Tuesday 31 January 2006 at 12:42 am
PAIK:You just talked about how we have to learn to use our senses. So,
there are three classical visions: Plato said that the word
“conception” is the most important thing; St. Augustine said that
sound is the most profound; and Spinoza said that vision is the most
profound. Now, TV commercial has everything. (Laughter)
SHIRLEY: I’m very
curious about what Paik wants to say now, because I wonder about how
he felt about being able to be part of something like the
Experimental Television Lab.
PAIK: My position from the
beginning was, though I’ll do all that I can do, that I thought the
best thing I can do is not to exercise any of my personal influence,
so that it can be as open as possible, and then, I thought of doing
as Lao Tzu said, the doing of not-doing.
Saturday 28 January 2006 at 5:34 pm
was the loudest, fastest saxophonist I've ever heard. He could play
real fast and real loud at the same time and that's very difficult to
do.. But Trane could do it and he was phenomenal. It was like he was
possessed when he put that horn in his mouth. He was so passionate --
fierce -- and yet so quiet and gentle when when wasn't playing. A
Davis, The Autobiography
Coltrane knowledge & sound
bluntness, brilliance, and recurring atmosphere of derangement found
in Miles' memoir make for a very readable book. He praises Trane more
than any other player, for example, but doesn't shy away from the
yucky details of working with a genius who, like Miles earlier,
happened to spend several years as a major heroin addict:
...the shit with Coltrane
wasn't funny like it was with Philly Joe. You could laugh at Joe's
shit, but with Trane it was getting to be pathetic. He'd be playing
in clothes that looked like he had slept in them for days, all
wrinkled up and shit. Then, he'd be standing up there when he wasn't
nodding -- picking his nose and sometimes eating it.
critical consensus surrounding John Coltrane advocates constant
sanctification: if he's a saint, then it is musical heresy to
contradict what Word refers to as the "official account [which]
argues that jazz reached its historical/evolutionary peak with
Coltrane and when he died, innovation died." There is something
deadening and derogatory about this reading, the way it mutes and
overlooks all that came after Coltrane...
is why Miles' depiction of him as grubbily human is bizarrely
refreshing to folks who don't believe that the black avant-garde died
on July 17, 1967.
saints eat chitlins & other pigparts and sometimes fall into the
eye of a needle.
in music is mutation, misunderstanding, theft, kindness and
unkillability, nothing to do with a cumulative peak or clear leader.
Replacing avant-garde 'mountain' metaphors with metaphors of fever:
how contagious, whether it burns hot or cold, spreads slow or fast,
whether the afflicted survives the affliction, whether it has crept
inside your body and touched your bloodstream too.
You are not allowed to sleep on Word's last
from Alan Silva & the Celestial Communication Orchestra. (the
true sound of democracy is discordant)
23 minutes, slinks in
almost quietly, growing towards a multi-layered & ferocious
thing. I hear lasers at some point, lots of lasers, and twisting metal, and focused musicians.
stillness swoops down from the sky's rafters.
Monday 23 January 2006 at 4:33 pm
/ traveler / nomad / tourist
is an extremely useful budget airline search engine for flights in
Europe. In case, say,
you needed a cheap ticket to Amsterdam... or just wanted to get some Old World sightseeing in
of nomadicity, don't forget 6109.
cryptic, infrequent, rewarding.
rich information outside the usual containers.
tune behind the cup of (milky tea?).
Ali El Deek's 13 blessed
and Rhythm & Sound ("With
the Artists", "See
Mi Yah") are the only things i can even think about
listening to tonite; certain riddims have no real walls or ceiling
or beginning or end, you simply inhabit them, multiplied and supine
or dancing inside their singularity.
Rhythm & Sound are good they are that good, credible &
incredible rooted versions of reggae, spirit fever intact.
an excerpt from a live radio mix i did a thousand days ago (give or take a few),
'Empire' riddim with Aaliyah floating on top, rest in peace
/rupture - track 1 from Radio Mix 58:62
Sunday 22 January 2006 at 2:17 pm
loathe people who keep dogs. They are cowards who haven't got the
guts to bite people themselves.”
