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

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Facebook album cover meme (improved version)

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random... Read More”
or click
The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations"
or click
The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”
or click
Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5 - Post it with this text in the "caption" and TAG the friends you want to join in. Be sure to include the person that tagged you so they can see your handiwork.

6 - Actually make the album you think this would sound like and release it for free over the internet.

Monday, 23 February 2009

LJB February mixtape.

Fresh monthly mixtape for February: sixteen tracks ideal for soundtracking activities such as i those have been participating in this month, including: writing sarcastic letters to government agencies, rediscovering a love for sushi, driving around at night a lot as usual, and admiring the redheaded hawtness of Christina Hendricks from TV's Mad Men.
  1. Oliver Nelson — "Stolen Moments" (The Blues and the Abstract Truth, Impulse!, 1961)
  2. Bălănescu Quartet — "Computer Love" (Possessed, Mute, 1992)
  3. Mountain Goats — "Standard Bitter Love Song #7" (Zopilote Machine, Ajax, 1994)
  4. Tower of Power — "Only So Much Oil in the Ground" (Urban Renewal, Warner Bros., 1974)
  5. Saul Williams — "The Government" (MP3 release, 2009)
  6. Michael Krikorian — "Animal Farm" (2009)
  7. Philip Jeck — "Chime Again" (Sand, Touch, 2008)
  8. ehafh — "Caught in a Helix!!" (Unless You're Busy Stepping on Bugs, Glitch City, 2009)
  9. DJ Citalopram — "Clean As You Go" (The Poorhouse, Glitch City, 2009)
  10. Desert Island Dicks — "USC" (Clearance Sale (forthcoming), Glitch City/Amoebic Industries, 2009)
  11. Magic Lantern — "At the Mountains of Madness" (Magic Lantern, Woodsist, 2008):
    • incorporating dialogue from Mad Men, S01E08 ("The Hobo Code")
  12. Wendy Mae Chambers — "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" (7" single, Artmusic, 1983)
  13. The Charioteers — "Wade in the Water" (from Gospel : Negro Spirituals / Gospel Songs 1926-1942, Frémeaux & Associés, 1993)
  14. The Rock Steady Crew — "(Hey You) The Rock Steady Crew" (12" single, Virgin, 1983)
  15. National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation — "Rappin' with Gas" (7" flexi, Sou, 1988)
    • after hearing this record you will never cook with anything else.
  16. Cheer-Accident — "Heaven" (Sever Roots, Tree Dies, Complacency, 1988)

Monday, 9 February 2009

Let's Hear It for The Underdog

Ali may have won
the fight; but he doesn't have
his own grill, does he?

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Christian Bale: right idea, wrong reasons

The funniest thing about Christian "slightly too convincing as Patrick Bateman" Bale's silly on-set luvvie tirade is that he felt it was necessary to spill out the agonies of his tortured artistic soul over, of all things, a Terminator movie.1

i mean, it's not exactly Citizen Fucking Kane, is it?

i'm all for artists who practically kill themselves and others around them out of passion to make the results greater than they would otherwise have been. Steve Albini can by all accounts be an abrasive dickhead, but he does it to push his performers to the limit of their abilities, and the results are demonstrable. The Velvet Underground were basically Lou Reed and John Cale's five-year confrontation with the whole of Western society, but they also happened to be geniuses. Bale's former director Werner Herzog, one of my favourite ever ever filmmakers, and Klaus Kinski, the man he described as his "best fiend", nearly killed each other multiple times over the filming of five separate pictures, but the pictures in question were incredible.


i blame the Batman franchise and its irritating aspiration to be Dark And Profound™ all the time for the fact that we now have to treat any given piece of Hollywood fluff devised for mere entertainment purposes as if it were a radical new Dostoyevsky interpretation or something.2

The only Batman film worth watching is the 1966 version featuring the spandex and the "KER-POW!"s and Batman delivering the line "some days you just can't get rid of a bomb" with an entirely straight face, not least because it just ADMITS that it's a jokey comic-book adaptation and then gets on with the task of being ace, rather than dicking about pretending to be Requiem for a Boring Dream.

In other words, everyone seems to be treating Bale's outburst as "bad but justifiable". Says Darren Aronofsky: "[a]lthough it's never good to lose your temper that bad for obvious reasons, we don't know what scene he was doing. He could have been doing a deeply, deeply intense emotional scene."

Surely that's completely backwards. The tirade? Big deal. It's the use of utterly specious and flimsy art to justify it that perturbs me.3
"He could have been doing a deeply, deeply intense emotional scene."
In Terminator Salvation? Could he? Really?

The problem here is not Bale's short temper. It's our expectation that "deeply intense emotional scene[s]" are the norm for big-budget major-studio summer action flick franchises these days. If you want harrowing emotionalism and intensity, go watch Through A Glass Darkly or something. If you want big dumb action thrills (who doesn't sometimes?), go get out Snakes on a Plane. But try and pretend that one's the other, and you just sell everyone short.

