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Hello, Everybody—Nice seeing you again.
I always advise my Listeners to check the business news sections of web sites or the newspapers, because how else are you going to find out what’s really going on? For instance, how else would we know that the haunted house business is not what it used to be?
First off, who even knew it was a business? Well, it is. There are a couple of trade magazines called—surprise!—“Haunted House Magazine” and “HauntWorld” (“the ONLY haunted house magazine for professionals!”) There is a haunted house industry association, and haunted house trade shows where haunted house industry professionals can meet with haunted house vendors. But unfortunately it’s not the business it used to be. All those old houses are being seized under the new eminent domain rulings, and there’s all those new safety regulations, and the price of liability insurance keeps going up, and it’s getting hard for a simple animatronic zombie entrepreneur to scare up a few bucks. So don’t quit your dayjob.
I was trying to think of something really scary to leave leave you with this Halloween, and here it is:
When asked if she approved of the Park Slope Pavilion movie theater’s policy of searching the bags of all patrons. Ms. Bridget O’Connor said, “Oh, definitely, I hope they continue. It puts your mind at ease. It might take a couple extra seconds, but what doesn’t?”
Well, EXACTLY. What doesn’t?
Thanks for taking a couple extra seconds to read my blog entry, and happy Halloween.
Here's a spooky new music video from Goblin Cock, the not-quite-heavy metal Pinback side project. The clip features the band cloaked in black robes a la Sunn O))) and paying sludgy riffs on B.C. Rich knock off guitars. The story involves a comic book store, a girls' softball team, and robots... taste the irony. Happy Halloween!
Our own DJ Monica alerts us to a NY Daily News story about the latest hatecore incarnation, Bakerfield, California's Prussian Blue. But don't forget all the old school music-making hatemongers like Angry Aryans, Brutal Attack, Johnny Rebel and Skrewdriver, all available at the Resistance Records website. After you've seen the stupidity and hatred on display there, check out this fascinating Southern Poverty Law Center report on the founder of Resistance Records - it's not what you think.
Many, MANY years ago I wrote an article for our now-defunct program guide, L.C.D., suggesting new slogans for New Jersey license plates. This was before all the diversification, with the "Battleship New Jersey" plates and those friggin' "Shore To Please" plates. Back then, Jersey plates were imprinted with THE GARDEN STATE - which seemed trite and out-dated to me. I suggested silly stuff like:
While THE GARDEN STATE may be our nickname, NJ & YOU: PERFECT TOGETHER has been our slogan since the early 80's, popularized by a serious of commercials with then-Governor Thomas Kean intoning the tag-line in his upper-crusty patrician sneer: "New Jer-zee and you; PURRR-fect Together". Then we tried the slogan "What A Difference A State Makes", which bombed as badly as Jim McGreevey's turn as Governor.
It now seems our new, improved hetero Acting Governor, Richard Codey (sorry - I mean Acting Governor The Very Hetero Richard Codey - it was McGreevey who was "acting hetero") has commissioned a new New Jersey slogan, paying one consultant $260,000 to come up with the godawful "New Jersey: We'll Win You Over." In an admission that this latest slogan is as pathetic as it is desperate, the Governor is reaching out to us, his peeps, for suggestions. You can call 609-984-9893 and shout your bon mots into the phone or go to nj.gov/slogan and fill out an electronic form. It's quick and easy and I've already submitted a few myself:
Okay, that last one I stole. But I want to see your originals - especially if you're submitting them through official channels. Remember: "WFMU & YOU: PURR-FECT TOGETHER!"
WFMU Vanity Plate created at http://www.acme.com/licensemaker/
Don't know what I'm talking about? Download this MP3 of a Satanic Mass by the band Coven. You'll never hear the phrase "Kiss The Goat" the same way again.