-- August Strindberg
remember how I stumbled across his Inferno
diary, but if you are attracted to bugged-out late 19th-century
European lit., Inferno provides a highly
readable & disturbing/entertaining look at (his own) fullblown Swedish psychosis.
you dont have time/inclination to dog-ear a journal of madness I
a hilarious flash animation based in part on fragments from Inferno. Especially:
at home with the Kids
Friday 20 January 2006 at 12:26 pm
When Bird left New York
he was a king, but out in Los Angeles he was just another broke,
weird, drunken nigger playing some strange music. Los Angeles is a
city based on celebrating stars and Bird didn't look like no star.
Miles Davis, Miles: the Autobiography
of the personal kingdom. Context
How far can you go before the people around you
think you a freak?
(just another broke,
weird, drunken nigger playing some strange music
Bodies are becoming like
cities, their temporal coordinates transformed into spatial ones. In
a poetic condensation, history
has been replaced by geography,
stories by maps, memories by scenarios... urban culture is like a
hall of mirrors, its reflections reproduced to infinity. Confronted
with their own technological images, the city and the body become
ruins. Even technology is attacked by an obsolescence that renders it
old instantly. We are faced with a transitory landscape, where new
ruins continually pile up on each other. It is amid these ruins that
we look for ourselves.
tangentially into the Brazilian favela's prickly post-Apatheid
cityspace -- music can travel & live outside the ghetto, but what about the
people who make it? Please send clear directions to the nearest quilombo, with a map of who-profits-from what -- here's some funk carioca.
On the conscious tip. dp interprets: "good stuff. smart lyrics. a little
depressing. Dad sees his kid on his knees begging for mercy with a
gun to his head."
Welcome to the ghetto counterimaginary. Strong singing
e os Muleques - Rap da Favela
live there, I know how it is. to live in the favela you need to have
faith. pra viver na favela tem que ter fé.
lot of funk carioca incorporates techno in a fresh & bouncy way
that seems destined to eventually make Teutonic Europeans go wild. This
next track is exciting for its male-female MC sparring (i'm a sucker
for that) and the glistening neo-raving trappings (think
reverb-drenched synth stabs)
de Fogo e as Foguentas - Atoladinha
called me on the phone, it was me--fireball.
track. yes, a hit.
graf via Bastien
Tuesday 17 January 2006 at 8:44 pm
festival in Amsterdam now has a functional info website. Head there &
click on Friday for the full details on the night I'm
presenting, Fri. Feb 24.
(The Bug feat. Ras B, Beans, Ghislain Poirier, DJ /rupture + No Lay + G-Kid, Hrvatski, Gustav, Scotch Egg, DroptheLime, Skepta and Jammer + Matt Shadetek and Sheen, Aaron Spectre, Ove-Naxx, Filastine, Nettle, 2/5 BZ, Planning to Rock, Toktek & MNK, Andy Moor + Rupture, Doddodo)
are available online: Sonic
Acts 11 - Donderdag 24 F
is what you want.
euros is real reasonable for this sort of thing
are working on a special webpage for Friday, with hot mp3frees and
other stuff to get you amped enough to get off the internet and come
meditate on transnational bass migration with us.
is the introduction text for the whole festival -- 3 days of
conference & nighttime party.
Monday 16 January 2006 at 02:05 am
after a long day in the studio (benettled, we) so on the quick -- my
man Welmo is offering a FREE MIXTAPE of his hi-quality rap.
lyrics, spot-on flow, Chaman's chunky production -- all in all a welcome reminder that reggaeton ain't the only sound
booming out of Puerto Rico:
- Abre Los Ojos mixtape
feeling El Peso, Abre Los Ojos, Traigo, and La Causa
A Plomo Vives, our tune together (via Sasha Splice) recently made it to
vinyl on Broklyn Beats, although it may have
reached your ears via Gold
(the mix is Alejandro Amenábar-themed too, with sampled Najwa Nimri whispering the title throughout...)
Friday 13 January 2006 at 11:50 am
linkage and audible D.Darko twists but first a little poetry --
you've heard the opening track on Special Gunpowder, you know
I'm a fan of Elizabeth Alexander. On it she read from her third volume, Antebellum Dream Book. She has since published a
American Sublime, and Elizabeth's work is precisely that.
