Inland Territory REVIEWS

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Digital
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Postby Digital » Fri May 08, 2009 11:57 am

Zen and the Music Critics, more like. :)

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Postby roofboy179 » Fri May 08, 2009 7:03 pm

tanthalas wrote:Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance all over again...


I saw that on an episode of Will & Grace. ;)

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Postby murlough23 » Fri May 08, 2009 7:10 pm

So maybe that's what others are sensing when they talk about the beauty in something that you don't agree with. Or maybe they don't know what they're talking about


I don't remember writing this. Did somebody with moderator privileges mistakenly edit my post instead of quoting it?

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Postby tanthalas » Fri May 08, 2009 7:44 pm

murlough23 wrote:I don't remember writing this. Did somebody with moderator privileges mistakenly edit my post instead of quoting it?

You didn't write this. You forgot to remove the last part of Digital's quote, or you forgot to close the bb tags properly. :P

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Postby murlough23 » Fri May 08, 2009 7:46 pm

tanthalas wrote:
murlough23 wrote:I don't remember writing this. Did somebody with moderator privileges mistakenly edit my post instead of quoting it?

You didn't write this. You forgot to remove the last part of Digital's quote, or you forgot to close the bb tags properly. :P


Oops. My bad!

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Postby Fred » Sat May 09, 2009 1:22 am

Digital wrote:I have very little musical training, so you guys can talk all about major versus minor keys, and it only means a little to me.

I'm untrained too, although I've spent many years *listening* to both classical and popular music, recorded and live. Although I never learned an instrument, I've been involved in some choral singing over the last several years, and I've found that you can gain an appreciation for the technical aspects of music gradually by following the score as you sing (which you have to do anyway) and picking the brains of colleagues who know more than you do. The trick is finding a choral group that can tolerate a novice. Then you need to find someone in the group that likes to "share wisdom" (that part isn't hard). I guess some basic ability to carry a tune is helpful, but most people can, and one gets better with practice.

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Another Inland Territory Review

Postby Folkfan » Tue May 12, 2009 2:14 am

Here's the review from March/April edition of Performing Songwriter Magazine.......I'll type it out below, I couldn't find a link on-line...Tell me what you think.

"Plenty of piano-playing pop singers have had classical training, but in the case of Vienna Teng, the schooling shows. Her fourth album is flush with song too clever for radio-four minute tales of love, war, reincarnation and the plight of illegal immigrants. 'Antebellum', one of several love-is-a-battlefield metaphors, is a genuine Broadway-worthy showstopper, and it might not even be the disc's most dramatic number.
For all their sophistication, Teng's songs retain a certain pop sensibility. Though she has a howitzer of a voice, she often sings with the tight-jawed nonchalance of Aimee Mann or Suzanne Vega. That delivery saves such tunes as 'In Another Life', with its min-julep clarinet and marching piano, from going over the top.
On 'White Light', Teng gets her modern kicks, incorporating spacey electric guitar, bass and synths. More than a standout, it's the closest a classicist might come to sounding like Madonna"...by K. Partridge

For Fans Of:
Aimee Mann....Bachelor No. 2
Tori Amos....Little Earthquakes
Regina Spektor...Begin to Hope

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Re: Another Inland Territory Review

Postby Fred » Tue May 12, 2009 4:23 am

Folkfan wrote:Here's the review from March/April edition of Performing Songwriter Magazine.......I'll type it out below, I couldn't find a link on-line...Tell me what you think.

"Plenty of piano-playing pop singers have had classical training, but in the case of Vienna Teng, the schooling shows. Her fourth album is flush with song too clever for radio-four minute tales of love, war, reincarnation and the plight of illegal immigrants. 'Antebellum', one of several love-is-a-battlefield metaphors, is a genuine Broadway-worthy showstopper, and it might not even be the disc's most dramatic number.
For all their sophistication, Teng's songs retain a certain pop sensibility. Though she has a howitzer of a voice, she often sings with the tight-jawed nonchalance of Aimee Mann or Suzanne Vega. That delivery saves such tunes as 'In Another Life', with its min-julep clarinet and marching piano, from going over the top.
On 'White Light', Teng gets her modern kicks, incorporating spacey electric guitar, bass and synths. More than a standout, it's the closest a classicist might come to sounding like Madonna"...by K. Partridge

For Fans Of:
Aimee Mann....Bachelor No. 2
Tori Amos....Little Earthquakes
Regina Spektor...Begin to Hope


Wow, thanks for posting that. That pretty much nails it, from my perspective. This is why the longer and more complex a Vienna song is, the better I like it (I Don't Feel So Well, Pontchartrain, No Gringo, Radio), and why I want to hear what she did with a bigger project, Sid Arthur. Vienna would not be the first with the soul of a classical composer to work in a popular medium. Consider George Gershwin.

(Hmm....Vienna knows Duncan Sheik personally, doesn't she? It cannot have escaped her attention that he made a very successful move into a bigger medium when he scored Spring Awakening. I wonder if musical theater is tugging at her?)

