SteveHoltje's blog

Brooklyn Record Riot DJ set

When Phast Phreddie Patterson the Boogaloo Omnibus offers me an hour DJ set at the Brooklyn Record Riot at Warsaw, I always say yes. What's more fun than spinning for a bunch of hardcore music geeks? Thanks Phreddie!

Here's what I played this afternoon (all LPs).

"No More Hard Times" by Malachi Thompson, with vocals by Leon Thomas, from Spirit (Delmark, 1981)

"Bushman Song" by John Stubblefield from Bushman Song (Enja, 1986)

"Hidden Treasure" by Sonya Robinson feat. Jean-Paul Bourelly from Sonya (Columbia, 1987) Read more »

French music on Bastille Day

Here's the plan, to be fleshed out as I go along:

Poulenc's Concerto for Organ, Strings & Timpani: classic RCA Living Stereo recording with soloists Berj Zamkochian and Everett Frith along with the BSO conducted by Charles Munch
Saint-Saens's "Organ" Symphony: same folks as above
Ravel's Piano Concerto for the Left Hand: Aldo Ciccolini/Orchestre National de l'ORTF/Jean Martinon
Ravel's Gaspard de la nuit, Miroirs, and Le Tombeau de Couperin: Abbey Simon
lots of Debussy
Honegger's "Liturgique" Symphony
Magnard's Symphonies ##3-4
Franck's Symphony in D minor Read more »

Michael Jackson and how the psychology of creativity and performance shaped his career arc

Last year, Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers was based on the idea that success in a field comes from practicing tasks for ten thousand hours. This simplified meme provides a starting point for understanding Michael Jackson's success: when at age five one starts doing something constantly, utterly assured facility in that work through ten thousand hours of "practice" gets built up pretty early. Michael Jackson sang and danced so much so young that it became second nature. Read more »

Charlie Mariano R.I.P.

According to Wikipedia's obituary page, alto saxophonist Charlie Mariano died yesterday. He wasn't the most technically gifted player, but he had taste and imagination. I don't have a whole lot of his albums, but I enjoy what I've got:  Read more »

Cranky About Freddie


Here's a rant from the AOL classical music board; ranter in bold, with my responses: Read more »

In memory of Miles

Not Miles Davis, but rather my cat Miles (who was named after Davis). Miles was 17 years old and died this morning after living with diabetes for three years.

Right now that Miles/Miles Davis connection is playing out on my stereo as I listen to "He Loved Him Madly," Davis's tribute to Duke Ellington, a 32-minute expressions of grieving and love and respect, recorded in June 1974 and released on the album Get Up with It.

Before that, I listened to three of the gentler Requiem mass settings:

Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924): Requiem, Op. 48 Read more »



Last night I spun records (yes, only vinyl) before, between, and after the bands performing at GlassLands, in Williamsburg. Read more »

11/7/07 Listening

Mitsuko Uchida: Beethoven: Piano Sonatas Nos. 28, Op. 101, and 29 "Hammerklavier," Op. 106 (Philips)
28's pretty good, but her frequent pauses in the opening movement of 29 ruin its momentum.

Vladimir Ashkenazy: Beethoven: Diabelli Variations, Op. 120; Wranitzky Variations, WoO 71 (Decca)
Pretty good - the rigor of Brendel but with better tone.

Public Image Ltd.: Flowers of Romance (Virgin U.K.)
Includes three bonus tracks. Not the crucial stuff - the first two albums are sheer genius - but still pretty damn stimulating. Read more »

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