Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fucking Hell

21st century Brueghel, except not nearly as fantastical as Brueghel must have seemed in the 16th century. This piece was part of a show last year entitled "If Hitler Had Been a Hippy How Happy Would We Be." Link

CAN - Live in Paris

Psycho, prog krautrock. Immortal jams.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Thursday, March 26, 2009


I've been thinking about squatting lately, mostly in terms of Slab City in Southern California. But squatting has also hit the news recently with the growing tent cities in some locales hardest hit by the housing crisis. Slate now has an article up -- Homesteaders in the Hood -- on the logic of squatting and how it can be used to redistribute housing. Of course, encampments of one kind or another have been around for the last twenty years (I saw one most recently on the banks of the Chicago river), but their growing visibility suggests an avenue for filling all those foreclosed homes.

Squatting, or unlawfully occupying and making use of land that belongs to someone else, tends to emerge when poverty and homelessness intersect with absentee ownership. It was widespread on the frontier of the 19th-century West, where settlers who couldn't afford to purchase land at market prices often simply occupied land owned by Eastern speculators (as well as land owned by the federal government and by Native American tribes).

From the point of view of local officials, this was a win-win, of a sort. Far-away owners were more interested in free-riding on rising property values, and flipping their land, than in developing it productively. So they resisted paying property taxes or investing in infrastructure. As a result, governments in the West were happy to lend squatters a hand in their efforts to get property out of the speculators' hands. Local governments frequently made it easier for squatters to obtain title through the legal doctrine of adverse possession (sometimes colloquially called "squatters rights")—for example, by shortening the time period required for squatting to mature into ownership. Ultimately, even the federal government joined in. After years of using the Army to chase squatters off its lands, Congress decided to create a legal avenue for settlers without money to become landowners: the 1862 Homestead Act.

Let's bring back the Homestead Act.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Trailer Park Boys

Canadian mockumentary series, now defunct.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Facebook news feed for Pride and Prejudice

From Austenbook, part of a new trend converting literary texts to Facebook feeds.

Charles Bingley is renting a house in Hertfordshire!

Mrs. Bennet became a fan of Charles Bingley.

Kitty Bennet can't stop coughing!!!

Charles Bingley is now friends with Mr. Bennet and Sir William Lucas.

11 of your friends are attending Assembly at Meryton.

Fitzwilliam Darcy is dreading this evening.

Charles Bingley and Jane Bennet are now friends.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Marianne Faithfull - Sister Morphine

Faithfull wrote these lyrics in 1969, when the English pop world still thought of her as an angelic waif. She's also the great niece of Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, whose Venus and Furs gave the world the name for "masochism."

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Cool Calm Pete - Fuck You

Dig these old school samples and hilariously foul rhymes.

Saturday, March 14, 2009


"Who knows what tomorrow will bring."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Kyuss - Phototropic

I think the first slide here shows the band on Salvation Mountain, which marks the entrance to Slab City (Niland, CA). I wasn't far off in my earlier Kyuss' post. Somehow this music captures the hot dusty light of the desert, where the visual environment doesn't intrude much on someone's increasingly unhinged personal visions.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Hot to Death

Another Scout Niblett. Minimalist girl punk goodness.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Mime meme

Twittering silently.

Scout Niblett

Wow! An amazing song. Niblett is working in the vein of Cat Power or PJ Harvey. The stage name "Scout" comes from "To Kill a Mockingbird."

Monday, March 9, 2009

Big Head Todd & the Monsters

Great version of "Broken-Hearted Savior."

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Bonnie "Prince" Billy (Will Oldham)

Freak folk, out of Louisville, KY.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bill Frisell

Underrated jazz guitarist Bill Frisell covering Bob Dylan. A heady jam.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Homemaker robots

Boston Globe has a series of cool robot photos here, in all their various glories.


Still in a stoner metal, Black Sabbath mood. Sleep was from San Jose.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


"Desert rock" from Palm Desert, CA, the land of Slab City.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Earth (Dylan Carlson)

Doom ambient. Originally a drone metal band in the Seattle grunge scene. Exquisite minimalism from a recent tour.

Monday, March 2, 2009

LIteral music videos

Latest video meme. Lyrics that have been converted to reflect the action in the video. This version by Red Hot Chili Peppers. "Sometimes I sing under lights that are purple."

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Of Montreal (Kevin Barnes)

If the Bee Gees, Pink Floyd, and David Bowie spawned a love child.