Sometimes the expected is boring . . . ok the expected is almost always boring, but the problem is how do you break the mold without it all coming crumbling down. How do you make something that's new enough that it catches people's attention, but not so foreign that it takes decades for it to become accepted. I'd like to think that everyone who makes something has this sort of idealism about their work, but so much of the media shoved down our throats is just derivative junk, and that's not to say I'm not excited for the newest Bond movie (I'm always excited for the newest Bond movei), but no matter what twist the second or third or tenth movie of successful franchise throws at you it still seems like the safe option. So I guess what I'm saying is try something original, even if it crashes and burns, don't do something that seems safe because the harder and more radical option will pay off in the end . . . probably . . . it will at least be more fun.
Snap Judgement - Breakout Live
Snap Judgement's slogan is "Storytelling with a Beat" and that's exactly what you get. Their stories sound like This American Life with a hip hop sensibility, with masterful beats scoring every story and Glynn Washington as the MC. Snap brings together people from all walks of life. Poets, storytellers, and every day people all get equal treatment. The magic of Snap Judgement though, isn't only in the weekly hour long radio shows they produce, but in the live ones they perform on stage to sold out theatres. These shows have the intimacy of a story slam and the energy of a rock concert, with a live band on stage backing up every story. Snap Judgement is the kind of show that you never would have heard 10 years ago, and is probably the opposite of what most people think of when they think public radio, which is exactly what makes it so good.
Dawn of Midi - Dysnomia
There's a lot of music out there that feels overly sequenced, lifeless, and just plain boring. This is not that. Dawn of Midi is a Jazz trio that takes minimalist techniques usually reserved for the likes of Steve Reich and Phillip Glass and just runs with it, performing phase shifts and mesmerizing rhythmic sequences with a precision you could have only assumed was achievable by a computer. This album has tracks with interesting names like Sinope, Ymir, and Ijiraq, but this is the type of album you want to sit with for a long haul.