UPDATE: The photographer who took these photos has checked in here and says that in fact the people shown at the right did find their soda, as opposed to looting it. Thanks, Phrankenshop via metafilter!
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UPDATE: The photographer who took these photos has checked in here and says that in fact the people shown at the right did find their soda, as opposed to looting it. Thanks, Phrankenshop via metafilter!
Hello blogosphere. Welcome to the WFMU Press Vault, home of WFMU-related newspaper and magazine clippings, both new and recent and moldy and old. This week we will cover a couple of articles about everyone's favorite Saturday morning sugar-bomb breakfast treat: Greasy Kid Stuff.
Hova and Belinda and DJ Waah Waah were very recently featured in a front page article in the Sunday Arts section of The Oregonian on August 25th 2005. In it, we learn some GKS history, find out about their new remote set-up, and discover some secrets that make GKS the magic machine that children (and their parents) enjoy every Saturday.
Here's an excerpt:
INARA VERZEMNIEKS Among discerning rock 'n' roll parents -- parents who would much rather raise their offspring on ska, punk or quirky retro-pop than the Wiggles or Raffi -- the names Belinda Miller and Hova Najarian enjoy a certain cult status.
On a recent Saturday morning, Belinda and Hova, as they are known to their loyal listeners, were holed up in their Southeast Portland home, fueling up on coffee and Voodoo Donuts and shuffling through stacks of CDs and LPs in preparation for their two-hour radio show, "Greasy Kid Stuff."
Rather than play music specifically written for children, Belinda and Hova have turned 'Greasy Kid Stuff' into a national phenomenon by playing grown-up music they think kids would like instead."
The Oregonian's story also refers to a New York Times article from April 11, 2004 hanging on Hova and Belinda's wall. That entire article is available here (PDF, 433k)!
Next week: A trip in time to 1987.
Anton Maiden he ain't, but The Rawker reaches new heights of surrealism with his shirtless accappella renditions of ACDC and Zeppelin tunes. According to the legend, The Rawker was kicked out of his band after the vocal monitors they bought revealed how awful his singing was. But undeterred, The Rawker made 20 VHS copies of himself singing in his bedroom and left them at the local music store, looking for a new band. My favorite Rawker clip is Whole Lotta Love, in which our hero recreates Robert Plant's howling at the moon perfectly, which is all the more strange since there is no instrumentation behind him. Me, I prefer The Rawker accappella. But if Pure The Rawker is too much for you, there's already a page of Rawker Remixes. via therawker
There’s lots of things I don’t have, money being probably the main thing because if I had some money I might get some of the other things I don’t have now. Then I would have those things, but I wouldn’t have the money any more.
One of the things I don’t have is an iPod Shuffle. But if you go to the web site that explains how to automatically fill up your Shuffle with your favorite corporate listening product, you will see that Bronwyn's device is copying a tune called “Tonight We Fly.” I wanted to hear what that song sounded like, so I googled it and found a reference to a group called Divine Comedy, but I couldn’t find any links to that song or any little samples of it. I did find a record company called Divine Comedy that has lots of stuff I think I’d really like to hear. Maybe we can get them to send some things to Program and Music Director King Brian at WFMU. But even if I did have some money, I don’t think I would trade it for an iPod Shuffle, because if I were listening to real music I might not be able to hear the songs that are always on in my head.
Thanks for reading my irregular blog entry, and MGB.
To beef up a previous post on found items, I discovered a wealth of links for sites offering an array of cultural detritus and other people's crap:
Found photos: Big Happy Fun House
Sound collage artist listing: Detritus.net
An alarmingly expansive collection of found items, retro-heavy: Swapatorium (be sure to click on the video link for Laffun Head)
The Grocery List Collection: yep, 800 of 'em
Snapshots: Square America
Photos and pop ephemera: Happy Palace
Halloween-related crapola: Old Haunts
X-mas-related junk: Santa and me!
More found photos, organized by year: Time Tales
Whoa people, get a life. I mean, c'mon, don't you have something better to do than live vicariously through other people's garbage? Yeah, me neither.
