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

Friday, 9 December 2011

"I wish a rock guy would cover an R&B song. That way I could learn that underneath
all that popularity and blackness there's something great." ~ Jesse Thorn

Nice one, Leona. A+ trolling of all those metal/punk/rock groups and fans that still think pop/R'n'B covers are hilarious and novel i.t.y.o.o.l. 2011.

Anyway, this version doesn't sound any worse to me than Reznor's painfully teenage original (he was nearly 30 years old when The Downward Spiral came out) or Johnny Cash's curiously-revered-but-nonetheless-drab-by-his-high-standards take. Actually, if you're gonna do a song this laughably bombastic and self-regarding, it strikes me that big stadium-pop production, clunking cardboard-box snares, melodramatic vocal dive-bombing, and artificial string sections are by far the most honest ways of approaching it.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Desert Island Dicks & Where Woodwose Walk — "Clearance Sale" (AMP009)

The new split/collaborative album by 
Desert Island Dicks
Where Woodwose Walk
is out now

Clearance Sale, the new album from Desert Island Dicks and Where Woodwose Walk, sees the two noise groups reflecting on the ongoing global financial crisis that started in the late 2000s.

Across ten tracks (including one collaboration) named after British retail chains that went into administration following the crisis, the two groups use noise, drones, field recordings, sampling and live instrumentation to explore connections between the current malaise and the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Train sounds, Cisco Houston, news reports, Woolworths, Zavvi, "Buddy, Can You Spare A Dime?", corporate malfeasance and T.S. Eliot all come together for the first time in what critics are already calling "Capitalist Realism in a disused arms factory".

The album is available from Amoebic Industries as pay-what-you-want digital download or CDr priced at £3 plus p&p. The two groups have pledged to make an accompanying follow-up album in the event of a double-dip recession.

Desert Island Dicks are an anonymous international plunderphonic noise collective. No-one is certain who is in the group nor even how many of them there are. Their 2009 album The Shades of Jazz to Come was named in Marina Rosenfeld and Raz Mesinai's "Top 15 Albums of 2009" list in The Wire.

Where Woodwose Walk is the one-man project of Brighton, UK resident Arran Jones. When not composing, he enjoys allotment gardening, snail collecting and incorrect music.

Amoebic Industries is a jenky DIY label based out of a Glasgow flat.
They have released records by 30KB, Aurist and Desert Island Dicks.

Listen or download now:

(p&p for physical copies:
UK: +50p
EU: +£1.00
elsewhere: + £1.50)

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Being good at journalism: a bad way to become a journalist

In preparation for this year's customary wheeling out of the widespread media lie [backed by attention-seeking politicians and clergy] about how some authority or other is trying to "ban" or "rename" or "rebrand" or "prevent people from celebrating" Christmas, usually "because it might offend [Muslims/ethnic minorities/whoever is the current scapegoat du jour]", i've been reading The Winterval Myth, Kevin Arscott's excellent and forensic analysis of a falsehood that has now been repeated by the British press at least 283 times since 1998. [If only it came in a physical form which could be used to knock people who perpetuate such garbage about the head with.]

There's a particularly telling passage with regards to the state of British [Western?] journalism on page 9 of the PDF, concerning Kelvin MacKenzie's experiment soon after he began editing The Sun to only hire Oxbridge graduates as reporters, and why this 'failed' [his assessment].

"Satisfied that my bold move would take The Sun to a higher plain I waited for the results. They were not forthcoming. In fact, very little emerged from my new hirelings. Most disappointing. 
I had to get to the bottom of this. It became clear that with their keen and analytical minds they had made a fatal mistake – they had continued investigating every story to the point where they had satisfied themselves that there was no story at all. This would not do. 
I called in one of the super-brains and explained a philosophy that had served me well over the years. The reporter leant forward with an earnest look as I told him the secret: if a story sounded true it probably was true and should therefore appear in the paper or there would be lots of white, unexplained spaces."

So there you have it. If it sounds true, it's probably true. The most surprising aspect of this for me is not the fact of what MacKenzie says, which should be pretty obvious to anyone who's been paying attention, but how cheerfully, casually blasé he is about acknowledging this.

Which is how, 13 years after an event, you end up with almost 300 repetitions of a straight-up tissue of lies about that event. And with a culture where the people who have the skills actually required to do a job are considered overqualified for that job because those skills don't prop up the 'correct' financial and ideological interests. Good stuff. I await 2011's blizzard of Winterval fabrications with interest.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Extra-curricular Song of the day: #39a El-P – "Drones Over BKLYN"

You better stay aloof when the troops move/ the suicide booths soothe/ the who's who of looters shoot, the bullets go 'zoom, zoom'...
Holy shit there is new El-P music, from his forthcoming LP Cancer for Cure on Fat Possum.

This has the same tangible of event as when he previewed the unmixed "Tasmanian Pain Coaster" from ISWYD on Gilles Peterson's Radio 1 show, and "Drones Over BKLYN" lives up to expectations. Beat and rhymes alike are so damn tough, instantly recognisable but still stylistically progressing from his past work. On this evidence, the album should be another massive one.

Fuck, i'm not gonna describe it, just click "play" below and see for yourself. i think i'm on my tenth or eleventh play of the day so far.

DRONES OVER BKLYN (uncensored, unmastered) by PRODUCTOMART

PS: Downloadable version at Mediafire, awww yeah.

ATP I'll Be Your Mirror, reviewed

Firstly, here’s three reasons ATP-run festivals are better than other festivals.

1. No more tents. Getting lashed and watching cool music is fun. Going back to a campsite after the bands have finished, probably in the dark and with the ground churned into five different kinds of crap by bad weather and foot traffic, and sleeping inside essentially an oversized Pac-a-Mac, probably with large rocks digging into your back, most likely surrounded by loud idiots, and running the risk of having your stuff stolen, or having someone even more wasted than you are piss on your tent in the night, fall into it and demolish it, or even set it on fire (all of these things I have seen at festivals)? Well, that’s not so much my idea of fun. ATP neatly sidesteps these problems by setting most of its festivals in Butlins, with chalets and microwaves and showers and proper beds. No longer do I have to live like an unenthusiastic Duke of Edinburgh participant for three days to watch some cool bands...

My review of ATP's recent I'll Be Your Mirror fest:

  1. Features Company Flow, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Alan Moore and Stephen O'Malley, Foot Village, The Passion of Joan of Arc, Acoustic Ladyland, PJ Harvey, (MF) DOOM, and Portishead;
  2. Begins with one of the most ridiculous run-on sentences i've ever written;
  3. Is now up in two parts at Never Enough Notes. (part 1, part 2)

Pleasingly, Foot Village have already expressed their approval!

Song of the day: #39 Pharoah Sanders – "Ore-Se-Rere"

My plan to blog more was slightly thwarted by travel: i'm in New England at the moment, and internet access has been a bit sporadic, so i've been doing analogue stuff like reading books and playing piano. Crazy, i know.

Anyway, i've been working out this Pharoah Sanders piece, which is tremendous fun. It's kind of a palate cleanser in the middle of the parent LP Elevation, a joyful 5-minute respite from the crazed overblown reed and piano soloing surrounding it (which, don't get me wrong, is also great). i've been listening to an ever-increasing amount of brilliant avant-garde 60s/70s jazz recently, and while some of it can sound like a challenge at first, i reckon this track could easily find its way to many people's hearts without too much difficulty. Nigerian jùjú highlife is for lovers.

(Originally from Daniel, whose radio show i've probably recommended you before, and for good reason.)

mp3: Pharoah Sanders – "Ore-Se-Rere (Nigerian Juju Highlife)"

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Song of the day: #38 Bruza – "What U Waitin For"

What's Bruza up to these days? i hope he's still performing, but i'm not that in touch with the grime scene so i dunno really. But let's hope that, if he's decided to stop, he's become a motivational speaker or something, because this tune is seriously like the abstract concept of positive thinking did a load of uppers and then went round a club vigorously pumping everyone by the hand making them feel better.

With such a likeable MC, loads of lyrical gems, and of course his trademark interjections of "YEEEAAHHHHH!" and "YA GET MEEEE!" i actually don't see how it's possible not to be cheered up by this.

If i had to pick my three favourite lines, i'd probably go for:

• "put your balls in it!"
• "The feeling of success can be spine-chillin'/ people talk about they want the ice (YEEEAAHHHHH!)/ but they spend too much time chillin'/ watching someone else do what they wanna do while they're chillin'"
• and of course the amazing bit towards the end where he talks about how he hasn't eaten anything all day "...oh, apart from me cereal!"