Below are the last lines from a poem in her second book, Body of
Life. Which swirls with death and vivacity. There are sex poems,
food poems, fabulous poems, poems about aspirin or cough syrup or
'Stravinsky in L.A.'
is the end of 'Butter', an incandescent & high-caloric
word-tumble of a poem:
good old days I am grinning greasy
my brother, having watched the tiger
his tail and turn to butter. We are
and Jumbo's children despite
parent's efforts, glowing from the inside
one hundred megawatts of butter.
* * *
subtle, but she achieves a rare balance between poetry written to
be read and poetry written to be spoken, each way utters new
meanings. Or, these poems i voice aloud, all smiling and naive like a little kid reading a book. Butter a mantra to melt on your tongue. Because
are Mumbo & Jumbo's children, despite historical
* * *
you thought I was being too easy on Barcelona in my
I suggest you read this
(PDF, en Castellano. gracias a Dani P por el link).
"What we believe --
and what this report intends to demonstrate -- is that
Barcelona-as-a-brand, instead of representing a seductive urban
alternative, constitutes an authentic laboratory of postmodern
fascism: the testing grounds of a new regime of domination that isn't
based on discipline and consensus, but rather on the total
mobilization of difference towards a single project, towards a single
world, towards a single reality."
"Donnie Darko has occasionally been attacked for encouraging and
romanticizing suicidal behavior and insanity. Fans often respond that
this misses the point, and looks at the film from exactly the shallow
level of thought it is trying to combat." Giant bunnies, time
travel, and -
Jules - Mad World
probably heard this stirring acoustic piano+voice cover of the Tears for Fears classic already, but hey, we're blogging.
Rules are soft here, etiquette unclear. The song begins
when the movie ends.
Ten Banned Albums.
then burned, then replayed!
First, these sound great. Stravinsky skipping and swooping,
unexpected gasps of harmony. Nice to see he and Mahler on a list with
Prince, Cat Stevens, and NWA. Second, and more importantly -- this
isn't just a pleasant conceptual piece (Christian
Marclay wrings his manicured hands and crys out: why didn't i
think of it first!?) --
it is a glorious testament to the non-destroyability of vinyl, to
the stubborn stubborn persistence of sound captured in LP format.
F*ck you and your CD collection. [via]
a wealth of potentially useful articles for people who make music by
peering into computer monitors and tiny LCD screens: Computer
Music Tutorials. [via]
hilarious & on-point. In all honesty, i mess with telemarketers when they manage to find my number, but this ups the game to a whole new level. Works well as a more-linear follow-up to
Book Can Be Used As A Floation Device.
Wednesday 11 January 2006 at 01:31 am
tune. Lady Saw on Dave Kelly's megahit riddim: Joyride, a reggae
classic from 96.
Saw – Sycamore Tree (Joyride riddim)
gonna resist the urge to turn this into a thematic post on
anti-fellatio pop hits in reggae – (tropical Victorianism = an unexpected
side-effect of British colonialization. but is Mr Vegas crazy? & wasn't CeCile beefing
with Lady Saw over 'bowing'? Sizzle's CeCile post is hot, BTW) –
it's more interesting to head to London, where the Slew Dem grime crew
(teenagers all?) take the Joyride beat and just break it,
Dem – Joyride riddim
the hit's bones and re-set them at awkward angles – something
twitchy and demanding replaces the voluptous bounce of Kelly's
original – yet the kid can still walk. Also wild b/c they take Joyride and chop it wholesale: raw reinventive theft. I can get with that.
flip side to this 12" is 'Da Shooting Range': strung-out piano
timbres & gunshots with a little something indicating where the
beat should be.
Monday 09 January 2006 at 12:54 pm
year the Sonic Acts Festival in Holland invited me to
curate/host a night of their 2006 edition. A few months later, I'm proud to say we've put together a
Very Strong Lineup... a wildly international group of men & women responsible for some of the
most exciting sounds in recent memory, from grime/dubstep to
bellydance punk to mutant hiphop to ragga, breakcore, to accordeon+voice electronica. And, as always, more...
All these underground
superstars will gather at Amsterdam's Paradiso on Friday
February 24, and you should come join us too! (No excuse if you aren't in the country -- so many budget
airlines...) ok, here's the lineup! more info & links to tickets here--
ACTS XI, FRIDAY FEB. 24 @ THE PARADISO
Bug feat. Ras B
yrs truly, DJing for Mcs No Lay + G-Kid & doing an improv set (decks & guitar) with The Ex's Andy Moor.
oh yeah, the next night, Saturday, looks pretty good too! (less insanely ambitious, more technoid): Jason Forrest, AGF + Sue Cie, Matthew Dear, etc...
