Life Just Bounces don't you get worried at all. (A weblog of music and otrogenerica)

Sunday, 25 January 2009

LJB January mixtape.

...technically, it's a November mixtape, cuz i made it then while recovering from illness. 15 largely instrumental pieces ideal for night drives and other mood escapades.
  1. Susie Ibarra — "Drum Sketch 1" (Drum Sketches, Innova, 2007)
  2. Aksak Maboul — "Odessa" (V/A, Made to Measure Vol. 1, Crammed Discs, 1984)
  3. Language Lab — "Burning Disaster (original mix)" (12" single, Kahuna Cuts, 1997)
  4. Syzygys — "Rikisy" (Complete Studio Recordings, Tzadik, 2003)
  5. Birdsongs of the Mesozoic with Oral Moses — "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray" (Extreme Spirituals, Cuneiform, 2006)
  6. Magma — "Naü Ektila" (Magma/Kobaïa, Philips, 1970)
  7. Terre Thaemlitz — "Soon I Will Be Free" (7" single, Bottrop-Boy, 2000)
  8. Gatto Marte — "Otto Spikin" (Danae, self-issued, 1997)
  9. Boards of Canada — "Amo Bishop Roden" (In a Beautiful Place out in the Country, Warp, 2000)
  10. Six Organs of Admittance — "Spirits Abandoned" (Dark Noontide, Holy Mountain, 2002)
  11. Labradford — "3" (E Luxo So, Kranky, 1999)
  12. Bill Wells Trio — "Presentation Piece 1" (Also in White, Geographic, 2002)
  13. Yann Tiersen — "Good Bye Lenin!" (Good Bye Lenin! OST, EMI, 2003)
  14. Aerial M — "Rachmaninoff" (As Performed By..., Domino, 1997)
  15. El Guincho — "Costa Paraíso" (Alegranza!, Discoteca Océano, 2008)

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Inauguration Day.

My favourite thing about Barack Obama so far is that he can actually string a convincing-sounding sentence together.

The George W. Bush years can essentially be summarised by this picture.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Stupid country of the day.

Step forward Thailand, where having 30 – 40,000 child prostitutes is considered de rigueur, but you can get three years in jail for "insulting the monarch".

The monarch in question is King Bhumibol Adulyadej (right), whose 63-year stint in power makes him the longest-reigning monarch in Thai history and the current longest-reigning monarch in the world. He also has a personal net fortune of US$35 billion and is regarded as a literal demi-god by his people as part of Thai law.

You'd think, therefore, that the poor diddums wouldn't be so insecure as to need another law allowing for anyone who insults him to be jailed for between 3 and 15 years. But nonetheless, you can in fact be jailed for "insulting the monarch" in Thailand for a range of offences, down to and including "failing to stand for the national anthem" in cinemas (though you'd think that wearing hats like the one in this pic could be construed as deliberately trying to catch people out — not quite Bozza Johnson running through Trafalgar Square in a Death to Smoochy outfit threatening arrest for anyone who started sniggering, but not far off).

This case is possibly also the biggest Streisand effect i've ever heard of in my life. If you recall, that's when an attempt to suppress a piece of information backfires and the spread of that information, and desire to find out about it, increases exponentially as a result.

Harry Nicolaides' book Verisimillitude, which got King Bhumi's knickers in such a twist, was a vanity pressing that sold precisely seven copies the world over. The only copy known to be still extant sits in the Thai National Library, freely open for viewing by the Thai public. Meanwhile, the story goes around the world.

A bit like the time the silly sausages tried banning YouTube over a video showing the King "with feet superimposed over his head", leading to "YouTube users around the world ... posting a series of Bhumibol-bashing clips, some even more offensive than the originals", each of which "has been viewed tens of thousands of times". D'oh.

MP3: Run-D.M.C. — "Down With the King" feat. Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth

Monday, 12 January 2009

Notes on Ross and Brand.

i wrote this piece at the time of the Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand/Andrew Sachs fiasco. Not sure why i didn't publish it then, but i just re-read it and still agree with what i thought then, so i thought i'd share, for posterity. Anything in dark red below (save for a couple of minor edits) dates from the time in question.

• Cruelty isn't humour. "Hurrr hurrr hurrr he fucked your granddaughter" is not a punchline.

• Jonathan Ross is paid as much as 1,000 journalists (and isn't shy of "hilarious" reminders of same). To me, he doesn't match the value of one-fifth of a journalist. I am always amazed that people don't treat him with the same C-list contempt deservedly afforded to his equally mediocre brother Paul.

• Brand is not a stupid man, although he is guilty of consistently underselling and dumbing himself down to pander to fashionable modern anti-intelligence sentiments. This is worse.

• Noel Gallagher apparently says "it's really them and us now". Well, good. It literally fills me to the brim with pride to know that Noel Gallagher identifies me with a group he considers to be "them". Newsflash: fuck you, you third-rate Rick Parfitt impersonator, it was *always* them and us. Where "us" represented "non-cunts" and "them" represented... well, you.

