Thursday playlist: WTF?

1. Bidule en Ut — Schaeffer / Henry
2. Filmy Feedback — Toshiya Tsunoda
3. Lathe — Arcane Device
4. Live In Kaliningrad (Part 1) — Alexei Borisov
5. Manipulationology — Digital Drug
6. Rave, Part 1 — Ingram Marshall
7. Taw — Nobukazu Takemura
8. Track 04 — Axolotl
9. works for musique concrete Z — Toshiro Mayuzumi
10. 2 variations en étoile — Guy Reibel
11. Tocatta for Violincello — Ben Johnston

I compiled this playlist by going through my music library and picking tracks that made me say, “Huh, I didn’t know I had that on there.” Most of the music I have is recognizably music, with melody, harmony, rhythm, or some combination of the three. But I really enjoy the more out-there or experimental stuff, too. (Not sure what one category would cover all the stuff in this playlist. “Obnoxious,” maybe. “Grates on yr ears.”) It frees me of expectations and creates moments in which I can’t pretend to understand everything, despite my best efforts.

The tracks are here.

34 responses to “Thursday playlist: WTF?”

  1. it’s like dave to set the bar as high as “understand[ing] everything.”

    i propose we turn this into an open thread devoted to things we do not understand: the WTFsies, if you will.

    mine: I do not understand three-quarter-length pants for men.

    or those horrible plastic turtle shoes.

    or why no one ever got knocked up on Gilligan’s Island.

  2. turtle s/b crocs. i knew it was something amphibious.

  3. Scotty says:

    In women’s attire: Ugg boots (I’m all for comfort ladies, but at what cost?)

    Men’s attire: three button jackets, and I’m with you on the Crocs.

    Music: Clapton (How anyone could claim that this dude has written even one enjoyable song is beyond me. After Midnight?! Are you effing kidding me?)

    In Whatsitland: American Idol. (I love you guys, but I just don’t get it.)

    My big shame (in my home and beyond): poetry. (It’s not just that I’m not a fan; I really have a hard time understanding it when I read or hear it.)

  4. LT says:

    wtf in fashion: i’m stealling this one from steph and jeremy): women’s platform flip flops [thought i’d continue the theme of bad female shoe-wear, though guys wearing crocs is terrifyingly possible]

    wtf on cnn (formerly): tucker carlson

    wtf on tele: season 4 of lost. i mean, wtf? unleash the giant shadow thing that eats people! except the main characters!

    wtf in music/drugs: speed metal. though i’ve got nothing against germans.

    and sometimes when i have to read derrida, i go wtf?

  5. Rachel says:

    Crocs makes high heels now. WTF?!

    Other things I don’t understand include “Light Hits” radio (Lionel Ritchie, REO Speedwagon, Starship…it’s like I went to Hell, and Hell turns out to be a junior high dance), Regis Philbin’s popularity, sweatpants with words on the butt, Hot Pockets (what are they made of? Does anybody know?), how Tylenol PM is so magical (air travel without it is now unthinkable), why everything tastes better on a grill (are we all just cavemen at heart?), and why an iPod shuffle makes workouts ten times more fun.

    Oh, and why whenever you finally find the perfect lipstick / hair product / fragrance, they immediately stop making it.

  6. rm says:

    re: fashion, it’s in the way that you use it.

    (and yes, scott, that was a shout out to clapton. he may well be overrated-he’s not god-and/or represents some kind of cosmically perfect 60’s sellout/commodification for 80’s and 90’s mainstream taste but cream rocks, blind faith ain’t bad, and derek and the dominoes is very, very good…and yeah, duane this and duane that but still c’mon, credit where credit is due)

    my point is that because americans have a way of butchering fashion it may not mean that the offense is in the item itself. or perhaps some folks can pull of just about anything.

    case in point: around eleven years ago adriean and i were in rome and many of the younger women were teetering around on these absurd spice girls-esque platfrom shoes…but, bless ’em, they made it work for themselves.

  7. Reverend Wright says:

    Ugg Boots- Natural birth control…

  8. Scotty says:

    Sorry Ruben, I refuse to get pulled into a classic rock smack-down regarding “God,” as his adherents call him. I like Tales of Brave Ulysses, but that’s as far as it goes.

    As for your thoughts on clothes, I agree. If one feels as though they look good, that’s half the battle — unless they’re wearing Uggs, or a Clapton tee.

  9. Scotty says:

    And Rev. Wright, I’m still waiting for you to say a single word that I even remotely disagree with. I hate that Barack threw you under the buss.

