Download of the Week

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Michael Lavorgna  |  May 13, 2016
Before I boarded Lufthansa flight 412 in Munich, I added A Moon Shaped Pool to the download queue in the Tidal app on my iPhone. Once aboard flight 412 and in the air, I listened to Radiohead's new album in its entirety with the help of the DragonFly Red and a pair of RHA S500 earphones (yea, the cheap ones).
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 28, 2016  |  First Published: Apr 29, 2016
Beautiful, sexual, sensual, and above all else, powerful. While it is a stretch for me to suggest a real and immediate connection with Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter's message on her latest Lemonade, I am nonetheless deeply moved.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 22, 2016
Sturgill Simpson's new record, A Sailor's Guide to Earth, is a sailor's message home to his wife and newborn son. The album opens with "Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)" and the lines "Hello, my son / Welcome to earth..." which, after hearing just once, pretty much had me hooked. Again.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 15, 2016
Try not to think about Nick Cave and Warren Ellis. Instead, try listening to White Lunar (Mute/BMG, 2015), a double-CD-sized compilation of their film music, without expectations and if you hear what I hear, you'll be taken away to fascinating places spanning time. Music includes film scores from The Proposition (2005), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), The English Surgeon (2007), The Road (2009), and The Girls of Phnom Penh (2009). In addition, there are four pieces comprising a suite, all of which take their names from craters.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 08, 2016
Tag Eins Tag Zwei (Day One Day Two) came my way via John DeVore (I have to say that getting music recommendations from friends is among my favorite things). F.S.Blumm's guitar and Nils Frahm's piano and harmonium coupled with various and sundry sounds mixed into their improvisations kissed my brain like a warm spring breeze. Thanks, I needed that.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 01, 2016
Big, bold, and passion-full. I was on a Dawn Upshaw jag, The Girl with Orange Lips and more to our point Golijov: Ayre / Berio: Folk Songs, and I wondered—who is this Golijov guy? One doesn't have to wonder long these days, and I found myself listening to La Pasión según San Marcos on Tidal within minutes. To say that the first few minutes flopped my musical mind around like a boated flounder is no exaggeration.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 25, 2016
Winterpills stepped out of their home studio and into Justin Pizzoferrato's Sonelab for Love Songs their new release of original songs. My ears, heart, and mind are happy they did as Love Songs sounds sonically richer and more exploratory than their previous albums, all of which I've enjoyed. A lot.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 18, 2016
Regular Download of the Week (DotW) reader's may have noticed I have a penchant for difficult music. Difficult music, however, does fit my every mood or situation. Sometimes I want to be soothed, calmed, tickled and delighted, ideally carried away. As I lay in room 352A, 352B was mercifully empty due to my contagion, wondering what to listen to from Tidal's pharmacy, I went back to an old friend.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 11, 2016
Plainsound Glissando Modulation: Raga in just intonation for violin and double bass, Helge Slaato, violin, Frank Reinecke, double bass (NEOS, 2008).
"Like a sleepwalker, he [von Schweinitz] prods around in (sonic) space with delight, finding what he needs in these contorted sound worlds of computer-supported genesis of audible material. And with his latest compositions he now stands before the open portal of a realm in which encounters with the infinite are certain. The door is no longer ajar but agape." —Helmut Rohm
Back in 1988, while riffling through the contemporary classical racks on the 2nd floor of Tower Records, I happened upon Wolfgang von Schweinitz's Mass, which I knew nothing about. When I got back to my loft, I sat and listened and was immediately struck by this oh-so-striking work. "Holy crap!" I remember thinking.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 04, 2016
Here's the skinny on my intro to Jesu/Sun Kil Moon (Rough Trade, 2016); I read that in the song "Exodus", Sun Kil Moon's Mark Kozelek talks about Nick Cave losing his son in that tragic accident. I'd been thinking about Nick Cave, the father, so I couldn't help but run my fingers over to Tidal where they tapped in my request to play the entire album. Tidal obliged.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 26, 2016
The Complete Science Fiction Sessions (Columbia, 2000) combines the original Science Fiction LP from 1971 and the then unreleased Broken Shadows recorded at the same time: Sessions. I'd be more than happy, jubilant even, to move into this sonic world where I'd remain in wonder at its scope, funk, madness and sheer beauty.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 19, 2016
Blue As an Orange, released on Morphine Records in January 2016, is Pierre Bastien and his merry band of mechanical musicians. Bastien builds his automated orchestras from non-musical stuff, amplified Meccano parts, motors, fans, rattles, paper, and nails, turning them into automata timekeepers. Over the top, Bastien interjects his own playing on prepared trumpet, gongs, electric harpsichord, bass, drums and more adding up to a pleasantly jangly and at times jazzy journey.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 12, 2016
Art is a funny thing: Funny because what some people consider to be art, others don't. I'm not talking about value judgments of "good" or "bad", I'm talking about the mere classification as such. Of course the art doesn't care one way or another. It just is. Art also knows it may take years, decades, or more for people to come around to realizing what it is. Beauty is not "in the eye of the beholder", it hovers between the beholder and that which is beheld.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 05, 2016
"He is also an entertainment law professor and edits and scores films". So reads part of composer, arranger, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Younge's bio and that bit about film scores is relevant to our Download of the Week: Something About April II, released on Linear Labs January of this year, reads like a soundtrack from one of the most fascinating films you've never seen.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jan 29, 2016
Holes. I've got holes in my musical knowledge all over the place; if my body was a pitcher and you poured water into my head, you'd see thousands of tiny spouts spitting water through those holes. African Head Charge was one until I plugged it up thanks to Tidal HiFi. African Head Charge was formed in the early 1980s by percussionist Bonjo Iyabinghi Noa and developed over time into a varying cast of musical characters. The band's music, dubbed "psychedelic dub", has hit my head and heart hard.