• "But she *did* shag him!" Oh, so that makes it all OK then, yeh? This is by far the most worrying aspect of this whole story to me: this insane reaction that, because it's *true* that Georgina Baillie *did* have consensual sex with Russell Brand, that means she's somehow fair game. You and i have probably had sexual relations with some people too. Does that mean we want it on our grandparents' answerphones? No.

• I've noticed a lot of people say that complaining about something like this means the complainers must be "square", "fuddy-duddy", obsessed with unimportant trivia, a humourless killjoy, etc. So what does that make complaining about people complaining about it?

• Another reason it's unfashionable to complain is because "...[t]he call was actually pretty funny!" Ahh, so humorous value is now the determiner of what is appropriate for broadcast, yeh? So if i find paedophilia funny, that makes it family entertainment, then? No. Majority belief in an opinion doesn't stop it from being bollocks, as a brief glance at the Top 40 will demonstrate.

• "Yeh they made the call, but why should they get in trouble for it? After all it was pre-recorded, maybe we should be firing the people who allowed it to air!"

Right, so you want to absolve the people who wilfully and cynically overstepped the mark to make themselves look cool and edgy on the radio, but fire the production staff (whose wages are paid directly by Brand) charged with trying to keep the enormous egos of same in check and keep their output transmittable at all?

Yeh, that seems fair. After all, those bastard producers actually let it go ahead without pressing the "STOP" button. All poor innocent Wussell and Wossy did was come up the idea of doing prank calls to a unsuspecting celebrity in the first place (box-fresh, guys!), add the genius idea that the prank calls should be obscene, record the obscene prank calls and then schedule the obscene prank calls for broadcast on a show that bears one of their names. Clearly they are blame-free in comparison with the malevolent producers.

• Ross has pulled out of the Comedy Awards. Why was he even involved in the first place? He's a chat-show host.

• Remember when Radio 2 used be seen as the "dad music" station? (Well, it still is, technically, but now they also play vapid modern pop and adopt Estuary accents to fit in as well). If this sort of thing is standard practice at R2 now, i hate to think what Radio 1's target audience is like these days. Presumably pre-schoolers and people who failed the Jeremy Kyle audition for being too inarticulate.

• "Support Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand!" groups on Facebook. Why? They don't need your support. They are famous multi-millionaires who are even now reaping all the publicity from this incident to further their careers. On his salary, Jonathan Toss has had bigger shits than three months' pay suspension. Russell Bland barely even works for the BBC anyway, so his "falling on his sword" (put down the Dictionary of Overdramatic Victorian English, you utter fool) amounts to nothing more than (a) a continuation of his big fat pay-cheques from Sky and C4; and (b) probably a rake of new offers from the kind of misguided people currently considering him to be rebellious and hard-done-by rather than a gasbag who got his comeuppance for being a bit of a bullying wanker on a publicly-funded media channel.

In other words, the poor diddumses will get over it.

JAY SHERMAN (disgusted): How do you sleep at night?
MCBAIN (smug): On top of a big pile of money, with many beautiful women.

• In effect, Ross and Brand are basically The Crap Version of Ashton Kutcher.

Talk about the punishment fitting the crime.

The only thing left to note is that in the run-up to an epochal change of leadership in the US, with wars in the Middle East grinding unstoppably on and the global economy haemorrhaging to death around our ears, it would have been nice if we hadn't had to take a week's break to focus exclusively on coverage of "two squawking men shouting at an actor" (as Radio 4's The Now Show excellently put it).

A point made ad infinitum at the time, of course. Not that anyone listened.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Ayo Technology! (or: King Fiddy Meets Remixers Uptown)

Happy new year to you! A little bit of a delay there, but y'know, that's how i like to roll. Hope y'alls Festivus & New Year period was adequately celebratory.

Anyway, Life Just Bounces begins its 2009 with an interesting little piece of code shenanigans over at the site, your familiar one-stop shop for all things musically streamable and chart-based. If you're one of the many users who uploads their own music to the site, you'll know of their Music Manager feature, the "control panel" that lets you add albums and tracks, change titles round, set priority for your "on-demand" tracks (cf. the MySpace player, etc.) that represent your stuff to the world. It's this latter feature that we focus on here.

The interface allows you to upload tracks for any artist — which includes existing artists. You can obviously choose to label these how you wish, but the option to list them under the original artist's name is available. This was the case recently when i uploaded 30KB's melding of 50 Cent's "I Get Money" with Big Pete Gabriel's "Sledgehammer".

Now, another feature of the Music Manager is the ability to select and order your "on-demand" tracks, the four that will appear in the Music Player at the top-right of each artist page to showcase your œuvre to the world. What i didn't realise before was that uploading a track under a given artist name gives the uploader the ability to rearrange or even replace the said tracks.

Which is how the 30KB mix of "I Got Money" ended up in 50 Cent's music player.

Not sure if this is an intentional feature, but it's certainly jolly decent of to enable upcoming remixers to display their talents in this way. i eagerly await the overwhelming torrent of praise the mix will surely garner from Fiddy's 605,414 listeners.