January 30, 2008
January 28, 2008
I had the immense pleasure last night of seeing two old buddies of mine, Double Dee & Steinski, open up for DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist at Irving Plaza in NYC. IMHO, DD&S blew DJ&CC off the stage even though the later had some great visuals and were performing their entire set with vinyl 45s only (while DD&S used Apple laptops). The reason I think this (besides my subjectiveness): DD&S' mad (dark) beats and unbelievable soundbites (everything from Groucho Marx to the Chicago Riots). It's an odd concept to move and groove to a riot but there are precedents.
Unfortunately, Double Dee & Steinski's liberal use of unlicensed material has made their work unavailable for sale. But perhaps that's the way it should be. In this 1986 article in the Village Voice, Robert Christgau describe's the Steinski ethos:
"He's just a perpetually disillusioned optimist who still assumes that the sounds and images rippling through the American consciousness are, forget copyright, every American's birthright -- that we're all free to interpret and manipulate them as we choose."The article also deftly explains the Double Dee & Steinski legend: How their entry for a contest by Tommy Boy Records to remix G.L.O.B.E. & Whiz Kid's "Play That Beat Mr. D.J." became an underground dance club sensation and went on to influence, among others, DJ Shadow, Fatboy Slim and Go Home Productions.
However, words can't describe DD&S' unbelievable cutting and pasting. For that you need to hear it. Like I said, you can't buy any of their stuff legitimately (however, you can plunk down as much as $247.27) but you can search the internets for streams and, sometimes, actual mp3s. That could be how you ended up here. To listen to/download the mix that started it all, click the record above and enjoy.
Oh, I almost forgot: Steinski has a blog.
UPDATE: On the aforementioned blog, Señor Steinski has an mp3 from Sunday night's performance (link).
January 25, 2008
January 24, 2008
Michael Cera and Ellen Page go into cute overload and perform The Moldy Peaches' "Anyone Else But You" in Juno:
And here's a very nervous Moldy Peaches performing the song on The View:
Gotta love that Kimya Dawson got to sing "Squinched up your face and did a dance
then you blew a little load out of the bottom of your pants" in front of Elizabeth Hasselbeck.
January 23, 2008
From Negativland's new DVD compilation (plus bonus CD), Our Favorite Things:
(Click to watch)
and Sing-a-Long with Julie:
Raindrops on kittens and schnitzel on roses,
Nose cream on my nose whiskers and crisp eyelashes with noodles,
Wild Geese that fly with their wings tied up with strings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Ponies in dresses and warm, warm doorbells and brown raindrops,
Girls with blue whiskers tied up with noodles,
Wild kettles that fly with bright copper wings,
These are a few of my favorite things.
The dog bites; the bee stings.
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I feel so bad.
Lashes that sting on colored girls tied up with blue satin sashes,
Wild brown girls tied up in warm strings,
Wild, wild white girls that melt into nose cream,
These are a few of my favorite things.
Nose cream on ponies, nose cream on kittens,
Nose cream on roses and nose cream on mittens,
Bells and bells and bells and bells and bells and bells and bells and bells and
Wild geese shit.
When, when, when, when, when, when the bee stings
I simply remember my dog bites
And then I feel so, so bad.
A study by two nonprofit journalism organizations found that President Bush and top administration officials issued hundreds of false statements about the national security threat from Iraq in the two years following the 2001 terrorist attacks.Gee, no biggie. Their 935 lies only resulted in thousands of unnecessary deaths.
The study concluded that the statements "were part of an orchestrated campaign that effectively galvanized public opinion and, in the process, led the nation to war under decidedly false pretenses."
People really should pay attention to this guy. He's a helluva lot more than an expensive haircut. Let's hope at the very least he gets offered the V.P. position or, maybe even better, Attorney General.
January 17, 2008
Radiohead: live at 93 feet east
Radiohead played a one-off at a small club last night in London to promote some album you might have heard of.
You can watch the entire show on YouTube but here's a highlight if you don't have the patience:
Looking for the mp3s? Click the pic of the gig, my friends...
January 16, 2008
January 15, 2008
And he's right and I apologize. I've been busy. But Sal should know he's the one who's been keeping me busy the last few days (and for that I thank him).
Hopefully some new goodies tomorrow afternoon. In the meantime, have a video:
Serj Tankian's "Empty Walls"
January 09, 2008
"Hey look! There's my voice!!!"
You've got to be freakin' kidding me. The words in the headline of this post are the exact words selected by the Clinton campaign to open Hillary's less-than-inspiring victory speech in New Hampshire last night. In other words, after years of endlessly campaigning for President (arguably she began campaigning the day she moved to New York to run for the Senate at the beginning of the new millennium), she wasn't able to find her own voice until she "spoke" with the people of New Hampshire for a mere seven days?
How is that possible? Surely the self-proclaimed "experienced" candidate is savvy enough to know where to look for her own voice. Didn't she know where her voice was when she was soaking up all of that experience as First Lady during state dinners, holiday photo ops and defending her husband on The Today Show?
