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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2007-05-03 - 1:37 a.m.

Insiders say that our Eisbarbaby is getting "increasingly less cute," but the latest pictures of him frolicking with Herr Dorflein are pretty adorable. Perhaps Knut will be the Kirsten Dunst of zoo animals, transitioning sleekly from child star to adult w/o any awkward years.

Last month I was all a-yammer about quitting Emusic so I could concentrate on my family--er, I mean so I could concentrate on some of the music already in my possession.

Predictably, it was not easy to walk away from that, and I opted instead to decrease my downloads to 20/month. And I made some arrangement with my psyche not to stew and agonize and otherwise treat downloading MP3s with the seriousness of choosing a college.

So today I am the happy listening unit of the first disc of the excellent Future Clouds and Radar double album. For the uninitiated, FC&R is the latest band led by Cotton Mather's Robert Harrison. (Cotton Mather's album Kontiki is a thing of great power-pop beauty that functioned as my personal soundtrack* the year it came out--and lookit how much used copies are going for!)

(*Minus the jaunty and uplifting instrumental piece played over the pivotal montage scene.)

The songs are just as irresistibly melodic as Cotton Mather's, but more complex, subtle, emotionally rich, and supported by a layered, billowy production.

I spent the rest of my downloads on the two best songs from Penelope Houston's last album ("Aviatrix" sounds like a lost Fairport Convention song and "Flight 609" is just great rock songwriting and I love what the rhythm section is up to) and the two best tracks (Brian Eno and Laurie Anderson from the surprisingly fun Plague songs comp.

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