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.
ADDENDUM: Don't know how I forgot to mention this, since I've been flipping back and forth to it for the last hour or so, but Troy has transcribed some of the songs. Man, "Rehearsing My Choir" is a good song. posted by Mike B. at 12:08 PM
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.