Monday, June 30, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Crashpop Beach Party. 12 songs, 41 minutes 59 seconds.
Some summer-feeling music in time for moping around on the Fourth of July. New (Beach boys-ish?) Sigur Ros, some unsigned bands from Vancouver, African Highland music and some 40's French crooning.
(image courtesy of bighappyfunhouse.)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
The Wikipedia article on Soviet Hip-Hop is an interesting read. Mostly, hip-hop didn't penetrate the Iron Curtain until the end days of the USSR. At that point, a Russian producer eyed American pop music and observed the New Kids on the Block phenomenon, and pieced together a band of breakdancers who could be taught to rap, and manufactured them into a Soviet version of NKOTB, called Malchishnik.
The problem is that the lyricist and lead DJ, Dolphin, was influenced by explicit, obscene American acts like 2 Live Crew - and proceeded to lead the group in that direction, with such gems as "Sex Without a Break" and "Miss Big Breast."
Regardless, Malchishnik ended up achieving a degree of commercial success that cemented them as the pioneers of the hip-hop sound in the Soviet Union.
Here's the video for "Sex Without a Break:"
While censorship in Russia kept Malchishnik off the airwaves in '91, post-collapse media restrictions have been even more rigid, sending Malchishnik "underground," or, that is, into the dustbin of cultural irrelevancy. The sound and style seems to have endured through imitation, with the explicit lyrics tossed out for rap groups seeking commercial success in Russia.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
The Trons - Self-Playing Robot Band.
This fits into my jurisdiction, I'd say: New-Zealand based Garage-Rock band, The Trons, consists of robots that play instruments. Details are hard to come by, but all you need to know is: Kiwi robots rockin' out. Go be one of their first 30 friends on Myspace.
Brought to my attention by Nerdcore, my favorite means of doing German homework.
Monday, June 16, 2008
Scientists in Keio University in Japan have discovered that Pigeons are as smart as 3-year-old children.
At Prof. Shigeru Watanabe’s laboratory, pigeons could discriminate paintings of a certain painter (such as Van Gogh) from another painter (such as Chagall). Furthermore, pigeons could discriminate other pigeons individually, and also discriminate stimulated pigeons that were given stimulant drugs from none. In this experiment, pigeons could discriminate video images that reflect their movements even with a 5-7 second delay from video images that don’t reflect their movements. This ability is higher than an average 3-year-old human. According to a research by Prof. Hiraki of the University of Tokyo, 3-year-olds have difficulty recognizing their self-image with only a 2 second delay." - Primidi (blog)
The next experiment will involve pigeons and children going head-to-head.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Big Ideas (don't get any) from James Houston on Vimeo.
This is the coolest thing I think I've seen in a few months.
It's not a music video or just a remix. It's a music video documenting the production of a remix for Radiohead that uses only a printer, scanner, a broken hard drive and useless, tape-driven computer (that enormous squeal you hear at the beginning is the sequence itself being loaded, care of a tape-drive, and including it is a nice touch, but you'll probably want to wait for it to stop before passing judgement on this video).
Related, albeit definitively less cool music-wise but equally cool nerd-wise, is The Graphite Sequencer by Caleb Coppock, which I found out about here.
Caleb uses wires to brush over graphite on disks; as a result, you can "play" drawings. The result is less pleasing in terms of sound than the Radiohead piece, but fun to look at.
Friday, June 6, 2008
A provocative female rapper in Germany, Lady Bitch Ray, who runs her own independent label, Vagina Style Records, grabbed headlines when she accused Ms. Roche of stealing her explicit form of empowering raunch.
A German novel which tells its story through a history of it's protagonist's orifices is stirring up some controversy.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
My final act of penance for the angry rant re: the "assassination" exhibits, it's Sugar Bush Squirrel, c/o Cuteoverload. This domesticated squirrel is posed in various outfits evocative of breaking news of the day, from the war in Iraq to the death of Benazir Bhutto, all without a trace of irony by his loving mom, country music star Kelly Foxton.
Every so often, I'll be posting a photo culled from the many hours I spend wasting time over at Flickr, mostly from abstract and low-fi pools.
This post in particular is to counteract the caustic nature of my last entry.
The New York Times today has an article on 24-year-old artist Yazmany Arboleda's gallery installations, "The Assassination of Hillary Clinton" and "The Assassination of Barack Obama." Perhaps unsurprisingly, secret service agents took the artist in for questioning, which I am sure he was totally bummed about and wasn't at all a result he was looking for, or anything. He was totally gonna make it to the New York Times anyway. Right?
Arboleda has "documented" the spaces with two (fictional) Web sites: one for Barack and one for Hillary. The exhibit itself, from what I could see, looks like a 4chan thread, but I guess that's the point: "It's about character assassination."
Hey! Check out how he made it look like Obama's book was called "The Audacity of BLACK Hope." Cuz Obama's black, and some people are racist! OMG that artist is totally challenging my understanding of the media!!!
Because Manhattanites have yet to discover murder, the titles in the window have been covered up by the NYPD, protecting our innocent little angels from bad ideas forever.
Awesome, Yazmany Arboleda. You made my day totally awesome.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
The Decapitator is a London graffiti artist who spots an ad, makes up a giant sticker (see above), and places the sticker over the ad: the finished product ends in a decapitation of the figure in the advert (see below).
A full collection of these works is up at Flickr.
I really don't know what the hell is going on in this photo series from Rotterdam, but it's great. Best viewed without context, but here it is anyway:
Dutch artist Benjamin Verdonck built a nest on the side of a Rotterdam skyscraper and lived in it. Across the street was a giant egg. The rest is in the pictures.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Franmusik, "In Step" video
I can't tell if I like this because it's unleashed a long-hidden Hula-Hoop fetish, or if I like it because it manages to be "sexy" at the same time that it manages to be so totally, unmitigatedly dorky.