So here's a toast to Bruza for getting me through many a crap day. Cheers mate!

mp3: Bruza – "What U Waitin For"

Random Jon Poole randomly on TV.

Two completely unexpected TV appearances from Random Jon Poole (Cardiacs/Wildhearts/God Damn Whores) on prime-time telly!

In the first one, Random Jon and his mother-in-law appear in support of his wife Louise as she scoops a tidy win on a 2005 episode of BBC1's The Lottery Show. Dale Winton calls him "a bit camp", which is a pretty funny thing to be called by Dale Winton.

Then there's this appearance on Chris Tarrant vehicle It's Not What You Know in 2008, which is honestly maybe the most contrived quiz show format i've ever seen, apparently involving the contestants trying to defeat Johnny Ball, Dr Fox, Toby Young, Brian Sewell and Miranda Krestovnikoff at knowing the answer to trivia questions.

The couple seem to be doing quite well, but i have no idea how it all turns out because the uploader didn't manage to tape the whole thing. The highlight is probably Random Jon hilariously pretending to find Tarrant's crap jokes funny, and also mocking his frankly weird impersonation of Sylvester Stallone.

Thanks to Rachel for both of these.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

"There is eloquence in screaming"

Incorrect fuel anger x mindless, grinding, hilarious repetition.

On a long-enough timeline everything starts to become sound art.

Via Stuart Finnie. Original here. Obligatory bloody dance remix here (via Chris Down).

Monday, 1 August 2011

Song of the day: #37 Isaiah Toothtaker – "Intruder"

i alluded to Song(s) of the Year in my Jacques Greene post the other day, and this is another of my definite contenders. i keep returning to "Intruder" over and over.

Apart from just being a great record, part of what's so fun about "Intruder" is just how many layers of détournement have gone into making it what it is. In case anyone doesn't know the provenance of the music in this song, here's a brief memeology.

First there was Antoine Dodson, who went viral in July last year after a shit-talking interview with his local TV station in which he warned his sister Kelly's attempted rapist what was coming to him.

Then The Gregory Brothers, apparently a country/soul group but pretty much known for their novelty "Auto-Tune the News" series of YouTube videos, caught wind of the musical cadences of Antoine's voice (and what Wikipedia calls his "flamboyant delivery") and autotuned parts of his and his Kelly's interview and exposition from the news anchor, into an R&B song, "Bed Intruder Song".

This went even more viral, getting to number 89 in the Billboard charts on iTunes downloads alone and racking up, so far, 86 million YouTube hits. Détourne 1: from bad news story to pop smash.1 Then other performers started to do their own versions, 2,500 of them by this time last year, ranging from rubbish (the singer out of Paramore and someone from kiddy-punks New Found Glory; the human sigh that is Dane Cook) to ace (Afua's bass-based snippet; the shamisen arrangement). Then there's this brilliant version by the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University Marching Band. Détourne 2: from pop smash to parade-ground anthem.

It was probably inevitable that there'd end up being a rap interpolation of the theme, but we're lucky that it was done by someone with the skills of Isaiah Toothtaker and Wavves drummer Jacob Safari, who produced "Intruder", and that they recognised that the marching band's huge, powerful version was the best (to sample, or otherwise), and furthermore that all the song lacked was a tonne of skittering drum machines and an MC as charismatic as he is casually menacing.

Toothtaker's repurposing of the song as a snitches-get-stitches warning is détourne 3, from light-hearted YouTube meme (albeit excellently done) back to urgent street-level threat. This is only emphasised by an excellent split-screen video, in which Toothtaker's performance to camera is mixed with a creepy animation of a clenching and unclenching hand, and scenes of shootouts, car accidents, fist fights and bits of Mark Hejnar's 1996 film Affliction2 (particularly Turbo Tom's eye-gouging, and hilariously unhinged gun nut Full Force Frank) edited together by experimental filmmaker Walter Gross. And the cycle is complete, with the salvaging of something concretely decent from a shifting sea of memetics. It'd be interesting to know if Antoine Dodson, who was able to move his family out of the projects from his share of the "Bed Intruder Song" proceeds, has heard this, and if so what he made of it.

1 Although the questionable power relations of affluent white New York hipsters bolstering their rep off the back of the sincere anger of a wronged black housing project resident didn't go unnoticed. NYU music professor Jason King told NPR, "It has a really good hook, but it's problematic, too. There's a way in which the aesthetics of black poverty—the way they talk and they speak and they look — sort of becomes this fodder for humor without any interest in the context of the conditions in which people actually live", while comedian/Onion web editor Baratunde Thurston elaborated that "As the remix took off, I became increasingly uncomfortable with its separation from the underlying situation. A woman was sexually assaulted and her brother was rightfully upset. People online seemed to be laughing at him and not with him (because he wasn't laughing), as Dodson fulfilled multiple stereotypes in one short news segment. Watching the wider Web jump on this meme, all but forgetting why Dodson was upset, seemed like a form of ‘class tourism.’ Folks with no exposure to the projects could dip their toes into YouTube and get a taste."
2 Worth a watch if you're into mental underground/transgressive culture, but probably only once.

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Song of the day: #36 Sweet Female Attitude – "Flowers"

Attended a Noah's Ark-themed fancy dress party in Leeds on Friday, dressed as Noah himself (this basically entailed wearing a removal company delivery blanket from the back of a car, a belt made from plaited twine and some awful open-toed sandals, with shorts and t-shirt beneath for modesty). At one point i needed to go to the shops and had to debate with myself whether to go in full costume and risk either looking like a weird religious cultist, or possibly catch a furious beatdown if misinterpreted as taking the piss out of religious garb; or take off the robe and risk looking like the kind of man who wears open-toed sandals. Eventually i decided that bad style was preferable to possibly inciting a religious riot through comical misunderstanding, and left the robe behind. Still don't know if i made the right choice.

Anyway, the party was going pretty well and i kept the costume on for what i consider a heroically long time. Later on, about 30 people all seemed to turn up at once, most of whom weren't making any attempt to wear a costume, and the vibe started shifting from "Noah's Ark theme" to "regular house party with a fucking weird guy standing around wearing a sack". It was like Keith Richards in the 70s getting a complete change of blood or something. i finally bailed after most of the animals removed their face paint and i started getting the stinkeye from more people who had arrived and who apparently had no idea there even was a fancy dress theme.

But anyway, i digress a bit. Part of the crew-of-30 that arrived later included one guy who took to the decks, threw out all the Serious Bro Music For Serious Bro Parties soundtrack (= drum'n'bass, pretty much) that had prevailed before (a welcome relief for me, cuz honestly that shit bores me beyond death) and instead starting throwing on wedding party anthems like Hall & Oates' "Maneater" and Bobby Brown's "Two Can Play at That Game". One thing he dropped early on in his set was today's SOTD. i'm pretty sure when this came out i found it pretty annoying, but hearing it again i'd forgotten what a good pop record it is, despite the duo behind it doing that annoying thing where their artist name is taken from their obvious musical or personal 'selling point' (c.f. Gangstagrass; Drums and Tuba; Buke and Gass; every shit dance troupe or boy/girl group on Britain's Got Talent).

i've always liked the skipping rhythm patterns of UK garage and the way that they manage to be swinging yet urgent at the same time, added to which "Flowers"' technique of micro-cut vocal samples only seems to have got more relevant over time. Basically, a great pop tune. And, pleasingly, it turns out Sweet Female Attitude were from Stockport! Result. Now, if you'll excuse me a contrived Bill Brysonesque ending, i'ma go and listen to's UK garage station for more turn-of-the-millennium action.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Dischord Spotify playlist

Now that my American readers (i know there's at least, like, 3 of you) have access to Spodify too, i feel less bad about sharing playlists and stuff on it. Now if only the people at the far, far superior could sort it so you can use it outside the States (i managed 2 glorious days on there before the geoblock).

But anyway yeh, until then, here's a Spotify playlist featuring virtually the entire Dischord Records disc(h)ography, in order. For some reason, The Snakes records aren't on there – a minor shame, as a bit of relentlessly daft novelty pseudo-rap would balance out a lot of the relentless seriousness of the rest – and some of the split-label releases are also missing. But that's still a good 4 solid days' worth of hardcore, punk, and good indie rock. Dig in...