I heard the warnings but wouldn’t leave the house. The windows were boarded up, there was plenty of food and water—and I thought I’d ride it out. Having never been through a hurricane before, I thought it might be a break in routine to make me feel like somebody (my ex says I can’t cope with being a nobody, that it’s making me “…miserable and frustrated”).
Image from Plymouth State
Hello, Everybody--Nice seeing you again.
Nick Bertozzi is smart, funny, good-looking, and talented. Unfortunately, he’s also a cartoonist. He started out the way a lot of alternative cartoonists do, drawing his own crude, obscene, and funny comic book, “The Incredible Drinkin’ Buddies.” Then he got all artsy and drew “Boswash,” a story about a cartographer that, instead of being printed as a book, folded out like a map. He won some awards for that one. He drew a bumper sticker for WFMU in 2001. His art got better and better, and he started getting illustration gigs, and he got married and had a little girl, and his comics got more and more serious and historical, ’cause you don’t want to draw dirty stuff when you’re thinking about keeping your daughter off the pole. That’s why I was surprised when I heard that some poor guy in Georgia might be going to prison for giving away a comic book with a Nick Bertozzi story in it.
Every year, the comic book industry has a promotion where they give away free comic books. This is supposed to lure people into comics stores, as if there’s anything in there you’d actually want to buy once they get you inside. I used to love comics, but I don’t go into comic shops any more because I got tired of pimply-faced 17-year-olds calling me “Ma’am” as if it were an insult. Anyway, this guy, Gordon Lee, owns a comic book shop in Rome, Georgia, and he had a bunch of books for 2004 Free Comic Book Day that he couldn’t even give away, so he decided to hand them out to trick-or-treaters on Halloween. One of the books was an anthology called “Alternative Comics #2” that featured an excerpt from “The Salon,” Nick Bertozzi’s graphic novel about Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. You know how kids love the early cubists. Nick did a lot of research on these guys, and the story is historically accurate, including the fact that the first time Braque went to Picasso’s studio, Pablo was painting in the nude. Naturally, that’s the part of the story that was excerpted in “Alternative Comcs #2.” Gordon Lee says the comic—which has a "Mature Readers" label—was accidentally put in the give-away pile, where it wound up being handed to a 9-year-old boy. The kid’s parents complained, and Gordon Lee was arrested.
A few years ago, WFMU's dynamic duo (Irwin Chusid and Ken Freedman) played a crucial role in digging scat legend Shooby Taylor (aka The Human Horn) out of obscurity and placing him in the spotlight (click for real audio of an interview with Shooby on Ken's show in 2002) for some well-deserved, albeit belated, recognition.
Unfortunately, Shooby passed away in 2003, while plans for cleaning up and releasing the music from his legendary tapes were still in the initial planning phase. News of progress on the project has just hit Irwin's Key of Z site, indicating that a CD of Shooby's songs may soon come to fruition.
The idea that 1984's sci-fi epic/cash-sucking black hole Dune starred Sting and was scored by Toto when it could have involved Alejandro Jodorowsky (Santa Sangre, El Topo, Holy Mountain), Salvador Dali, H.R. Giger, and scoring by Magma is one of the best reasons for cinephiles to thud their heads repeatedly against hard surfaces and curse the Hollywood machine. Arthur Magazine's blog just put up a few postings on this, including an interview with Jod on the prep work he did before getting booted from the project, why he felt it was important for Dali to get $100,000 an hour to play the lead in Dune, Giger's work, and some of the fantastic spaceship designs Chris Foss worked on:
“Dune had to be made. But what kind of spaceships to use? Certainly not the degenerate and cold offspring of present day American automobiles and submarines, the very antithesis of art, usually seen in science fiction films, including 2001. No! I wanted magical entities, vibrating vehicles, like fish that swim and have their being in the mythological deeps of the surrounding ocean. The ‘galactic’ ships of North American technocracy are a mouse-gray insult to the divine, therefore delirious, chaos of the universe. I wanted jewels, machine-animals, soul-mechanisms. Sublime as snow crystals, myriad-faceted fly eyes, butterfly pinions. Not giant refrigerators, transistorised and riveted hulks; bloated with imperialism, pillage, arrogance and eunuchoid science."
