...in case y'all missed it the first time around:
A Holiday Gift to All Our Lurker-Employees from Mudd Up! CEO and Head Janitor Clayton Bigsby
rounds-up useful FREE programs & web applications
(yep, i'm unafraid to get my nerd on):
I first went to Bloglines
i was like 'this doesn't make any sense'. now it's indispensable. Who's got time to browse thru blogs? -- a bloglines inbox collects all the new posts from blogs of yr
choice in a single place. A big timesaver for timewasters like us. No need to surf or follow bookmarks, etc. You can also clip/save/share specific posts or make public your blog reading list. Bloglines renders each post free from all the
extraneous graphics & text formating (i.e. no annoying ads, but
also, in the case of Mudd Up! for example, no comments box
or link section). Since it's web-based, you can get yr info fix on any computer,
rather than having to remember a handful of site addresses, etc. Other RSS
aggregators exist, but Bloglines does the trick pretty well.
if you are reading this with Internet Explorer, you need to go get the Firefox web-browser right now. Easy as that. Ok, next--
F.B.I. keystroke logger.
simple and efficient application (known as Magic
Lantern) makes a record of every website you visit and records
every single keystroke performed on your computer -- capturing
everything you type from passwords to love letters to internet
browsing paths. Best of all, it's totally free and has already been
Happy 2006, servant!
one of the characteristics of Web 2.x is a foregrounding of data as style, making clear the idea that 'raw' information doesn't exist and all 'facts' result from the interpretation (or stylization) of information. Greasemonkey is sunglasses you look at the web through, special souped-up sunglasses that filter or flip or freak the information there. It's modular and young, and can even splice info from various sites into a single page-- like searches on Amazon.com which yield Amazon results and info on whether or not your library branch stocks the same title.
Online data, with greasemonkey, gets even more slippery, remixable, hackable. Like replacing every mention of 'George W. Bush' with "something more fitting" (BushRenamer). Popular destinations already sport dozens of improvement hacks via greasemonkey. Greasemonkey scripts have even been written to clean up Pitchfork!
here's a nice intro piece. "Greasemonkey lets you mash-up websites. It lets you extend and script websites and integrate that script right into the original site as if the designers had intended it to be there. It lets you use their web site, their data, their servers, their work to serve your purpose and function."
In summary: offers a pleasant, side-effect free escape from consensual online reality -- which basically means escape from aggressive ad placement, clunky navigation, and various half-baked marketing gambits. .
email app from the mozilla/firefox folk
while we're quitting Microsoft's IE, might as well kick the M$ Word/Excel/Office habit as well. That's where OpenOffice comes in. Compatible with all the M$ Office applications. Performs slightly better or worse, depending who you ask.
theoretically useful for laptop musicians or anyone else trying to cram a lot of windows onto a smallish monitor: double desktop lets you toggle between the main display and a 2nd 'virtual' desktop.
hosts some decent free VST instruments and effects. The interfaces don't allow you to finesse, which turns out to be a nice touch (interface as ideology, and tweakbench prefers drastic DSP) Something
oddly compelling about 'Field',
an instrument that mixes someone else's field recordings. Amnesia ambience?
Last month in Bristol, DJ Punksi gifted me a great cassette tape "designed to be an introduction to the magical world of klezmer music - Jewish folk music." Timespan 1908 - 1980. Some of the scratchy old recordings truly mesmerize, here's a rip of one that starts with drones and xylophones!:
from Punksi's tape 'Kicks Out the Hams'
when asked for this song my hardrive chose to serve me a compatible folk song involving 'Jacob'. from Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music vol. 2 Social Music, a swinging fiddle instrumental:
One of the reasons I like Bristol is because, nestled among the glossy club flyers & giveaway advertising riffraff, you find stuff like this, enhanced Trivial Pursuit cards courtesy of 911Bristol:
from there & there & there, in full throes of a
broadband-assisted 'fabulous' moment. Everything is marvelous! At least
-- marvelous right now, pixel by pixel, following the correct series of urls and links,
presently, briefly, in a virtual world, alone... isolated in
front of a screen that glows, the only sounds computer fans & traffic
outside & cold fingers clacking on plastic. the keyboard's little bits of paint and complex
petrochemicals flaking off to slowly insinuate themselves deep into
my bloodstream, looking to vandalize my DNA, molecule by molecule.