OK, so you'll never hear the phrase "Kiss The Goat" again at all. It's still a great Satanic Mass, as Satanic Masses go. It came out on Coven's 1970 LP Witchcraft: Destroys Minds and Reaps Souls. For years, I though that this was the same Coven who had the hit with One Tin Soldier, but apparently, that was the British Coven, and this is the American Coven. To make matters even more confusing, the American Coven included a member named Oz Ozbourne. No relation. Just Kiss The Goat and shut up.
If this Satanic Mass doesn't fulfill your Halloween quotient for evil, don't forget about my 70 minute Satanic Halloween Mix, The Horror (MP3), which also includes portion's of Coven's Satanic Mass. (Careful, it's huge - clocking in at almost 100 Megs.)
Hail Satan. Over and out.
"You can't stop bloggers from launching an
allout attack on you or your business if that's what they decide to
do--but you can defend yourself." OK, that's what online business mag Forbes.com says here.
Tips include (paraphrased):
Corporation as psychopath, anyone?
If the People's Republic of China still has military designs on Taiwan, they might want to first check out the latest video from the Taiwanese political novelty band Loh Tsui Kweh Commune (Download .mov movie file). After a visual checklist of internationally-accepted rock cliche's (devil horns, stage diving, guitar smashing, keyboard histrionics, etc), the band (also known as LTK and LTK Commune) gets down to business with the old chainsaw-up-the-butt gag. (Did I mention the video's complete absence of work-safeness?) But LTK doesn't stop there.
Before finally getting down with Buddhah, the band engages in male lactation fantasies and inexplicable product-positioned prostate exams. All in all, a bizarre and wondrous Asian smutfest, full of highly entertaining imagery, much of which would be scandalous here, but which is apparently A-OK for that haven of free-speech, Taiwan. via del.icio.us/video
Ah, Halloween, time to mix the sacred and the profane, or if you're lazy like me, just go with the usual profanity. But if you want to get sacred, you can make your own church sign. Trust me, it's extremely satisfying--without the danger, guilt, and eternal damnation of church vandalism. Plus you can get your sign in fridge-magnet form, suitable for doling out to cranky kids who would actually rather have a fistful of fun-sized Kit-Kats or edible anatomical treats. [via]
Fun and (mind) games. Is she really going out with him? Love Cubes, the 1972 board game by the great Martin "Boring Postcards" Parr, is now online. Click on each member of a boy-girl couple to find out if they, uh, click. Take a Sex ID test courtesy of the BBC (only if you are at work and have nothing else to do). Make a sacred hula hoop. (Honestly, I can't think of any reason why you would do this. If you really need a hula hoop, buy one--it just won't connect you to the universe as well as the sacred kind.)
What not to wear. Let's start with boob scarves. Please don't wear boob scarves. No, vagina underwear. Please, please don't wear vagina underwear. No, wait, definitely don't wear a penis costume to a homecoming dance. Giant-inflatable-penis-boy got suspended and slapped with a sexual harassment citation. His parents, while agreeing he made a "poor decision," think he should have been cut some slack as this was his first offense for wearing a giant inflatable penis costume to a homecoming dance.
The biggest turn-off ever. Naked people sheets.
MekSex. A site about sex and machines. By Sandy Beach, the inventor of the Tickling Machine, Fancy Panties, the Portable Tickling Machine, and the Invisible Tickling Machine, and Author of Sweet Agony, a novel featuring (you guessed it) tickling, and the nylon jersey fabrics used for women's evening wear in the 70's, particularly Qiana, and slinky bell bottom pants made by designers like Manning Silver, Rina, Funky and Estievo (didn't see that part coming, did you?). I heart Sandy Beach.
Hump day(s). A driver in the United Arab Emirates was sentenced to three months in jail for repeatedly having sex with a camel, who the driver said he had fallen in love with. The camel's sentence was a one-way ticket to the slaughterhouse, since its meat is now tainted by driver spunk.
