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

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Song of the day: #5 Ivor Cutler – "A Barrel of Nails"

Ivor Cutler never fails to cheer me up.

On "A Barrel of Nails", the late lamented master puts a very tongue-in-cheek spin on the tropes of the traditional folk song, the humour derived from the odd treatment of the imagery ("when a barrel of nails kept a body warm") as well as the insistent repetition of the melody. i get the impression that if you ever saw him perform him this, you'd have cracked up, and then he'd probably have fixed you with a stern, disapproving glare that would have been just as deadpan as the song itself. Such is the sense of mischief Ivor's songs give off.

At the same time, there's the hint of a real sadness in the song. The pretty dark image of the old man, his partner dead, committing surreal hara-kiri by swallowing up his barrel of nails is reminiscent of a story Utah Phillips tells1 on the album The Past Didn't Go Anywhere, about his time in the Korean War and how, on the birth of the first child into a family, the male elder would go and sit on the bank of the Imjin river with a jug of water and wait to die, whereupon he would roll down the bank and be carried out to sea. The fact that Ivor's body "will drop like a barrel of nails" completes a similar cycle.

mp3: Ivor Cutler – "A Barrel of Nails" (YSI)

1 Scroll to the third text block (divisions marked out by a single asterisk) or text search "Imjin".

Sunday, 25 April 2010

For Wu-Tang fans with Spotify

Chronological Wu-Tang playlist
Chronological Wu-Tang affiliates playlist

(Info from this page.)

It's frustratingly incomplete in some places - no 8 Diagrams? no 6 Feet Deep? no Wu vs. Dubstep? (actually no, it's a good thing that that last one isn't on there, since dubstep is boring). But there's still 2.1 days of sheer Wu, and an additional 3.3 days' worth of affiliates, to get through, so i guess that's not to be sneezed at really.

Song of the day: #4 Average Joe Stalin – "Montel Gets Things Done"

 The first song ever written by Average Joe Stalin was essentially a list of directions to the house in Glasgow i used to live in. This is the second, a tribute to the talkshow host Montel Williams1 and his eponymous show, often on ITV2 in the background in the traditional student manner. It's surfaced again on a compilation by the Little Rock record label, FUCKNO, to be released on April 30.

AJS has since popped up in a variety of guises. The track, written around 2004, is a brief, enjoyable blast through daytime TV and its irresistible cathode lure. There's more than a hint of Brainiac influence, all dessicated guitar riffs, stomping motorik beat and shimmering falsetto vocals (this is always a good thing, since Brainiac were ace). Probably the real win, though, is in the understated deadpan wit of the lyrics. i seem to remember that the band name is also TV-related, the pun being inspired by a really shitty reality show that was on around the same time.

All the daytime TV hosts namechecked herein have since disappeared from view: Montel was quickly cancelled in 2008 following an appearance on another show, Fox and Friends, during which he lambasted the American media for its pitiful coverage of the Iraq war and overriding focus on celebrity trivia like the death of Heath Ledger. He then did a radio show on the Air America network, which closed this January, and has apparently now gone down the George Foreman-pioneered painfully-flogging-kitchenware route. Richard and Judy left This Morning to do an eponymous chatshow on Channel 4 teatime, before moving to some godforsaken cable channel watched by precisely no-one, only to be dropped in 2009 because, predictably, no-one watched it. Christ knows what they're doing at the moment.

At times like these, it's good to know who your friends are
TV's a friend to me, and it'll be a friend to you (yeah)
You can watch more but your folks say you're a vegetable
Your eyes'll go square and you won't talk sense no more
Love is blind, but TV's much more sensible
Caring and smart and everything you want and more
When I die, TV'll give the eulogy
Keep it simple, maybe some Richard and Judy

Montel gets things done

Average Joe Stalin – "Montel Gets Things Done"

1 Other incorrect guesses have included R&B singer Montell Jordan, sprinter Montell Douglas and wrestler Montel Vontavious Porter.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Popbitch Commentary #3 (Thursday 22/04/10)

"FYI 3: Sly [Stone] has taken a lot of cocaine, meths and PCP.

Really, Popbitch? Really?

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Pascale Guérineau > Banksy

Pascal Guérineau hangs one of his own works in the Louvre

As the crowds trickled through the Sully wing of the Louvre one recent afternoon, a stocky, middle-aged Frenchman looked around furtively before whipping a gilt-framed painting from under his leather jacket and fixing it to the wall.