I take it the "For the fans of..." thing is from the bottom of the review. Well, yes, I'm a fan of all of them. I realize that they are actually comparing those 3 to Vienna as performers, but I've always thought of Aimee Mann as kind of the antithesis of Vienna as a songwriter. Whenever you listen to a new Aimee Mann song, you pretty much know in advance what you are going to hear, which, of course, is the last thing you would say about Vienna. (Some critics have faulted Aimee for writing the same song over and over again. Fortunately, I like that song, very much.) Still, I manage to like them both.

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Postby argos » Tue May 12, 2009 6:07 am

Vienna Teng strikes songwriting balance between the personal and the universal

http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20 ... /305079967

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Postby murlough23 » Tue May 12, 2009 6:57 am

argos wrote:Vienna Teng strikes songwriting balance between the personal and the universal

http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20 ... /305079967


Interesting to note that this article promotes a show with Katie Herzig as the opener. I like Katie Herzig, so I'm a wee bit jealous of those who are gonna get to see the two acts together.

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Postby Reileen » Tue May 12, 2009 4:21 pm

argos wrote:Vienna Teng strikes songwriting balance between the personal and the universal

http://www.thedailytimes.com/article/20 ... /305079967

One of the things that just occurred to me...the album is called Inland Territory, but in terms of the content and how Vienna handled the lyric writing, it's actually a lot more...what's the word...extrospective? Like, even though it's very thoughtful and contemplative and stuff, Vienna tackles subjects from the greater world while still managing to integrate it well with her own personal voice and thoughts. Does that make any sense?
"You've made us swear our souls to you
And blamed us for your poisoned grace."


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http://www.voxgraphicastudio.com

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Postby murlough23 » Tue May 12, 2009 7:37 pm

Reileen wrote:One of the things that just occurred to me...the album is called Inland Territory, but in terms of the content and how Vienna handled the lyric writing, it's actually a lot more...what's the word...extrospective? Like, even though it's very thoughtful and contemplative and stuff, Vienna tackles subjects from the greater world while still managing to integrate it well with her own personal voice and thoughts. Does that make any sense?


The title works on two levels for me. There's the personal - what's going on inside of me - which you picked up on. Then there's the experiences of outsiders, many of whom seem to be people from various midwestern locations (Kansas, Chicago, West Virginia, etc.) That doesn't describe the entire album ("Radio" doesn't fit, for example, since it clearly takes place in her old stomping grounds of San Francisco), but there's enough references to places like that to make the title a logical one. Ultimately, a lot of the songs were probably inspired by her move from coast-to-cast, so I see this album as documenting the journey to get from A to B.

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Postby Fred » Tue May 12, 2009 9:47 pm

murlough23 wrote:
Reileen wrote:One of the things that just occurred to me...the album is called Inland Territory, but in terms of the content and how Vienna handled the lyric writing, it's actually a lot more...what's the word...extrospective? Like, even though it's very thoughtful and contemplative and stuff, Vienna tackles subjects from the greater world while still managing to integrate it well with her own personal voice and thoughts. Does that make any sense?


The title works on two levels for me. There's the personal - what's going on inside of me - which you picked up on. Then there's the experiences of outsiders, many of whom seem to be people from various midwestern locations (Kansas, Chicago, West Virginia, etc.) That doesn't describe the entire album ("Radio" doesn't fit, for example, since it clearly takes place in her old stomping grounds of San Francisco), but there's enough references to places like that to make the title a logical one. Ultimately, a lot of the songs were probably inspired by her move from coast-to-cast, so I see this album as documenting the journey to get from A to B.


Vienna's posts from the road make it very clear that she really likes and is fascinated by the inland portions of the country, so I think it's quite reasonable to take the title that way, as well as the other way. Working on more than one level at a time is her trademark, after all.

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Postby murlough23 » Tue May 12, 2009 9:48 pm

Fred wrote:Vienna's posts from the road make it very clear that she really likes and is fascinated by the inland portions of the country, so I think it's quite reasonable to take the title that way, as well as the other way. Working on more than one level at a time is her trademark, after all.


Indeed. There are hidden meanings in some of her oldest songs that I am still discovering (and that were blatantly obvious to others, who never thought to interpret them the way I did).

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Inland Territory

Postby mishii247 » Fri May 15, 2009 5:51 am

I listened once. Put it away, figuring this is one of those albums that will "grow" with repeated listening. I listened again, and again. Unfortunately, this album never grew on me. My opinion: Trying too hard for the sake of "art". Take away the clever and wonderful production and you are left with (again my opinion) not very strong songs. I've been a fan since her first interview on NPR and for me, it's not the same. I guess that is the point. You don't want to just recreate the same music over and over. I understand this. But even on her last album, there are songs like Whatever You Want, City Hall, Nothing Without You, and Recessional that balance out the more adventurous songs.

So I say this with regret, but for this listener, I'm putting Inland Territory high on ambition and production but not one that i feel compelled to listen to again.


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