At WFMU, we pride ourselves on our musical snobbery; the WFMU record library is one of the world's great repositories of obscure music. But with file-sharing and digital replication, that's all changing. Suddenly, we're (meaning all of us who once had great record collections) not alone -- lots of folks now possess MP3 collections that they don't deserve (or appreciate). This article in The New Republic delves into this new (and sorry) state of affairs.
Backtrack: A few weeks ago (with the encouragement of too much cachaça) I proposed that WFMU's puppetmasters hire a qualified clinician to compile a psychological profile of station staff. Such a survey would provide valuable insight into the WFMU psyche -- and, perhaps more importantly, spark a Seven Second Delay episode in which Andy Breckman could further ridicule his colleagues (I suggested Andy fund the study). Besides chronicling our common delusions, such a profile would extend to our volunteers and listeners. The WFMU family -- strange DNA, yes? We could data-mine the results to our advantage -- improve fundraising outreach, or fine-tune next year's T-shirt motif. The emerging character patterns might prove useful to the Department of Homeland Security. WFMU: Confronting paradigms of hegemonic conformity with a near hesychastic acuity.
Mix me another, Hank.
We estimated the study would cost around $25,000 -- a sum that might require actual labor on Andy's part to earn -- then the cachaça wore off, and we came to our senses and dropped the idea. By "we" I mean "they."
In the shameless pantheon of novelty music, there is one sub-genre so unspeakable that it's practitioners almost never reveal their actual names. I speak of course of the Singing Animal Song. The Beatles Barkers are no exception. Nowhere on their album (released in the middle of the night in New Zealand) does an actual human being accept musical responsibility. It is credited only to "The Woofers and Tweeters Ensemble," but even this obfuscates the most important point about this deservedly unappreciated genre - the best Singing Animal Records are those in which there are in fact no animals at all. The Beatle Barkers success (if in fact there is any) is derived from the fact that, unlike other Singing Animal records, the animal noises are in fact samples made by human beings. Animal noises are too important to be trusted to the animals.
Here in its discredited entirety is the Beatles Barkers LP, including the original version of that most rancid song, Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da. Beatles-ologists know that Paul McCartney originally penned this aural trainwreck for Badfinger, who respectfully passed on it. Badfinger in turn passed the song on to The Woofers and Tweeters Ensemble, who recorded it in early 1968, but did not release it until 15 years later, after New Zealand's musical statute of limitations had expired.
All My Loving
Can't Buy Me Love
Hard Day's Night
I Feel Fine
I Saw Her Standing There
I Want To Hold Your Hand
Love Me Do
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da (original version)
She Loves You
We Can Work It Out
James Kelso (pictured here with David Duke, standing in front of Hitler-sympathizer Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis), moderator of stormfront.org's online forum and Friend of Stormfront, working out of David Duke's offices in St. Tammany Parish, Lousiana has this to say on the subject of Cindy Sheehan:
One reason that the Left has, for fifty years, routinely done a better job of political progaganda than we Patriots have, is that they are ready at the drop of a hat to go out into the streets to protest.
There is no downside to dignified street activism. The Crawford, Texas encampment by Cindy Sheehan is arguably the single most brilliant tactical propaganda move in decades. What Cindy Sheehan did was simply to "do it".
She just got in her car and drove to Crawford to physically announce her righteous moral stand against a war based on lies.
We can do the same thing. We can also take advantage of the entire media of the world being in Crawford for the next few days. Or we can let the opportunity go. We can worry about whether our message will be properly understood. Or we can do what Cindy Sheehan did....just show up in front of Bush when he is cornered like a rat lolling about at his ranch. Clearing brush, riding his $3,000 bicycle, and catching up on his reading.
A basic principle is that "if you don't come to the dance, you don't get the girl". We're going to the dance.
When I first heard about this, as I filled in for Prof. Dum-Dum tonight on WFMU, my immediate thought was "Karl Rove". Call me paranoid...
In the interest of fair play and a balanced diet, which are not interesting at all, we're following up last week's This Week in Sex, a delicious array of meat, with this week's This Week in Sex, a skimpy side of veg. Enjoy. But you won't enjoy it as much as the meat.
Drink me. Make your own beer cozy sex toy. [thanks Daniel Robinson]
The Vegan Vixen Show asks the age-old question, "What happens when a bunch of sexy vegan girls get together?" The age-old answer, "A TV show no one wants to watch." Producer Sky Valencia says "We wanted to appeal to the male audience, the hunters, the dogfighters, the burger eaters - you know, the guys who love Stuff and Low Rider magazine as well as Jack Ass and Howard Stern." You know what appeals to those guys? In a word, meat. And dog fights, but that's two words. (Apparently dog fights are big part of he-man culture.)
Vegetarian Radio. The words vegetarian radio make me want to club the seal next to that eco-porn seal.
I mean not. Totally are not. Don't send me a cease and desist letter. (But they do make a nice couple.)
It's the end of the world. No, wait, in Malta they have come to realize "it is not the end of the world if one admits to browsing explicit sites on the Internet or buying sex toys." They have their own Maltese sex store, which is pretty much the same as other sex stores, but smarter, because it has the disclaimer,"These products are not intended for use by mindless morons." This would effectively kill a business in the U.S., where all products are intended for use by mindless morons. Go Malta!
[Yes, I know those last couple got a little off-topic. Don't send me a cease and desist letter.]
Next week: Monkeys!
I haven't done a weekly show on WFMU since 1999, so please indulge me. Much like that kid at the party who takes over the stereo, this is the only opportunity I get to communicate my tastes to the world at large.
When the need arose for a portable music listening device, I bought this nifty little thing called a Creative Zen Micro; it holds 5GB of music or data, is about two-thirds the size of an iPod, and best of all, you don't need iTunes in order to export/import files (easy-to-use Windows-based software is provided.) No freezing or battery charging issues, either.
So what's on an ex-FMU DJ's portable, you ask? Note the absence of Morton Feldman, Stockhausen, La Monte Young, the "Lake" album, Conrad Schnitzler, Stars of the Lid, H.N.A.S., Merzbow, DDAA and other oft-played artists of this nature from my years on the air. That stuff still gets played at home all the time; remember this is music for being on the move.
Alrune Rod - 2 albums by Danish heavy psych band, ca. '69-'70 (and way above average for things fitting that description.) Got the tip from the unsung section of Julian Cope's Head Heritage website. [mp3]
Amon Düül II - Yes, I am still a Krautrock fanatic. 2 albums: the highly acclaimed Yeti from 1970, and the less-acclaimed (but still dear to me) Vive La Trance (1974). [mp3]
Bad Brains - Their 2 great SST albums, I Against I and Quickness, plus the phenomenally good dub disc I & I Survived. [mp3]
Culture - mp3 assortment - Classic 70s reggae; including their hit "Two Sevens Clash." [mp3]
Don Bradshaw-Leather - A rare item from the infamous Nurse With Wound list. See Brian Turner's post here. Super-dark psych weirdness, heavy with mellotron and piano. Not recommended for listening on the bus.
Fugazi - Repeater + 3 Songs - For those times when I need a righteous instant pick-up. Slinky, uplifting punk music from 3 of the nicest guys I ever ate mediocre Chinese food with (Mr. MacKaye wasn't there, but I'm sure he's nice too.)
Egad! Seventies punk icons Jimmy Pursey and Johnny Rotten got into a bit of a row Wednesday outside the U.S. Embassy in London, BBC 6 Music news reports.
on line queued up to collect a visa prior to his trip to New York City for the upcoming Sham 69 benefit shows for CBGB this coming Sunday and Monday; Rotten was there for reasons that were not disclosed (a reality tv show casting call in the States, perhaps?). A long-smoldering feud was re-kindled when Rotten spurned Pursey's offer of a handshake and threw coffee over the Hersham Boy instead. Pursey landed a retaliatory kick before armed Embassy guards stepped in, at least one of whom was a fan of the combatants. As Pursey explained: "It's not every day you get a guy with a submachine gun round your head telling you he's a Sham 69 fan."
