Thursday, May 29, 2008

Just One More Thing...

A thought occurred to me while trolling the LOL Theorists archive, that I'm sure has occurred to someone before, though I can find not a single mention of it anywhere online. Take a look at these men...

Seperated at birth. Tell me I'm wrong. Tell me I'm wrong!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Breadcrumb Trail Went Stale

It's a state of mind!

I blinked and May had gone from a pert grape to a granite-textured raisin. This isn't to say nothing happened. Plans were hatched and wheat was seperated from chaff. Resources were marshalled, laughs were had, doubts formed, and panic ensued. But before I can connect the dots, a little late spring cleaning is in order. Below is a tossed salad of epistemological detritus that I need to recycle out into cyberspace to unclutter my ontological niche. No particular theme, thread, or narrative is implied, but that doesn't mean one cannot be inferred.

Click on the title to download, peeps.

Record Needle In a Haystack

1. Amon Düül II - "Archangel Thunderbird" (00:00)
2. Laddio Bolocko - "As If By Remote" (03:36)
3. The Focus Group - "The Thre" (06:14)
4. The Golden Catalinas - "Can Your Monkey Do the Dog" (07:19)
5. Delia Derbyshire - Theme to Dr. Who (09:43)
6. Buck 65 - "Can of Worms" (11:58)
7. The Crazy World of Arthur Brown - "Spontaneous Apple Creation" (15:15)
8. The Lounge Lizards - "Incident On South Street" (18:07)
9. Duck Flowers - "Wicked Chicken" (21:26)
10. Pavement - "Gangsters & Pranksters" (23:29)
11. Los Saicos - "Demolicion" (25:04)
12. Andrew W.K. - "McLaughlin Groove" (27:56)
13. Cloudland Canyon - "You & I" (28:43)
14. Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - "The Rider #2" (35:06)
15. Santo & Jonny - "Sleep Walk" (38:00)
16. Jade Warrior - "Borne On the Solar Wind" (40:19)
17. The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band - "In the Canyons of Your Mind" (43:18)
18. The Playboys - "Mope De Mope" (46:16)

Friday, May 09, 2008

What's Pissing Me Off About Music Today?

From the always epic FAIL Blog

For starters, this juvenile act of dick-swinging will only impress people who can't tell a record press from a waffle iron. Never mind that way back when Nick Sylvester eviscerated their record, it was the one-in-ten he gets right. I can't tell if Ackermann & Co. are trying to push this pathetic bumper-sticker marketing about "loudest band in New York" into some all-encompassing dogma, or if they're just so gloriously inept as musicians that they're not even aware of how records are made. Hey, I know: let's just make the lock groove a square wave the width of the record and it'll be the loudest vinyl release ever! Sure, it'll only be 1.8 seconds long and break everyone's stylus, but... dude! LOUD!

And as Pitchdork becomes the MTV of the post-millenial, I barely know where to begin with why this is so wrong. Do we start with the porcine mouthbreather who was assigned to be interviewer? Or how transparently, self-referentially agenda-driven Pitchfork has become, as can be inferred by the smug, reverent tone in which Dave Maher referes to a fellow writer? How about that outrrrrrageous accent on Xavier de Rosnay?

I'll confess an immediate bias against Justice: I distrust dance music because, bottom-line, it wants nothing more than to please, and that makes for bad art. Dance music - rooted in nightclubs and, thus, fashion - exists on the ficklest of stimulus-response reflexes. Hence the thoroughly unenjoyable video for "Stress", a clear knee-jerk distancing from the cutesy bubblegum bounce of "DA.N.C.E." as though to prove their balls have dropped. This isn't speculation: in the clip, a teenager in a tantrum literally kicks "D.A.N.C.E." off the airwaves. Comment la Justice est MACHO! This is the same measured approach to image construction that, say, Carrot Top employed when he wanted, if not respect, at least fear. As for the video itself, yes, indeed, what hath France wrought by producing such disaffection in its youth, but as Anna Packard argued, how is watching a gaggle of adolescents acting like total cunts going to help anyone? (Other than Justice, what with the extra attention garnered by the controversy.)

Back to the Pitchfork interview... something very symptomatically European about les hommes de Justice is the manner in which they deny any fundamental significance of ubiquitous religious imagery. This is in stark contrast to Americans, who generally minimize the public display of religious accoutrements but loudly and ceaselessly profess their faith. While these are very opposite approaches to worship, they both display a certain characteristic: a disregard or even disbelief in the power of the symbol or image. For Europeans, the symbol can be appropriated (as on the jackets of the ASBOs in the Justice video) and carries no inate power; for Americans, the symbol is an unnecessary, though occasionally helpful, signifier. This stands in stark contrast to Islamic society, where the image is still unimpeachably important. (See: Danish Mohammed cartoon reaction) Could this be one of the cultural disconnects that led to the rage of unintegrated immigrant youths portrayed in the "Stress" video? Oh, snap! The irony!

Now, in closing, perhaps what's pissing me off the most about music today is that I've expended such mental energy dissecting & discussing such inconsequential bullshit because no one told me that this is what happened here in Hamburg on May Day. I understand that I was out of town at the time, but for fuck sake, isn't this disquieting and dire enough that someone would have mentioned it to me before today?!

I'm one Molotov cocktail or inflammatory speech away from "Screw you guys, I'm going home..."

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Freemasons Run La France

I have a doppleganger in France. For once, I'd like to be mistaken for someone cool - hell, not even necessarily good-looking. As long as it's not a fictional magician or some prefab popstar who sings like a bloody girl.

"Fuck, another four years..."