14 March 2007
GUNS DON'T KILL PEOPLE, THE BULLETHOLES DO
RIFFMARKET TO RELAUNCH AS REMIX WEBSITE
"I WILL REMIX ANYTHING--ANYTHING" HE SAYS
ALL REMIXES FINAL
Sorry to beat Status Ain't Hood to the following sentiment--I'm sure you were looking forward to his "Remixes: Please Break Up" headline as much as I was--plus I like to think I'm as much a save-the-sample frontliner type in the war against creatively inhibitive copyright as the next halfassing blogger, parents just don't understand and all that, but: YIKES. This is just a waste, in service of I don't know what, and the worst part is people actually like it.
Months ago I was talking to Elliot about the energy of this new-rave / franco-filter-metal / Edbanger-Institubes / joycore-remix-mashup-mp3mixtape / bloghouse scene, how indie rock had ceased to be participatory and how extremely participatory the bloghouse scene was in contrast. People are not only listening and then telling all their friends how awesome everything is, but now the technologies are so cheap and easy to use that they are actively modifying the music, chopping it up and blending it and sending it to Discobelle with no small hopes of online bigtime. The entry-level audio technologies people are using too aren't that far off from the popular blogger softwares if you think about it, your Bloggers and Livejournals and Typepads and to a lesser extent Wordpresses that more or less automate the process so you don't have to learn CSS styles and PHP, i.e. all you need to do is shit out your text and hit publish, with no understanding of how that text is manipulated to appear on the screen before you. So the speed with which these unofficial remixes are coming about, it's just unbelievable, and somewhat of a dare too, i.e. if you're really so into Digitalism, why haven't you remixed them yet?
Let me just say again that I find all this really exciting in principle, really awesome too to see this sort of interaction serving as an outsiders gateway into dance music. And maybe the obvious decision to make here is just stop listening to all the awful remixes that glut the internet, that speed up the rate of audio consumption, i.e. it's not like these remixes are actively destroying the originals, though admittedly sometimes I feel that way, e.g. Diplo's "Someone Great"/"My Love" mash. But come the fuck on! This is the Internet! All of us--me, you, everybody--have a duty to find things, and have opinions about these things, and give these things arbitrary numerical values, as quickly and as often as possible.
So! My guess is most of these remixes, most of which are awful, are in fact fan-generated, i.e. executed by people self-trained technically and musically, who have an "ear" for things and trust their ears in composition, but most importantly trust their technologies to do most of the heavy-lifting for them: pitchmatching, beatmatching, providing with soundbanks and loops and the ability to tweak these loops within audible parameters, etc. More like babies dressing up Barbie dolls than a different babies playing with Lego bricks, and that is no slight to either, i.e. all my Barbie-playing baby readers, I want absolutely zero shit outta you.
Where I'm going with this is more of a question, and my own kind of dare, to keep kids off remixes obviously but something more than that too hopefully, which is: you'd think people would be embarrassed to put some of this remix stuff out there in the condition it's in, more a collection of preset and loop dressing than any purposeful reconsideration of a tune. Plus I imagine we'll get to the point that these fans aren't even technically the "remixers"--they are merely the vessels through with their entry-level audio software programs are expressing themselves. I'm sure the savvier among you can already spot these earmarks pretty quickly actually.
Like hell I'm going to tell people to stop participating with the musics they love; there are already enough permanently worthless cranks out there who, in between self-loathing cracks about the size of Ultragrrrl's titties, are complaining about everything all the time anyway. More a phenomenon I'm generally interested in, manifesting itself in a young person's culture, etc., i.e. when technology moves from superstar enabler to superstar itself, from aiding art production to crippling it. You know me!
Download: Jackson Jones' "I Feel Good, Put Your Pants On" (Pilooski Edit) [zshare]
13 March 2007
SPECIAL GIRL, REAL GOOD GIRL
What makes one band that plays Cure songs better than another band that plays what are essentially the same exact Cure songs? Two years ago I was telling every shitty American band I knew to move somewhere unAmerican on the sly a.s.a.p., and/or release their records on EUR labels only, the idea being that, for whatever reason, the internet music community responds better to mainstream American poprock when it's repackaged as the underground and overlooked misfitry of Lady Europa. My guess is Peter Bjorn and John are probably from Nebraska and would have signed a deal with Polyvinyl or whoever had they not stumbled upon my advice and moved to Sweden; New York City's the Bravery meanwhile put out a catchy electro-rock album and nobody can put his finger on why it's so despicable. Britain's no longer a fount of indisputable cool either, though you probably already figured that one out four years ago after buying that MOCO EP. Fuck!
Anyway let's just skip to my loo here. American indie and/or "incubator" bands writing mainstream poprock songs, I have an idea for you (again): Move to Europe, forget how to speak English, relearn some sort of broken variant that underscores your cultural distance, speak to the press in blunt and maybe even accidentally self-conscious terms about the manufacture of your identity, play the "Doctor's Advocate" as I call it. Your Americanness is holding you back; band interviews are the new music. 71 RIFFS
El Sombrero a/k/a "The Hat"
corner of Ludlow and Stanton
Everything is surprisingly expensive in here, way more than you'd expect from a place whose main export is a slurpee with alcohol in it. Casual inquiry has led me to believe that every burrito tastes pretty much exactly the same, regardless of innards, and the going rate for a burrito is like eight or nine bucks, which is suspect. I was going to ride hard for this place after eating there last night, having had a much better experience than my last time around, but when I got back to the apartment I had some reflux and coughed up some pollo, so here we are. What's the word, the one on all the rat poison signs?
44 CUIDADO RIFFS
12 March 2007
JAROMIR JAGR'S FATHER IS PROSPEROUS AND OWNS A CHAIN OF HOTELS
GET RIFFS EAT RIFFS
AN IMPROMPTU EXERCISE IN CRUCIAL INTERNET COMMENTARY
2007 MARCH 12
Get Him Eat Him: Arms Down [Download "2X2"]
I played a Forced Premise gig with Matt once in the Lowell House basement. You'd think of all people he'd know we were going to play Radiohead's "National Anthem" in E--it was our killer opener and we had talked about its key several times beforehand. But that night right then and there he just started playing it in D, like he just didn't give a fuck. 89 RIFFS
David Lynch: Eraserhead
Haha! What's to say about this movie that hasn't been said before? That baby's something ain't it! And that chick! This movie should have been in color. 71 RIFFS
The Dude at Dance Tracks Who Was Being a Dick About the Needle
-Hey are you done with the needle, I wanted to listen to these records
-What? Are you kidding me? Dude, I need to return the needle to the counter
-Well can you return the needle to the counter soon?
-What are you an idiot? My ID is at the counter
-Oh my god. Don't you know you can't listen to a record without a needle?