This may or may not be my best post, but it’s the one I broke with. Before I posted this top I had kept it to myself, but this top 36 remixes of 2010 is the one that I used to announce my blog to the world (my friends on facebook) and to let everyone now my twisted dark electronic music fantasy.
So this is where my hearts at in 2011, the remix. I’ve written this blog post twice already and I had a beautiul intro that developed the history of the remix and my relationship to it, but I keep accidentally deleted it. Now I’ve learned my lesson, always write things in Word first. Word.
This was a big year for the remix though, the bloghouse phenomenon has now simply been the way that we experience electronic music, with an infinite number of artists communicating instantly. Shit most of these songs have no place other than blaring off computer speakers. You’ll never hear any of this, even on college radio, and you can be damned sure that it’ll never hit your local disco.
Anyways, please enjoy this top 10, and a long list of honorable mentions that nearly made the cut.
The xx – VCR (Four Tet remix): There have been dozens of xx remixes. The young English trio’s potent mixture of sparse instrumental/soft electronic arrangements held together by compelling, intimate vocal melody leaves oodles of space for the potential remix artist to work their magic. After their self-titled debut dropped a wave of remix’s came flowing out of the bloghouse community. Almost a year after this first wave of remix’s, Four Tet took a stab at re-imagining one of my favorite xx cuts, VCR. The result, well listen for yourselves, but IMHO this is the first remix that truly results in a new song, not just a riff on the original.
Edwin Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes – Home (RAC remix): RAC (Remix Artist Collective) does some of the most tasteful remixes out there. The collective applies a soft touch to the jangly, organic sounds of Sharpe n’ the Zeroes signature song. Really all it took was some soft synths and a steady beat and the already dancable song just became instantly more versatile. An instant classic.
Local Natives – Eyes Wide (Fool’s Gold Remix ft. Aristotle Pop a Bottle): The first 5 seconds of this remix transport the listener to a completely different planet than the blue eyed soul of the LA-based Local Natives’ original. The heavy bass intro hints at a possible veer towards dubstep, but then the “oh shit the world’s gonna end” Worellesque synths and the sputtering snare drum remind you that this is a Fool’s Gold remix. The brazenly added verse from whoever the hell “Aristotle Pop a Bottle” is hits all the right notes.
Darwin Deez – Deep Sea Diver (Dezlin remix): Darwin Deez definitely makes the top 10 breakout artists of 2010. His record label, Lucky Number, also makes some kinda list for doing a good job of protecting his music online. It’s really wasy to find a soundcloud of his tunes, but nearly impossible to find available downloads. Therefore I usually experience Deez via remix or while watching a video. Out of the ones I’ve heard, this one struts its stuff with a little more confidence and a little less cheez than the rest.
Neon Indian – Deadbeat Summer (Database remix): So this was the song of the summer of 2009, and it’s sticking around for the 2010 list, boo-freakin-hoo. Database put just enough techno gloss on this song to make it last another 12 months before it goes on the nostalgia pile. Good on ya!
TIE: Deerhunter – Helicopter (Diplo & Lunice remix) / Helicopter (STAR SLINGER remix): These two remixes almost hit the blogs simultaneously, right around the release date of Deerhunter’s ridiculously good forth album, Halcyon Digest. The two take different and almost contradictory approaches to the lead single from the Atlanta group. Counter-intuitively, Diplo, who in 2010 released “Diplo’s Guide to Dubstep” and genre-crossing hip-hop wunderkind, Lunice’srework trades on a bubly key lines, trance synths, and rich layers of effects. On the otherhand, break-out remix artist of 2010 STAR SLINGER, arguably takes the easy road and goes all dubstep with it, but that’s not all. STAR SLINGER sits comfortably at the crossroads of dupstep and chillwave, and this remix is a glorious setpiece of how the two emergent genres can sit side by side, even on a remix of a beautiful, pining, paean to the heavens.
