Monthly Archives: April 2007

TROLLS IN THE MIDDLE EAST

all images from Les Trolls tour blog. does anybody know Sebby Frescoe? please tell him to get in touch with me. OK, let’s go –

darla3

 

 

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(seen in Luxor, Egypt)

 

  • another ‘whirled music’ label that has slowly been edging into visibility as of late is Terp. I appreciate Terp (not just b/c its run by friends), it’s a person-to-person, sustainable approach. perhaps all african music labels based outside of Africa should run by committed anarchists… This track is sweet kora (a world music instrument if there ever were one) by Djibril Diabete, from his Hawa CD, buyable.

Djibril Diabate – Masani Cisse (Hawa, Terp)

 

  • Broklyn Beats blogs. Wherein we learn that our strange & wonderful French friends from Toulouse, Les Trolls, are on a (musical) tour of Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon! and blogging it. Excellent fotos surrounded by words I can’t quite understand. ive posted their tunes before (“resin-gummed southern France samplers on full post-D&B mashout mode”)

 

  • metacanons fire! this W&W entry sparks nice commenttalk.

alex6

SALT SUGAR & TOOLS

Vast tracts of the world’s second-largest rainforest have been obtained by a small group of European and American industrial logging companies in return for minimal taxes and gifts of salt, sugar and tools, a two-year investigation will disclose today.

 

bags of salt, machetes

bicycles

& in some cases rudimentary schools

promises to build rudimentary schools

salt, bags of sugar, tools, wooden boxes with machetes inside, bicycles, promises.

INTERREGNUM AL-ANDALUS

They kicked out the Arabs awhile back.

But having once heard it, who can forget the muezzin’s call?

Or maybe the two styles have been traveling across people for centuries trying to find each other, and on southbound boats from Cádiz or Algeciras is where they meet in fascination and embrace.

you call the most elemental style of flamenco palo seco — dry stick to the literalists, with implications of outright, ‘on its own’, the thing-in-itself stripped of usual accompaniment. Ornate simplicity: an unaccompanied solo voice. Or voice alongside a hammer & anvil marking time:

Antonio Núñez, ‘El Chocolate’ – Martinete

not everybody wants el palo seco, not everybody wants their bread with neither water nor ham.

Flamenco legend Camarón from his classic album, Como El Agua

Camarón de La Isla – Tu Amor Para Mí No Es Fantasía

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in the foto above he appears with Tomatito, father to relative of former teen sensation Las Ketchup, and a brilliant flamenco guitarist.
Tomatito’s performance with Sheikh Ahmad Al Tuni in the opening scenes of Tony Gatlif’s Vengo is, simply, breathtaking. Even under youtube FLV compression!:

THE FORK PITCHES BOTH WAYS

Yesterday Pitchfork mentioned my remix of Architecture in Helsinki (see previous post). The blurb writer, Paul Thompson, goes out of his way to deprofessionalize us. It’s weird. And worth looking at.

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Check it: “The first of many manifestations of ‘Heart It Races’, messed about by DJ /Rupture and yelled over by Mr. Lee*G (who, for his sake, I hope is the same Mr. Lee G who directed Yo’ Mama’s a Freak), is streaming on the band’s MySpace right this instant.”

Let’s unpack this awkward sentence!

I “mess about” on the track, Lee “yells over” it. Thompson’s verb choices position us as a bit barbarian, with no serious relationship to the original tune. The Pitchfork music writer perceives screams instead of what is obviously melodic singing. If that’s what he hears, so be it… We’re interested in what comes next.

Instead of offering any information on Trinidadian vocalist Mr Lee G, Thompson uses his time and hyperlinks to express his hope that Lee is a porn director of the same name. Why associate Lee with someone he clearly is not? Why send traffic to the porn guy’s page? (Note how Thompson excuses his pornographic “hope” with a condescending pat-on-the-head: ‘for Lee’s sake’. His phrasing is semantically unclear and syntactically inelegant. If you give ‘em enough rope… )

The telling thing here is that while Thompson employs a shakily racist subtext to denigrate Lee, he chooses the only film from the director’s output of the past 5 years that DOESN’T explicitly mention race in the title. Nor does he link to the first, obvious Google hit for “Lee G”, the IMDB page that lists all these films. That would have made his racialized joke a few shades too overt. So we witness Thompson performing that familiar liberal judo move — underscore largely imaginary racial differences by conspicuously neglecting to mention race directly. (It’s a shame, because the other ‘racy’ titles are awesome, configuring white desirability in terms of blackness: Juicy White Booty, White Girls Got Azz Too, Phat Azz White Girls, etc. These titles subvert racial tropes.)

Folks complain about how Pitchfork journalists often appear uncomfortable covering music beyond their magazine’s white indie norm, and Thompson’s barely disguised hostility is a particularly squirmy example of this.

If you don’t quite follow my argument it might be easier to embody Thompson’s methodology, redirecting his style:

“Paul Thompson, a data-entry typist (who, for his sake, I hope is not the same Paul Thompson of NYC convicted for murder last Saturday), messes about when trumping-up press releases into Pitchfork news items.”

BLACK WEST

so he’s ambling down Seventh Avenue and i’m chastizing myself for envy — envy of this man’s jacket, its coolness stronger than irony… then i notice the cowhide boots, glance up to find a 10-gallon hat — The Federation of Black Cowboys is real.

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how deep is America? how long will Reconstruction take?
I feel differently about guns now that i’ve shot some.

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“Since the 1500s, starting with the Portuguese, African Americans, were highly sought after for their diplomatic and versatile language skills. . . At the end of the Civil War, about 5 million cattle and wild horses were roaming free after being left to their own devices during the war. A huge demand for skilled cowhands developed and the lawlessness of the West did not necessarily dictate a man’s worth solely on the color of his skin. No less than twenty-five percent of all cowhands were Black. In fact, the label “cowboy” is thought to have originally been a derogatory term used to describe Black “cowhands”. As the word “cowboy” has grown immeasurably in popularity, the Black cowboys the term described have been stricken from the record with extreme prejudice.”
Reclaiming The Legacy of the Black West

WFMU GRATIS

saturday april 28th, catch me at a FREE PARTY @ Brooklyn’s Southpaw.

WFMU FREE MUSIC SERIES KICKOFF w/
Major Stars, Flaming Fire, Jonathan Kane’s February, DJ /rupture.

somebody’s gotta squeeze in the Mims & rai & grubstep whitelabels between all those sweaty guitar-toting bands, right?

(is it weird that i think it’s weird to be playing in Park Slope?)

*

when i first walked into Twisted Village, years ago now, i was like woah and when i went the cash register with Edgard Varèse and Merzbow LPs, Kate said “good customer!”

years later DJ C & I played with Wayne & Kate — Major Stars — at Ft. Thunder, and it turns out that they are major stars.

FREE MAIZE

Wiley! (at length)

Skream! (1hr with Gilles Peterson)


Binyavanga Wainaina!
(on, among other things, Negroponte’s 100-dollar laptops “for the whole brown world”, Binyavanga first muddied up here.)

When free American maize turned up in Kenyan schools in 1984, thanks to Bob Geldof and USA for Africa, it arrived in gunny bags and presented itself at school dining tables: steaming yellow, not white like the maize-flour we knew as a staple. We had heard that this food was coming. We had heard that people were starving to death – only a few miles away from us, in fact, over the border. But even that was “out there.” We were all hearing on the radio this song by big celebrities about the starving people in Africa. We were singing these songs, as well – thrilled that we, too, could feel mushy about people in Africa. We saw the sacks unloaded. But they were silent. So we started to speculate. I must confess that I hated school food, anyway, and that yellow maize porridge tasted not that much worse than everything else we were forced to eat. But our speculation was powerful. It is American animal feed. And it started tasting a bit too earthy. It has been treated with contraceptive chemicals. And it started to taste metallic. It was sent to us because it has gone bad already. And it started to smell funny.

Soon, in the Njoro High School dining hall, vast amounts of yellow porridge went directly into the bins. Our teachers, normally violent fascists in matters of discipline, looked the other way. We had food fights with the porridge every evening, and the floor would be littered with the clumpy remnants of America’s love.

– from Glory, Binyavanga Wainaina. Bidoun.

AMPLIFIER HOUSE

BLDG BLOG, which you should probably be reading anyway, considers Mix House, an evocative & disturbing expansion of modernist transparency in architecture into sonic space. excerpt:

These “sonic windows” – or parabolic ornaments – amplify the audio setting of the house, thus making location, I’d think, several orders of magnitude more important than with many others works of architecture. . . Drunk homeowners mix burps with airplane roars, standing at an audio booth in the kitchen. Someone plays layered tape-loops of the sounds of their house from yesterday – which gets picked up by the neighbor and rebroadcast, with reverb, over the noise of a distant lawnmower. Enemy teenagers declare audio warfare, their microphones left open all night long. Paranoid husbands spy on all possible rivals.

*

&, Capital Movements:

But what if they’d moved the capital – a mere two miles? Or one mile – or twenty-five feet? The entire imperial capital picks up… and moves eight feet to the southwest. Thirty-five centimeters. The buildings themselves aren’t changed – though perhaps all the streets are renamed.
Meanwhile, everything looks the same.
Except…