Improbably -- especially considering that it was 7:30am! -- the kafuffle was witnessed by 80s has-beens The Proclaimers, who were also at the Embassy. No doubt their overly large mouths were agape.
Suggested soundtrack for this post (all RealAudio):
"If The Kids Are United" by Sham 69, from Hova's show
"Anarchy In The UK" by the Sex Pistols, from Ken's show
Sham 69's "Hurry Up Harry" as performed by Terre T and the Hoof & Mouth Sinfonia, from the 2003 Marathon Finale
Only a day after we lost Robert Moog, another major wheel-inventor in the scheme of electronic music has passed. Paris-born composer Luc Ferrari has earned himself the title of true pioneer in music concrete, found sound usage and avant-garde music in general. He founded the Group de Musique Concrete in 1958, and along with the likes of Pierre Schaeffer advanced the possibilities of recorded sound by huge leaps and bounds, continuing to discover new and unexplored terrain even up to today. He died Monday in Arezzo, Italy. I've asked musician David Grubbs, who has been much under the influence of Ferrari throughout his own career (and has released recent Ferrari discs on his own Blue Chopsticks label), to express some of his memories here, and he kindly obliged:
Luc Ferrari possessed a sparkling sense of humor and quality of focus or presentness that, for anyone lucky enough to have enjoyed his company, will be impossible to forget. In this lifetime, you might meet a handful of individuals whose work really speaks to you. Really sparks you . . .(Right now I¹m thinking about periods spent listening to "Presque Rien No.1"and "Tautologos 3" and "Unheimlich Schön" over and over again.) But when you meet one of those people, how often do you find that person¹s company an equally profound pleasure?
When I think of Luc, I think of his laugh and the musicality with which that laugh punctuated his storytelling. I think of his profound irreverence, his constitutional opposition to any kind of pomposity or pretentiousness and irreverence and an opposition that, as far as I could tell, were part of the fiber of his person. I think of the directness and concision with which he talked about music. I think of him as setting the terms by which his work succeeds or fails, and of him as being almost comically (hilariously, excellently, inspiringly) impervious to competing ideologies in contemporary music. I think of how he enjoyed traveling, I think of how he enjoyed meeting and working with much younger musicians (so long as they were secure in what they did, having one foot in music and the other in the business of sociality and knowing how to enjoy themselves), and I think of what a force of nature he and his wife Brunhild together constituted. I think of his pleasure in finding a decent bottle of wine behind bullet-proof glass at a liquor store in Brooklyn so that we could make the most of lunch at a diner. He didn¹t criticize the grilled cheese. I loved the way he dressed. If I get started, I¹m not going to want to stop. His music meant so much to me, and then I came to enjoy his company every bit as much and ultimately even more.
"Impossible to forget" is a tall order, hope against hope . . . but it¹s a way of saying that I want to be able to continue to savor the lovely, resolutely one-of-a-kind person that Luc Ferrari was. An utter original. Damn if I¹m not hearing that laugh this very instant . . .
An interview with Ferrari by Dan Warburton here (with lots of links on the bottom to other articles).
Flash Earth takes google maps to an extreme. You start off with a flat map of the world, and then using the scroll bar on your mouse, you can zoom in to almost any point on the earth, right down to specific buildings. Pictured to the right is WFMU's neighborhood in Jersey City. It's fun to look for what your neighbors are secretly building in their backyards, not to mention monuments and other landmarks. As you might expect, some parts of the world are more extensively photographed than others. (When you click the link above, you'll get a message which you need to only say "OK" to.)
The Coen Brothers' 1998 release The Big Lebowski has taken on beyond-cult status, with an annual gathering of the faithful on two coasts. The 2005 LebowskiFest NY is on the horizon: tickets go on sale today at 3 PM. The Dude abides...
Image of Jesus from http://members.aol.com/WPRob/lebowskibook.html