This is “Introducing Carl Cox” by Tim Hecker from My Love is Rotten to the Core, an album made from cut-up samples of interviews and songs by Van Halen. The album itself is tremendous, but this track is a standout. It deconstructs “Ain’t Talking Bout Love” into a massive, white-noise infused crescendo, leading up to the intro riff (and one of the most famous pinched-harmonics in rock history). Over time you start to hear faint, overdriven lyrics in the background, but never more than a few words at a time before the static overwhelms it. Because you know the riff before listening to it (trust me, you know it), it’s at times a maddening experience, but once it hits the harmonic there’s a feeling of release that makes the whole thing worth it.
Oddly, though, there seems to be a demand out there for reappropriated Van Halen, as evidenced by Drop Nineteens, a lesser-known but incredible indie rock band from the early 90s. On “Ease it Halen,” from Delaware, the lyrics are cobbled together using titles of, you guessed it, Van Halen songs (“You’re running with the devil / through Panama”). I don’t have the track handy, but pick up Delaware and check it out.
And finally, nobody can deconstruct Van Halen like Eddie himself, playing along with “Jump” a half-step out of key.
i don’t usually get angry. but a few things have been making me very angry lately, and i need to get this off my chest. so here goes.
nobody will stop talking about the recent deaths of farrah fawcett, michael jackson, and billy mays. yes, it may have been a bad week in terms of celebrity deaths. this is unfortunate, and i mean no disrespect to any of these people. may they rest in peace.
but do people even think about the rest of the world? a week ago today, 70 people died in a truck bombing in iraq. there are thousands of protesters in iran being tear gassed and clubbed in ongoing clashes with police. there are awful things going on all over the world, but all people seem to care about is celebrities at the moment. what about those 70 dead in iraq, and the 182 injured? these are real people. just because we never saw them on television doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable. open your eyes. think about it.
that is all.
It has become something of a truism that human beings can only conceptualize death and horror up to a certain limit; when over a certain number of people who live over a certain number of miles away from us die, we are unable to grapple with the number, and cease to care.
One thing I have taken away from Althusser’s “Ideology and the State Apparatus,” though, is that we cannot be content simply to describe how it is; we must analyze in order to produce change. The goal is not an endless cycle of recriminations and excuses, then, but rather an answer to the question of what needs to change and how.
Why is it that Farah Fawcett resonates more deeply with us than the seventy dead in Iraq? And how can we go about changing the weight of those deaths in our minds?
(I think it has something to do with the thought process we go through when we read the news. Lately I have been endeavoring to limit my consumption of news articles to one or two a day; I try to conceptualize, methodically, what the numbers of dead and wounded mean. I’m not sure it’s the answer, but it’s certainly an attempt.
In sum: a thought-provoking post.)
that is really interesting, and it is something that i often think about. i think you are correct about all of this. reading the news, however, has a different effect on different people. clearly, for me, the seventy people dead in iraq has more of an impact than the celebrity deaths. that is not to say that the celebrity deaths don’t matter, nor that i am even able to process what seventy deaths means. but i am certainly more disturbed to hear about a car bomb in iraq that kills seventy people than the deaths of three celebrities.
why is this? this is not an easy thing to understand. i think this has to do with my personal philosophies. i read a lot of news, and i take the time to think about these things. i’m interested in politics and international affairs. i am also a firm believer in the interconnectedness of human beings, and as a result, i think that every single person is valuable. so to me, celebrities aren’t any more valuable than anyone else. it doesn’t matter how much money you make, or what you do. i’m not so sure that this is an attitude that is shared by the majority. this isn’t to say that i am right and everyone else is wrong. this is just my understanding of why the seventy iraqi deaths impact me more than the deaths of three celebrities.
with that being said, i still have trouble conceptualizing what seventy deaths means. that is an incredible amount of lives taken in an instant, and i don’t think i can fully realize it. i definitely need to read althusser. i love anything relating to political philosophy. that sounds fascinating. thank you for the response.
one thought that occurred to me was that, unfortunately, the violent deaths of scores of people all at once in Iraq is, and has been more or less for the last six years, a far more frequent occurrence than the death of a world-famous popstar. so on the one hand, MJ’s death is more newsworthy on account of its rarity, yet on the other the very fact of that imbalance is the ‘real’ news.
what I emboldened there is not only very profound, but also the answer to those who say that this - wall-to-wall coverage of a nostalgically-remembered popstar - is what sells newspapers, that this is what people are interested in. that may be, but that doesn’t stop us asking why are people so interested in it, or why are we assuming that they are so interested? and it doesn’t stop us posing some question of journalistic integrity to those parts of the media that abandon coverage of politically significant killing and constant, complex violence in favour of culturally significant, and simple, death.
