Economy of Effort

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Digging through all those new vinyls and CDs that I bought. I just ordered 5 more CDs and an LP (thanks to a CDNow gift certificate birthday present and some good used stuff at

Soon to arrive in the mail:
Ange - Au-Dela Du Delire
Gentle Giant - Acquiring The Taste
Uz Jsme Doma - Ears
Mogwai - Ten Rapid
Ui - The Iron Apple EP
FM - Black Noise (used LP - 99 cents from

Those first two CDs are among the top 100 rated albums at Gnosis ( I’ll have the whole top 100 eventually (save the ones that are out-of-print). The Uz Jsme Doma is… I dunno. I’ve heard good things about UJD, but I’ve not heard them myself. But for $6.99, it’s hard to ignore the praise. The Mogwai and Ui add to my building “post-rock” collection (which will be further bolstered with an order from Kranky and Constellation Records in the near future). And the FM is a prog album that I almost bought the CD of from CDNow (but the general consensus opinion is that it’s not as good as the other things I bought). When I stumbled onto the vinyl for 99 cents at, I was quite glad I didn’t buy the CD.

Brand X - Product
King Crimson - Lizard
Kansas - Song For America
Jethro Tull - Aqualung
PFM - Cook
Höstsonaten - Mirrorgames
Fly Pan Am - Fly Pan Am

Höstsonaten is such a flirt. The album keeps acting like it’s going to be really good, and then stumbles a bit. It’s a little frustrating because it could be so much better. Höstsonaten is a side-project of Finisterre’s, so maybe I should look info Finisterre. A couple of their albums are supposed to be really good.

Fly Pan Am will probably be included in my Constellation order (which I’ll likely make later this week). I need to listen to the MP3s more, but it seems pretty good. One track goes on for entirely too long, though (I believe the third, which eclipses 17 minutes despite not having quite enough interesting material to sustain that long period of time).

It’s weird listening to PFM in English (on Cook, a live album recorded from US/Canada shows in 1974). I much prefer them in their native Italian. I’ve avoided “English versions” of Italian albums, due to the overriding consensus that these albums are typically inferior to their native Italian counterparts (and due to the fact that I have no ridiculous “must be in English!” bias). In fact, that brings us back to the Höstsonaten album, which is sung in English (Finisterre usually sings in Italian). The vocals are OK most of the time, but there are those moments when it’s clear that these guys aren’t native English speakers. Those moments are annoying and detract from the overall listening experience. The fact that the Finisterre albums aren’t in English (and thus avoids one of Mirrorgames’s pitfalls) is further motivation to pick one up.

Brand X is interesting. When I first became a progrock fan, it was a shock to learn that Phil Collins (the Phil Collins) used to play in a band like Genesis (and I mean the ‘70s art-rock version with Peter Gabriel on vocals, not the '80s/'90s pop band that mirrored Collins’s solo career). It’s even more shocking to hear Collins in Brand X, a fusion (jazz-rock) band. This is even less related to “pop” than Genesis (which still turned out a few singles despite not focusing on that sort of pursuit). It’s a pretty decent album, despite being only the 5th highest rated (out of 9) at Gnosis. I hear that some of their earlier material smokes, so I’ll keep an eye out for those. I think I might have seen a different Brand X LP at the store I bought this one from. I’ll look closely for that next time.