- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club :: Beat The Devil’s Tattoo
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club is about to release their new album called “Beat the Devil’s Tattoo”— and have begun touring in support of it. (I know that I’ll be there when they roll into NYC in April!)
Check out the first single below and pre-order on Amazon or on the iTunes store.
(Via blackrebelmotorcycleclub.com )
- Animal Collective on sampling, songwriting and playing live | MusicRadar.com
Future Music magazine interviews members of Animal Collective on sampling, songwriting and playing live. On page one, Avey Tare says “For us, the gear isn’t that important”. The remaining two pages are a discussion of, you know, all of their gear — and how they use it to record and perform. 😉
(Via www.musicradar.com )
- YouTube – Rudess Meets Bebot
Speaking of gear, this video shows Jordan Rudess demonstrating the “Bebot” — a new multi-touch performance synthesizer for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch. Freeky-deeky!
(Via www.youtube.com )
- MATRIXSYNTH: Electro-Harmonix Effectology Vol.13 Pink Floyd Synth Effects
This episode of EH’s “Effectology” series recreates the classic Pink Floyd recording “Welcome To the Machine” using just guitar effect pedals to reproduce the synthesizers and tape effects.
- The Yngwie ‘J.’ Malmsteen Humidor and Memory Box?!?
When it comes to 80’s Metal, it’s hard to tell the parody items from those more earnestly intended.
(Via www.thedailyswarm.com )
- Sushi DNA Tests Reveal Fraud | Wired Science | Wired.com
“The team of researchers from Columbia University and the American Museum of Natural History ordered tuna from 31 sushi restaurants and then used genetic tests to determine the species of fishes in those dishes. More than half of those eateries misrepresented, or couldn’t clarify the type of fish they were mongering. Several were selling endangered southern bluefin tuna.”
(Via www.wired.com )
- Top 9 Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt Parodies – Urlesque
Remember the Three Wolf Moon Shirt? With almost 1,600 hilarious customer “reviews” already, you just knew that people would be cashing in with the inevitable parodies of the self-parodying shirt — and Urlesque provides a run-down of some of the better ones.
(Via www.urlesque.com )
- Whisky on (Antarctic) ice | GlobalPost
Along the coast of Antarctica, two cases of Scotch whisky were left behind 100 years ago by Sir Ernest Shackleton after a failed attempt at the South Pole. Now, a New Zealand team is en route to recover a few bottles for, um, scientific purposes….
(Via www.globalpost.com )
- Warner Bros. will upgrade your DVDs to Blu-ray (for a fee) | DVD | Newswire | The A.V. Club
Exchange some Warner Bros. DVDs for Blu-Ray Discs (and a little money)
(Via www.avclub.com )
- Its GDP Is Depressed, but Argentina Leads World in Shrinks Per Capita – WSJ.com
I wonder why the author of this article felt the need to write this piece…. We’ll pick up on that during our next session.
(Via online.wsj.com )
- Dick Cavett on Fame
“What are some of the bad things about being famous?” Buck asked.
Having become “famed” myself relatively recently, via the (then) small screen, I felt qualified to list a few negatives with sincerity.
“For one thing, you lose an awful lot of freedom.”
This gave Buck pause, and put him into a kind of reverie. We watched the waves roll in on the incoming tide to just short of where we sat as he thought a while.
“Like how?” he asked. “What freedom do you lose?”
“For one, the freedom to not be recognized everywhere,” I offered.
The initial delight of being spotted lasts about a week and four days.
- Ricky Jay | Film | Random Roles | The A.V. Club
RJ: “Showtime, circus time, see the magician that lights up the girl with the yellow elastic tissue, the Electrode Lady. Yes, the Electrode Lady, at the age of 7, she and her sister were struck by lightning. Her sister died, but she lived to tell the tale. 20,000 volts of electricity for the young girl’s body. The doctors said she lived because she was immune to the shock of electricity.” I could go on.
(Via www.avclub.com )
- Parents Are Borrowing From Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer – NYTimes.com
(Via www.nytimes.com )
- Stray Questions for: Roberto Bolaño?!
An excerpt from novelist Roberto Bolaño’s last interview, published in Playboy Mexico the month of his death and now appearing in English in Roberto Bolano: The Last Interview: And Other Conversations.
(Via papercuts.blogs.nytimes.com )
- Letters of Note: Slaughterhouse Five
Letters of Note is a site that, according to its own description “gathers and sorts fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos. Scans/photos where possible. Fakes will be sneered at. Updated 2-3 times every weekday”.
This link to a letter from a young Kurt Vonnegut, in addition to living up to the “fascinating” label, should also give you an excellent feel for the other items that this site collects. Today’s post reprints a different Kurt: a letter to Beat legend William Burroughs from an admirer — Kurt Cobain.
If you’re like me, you’ll be there clicking away for hours before you realize it.
(Via www.lettersofnote.com )
- Roger Ebert’s Journal: Perform a concert in words
It would be facile to suggest that Roger Ebert has found a deeper, more powerful voice since losing his ability to speak… but his paean to the beauty of the spoken word takes on additional depth for me because of it.