Major Lazer - I’m Not Your Lemonade + Heroes n Villans Remix ft. Gucci Mane: This song formed the perfect storm of 2010 music trends. La Roux representing the wave of deeply personal and intimate vocalists that have come pouring out of Britain recently (see The xx, Ellie Goulding), and the Heroes n Villain remix to Lemonade introducing the world to the trapstep style that has been making the rounds in ATL for a minute now – combining down south trap music with dub step lo-end rhythms and theories.
Via Tania – Fields (Lemonade Remix): So good that I’ve never even bothered to check out the original. Lemonade blew me away at this year’s MtyMx festival in Monterrey Mexico, and I’m ashamed that I forgot to put their EP, Pure Moods, on my top 10 albums list. This edgy, angular track’s start n stop dums are smoothed out by the pleasant, simple lyrics and earnest, folksy delivery. The organ sample is also pretty fire. How to talk about this song? It’s more than the sum of its parts, just take a listen.
Kanye West – Power (remix ft. Jay-Z & Swiss Beatz): Finally, a straight hip-hop remix. The first single of Kanye West’s 2010 “enter my world if you like it or not” experience, Power didn’t impress me too much. That’s until I saw his BET Awards opening performance. With enough weight around his neck to make Mike Vick proud, Kanye became Kanye2K before our eyes. When’s the last time we’ve seen an entertainer become a demi-god before our eyes? Let alone one who can’t sing or dance. Yeah, I’ve always enjoyed Kanye’s lyrical potency, since back when me and my boys were screaming “Stack your money til it gets sky high,” but damn Yeezy, when did you get that flow? Jay-Z becomes utterly forgettable, as Kanye rips the last verse to shreds over ummeruffin Snap!. Oh and biggest disappoint of 2010, that the power clap didn’t catch on. LAME.
Dude, how pissed must Chromeo be that LMFAO is making top dollar off of their shtick.
Anyways, I’m experiencing some excellent internet right now, and I don’t know if I’m even going out tonight, so I decided to light up the skies with a post.
I have a channel in my hotel called Trace Urban. It’s a pop hop and r&b station that only plays music videos and is almost half African. It’s funckking unreal. Hearing so much good afropop alongside my drake and rhianna, but they play that damn Eminem and Bruno Mars song all day. The jury’s still out on that Sean Paul and Alexis Jordan Joint “Got 2 LUV U.” In any case, last week they started playing that great new - new to the Congo that is - Rhinanna song, “We Found Love.” I especially like that Trace Urban puts the writer credits on the screen so I can see that it was Calvin Harris on the words and music.
While the pounding house bass reminds us that Rhianna’s excellent first album was practically anchored by the unapologetically Euro “Please Don’t Stop the Music,” it is the music video that draws me into this latest single. Because I learned the song along with the video this is one of those songs that I’ll never be able to seperate from its music video. When they play it on trace, they add subtitles, it’s a French channel after all - but at least they don’t dub it, that’s how i watched My Blood Valentie last night…
Eleven producers (ao TEED, Actress and Richard XL) spent five days working with Congolese musicians as DRC Music. They have put out on album Kinshasa One Two on Warp, all proceeds go to Oxfam’s work in Congo and its musicians. In the video for Hallo you get a little peak inside the studio whilst you enjoy the catchy Congolese vibes of the song.
Leaving today for 3 months in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I’ll try to keep it real for all y’all while I’m gone with that hot fire from the DRC. Take it easy and I’ll be stateside again right before Christmas.
Panda Bear takes Korallreven’s new single As Young As Yesterday on a psychedelic trip; taken from the duo’s new 12”, which is available now digitally on iTunes and on orange vinyl through Acéphale. An Album By Korallreven is out on November 15.
But I also went to see Neon and the Indians show last night with a sweet opening set (or so I hear) by my big homie Com Truise, who I got the chance to chat up for just a second. I was super stoked to hear that he had read my review of Galactic Melt in QRO Mag.