And I'm grinning.
Or maybe Timeblind: "Too much data hinders the ability of intelligence to do efficient pattern matching. Too much information makes you dumber, splits the attention. The web is essentially satanic."
Josephine has been fighting for exemption from all daily work on account of her singing
is it in fact singing at all? (kafka with popup ads!)
come out & play?
DJ /rupture live dates:: (more)
this one echoes Ellison's Battle Royal ("I ask myself what I am willing to do to win, how hard I can hit before the dealer decides I am attacking him and not his words.") & this oneiric medley a good place to begin:
Dreamt I was Nelson Mandela. He/me has just delivered some sort of speech, and as I am getting into my limo, I run into an old college roommate. He was a drama student and he is now a successful South African sitcom actor... We go to several bars, including now unrecognizable college haunts. Gentrification has filled them with white people, liberal white college kids who are "honored" to be having a pint with Nelson Mandela. They get on our nerves, and me and my old roommate are carried away with nostalgia, start a bar fight. My presidential bodyguards materialize, intervene, break it up. We're so old, the bodyguards have to carry us back into the limo. I look at the guards, embarrassed that I have dreamt Nelson Mandela into such an undignified, un-Mandela-like circumstance, but they wink at me, assure me that my roommate and I could have taken those Boer fucks easy. It occurs to me that the guards don't just work for Mandela, that they love him with the fierce tenderness of children protecting a parent...
The dream changes. Now I am a junior member of the US Congress. I am in Brooklyn riding a Manhattan-bound green line train with two ranking Republicans. I don't know where we are going, but I feel like I've been tricked into participating in some kind of bullshit collegial exercise, the dedication of a highway perhaps. I avoid eye contact with the rest of the riders, don't want anyone to think I am with the Republicans by choice.
One of the Republicans is a crazy, right-wing Cuban lady from Miami who keeps crawling and cavorting on the subway car floor. There is something vaguely MILFish about her, so even though I don't want anyone to think I subscribe to her politics I wonder briefly whether this might turn into a sex dream. I consider then discard the possibility. She is plainly pretty and well-preserved, and rather nicely poured into a maroon, polyester pants-suit, but the way she keeps crawling on the subway floor disturbs me. I wonder if she's been infected by some kind of virus.
To see complex systems of functional order as order, and not as chaos, takes understanding. The leaves dropping from the trees in autumn, the interior of an airplane engine, the entrails of a dissected rabbit, the city desk of a newspaper, all appear to be chaos if they are seen without comprehension. Once they are understood as systems of order, they actually look different.
The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961)
can't front on a music style whose name translates to "hard
ass" (and they're not talking about tough guys...).
Welcome to Angolan kuduro! Why not start with the self-proclaimed King?
you need labels, it sounds vaguely like fast Brazilian reggaeton,
except it's African (with all the local polyglot plurality that
implies), and more techno. And Helder 'King of Kuduro' reminds me of
Wayne Lonesome, which is just strange. Both tracks from his album "Ladies Night"
* * *
Party Over, let's go back to another former Portuguese colony:
had a surreal experience at the home of a Brazilian art collector
this time 2 weeks ago. The real deal: fantastic pieces everywhere, a
separate showing room detached from the house, a 6-ton wall he'd just
purchased, leather coaches in the backyard where a (semi-permanent?)
party filled with tattooed musicians and well-groomed
Brazilian women was taking place.
Boys, you must be inked. Trucker caps optional. Girls, you must be beautiful.
"Rupture is a member of... the counterculture!" my host proclaimed as a little piece of linguine left his lips to land inconspicuously on his wife's arm.
"I'm... a member?"
"Yes! Yes! Tell them what-- What's that on your CD, on the back? Something kills capitalism--"
"Oh yeah, Kopying Kills Kapitalism--"
"Precisely!! You're so high, so high, you'll see the art from a
different point of view. And heavy!" He meant tall, right? I am tall, and pretty skinny too.
"The Pixies are from Boston!" He winks a proud, inclusive wink. I raise my wineglass in agreement.
Producing its own strange semiotic S will write me of this city in a few days.