1. Coma Girl (by Joe Strummer) 2.Badlands 3.Prove It All Night 4.My Lucky Day 5.Outlaw Pete 6.Out In The Street 7.Working On A Dream 8.Seeds 9.Johnny 99 10.Ghost of Tom Joad 11.Raise Your Hand 12.Because The Night 13.No Surrender (with The Gaslight Anthem) 14.Waitin’ On A Sunny Day 15.The Promised Land 16.The River 17.Radio Nowhere 18.Lonesome Day 19.The Rising 20.Born To Run 21.Hard Times 22.Thunder Road 23.Land Of Hope And Dreams 24.American Land 25.Glory Days 26.Dancing In The Dark
AFI - Sing the Sorrow (reliving my teenage years, but this is a pretty classy album in its own way too. also, I never even went near Decemberunderground.)
Bouncing Souls - Anchors Aweigh (got to make up the triptych with How I Spent My Summer Vacation and The Gold Record. also, this is overall the most Springsteenesque of the three and just watched his Glastonbury set last night)
AFI - ‘Death of Seasons’ from Sing the Sorrow (Nitro Records, 2003)
so, this was one of the formative songs in my musical upbringing. in a line from the Offspring to Nitro, to The Art of Drowning, AFI were actually a key point in expanding my tastes in music, from straightforward punk rock to accepting more experimental or dissonant noises. ‘Death of Seasons’ introduced me to the concept of screaming vocals, and not dissimilarly to Attack Attack!, there’s a techno breakdown at around 1:20. it’s not the best song on the album by a long shot, but it was the one which made the most impact on me.
"If a band wanted to make a song and accompanying video that makes Brokencyde look as banal as a Mark Ronson cover of Paulo Nutini, then Ohio’s Attack Attack! have certainly succeeded with their single, Stick Stickly.
Their boyband screamo-eurodance blend comes across like a cross between Enter Shikari and the Vengaboys…”
in deference to the fact that the article is trying to explain the inexplicable, there’s quite a few handy links, including this animated gif
“Composers may never match their popular counterparts in instant impact, but, in the freedom of their solitude, they can communicate experiences of singular intensity. Unfolding large forms, engaging with complex forces, traversing the spectrum from noise to silence, they show the way to what Claude Debussy once called the “imaginary country, that’s to say one that can’t be found on the map.”“”—
the very last paragraph from The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by Alex Ross, which I just finished reading.
I don’t know if Tim Hecker was reading this, or the Big Book of Debussy for that matter, when he was looking for a name for his latest album, but I think An Imaginary Country is a pretty great and symphonic record, and performs greats services for shoegaze.
Heathers - ‘Remember When’ from Here, Not There (Hideaway House/Plan-it-X Records, 2008)
a joint Dublin/Gainesville release. I got it for cheap because I went along to the album launch in Eamonn Doran’s, one of the more basement-ier of Dublin’s music venues (with Lord of the Rings murals on the walls, although it’s too dark to really see them). also there was most of their year in school, as they’d just graduated - earlier that day, I think - though they still had exams to do before they went off on their first US tour (I was two years ahead of them in the same school).
Taking Brandon’s iPod Journal idea this is going to be a cataloging of what’s on my iPod (3rd generation Nano, 8GB, black). When I take stuff off I’ll list it and possibly explain why. When I add stuff I’ll definitely try to explain why. I’m trying to keep the commentary stream-of-consciousness and truthful. There will be little if any competent criticism on here.
Here’s what’s on my iPod right now, with today’s additions annotated.