Placed alongside the august portraits of Salle 59, the miniature – a vanité depicting two skulls – held its own amid the splendour of the room's more conventional treasures.

But its presence was not welcome and when the artist returned to see it today it had been removed by irate museum staff. "Now I have to write a letter to the president director-general or someone to get it back. It's pathetic," he said.

OK, so this isn't exactly a new trick these days. But this guy simply outclasses Banksy just by having the splendid cheek to get indignant about having to ask for his work back. Keep up the good work, sir.

Song of the day: #3 Johnny Cash – "The One on the Left Is on the Right"

With the UK election looming it seems only fair to write about some (tangentially) political music. i assumed this 1965 Johnny Cash song was probably written by Shel Silverstein (responsible for the "A Boy Named Sue" lyrics) but it's in fact by a songwriter and producer at Sun Studios named "Cowboy" Jack Clement, who also discovered Jerry Lee Lewis. "The One on the Right Is on the Left" is one of those songs that comes across both jokey and tough at the same time.

It's an account of a "pickin', singin' folk group" and their eventual break up over "political incompatibility". The wry humour suggests that Clement might have based the song on his own experiences playing steel guitar in a local group in the 50s. My favourite bit, apart from the wordplay, is probably the way Johnny, as the inept drummer confronted with his bandmates beating the piss out of each other on stage in front of him, resignedly intones "oh dear!"

Fortunately none of my groups have broken up for political reasons (yet). Though it'd probably beat "going on indefinite hiatus" because of "musical differences".

mp3: Johnny Cash – "The One on the Left Is on the Right"

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Song of the day: #2 Die Antwoord – "Wat Pomp" feat. Jack Parow

Judging from the YouTube video, "Wat Pomp" (approximately: "What's Pumping?") originally just featured Ninja & Yo-Landi (and a guy in a horrible jenky mask, who certainly doesn't seem to be Leon Botha,(?) representing DJ Hi-Tek), but the addition of "snor-rap"1 star Jack Parow takes it to the next level. All the "Are they hipsters or not? Therefore, should i like them? Are they real or fake? Aren't they just mocking the poor?" questions become pretty irrelevant2 when confronted with spectacular party music like this.

Using a deathless electro pattern going back to (and probably further beyond) "Paid in Full", and layering it with low-end oomph, digital glitch and something bizarrely close to ska in the verses, the three MCs introduce themselves in a hilarious, irreverent Afrikaans/English blend. Rhyme patterns are kept satisfyingly simple and dirty for maximum party potential, and the whole thing comes off a bit like Spank Rock if he spent less time thinking about sex and more about getting wasted and hotwiring cars.

Parow's ludicrous verge-of-tears intonation steals the show ("fokk Steve Hofmeyr!"3), though special commendations for aceness must also go to the filthy playground chant in Ninja's verse, the old-skool way each MC's verse is announced by one of the others calling their name out, Ninja's line "me and my superfresh crew to the rescue / we came to gently caress you" and Yo-Landi's "poes, i won't listen. my tricky-dicky lietjie blows systems / you can hear me coming from a distance".

mp3: Die Antwoord – "Wat Pomp" feat. Jack Parow

1 "Humans express thoughts, feelings, and ideas orally to one another through a series of complex movements that alter and mold the basic tone created by voice into specific, decodable sounds. Speech is produced by precisely coordinated muscle actions in the head, neck, chest, and abdomen.

Someone with a ‘snor’ (Afrikaans slang for mustache) produces a noticeable different sound. This happens because the sound-vibrations that exit the mouth are filtered through the thick mustache. Snor-rap was born with this idea in mind." (

2 Though my answers would be, in order: Who cares?; Yes, if you like serious execution of tongue-in-cheek concepts; everything's fake, what you mean is "should i pander to an irrelevant notion of authenticity or not?" (or more simply "who cares?" again); no, they're celebrating the class-spanning concept of getting lairy and daft, and not entirely seriously at that.

3ZA's biggest singer-songwriter; seemingly also a bit of a prick.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

"Remember Me": a new low in lazy plotting

Andy from Scams alerted to me this trailer:

So far, so sickly Dawson's Creek tripe. The clever twist comes in having the star-crossed, adversity-overcoming lovers separated for good at the end when the male lead gets, erm, killed in the September 11 attacks.

Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum nails it with the description "[a] shameless contraption of ridiculously sad things befalling attractive people", as does the Boston Globe's Wesley Morris, who notes how the film "crassly repurposes tragedy to excuse its cliches."

Seriously, it's not even been 10 years! Tho i suppose there's no official statue of limitations on grave-robbing. Alternatively, i love the idea that some idea-stuck suits in a Hollywood boardroom somwhere might have gone, "Y'know, 9/11 was pretty horrible. i think we can best convey the poignancy of this tragedy by adding a sparkly vampire."

And what's with the crappy recycling of the closing line from Se7en (warning: do not click this link if you haven't seen Se7en, ultimate spoilerville)? What a parade o'lame.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Song of the day: #1 Shawnna – "RPM" feat. Ludacris & Twista (Aurist rmx)

A song of the day is hardly an original blogging idea (especially when it's not quite daily), but i think it's still a pretty good one. This incarnation of this feature i have pretty much stolen from Everett True. i figure he'll either understand or he won't care or, more likely, he'll never see this anyway. The music taste is still mine, however.

Right then, a great place to kick off the feature is with a smart collision of worlds, noise meeting commerical hip-hop uptown in the shape of Aurist's remix of "RPM" by Shawnna featuring Ludacris and Twista, in which the noise musician and "all-round internet" basically puts the entire track in a massive blender and brutally interrupts it with what sounds like a vacuum cleaner sucking up a bag of rocks every few seconds.

It's quite ridiculously funny, and makes me think pop-rap/noise is a crossover with a very large potential. (i can't decide whose verse is funniest, though i think it might well be Luda). There should totally be full albums of this stuff.

The original is provided for comparison by way of YouTube video:

Twitter-roll: Shawnna; Ludacris; Twista; Aurist.
Or hit up The Ludacris Foundation for some good-ass charitable works.

mp3: Shawnna – "RPM feat. Ludacris & Twista (Aurist rmx)"

Monday, 5 April 2010

"Fisting for Compliments", 24th February 2005

Another old rediscovered Fisting for Compliments shows: 3 of 6 (third season 1 FM broadcast).

Of note during this episode: The disaster show! Anyone involved with any sort of broadcasting must necessarily have a disaster show, and this was ours. Of the two CDs we prepared to play, one completely failed to work (along with the studio telephone; and one of the mics started to go towards the end as well), meaning half the show had to be replaced with "improv filler", basically consisting of us playing discs from previous shows and whatever else we had in our bags at the time. Furthermore, Lach appears to entirely forget we're due to do a show, meaning the playlist choices are overwhelmingly mine. Nic Endo becomes maybe the hardest thing broadcast to the greater Glasgow area all year. i clangingly misidentify Pat Metheny as a woman (sorry Pat!)

Also on this day: Nothing much of any interest, really.

Fisting for Compliments 24/02/2005
87.7 FM or

The Wildhearts – "Junkenstein"

Cursive – "Art Is Hard" (truncated by eye-opening noise)
My Robot Friend – "I Am the Robot"

Nic Endo – "White Heat"

Jon Poole – "Flower Punk"
Young Marble Giants – "Eating Noddemix"

Deerhoof – "Holy Night Fever"
The Source feat. Candi Staton – "You Got the Love (Now Voyager radio edit)"

Steve Reich – "Europe: During the War (movement 2)" (from Different Trains)

Estradasphere – "Mekapses Yitonisa"
Giddy Motors – "Hit Car"

Converge – "Last Light"

Rocket from the Crypt – "Used"

Red: My picks
Blue: Lach's picks

Interesting commentary from an IMDb review of "A Complete History of My Sexual Failures".

By a person named Mikko Riihimaeki:

The movie suggests that in the lives of most/many GenXers, there are four recurring factors apart from differences in personal hygiene and CV: a) A lost loved one is a mental skeleton in the closet b) (S)he is targeted at least once for reclamation c) Inevitable failure on this front may lead to creation of wicked senses of humor (as a defense mechanism) and d) other people and one's own projects claim the (wo)man in the end. Lived life and history can not be changed. If our relationships are like bridges, we almost always burn them after saying cogently goodbye.