A quick rundown of what we’ve been listening to this week here at Nippertown.com headquarters:
1. “Shutter Island (Music From The Motion Picture)” (2010, Rhino): Haven’t seen the film yet, but the soundtrack is oh so rich. Two CDs worth of great stuff by Ingram Marshall, John Adams, Krzysztof Penerecki, John Cage, Nam June Paik, Brian Eno, Gyorgy Ligeti, Morton Feldman and similar-minded sonic explorers. In a Hollywood blockbuster movie?!? Best of all is the closing mash-up of Max Richter’s instrumental “On the Nature of Daylight” and the haunting vocals of Dinah Washington’s “This Bitter Earth.” Soundtrack producer and music supervisor? Robbie Robertson.
2. Gianluigi Trovesi and Giannni Coscia. “Round About Weill” (2005, ECM): Picked this one up out of the “free” box in WMHT-TV’s break room during last week’s Exit Dome III concert. And, boy, am I glad that I did – spare clarinet and accordion duets inspired by Kurt Weill’s “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.”
3. Tindersticks. “Falling Down a Mountain” (2010, Constellation): No, it’s not the soundtrack to the ski slope at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver. This is more of the usual from Tindersticks – darkly romantic chamber rock/bed-sit music. Stuart Staples’ quavering baritone is as intoxicating as ever, although I’m sure it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. With this album – the follow-up to their 2008 comeback, “The Hungry Saw” – Staples seem to reach deeper into Tim Buckley as a primary influence. Nothing wrong with that.