Certainly she must have found her voice as a U.S. Senator for the past seven years where her greatest experience was obviously learning what she knows now about the things she didn't know then concerning Iraq and it's non-existent weapons of mass destruction.
Okay, perhaps she was just too busy getting experience and/or campaigning to spend the necessary time to look for her own voice. Spending day after day, year after year answering questions from the media or giving speeches to potential donors or shaking hands with potential voters, there's clearly little time for voice-finding. In fact, it's easy to see how one could lose one's voice with all that talk-talk-talking. Assuming one had a voice to being with.
And there, my friends, is the problem with Hillary Clinton. She has no voice. She says whatever she or her advisers and pollsters think she needs to say in reaction to each particular question or situation. Does she risk being seen as weak on defense or does she vote for the highly questionable Kyl-Lieberman amendment? Her political experience tells her to vote for the stupid amendment. Is she seen as too cold and unemotional after her defeat in Iowa? How about some tears? Were her tears genuine? Unfortunately, we'll never know because it seems like every other day she trots out a revised version of who she is supposed to be.
Apparently, the tears along with the media's and John Edwards treatment of her tears created a backlash of sympathy for Clinton (with Hillary herself saying the tears represented a turnaround in her campaign fortunes), resulting in thousands of New Hampshire women turning out to vote for her last night. First of all, I want to defend John Edwards who everyone is making out to be a bad guy. This is what Edwards said:
"I think what we need in a commander-in-chief is strength and resolve, and presidential campaigns are tough business, but being president of the United States is also tough business."Sounds more than reasonable to me. But the press has portrayed this statement as an attempt to "pounce" on Clinton. The Huffington Post went as far to write that Edwards "knock(ed) Clinton for getting emotional on the campaign trail." Really? He said that? Obviously, he did not.
Secondly, and most importantly: Do we really want to choose a nominee based on who we feel the most sorry for? Unfortunately, we Democrats have a long history of doing just that (how else to explain Mondale, Dukakis and Kerry?). Our priority should be to choose a candidate who a) can be elected and b) can actually lead (not react). I just don't see Hillary Clinton as that candidate. I don't think she can get elected because the hate machine will be a million times stronger during the actual election. And I don't think she can lead because, despite what she said last night, she doesn't have her own voice.
I'll leave you with Clinton's and Obama's speeches from last night. The "experienced" candidate with her "own voice" read her speech woodenly, as if she was seeing the words for the first time (and, as a result, her "voice" came off less than convincing). Contrast her speech with Barack's. The difference in tone is striking. He comes off not only more confident but as someone who clearly knows his own voice. Just sayin'...
January 08, 2008
Jon has always been good at having it both ways politically. As scathing as he's been toward Republicans, he, rightly, has turned his sword on Democrats when they screw the pooch. The following obviously written (and therefore scabbed) editorial from Jon's first night back "without WGA writers" contains some great jabs at the greedy producers of AMPTP ("or NAMBLA") but Jon chose to end his rant by stabbing his fellow writers in the back. In my opinion, he completely undermined their cause -- and yes, it is a cause Jon. You, not the picketing writers, through clever editing, juxtaposition and your own math, have chosen to compare it with more serious matters but that still doesn't make the strike a non-serious matter. Talk to my friends who are not millionaires or even thousandaires who haven't worked in months and have mouths to feed.
By the way Jon, who is making the money off of the "The Brothers Solomon" DVD commercial that airs before this clip on The Daily Show's official site? Or the other embedded ads peppered throughout the site? Just sayin'...
I'm hoping Jon comes back tomorrow with an apology of sorts (but I wouldn't count on it). I imagine he will have a pretty frosty relationship with his writers once the strike is settled. And, at least until he makes up for last night (and his continued crossing of the picket lines to do his show), he's going to have a frosty relationship with at least one viewer. Which totally sucks because as a political junkie who can't stand MSCNNFOXBC, I need this show.
January 07, 2008
I grew up in the mythical sixties with two older brothers. The age span was fairly significant: They were six and nine years older than me. As a result, they had a profound influence on me, from clothes (literally in the case of hand-me-downs) to hairstyles to (perhaps most importantly) music.
Somehow my brothers were able to share their vast record collection, a feat of brotherly love rarely achieved by any siblings (I believe the norm is, "Keep away from MY stuff!!!"). I had my own feeble collection which remained fairly feeble until my oldest brother went away to college when I was nine. But between 1964 (when I started getting my first singles) and 1969 the general rule was this: The older brothers got the "coolest" new releases and "the kid" got the leftovers.
