Internet Killed the Late Night Talk Show Star

Alex Ross author of The Rest is Noise and New York Times music critic writes on a recent his The Rest Is Noise Blog New York Times article on late night TV: “….[T]he median age of [Jay Leno’s] viewers has crept up to 55.6 from 46.6. Mr. Letterman’s audience is slightly younger, at 54.7.” The latest findings by the League of American Orchestras, drawing on their own studies as well as the most recent NEA study of arts participation, indicate that the median age for the classical audience is forty-nine. In fact, that’s younger than the median age of the entire prime-time television public. Yup, so classical music is younger and hipper than late night TV. The demographic that fondly refers to themselves as “baby boomers” and likes to think of themselves as revolutionary likes late night TV more than classical music. Now most would think of classical music as […]

Coke Subs and Chris Elliot

(Rest of the episode here and here.) Any, any, ANY excuse at all to post an episode of Get a Life, the how-the-hell-did-he-get-a-show Chris Elliot sitcom fondly remembered by grown up awkward youth and ex-convicts alike.  (Check the comments on that clip: “Dude I saw this while I was in jail like 20 years ago. Thanks for posting it. It is one of my favourite episodes of any show.”) And that excuse would be… On Friday, the police in Ecuador, acting on intelligence gathered by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, raided a secret jungle shipyard near the country’s border with Colombia and discovered what American officials called “a fully operational submarine built for the primary purpose of transporting multiton quantities of cocaine.” … According to the D.E.A., the fiberglass submarine, about 100 feet long and 9 feet high, was the first of its kind to be seized and was […]

Blue – An Erotic Life

Wow.  Someone finally made something beautiful and true with blobby lumps of clay. BLUE: An Erotic Life is a stop motion animation that narrates the life story of a blob of clay dealing with sexual addiction. The piece plays on the contrast between graphic adult content and grotesque stop motion. The combination of the two makes for an absurd, dark humored short film. BLUE: An Erotic Life is my BFA Student Thesis from Parsons School of Design. by Tibo Charroppin, via Coilhouse

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 […]

A Helpful Reminder That Everything You Were Taught is Wrong

Matt Yglesias had a good post this morning about the sort of dumbed down cause -> effect common wisdom that gets tossed around at all levels of education and historical analysis.  In this case, he takes aim at the old chestnut we all learned in high school about the poor Germans in the Weimar Republic running around with wheelbarrows full of paper marks to buy a loaf of bread and how that hyperinflation made all the Germans toss up their hands and say “hey, why don’t we give this Hitler guy a try?” I understand that this is an accurate recounting of German folk history, but I wish people recounting it would note that Germans sort of misremember what happened. The hyperinflation of 1919-1923 was bad, but there’s a reason charts of it end in 1923, namely that the democratic government of Germany managed to tame the problem and in […]

Song of a Weakling Child: The Dispute Between Aphex Twin and Stockhausen is over

This clever video fuses two masters of electronic music together: Aphex Twin‘s “To Cure a Weakling Child” and Karlheinz Stockhausen‘s “Song of the Youth”. In 1995 BBC Radio 3 recordings from several electronic artists including Aphex Twin, Plasticman, Scanner and Daniel Pemberton for a story called “Advice to Clever Children“. What Stockhausen had to say about Aphex Twin: I heard the piece Aphex Twin of Richard James carefully: I think it would be very helpful if he listens to my work Song Of The Youth, which is electronic music, and a young boy’s voice singing with himself. Because he would then immediately stop with all these post-African repetitions, and he would lookfor changing tempi and changing rhythms, and he would not allow to repeatany rhythm if it were varied to some extent and if it did not have a direction in its sequence of variations. And Mr. Richard D James’ […]

People in Paper Houses Shouldn’t Throw Molotovs

Those gentle souls at Atlas Obscura reminded me about this here paper house that Elis F. Stenman built back in the 1920s.  Yes, paper.  Specifically, newspapers. The Rockport Paper House’s walls, doors, and furniture are made of varnished newspapers—roughly 100,000 of them. 215 layers of paper were stuck together with a homemade glue of flour, water, and apple peels to make 1-inch-thick panels for the walls. Apple peels?  Well, while I couldn’t find a glue recipe (not even among wheatpasters, the most opinionated of DIY glue makers) it makes a bit of sense, as that peels would have some amount of pectin in them, a fiber, gelling agent and occasional adhesive used to seal cigars. While the idea of paper as a building material is not uncommon–see China and Japan–this all-recycled newspaper approach is definitely inspiring to a materials scavenger like myself.  I’m reminded of the newspaper wood by designer […]