Thursday, January 29, 2009

Funny Kavinsky Interview

Kavinsky says all the right things in this Australian interview from 2007:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Datassette/Datashat


Oh man I came across some great stuff. Waffles had an article about some hidden gems you find from downloading a ton of music. One gem that someone recommended was Datassette. I got the cd and it's not bad, kinda like Aphex Twin but with a bit of an electro/down-tempo vibe. The best song by far is Minus Fourteen.



Can you tell I love electro yet?


(This image may or may not be Datassette)

Anyway, the real reason I wanted to make this post was to share another project by the same artist. Under the name Datashat he's released these two mixes in the businessfunk series. businessfunk one is 20 minutes and businessfunk two is 40 minutes. Both are highly rec'd by me.

This stuff is priceless. I guess it's a combination of synths and samples from old business education movies, science documentaries and stock production music from the '70s and '80s. Sounds cheesy, I know. And in a way it is. But it's really really well done. The mix does a good job drawing out some of the most ridiculously awesome melodies from old tapes and then launching them into space. Think Boards of Canada meets Tim and Eric.

I'm going to link to the two mixes here, but you should go to his site and check out everything.

These images and descriptions were taken from his website:

businessfunk one:
The very finest ├╝ber-rare 80s Business-Presentation Funk (Businesscore), propulsive Science-Documentary Electro and Feel-Good Teletext Cheese. May cause mild grinning.



businessfunk two:
Another megamix of the finest ultra-rare 80s progressive electronic funk from the vaults of various production music libraries, resulting in 40 minutes of 100% awesome. Hold on to your hats.

They're both great, but if you only download one of them, go for businessfunk two.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Six Organs of Admittance - RTZ

Amidst all the hype of the new AnCo album (and don't get me wrong, I love Merriweather Post Pavilion), a hand reaches through the fog and shakes you back to conscioness. The master abides. Ben Chasney is king, don't act like you forgot. The power of these melodies will tear through your consciousness.


I just ordered a new Six Organs LP that I didn't know was coming out until last night. It's actually a rerelease of a bunch of his really old stuff. I have most of these songs already, but listening to them again, together, really puts everything into perspective. Man it gives me chills even thinking about how good this shit is. I was listening to six organs around '02 and this was like coming out in '99. It's all him alone with a 4-track.

Highlights include: All of it.

These are some of the most epic examples of millenial freak folk ever created. It's got the organ/flute thing, bells, guitar body tapping, circular rhythmic patterns, all of those aspects of Six Organs that have seemed to fade out in favor of electric guitars and partners in crime on new recordings.

These recordings beg you to relook at the path Chasney has chosen. The fervant chants from Warm Earth Which I've been Told would fit perfectly alongside anything on Compathia. You can see the budding melodic structures that would go on to become such epics as School of the Flower and River of Transfiguration in all of these songs. It now makes logical sense that Chasney would expand his sound over time, trading dust and rust for the howl of the electric guitar. What he lost from one sound he gained from another.

Bob Dylan was blasted by critics and fans alike when he picked up the electric guitar. People were shocked, but look at where it got us. I'm not saying that Six Organs is revolutionary in the way Dylan was. Still, I remember an interview when Devendra Banhart was asked about the freak folk movement (back when it was still relevant) and he said something to the effect of 'I may be garnering all of the critical attention, but Ben Chasney is the truest example of freak folk that there is.'

The songs speak for themselves.


Here's the album description from Drag City (record label):

"When you think of the way you used to live, the way you degraded the planet. You didn’t know all creatures are equal! Today, you look back and see yourself in a different light. To think that Six Organs was all that held you up to the divine.

Six little organs of separation. Sometimes that’s all it takes.

The double-CD, triple-LP epic called RTZ (named after the button on a Tascam 484 that “returns to zero”) fashions several lesser-known pieces from Six Organs of Admittance’s early years into an massive prismatic arc, colossal and organic like some wonder of the ancient world. How could it be otherwise? Even when existing as only one half of a record, as many of these pieces once did (and still do, somewhere), Mr. 6OOA (Ben Chasny, y’all!) leans into the eternal — letting the winds of Time scar his face and the light of All There Is burn his skin black. Grandmaster Chas has sacrificed the body for his music time and again over the years. RTZ is an iridescent chimera in full flight, viewed through stained glass.