If anything good comes out of the current recession, it'll hopefully be an end to this kind of gratuitous posturing comic-book-goth pseudo-soul-searching, and a return to a mainstream that'd rather have a bit of fun than force itself to sit around chain-smoking Gauloises on pavement terraces all day with copies of something obvious by Nietzsche left lying conspicuously about. "'Ere's 'oping", as Camus would undoubtedly have said.

1 Yes! This post has footnotes.
2 And the Cult Of Heath™, too, for that matter — can you just give him the fucking posthumous Oscar so we can all stop talking about him, already?
3 Same with the whole Gordon Ramsey thing. Stop swearing at people, mate: at the end of the day, you're a cook. Know your place.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Rather funny: a blast from the past with the Evolution Control Committee

One of the seminal cut-up tracks of the 90s (or ever) today, in the form of "Rocked by Rape" by The Evolution Control Committee, aka Mark "TradeMark G" Gunderson and (i gather) his various alternating associates.

The record mashes up, years before the terms "mash" and "up" put together acted as an air-raid siren to an epidemic of yawning predictability, the backing track from Australian rock grandads AC/DC's seminal "Back in Black" with a barrage of hilarious, doom-laden keywords expertly sliced from the news broadcasts of CBS' then-evening news anchor Dan Rather.

Somewhat disappointingly, CBS failed to see the funny side. They issued a cease-and-desist-or-be-sued (that's its full title) order against the ECC, alleging among other things that "your use of Mr. Rather's voice [...] has created a false impression that Mr. Rather and CBS have endorsed or are connected with the sound recording which is misleading and deceptive to the public".

Hilariously unlikely as that might seem, it's a testament to "Rocked by Rape"'s quality that you quite can easily imagine Rather gravely intoning "dying of a heart attack... dying of breast cancer... dying of a Japanese nuclear bomb... mountains of credit card debt... a mountain of cocaine — tons of cocaine..." as part of a genuine broadcast. Although not necessarily with Angus Young's riff-based support, obviously.

Anyway, The ECC rightly contested their grasp of the concepts of parody and fair use, and, buoyed by support from early web activists and the likes of Wired and Don "Negativland" Joyce, CBS eventually got bored or decided the issue wasn't worth the effort and legal fees, and they quietly dropped it with no confirmation or denial. It is assumed that by now they've let it slip (particularly since, as Gunderson notes, the track "was used at the end of a roast show of Dan Rather himself aired on C-SPAN... meaning that at least once, it's passed his ears. We can only hope he got more of a chuckle out of it than the humorless lackeys of his legal department.")

Well, six years later, the threat seems to be history. The song, on the other hand, remains box-fresh, as both a piss-take of the relentless grimness of Western media coverage and a surreally hilarious bit of Burroughs-esque aleatoric poetry. And in the meantime, one Kenny Hamer has made an excellent video.

(For the record, my favourite part of the whole thing is in the third verse, where Rather gravely intones "low ethics... extortion and murder... a plane crash set an entire neighbourhood on fire", and then the meaty guitar riff kicks back in.)

MP3: The Evolution Control Committee — "Rocked by Rape"

Unnecessary comeback zone

Spinal Tap recording new material

Spinal Tap are recording their first new material in nearly twenty years.

The spoof English heavy metal band is the brainchild of American actors Michael McKean, Harry Shearer and Christopher Guest.

They first featured in the classic 1984 "mockumentary"
This Is Spinal Tap and went on to record two albums.

Shearer, who these days voices several
Simpsons characters, told BBC 5 Live: "It'll be for download as well as on conventional media later this year."

Now, i dunno about anyone else, but i read this headline as "25-year-old joke told again".

Yeah OK, a good joke, admittedly. In 1984.

I suppose it's at least semi-apt that ST are now dragging themselves around the same kind of toothless cabaret circuit all the bands they were satirising are also currently doing (hi Sabbath! hi Maiden! hi Priest!) — but doesn't that also entirely negate the group's satirical purpose and render them just another bunch of reunion-touring geriatric rock bottom-feeders?

No more, thanks, guys.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Songs for snow.

As snow carpets the ground and the UK disappears once more under a blanket of incredible lack of preparedness for what is, after all, a load of frozen water, here's 40-some minutes of snow-centric tunes to enjoy the landscape's strange renewed aesthetics with.

MP3: Galaxie 500 — "Listen, the Snow is Falling" (Yoko Ono cover)
Blue Scholars — "Coffee and Snow"
Windy and Carl — "Snow Covers Everything"
Oneida — "Cold Rain & Snow" (Grateful Dead cover)
Explosions in the Sky — "Snow and Lights"
Tori Amos — "Snow Cherries from France"
Mono — "Ashes in the Snow"