It's a crime. No, not camel-humping in the United Arab Emirates. Teen sex in Kansas. And now homo-teen sex in Kansas is just as criminal as hetero-teen sex. That's progress, my friends. The Kansas Supreme Court ruled unanimously that Matthew Limon, now 23, will not have to spend 17 years behind bars for consensual sex a week after his 18th birthday with another male teenager. And for that we're grateful. We're also grateful that I didn't make a "not in Kansas anymore" joke. Because a lot of people are still in Kansas.
Really portable music is a wonderful thing. It's both empowering and comforting to have a shiny music machine in your pocket that plays a variety of your favorite tunes at the whim of your finger on a little wheel. It's futuristic technology that has made listening an intimate experience... for over FIFTY years.
Back in the early 50's a company called Texas Instruments was making good money churning out piles of newfangled little transistors for military applications, but they envisioned a wider public marketplace for the little buggers. And in 1954 the TI engineers created a prototype transistor radio. It was small, it worked, and it seemed like a great idea. However, Texas Instruments wasn't in the business of manufacturing consumer products back then, so they shopped their concept around to several big radio makers of the day. Surprisingly, RCA, Sylvania, and Philco all said "no thanks" before a small outfit in Indiana (the Regency Division of Industrial Development Engineering Associates) took the bait.
Within a matter of months the first commercial transistor radio was a reality. Besides being cute and colorful, the TR-1 was the very first mass-marketed transistorized gadget. It was made here in the U.S.A., and in that spirit the it was prominently on display in stores across America just in time for Christmas 1954. The price? A whopping $49.95. Adjust the cost for inflation and you're lookin at almost $350 in today's dollars, not far from the $399 price tag on that first iPod.
Before the TR-1, any portable radio you might buy had a "luggage" quality, with big top handles and a bit of heft. They just weren't all that portable thanks to the warm glowing vacuum tubes they contained. These days, audiophiles and technical stick-in-the-muds properly laud the aural beauty of the "tube" sound, but the glass casings and inner workings of vacuum tubes are rather fragile and they need a protective case, as well as some large batteries to power up. And of course, the tubes themselves aren't all that tiny either.
The party's mayoral candidate and mastermind is ex-postal worker/Vietnam vet/martial arts instructor Jimmy McMillan, who once climbed up a cable on the Brooklyn Bridge armed with a machete to demand press attention. McMillan is actually on the official NYC ballot, running against a few other goons who are far too deficient in entertainment value to be mentioned.
Unfortunately, McMillan blames his rent woes on Jews (he also accuses them of creating a state of apartheid in Brooklyn), which is sure to derail his campaign. However, his site is full of nuggets like this:
All Poor People Are Being Force Out OF New York
*** HELL NO ***
This Is Jimmy McMillan, Ain't Nobody Running Nobody Anywhere.
Although McMillan's campaign may appear ridiculous, at least he's earnest. Remember when Jello Biafra ran for mayor of SF in '79? His platform included forcing businessmen wear clown costumes and banning cars within the city limits.
The assassination of John F. Kennedy may have marked the end of American innocence, but it crowned Vaughn Meader's First Family LP as the king of the cut-out bins for decades, a position it still holds to this day. What a shame that this fate was not bestowed upon George Atkins and Hank Levine's Sing Along With JFK LP instead. In 1961, Atkins and Levine took snippets of JFK's early presidential speeches, added an accordian player and a chorus, and set Camelot to music. JFK's pal Frank Sinatra was good enough to put out a small pressing of the LP on his Reprise label.
Although the same technique has been applied by others (including the George W Bush Singers), the inspiration of the Sing Along With JFK record has never been equaled, even (and especially) by Atkins and Levine's RFK/LBJ-based followup, Washington Is For The Birds.