Cataloging these early non-album excursions requires a bit of leg-(and mind) work. RTZ travels back to the dawn of this century to locate “Resurrection,” half of a Time-Lag split 12” with Charalambides. “Warm Earth, Which I’ve Been Told” is half of a Mental Telemetry split CD with Vibracathedral Orchestra and Magic Carpithans from 2003. “You Can Always See the Sun,” was part of Three Loved Recordings’ Purposeful Availments subscription CD series in 2002. And Nightly Trembling was released way back in 1999 in an edition of 33 copies, all given away for free! That’s some spiritual shit right there. Combined with a never-before released extended piece called “Punish the Chasm with Wings” from pre-millennial days and you’ve got yourself a deep, DEEP box set, crammed into a multi-faceted LP jacket.

Rich with excursions to exotic musical climes and rhythmic with prayerful chants from the dark shadows of the earth, RTZ uses strings and bells, riffs both warm and icy, glowing lead guitars, massed voices and the pure, open air for its mantras and rituals. As the title alludes, these old sounds were forged in that bastion of personal expression, the four-track recorder. When a man can record a few feet from his bed, he becomes more inclined to render his nocturnal intuitions. And when that man is Ben Chasny, he can use those remastered (but still good and dusty) early recordings to attain the ultimate goal: a multifaceted triple-gatefold LP!"


Awesome.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dove bar

This is Dov:





Just like the white winged dove...
Sings a song...
Sounds like she's singing...
Whoo... whoo... whoo...



But, disturb not the dove, in silence to wait;
The touch of an angel, who summons her fate.



"And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove!
Then would I fly away, and be at rest" (Ps 55:6).
In chanting a song of triumph, David used an exquisite thought.
"When ye lie among the sheepfolds,
It is as the wings of a dove covered with silver,
And her pinions with yellow gold" (Ps 68:13).



WE LOVE YOU DOV. AND WE ALWAYS WILL!!!!

This is not a blog about LOST

This is not a blog about LOST.

I just wanted to post this picture of John Locke.


LOST is the shit though, and the new season looks to be one of, if not the best yet.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hobbies

This is the first post in a new series I'm starting on hobbies. You may be thinking to yourself; Alan, your life must be pretty miserable if your hobby is blogging about hobbies. That's where you're wrong. While blogging about hobbies may be considered a hobby, I would never do it during my free time. Instead, I only do it while I'm supposed to be working (at work). I recognize, however, that most of you don't have the luxury to blog about hobbies at work. Therefore, I present you with some hobbies you may want to consider taking up.

This image represents the stress that occurs from office work:


People need a way to unwind, and reduce those stress levels. It used to be that you could count on your television to take take of that for you. However, with the exception of a few shows, this has got to be one of the worst decades for TV shows ever. Video games are at an all time high, but unless you're really really good at playing them online, you're almost always going to walk away feeling disappointed, like you could have spent your time doing something more productive. That's why it's important to find hobbies that are both fun and can provide you with a smug sense of self-satisfaction thereby making your otherwise pointless life more meaningful.

Here's an example of someone who really understands how to make a hobby work for himself:

This Urban Grandma-Thug recognizes that he only has so many hours in the day, as such, if he wants to really become adept at knitting, he needs to practice during all his free hours. Looks like it's been paying off, doesn't it?

Drawing is a great hobby too. Here's an awesome drawing:

Drawings like that take time effort. They don't happen over night. Once you learn to draw you can start selling your drawings for drug money, which you can use to make better and better drawings until you can do stuff like this:


The hobbies I've been describing so far are fairly personal, but some people take up hobbies that are selfless. Of course we all know that people who do things for other people only do it because it makes them look important/feel better about themselves.

Here's an example an illegal immigrant being secretly transported over the border to be reunited with his family:

Notice how the driver (whose hobby it is to reunite illegals with their families) is not shown. His selfless act is more about those around him than it is about himself. Or at least that's what he wants you to believe.

IF people actually read my blog, I'd ask them to comment on their own hobbies, or at least talk down to me about how the economy isn't strong enough to support hobbies right now. But alas, according to Google Analytics, no one will read this.

BONUS!!! monkeys who like monkeys hobby pic:

Friday, January 16, 2009

The Glass Bead Game

Guys, I'm writing this post mainly as a way for me to sort out some thoughts I've been having about a concept in a book I'm reading. The book is the Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse and it's really, really good.


I just read a page and it really brought a lot of sort of frayed ends together in relation to a defining aspect of the book - the Glass Bead Game itself. So here, I'm going attempt to make a bit of sense out of what I have been able to understand about the game so far. Keep in mind I'm only 200 pages into a 550 page book.