It was my third time seeing Neon Indian, the first time was in Alan Palomo’s hometown of Monterrey Mexico at a 3 day festival at an abandoned Drive-In Movie theater. It was an incredible experience that the NY Times documented here. The next time was in Atlanta at the Earl, possibly my favorite venue in ATL with it’s mid-sized room and low stage, the energy at that show topped both of the other performances that I saw, a totally sweat soaked evening. Last night was a more polished performance. The band has been touring for over two years more or less non-stop, and it’s clear that they’ve settled into a rhythm where they can pound out 60 minutes of music without breaking a sweat. I’m not complaining though as they kept the price on the low-low at $13.
They played a sleek set laced with the hits (Deadbeat Summer, Polish Girl, Fallout, Should’ve Taken Acid With You, Psychic Chasms, and my personal favorite - Mind, Drips).Hopefully it was just a Monday thing, but the show seemed kind of tame from where I was standing. No worries though, I’m still a true believer in analog synth rock. So for those of you that couldn’t be there here’s a remix heavy set of music from the chillest tour of the fall.
We rock-o rock-o rock-o rock-o rock-o her were go, yeah we rock-o rock-o rock-o rock-o rock-o rock-o nonstop.
Yeah we brought it to Athens, we did lots of dancin, we got out of the car and started shaking our asses. We saw Vockah Redu and his bad ass dancers too, they moved to Houston after Katrina rolled through. Vockah got Go bar jumping, the dancers hit the ground thumping. Everybody’s ass was pumping, everybody was sippin on something. The beats were so heavy i tell ya, ground was shaking like a tremor. I wish the party lasted forever.
Last night the best music in the state of Georgia was Vockah Redu at Go Bar in Athens, check the video below and be on point the next time he comes to your town.
In some sadder news, longtime Ed Banger record label stalwart, DJ Mehdi passed away on 9/13 due to the roof falling on his head while he was in his Paris apartment. As I’ve said before here, I am a huge fan of French electro house, a small but hugely influential universe that is surely reeling after this latest tragedy. So check out the intro to electro house mix I made back in March right here. And also please take the time to listen to the last mix that Mehdi made, opening with some haunting vocals from Anthony of …and the Johnsons fame.
There’s no denying that there has been quite a bit of dead air over the PoMo Air Waves as of late. So to rectify the situation I thought that I’d go ahead and hit you all up with a brand new mix full of new music with one or two classics worked into the dough, kind of like an old strain of yeast to let that puppy rise. And if you’re into unleavened bread, just wait for my next mix with a 70s/80s goth rock theme.
But this one here is a bit more experimental. I dust of my DJ Proxy Music monicker and commence the mashing. Nothing complicated and certainly no use of acapella or song stems, jsut a little beat matching and pitch shifting. Some of it is successful, some of it less so. Take a listen and please tell me what you think.
I mentioned this youtube collection below but I figured that I’d go ahead and reproduce it here. It’s really fun to play around with. I’ve been listening to them one at a time too, practically endless combos of noodling in B flat.
Here is the link to the page, copied from their website, the html is below.
Just a couple of things for funsies today. First being this sweet video that came out almost exactly one year ago for NYC hip-hop duo Das Racist's “Who'd That? Brooown!” This video was clearly made by New Yorkers for New Yorkers - hmmm maybe FNYBNY is a potential brand name. It is my opinion that Das Racist are some of the most creative rappers on the scene right now, almost like a hipster Outkast.
Secondly, while I was checking out the posts of my newest follower, Asphyxophilia, I uncovered this incredible link to a series of youtube videos that can all be played and mixed together to create a customizable collaborative multimedia performance of this pretty chilled out downtempo/jazzy song. It’s fun to play around with for a minute, give it a look-sy.
