Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Shirley Bassey remix

Some oldies get more remix attention than others. Shirley Bassey is one of the queens of the remix. Here is Shirley giving the Burt Bacharach treatment to The Door's hit, and then remixed by Kenny Dope.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Scary stoned robot

If I've only tentatively suggested that robots serve as a revealing metaphor for what we (or the Japanese) imagine our human condition to be, this video pretty much seals the deal.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Walking the walk

I'm off to San Francisco, to, you know . . . put on a suit.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Aaron Neville

"Please Come Home for Christmas"

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Little Boy is whining to open some chocolate candies. To distract him, I ask rhetorically, Who do you love? He responds decisively: Chocolates.

santa claus is going straight to the ghetto

Snoop Dog and company.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

James Brown

"Soulful Christmas"

Monday, December 22, 2008


I came upon this little bit of code in some YouTube comments. Added to the html of the embed code, it is supposed to improve the bitrate and quality of posted videos. I'll start using it. We'll see.

Death Metal Puppy

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Mano Negra

Parisian punk band circa 1990, the "Clash" of France. One of their frontmen is now the much more famous Manu Chao ("me gustas tu").

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Freaking out

Little Boy, crying: I want that.

Me: Don't freak out.

Little Boy, impatiently: I am freaking out!

The Raveonettes

Rockabilly-noir from Denmark

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Robot density

From Spectrum Online:
There are now 1 million industrial robots toiling around the world, and Japan is where they’re the thickest on the ground. It has 295 of these electromechanical marvels for every 10 000 manufacturing workers—a robot density almost 10 times the world average and nearly twice that of Singapore (169), South Korea (164), and Germany (163).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Royal Trux

Fascinating twist on mid nineties grunge. RTX was based in San Francisco at the time.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Kafka the clerk

From the site Daily Routines. 8:30-2:30 wouldn't be so bad.

At the Assicurazioni Generali, Kafka despaired of his twelve-hour shifts that left no time for writing; two years later, promoted to the position of chief clerk at the Workers' Accident Insurance Institute, he was now on the one-shift system, 8:30 AM until 2:30 PM. And then what? Lunch until 3:30, then sleep until 7:30, then exercises, then a family dinner. After which he started work around 11 PM (as Begley points out, the letter- and diary-writing took up at least an hour a day, and more usually two), and then "depending on my strength, inclination, and luck, until one, two, or three o'clock, once even till six in the morning." Then "every imaginable effort to go to sleep," as he fitfully rested before leaving to go to the office once more.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Bumper sticker . . . hmmm

Spotted yesterday: I &hearts Tongue

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Top 50 drug trips in movies

Den of Geek has collected them. I'm generally opposed to chemically induced states, but it's undeniable that I've seen most of these movies. What strikes me after looking at the list is how serious and literal movies from the sixties and seventies portray the trip, with laughably over the top special effects. Things have changed some. Bobby, the sixties homage from a couple of years ago, is part of a trend, I think, to treat the trip (more like the stoner movie, I guess) with more humor. Den of Geek has the clip up. It can still be terrifying, but its more transitory. A recent Entourage episode located at California's Joshua Tree is particularly funny. Their foreshortened haze coincides almost too perfectly with the narcissism of the entourage. And for the record, I've been to Joshua Tree - to camp.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Caesars

The last couple of months an increasing number of YouTube videos have faulted, giving me the error message "This video is no longer available." I've assumed that YouTube was being more diligent about copyright concerns. And then, I found myself telling some students a video that they had all been able to access was unavailabe. It took me a couple of hours, but I finally pinned it down. Updated my Flash plugin, which is the engine underlying YouTube video, and the problem is solved. It's somewhat irritating. I've updated my browsers multiple times. Shouldn't Flash be included in these updates?

Anyhoo, here's some power pop from The Caesars.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Bluetech - Alchemie Dub

Electro + ambient = psybient.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Placebo - Without You I'm Nothing

Performing live with David Bowie. So glam.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Opal - Supernova

Opal was a precursor to Mazzy Star, and a better band, perhaps.

Friday, December 5, 2008


A Sub Pop band in the late nineties. Lo-fi psychedelia (according to Wikipedia). This is a great clip from '99.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Big screen professors

Watched "Smart People" and "The Savages" this week, which feature an English professor (19th-c British) and Theatre professor (Brecht), respectively. A minor plot line in "The Savages" finds the professor ultimately subject to the "naturalistic" emotion (bad childhood) he eschews in his work; the "Smart People," predictably, don't turn out to be so smart. I enjoyed both. The best part of "Smart People" is the girl who played Juno, except for this time her precocity is grating and arrogant. "The Savages" is on another level. It stars two great actors, Laura Dern Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman, as a brother and sister who must deal with a dying father after not seeing him for many years. It's a grubby, bleak movie that throws into relief the meager sustenance their intellectual pretensions give them. The many free-floating issues are encapsulated in a last scene in which Linney's play about her childhood is being rehearsed. A father figure repeatedly hits a young boy, who then floats upward on wires. When we realize that this young boy is Seymour Hoffman, his emotionally challenged character suddenly comes into sharper focus. It's nicely done.

Neko Case

With The Sadies.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Requiem for a Maverick

Matt Taibbi writing today in Rolling Stone.
McCain was a war hero who married an heiress to a beer distributorship and had been in the Senate since the Mesozoic Era. His greatest strength as a politician had up until this year been his ability to "reach across the aisle," a quality that in the modern Republican Party was normally about as popular as open bisexuality. His presence atop the ticket this year was evidence of profound anxiety within the party about its chances in the general election. After eight disastrous years of Bush, they thought they had lost the middle — so they picked a middling guy to get it back.

Which made sense, right up until the moment when they stuck him with Pinochet in heels for a running mate. Sarah Palin would have been a brilliant choice as a presidential nominee — and she will be, in 2012, when she leads the inevitable Republican counter-revolution against Obama's presidency. She's a classic divide-and-conquer politician, an unapologetic Witch Hunter and True Believer with a gift for whipping up the mob against the infidel. In a way that even George W. Bush never was, she is Karl Rove's wet dream, the Osama bin Laden of soccer moms, crusading against germs, communism, atheism and other such unclean elements strictly banned by American law.

Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Short clip of Spencer's version of trash punk blues. Whatever it is, he's kind of channeling Mick Jagger (who was channeling Skip James) here. But I think he briefly plays a Theremin at the end, which puts a geek spin on the Jagger strut.