Dinosaur Jr. - Farm —- read a lot of trustworthy press on this, notably at Hardcore for Nerds. I’ve never been a big Dinosaur Jr. fan. In fact I’ve barely ever listened to them. I think I’m in the right headspace to get into them now though. I’ve been liking things with the slacker connotation for no reason in particular other than it makes me feel good and cool.
glad you’re trying it out, and I (and a lot other people) think it’s a pretty great record, but I wasn’t conscious of giving it much trustworthy press… mostly just reblogging tracks and pictures (notably from chrisyamashiro) and adding “wow” or “awesome!” to it. so, definitely digging on the slacker connotations.
hopefully I’ll pick up the vinyl in the coming days, and re-experience the album, but so far I’ve haven’t got quite the same impact from it as from Beyond. maybe that’s to be expected, as Beyond was what made me sit up and take notice of Dinosaur Jr. as something other than ‘just’ another 80s-90s SST post-hardcore/grunge noisemaker (i.e. You’re Living All Over Me, which is on my mp3 player in an ongoing attempts to actually get a feel for). However, I think Farm has its strengths in the songwriting and fleshing out the bombastic return of Beyond - whether that makes it a good introduction to the band, beyond its inherent quality and awesomeness, I’m not sure.
…Conceptual poetry, following the tradition of Kenneth Goldsmith. I only wish it had been done in the style of The Weather, Soliloquy and the others; without episode identification or line breaks or adornment. 30 Rock has been, probably, the major force in keeping me sane for the past few weeks. I appreciate this more than I should.
wow. I wish they had this for Season 2, because I just finished watching it last night… my favourite Tracy Jordan moment wasn’t really just him, but when Jack convinces him to become the face of the Republican party . “I love states’ rights!”
following on eyepod, a sort of cultural self-documentary. apologies for taking up such a large slice if your dashboard, but I have waded through lots of weekly last.fm reports before now. this is just the album-based, medium-term, wide-view equivalent. presented with no individual commentary for the moment, and I’m not sure what I’ll do with it next:
free space 153 MB / 7.41 GB
90 artists, 122 albums, 5 singles, 8 exclamation marks
…Who Calls So Loud - s/t (2x10”)
Age Sixteen - Open Up Finders, Please
American Steel - Jagged Thoughts
Asobi Seksu - s/t, Citrus, Hush
Bats - Cruel Sea Scientist
Battles - Mirrored
Black Top Cadence - Chemistry For Changing Times
Blondie - Parallel Lines
Bob Marley and the Wailers - Kaya
Bouncing Souls - How I Spent My Summer Vacation, The Gold Record
Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska
Cathy Davey - Tales of Silversleeve
Chequerboard - Penny Black
Christian Scott - Anthem, Rewind That
Cian Nugent - Childhood, Christian Lies and Slaughter
Cold War Kids - Loyalty to Loyalty
Cutaways - Earth & Earthly Things
Dan Deacon - Bromst, Spiderman of the Rings
David Holmes - The Holy Pictures
Dinosaur Jr. - Beyond, Dinosaur, Farm, Green Mind, You’re Living All Over Me
Earth - The Bees Made Honey In The Lion’s Skull
Embrace - s/t
Envy - A Dead Sinking Story, Insomniac Doze
Fight Like Apes - Fight Like Apes and the Secret of the Golden Medallion, Jake Summers (7”)
Foals - Antidotes
Fugazi - In On The Kill Taker, Repeater + 3, Steady Diet of Nothing
Future of the Left - Travels With Myself and Another
God Is An Astronaut - All Is Violent, All Is Bright
Grails - Doomsdayer’s Holiday, Take Refuge
Green Day - 1039 Smoothed Out Slappy Hours, Dookie, Insomniac, Kerplunk!
Halves - Haunt Me When I’m Drowsy
Ham Sandwich - Carry the Meek
Helium - Pirate Prude
Hooray for Humans - Already Sleeping (7”), Safekeeping
Hoover - The Lurid Traversal of Route 7
Human Bell - s/t
Husker Du - Candy Apple Grey, Metal Circus, Zen Arcade
Indian Summer - Discography
Jawbreaker - Dear You
Jeff Buckley - Grace
Jesus Lizard - Goat, Liar
Johnny Foreigner - Our Bipolar Friends (single)
Kerosene 454 - Race/Situation at Hand
La Quiete - La Fine Non e La Fine, s/t 7”
Leatherface - Mush, The Last
Letters from Belgium - Emo and Screamo Mixtapes
Life Without Buildings - Live at the Annandale Hotel
Loma Prieta - Dark Mountain
Lungfish - Talking Songs For Walking
Mclusky - Mclusky Do Dallas, The Difference Between You and Me Is That I’m Not On Fire
Meneguar - Strangers in Our House, The In Hour
Miles Davis - Live in 1958-59, Steamin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet
Mogwai - The Hawk Is Howling
Moss Icon - Lyburnum
My Bloody Valentine - isn’t Anything, Loveless
Nirvana - Nevermind
Orchid - Chaos Is Me
Ornette Coleman - The Music of Ornette Coleman: Something Else!!!, The Shape of Jazz to Come
Papercuts - You Can Have What You Want
Patti Smith - Horses
Pennywise - Full Circle, Straight Ahead
Q and Not U - Different Damage, No Kill Beep Beep
Radio Flyer - In Their Strange White Armor
Rancid - Life Won’t Wait
Refused - The Shape of Punk to Come
Regulator Watts - The Aesthetics of No-Drag
Shooting at Unarmed Men - Triptych, Yes! Tinnitus!
