Structural Dissonance in John Zorn’s “Spillane”

“The overhanging sonorities, as one section bleeds to the next, help give my pieces a sense of unity; you can almost feel the sections growing out of one another. It is much more organic that way, and so, easier to listen to.” – John Zorn, Spillane liner notes “As for the listener, ultimately the most subjective response is the best response. Eventually, total subjectivity becomes total objectivity. That’s the way I see the world.” -Zorn ***** Perhaps the most interesting thing about music from the past hundred years is the expansive diversity of styles, genres, and independent voices that have emerged.  It is virtually impossible to organize various trends in music from this past century like musicologists have done with each preceding century without using the broadest of brushes.  However, regardless of specific end results that each composer achieves, there are some general musical concepts that most either confront directly or react against.  Arguably the most vital of these concepts is that of dissonance. This is a concept that has evolved throughout music history – after all, what seemed dissonant to Mozart would be relatively consonant to Wagner.  Yet the climax of composers’ willingness to embrace all facets of dissonance more »

Devil in the Details: 5 great drum songs

There’s something that I absolutely love about the drum set, and I have no idea what it is.  Drums are incapable of carrying even a simple melody, so why am I so drawn to them as an agent of music?  Perhaps it is because a drum set offers so many sonic possibilities in its unique combination of otherwise disparate instruments.  Or maybe the fact that I have virtually no talent for playing them myself elevates them an unattainable status for me. Really, though, it’s because they make music sound so damn good. But what makes a great drum part?  For me, the best rock/pop drummers are not always the ones that will blow you away with their Thor-like virtuosity.  For a drum part to be great, it has to groove.  You do not necessarily have to be able to dance to it, but it certainly helps.  For it to be truly great, a drum part must lend itself to increasing rewards on return listens.  If I am floored by a drummer after hearing them play a song for the first time, that’s great, but I want to have my mind blown even more after the fifth time I listen to more »

BCC @ Hard Rock Cafe & Schubas

Band Called Catch opened Blue Whiskey Independent Film Festival on July 24th.  If you missed it, catch them at Hard Rock Cafe & Schubas! Hard Rock Cafe 63 W Ontario Chicago, IL Friday, July 27th 8:30pm-9:00pm – The Falling Martins – 9:10pm-9:55pm – Ben Ripani Music Co. – 10:05pm-10:50pm – Jackpot Donnie – 11:00pm-11:45pm – Band Called Catch – 11:55pm -12:40am – Tree – This is an ALL AGES show. 5 Bands for only $10! __________________ Lollapalooza After Party! (Hard Rock Cafe) Saturday, August 4th ages 18+ 9:30pm – Paper Thick Walls 10:45pm – Band Called Catch 12:00am – Company of Thieves Tickets: __________________ Schubas 3159 N Southport Chicago, IL Monday, August 20th 8pm

Pop Will Eat Itself: Gorillaz’ “Plastic Beach” as a Commentary on the Disposable Nature of Pop Music

“I’ve tried to get into the mainstream consciousness, which is not an easy thing to do these days because it is primarily a very disposable medium… pop will eat itself.” -Damon Albarn, Spinner interview “A Casio on a plastic beach” -Gorillaz, from “Plastic Beach” The imagery that is presented in the title track off of Gorillaz’ third studio album, Plastic Beach, is pretty blunt: there’s a disturbingly massive pile of crap that’s gathering in an ocean somewhere, and we’re to blame.  The lyrics may not explicitly make this connection, but how else can you account for a Styrofoam deep-sea landfill?  It’s a cynical, if not delightfully cheeky, reminder that our actions as humans have a profound impact on our environment. This, however, is not the only reading of either this track or this album taken as a whole.  As Damon Albarn (Gorillaz’ co-creator and musical mastermind, and former Blur frontman) imparted in an interview with Wired about Plastic Beach, “it has environmental thoughts scattered and peppered around every bit of this record.  But at the end of the day, it’s not just that.  It’s way more colourful than that.”  For Albarn, “plastic” isn’t simply symbolic of our wasteful tendencies as more »

Band Called Catch – Album Release

John has been playing trumpet with Band Called Catch since this past winter, and can be heard on their new album, The Story, available on June 17th. Follow them this week! Sunday, June 10 – RIB FEST at NOON Wednesday, June 13 – FEARLESS RADIO INTERVIEW at 4pm Thursday, June 14 – LIVE NATIONWIDE PERFORMANCE ON WGN at NOON Thursday, June 14 -LIVE interview on WLUL (88.7pm in chicago) at 8:30pm Saturday, June 16 – RECORD RELEASE Metro Chicago! at 8:45pm