And protecting our party, protecting it all -- because this is Sao Paolo -- 3 meter walls, wires, security cams. A sense of entitlement, a near-infinite gulf.
"That felt like an acid trip" said B as we drove away.
and after I told him S in London wrote:
sao paulo is such a strange place - the fear is palpable and material, producing its own strange semiotic. and, unlike the US, they can't exteriorise it while they still try to live up to a notion of easygoing charming braziliastas - which they are. so odd.
& D in Brooklyn:
the gulf is a raw version
of what we live here. I have always felt that brasil is the
accelerated version of the new world. Ahead because it is so behind.
Brazilianification of the northern world is happening as we expose
our behaviors and beliefs to ourselves. still, nothing compares to
the explicit irony and contradiction of the imprisoned bourgeoisie of
brasil. In 1964, at the beginning of the coup d'etat that began the
25 year military dictatorship, the constitution outlined by the
military leaders coined the most beautiful phrase: protect yourself
How perfect for homeland security...
anyways, wanted to say what's up. be good, dp
... in this
action-packed post, U Mean's Dr Smear, PhD points towards d'ldable outsound we
Japanese tape music including sexy vocal oddity from Toru
Takemitsu, and audio & data from nouveau concrete Leafcutter John,
along w/ the usual overdose of mixtape rap & freakout webcode.
peer pressure, high school popularity contests made exponential,
social panic attacks, crappy interface design & slow servers:
Myspace is a potent manifestation of web
2.5!! also a useful stalker tool.
my band Nettle plays there this Friday. At a lil' spot called Ausland, part of the improv-leaning Festival of Exiles.*
our new core lineup: Abdel Hak (violin, banjo, oud), Jenny Jones (cello, keys), Rupture (dirt, electricity), with top soundboy Matt Shadetek handling the EQs and live mix to make sure our delicate & high-volume mistakes leave the speakers intact.
*"the idea of a mobile and transitory festival of course is to reflect the nature of most radical contemporary music and the living situation of most experimental and creative musicians working today..."
Three years ago Nettle was mostly my solo proj, & it sounded like this, at least for 4 minutes and 3 seconds one day when the machine was taping.
Nettle - Gut
or abrasive beat-ridden this
Nettle - Duende
now we sound different. finishing up an album for proof...
several more (mislabeled) Nettle mp3s can be found at theAgriculture
the Jace + Nancy + Miguel 12" on Soul Jazz just entered
into the buyable world!! remixes of the Sister Nancy tune from my 2004 album Special Gunpowder.
keep an ear out for my "reggaeton mix" with vox by Pe Ere. Kinda like the happiest song i've ever made, unless you can understand his Spanish, at which point you'll realize that the very talented Nicaraguan L.A. dweller Pe Ere is on some heavy-but-not-annoying urban geopolitical realness tip that doesn't interfere with his delivery or flow.
* * *
RZA wipes angel dust off the sampler and stares into his computer monitor. Star simulation screensaver. He thinks about sticky rope. What was that that Mingus was playing with? Maybe it was a bundle of cotton that looked like rope. Whatever it was he could rip it so easily. He was strong... but it was sticky, wasn't it?
wife and a shotgun in the studio. Life isn't funny, it's true, and
great people get evicted. Can you clean computer screens with Windex?
Can you drink
Windex? Where's my damn cellphone? How old would Mingus
be if people didn't die? Maybe it was rope-looking type wax & age
wouldn't matter so much. He's gone and we can't ever ask him anything.
We can only listen around the corners:
from new comp Impulsive!: "revolutionary jazz neutered and spayed"
These ears find 'jazzy' hiphop unlistenable, and the idea of beat people remixing jazz is even scarier -- DJ Dolores gave me this (he's on it, cool), and apart from the few tracks he recommended, I'm afraid to listen to the entire thing. Like deep-frying the leftovers from a 5-star restaurant.
the RZA takes a wide angle approach to structure here-- namely by
breaking it repeatedly with a logic whose studied bentness shines; the hard, unexplained cut;
jazz, insofar as an unsimplifiable push towards freedom.
& y'all heard Sub Crazy, right? Magick warrior monk mister RZA's production for Method Man. Dusted, kick-free subwoofer love sunless hiphop, snare syruped in dub echoes, from Method's 1994 album Tical: