Thursday, June 26, 2008

Best Radiohead Remix Ever

Been gone on vacation and catching up. Hopefully you will enjoy this remix my brother found here. a little background:

"For an approach that co-opts the hardware of corporate IT, look at how James Houston responded when Radiohead announced a remix contest around their second single, “Nude,” from the “In Rainbows” album. Fans had the opportunity to download the individual instrument tracks, then create their own song, but Houston went many steps further: he programmed a roomful of outdated hard drives and other office equipment to play the song orchestra-like. (Start around 01:15 for the melody)."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980

The New York Times has a bit about a new book on the No Wave scene. Here's the gist:

Of all the strange and short-lived periods in the history of experimental music in New York, no wave is perhaps the strangest and shortest-lived.

Centered on a handful of late-1970s downtown groups like Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, DNA and James Chance’s Contortions, it was a cacophonous, confrontational subgenre of punk rock, Dadaist in style and nihilistic in attitude. It began around 1976, and within four years most of the original bands had broken up.

But every weird rock scene — and every era of New York bohemia — eventually gets its coffee-table book moment. This month Abrams Image is publishing “No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980,” a visual history by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley.

There's a nice little slideshow too.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lou Reed Interview, Australian Style

Every interviewer has to talk about how hard it is to interview Lou Reed:
TO anybody unfamiliar with the stratagems that Lou Reed regularly adopts to unsettle journalists, the scene unfolding in this chic Greenwich Village restaurant would seem pretty weird. Even I, a veteran of four previous encounters with one of rock's most truculent interviewees - and hence no stranger to his bleak stares, sudden interruptions and blank refusals to answer this or that - am confused.

We were scheduled to meet at 12.30pm to talk, over lunch, about Lou Reed's Berlin, a concert movie directed by his friend, artist and film director Julian Schnabel.

After various phone messages to the effect that "Lou is running late", at 3pm a middle-aged stranger walks up to my table, introduces himself as Reed's manager and leads me over to another table on the terrace outside, where he and his client are tucking into their tagliatelle starters. Reed looks up briefly, mumbles something and resumes his conversation with the manager.

Perched beside them, cradling the glass of mineral water that has kept me company for the past two hours, I soon realise there will be no lunch for me today and possibly no proper interview, either.

But enough about the interviewer:
At 66, Reed looks better now than he did for most of his middle years. His bad-hair decade, the 1990s, during which he persisted with a dyed black mullet, is behind him. He is back with a greyer version of the tousled mop he wore in his Velvet Underground days. He has long since kicked all of his bad habits, smoking being the last to go, in 2001; and, thanks to his exercise programs, tai-chi workouts and fastidious eating habits, his lean, slight figure means he can just about get away with the teenage gear he is wearing today: a noisy ensemble of baggy, brilliant-white tracksuit bottoms, orange and green trainers and a khaki windcheater.
But Lou doesn't forget the interviewer:
No sooner has Reed started to recall the conversations he has had through the years with Bob Ezrin - Berlin's producer and arranger, who originally suggested that he weave the songs into "a film for the ear" - than another, more painful memory barges in. Reed fixes me with a fierce stare. "Did you write that review of The Raven" - Reed's last studio album, from 2003 - "which said, 'Don't quit your day job'?"

He stares down my startled denial. "I remember these things. I don't mean to, but people send me this stuff. It's like your great-aunt just loves to see your name in the paper. But anyway... Look at that!"

Reed has just spotted a new Mini Cooper driving past the restaurant. "They're really fun to drive, but you don't wanna be in one for more than an hour. You can't see out the back and you can't move."
Why do you think Reed would be in the back seat of a Mini Cooper for more than hour? Anyway, there's more good stuff, and I encourage you to read the whole thing.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

For Those About to Shop: AC/DC Makes a Deal With Wal-Mart

Hell's bells, I never thought it would happen:
AC/DC's next studio album will be sold exclusively at Wal-Mart stores in the U.S., according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

...AC/DC is one of the few major acts yet to make its music available via Apple's iTunes Music Store. In August 2007, Verizon Wireless snagged the exclusive rights to sell the band's entire back catalog through March 2008, becoming the first and only digital music store to offer AC/DC's content.

I like to get all my rock news from WSJ.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Lou Reed at Spoleto

Lou Reed showed up at Spoleto:
We knew Spoleto season was upon us last month when people started phoning in Lou Reed sightings a few days ahead of the opening ceremony, and though the former Velvet Underground frontman accompanied wife Laurie Anderson to her official festival house party Wednesday night, he seems generally to have kept a low profile.

But Anderson and Reed had a surprise planned for the audience Thursday night (the second of Anderson’s three Spoleto shows). News of some kind of special guest reached the newsroom at about 3 p.m., and through some mojo I’ll never understand I wound up with a ticket to what appeared to be an otherwise sold-out Anderson performance at Memminger.

The surprise? Near the end of the show, Anderson announced that it was her 61st birthday and called Reed up on stage for a rendition of “The Lost Art of Conversation.” It turns out this isn’t the first time Reed has joined Anderson for a performance of this song from the Homeland cycle, but for what it’s worth, I thought Reed added an electric growl to the piece as it wore on, and for just a moment the five players transformed the relatively minimalistic score into what seemed like a sudden, queasy, blues-rock hallucination, which isn’t exactly an everyday sound when one of your five instruments is an accordion. It surged and faded, but it seemed spontaneous and surprising.

Thanks for the heads up, Teacherfriend!

Scarlett Johansson Video: Falling Down

I love my Salman (Sal Bass) Rushdie. I think she actually does a nice job on this one. Sounds a bit like Sinead O'Connor or Elisabeth Fraser of Cocteau Twins.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Joy Division Zune

From Pitchfork:
Ain't she something? That's the previously reported limited edition Joy Division Microsoft Zune up there, bearing Factory Records design guy Peter Saville's iconic Unknown Pleasures artwork. Though initially set to arrive in conjunction with the DVD release of the Grant Gee-directed Joy Division documentary on June 10, both DVD and Zune now go up for sale June 17.

All 500 copies of this thing come pre-loaded with the film, and the 80-gigabyte devices, dying star charts and all, can be purchased via Zune's website and
I'm reminded of an old SNL game show sketch where a bunch of comedians had to guess what is the deal with a variety of things, and Adam Sandler's response to every one was, "Who are the ad wizards who came up with this one?"

Monday, June 02, 2008