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Why i hate the "27 Club".

Someone in my comments section asked if i was going to do an Amy Winehouse tribute post. The answer is probably 'no' in terms of a straightforward/regular tribute, basically because i've been away this weekend, and by now everything i would want to say has been expressed better by others. i did, however, want to do a brief post about the pernicious myth of the '27 Club' – the apparently ominous cluster of musicians dying at the untimely age of 27.

Something of a minor cultural industry has built up around this idea – there's a graphic novel,1 a film, a website,2 a truly crappy t-shirt,3 and article after article after article after dummkopf article. A huge amount of the media coverage of Amy W's death has included some kind of reference to this construct, which I find troubling for a number of reasons. So, briefly, here's why i hate the 27 Club.

• Firstly, it's not a sodding club. None of its "members" filled out an application. Many probably didn't even know about it. It's a retroactive cliche applied by Rock Trivia Buffs, a smug insincere trumpeting of a stupid factoid, often for people who don't care about the subject matter beyond the superficial, and by same. Consequently, it reduces all that was great, fun, profound, meaningful, stirring, and/or important about those artists' work to the level of a cheese-wedge question in a game of Trivial Pursuit: Rock Edition™.

• It demotes complex, difficult, diverse lives down to just one detail, the coincidence of their shared death age, making no distinctions between each. But Kurt Cobain shot himself. D. Boon died when a van he was in, driven by someone else, crashed. Janis OD'd, Brian Jones drowned. Robert Johnson, Freaky Tah and Mia Zapata were murdered. What the hell do these have in common, beyond a number? It just feeds rock(ism)'s dumb obsession with The Canon in the worst possible way.

• It's as meaningless and arbitrary as, say, a "list of musicians still alive at 35". If "list of musicians still alive at 35"or "list of musicians who died at 27" were proposed even as Wikipedia articles, they'd rightly be rejected because of this. (Except, of course, in the 27 Club's case, it's now been discussed so much in 'reputable' sources that, head-shakingly, it does indeed have a legimitate Wikipedia article, as linked above.)

• Perhaps worst of all, in the case of the 'Club' members who perished self-destructively instead of completely accidentally, it shores up those other shit myths of tortured artisthood4 and "live fast die young",5 as if early death were something to aspire to, as if art or passion or any of the other great things about the work of "Club" "members" were only valid for the young. As if Ornette Coleman, 82 years old and still regularly blowing groups half or a quarter of his age off stage, isn't cooler than a pretty 27-year-old corpse. Sorry, but i'd rather Amy, Kurt, whoever, had lived.

And it's also the totally disingenuous way it's ominously, fearfully spoken of ("the curse of 27") in hushed tones by the same people whose "who will be next?" speculation (tabloids, gossip sites, internet snipers, record labels, promoters) often helps it become a self-fulfilling prophecy. And the way that once that prophecy is fulfilled, the same people are just as quick to turn it round as a marketing gimmick for themselves as mythmakers or "Experts", behind a mask of "concern" or "sorrow" for the latest victim they're solemnly pretending to care about.

So yeah. If you buy into the narrative of the 27 Club, please stop. The world already has all the trite awful shit it needs.

RIP Amy.

1 "The 27 Club Now Includes Amy Winehouse", trumpets their website's new header proudly. "The 27 Club Experts predicted Amy's death in The 27s, this 2008 book". Well done guys! Must be nice to be so insightful.
2 "Depending on your preference, The 27s is a pop culture phenomenon, a weird curse, or a statistical anomaly" – or, in fact, none of the above.
Bearing a misquote of the Neil Young lyric quoted in Kurt Cobain's suicide note.
"The price for membership was more than he could handle", groans the tagline of The 27 Club, the myth's 2008 filmic incarnation. Or a quote from random American rehab centre co-founder quoted in one of the predictable Forever 27 articles linked to above, theorising, on the basis of nothing, that Amy herself may actually "have secretly wanted to be part of the 27 Club". Riiight.
5 "You know, death was always funny to me before. It was funny to all of us. I heard Joey say a thousand times "live fast, die young and leave a pretty corpse"... It was always "Oi, dead boy, this one's for you, I'll see you when I get there, motherfucker. And now I'm not even sure there is a there."

Friday, 22 July 2011

Song of the day: #35 Jacques Greene – "Another Girl"

House producer Jacques Greene's been getting a lot of play recently for some Radiohead remixes he did. Can't front, Thom Yorke's obviously got some good taste. Because Radiohead remixes still have a bit too much Radiohead in there for my taste, i prefer the 20-year-old Canadian's original stuff, and "Another Girl" is a sublime highlight.

The kind of murky, subaquatic synths that have been voguish lately combine with an ace late-90s UK garage rhythm that's as funky as it is propulsive, and best of all the whole thing's topped with the kind of anthemic looped soul-ish vocals that sorta recall the breakbeat hardcore era building to a euphoric climax. Antoin, who put me on to this, has already called it as song of the year, and while i've got a few possible candidates for that title so far, "Another Girl" is definitely up there.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Song of the day: #34 Xrin Arms – "Xr World"

Been meaning to do a post about Xrin Arms (pron. "You're in Arms" or i guess "Urine Arms", if you like) for ages now, and the release of a new video for "Xr World", the first track to be released off his long-awaited Human Hallucinogen album, seems like a good time.

Xrin is the one-man project/alias of Anthony Vincent, originally from California but more often found spreading his caffeinated gospel all over the States on tour. He's also found the time to release over a dozen albums in the last few years, whether solo as Xrin Arms and Goldz Field, together with frequent collaborator p.Wrecks, or part of the group Heavy Barrelz with Wrecks and Guttah Face.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of XA for the uninitiated is his wildly contrasting musical styles: basically, you're either going to get swaggering, gritty hip-hop or ferocious, balls-out, electronic-inflected grindcore/digital rock, both of them topped off with Anthony's unmistakeable self-harmonising singing style. (i'm sure i've seen him explain the seemingly unusual mix of styles by saying it's like having two kids and loving them both equally, but i've forgotten where i saw this.)

Anyway, if "Xr World" is anything to go by, Human Hallucinogen seems like it's going to be great. An inscrutably beshaded Xrin drops rhymes to camera over a claustrophobic beat as slow and heavy as a hijacked steamroller. The accompanying p.Wrecks-edited video has unsettling images of desert skulls, cockfights, grainy porn slivers, crosses, sinister clowns and vomiting, which i think you'll agree is all you really need from a music video.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Song of the day: #33 Rakoth – "Fear (Wasn't in the Design)"

Gallopy ridiculous Russian Lord of the Rings/Robin Hood forest metal. Too many amazing/terrible bits to enumerate. You'll have to pick your own favourite.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Song of the day: #32 Michael Bell-Smith – "Chapters 1-12 of R. Kelly’s Trapped in the Closet Synced and Played Simultaneously"

Can't remember if i've ever blogged this before, but it's one of those things i cannot get enough of, and have to share on Facebook, etc., with a regularity which has got to be pretty annoying for the people that i'm friends with.

Brooklyn-based video artist and semiotician Michael Bell-Smith took advantage of the fact that each installment of celebrity micturator R. Kelly's bizarre R'n'B opera uses the same beat and mixed down all the extant episodes (at the time, there were twelve) into one hyperdense, abstract expressionist, over-Kellied morass.

For me the best bit is at 2:45, when the heavy snare drops and suddenly you have 12 incredibly animated R. Kellys all screaming at each other.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Song of the day: #31 Rufus Harley – "Acknowledgement (A Love Supreme)"

"i think this is the first time I've ever seen a brother playing bagpipes and wearing a kilt!" exclaims someone in the comments. Rufus Harley was the first jazz musician to adopt the Highland bagpipes as his instrument of choice. Here he plays a great version of Coltrane's "Acknowledgement" off the classic album A Love Supreme, interpolating a little bit of "Greensleeves" along the way (and why not). This 1987 performance is from a live DVD of Harley and the Sun Ra Arkestra (which i haven't got, but would very much like to see).