Here are all six musical tracks from the LP Sing Along With JFK:
Spooky Movies-Roy Clark
Lookout Mountain-Chuck Miller
Screemin' Meemies-Merv Griffin
Soul Dracula-Hot Blood
Midnight Monsters Hop-Jack and Jim
Monster Man-Screaming Lord Sutch
Dinner With Drac-John Zacherle
Bo Meets The Monster-Bo Diddley
Igor's Party-Tony's Monstrosities
Intro Monstro Crescendo-Messer Chups
I never thought I'd be posting a filmstrip on the blog, but here you go: Pathways To Music, Part One: The Birth of Electronic Music (mov file for download). This is part one of the series - if you know where part two is, let me know. This installment covers "electronic" music from 400 BC to 1950, including analog techniques such as the "soundhouses" of the 17th century (pictured at right) to the glass harmonica, before finally moving along to early electronic instruments such as the Dynamophone and the Ondes Martenot. And the case is made that DJ Paul Hindemith was the first turntablist of all time, yo!
UPDATE: Here is part two (MP4 file), via GetLoFi. Thanks, Tony!
Imagine a New Jersey call-in radio show where the host doesn't want to talk to you. As he moans about having to deal with the public, he also berates listeners for not calling in more. When he answers the phone, he mockingly mutters the talk-radio clichés before they can: "Love the show," he says in his best bored curmudgeon voice. "First-time caller, longtime listener, blah, blah." He routinely derides the audience and his co-host as hippies. And he spends a good portion of his weekly, hourlong time slot asking his co-host when they can go home.
Read the entire article here: Pod Pick Of The Week
This week features a sort-of lengthy article (html link) entitled "No Hits, All the Time", written about WFMU for the New York Times Magazine's April 11, 1999 issue. Fast forwarding 30 years from WFMU's groovy past, we get a picture of the station as it is, more or less, in these modern times. Quotes from Citizen Kafka, Kenny G, Monica, and other DJs attempted to elucidate for the coffee-sipping Sunday morning Times readers exactly what it is that makes FMU so different from your average pitstop on the radio dial.
When WAVM, a high school radio station in Maynard, MA, applied to up its power, teachers and students never expected to be crushed by the iron fist of a higher power 5 years down the road. WAVM's frequency will soon be pulled out from under the school and transferred to a religious conglomerate from California, thanks to an FCC rule which allows other organizations to bid on frequencies when they apply for power increases (read the full story here or here). The feds somehow calculated that backhanded christians would better serve the community than the school that's run the noncommercial-educational station since 1973.
But this story is nothing new. Christian broadcasters have systematically preyed upon high school stations during the license renewal and power increase processes. More common than a complete high school station overthrow is a time-share allotment, especially in the days before ipod shuffle and robo-DJ technology (when some high school stations had difficulty broadcasting the FCC-required minimum of 12 hours per day).
If you would like to join WAVM's fight to save their frequency, write to the FCC:
Peter H. Doyle
Chief, Audio Division
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
Most of the popular references include The Residents, Kiss, Buckethead, Slipknot, Mudvayne, Insane Clown Posse and the recently signed Mushroomhead. But there have been a string of artists working in disguise that are just off the radar, including -
Nash The Slash, he of prog group FM and many solo projects, Cast In Bronze, the mysterious Carillon player, Orion, the cabalistic Elvis impersonator, Nigeria's outrageous Lagbaja, and Afrobeat Ensemble's Kaleta, to name a few. Click Here to be serenaded! (wmv)
"They don't know the fear/we endure once a year... do they know it's Halloween at all?" Parody/cheeky-homage of classic/infamous 80s Band-Aid charity record, by a group calling themselves the North American Halloween Prevention Initiative, includes Elvira Mistress of the Dark, Russel Mael, Beck, Thurston Moore, Malcolm McLaren, Karen O, Devendra Banhart, Joey Waronker, Peaches, David Cross and lots of others. Lots of fun... on Vice records, all profits benefit UNICEF. Read about it at Vice here and here, also recently in the NYTimes. Watch the kooky video here (no group sing-along shots - unfortunately?).
"We all love music, and we all love to watch hand skills. So watch Greg Irwin and his incredible finger dexterity as he bust out moves to the beat of De'vo's music."
(The other Devo.)