Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Moonrise Over the Grid: Slowly Refocusing with FB

If you have followed the blog regularly, it’s probably not news to you that it has lain somewhat fallow this year. This is a source of frustration for me. Since I moved into the new house, my interests and responsibilities have shifted a bit. In addition to continuing my aikido practice and being blessed with the task of raising the Little One, a house requires a bit more maintenance in comparison to a two-bedroom apartment. More time-consuming, however, is the expanding CrossFit group that I have been hosting in my garage. If you hit the “CrossFit” tab at the bottom of this posting, a very vague history of my training (and its concomitant soundtrack) will emerge, including my first workouts and my certification experience. There is, however, very little about this recent life change simply because the experience itself has superseded my writing.

I also feel like I have written myself into a corner. I like to review music by weaving it into the experiences that surround it. Sometimes this works well, but sometimes it is, admittedly, embarrassingly terrible. This has been more complicated recently because the music I am invested in doesn’t always directly connect with the most important experiences I am having, many of which revolve around my lengthening path as a CrossFit coach, music teacher, parent, aikido practitioner, and general 21st century eccentric. Some linkages present themselves in retrospect more clearly, but even so, they sometimes illuminate a tenuous relationship between the music I am listening to and my shifting internal commentary.

So this post, my 200th, serves as a warning and an apology to my readership.  At the risk of becoming too broad for a singular audience, I will be indulging in a more non-sequitur writing style. I may not always directly link a particular album to a specific experience. These divergent narratives, however, often converge on the whole of my world. I still want to be able to capture this dialogue and look back on it with the clarity of the written word.  Giving myself permission to write in this fashion will, I hope, free me to do so.

So here goes


By June of this year, deadmau5 had been relegated to the WOD playlist, and Daft Punk’s new CD left me a bit confused. I was listening more and more to pop songwriting. I thought that perhaps the momentum generated by Ratatat and M83 in recent years had died down, but of course, when I notice that something has been ignored in my playlist, my interest seems to rise. Enter the F*ck Buttons.

Aside from challenging me to render their name in text while retaining some degree of professionalism, the F*ck Buttons are a little difficult for me in other ways, as well. Slow Focus successfully extracts and extrapolates on the electronic aspects of Daft Punk’s Tron: Legacy soundtrack. As is the trend with many contemporary soundtracks, however, the Fu*k Buttons trade clearly defined melodies for an incredibly broad spectrum of sounds and timbres. What melodic material there is on the album is imbedded in grooves and riffs. Make no mistake, its pervasive “Moonrise Over the Grid” atmosphere is compelling and its really growing on me.  A central issue I am grappling with as I do this, however, is to decide if exchanging timbral interest with melodic structure is an even trade.

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