Si Schroeder - Coping Mechanisms
So Cow - Commuting (7”), I’m Siding With My Captors
Sonic Youth - SYR 3 With Jim Rourke
Sugar - Beaster, Copper Blue
Suicide - American Supreme
Sweep the Leg Johnny - Sto Cazzo!
Swing Kids - Discography
Teeth Mountain - Live On
The Black Keys - Chulahoma, Thickfreakness
The Clash - Combat Rock, London Calling
The Crownhate Ruin - Until the Eagle Grins
The Offspring - Ignition
The Pupils - s/t
The Radiators - Ghostown
The Ramones - End of the Century, Ramones, Subterranean Jungle
The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground and Nico
The Weakerthans - Reconstruction Site
Tim Hecker - An Imaginary Country
Vampire Weekend - s/t
Weezer - Pinkerton
Wooden Wand And The Vanishing Voice - Gipsy Freedom
I think we’d all be surprised with how much of that movie was “not really written”. What I don’t get is the fact that we’re in a recession, but are still OK with people spending $200 million to make Transformers 2.
I think the answer to that is that there are enough people OK with, collectively, spending more than $200 million to go and see this movie… that’s assuming it doesn’t make a loss, in which (unlikely) case it would just be private investors’ money - and since, as far as I know, Obama’s stimulus plan hasn’t gone into making Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (wouldn’t it be funny if it had, though?)
I meant to say this in response to a raptoravatar post a few days ago, but when I last went to the cinema (to see Star Trek) the trailers included Transformers and GI Joe back-to-back. A more perfect case for the non-ridiculous, sublime quality of Crank: High Voltage couldn’t be made.
“I’m leaning on a broken fence between past and present tense. And I’m losing all these stupid games that I swore I’d never play. And it almost feels okay. Circumnavigate this body of wonder and uncertainty. Armed with every previous failure, and amateur cartography, I breathe in deep before I spread these maps out on my bedroom floor. Leaving. Wave goodbye. Losing, but I’ll try, with the last ways left, to remember. Sing my imperfect offering.”
I’ve definitely posted/reblogged/quoted this song before but it’s still one of my favorites. Today and tomorrow, I’ll be packing/unpacking my life for what seems like the millionth time in the last few weeks and whenever I do that, I listen to Left and Leaving, my favorite Weakerthans album and one of the few albums I think is completely perfect. Anyway, as of July 1st, I’ll have some sense of stability and that will significantly lessen the crazy anxiety that’s been killing me since the beginning of May.
And I’ll be probably be drinking a lot of PBR and boxed wine again, so that’s also a plus.
I’ve read a lot (a lot) of descriptions of the Weakerthans on Tumblr, but this is probably the best one yet.
Woods - ‘Military Madness’ (Graham Nash) from Songs of Shame, 2009.
Protest Song ‘71
This album continues to be in heavy rotation. I am debating editing out “September with Pete” as I always skip the track anyway. I’m all for quirky bands being a little bit self indulgent but if a track kills the entire flow of the LP and adds nothing of real value maybe its just not necessary.
Who says a nine-minute freaky guitar jam doesn’t have real value? personally, I really like that track (I posted it here) and I think that Woods albums wouldn’t be half as enjoyable if they didn’t break up the melodious folk singing for noise diversions (the previous Woods album is even worse for that). plus, I’m a little old-fashioned in never editing out songs from an album… flow is overrated, coherence or completeness is more important to the idea of an ‘album’ v. glorified playlist. for example, the Velvet Underground’s White Light/White Heat is completely devoid of flow on account of the ‘The Gift’, but I still wouldn’t want to listen to the album without it.