The premise is that several hundred hears in the future, we develop the Glass Bead Game. It is important to note that it seems to be considered a game only insofar as it serves no purpose except that onto itself. The theory, as well as the games themselves, work to expand the language and mode of the game, but beyond that, and seemingly on purpose, the game has no purpose.

Now, to briefly sketch out the premise of the game.

Basically, what happens in a Glass Bead Game is that the participants take one to several basic components and build upon them to create a perfect and unified whole. These components can be anything from a bit of history, a famous quote, a mathematical figure, an astronomical movement, etc. In essence, anything that can be studied and understood can be dealt with.

For instance, one game that is described in some detail early on takes a saying from Confucius as its starting point and builds out from there. Eventually, the game players use other bits of knowledge (so to speak) in order sketch out the entire rise and fall of a now dead language. It seems to be a new way for humans to look at and understand the world around them.

Of course to go into the details would be absolutely ridiculous. Instead, Hesse leaves both the true form and the content of the games almost completely out of his descriptions of it. It's hard enough to simply conceive of the game, let alone actually describe one.

I think the closest analogy to a glass bead game is sort of like playing music with a group of people. A sound can come to represent any number of things. It has to do with physics, pure mathematics, history, sensory perception, anything. But, in the end, as much as it can come to represent, it is still just music. Yes, you can make an argument that music does this or that, but unless it is serving some specific function, perhaps in a religious sense, it has no purpose except that which we give it.

Anyway, that's probably extremely confusing and does nothing except help me sort out my own thoughts on this extremely confusing idea. Honestly though, Hesse is such a genius for thinking this up and here's why.

So going off of our Glass Bead Game/playing music comparison, here's an extended quotation from the book which I will attempt to explain the significance of after I write it out:

The foremost players distinguished two principal types of Game, the formal and the psychological. We know that Knecht (the main character and future "Master of the Game") belonged to the champions of the latter type. Knecht, however, instead of speaking of the "psychological" mode of play usually preferred the word "pedagogical."

In the formal Game, the player sought to compose out of the objective content of every game, out of the mathematical, linguistic, musical, and other elements, as dense, coherent, and formally perfect a unity and harmony as possible. In the psychological Game, on the other hand, the object was to create unity and harmony, cosmic roundedness and perfection, not so much in the choice, arrangement, interweaving, association and contrast of the contents as in the meditation which followed every stage of the Game. All the stress was placed on this meditation. Such a psychological-or to use Knecth's word, pedagogical-Game did not display perfection to the outward eye. Rather, it guided the player by means of its succession of precisely prescribed meditations, toward experiencing perfection and divinity. "The Game as I conceive it," Knecht once wrote to the former Music Master, "encompasses the player after the completion of meditation as the surface of a sphere encompasses its center, and leaves him with the feeling that he has extracted from the universe of accident and confusion a totally symmetrical and harmonious cosmos, and absorbed it into himself."

Whew

So yeah, basically in terms of music, the formal Game would be like figuring out a way to play a bunch of songs about springtime, for instance, or war, or songs that all follow the same sonata pattern, at once so as to create an image of perfection and a unified whole on whatever idea, from the broadest to the most singular the players focus on. This is more akin to traditional music playing.

The psychological Game is more like jamming, but REALLY REALLY good jamming.

I don't think the point needs to go any further than that right now.

But I will say this. As an analog for philosophical thought, the formal game represents the peak of scientific understanding. It assumes that there is no "greater" ideal than that which manifests itself in what we see and understand. The psychological presupposes something deeper, and something unifying which can only be got at by both piecing everything we understand together, but also by looking inward and finding that "missing" connector.

To quote Dickens, "Put that in your pipe and smoke it!"

I probably would fall into the category of formalists, but maybe it's just because I don't meditate enough. Hopefully I'll feel compelled to write more on this topic as I get further into the book.

BONUS FOR READING ALL THE WAY TO THE BOTTOM! - PIC OF GLASS BEAD GAME PLAYER:

This Is Funny

Listen to this guy scream

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Are you gonna eat that pepperoni pizza?

It looks zoooooo greasy.



Take a pen. Write it down: I Love The Teenagers.



Also I was found out about this pretty sweet EDM guy who posts on the SA forums.

