Oh, and before I get rolling, one more quick note on Rehearsing...
When I got the album from Jesse, he said he's had it on while he was working, but it hadn't really clicked for him yet. The first few times I listened to it, I listened to it pretty closely, either while riding the train or while cooking, but still really paying attention, and I liked it. But then I tried to listen to it on the flight home while I was reading and it totally didn't work--I got annoyed and turned it off. In this way it's a bit like Blueberry Boat, which I put on while I was working and let it play through in the background when I first got it, and while I didn't dislike it, it didn't really grab me either, certainly not like Gallowsbird's did. But it at least encouraged me to keep listening. But Rehearsing actively repels me when I try and listen to it casually, which could be a big hinderance.
Now, I know this sounds suspiciously like it could morph into a "you just don't get it" argument, which I know was the message some people got from Blueberry Boat supporters. But I think to really give this album a try, and you need to sit down with it and listen. I'll never tell anyone that they are required to give the album a try, but I think if you are going to, close listening is required. Of course, I'm the guy comparing it to an opera, so maybe I'm wrong.
At any rate, I can see this annoying the MP3 generation, but I can see it catching on among...well, I want to say "old folks," but I guess I mean "radio listeners." You could play this album on NPR and no one would think it was an album; it just comes off like a slightly avant-garde radio braodcast. Matthew says "This American Life" but it reminds me strongly of the books on tape I used to listen to as I fell asleep, maybe because of the breaks and the fragmentary nature of it.
I'm back from the vacay. On my drive to the beach, we saw a sign that said "THE DOLL'S HOUSE: Private Exotic Dancing." This sign pointed to a small, dilapidated ranch house, where, presumably, one lonely exotic dancer lived. Leading up to this house was a handicap-access ramp.