Heccra"
Youngest Son by Matt Meade I have been trying to write this review for weeks now. It’s been difficult because the Christian imagery of this week’s artist forces me to overthink every reaction I have to every part of the music. Someday I’ll write about my complex relationship with Christianity and how I am simultaneously […]Read more "Never Heard of ‘Em? #10 – Youngest Son"
Bach: The Goldberg Variations by Glenn Gould (1955) Let’s be honest: this list is really more about me than you. I call it a ‘list for the dying’ because these songs, these artists, these albums lift me aloft to something akin to the Shakesperean or Donne-esque, metaphysical death: la petite mort, if you will. You know: the […]Read more "5 Records I Recommend to the Dying (PART 5 OF 5)"
By David Schwittek A Love Supreme – John Coltrane Quartet (1964) I can tell you a whole story about this album. When I was a freshman in college, my creative writing instructor played A Love Supreme for the class as inspiration for…um… creative writing. Shortly thereafter I bought this album for myself at Area Records […]Read more "5 Records I Recommend to the Dying (PART 3 OF 5)"
by David Schwittek Way to Blue: An Introduction to Nick Drake I don’t usually recommend compilations or retrospectives. At best they contain some stilted agenda, and are difficult to follow; at worst, no agenda at all: a musical hodgepodge where the only organizing principle is decade, or theme, or…I guess units shifted? Case in point, […]Read more "5 Records I Recommend to the Dying (PART 2 OF 5)"
by David Schwittek We all have desert island lists, those ultimate collections of our most necessary albums; the ten albums we would insist on having were we stranded on a desert isle, possibly until the end of our days. Such a list must span the whole range of emotional needs we would face were we […]Read more "5 Records I Recommend to the Dying (PART 1 OF 5)"