Thursday, January 29, 2009

Quantum Cello

Quantum Cello

In this podcast, you’ll hear Jad and Zoe discuss the physics (if not metaphysics) of looping sound and how to use a 17th century instrument to make avant-garde electronic music. (Via Chris Olsen, thanks Chris!)

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Random Rules-January 14

The Onion AV Club does this every so often where they ask people to put their ipods on random and then talk about the songs that come up. I figured I'd put my iTunes on random and see what happened, here's a few:

The Temptations - I Wish It Would Rain
This is probably my favorite Temptations song. It's all about how raindrops will hide his teardrops because he has lost his woman. Just a beautiful song, super solid string section and there are thunder samples throughout the song. Totally brilliant.

Desmond Dekker & The Aces - It Pays
I got a huge amount of Desmond Dekker songs from Jeremiah while I was staying with him in Chicago this last time and it has become a staple of my listening of recent. Dekker was amazingly prolific and totally solid ska.

Minus the Bear - Memphis & 53rd
I pretty much wore the grooves out of this record when it came out. These dudes have been putting out some of the most solid rock records of the past decade. Awesome guitar playing, weird and catchy, probably singlehandedly responsible for 3/4 of the Line6 delay pedals sold in the last five years. I like how this song and Ice Monster off of Planet of Ice are vaguely about spy thrillers or something...

The Chemical Brothers - Don't Stop the Rock
I was talking to someone today about my unabashed love of late 90s big beat music and it doesn't get any better than Dig Your own Hole by the Chems. I listened to this obsessively when I was a kid. There's something so satisfying about the robo-funkiness of the Chemical Brothers, I hold this record very near and dear to my 14 year old heart.

La Quiete - Alle Fogle
Someone introduced me to this Italian emo-violence band pretty recently after a conversation about Amanda Woodward and Aussitot Mort. I'm not sure what it is about these European hardcore bands that just really rubs me the right way, lots of shouting in another language, weird mathy riffs and, apparently, according to this song, epic piano parts?

Brothers Quetico - Treat for Shock
These guys were great. They pretty quietly put out three records in Minneapolis over the last couple years before breaking up and going their separate ways. Kind of a Shellac-y post rock band. I played a few shows with them and they were always a good time. Nice beards, too.

the Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
Neon Bible wasn't a disappointment as much as it was This song sounds like an outtake from Funeral. They obviously couldn't have made another record of these but man it must be hard to make another record after you nail simplicity that well. I also saw a video on YouTube of Bruce Springsteen doing this song with them which makes perfect sense as this soungs like the Boss at his most euphoric/cro-magnon.

Cassius - Foxxy
From the same era as Dig Your own Hole, I used to LOVE French house. There's something about Cassius and most things that French people do with synthesizers that just oozes that Gallic cool, like Serge Gainsbourg smoking a cigarette in a space suit, drinking something neon colored from a glass shaped like a pyramid.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Houston, TX

Got to Houston kind of late. Now drinking beer. The TWolves are playing, I suppose I should go watch because it's better than sitting alone on the internet.


My Rick Astley trick worked against me as I just got that song stuck in my own head.

What a cruel, cruel joke this world is.

Friday, December 19, 2008

infopile Dec. 19

It's called a Pickelhaube!

Emergency Communities

"The site, formerly an off-track betting parlor, became recognizable by its large tents and geodesic dome."

Tall Buildings!

James got "Together Forever" by Rick Astley stuck in my head. I feel the need to pass it on to you, because I am a sadistic fuck.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

Synecdoche, NY

n/p Cinematic Orchestra – Man with the Movie Camera

Still getting over the frustrations of new-computerhood. Also Windows Vista has got to be the most enervating operating system I have ever used. I can’t figure out how the damn thing works. Finally got myself out to a coffee shop to write after watching the final episode of season II of Burn Notice which is apparently “GTA: Vice City: the TV show” not that that’s a bad thing, but…

I saw the new Charlie Kaufman movie, “Synecdoche, New York” (see what he did there?). Oh wait, you don’t see what he did there? According to my well informed father, synecdoche is the newest bon mot for the New Yorker crowd, I had never heard of it until he brought it up a while back. Synecdoche, according to the ever factual Wikipedia is: “a term denoting a part of something is used to refer to the whole thing” as in, “All hands on deck” i.e. all sailors on deck, sailors have hands and are being referred to as such, if that makes sense.

ANyway, Kaufman makes his little play on words about Synecdoche, New York (which is pronounced sin-eck-do-kee) insofar as the main character, Caden Cotard (played bythe ever maudlin Phillip Seymour Hoffman) is a malady ridden theater director living in Schenectady, NY (NOW you see? Schenectady, Synecdoche? Clever!)

Now, Monsieur Cotard, whom M. Kaufman named for the neuropsychiatric disorder in which the sufferer believes himself to be dead, believes himself to be dying. Kaufman’s films have always been about the malleable nature of subjectivity, for instance in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Kaufman offers up the ability to physically erase memory and then sends Jim Carrey on a mishap –laden trip through his own memories. Cotard manifests all sorts of gruesome physical maladies, however it is not known whether or not these or any other part of the film are actually “real” and in fact Kaufman throughout this film questions the existence of and/or necessity of “reality” in fiction.

Long story short, Cotard’s life falls to pieces and then he is given a MacArthur grant (a magical MacArthur grant which apparently never runs out of money) buys a giant warehouse in NYC and stages a play about his daily life there. He builds city blocks, finds people to play him, finds people to play the people who play him, and continues on ad infinitum.

The original title he comes up with for his play is “Simulacrum” which I believe is referring not to the original philosophical designation of the word posited by Jameson, but the ever so more famous conjecture by Baudrillard that has fueled many a grad school thesis, the copy with no original. Broken down to the simplest parts, the simulacrum is reality, perverted by perception and language which then becomes the hyperreal which then becomes the simulacrum or an unreal reality. Baudrillard went on to say that in the present era we are living in the hyperreal in our daily interactions with everything as, all we have ever known has been detourned by language and subjectivity. Kaufman’s representation of this is his play within a play within a play which becomes the actual reality of all of the people involved.

An interesting watch to say the least. I believe it merits at least a few views before you can truly figure out what is going on, however well worth it especially if Baudrillardian postmodern thought is your bag.

Okey doke childrens, I am sitting outside and my fingers are falling off. Time to go!

P.S. this Cinematic Orchestra record is awesome for writing, I highly recommend.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Wearable Toy Piano

Imagine busking with one of these babies. Insane future busker!