NPR has become the site for official streaming links. Hypemachine also does a good job oof putting out B and C string indie and electro albums, but when it comes to the creme de la indie, which is really the nu-mainstream, NPR has been front and center with streaming versions of this years most anticipated releases well in advance of the in-store date, a date which has obviously become more and more meaningless. Fucked Up, Washed Out, Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, just to name a few, all chose NPR to release their 2011 releases, and now, chillwave’s last hope, Neon Indian, has decided to follow suit with their latest, Era Extraña. Check it out here.
So far I like what I’ve heard, lead singles “Fallout” and “Polish Girl” offer two vary different looks at where Alan Palomo and company are at right now. Fallout leans towards a dark 8-bit sound that’s only a bit less agro than Crystal Castles, while Polish Girl is almost blissful with it’s dancy synth-pop leaning. I’ll have to give the album some attention in the next couple days, but for now I’m still hung up on Ritual Union by Little Dragon.
Finally, I’ve mentioned it a few times before, but if you’re looking for leaked indie and underground music, the best non-torrent site I know of is nodata.tv You’re welcome!
I always get so humbled when genuinely good musicians start following my tumblr. All together there are close to a dozen bands or artists following me, so instead of cramming them all in one post I thought that I’d just pick a few for today and then feature others later on in the series. Here are a few that have been with me for a while now.
Nice Guy Vinny: West Coast experimental hip-hop beat maker extraordinaire. Super young dude still riding the tidal wave that J Dilla set off with Donuts. Following his tumblr is a window into the world that has churned out stars like Lil’B, Odd Future, and Kreyashawn.
Sally Whitwell: This Australian classical pianist has recently put out a record of her interpretations of Philip Glass recordings. I’ve been a huge fan of the Glassman since I was 16 years old and I heard Einstein on the Beach. Her album, Mad Rush, has gotten tons of accolades and is actually selling really well for a classical album. Following her has allowed me to see her relationship with the composer develop as she goes deeper and deeper into her research and understanding of his life and work.
Jecht Rye: I know I said that I’d feature the artists who have been with me for a while, but honestly Jecht Rye have only been following me for about three days. Nevertheless I was captivated with their extended soundcloud (embedded below) which captures such a hugely diverse palette of sounds and genres, from the Boards of Canada influenced opening track Birdcry to the industrial hip-hop of Bail it Out (remix) and then bringing it back to the electroacoustic Tortoise like post-rock sound of the final several tracks. I can’t remember ever hearing a group or artists actually engage with this many styles of music at such an early stage in their developmment, c’est tres pomo, non?
Part two of the haunted three-part instrumental which runs throughout Era Extraña due out on September 13. You should also watch Neon Indian’s 80’s synthfommercial for his PAL198X-thing, which you can now purchase on their website. Pre-order Era Extraña while you’re there too.
One time I was reading at a starbucks and some guys next to me were talking about models that they hook up with. On e dude said that “back in the 90s there were all these Estonian models I’d hook up with and they were gorgeous with their fake tits and yada yada yada,” then his interlocutor cut him off, incredulously interjecting, “Models? With fake tits?” to which the boaster replied, “well, yeah it was the 90s y’know.” This seemed to satisfy everyone.
Late friday night I was driving home from a beautiful wedding when I caught this report on the Estonian religion of Maausk. It turns out that Estonia is Europe’s least religious country, with only 16% endorsing any of the major organized religions. Naturalist pagan religions like Maausk or Taaraism are not counted in these surveys and seem to be enjoying large and growing followings however. I think that in the face of impeding ecological and biogenetical catastrophese, that this is where we need to go, as a society with our civic religious beliefs.
My lingering question then is what about manmade things like buildings, cell phones, and bubble gum? Do we exclude these things that fill our world from a naturalist religion, or should we consider manmade items with the same reverence that people in Estonia have for trees. I think that perhaps we already do revere our own constructions enough, until they become our trash that is. I think it was Zizek who said that the new ecologists will be those who learn to love garbage as a part of nature. He talks so much he’s said everything though, so it’s a safe bet to attribute to him almost any position on any subject.
Here are a couple songs from a long time ago for dancing.