Wednesday 04 January 2006 at 9:16 pm
Six Mafia's Rumsfeldian opus The Most Known Unknowns has
been steadily growing on me, and I start thinking about how
culturally awesome it is that a white Midwestern former tax clerk
writes all of their lyrics, then dp
sends me an old Kool Keith track and storm clouds break upon the
Keith - I Don't Believe You
Kool Keith performs his great work of negation. You own a
Dodge Truck -- I don't believe you.
the 2000 album Matthew, buyable here.
* * *
Top 10 Unwritten Posts of 2005
"People Who Need People To Help Them Kill Themselves": a
Mudd Up! film roundup on a surprisingly fertile sub-subgenre
of world cinema. selections from US, Spain, Iran, and UK.
Going to sleep in Bristol listening to the British crack dealers on
the corner blast out NYC rap about dealing crack.
Losing my voice & luggage in London for Overkill. (Technically,
SleazyJet lost my luggage)
Graffiti in Brazil. Perilous! Unique! No copycat relationship to
NYC/American styles. Looks like gothic calligraphy crossbred with
illiterate Mason figures.
5. Cultural encryption. a new Mudd Up! meme. #4 as an example of
low-level cultural encryption. People outside of graffiti circles
can't quite read it, both literally and figuratively (they can't
understand it: why kids would risk life and limb to spraypaint
their name on a high rise).
concept of 'pretty good privacy' vis-a-vis 2-meter high words
written on a skyscraper by underclass youth.
The Austrian in Osaka who gives girls multicolored vomit-inducing
liquids to drink and then amplifies their vomit. Who tapes
microphones to chickens and then throws the chickens into an audience of polite seated Japanese noise-appreciators. What
happened at Ove-Naxx's house when he & his friends found out i
own records by this guy.
'2006 Grime forecast'. This was gonna be one of those posts that don't "make" a lot of "sense". At the end I would have expressed my sincere optimistic
hope that grime kids will wise up like the dubstep crews and sell
their records to distributors (big up Baked
Goods/Boomkat) from time to
time (instead of only direct to a few London shops), so we grimey fans across the
world can get the stuff for less than 14€ a pop, which is how much
it costs to get me a 12" here in Spain.
Plus I hate (ordering
music on) the internet.
Spanish TV. I was gonna gush about my favorite TV show here, called
HomoZapping (it's a pun
on ´HomoSapien'), which is a giddy parody of a pastiche, based
on the concept of channel surfing. Very irreverent, totally
Fotos! I took dozens of pictures here & there, but lost the
USB cable to get those images off the camera! A Modern Dilemma. Most
of the time, if you are American, your own incompetence doesn't
negatively impact your standards of living. In the political arena,
ignorance is often a boon. But man, sometimes it sucks to be stupid.
Spanish director Luis
Sunday 01 January 2006 at 12:00 am
January 1. A
snarl of repressive laws go into effect in Barcelona today. My friend
Maggie sums it up, only half-joking: "it is now illegal to be
ugly and to do anything that isn't profitable". In this
pleasant tourist-fed/tourist-choked town, the following are now
illegal if performed in public: playing music, juggling,
skateboarding, drinking alcohol, being homeless, spitting, selling things on
the sidewalk, 'visually degrading the surroundings', prostitution,
rollerblading, acrobatics, postering, reading tarot cards, graffiti,
getting tattoos or massages, etc. The list goes on.
I know, I know: you've come to visit Barcelona and it seemed so chic
and sexy and open and warm and free. Beautiful buildings, beautiful
people. Socially progressive even. If only the reality were as
attractive as the appearance...
difficult to believe, our city's new legislation contains lines
surprising that many folks refer to this hostile mess of 'New Civic By-Laws' as the New Cynic By-Laws!
While officially bilingual Castillian/Catalan, Town Hall has issued the
only in Catalan (thus ensuring a smaller, more localized readership
-- the ugly side of Barcelona must not be transmitted
internationally, that would be bad publicity for a city economically
addicted to tourism).
*Official title: Ordenança de Mesurer Per Fomentar I Garantir La Convivència Ciutadana a L'Espai Públic de Barcelona
encountering difficulty seeing Bcn as anything other than the city of
failed expectations, the city of beautiful facades (masking deep
shallowness, and inequality under that). It is painful to watch the
local government bend over backwards to service the tourism industry
and corporate interests. (I wish I were overstating, but I'm not...)
To be true, Barça is blessed with a lively and vital
(en català: El
Carrer és de Tothom); in a few days I'll
translate an acute,
circulating on the New By-Laws...
for now I hand you over to Ethan, a friend. I've excerpted his open
e-mail letter about Barcelona (boldface emphasis mine
throughout). Ethan says everything far better than I could:
I and many native
Catalans, in fact, see Barcelona moving toward losing the
unlegislated, custom- (versus law-) ordained, people-regulated modes
of community that have bound it together -- the people-centered style
for which is it famous and respected. In the words of a friend,
Barcelona is being redeveloped 'for snobs and tourists'.
Barcelona is leaning toward what so many highly esteemed American
cities already know too well. You can't have your 10 Euro a
slice of cake and eat it too... all the non-wealthy people pack up
and move away, or are forced to. It leaves your city core dead
with the lack of anything unordained by the police, the television,
or the daily mail. Finally, and most disastrously, their remains
a class of "real" people and everybody else. The
"real" people can pay [...] and the others can not.
These places become the
places devoid of the license for human creativity.
Barcelona isn't going to loose its parks, but it has already banned
the musicians (me), the football playing kids, and the vendors from
using them. It won't loose its cultural landmarks, but only
the wealthy will visit them. Its earnings from tourism may
actually increase, but less of that money will returned to the
communities that host it. America has also struggled with
these demons, the quest to 'progress' and still retain what common
property we've managed to gather... Alaskan wilderness, freedom of
speech and privacy, and unbiased education available to all, to name
a few timely examples.
above occurs late in the letter, actually, it begins with thise -- a
long read but worth it. The slow socio-economic violence of real
estate speculation and 'civic/cynic' by-laws are not unique to
Barcelona... OK, back to Ethan:
A woman I'd dated and
who'd spend quite a lot of time in France told me 5 years ago that
'the third world begins in America'. It makes we wonder,
again, what 'third world' means. I suppose it means that this is
where people are denied basic needs. This, in turn, reminds me of
the simple maneuver that I failed to make quickly enough in
Barcelona, one that would have secured me free medical help when I
needed it and also a basic document with which I could contend for
(and ultimately gain) the right to reside in Europe through a process
of legalization of immigrants that occurred this year in Spain.
To attain this help from
the government, all an immigrant landed in Europe had to do was ask
for it. As a white middle class American male, I was almost
by definition bound to an ideology of independence (not
interdependence), self-sufficiency, distrust of government, and
absence of community that led me to stay put and not get my name
on a single bloody public document, a document that would have
effectively already made me legal in Spain. I was a fool,
afraid of 'The Man'... that he would kick me out of Spain as soon as
he knew I was there without a valid visa. More intelligent immigrants
who had come to Barcelona had immediately registered themselves with
the city, giving them a document that affirmed their identity as
foreigners, the document they eventually used to get their residency.
In fact, 'The Man' wanted
to give me residence and a work permit to bolster the Catalan
economy, the strongest in Spain. At that time there were around
1/4 million immigrants (mainly South American, Chinese, North and
Sub-Saharan African, and non-EU Eastern European) living without
legal residency in Catalunya (population 6 million), using public
services, not paying taxes. This is the workforce that does all
the jobs that natives don't want to: construction, crop harvesting,
physical labor. They are the same workforce that built America
but in different conditions, in a different time and place. All
in all, it's a brand new phase in its history that Catalunya is
entering. Daily newspapers almost constantly highlight the
percentages of foreigners living among Catalans, going to school with
their kids, speaking Spanish instead of Catalan.