Working as a Philadelphia maintenance man, the young Harley became fascinated with the bagpipes after watching JFK's funeral procession, but couldn't find anywhere in town that had any to sell him. Eventually he had to travel to New York, where he found a set in a Jewish pawn shop. Apparently he used to practice piping in his apartment to his neighbours' great ire, but when the cops turned up after noise complaints, he would quickly stash the pipes away out of sight and ask the officers, "do I look like I'm Irish or Scottish to you?" He also played with Sonny Rollins, Laurie Anderson and The Roots, among others.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

gay against you Wikipedia article

i forgot to post up the Wikipedia page i recently wrote for gay against you here. During the writing for this, after i lamented that i regretted not seeing them live, Joe reminded me that not only had i driven them to two separate shows, in York and Cardiff, i also played drums for them at the Cardiff show. i have no earthly idea how i could have forgotten this, but i was very pleased to be reminded of it.

(Citations have been stripped out for ease of reading but are all available at the page obv.)

gay against you (stylised in lower case; sometimes abbreviated GVsY) were an electronic music duo from Glasgow, Scotland, made up of high school friends Joseph Howe (aka Oats Soda; b. 1983, Perth, Scotland) and Lachlann Rattray (aka Mr. Big Softie; b. 1983, Natal, South Africa).

The band formed in 2005 after Howe and Rattray moved into a shared flat, having previously played together in various other bands. They self-released a mini-album, also named gay against you, in 2005. It became one of the most frequently-downloaded records from the website. The following year their debut full-length album, Muscle Milk, was released by the ADAADAT label.

The popularity of the band's first record on led to the group being asked to perform live at the Old Blue Last venue in Shoreditch for a event, which was recorded and released as a free downloadable album on the site. Their second full-length album, Righteous Signals, Sour Dudes, was released on CD in 2009 by ADAADAT, with a vinyl version released by the Upset the Rhythm! label.

gay against you toured the United Kingdom several times, also touring Scandinavia and elsewhere in Europe. They played gigs with the likes of Lightning Bolt, Dan Deacon, Shitdisco, No Age, Cutting Pink With Knives, The Blow and Eats Tapes. They recorded radio sessions for Tom Ravenscroft's Channel 4 Radio show and for Vic Galloway's "BBC Introducing in Scotland" show on BBC Radio 1. They were also played by Radio 1's Rob da Bank and Steve Lamacq, and on Resonance FM.

A rumour spread in the Norwegian press that the NME had called gay against you "the new shit", leading to reporters unexpectedly attending their Norwegian shows requesting interviews; no-one knows where this rumour originated.

The band broke up in 2009 following the release of Righteous Signals, Sour Dudes. They issued a further EP posthumously, I Play Gay, consisting of covers of the band's songs by Dananananaykroyd, Dolby Anol, Agaskodo Teliverek and House Mouse.

Both members continued to perform separately and released solo records. Howe used the name Germlin for his solo work and has more recently performed and released skweee-influenced music as Ben Butler and Mousepad, sometimes accompanied by drummer Bastian Hagedorn. Rattray has also performed and released as Yoko, Oh No!, as well as playing in the band Neighbourhood Gout.

The band gained attention for their flamboyant and chaotic live shows (often played with Howe and Rattray dressed in PE kits and on the venue's dancefloor rather than the stage), prominent visual style, offbeat subject matter (with songs about unicorns, lactose intolerance, Lawrence of Arabia, breakfast cereal, Magic Eye puzzles, Jurassic Park and physicist Niels Bohr) and their diverse and experimental musical style. Their early work was noted as combining accessible pop melodies with unconventional, rapidly-changing song structures and disorientating bursts of synthesizer or electric guitar. Later material was described as "slightly more... mature", with lush analogue-sounding synth and even psychedelic influences.

Stated influences included Magma, Minutemen, Devo, Cardiacs and BBC Radio 4. The band garnered comparisons to artists such as The Locust, Melt-Banana, Animal Collective, The Faint, Nintendo soundtrack music, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Atari Teenage Riot, The Mae Shi, Lightning Bolt and The Pastels. They were described by Terrorizer magazine as "[e]ither a council estate Butthole Surfers or just Japanese mimicry... odd and wrong", and by Drowned in Sound as "a chiptune-gabba aerobics class soundtrack". The Wire called them "prog, of a sort... though with manic impatience in place of pomposity", while Fused Magazine described them as "[t]wo subterranean creatures dressed in primary school P.E. kits, complete with charcoal-stained eyes and badly-concealed erections, howl[ing] unintelligibly over spaz-core electronics". The Daily Telegraph said they were "absurdly-named".

In an interview with Dazed & Confused magazine, the band characterised their own music as "filter pop", and "pop music with all the shit bits taken out: mostly no repetition, no wastage, and no fat".

Joe Howe – vocals, programming, synthesizer
Lachlann Rattray – vocals, MIDI, electric guitar

gay against you (self-released/Megapixxels, 2005)
Muscle Milk (ADAADAT, 2006)]
Live at (, 2007)
Righteous Signals, Sour Dudes (ADAADAT/Upset the Rhythm!, 2009)

Bogus Totem Summer (CD + DVD, self-released, 2006)
gay against you/House Mouse Summer Tour Split (self-released, 2007)
I Play Gay (self-released, 2009)

The Vichy Government/Gay Against You split 7" (Filthy Little Angels, 2007)
O.I.B Records Split Series Volume 1 7" (One Inch Badge, 2007)

Compilation appearances
"Greased Lightning" on Down to Grease on Holiday (Filthy Little Angels, 2006)
"Fun Meal, Satabic" on Exercise for Exorcisms, vol. 1 (Unnecessary Friction, 2006)
"Magic Eye" on Two Thousand and Ace (Brainlove, 2008)
"Let's Build a Chinatown pt. II" on Stench of Muscle (Stench of Muscle, 2008)

Song of the day: #30 Pete Seeger & the Weavers – "Solidarity Forever"

Song of the Day #30 is for #j30. Good luck and solidarity to all strikers and protesters today.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Stewart Lee picks his 13 favourite albums for The Quietus

"The first time [hearing The Fall], I just thought 'This is absolutely awful. This bloke can't sing, it's repetitive, it doesn't make any sense, all the things are out of tune, it just goes on and on the same. I hate it'. Then I heard it again and for all those reasons I thought, 'This is also brilliant'."

"There's nothing worse than comedians saying they're like freestyle jazz musicians, because usually what they mean is that they had a photograph taken of themselves smoking..."

"This is another thing we've forgotten about is that with Mark E. Smith and Dave Graney, you buy into all the things that they're saying or their point of view can shift. Are you being addressed by them as a person, are they in character? You don't really know enough about them to assume anything. So it actually means they can do anything.

Whereas if you live your life through Twitter and blogging everyone assumes that what you write is an extension of making yourself public, one of the things about writers and musicians historically is that we project onto them, or we choose to take different things away from them. But it's increasingly hard to do that because everyone's living like a Philip Dick novel where they're supposed to have an online presence as themselves."

"There was this great bit on Jools Holland the other week. They had McCoy Tyner on, who was John Coltrane's pianist, him and his little quartet were trying to find the right chord to resolve this jazz improvisation. They'd probably hit their time, but they couldn't quite find this resolution, and Jools Holland had to just walk across and introduce Elbow. When the dust of culture settles, that will seem like an amazing moment."

Stewart Lee is ace and this interview is ace (mis-spelling of Sonny Rollins' "Freedom Suite" notwithstanding). The quote about Mark E Smith/Dave Graney and the mystique some of us still like to invest in artists is absolute nail-on-the-head stuff considering i read it just a couple of hours after a terrible generalising careerist article about "how to build an online presence for your band", which basically seems to take as first principle the idea that all bands and artists are the same and want the same thing for their music, and that all fans are the same and want the same thing from their artists, and frankly the assumptions of what both sides want seem so stultifyingly limiting and mundane that i don't think i'd ever want to hear any artist that would willing follow the advice given in the piece.

Actually, i don't "want an authentic connection w/the artist", ta all the same; i want to be able to project and imagine and interpret and speculate and postulate, possibly/probably incorrectly, and fill in the gaps for myself. It's reassuring that someone as high-calibre as Lee thinks the same.

Being 20 minutes long, "Freedom Suite" is not YouTubeable, but this video of Rollins playing with Don Cherry, Henry Grimes and Billy Higgins is also pretty sweet.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Aurist on Tom Ravenscroft show!

Massive props to BBC 6 Music's Tom Ravenscroft for being, as far as we know, the first person to play anything from Aurist's Not Here on the radio. "Dekindling" was aired as the fifth track in his show from Friday, May 20, alongside the likes of Jehst, Danger Mouse, James Pants and Eno & Byrne. Tom says it's "charming", and a listener agrees, adding that the experience is "like filtering gin gently over amplified rocks". We like to think so!

i don't know how Tom feels about comparisons to his dad, which surely get thrown around all the time, but i hope he wouldn't me saying he definitely has the same spirit in him.