Most people in music journalism that I read seem to be over dubstep. Carles at Hipster Runoff has been taking the piss out of it for a while now. Back in Atlanta, friends who were loyal to the genre now lament that entire fraternities show up to the clubs seeking only the dubbiest of steps. Even some of the genres own practitioners are acknowledging the backlash, in this interview from January Rusko, the king of “face-melting” dubstep, talks brostep and when bass goes too far:
Further, one of the innovators of dubstep, Zomby, himself coined the term post-dubstep and his music has never quite returned to the signature dubstep sound that he helped pioneer back in 2007/8 (I write all about him for QRO mag here).
Just when it seemed that everybody and their brother was hating on dubstep…my brother wrote this hilarious blog post hating on dubstep. Here’s just a taste,
“My friend was in rehab for a long time and he told me that people would inhale whatever products they could, shoe polish, paint, glue and it would give them the sensation of the “Wah Wahs” where they would hear “wahwahwahwahwah” ringing in their head for a minute or two. Being at a dub step show I think destroys your brain in a similar way.”
Call it a coincidence (or “ironic” in the Alanis Morisette way) that shortly after reading my brother’s post @DubstepNYC started following me on twitter. I don’t have a ton of followers, about 90, so I thought that this was pretty cool, kind of a recognition in a way despite how pathetically narcissistic it is to get excited by a new follower on twitter.
Not to go too far off subject, but a Pitchfork article about Minneapolis duo, Elite Gymnastics speaks directly to this point by drawing a distinction between internet use that is narcissistic - twitter/tumblr - and internet use that builds community - message boards. I’ll admit that in the last year or so I’ve made a shift to the narcissistic forms, almost totally abandoning message boards and only occasionally engaging in discussions via comment sections on articles or videos. Perhaps my shift is a product of my re-immersion in academia. The idea being that in class I get enough opportunity to engage in dialogue that I no longer feel the need to seek out anonymous people on a message board. Also, academic culture values creation of original scholarship, not saying that I’m doing that by keeping up a tumblr, but it is writing practice in one form or another.
Anyways! Shortly after being followed by @DubstepNYC, I get a mention from @djwhatt:
I click the link and sure enough someone named DOSVEC has made a 79 minute Dubstep Mashup mixtape complete with music videos from the vocal tracks spliced together. This is a lot to take in, and it’s clear that a lot of time (6 months) has been put into its production. While the opening track or two seem a little uneven in the mix, things quickly settle into a really listenable groove, something that can’t be said for a lot of dubstep. Essentially this guy is doing a dubstep Girl Talk album with fewer total tracks per minute. Now it’s not fair to compare the this mixtape with the last 3 Girl Talk albums - Night Ripper, Feed the Animals, All Day - when he hit his stride and cleared out the glitch that crowded his first two albums (and made the first one borderline unlistenable). This mixtape instead is more straight forward, with most tracks containing one song’s vocals on top of one dubstep track with some original dubstep production flourishes added to hip hop beats as well. In this way its actually closer to a Hood Internet mixtape, similarly co-opting pop music like Paramore and Glee Cast recordings to a greater extent than we find on Girl Talk albums (save the incredible Kelly Clarkson/Nine Inch Nails mashup on Feed the Animals).
At the end of the tape, I’ve gotta say that I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought that I would. At times the bass gets monotonous, I for one am just not interested in listening to a stuttered snare and motorcycle-rev bass for an hour and a half straight. The pop of the track selection though makes the tape work, and the smoothness of the transitions makes it hard to turn off. From Kanye’s Power as an opener to Big Sean near the end, the album covers about 18 months of pop music reimagined through the lens of that crazy post-apocalyptic rave at the end of the second matrix movie.