Asian, African, and
Brazilian lawyers, doctors, and executives with Catalan identity are
probably still at least a generation off. The cultural
fabric is as complex as early America's was (or more because of the
lack of one single language), and the same promise of economic
improvement is being offered. As it is, I continue teaching
English classes under the table without my papers, using public
services, not paying taxes. My skin is not dark so I am not
bothered by the police or immigration authorities; I have work
because I have the good luck to speak the international business
language as a native tongue. I wonder though how much equality and
opportunity would be available to me were these not the case.
Maybe the third world
begins where people start to value their relationships more than
their possessions. To borrow from some educational theory:
The rich value their legacy, the middle class, their possessions that
allow them become upper class. and the lower classes value their
relationships. Places like AS220 (an art center) give people from any
social background a context to reestablish the value of relationships
above possessions, to create themselves though their artwork.
AS220 works constantly to provide a means for people - and most
importantly young people - to find the way away from conflict and
towards the creativity we all have though art. There are not
enough AS220s in America, where the things that are worked for in
common are returned to the individual people who do the work.
This 'impossible' reality borrows from the round of early America
(not the slavery model, the
let's-build-a-small-town-in-the-middle-of-nowhere model) as much a it
does from the contemporary third world (agricultural co-ops in Africa
that support farmers directly) and also from Spain's Second Republic
- one of the few (short lived) examples of the success of economic
socialism and social equality, the example that Catalunya set for the
world early in the past century.
I dream of a mind that
always looks into the eyes of the individual before that individual
is judged for where they come from, what they represent, what
they own. I want that mind for myself, and for everyone. That
dream of equality, though, is inextricably bound to money, and
perhaps it is in the work of procuring money that we first forget the
need for equality. I have been given a room, food, heat,
and phone and internet access for free over the past few
days. Somehow it has made me acutely aware of all of the
stereotypes that whirl though the media, the conversations - the
minds that surround me daily, and especially my own. I want to
wipe my mind clean of the cultural assumptions that I have gathered
into it and formulated myself, and I have a long way to go. This
trip to America is opening my eyes a bit futher to how people are
denied their rights because of cultural or economic differences and
how I take these for granted.
During my plane trip to
Boston, I was reminded of the example the American system presents
which, however effective in making us the go-getters that 'bond
together and invent', denies that like health care and the dignity to
claim one's existence, identity - even in a foreign country - are
human rights. I had a problem with my e-ticket. Somehow
the names were switched around and I had become Mr. John Ethan.
To British Airways and, in fact, the rest of the world save the US
(according to BA), this was a small oversight and I was approved to
fly. I was warned, however, that in the United States I
might be prevented from entering the country unless I could pay 180
It didn't happen, but how
would that 180 dollars have changed anything? How would 180
dollars have confirmed my identity?
What we owe is a very
sticky question. We learn that the world doesn't owe us
anything but what do we owe it? What do we owe our community?
What gives one the right to have an identity, a passport, a name that
carries weight and grants us rights? And when there is no
community (or no rights), to whom or what do we turn to find a
foothold, a rock upon which to push off and create something worthy
of investing in, something that will give us identity?
The only answer that
occurs to me is one's community. I have tried to immigrate to
Catalunya and failed in the past year but, as the dust clears, I see
that this may be directing me toward other places that ache for
community, art, and cultural interaction. Barcelona already has so
much these things. Meanwhile, I fear that Barcelona is heading
toward the same slavery to the media that we've seen occur in
America. Barcelona sells its visual masters (Gaudí,
Miró, Dalí, Picasso) easily and indistinguishably from
its decorative spoons and silly tourist T-Shirts. Meanwhile, it
has begun in earnest to defend the rights of corporations over those
of the people on the street. A recent police propaganda
video in the Barcelona Metro beats one over the head with the fact
that selling a pirated DVD on the street is a heinous crime, one
worthy of conviction and jail. The only problem is that the
actor who portrays the criminal, despite the hundreds of almost
exclusively dark skinned immigrants selling on the streets, was cast
as a young, light skinned Catalan. Thus, the crime - the
ideology - becomes the only reality. Anyone who has lived for
more than a month in Barcelona knows that the only people who do this
work are the immigrants, the dark-skinned, the almost real.
Ironically, the few Euros they need to feed their children are being
taken from them for a crime nearly all of us do these days when we
copy a CD.
ends the guest post, excepted from an email sent to me by Ethan V.
¡Muchas gracias señor!
Feliz año nuevo a tod@s. Nos vemos en la kalle...