Bonus round: later on in the show there's also a new track from Crewdson, who you may remember produced a couple of tracks on the first 30KB record ("Care Less" and "Crewd Sons (Ghost in the Machine)"), as well as being an ace solo electronic producer in his own right. i am looking forward to a day soon when all radio playlists comprise cool people i've worked with.

Check out the show in question on iPlayer (3 days remaining) or, if you're tardy or a podcast fan, stream/download here or download here.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Songs for the rapture

i'm starting to think that maybe the scheduled rapture may well be going to happen after all at 6pm Pacific Time – 2am Sunday GMT – just because everyone's taking such great pleasure in the certainty that it won't, and so wholeheartedly embracing all the attendant possibilities for believer-bashing.Sort of like The Boy Who Cried Apocalypse, or something.

Anyway, i thought it was only right to draw together some sort of short mix of stuff that i think'd make a good rapture soundtrack, partly inspired by Flavorwire's "Music Critics Pick the Last Song They Want to Hear Before They Die"2 and partly out of the galling number of people who seem to think REM's "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" is a suitable choice – sure, it may be thematically relevant,3 and a fine indie-pop song, but musically way it's too ordered and unexceptional for such a cataclysmic event. C'mon, the world's ending,4 try a bit harder!

So, while i've not given this as much thought as i could've (should've started earlier maybe), here's my personal rapture mini-playlist. (All of my picks seems to be for massed voices or entirely instrumental; i don't know what that says about either me or the rapture.) For best results, stick it on at just 1:22am GMT so that you get the climax of the last track just as the faithful start ascending.

James Blackshaw – "The Cloud of Unknowing"
Just gorgeous, ten minutes of intricate guitar picking that's by turns melancholy and ecstatic.

Pharoah Sanders – "Spiritual Blessing"
It doesn't seem right to have a soundtrack to any kind of rapturous or world-changing event without some fiercely blissful, dissociated free jazz, and this cut from Pharoah's 1973 Elevation album fits the bill admirably. He still plays shows, so ideally we could have him and his band amped up via the world's loudest speaker system to soundtrack the rapture live.

Shibusashirazu Orchestra – "Honda Komuten Theme"
This particularly fine choice from this absurdly under-heard Japanese jazz orchestra takes the everybody-soloing-at-once trope in a different direction, infusing it with an incredible celebratory energy and anthemic melody. The last party in the world.

Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge – "Eternal Father, Strong to Save"
(aka "For Those in Peril on the Sea" or the Naval Hymn). Not so much as a tokenistic inclusionary gesture to Christianity, but more because of its secular connotations of peril & nobility in the face of impending or realised doom (c.f.: sinking of the Titanic, funeral of John F Kennedy, funeral of last surviving WW1 veteran Claude Choules).

The Shipping Forecast (May 21st, 2011)
Because essentially i'm British and middle-class and, if the world really was in the process of ending, despite the fact that there's not going to be any more Dogger or Fisher or German Bight, or Radio 4 or shipping or even any more weather, i sort of feel it'd be tremendously comforting.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor – "Broken Windows, Locks of Love pt. III"
In one sense i've been waiting for the apocalypse ever since Lift Yr Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven came out in 2000, simply because this, the near-10-minute final movement of the track "Sleep", already sounds like the end of music and the world. So this is the last piece of music to be played, ever. See you all on the other side, maybe.

mp3: LJB rapture mix (mediafire)

1 Easy target much, guys? You might as well take the piss out of people who sincerely believe the moon's literally made of blue cheese.
2 The excellent Jessica Hopper hipped me to this, and her particular choice is one of the best.
3 Sort of, anyway – "the rapture" does not actually denote the end of the world, but the moment when all those who've accepted Christ as their personal messiah and lived pure, righteous lives according to certain Christian standards are whisked away to heaven, leaving the remaining heathens on earth for five more months of chaos and torture before we're all crushed by earthquakes or transformed into pillars of salt when the end of the world does actually arrive, which in this case is five months away, on October 21.
4 q.v. footnote 3.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Song of the day: #29 Aurist – "Dekindling"

The first artist to get two Song of the Day posts was also the subject of the very first Song of the Day post with his remix of Shawnna's "RPM". He is, of course, Aurist, and this time the track is "Dekindling", the lead track from his newest album Not Here, which if you were reading yesterday, you'll know was put out by Amoebic Industries Unltd. (basically the corresponding label to this blog).

Anyway, here's the first video from Not Here, for the lead track "Dekindling", as created by one Cory Stephens (, and i really like it. The visuals mostly consist of old amusement park footage (primarily a three-bend water slide, teacup and flying boat/spaceship1 ride) which, estimating from the film stock and the clothing styles of the people in it, i'd say probably dates from somewhere in the mid '60s–mid '70s period, tho i could just as well be completely wrong about that.2 At the same time, the footage flickers and distorts in time with "Dekindling"'s pounding pulse, creating image warps that are equally gorgeous and eerie.

The whole thing also seems to tap into a weird not-nostalgia – can it be nostalgia if you weren't actually there? – that i suspect a lot of us have for those periods of history immediately before we were born or became aware of the world, a time that seems just slightly out of reach. It reminds me of being six and at Disney World, but also a childhood trip to Granada Studios to see one of those films where the seats rock you around in sync with the cinema screen (i think it was some riff on the recently-released Honey I Shrunk the Kids) where the film actually melted and strange molten plastic globules butterflied across the screen and they had to call the whole thing off and halt the bucking rows of seats and bring up the house lights and offer us all refunds, as well as – somehow – most of late 20th-century America.3 Needless to say, this all also works brilliantly as an accompaniment to the track.

This seemingly incredible ability to stimulate weird associations within my psyche that i didn't even realise i had is all the more remarkable when you consider that this is only Cory's third music video.4 Definitely going to be checking for his future work.

1 What do you even call this ride? i'm pretty much just guessing.
2 Not being by any means an expert in either film stock or fashion. There's something of the Mad Men era about it, tho.
3 Also the early work of Scottish post-rock group Mogwai, tho why this would be i have no explanation at all.
4 Though he does shoot and edit footage for an arts/entertainment web show for his local news.

Monday, 9 May 2011

OUT TODAY! Aurist — "Not Here" (AMP008)

Amoebic Industries is pleased to announce the release of Not Here, the latest album by Aurist.

Aurist, aka 19-year-old Londoner Liam Adams, is a noise/abstract digital musician and poet, among other things. He's previously released several albums on labels such as Cantankerous Records and the Australian/Dutch netlabel Glitch City, including Technic'ly This Is Art (2008), Profonan (2009), and the compilation Mislaid (2010).

The name derives from a now seldom-used term for "one skilled in treating and curing disorders of the ear". Not Here, the first Aurist release from Amoebic Industries, prescribes as a cure for any ear troubles four slabs of brooding, intense noise/drone over 35 minutes, somehow managing to be punishingly harsh and strangely delicate at the same time.

The album is available for listening or download at Custom handmade CDrs are also available from Amoebic Industries for £2 (UK) or £3 (worldwide). Each CD package will include a small item that is in some way "not here".

Track listing
1. Dekindling
2. Blind & Elated
3. Mes Rois
4. Powerless

"Should we take up a collection for a new record-player needle for Aurist, or lobby the Limey noise sculptor for an extended paper-shredder remix?" — Minneapolis City Pages on Technic'ly This Is Art

"Some of those advertised do harm by setting up a mechanical irritation in the ear after a time, and a better result is often obtained with... a disc introduced into the ear by an aurist." — The Home Medical Library, Volume II (of VI)

Listen or download now:

More links to Aurist:

For CD orders or any further information, email amoebic DOT industries AT gmail DOT com.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Ron Paul = Dawson Leery + 40 years

Anyone noticed how libertarian goon Ron Paul is essentially emo-tastic wannabe auteur Dawson Leery in 40 years' time?

This is probably significant in some way.

Rules for writers

This is the only important rule about writing you need to remember.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Song of the day: #28 Tim Fite – "Money Back"

Tim Fite is not happy. Why? Because he wants his motherfucking goddamn shit-ass money back, of course.

Lawd knows why this song has a mere 327 YouTube views, it's been cracking me up at intervals for a while now.

Wiki says Tim is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in BK, that he used to be a member of a hip-hop duo called Little-L and One Track Mike, that he's pro-sampling and -giving away albums for free, and that he's put out like nine of the aforesaid albums since 2004, which seems quite impressive (i mean, unless the rest are really bad or something. i'm gonna have to check more of them out). Actually, he seems really quite unnervingly prolific in general.

"Money Back"'s parent album, Under the Table Tennis, is one of those you can get free from his website, which is pretty much just his name rendered in the form of a website.

mp3: Tim Fite – "Money Back"

Monday, 18 April 2011

An adjective could hurt if it's not caught

Oh, here's another thing i apparently forgot to post.1 My bros in SCAMS were on the NME site recently with the video for their new song "Lost for Words" (which is out today via loads of places like Amazon, etc.), which is nice.2 i can't embed the video unfortunately because it seems to be some sort of NME exclusive, so you'd have to click the words "the NME site" above to see it. i'm always getting gazumped by those bastards!

As you'd expect, my involvement with this video was once again totally essential; in this instance, i wrote out some of those brown parcel tags you see attached to everything3 and attached them to tree branches and stuff, hid in a bush to help throw a load of shredded paperbacks over Sasha ("The Girl") for the scene at e.g. 03:15, and scared the piss out of a bunch of curious forestgoers by wandering silently among them in the dark and then suddenly turning on a powerful flashlight.

1 Tho i did post the unofficial video as a Song of the Day back last May.
2 FYI "Making Maps from Memory" is also a really sweet song, as in "touching" or "poignant" rather than in the least funny scene in cinema history, aka that-bit-in-Dude Where's My Car?, sense.
3 My handwriting's the stuff in all-caps with crosses over the 'i's (e.g. "MIC" at 0:37, "SHIRT" at 03:13).

Song of the day: #27 Invincible – "Sledgehammer"

This is that proverbial "real shit" we're always hearing about.

Here, across two packed, intricate verses, Detroit native Invincible shouts out everyone from dead homies Dilla and D12's Proof to "Strange Fruit" writer Abel Meeropol and murdered Black Panther deputy chair Fred Hampton, paraphrases a Frantz Fanon line, and claims to actually be Peter Gabriel at least a year or two before Lil B was running the "women want to sleep with me because i look like [prominent, unlikely public figure]" meme squarely into the ground.

Sorry if everybody else already knows about Invincible (who i really should have heard of before now; tho i suspect most people probably don't), and thanks to Dan Sonorous/Omnific Beats from 30KB for putting me onto her.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Inadvertent recursive sound art

Clearing out some old Twitter links, found this from last August. Hilarious webcam feedback loop actually becomes strangely pretty/musical by the end. Dude's panicked tone is also pretty funny.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Kutiman – "My Favorite Color"

This is pretty stunning. Israeli producer/composer Kutiman (who you may remember from his YouTube-mixing ThruYOU project from 2009), using only YouTube videos of 23 musicians as raw materials and some smart editing, creates a dense psyche-jazz piece that to these ears recalls someone like Pharaoh Sanders or the Coltranes.

More Kutiman at Twitter, Wikipedia.

Song of the day: #26 Deaf School – "What a Way to End It All"

Remembered this tune after a recent conversation with Pip, and it's a bit of a cracker. Much more rinky-dink and ukulele-based than i remember, but this actually fits really well. Turns out the song's about someone unconvincingly threatening to kill himself, and his hesitance to actually go through with it is nicely reflected in the tune's refusal to ape Len Cohen or Tindersticks or bloody Morrissey or whoever; in fact, the bouncy music-hall energy and the knowing backing vocals repeating the title phrase seem to reinforce the would-be suicide's reluctance.

This crappy bluescreen video represents the best quality sound version of the song on YouTube, unfortunately.

Deaf School are often called the second-most important band in Liverpool's history (after possibly the most overrated band in music's history), credited with basically rejuvenating the entire city's music scene in the mid-70s during its post-Merseybeat drought. Another cool thing about them is that guitarist "Cliff Hanger" is actually Clive Langer, who went on to be an much-in-demand producer (for the likes of Dexy's, Madness, Morrissey1 etc.) and also wrote the music for legitimately one of my favourite ever songs, "Shipbuilding", with Elvis Costello.

1 Christ, twice in one post. What a state of affairs.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Vote for Ben

Ben Black outta Delusionists is in the running to get on a remix of Baby Blue's DaVinche-produced "Paper Haters", with a bit of luck and enough votes.

There's already a version with J2KGhetts and Scru Fizzer and a third will be out at the end of the month, with the MCs determined by number of votes. Delusionists say:

If he wins, it'll give us a huge opportunity to get our music to a wider audience (Baby Blue has worked with big names like Estelle, Sway and man-of-the-moment Wretch 32) so we'd really appreciate your support. All you have to do is go to the competition page and hit the big green vote button.

Oh, and you might want to watch the video too while you're there! You can vote once a day up until the 25th, and there's a share button on the page so you can encourage your mates to vote too. Not that we really, really want to win or anything... Whatever you can do, your support would be massively appreciated.

For ease of reference, here's Ben's verse. Frankly, i feel like it aces the competition just on the basis of the gleefully subversive fourth-wall-breaking pay-off "and the kids they love this sound, you're flippin' right i dumbed this down cuz... [i want the papers]", but there's like 14 more really good lines as well. Go vote.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

SCAMS video for "Youngblood"

My pals in the newly-reshuffled SCAMS have teamed up with director Sing J. Lee to make this video for their new tune "Youngblood". A mix of animation and other techniques, it employs some fairly laborious effects practices that used to be industry standard in the past, but have since been superseded by the effortless processes of digital.

There's probably a thesis to be written somewhere about reclaiming creative autonomy from the homogenising effects of technology through the conscious choice of reactivating the 'obsolete', with parallels to be drawn with things like Steve Albini's "The future belongs to the analog loyalists. Fuck digital" slogan from Big Black's Songs About Fucking, WFMU's Antique Phonograph Music Program, and the refusal of cassettes to lie down and die, for example. But i'm not really a philosopher, so maybe someone else can take on that one. Or maybe they already have! Hit me up if you're rolling your eyes at this like "duh! [Writer X] dealt with this in 2008".

Unlike a few other SCAMS (and associated bands) videos, i don't think i actually do anything on this one, except for maybe hanging around chatting nonsense while Sing and Andy painstakingly manipulated bowls of water, plastic cels and paint etc.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Just a quick note... say that if you're here and reading this, you should probably read Pip's (sample piece: "Why I Have No Time for Jeremy Clarkson") and Ben's (sample piece: "Rap's Coming Insurrection: A Review of mansbestfriend volume 5, an Exegesis of Based, and an Exploration of the Negativity of the Underground") blogs instead(/also) as i am by now pretty sure that both of them are way better at this writing malarkey than i.

Friday, 4 March 2011

"i wish Sergeant Pepper never taught the band to play"

As you've probably seen, Radiohead have put out another record, and there's been loads of the usual hype as the world falls over itself to compare them to ever more bewildering things and/or use them as proof that, see, it's still viable to try and make a living off music: you just have to be Radiohead (what, you mean that's all i have to do?!)

As usual, i've been pretty indifferent. i don't really care about Radiohead, beyond finding the enforced reverence for them mildly nauseating. They're pretty much moving into that Beatles category of "if you do not say you love this band, you do not like music" but for a new generation, which i find not only kind of baffling and daft but also a bit unimaginative. That's as high as my taste has to aspire?

Anyway, here is the only thing they've done that i really like and/or listen to on a regular basis: a DJ mix Thom Yorke and the brothers Greenwood did for Mary-Anne Hobbs' Radio 1 Breezeblock show in December 2000. i think the point was for them to showcase some of the influences on their then-new Kid A record, but it works equally well as just a really great 90-minute mixtape.

Particularly great discoveries from this were electronics pioneer & scientist Hugh Le Caine, the Kool Keith track, and particularly the inspired one-two of Terre Thaemlitz's brilliant Christopher Cross-modding "Soon I Will Be Free" and The Santa Claus Orchestra's2 beautiful straight reading of "Silent Night", which makes me yearn for Christmas at inappropriate times, like the beginning of March.