For the most part, we never paid for any of these records. My father used to get a lot of free albums because of his newspaper job -- some good, many bad -- and he found a record store that gladly traded new albums for the bad castaways. Trading day was a major event for us three boys. We'd submit our lists and hope that Dad was able to make a decent deal with the record store and get the majority of whatever we asked for. Like I said, the older bros got the cream of the crop but I didn't care -- new vinyl was new vinyl. I also, of course, benefited from whatever they got. As long as the bedroom door wasn't closed (with I'm guessing a strategically placed towel), I was able to partake in their listening sessions. So, I could be turned on to The Beatles' Rubber Soul, The Beach Boys' Smiley Smile or The Mothers of Invention's Freak Out and then retire to my room and groove on the sugary sweet sounds of Three Dog Night or the more rockin' Dave Clark Five.
And then, hey hey, there was The Monkees. I think I was too young to know (or care) that they were a manufactured band. But I had "sophisticated" enough taste to know a good song when I heard one. And there's no denying that "Last Train to Clarksville" and "I'm a Believer" were great songs. Plus, as a kid still in elementary school, how could I not love the wacky TV show which borrowed equally from The Beatles' Help (which I saw with my entire family at a drive-in!) and The Marx Brothers? So, I was a fan -- a proud one at that who would defend The Monkees as best as possible whenever my brothers got on their high, older horse.
But a strange thing happened in 1967 when The Monkees released their 3rd album, Headquarters. Unbeknownst to me, this was the first time that Mickey, Davey, Mike & Peter actually played their own instruments on a Monkees record (well, Davey played tamborine) plus the album featured songs written by Mickey, Mike and Peter. I'm guessing my brothers got wind of this because for the first time, they actually were interested in coming into my room to listen to a record.
Let's not fool ourselves: Headquarters is no Revolver. Hell, it's not even a Golden Hits (well, that's up for debate). But there's some very good songs on the album, including Peter Tork's "For Pete's Sake" (which became the new end credits song for The Monkees TV show) and Mickey Dolenz' "Randy Scouse Git" as well as some good-natured goofs like "Zilch" ("Mr. Dobolina, Mr. Bob Dobolina"). But the standouts are the original Mike Nesmith tunes, "You Just May Be The One," "Sunny Girlfriend" and today's mp3 morsel, "You Told Me." Derivative, yes (the intro and the bassline both ape The Beatles' "Taxman"), but still this song has it's own catchy charm (and dig that tambourine by Davey!).
To listen/download, click the fabricated four above. If you like it, you can buy the special edition CD here. And, as a bonus, check out this subversive clip from the TV show in which Frank Zappa, dressed as Mike Nesmith, interviews "Frank Zappa" (played by Mike Nesmith). Far out:
January 04, 2008
From The New York Times:
"Mr. Obama’s victory in this overwhelmingly white state was a powerful answer to the question of whether America was prepared to vote for a black person for president. What was remarkable was the extent to which race was not a factor in this contest. Surveys of voters entering the caucuses also indicated that he had won the support of many independents, a development that his aides used to rebut suggestions from rivals that he could not win a general election. In addition, voters clearly rejected the argument that Mr. Obama does not have sufficient experience to take over the White House, a central point pressed by Mrs. Clinton."Faith in my country is slowly being restored. Or should I say "cautiously" being restored: Afterall, the other side of this caucus coin is Mike Huckabee.
Update: Here's Obama's victory speech:
Judging by the crowd's reaction, I'm not sure if he's a presidential candidate or a rock star.
January 03, 2008
See, the Rude Pundit's problem with Iowa is one of demographics. Iowa's white, so very, very white, 91% white. 2.5% black, 3.8% Hispanic (not counting the number of illegal migrants who harvest in those archetypal farms). In other words, Iowa ain't us. The attention to the Iowa caucus is based on a myth of America, a lie that hasn't existed in decades, maybe even a century or two. It is a vestige of the rightness of whiteness. It ain't about the way that good, decent, hard-working blah-blah-blah American citizens think. It's about what that isolated island of white people says.And this is why a guy named Huckabee is doing so well with the people there. Especially when he drags around "action star" Chuck Norris to whore for him.
Here's the AP's headline for John Edward's caucus eve speech:
Edwards fires anti-corporate bombastHere's the Webster (the dictionary, not the little fella) definition of "bombast":
pretentious inflated speech or writingHere's what John Edwards told the crowd of 3,000 supporters:
"Corporate greed is robbing our children of the promise of America," Edwards said to frequent cheers. "It is time for us to fight back."It's currently 13 degrees here in New York and I'm starting to feel like I live in Russia...
January 02, 2008
Radiohead made a little "film" and broadcast it on their website New Year's Eve. It is splendid and here it is in its entirety:
(You can view the individual songs here.)
I'm Just Sayin' Bonus:
(Click to download mp3s. Be patient. And don't forget to buy the new album...)
"I absolutely believe to my soul that this corporate greed and corporate power has an ironclad hold on our democracy."
Guess which Democratic presidential candidate said this. Hillary Clinton? Barack Obama? John Edwards? Dennis Kucinich?
Go here for the answer.
Iowa: The whole world is watching.