While I don’t have enough time to do a track-by-track breakdown of the tape, and unfortunately the tape is only available as a streaming soundcloud or vimeo, I will point out a few highlights. The first is at 30:43 mark when some throwback jungle/trance sounds are introduced that just feel much more vital to me today than hackneyed bass synths. The second is when a dubstep remix of “Look at Me Now” is blended into Birdman and Lil’ Wayne’s “Stuntin Like my Daddy,” over the “Big Pimpin” beat. All three of these songs deserve to make the top 200 hip hop songs of all time list, so this works for me. There’s also a dubstep “Gucci Gucci” by Kreyashawn. I’m surprised how few remixes there are to this song despite its popularity, so I was glad to see it on here.
There’s definitely more to be discovered though, so take a look/listen for yourself and decide where you and dubstep stand today.
Do you remember the other day when I said some friends rolled through my place for a couple of days? Well I was sweeping up my floor today and when I put the broom under my bed, I pulled out what I thought was a dirty rag. I was sure that they had left it, and I found myself wondering what they had spilled that they needed to use the rag for. I then took a closer look at the now more visible object laying at my feet to relize that it was no rag at all, but instead crumpled, heavily used women’s underware. That 19 year old half filipino girl that I had never met before left/forgot her dirty panties under my bed. What could this mean?
First of all let me say that I did not flirt with this girl, I did not make eyes with her, she was cute, but 5 years younger than me and not very mature, so I wasn’t even attracted to her. Nevertheless, in contemplation of these panties, there are options:
a) They were shoved down there in the heat of the moment and forgotten about.
b) She is marking her territory by leaving her scent.
c) She did it to get under my skin.
i) She didn’t care for me, and this act was to upset me.
ii) She was crushing on me, and this is how she’s letting me know she’s interested.
iii) It is a purely “punk” act done for the idea of it alone.
I’m thinking that it’s a 99% chance that “A” is the correct answer. The other ones are just fun to think about. But yeah, I dunno, tell me what you think. Gonna have to take out the trash ASAP so my roommate doesn’t get the wrong idea.
Anyways, click above for a kind of kinky mix. I think that it started out pretty strong, I even did a bit of a mashup for the first two songs. The last few transitions are a little rough, but at the end of the day I stand by my song selection. 7.5 out of 10 overall - check it out.
Pretty much any movie I can think of, perhaps any piece of art for that matter, offers a question to the audience for its evaluation. The plot, the characters, they’re all submitted to our scrutiny, to seee if it apprximates life as we know it. We can agree or disagree on these things and that’s what gives each person their own taste.
At the same time we must be careful to act like we’re all neutral objective observers who can just pass judgement on films without having our viewpoints coming from a place that was affected by the art that we’ve been surrounded with.
Case in point
I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art earlier this summer. There were hundreds if not thousands of people dressed to the nines for the Alexander McQueen exhibit, “Savage Beauty.” I walked through the exhibit and marveled and the attention to detail and meticulous craftsmanship of the garments and accessories on display, not to mention the videos and holograms of his past live shows, which were performance art pieces in addition to being marketing for his massive company.
While I was thrilled to see this landmark exhibition that is already the stuff of legend, what drew me t the museum was the painting of Richard Serra which was located in a gallery at the other end of the same hall of the museum where the McQueen exhibit was. From the entrance of the Serra exhibit, you could see the line of people being ushered into the McQueen show, and I don’t need to tell you that it was a gorgeous group of people.
The Serra exhibit, on the other hand, was empty. I spent 40 minutes going through the space and maybe a dozen other visitors passed through in that time. Now why would this show, that occupied at least half a dozen rooms in one of the most renowned museums in the world featuring one of the most famous living artists who has been working for over 50 years now not draw a crowd. If I had to venture a guess I would say that it’s because 95% of the pieces on display were big black sqaures and circles made with an oilstick. They were rough, crude, demanding, numbing, monumental and infinite in their blackness, and they could not have been more opposed to the fastidiousness of the nimble hands that mend McQueens “masterpieces.”