Radiohead - DJ mix on the Breezeblock 11/12/2000 (pt. 1) by nailheadparty

Radiohead - DJ mix on the Breezeblock 11/12/2000 (pt. 2) by nailheadparty

Track listing
Louis Armstrong – St. James Infirmary (International)
Jega – Rigid Body Dynamics (Planet Mu)
Antipop Consortium – Rinseflow (75 Ark)
The Fall – The Birmingham School Of Business School (Fontana)
Kraftwerk – Expo 2000 (EMI)
Kid Koala – Like Irregular Chickens (Ninja Tune)
Serge Silberman – Theme De L'Americain (Somethin' Else)
Grain – Untitled (Fat Cat)
Betty Davis – F.U.N.K. (Island)
Sonic Youth – Tunic (Song For Karen) (DGC)
The Santa Claus Orchestra – Silent Night (Polydor)
Terre Thaemlitz – Soon I Will Be Free (Bottrop)
Cannonball Adderley Quintet – Hummin' (Capitol)
Christoph De Babalon – On the Block (Meet Him) (Fat Cat Records)
Jurassic 5 – Concrete Schoolyard (Interscope)
Pixies – Bone Machine (4AD)
Kool Keith – Extravagant Traveler (Threshold Recordings)
Mantronix – Who Is He (Warlock)
Duke Ellington – Come Sunday (Phillips Realities)
Faust – Tapes (White Label)
Hugh Le Caine – Sackbut String Quartet (National Library of Canada)
Lali Puna – Rapariga Da Banheira (Hausmusik)
Autechre – Play (Warp)
Art Ensemble Of Chicago – Theme de Yoyo (Universal)
Gabor Szabo – Walking On Nails (Impulse)

1 Post title from "Who Will Save Rock and Roll?" by The Dictators, courtesy of Lachlann
2 About whom any information would be gratefully received.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Favourite Twitter stuff, 2010

2010 was when i really 'got' Twitter, having been sceptical for most of '09 and then tentatively turned around by the #oneandother hashtag for Anthony Gormley's same-named public art project and the fact that there was always someone commenting on what the plinthers were up to. i started following a bunch more rad people and actually favouriting things. A lot of them were articles i didn't have time to read, links i didn't have time to open, etc., and i've just been clearing all of that stuff out in the Christmas break. A substantial amount, tho, were just rad things people said. Without further ado, here are the best of those.

Sorry about the wall-of-text, but it's all pretty great quality text.

#ff: most people on this list

Made me giggle
@kicking__k, Feb 4: Just tried to breathe tea, can confirm would very quickly die on any planet with a tealike atmosphere.
@diss1, Feb 6: "yeah - and you know that i'm Scouse / catch me outside your bird's house in my Berghaus"
[at a rap battle]
@twosilvertrees, Feb 17: constrictions of email subject line reduce header to a concise 'Joanna Newsom added to The Simpsons'. imagining yellow, doughy harpist. [NB Lauren: please tweet more]
@davidschneider, Mar 1: Sarcasm finally loses lowest-form-of-wit crown to Pretending to Speak like a Mentally Handicapped Person
@Aiannucci, Mar 5: At the airport.Got my Oscar tickets in my pocket, my girl by my side,and 3 packets of heroin hidden up my anus.What could possibly go wrong? [i think it's the choice of "anus" that makes it so funny]
@ConanOBrien, Mar 29: Jewish fun fact: If you celebrate Passover on top of an overpass, you go back in time.
@TheOnion, May 10: NEWSWIRE: Rogue Quantum Physicist Wanted Dead And Alive
@AesopRockWins, May 18: there is a butter knife sitting in the middle of my living room floor. it showed up like 2 days ago. gonna let it be i guess.
@JerryThomas, May 24: If you want my body and you think I'm sexy come on sugar raise your standards.
@davidschneider, Jun 19: He'll is other people #predictiveSartre (from @MimFox)
@GaryDelaney, Jul 1: Just seen two men fighting over whether to use the pluperfect or imperfect, it was a tense situation.
@Aurist, Jul 4: nice unfortunate trending topic: Dog Eating Contest
@davidschneider, Jul 8: I'm not racist or anything but my street is full of ants
@AesopRockWins, Aug 6: There's been a man drunkenly yelling "Sabrina!" on the street for like 2 hours. Sabrina if you're reading this, go outside. Dude's here.
@woodmuffin, Oct 4: its troubling to know that one of the few phrases Scooby-Doo can pronounce correctly is "Race riot"
@leducviolet, Nov 4: meme girls
@RapSkit, Nov 5: I sleep with one Wikipedia page open
@leducviolet, Nov 5: McRib is back. McAdam & McEve, not McAdam & McSteve! #McGod
@woodmuffin, Nov 6: ? Who's the leader of the Reich that stretches very far? A-D-O-L-F-H I-T-L-E-R ?
@CelestialBeard, Nov 8: the dutch name for Ludo translates as "dude don't be annoyed"
@SRN_lol, Nov 8: i think if a tractor trailer kicks up a rock and cracks your windscreen, you should be allowed to shoot out one of their tire
@Toxzxi, Nov 9: Endless butt harddrive
@robdelaney, Nov 11: Been a while since "It's the End of the World as We Know It" & "We Didn't Start the Fire." We need a new song where someone yells a list.
@leducviolet, Nov 16: @diss1 "you should buy a kindle" "you should get your affairs in order, because I'm about to impale you on a polearm" [on bookstores becoming obsolete]
@WXTXIVXX, Nov 16: wish i could put my facebook relationship status as 'desperate but indifferent'
@Giania, Nov 17: I like my women like I like my coffee: a lot.
@dogsdoingthings, Nov 17: Dogs lingering after class to get some clarification on whether you mean "Chaka Khan" when you say "Jacques Lacan." [NB pretty much anything else from this account would also qualify]
@leducviolet, Nov 24: I received a B.A. in English *receives a breathtaking rimjob from the ghost of Emily Dickinson* *dies impoverished & alone*

@kicking__k, Feb 25: -5 FOLLOWERS. Every time I lose just one I send a search party into my heart but they or why are never there.
@kicking__k, Mar 8: The problem with wanting to be loved for what we are is that we're never really / rarely ever what we think we are.
@mcsole, Mar 8: "the suicide bomber is the last true believer// he's lonely in heaven, with no virgins, and no heaven...."
@Benladen, Mar 3: every way out is really just a way back in
@dreamguts, Feb 16: @diss1 only artificial things are good
@_hoju, Mar 10: I've never had a nice tasting fortune cookie. I don't consider this fortuitous.
@R_C__S, Jun 19: I'm a fish again.
@Benladen, Jul 29: i will bleed gravel until your whole world smells caustic.
@negativecos, Jul 30: meet the new phone, same as the old phone
@Aurist, Aug 27: crowns. RT @IAM_SHAKESPEARE: crowns.
@milkhell, Aug 31: egg city destroyed. yolk everywhere.
@jessedarling, Oct 1: Sometimes I mourn all the pretty songs I wrote & probably won't ever sing. [swoon]
@rejecter, Oct 6: I served on the S/S Reuptake Inhibitor, the world's only steamer to round the Cape of Good Hope crawling the ocean floor.
@Giania, Oct 15: I'm so hip I'll eventually need to be replaced
@Giania, Oct 21: Stop dying all the time. Stop it. Don't you know there's a word called love and a bunch of silly shit left to do?
@chunderbucket, Oct 26: If we outlaw laws, will only outlaws have laws?
@AesopRockWins, Oct 28: "BEFRIEND RAP" to replace "BATTLE RAP"-contestants will be given two 1-minute rounds to "befriend" their opponent via improvisational rhyme.
@Aurist, Nov 2: even when the last tree falls, there will be fire.
@ceschi, Nov 3: "Do not think that one has to be sad in order to be militant, even though the thing one is fighting is abominable." - Michel Foucault
@preschoolgems, Nov 4: "You're going to space jail."
@preschoolgems, Nov 10: "I don't like me. I'm yucky."
@evrythingmustgo, Nov 12: I wish this sadness was just my persona.
@xmaswar, Dec 6: in alaska they give you all the sauce at mcdonalds you want even if you dont order nuggets in order to keep the suicide rate down

Current affairs
@MissCay, Jun 27: The only way this match can improve now is if England actually bring on three lions. #worldcup
@Chr1sR0berts, Oct 19: When Winston Churchill was asked to cut arts funding in favour of the war effort, he simply replied ‘then what are we fighting for?'
@josephjedwards, Oct 20: All in this together. All in this together. All in this together.
@simon_price01, Nov 10: You know how some people are always moaning that students should earn their keep? Today they're doing it.

@MaxTundra, Mar 9: OK Go should record an innovative, exciting piece of music - and make a plodding, nondescript video to go with it.
@nathanrabin, Mar 17: The Britney Spears song "Lucky" is about a girl named lucky who is lucky. But is she really lucky? No. No, she is not.
@ebertchicago, Apr 5: Chuck Norris gets mad, punches out Hummer. Werner Herzog gets mad, triggers 6.9 quake centered in Baja.
@WaFBelieves, May 4: Mark E. Smith is made out of industrial smoke, cut-up fragments of Philip K. Dick stories, "unsporting behavior", whiskey and Can LPs.
@demon_pigeon, Jul 6: 'dirty harry potter'
@demon_pigeon, Jul 28: korn iii: old man with dreadlocks, singing about rubbish life: in back of his porsche #reviewhaiku
@Discographies, Aug 6: M.I.A.: 1 "A pop revolutionary's gotta move fast..."; 2 "...before success softens your ideas..."; 3 "...and all that remains is celebrity." [NB: virtually anything from this stunning account would also qualify]
@JoshMalina, Aug 15: Nope. ROBIN HOOD's playing. RT @russellcrowe Anyone awake in Poland?
@leducviolet, Oct 22: The Naked & The Dad
@Neil_Hamburger, Oct 26: I'm critical of the Pink Floyd policy of occupying FM radio RT @RogerWaters:I'm critical of the Israeli policy of occupying Palestinian land
@Aurist, Oct 27: it seems there are a lot of people out there who don't know the difference between a "sick drop" and "making the bass loud but not better"
@martinnicholls, Dec 23: Apparently Beefheart responded to Bono's collaboration request with the note: "Dear Bongo. No." I so want that to be true.

Great Potential Band Names [w/suggested musical style]
- Musket Party [akin to vintage Butthole Surfers doing an Elvis Costello covers set]
- Superpredators [like ATR remixing Dead Kennedys]
- International Soups [kraut-/post-rock]
- Cytokine Storm [intricate technical metal]
- Sonic Cathedrals [you expect shoegaze but then it's actually boring garage-rock]

My own stuff that i favourited out of a sense of undervaluedness
@diss1, Feb 7: i'm going to pretend that there's a major sporting event on called the "Superb Owl"
@diss1, Feb 9: Mark E Smith interviewing himself
@diss1, Feb 16: 'Jedward' are pretty much Disney's Tweedledum and Tweedledee after a 12-hour gunpoint lipo session.
@diss1, Feb 18: @willmill82 @TheMasterBrewer one day i'd love to hear the bloke who does the football results scoring internet memes. "girls - 2; cup - 1."
@diss1, Mar 4: apparently there's a man dressed as a banana in our office car park. [there really was]
@diss1, Mar 10: you say "tomato", i say "tomato"... on paper, this could work out.
@diss1, Jun 30: "Why has me gay?" "What is a mouse when it spins?" "Who decided to use coffee in a cup?" great questions, all. [christ knows what these were from, sounds like Yahoo! Answers tho]
@diss1, Nov 2: "respect the old man who has forgotten what he learned, for broken tablets have a place in the Ark beside the Tablets of the Law"

Just sort of assorted aceness
@Aurist, Feb 16: the young assistant walks into @mark_yudof's office/lair. "sir... he's back..." cut to yudof's face, and zoom in on his widening eyes [on the return of Benladen to Twitter after Yudof getting him b&d]
@buddypeace1980, Mar 27: Apparently when you have wolves in a film you have to have a sniper there too - just in case... They're untameable. Never knew that...
@Benladen, Jul 7: CANNON KNOCKED DOWN THE TOWERS RT @johnbcannon It was you, diss. Tell the truth, diss. RT @diss1 @Benladen didn't blow up the projects. [this is just ace]
@errolmorris, Nov 11: AMBROSE BIERCE'S DEFINITION OF "NOVEMBER:" n. The eleventh-twelfth of a weariness. (Damn. Does the colon go inside the quotes?)
@AesopRockWins, Nov 27: Under the bum drum cutter is a real motherfucker's motherfucker, motherfucker.

Me and OYBAM's #listnumber3 suggestions: songs that would sound either good or in some other way interesting when played together, or conceptual remixes based on titular/nomenclaturial similarities
- Beach Boys "Fun, Fun, Fun"; Kraftwerk "Autobahn"; DKs "MTV Get Off the Air"; Nickelback "How You Remind Me" #listnumber3 [me]
- Weezer "Say It Ain't So" + Pixies "Where Is My Mind?" #listnumber3 [OYBAM]
- Dream Theater "Pull Me Under" + Camel "Spirit of the Water" #listnumber3 [OYBAM]
- selections from the "Super Mario" OST with something by Mario Lanza #listnumber3 [me]
- "In the Hall of the Mountain King" + the theme from "Inspector Gadget" #listnumber3 [me]
- The Fall "Blindness" / Roots Manuva "Witness (One Hope)" #listnumber3 [me]

OK, these links could be useful
- Every Spin magazine ever on Google Books /via @dannynorthphoto
- Your Twitter followers throw you a fucking parade /via @alexia, carr2n
- A Flash version of John Conway's Game of Life which also queries Wikipedia and Bing image, it is fun to watch: /via @dreamguts, who also created it
- Best bad ad placement ever /via @backpedalling
- Gargoyle Mark E Smith /via @serafinowicz
- a dozen films of Samuel Beckett's plays: /via @ubuweb
- Derrida The Movie (Documentary, 2002): /via @ubuweb
- coordinate yr own symphony in realtime, it has to be in Bb tho /via @JNRaeside, @jeremyhillman, @iankatz1000
- the "Best Answer" on Yahoo! Answers to the question of what it was like for Martin Luther King growing up /via @kasper_hauser
- essential info in Wiki's Alan Sugar article /via @demon_pigeon
- John Peel taking over Radio 1's daytime for a week. hilarious, thrilling /via @kleptones

@CharSmar, Apr 21: #IfSongsWereHonest This is a mans world...and look at the fucking state of it
@subpop, Mar 18: Coffee, work your magic
@MJMcKean, May 23: "We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." Kurt Vonnegut
@Dorianlynskey, Jun 24: If you could have only one wish, what would it be? Mine would be for Stephen Fry to stfu about Apple products for the rest of his life.
@joehowe, Jul 27: be realistic, ask for the impossible.
@edjeff, Oct 7: if you shitheads re-elect boris in 2012 i swear to god i am going to kill every last one of you
@shaylamaddox, Oct 13: Twitter makes me like people I've never met and Facebook makes me hate people I know in real life.
@Aurist, Oct 21: @diss1 why am i not a meme yet
@Aurist, Oct 22: fuck you die fuck you die die die fuck you dead die fuck dead you fuck die die fuck you fuck RT @kellyoxford Anorexia is hipster exercise.
@delrico, Oct 27: you see, more than the music and the influence and the exposure, this is why I love John Peel #keepingitpeel
@Toxzxi, Nov 4: The Apprentice. You're fired! Into the sun. For watching it.
@Toxzxi, Nov 4: I cannot smh enough for these disgusting bird is the word for christmas #1 imbeciles SMDH
@djharrylove, Nov 4: Never make the mistake of assuming that someone's life is fine just because they dont tell you all their problems
@Aurist, Nov 9: @Maaever i am going to become a celebrity so i am in a position to make being nice to people a fashionable thing to do
@virgiltexas, Nov 9: Mad Men Avatar, Didn't Read #MMADR
@cmunell, Nov 17: I think "child murders" is a kind of #MilitaryEvent (
@demon_pigeon, Nov 24: sometimes i don't think i'm good enough to write a novel, but then i remember pride and prejudice and zombies is out and i cry
@pippa_dee, Nov 24: It bemuses me that so often, in place of polyphony there is only a somnambulous chorus reciting the words of dead white men. [i seem to remember a blog post that expanded on this, but disappointingly i can't find it]
@Maaever, Dec 1: the fact that being male and feminist makes people perceive you as intellectually dishonest is points for patriarchy
@BlancoMusiccom, Dec 1: Is it just me or does the great philosophical divide of the 21st century look like it's going to be between techs and creatives?
@chrissteigen, Dec 31: In 2011, I will be angrier #realisticresolution