"I shot Little Shop of Horrors in two days and a night for about $30,000, and the picture has lasted all these years. It's still playing. Warner Brothers remade it for $25 million on a long schedule and of course a big budget. The picture came and went and is forgotten, The Warner Brothers $25 million picture which was made maybe seven or eight years ago is history and is never referred to. My two-day picture, which was made maybe 35 years ago, is still playing. And I think one of the reasons is the Warner Brothers picture was obviously a bigger, better-looking picture, but it didn't have the youthful verve and excitement of the original, and frankly, it wasn't as funny."
That's Roger Corman as interviewed by MJ Simpson, staff writer for SFX Magazine, back in 1995. Nearly 20 years later, his comments still hold true. Sure there are some who hold the 1986 film version in high regard - particularly those who are still clamoring for a DVD re-release (apparently planned for October of this year), and, to be fair to the filmmakers, the musical take on Horrors did pull a profit -- just over $13 million, according to Wikipedia.
But although Corman was poking a bit at the Frank Oz version, he gets at the heart of something that has consistently surprised me in the years since I've seen the original film. The concept that Corman and
Now online...the complete episode of E.S.P. TV #14 featuring a set by Brooklyn synth duo Xeno and Oaklander...
E.S.P. TV #15, taped on the same night, features a performance by E.U.C. and a screening of Performa commissioned video, "Trans-Trans", by Bradley Eros and Tim Geraghty, which satirically remixes the Michael Bey Transformers movies with the Futurist Manifesto.
It airs Tuesday, April 10th at 10pm on Channel 67 Time Warner in Manhattan. It also streams live from MNN's website (www.mnn.org) on MNN4.
It's true, pledgers to 7 Second Delay raised enough money last Wednesday to win an enviable prize - Andy will be crucified on a vinyl cross that's been kicking around the station, largely unused for years. More info here. Video by Yvonne.
In 1959, Billboard began releasing their annual charts of the top 100 songs of each year. Here are mp3s with 10 seconds of every single top 100 song ever. Follow the lists along with the music on this site. There are some errors here, so bear with me and do point out major imperfections in the comments. If you've been following my column in the past, all of these mp3s are improved versions, with crossfades in between tracks and smarter choices of clips.
I produced these supercuts with a software that Frederic Cornu and I developed together. Fred is a genius and I'm eternally grateful to him. This software is VERY SIMPLE to use and 100% FREE. It simply takes a music playlist of your choice (from iTunes or a similar program), finds the loudest point of each song and stitches all the songs together. These supercuts are useful to condense information and I think they're totally beautiful too.
In a few minutes, you can easily make supercuts of your music collection, even if you are a luddite. Download the file below, unzip the folder and click "Run Supercut-O-Matic"...there'll be a button to press in the program to give you further instructions.
UPDATE! You can get improved versions of the Supercut-O-Matic at this link. The new version gives you more options, such as changing the size of each clip, the crossfade, and more!
Once you've made your files, send them to me (contact info is provided in the program's helpme file) and I will release YOUR MUSIC on a CD! Do you have a completist collection of yodeling music, blues singers, minimal-synth, presidential speeches or tuba solos? Use Supercut-O-Matic and SEND ME THE RESULTS! Please do contact me with any feedback.
"Supercuts Supercut", a CD with the best submissions I get, is available to anybody who pledges $75 or more to my radio show in the current WFMU fundraising marathon! Use the widget below to pledge to the greatest radio station on the planet and help us broadcast for another year. Also, if you pledge $30 or more to my show, I will remix a top 100 song of your choice LIVE on the air.
The world's premier international chipmusic event event, the Blip Festival returns to NY May 19-21. WFMU will be there live streaming direct from Eyebeam to your home computer!
Produced by 8bitpeoples & The Tank, the Blip Festival celebrates the best and brightest from the realm of chipmusic and its related discilplines. This year, artists from all over the world will converge at Eyebeam, the leading not-for-profit art and technology center in the USA, for three days of arresting music and visual art utilizing former heavyweights of computing like the Commodore 64 and Amiga, the Atari ST and 2600, the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy.
WFMU will once again be webcasting live from the Blip Festival! So if you’re not able to make it to Eyebeam in the flesh, you can surf on over to wfmu.org each night for the live stream, Accu-Playlist, photos and a realtime comments board. WFMU DJs Bennett4Senate, Marty McSorely, and Jason Sigal will be joined by special guest DJ XC3N from Montreal CISM | 89.3FM to host and DJ between sets both on the stream and in-person at Eyebeam.
