The Beautiful Hell Sound of a Tickled Penguin

I admit the shame of having no immunity to Cute Animal Doing Cute Thing videos. It’s my burden to live with and it keeps me out of the death metal bars. But yet, that can’t be the entire explanation of why I can’t stop watching this clip. That sound! It’s like the skin of the plane peeling back midflight and Steve Vai’s up there playing arpeggios through an amp he made out of chrome plated dolphin skulls. If you’re the remixing type, nab that beautiful/awful sound below and send me your creation. MAKE ALL MUSIC SOUND LIKE THIS FROM NOW ON! [Audio clip: view full post to listen] Download

Do You Need a Tote Bag? I’d Like to Meet You

I know there is someone out there, somewhere, who needs another tote bag. Raise your hand, I know you’re out there. The universe doesn’t make any sense without you in it, Mr. Unknown Quotient, because they are seriously making a goddamn metric hump-ton of tote bags these days and I have no freakin’ idea who needs another one. Seriously. I like artists and crafty people. I live in Brooklyn. I get all lathered up when I hear someone I’m talking to screen prints things.  That is awesome! Way to create, friend! But if you ask me to buy one of your screenprinted creations on a tote bag I’m going to say no because I’ve got 462 of the things stacked up like extremely ineffective cord wood in my closet and hanging from hooks in my hall where I should have jackets. The furthest I can stretch my concept of multiple […]

1981 Post-Punk Boxed Set For Free Download

We all know it and we all complain about it: the internet tends to privilege the up-to-the-second cult of newness in it’s music delivery methods. Blogs killed albums, everything’s a badly ripped leak, and kids these days are all listening to MP3s compressed to shit. Grumble grumble grumble, get off my lawn, etc. But it’s not all gone to hell. The same gifts of compression, free storage, and sharing have enabled the quiet obsessives, the crate diggers, the mix makers. Case in point: Musicophilia’s 1981 Boxed Set. 10 discs and over 400 bands from that year, documenting the energy and variety of what is very loosely termed ‘post-punk’. Why 1981? 1981 probably wasn’t the peak year for any sort of “pure” cultural or musical strain of what defined “post-punk” as an ethos or as a sound (I’d give that title to 1979).  But I chose to focus on 1981 in […]

Squarepusher is back with a new band ‘Shobaleader One’

2010 is turning out to be a great year for IDM/Braindance/whatever fans. Two albums by Autechre including their triumphant “Oversteps“; Wisp’s We Miss You, the perpetual hope of new Aphex Twin, and now today new Squarepusher. There’s been a short clip up for awhile, but today we get the track Megazine in all its glory. This time around though the multi-instrument and normally mildly dressed Thomas Jenkinson aka Squarepusher is in a band called Shobleader One with forthcoming release d’Demonstrator. Or so he claims. According to a Q&A on Warp’s Squarepusher page the band is composed of Squarepusher (Bass/vocals) Strobe Nazard (Keyboards), Sten t’Mech (Guitar), Arg Nution (Guitar) and Company Laser (Drums). Mr Jenkinson goes into more detail on its founding and purpose. Given this genre’s artists penchant for gags, hoaxes, and jokes this could be a one man show by Squarepusher– much like The Tuss might be Aphex Twin. […]

Half-Remembered and Half-Right: The Bullys “Sluts”

[Audio clip: view full post to listen] I’ve been looking for this track for about six years now and I just found it on an old data CD I just dug up out of an eternally unpacked cardboard box.  It stuck in my head for a few reasons: About damn time there was a good honest anthem about preferring ’em promiscuous, nicely under two minutes.  Know thyself, said that famous Greek. The heart of this band was Johnny Heff, a NYC firefighter who died when the Twin Towers collapsed. The spring of 2001 was my first headlong dive into punk rock appreciation, coming to it from the nerdier side of things (being a long-time Sonic Youth fan, going through that awkward ska face in high school and then, finally, wolfing down Greil Marcus’ Lipstick Traces in about three days).  This being the heady early days of file sharing, I took […]

1-Bit Symphony: Jewel Case as Orchestra

Tristan Perich is releasing a live performance that creates itself within the confines of a CD jewel case. Though housed in a CD jewel case like his first circuit album (1-Bit Music 2004-05), 1-Bit Symphony is not a recording in the traditional sense; it literally “performs” its music live when turned on. A complete electronic circuit—programmed by the artist and assembled by hand—plays the music through a headphone jack mounted into the case itself. Reminds me of of the Loud Objects Noise Toy, albeit in somewhat more elegant packaging¹.  It’s available on pre-order for $29.  Would love a kit or an Instructable to make my own. Saw this over at notcot. ¹Edit: That’d likely be because Tristan Perich is a member of Loud Objects.  How foolish am I?

My Reignited Theremin Obsession

Game Reviews – E3 2010 – It’s #&*%ing Science! Just had my theremin lust reignited by this 3 minute history/build video from G4’s Attack of the Show, via Create Digital Music.  Oh man.  I’ve been planning to build one of these since a random reference on the Slanky-L* to a theremin sample sent me off in search of just what this weird musical instrument could do. Turns out the history is just as fascinating as the ghost sound machine’s electronic guts.  Here’s an excerpt from the first interview with the Theremin’s inventor, Leon Theremin, after he first emerged from the U.S.S.R. after 51 years of state arrest: Mattis: When did you first conceive of your instrument? Theremin: The idea first came to me right after our Revolution, at the beginning of the Bolshevik state. I wanted to invent some kind of an instrument that would not operate mechanically, as does […]

Wintergreen Teaches You How to Make Meth

Listen dicks, the new crack is making fake drugs to promote your band. I know it, you know it, these guys have managed a force multiplier on their fairly middle of the road alt. rock by hitting on a concept we all wish we’d thought of before: a how-to video for making drugs from easily obtainable ingredients.  Drugs that don’t really exist, that is. Yeah, hate to be captain bring-down here, Beavis McTweakerson but Egyptian meth and Hillbilly Quaaludes only exist in the realm of fiction.  Still, how genius is it to piggyback on the how-to format, mixing up your band’s image with an engaging supermarket to kitchen alchemist walkthrough? The way they dump the vinegar gives me a little flashback to the soap making montage in Fight Club.  Which is never a bad thing. Yeah, I know, shoulda saved this for Saturday Morning Movie Club but this is too […]

An Email from Wolfgang Müller

If the endless culture mining of the Internet were an RPG, discovering the music and performances of Die Tödliche Doris would surely be a leveling up milestone.  80s German post-unk that constantly subverts expectations, taking the term “experimental” at it’s word and seeking to create something truly new and ugly-beautiful. And just to show that they’re still relevant and know the way the game is played, they’ll send you all their music if you ask them nicely.  How cool is that? The Die Tödliche Doris website politely indicates that it would cost them a number of scarce ducats to actually make things available for free due to some sort of quirk of German law, directing you to instead email them for their complete discography.  I did so Friday night and the very next morning, the above email arrived from a Mr. Wolfgang Müller. The email explains where the tracks are […]