So the moral of the story is that people who are both interested in art and are within 50 feet of eachother can still hold such different views of what art is that they won’t bother with looking at a bunch of black paintings. I know that I’m skipping a few rungs in the logical ladder, but what I’m trying to say is that McQueen’s fans weren’t interested in the questions that Serra’s art poses and the truths that it presents to them. And just as a side note to the simmering question of whether or not McQueen was an artist I think that that conversation needs to be conducted with the types of terms used above: what does his art ask of the audience, and is that demand rooted in a presentation of his idea of the truth. the alternative could be that it’s all just spectacle, meant to leave an audience in awe, but lacking any type of generative thought that you walk away with.
So pardon me for perhaps the biggest digression that PoMo has ever taken. But I think we’re all now in a place to talk about one of my favorite films of all time. High Fidelity. There’s a lot to like here, but sticking to my theme I want to talk about the questions that films ask their audiences, and High Fidelity has one of the best,
“What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?”
I don’t have an answer for this tension. I hope to return to it in subsequent posts, but for now I’d just like to exchange a knowing/meaningful look of recognition with whoever has gotten this far in the text. Whoever you are, whether you know me personally or not, please keep this conversation in your mind as you listen to these two songs which are simultaneously stuck in my head and tearing me apart. And if you could listen to them in this order and then listen to them both again I think that would be best. I’ve included the links for download and the youtubes, so you can listen right away.
It’s been a hobo couple of days y’all. On tuesday, my childhood best buddy called me from a payphone to tell me that he had just hitch hiked into NYC. I met him up at Union Square and he tells me that he had traveled all the way from Washington state, and not alone either, he has a 19 year old half-Filipino girl with him. She’s cool though, and it’s not quite as hood rat as it sounds, but close.
I feel bad because the girl is 19 so there’s only so much that we can do. NYC is a town that likes its bars and restaurants, but her age closes off a lot of the nightlife options for us, so instead the evenings have generally been resolving with us sitting in my microscopic apartment drinking beer and watching clips and movies on my laptop with a failing screen.
The first night our selection was, predictably enough, Hobo with a Shotgun. This is easily one of the most horrible films I’ve ever seen. The hobo doesn’t start the film with a shotgun, but he gets one and it doesn’t take long for the body count to pile up. The best (worst) part of the film though are these atrocious one-liners that keep popping up in the film that will burn their way into your brain. I won’t repeat any of them here, but suffice to say that Mother Theresa is invoked in the most un-saintly of ways.
The next night we got talking about juggalos, who I’ve written about before, and who can be an incredibly vile/violent bunch (read). Turns out both of my house guests have spent lots of time in and around juggalo culture, though neither don the face ppaint or even really like ICP that much, nevertheless we watched all 27 minutes of the 2011 Gathering of The Juggalos Infomercial last night. I’m not going to say it’s worth watching, because it’s just not, but lemme just let you know that both Coolio and Vanilla Ice are now juggalos and that Vanilla himself presents a huge chunk of the infomercial.
It’s funny, all of the SNL spoofs of Juggalos (here, here, and here) just aren’t as funny as the real thing.
South Korean Pop Music is on a roll. Koreans love their pop stars of course. Their sometimes bubblegum, sometimes hip hop, always 6-12 months behind the US styles vie for national cultural domination against the equally successful Korean film and television industries. Shit, even Korean food is blowing up.
But the thing is that food, television, and film have always had an easier task than pop music in generating East —> West crossover appeal. With film/video there can be subtitles, and everyone knows how to eat food. But for a country like South Korea, where media still must be generated in the local language, despite an unquenchable thirst for English language instruction, pop music and the loss of lyrics to non-Korean speakers could seem to be an insurmountable challenge.
Come to think of it, the first kind of Korean crossover was Amerie, the bodacious babe who dropped the soulful smash One Thing. That song came out a while ago, but when it did, I thought that Amerie was the hottest black chick that I’d ever seen in my life. That is until my Korean friend told me that the tattoo she had on her back were Korean characters. A little research revealed that she is half Korean, though for our purposes that doesn’t really count seeing as she was doing neo-soul, not KPOP.