Last night I played Red Dead Redemption, which is a fancy cinematic video game about Ye Olde West and outlaws and gunfights and whatnot. There are horses. It's pretty amazing, in the way that all these new games are. I've watched a friend play Heavy Rain and Alan Wake, and watching him play was sort of like watching a crap
old movie on TV—you could sort of just sit through it, and it wasn't terrible, it just is what it is. We could carry on a conversation and drink beer while he was playing, and I didn't mind not playing the games myself. But then last night I was at one of those target-shooting pigroasts I go to, and I got a chance to actually play RDR, so I did, and here's my problem:
Remember Q*bert? Yeah, probably not. Q*bert was an arcade game back in the early 1980s, before you were born. Q*bert was this little character like a ball with eyes and legs and a tube for a nose, and the point of the game was to jump him all over a pyramid of cubes (whilst avoiding snakes!) and when you turned all the cubes a different color, then you got some more cubes to jump on. But if you just took Q*bert to the edge of the pyramid and jumped him off, he would fall, making an awesome bombs-away kind of noise, and then there was a very satisfying SPLAT when he landed wherever he landed, somewhere down below and out of sight. I never got past level one of Q*bert because I loved to hear him splat, and I would put in my quarter and jump him to the edge of the pyramid and send him over the edge, over and over again, until I realized how many quarters I was wasting and then went off to play, like, Tempest or something.
With Red Dead Redemption, I have the Q*bert Problem. I'm tearing along in a horse-drawn wagon race on a twisty mountain road, and I realize I can just drive the damned wagon over the edge of a cliff and watch my character fly out and the horse fall and the wagon split apart ... And then I'm back in the wagon race, and there's a different cliff to fall off of, and this time everything lands in a river. It is really astonishing that someone figured out all the possible scenarios for wagons going off cliffs in this one race, and animated each one differently—I mean, it really is amazing. I know that crashing off the cliff isn't supposed to be the point of the game, but if they only had John Marston make that Q*bert noise when I sent him off the edge, Red Dead Redemption would be the best game ever.
Thanks for reading my blogpost this time, and may God bless.
As people consume content in smaller pieces and the influences from which content-creators draw their inspiration become more varied and well-integrated into finished works, things have settled into different categories than they're usually put into.
When I wander out into the new, overflowing marketplaces of digital and physical content, I find myself chasing not a scene, genre, or production aesthetic. I find myself chasing EMOTION. BIG, shining, unmistakable emotion. Lindsey Buckingham might call it BIG LOVE. In a world full of the pulpy asscrap shit out of a million boring Macbooks, the only things that consistently rise to the top of the pile are the sentimental ones. They come from associations drawn in formative years, from tunes attached to specific occasions or great sound systems. Like: the first time someone slipped you some tongue, in the back of the car with the best stereo you've ever pumped to, all in front of shimmering fiery spectacle of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, and you're pretty much there.
So here is the best shit from 2009, the stuff that cut into me the deepest, OK?
Click on the links below the titles to hear the songs as they appeared in my shows over the year.
Tonight, the leading lights of the worldwide chip music movement are convening at Brooklyn's Bell House for the fourth-annual Blip Festival. And as you may have heard, WFMU will be webcasting all 3 days' worth of pixelated madness LIVE on a separate super-special blip stream, beginning at 8pm ET tonight!
The webcast is hosted by Trent of WFMU's Sound and Safe, who'll be DJ-ing between sets and talking with Blip Festival organizers, performers, & attendees throughout. Trent hosted a Blip Fest Warm-Up radio show on Monday night -- check out the playlist & archive here for live performances from
Je Deviens DJ En Trois Jour and Patric Catani, plus special guests C-Men and Peter Swimm.
Peter Swimm runs the True Chip Till Death blog, and curates weekly highlights from the chip music world on the Free Music Archive. Earlier this week, he posted a mix featuring some of the artists who'll be performing at this year's festival. Check it out after the jump!
WFMU will be webcasting this year's edition of the amazing BLIP FESTIVAL in its entirety!
Three days of pixelated madness LIVE from The Bell House in Brooklyn: Trash-bin symphonies and ray-chasing pixel pushers rule at the music and arts festival on December 17th, 18th, and 19th.
Entering its fourth year of celebrating the best and brightest from the realm of chipmusic and its related disciplines, the festival showcases the use of the former heavyweights of computing such as the Commodore 64 and Amiga, the Atari ST and 2600, and the Nintendo Entertainment System and Game Boy to create arresting music and visual art.
DJ Trent will host and DJ between sets both on the stream and in person at The Bell House.
The sequel to the play-along-with-the-music video game Rock Band, Rock Band 2, is coming out this Sunday! To celebrate, Trent will be hosting another live video game playing session on his show Monday 9/15, from 8 - 11pm EST.
Rock Band 2 is like the wildly popular Rock Band, but with more songs. Tune in live Monday evening to hear your favorite WFMU DJs (and others) slaughter the classics (virtually) via the brand new hyper-karaoke game. If you'd like to play live in the studio or remotely on Xbox Live, email Trent ASAP!