  10. bw says:

    buss. heh heh.

  11. Dave says:

    Jen and Bryan just alerted me that I’d had a bad link to the playlist files. It should work now.

    Also, the bar is not understanding everything. It’s pretending to understand everything. As in: How anyone can get laid in Ugg boots, I don’t even pretend to understand.

  12. Dave says:

    Please nobody link to Ugg boots pr0n now. I’m afraid my comment just called another fetish into being on the internet.

  13. bw says:

    How anyone can get laid in Ugg boots, I don’t even pretend to understand.

    though i’m sure it’s happened many times.

    after i posted the first comment above i noticed the distinction between wanting to know everything and pretending to know everything. it’s still a high bar!

  14. bw says:

    oops. know s/b understand.

    i’m apparently a very poor reader, especially early in the morning or while eating lunch.

  15. bw says:

    i have, quite appropriately, preempted the last few minutes of Fabio’s show with this playlist.

  16. Scotty says:

    11: I’m not trying to be cute here, but I don’t really understand your comment.

  17. Huh, I guess I’m the only commenter around here who understands everything. Weird…

  18. Scotty says:


  19. bw says:

    I assumed the relative silence in response to my open thread suggested that there were only a few of us here who *didn’t* understand everything (or pretend to, at least).

    obviously not enough of you listened to dave’s mix.

  20. not enough of you listened to Dave’s mix

    I thought we were supposed to pretend to have listened to it. (Actually I am avoiding it a little because atonal music generally makes me feel bad about not getting it. Avoiding situations like that helps me maintain my veneer of omniscience.)

  21. E. says:

    dave, i’m stoned

  22. …Ok, I tried it, and confirmed that I do not get it. Thanks a fuckin lot, there go my delusions of grandeur, for a couple hours anyway. (g)

    If you’d like to hear something diametrically different from that, take a listen at “Deep Henderson” by the Savannah Syncopators, linked from this post.

  23. (That last track, by Ben Johnston, is pretty nice, though. I could see listening to that and enjoying it.)

  24. bw says:

    #s 4 and 9 are also good — but with few exceptions i wouldn’t fast forward if something like this came across my shuffle. a long bit of noise is kind of like a brain scraper & makes what comes next sound fresh.

  25. Tim says:

    I just listened to the mix, but I still don’t fully understand comment 11. Maybe my speakers weren’t turned up enough. Or maybe I wasn’t smoking what commenter 21 was holding.

    I actually like working to noise sometimes. It can be very relaxing for me. Honest! It’s a weird state: sort of settled into being unsettled.

    One of my favorite avant-noise experiences was in the jazz room at Amoeba. They were playing a Steve Lacy live recording on which he was hitting and sustaining very high notes for long periods. After a while I was focusing all of my attention on the high-pitched whine of his horn until I was really zoned out, swaying back and forth in place. Coming to at last, I thought, “He’s held that note for at least 5 minutes!” Then I looked over at the CD player to see how long the track had been playing, but there was no disc in the machine. I’d been listening to the air conditioning unit.

  26. Dave says:

    sort of settled into being unsettled.


    What’s so mysterious about 11?

  27. brain scraper

    Keep this in your utensil drawer right next to your brain peeler, brain pulper, and brain carving knives.

  28. Tim says:

    Also, the bar is not understanding everything. It’s pretending to understand everything.

    Maybe I’m thrown by the phrasing of this first sentence. Is it “The bar is ‘not understanding everything'”? Or is it “The bar is *not* ‘understanding everything'”?

    Also, maybe there’s a dropped “not being able to” in the second sentence. “It’s not being able to pretend to understand everything.”?

  29. I’m pretty sure it was the former, “The bar != (understanding everything)” rather than “the bar = ~(understanding everything)”. That was how I read it anyway, and it made sense. (For some values of “sense”)

  30. Tim says:

    Yo, MK! Are you a mathematician or logician or something? My knowledge ≠ understanding of those symbols. Curiouser and curiouser.

  31. I am a computer programmer: bastard child (metaphorically) of a mathematician and a logician.

  32. (The symbols are very, very roughly a translation into C of what you said in 28. (Except I should have used == instead of = in the second clause, to make it even a rough equivalence.))

  33. Yeah, 28, where you said “‘The bar is “not understanding everything”‘? Or is it ‘The bar is *not* “understanding everything”‘?” I was just trying to encode those two statements into C operators.