Indeed the first discernible chink (no pun intended) was taken out of the armor of American musical ethnocentrism in 2009 when incredibly hot Korean girl group, Wonder Girls, got a couple spots opening up for the Jonas Brothers on their US tour on the strength of their single “Nobody” which hit 76 on the Billboard 100. Never wanted to be a Jonas more than when I heard that…
The next big step was the “Check it Out” video with Will.i.Am. and Nicki Minaj going full on Seoul-stylie:
To the untrained eye those may seem like Japanese or Chinese characters, but naw dog, that’s Hangul, the easily readible phonetic alphabet that Koreans have been using since a series of scholars developed it in the mid-15th century to spread literacy throughout the peninsula.
OK, snap back to the present day, WHY AM I WRITING THIS POST???
Well that same Korean friend who spotted Amerie’s tattoo drew my attention to this Diplo-produced KPOP track by GD (aka G-Dragon) and T.O.P. from Korean uber-group Big Bang. They drop enough english words in it for crossover appeal, but the verses are Korean enough to dominate the home courts:
Now if you don’t like that, then shit, you just won’t like my blog.
Unfortunately there is a dark side to all of this entertainment. While the practice of paying to be played has been widely acknowledged in Korea for quite some time, recent scandals have gotten to the point that mainstream western news outlets like The Economist are reporting on it, read here.
But you know what they say, there’s no such thing as bad publicity, so the machine rolls on and KPOP shows no signs of slowing down, in fact a gigantic free KPOP show in NYC was just announced for October 9 featuring TVXQ, Wonder Girls,2PM, B2ST, SHINee, Se7en, Sistar19, Lee Hyori, and 4Minute. Read more about that here. I might even make it out to that if I’m in town, for the music guys , for the music, but having said that, if you’re looking for a Korean girlfriend (or boyfriend perhaps)…I could think of worse places to show up with your 2002 world cup jerseys.
Bonus! This is the first KPOP song and video that I really enjoyed:
Hey-yo, so there’s no denying that my last several posts have all been re-blogs from Disco Naivete, the fantastically curated tumblr with its own snazy theme and everything. Something to aspire to.
Well today I’m here to announce that I’m back from vacation and ready to create some content. That’s right, it’s another POMORADIOREMIXSHOW. For this installment I traded in frenetic track skipping and on the fly mashing for longer listens to some of the freshest new cuts out there and (if I do say so myself) buttery smooth transitions for your listening plezzure:
Jamie xx and visual artist Quayola bundle their forces to create “an original and immersive audiovisual live music experience titled Structures”. Here is a 90 second teaser which features a new Jamie xx track and visuals by Quayola. More information on Structures over at RizLab.
Hard Mix delivers the next mixtape in our ongoing series, in which he gently blends jams like Nicolas Jaar’s Problems With The Sun and Nosaj Thing’s Coat Of Arms into a dreamy substance. His debut LP Defaults is still a free download over at Dovecote Records and very much worth the MBs - and so is this mixtape.
The uber-creative but still fairly under the radar group, New Villager, set a very high bar with their video for “Lighthouse” earlier this year, so when the always great blog disco naivete posted a new clip for their new song “Shot Big Horizon” yesterday I eagerly watched to see where the group had decided to go with this video. The video coincided with the release of two new tracks including “Shot Big Horizon.” Listen to the song and check out the band’s website for info about the album and the various performance and visual art projects that these two NY/SF gentleman busy themselves with.
While “Lighthouse” executed elaborate costume design with Oriental motifs and a ying-yang aesthetic, this “Shot Big Horizon” employs a more natural, earthy aesthetic. The black and white costumes still signify some part for humanity to play, a natural balancing act to exist in, but not adversely affect nature perhaps?
As for the music, not a huge leap from Lighthouse, which I found a bit punchier and urgent than the minimal guitar riff that this song rests on. Perhaps this is why I’ve always enjoyed the Punches remix of Lighthouse so much.