Check some of his stuff out here:

I also wanted to give a bump to his album art cause it's awesome:



You can stream or download the whole album for free here:
http://www.last.fm/music/Baby+Diamonds/dB

Although it all pretty much sounds the same, it's not bad to burn and play in your car. Plus he told me he did it all with Ableton and a mouse. NICE!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

2003



2003 was the year I graduated from high school. That was six years ago. Things were different then. I was a starry-eyed child. I chatted with people on the internet. I went to (bad) concerts. I had my whole life ahead of me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mexican Michael Meyers

came across this pic on my laptop, can't quite remember when I downloaded it, thought it needed to be posted:

Fever Ray - If I Had a Heart (Fuck Buttons Remix)

Found this one on Pitchfork/Stereogum this morning and it RULES:

Apparently Karin Dreijer from The Knife has a solo album that's about to come out complete with a slowburner first single to turn away the uninitiated. Anyway, in order to secretly counteract that, she got who else but FUCK BUTTONS to do a remix! You can check it out here:

Fever Ray - If I Had a Heart (Fuck Buttons Remix)

The remix has the same general vibe as that transcendent Mogwai Fear Satan remix they did last year. Lots of buzzing, tribal backbeats and spiraling original song loops build to an epic swarm. IT ROCKS.

On an unrelated note: construction on the Leaning Tower of Pisa began in 1173. It's actually a bell tower for the chapel next door. It has seven bells - one for each of the notes in the scale! (don't count Do twice)

Friday, January 9, 2009

A NEW HOPE

I think Barack Obama has already proven his inability to fix this country. I think it's time we look for a new hope:





But seriously though, hopefully Barack will be able to do what we need. Someone told me something interesting the other night that I hadn't thought of.

I hope people realize that things are going to get worse before they get better. If anyone is expecting this "change" to happen right after inauguration you're in for a rude awakening. In the mean time, keep on enjoying the electro renaissance for all it's worth!

Here's some cool rap from a group with the lamest name ever. Paper Route Gangstaz:





Thursday, January 8, 2009

Offensive Youtube Videos

Youtube videos can be offensive for a variety of reasons. Here are two examples of videos which the general public would probably consider offensive:

First, this is called a youtube poop. I've posted some of these before. I think they're really awesome. It's ok if you don't "get" them. But I do and that makes me cooler than you.



This video on the other hand, I find much more offensive and I actually can't watch it all the way through. Like what the fuck, I feel sorry for my cousins who are around this age. God I hope they aren't making videos like this.

I now present you with what I consider to be the most offensive video I've found on youtube to date:

Mustard Friends

I was reading this thing on SA about 'Mustard Friends.' It got me thinking, what if you made a burrito but instead of the normal stuff in the burrito you put like six hot dogs a ton of ketchup, mustard, relish, onions, pickles, whatever else you want. Would that be good?

Actually I'm imagining a regular burrito from chipotle with one hot dog in the middle. That's such a gross image.



Actually nevermind, this one looks fucking delicious:

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Unbearable Lightness of Being



For some reason I associated this book with certain other books I held in lesser regard as far as contemporary literature was concerned. However, after some friends recommended it, I decided to pick it up.

It's pretty great, like modernism in a contemporary setting. I love the cohesiveness that comes from it's intentional lack of cohesiveness. It seems to float along, changing subjects whenver it wants to, returning to and evading earlier ideas throughout. I guess that's where the title "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" comes from.

It's ostensibly about some people and their relationships. Events that shaped their lives, and the lives that they shape through events they undertake. It has a political theme involving the Soviet invasion of what was then Czechoslovakia (I think), but it seems to be more about how people deal with threats, attacks, things they can and can't control, etc.

I'm not done yet, but I like it so far. I'd recommend it to anyone who wants to read something smart and slightly depressing. It's one of those books where the deeper you look the more you get, so read it slowly.

Here's an excellent quote:

When she told her French friends about it (her distaste for parades and marches), they were amazed. "You mean you don't want to fight the occupation of your country?" She would have liked to tell them that behind Communism, Fascism, behind all occupations and invasions lurks a more basic, pervasive evil and the image of that evil was a parade of people marching by with raised fists and shouting idential syllables in unison. But she knew she would never be able to make them understand. Embarrassed, she changed the subject.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New Animal Collective

Man, everyone kept telling me that the new Animal Collective leaked and that I should check it out. I didn't bother for a while but I got it the other day and man it's pretty awesome. I recommend everyone to check it out, or at least get it when it comes out for real. I thought this band was on their way out but it's a really refreshing listen and well worth the money. I'd post some on youtube, but I'd rather wait until it actually comes out.