You can hear the last Rock Band session Trent aired (featuring Bryce on Tom Sawyer, Nick the Bard on Black Hole Sun, Maria on My Sharona) by checking out the archive here.
The full list of songs can be found after the jump, and you can see all of WFMU's upcoming special programs here.
Freezepop are not just a band. They're the first band in the world to become popular almost entirely because of their appearances not in newspapers, radio, magazines, or the blogosphere, but in video games. As a result, they're a convincing picture of the near future of music, gaming, and the worlds of art and commerce that surround both.
Just a few years ago, Freezepop's songs were sharing the stage with karaoke-style covers of "Smoke on the Water," "Ziggy Stardust," and "Spanish Castle Magic." Now, through a combination of good timing and great songwriting, they're sitting right up there with Bowie, Radiohead, and Blue Öyster Cult. Not karaoke-style Blue Öyster Cult, but the REAL Blue Öyster Cult...in a way. *
The Boston 3-piece has at its core The Duke of Pannekoeken, a programmer of infectious synth-pop and also of music for highly infectious video games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band. Liz Enthusiasm is Freezepop's bouncing, purple-haired frontwoman whose deadpan delivery is every bit as plasticky and cutting as their synth lines. The two were kind enough to answer a bunch of my stupidly detailed questions about music, licensing, the Cardigans, and the concepts of "fun" and "songwriting" in rhythm gaming. If you haven't experienced rhythm gaming or Freezepop, you might want to watch these videos to get an idea of what you're dealing with. The first is Freezepop's official video for "Less Talk More Rokk," and the second is the same song being played to perfection in Guitar Hero II.
Trent Wolbe: How have your audiences and concerts changed and/or grown over the years?
Liz Enthusiasm: Well, when we were in the smaller games (Frequency and Amplitude) it was more hardcore gamers who came to our shows, but Guitar Hero has really opened it up to a lot of people. One thing I really like is that there are all kinds of people there, all ages groups and different scenes. It's pretty cool.
TW: Duke - you work at Harmonix, the company that makes the best Rhythm games in the world. What is Freezepop's relationship to Harmonix, exactly?
The Duke of Pannekeoken: why thank you kindly for the praise... i hope to think that harmonix has worked really hard to try and bring fun, interactive music experiences to people! the relationship is pretty straight-forward... just after freezepop was started back in '99, i joined harmonix as a sound designer and composer and was tasked with writing music for our first game FreQuency, as well as authoring a number of other tracks in the game. after a couple of years doing that, i moved up and became the audio director for the Karaoke Revolution series of games, AntiGrav, and Guitar Hero 1 & 2. Since then, i've transitioned over to being a producer and lead the team that made Phase for the iPod which was released last fall. All of this has opened up a great opportunity for freezepop to include tracks in almost all of those games and reach whole new groups of fans. it's been amazing the reaction we've gotten to our songs in the games and has brought out lots of gamers to our shows.
TW: Do you write Freezepop songs and hope they'll end up in Rock Band, or see a hole in Rock Band, for example, and write to fill it?
LE: We generally use pre-existing songs of ours. There are certain ones that are just more obvious choices as to what would work well in the video game context.
DoP: For the most part, it's just a song we've written, and have gotten an opportunity to include it in a game, and then we've made some changes to the track that will make it play more fun. the only exception to this really was Less Talk More Rokk which was pretty much explicitly written knowing it was going to go into Guitar Hero 2. But it sounds pretty much like our other songs so it wasnt much of a stretch. We have added guitars and beefed up some of the instrumental parts in Brainpower to make sure it's super fun to play in Rock Band.
Sometimes you like to pat yourself on the back for having a fun idea like "Guitar Hero? What about Techno Hero!!!! That would be so much fun, like haha stupid what would you do, sit there and push play.....haha stupid idea."
Then someone from Japan blows your fucking brain away.
That person (female, I think, because of the spotty nail polish) is playing beatmania IIDX 15 DJ:Troopers. As you might be able to tell from all the postfixes, it's the latest in a very long run of titles Konami's Bemani series. It's included games like Guitar Freaks, that featured a guitar controller way before Guitar Hero came out, portable (!) rhythm games called Bemani Pocket, and most famously, Dance Dance Revolution. The IIDX iteration, which has been around since 1999, features two one-octave keyboard pads and a turntable controller (yes, she's using it in the video - check the pinky). Instead of a meager 50-someodd songs like Guitar Hero and Rock Band come with, they have...500 songs. Blam!
In December, there was a gigantic "Bemani 10th anniversary Memorial Event" concert in Tokyo called Gitado Live:
How in the goddamn fucking hell had I not heard of this entire world before this morning? It got me thinking. Right now, video gaming - in the United States, at least - is a world of extremes.