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April 06, 2005

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Zach in Philly

What is this? Kissing the hand that slapped you? The pockets of the "irony crowd" are never full, it would seem, as this highly colorful and detailed work announces the ambivalent like a firecracker while leaving the sleeping dogs of destruction and dehumanization to lie. On a scale of a century, I'm tempted to admit one proverbial "whatever." Everyone's out to make a living. How much more can we milk from the symbols? How much bread is there left to toast? Is history too shy to speak for itself? Is too much to ask to make a statement? No, no, I don't mean a statement so convoluted in classroom footnotes that the rest of schmucks who actually have to "work" for a living are too damn busy to understand or care about: none of this abstract, neo-primitive-space junk makes a lollypoppin' lick of sense. Talk in the language we all know. Our heads are strained in a thousand different directions but our hearts respond to the same basic principles which unite us living, feeling creatures on this rock. We've shocked ourselves numb. Let a gentle touch of humility kindle a sensation. And thus, Jianguo Xiansheng, it would seem you've succeeded. Just don't leak your number to one Oliver stone.

For the list, "Jazz Etudes" (1926), by Erwin Schulhoff, "a Czech-German, Communist with Soviet citizenship [who] died in a Nazi camp," is an entirely enjoyable listen. [Courtesy of Rix's October 16, 2003 show]

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