Reading some of his recent posts should be a kick in the ass to any writer who has one.
(Via blogs.suntimes.com )
- The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas – Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis
Reviewer M.A. Orthofer thinks that The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas (Library of Latin America) “simply good, good fun”. Correct — and only the beginning of the superlatives you’ll want to lay at the feet of 19th Century Brazilian author Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis after reading any number of his works.
My favorite — Helen Caldwell’s translation of Dom Casmurro. Critic Dudley Fitts once wrote of Machado: “No satirist, not even Swift, is less merciful in his exposure of the pretentiousness and the hypocrisy that lurk in the average good man and woman. Machado, in his deceptively amiable way, is terrifying.”
(Via www.complete-review.com )
- Cormac McCarthy on The Road – WSJ.com
In this already widely-linked-to piece, author Cormac McCarthy, 76, talks about love, religion, his 11-year-old son, the end of the world and the movie based on his novel ‘The Road.’ Included here just in case you missed it…
(Via online.wsj.com )
- SPIEGEL Interview with Umberto Eco: ‘We Like Lists Because We Don’t Want to Die’
“The list is the mark of a highly advanced, cultivated society because a list allows us to question the essential definitions. The essential definition is primitive compared with the list.”
(Via www.spiegel.de )
- Writing About Writers: An article by Bob Thompson | The American Scholar
Bob Thompson on learning about writing….by asking writers. How…. novel? 😉
(Via www.theamericanscholar.org )
As regular readers might remember, I’m a fairly big fan of blaxploitation cinema and I’ve been waiting to see a movie called “Black Dynamite” since January. After playing the film festival circuit for months, it was picked up by Sony for distribution and was (finally) released this past Friday.
I was lucky enough to catch a couple of events at this year’s THE NEW YORKER Festival, including a very interesting interview with Rachel Maddow of The Rachel Maddow Show and a presentation by Simon Schama that was ostensibly about Barack Obama and “Words-as-Actions”, but was really a virtuoso demonstration of Schama’s eclecticism and his force of spirit.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to see some of the other events — Ricky Jay, for example, is someone who’s wide-ranging work I’ve enjoyed for years. You know that the organizers of a festival did a good job when you find yourself getting angry at them for giving you more incredible events to see than time to see them.
Hey Guys — Festival WEEK next year? 😀
I was sipping my morning coffee, thinking about last night’s Red Hot benefit show Dark Was The Night….something along the lines of ‘Man — Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings just *killed it* last night…” when a tweet from BrooklynVegan pops up on my desktop: “i never finished last night, but Sharon Jones also killed it…”
I think anyone who didn’t leave early would agree.
- Cosplayers, manga fans and cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn is like no other…
(Via Boing Boing )
- The Novelist as Used Car Salesman
Ed says: “There is a type of novelist who saddens me: the kind of novelist who prefers the status of having written instead of the consistent joys of writing, the type of author who only communicates to people if he wants something instead of being curious in other viewpoints. This novelist’s primary subject of interest is likely to be himself, but he’s capable of cloaking this solipsism by suggesting to others that they are just as much a part of his process. The novelist, in cues straight out of the Dale Carnegie playbook, will remember one specific detail about the other person that nobody else has and thereby create a greater impression.”
(Via Edward Champion’s Return of the Reluctant )
- 11 Rock Reunion Dos and Don’ts – Page 1 – The Daily Beast
Creed just joined the long list of bands to give music a second chance after calling it quits. Dear God — NO!
(Via www.thedailybeast.com )
- Genius: The Modern View
David Brooks in the New York TImes: What Mozart had, we now believe, was the same thing Tiger Woods had — the ability to focus for long periods of time and a father intent on improving his skills. Mozart played a lot of piano at a very young age, so he got his 10,000 hours of practice in early and then he built from there.
(Via 3quarksdaily )
- Cliffs of Nintendover
Reader Clark sent me this link — What is it about 80’s guitar music that lends itself so perfectly to the 8-bit treatment?
(Via sliv.4×86.com )
- Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock, presented by Orson Welles | Smashing Telly – A hand picked TV channel
A documentary version of Alvin Toffler’s classic 70s book, Future Shock presented by Orson Welles.
(Via smashingtelly.com )
- Classic Serge Gainsbourg | oOoo Squeak E Clean Website oOoo
Classic Serge Gainsbourg
(Via www.squeakecleanblog.com )
Being in a band is a bit of an emotional tightrope walk.
Trying to make any art can be difficult. It’s hard enough to write one good song on your own — let alone to do it with a group of people, each with a different aesthetic.
And let’s face it: Most musicians tend to possess, kindly put, an independent streak and so — almost inevitably — there is a residue left by the day in/day out friction from collaborating on any body of work. If you’re lucky, that creative process is followed by rehearsing, recording, and touring. Sprinkle on top of that whatever “personal demons” existed beforehand and you’ll see that, for all the clichés of a band being like a dysfunctional family, it’s inevitable that there is some truth to it.
Is it really any wonder that so many bands quickly lose their balance and fall off the wire?