Clearly a labor of love, Joey Tosi’s Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World is a cool documentary about a subject dear to the hearts of guitar players everywhere, the wah wah pedal. I remember my first, it was made by Vox and I slowly stomped it to death over the course of several years while playing in garage bands in the suburbs of Washington, D.C.
Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World tells the story of the wah wah effect pedal, from its invention in 1966 to the present day. Musicians, engineers, and historians discuss the impact of the pedal on popular music and demonstrate the various ways it has been used, as well as how its evolution has improved the ability of artists to express themselves musically. The film features interviews with Brad Plunkett, the inventor of the pedal, plus many other musical luminaries such as Ben Fong-Torres, Eddie Van Halen, Slash, Buddy Guy, Art Thompson, Eddie Kramer, Kirk Hammett, Dweezil Zappa, and Jim Dunlop. These professionals explain how a musical novelty transcended convention and has become timelessly woven into the fabric of modern pop-culture.”
Here’s Cry Baby: The Pedal That Rocks The World in its entirety. Thanks Joey.
I suppose that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, should it? It’s actually kinda perfect coming from Kraftwerk.
At first glance I thought that this was maybe just some random/semi-random “remix” algorithm tied to a GPS (which it seems to be) but it sounds like once they work out the kinks, that they’ll be adding new functionality.
“It’s a novel system that creates music and sound based on realtime data depending on your location that are continuously feeded into the app, meaning the KLING KLANG MACHINE No1 can’t be compared with other generative music apps which mostly utilize pre-programmed algorithms. There are some nice ways to manipulate sound and store personal preferences. For now the functionality is still kind of basic but the original concept will be more and more implemented in future updates and releases.”
Kenneth Anger gives a wonderfully loose and informative talk on Aleister Crowley. From his birth in 1875 to his death in a boarding house in 1947 (not 1974 as said here), Anger gives snapshots of Crowley’s life through commentary on his painting, his use of writing paper, his mountaineering expeditions, his potboiler Diary of a Drug Fiend, Cefalu, the Blitz, to his involvement with the Occult and why the “Most Wickedest Man in the World”:
Crowley was not afraid of devils, in fact, they were part of his family. He was never afraid of anything on the other side - angel, devil, these are names you put on entities - but he said, ‘Welcome friend.’”
Anger also sketches in his own life and interests, and explains why he was officially declared a fire hazard.
Umshini Wam directed by Harmony Korine and starring Die Antwoord had its SXSW premier yesterday before an enthusiastic crowd. I’m unimpressed. Korine seems stuck in perpetual Gummo-land, but there are some brilliant bits sprinkled here and there. I dig the holographic hubcaps. Yo-Landi displays some real acting chops and I’m looking forward to seeing where she takes it in the future.
Korine’s sixteen-minute short brings the audience to the fringes of society where Ninja and Yo Landi of Die Antwoord star as wheelchair-bound gangsters. Residing in the outskirts of civilization, Ninja and Yo Landi play trigger-happy, gun-toting misfits who bond throughout the film by sharing cartoonishly huge joints, sticking-up business owners, and seeking refuge and shelter in the woods. It is a tale of love and the struggle for survival.”
Umshini Wam is Zulu for “bring me my machine gun” and the title of a popular South African anti-apartheid song. Die Antwoord gives the phrase a different spin entirely by using it in the context of a gangsta satire and I’m not sure what the reason for that is. I’m not from South Africa so maybe I’m missing something. Zef?
Attorney Mark Geragos said Nate Dogg, whose real name was Nathaniel D. Hale, died Tuesday of complications from multiple strokes.
Nate Dogg wasn’t a rapper, but he was an integral figure in the genre: His deep voice wasn’t particularly melodic, but its tone - at times menacing, at times playful, yet always charming - provided just the just the right touch on hits including Warren G’s “Regulate,” 50 Cent’s “21 Questions,” Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode” and countless others.
While Nate Dogg provided hooks for rappers from coast to coast, the Long Beach native is best known for his contributions to the West Coast soundtrack provided by the likes of Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, the Dogg Pound and more. Nate Dogg was even part of a supergroup” featuring Snoop Dogg and Warren G, called 213.
Just last week, Warren G tweeted that Nate Dogg was receiving treatment. “For those that dont know awhile back nate had 2 strokes he is in therapy thanks again for your support,” he tweeted. Watch some of Nate Dogg’s videos after the jump.
Snoop Dogg seemed to confirm the sad news over Twitter, writing, “We lost a true legend n hip hop n rnb. One of my best friends n a brother to me since 1986 when I was a sophomore at poly high where we met.”
Nate’s death was unexpected ... since he was making significant progress in his recovery from the most recent stroke he suffered in 2008.
According to McGrew ... Nate was “95% recovered from the first stroke in 2007” ... when the second stroke occurred in 2008 ... leaving Nate partially paralyzed and causing partial memory loss.
But McGrew says Nate had “cognitively fully recovered”—meaning he got his memory back and was fully alert and aware all the way up to his final days.
McGrew just released a statement on behalf of himself and Nate’s family ... saying, “We appreciate the enormous outpouring of response from all over the world. We greatly appreciate that and thank everyone for their prayers and support.”
I work for the University. I work for the elevator crew, and in the electric shop.
And this year, you’re retiring?
Yes, I’m retiring in June, prompted by all of the goings on. I had planned to retire in December, but I can’t take the chance.
And how many years do you have in?
I have, with the University, seventeen years.
And what does this mean to you?
Aw this, it started out, to me, as an issue between collective bargaining, and the fact that, uh…[breaks down]
I’m a Vietnam vet. That’s alright.
But when he talked about the National Guard, it became personal. He talked about bringing out the Guard, you know, hinting that the Guard would be called, it became personal. But I’m over all that now, that’s why what’s really personal to us all, is [pauses to collect himself]
...are my grandchildren. I don’t want them to be deprived, because this guy has to give it to millionaires. He doesn’t deserve that. My kids, my grandkids deserve everything. So this became personal to me, very personal now, because of all the families, the poor, and moderate-income families that he’s depriving of a better life.
Here’s a great collection of live performance clips, programmed by one of today’s foremost experts in the field of electronic music, Keith Fullerton Whitman via the appropriately named Network Awesome:
1. Laurie Spiegel “Improvisations on a Concerto Generator” live at Bell Labs, 1977. Here Laurie is manipulating the Bell Labs Digital Synthesizer, aka the “Alles Machine” (or just “Alice”) in real time. I love how baroque this is ; the pulverizing 16th-note motorik starts to blur together until all you hear are the lovely arpeggiated chord-shapes.
2. Speaking of motorik ; Can “Paperhouse” live in 1972, at the peak of their powers ... You often think of Can as this freak-out group, but here they sound as restrained & musical as ever ... of course Jaki is on fire throughout, but I’m more impressed by Holger’s timekeeping in this clip !!! One of Damo’s best performances to boot, perfect Karoli guitar tone ; I could watch this on repeat, all day, every day ...
3. Seeselberg “Synthetik-1” , ca. 1975 c/o WDR. Seeselberg were two brothers (“Eckhardt” & “Wolf-J”) who issued a lone LP in 1973 of some of the most bewitching, non-denominational electronic music ever committed to tape. This feature-ette shows them jamming in front of a small gallery crowd, then at home in the studio ; cut with some rather Brakhage-esque direct-film experiments ... Sounds like a million bucks !!!
4. Bembeya Jazz National “Petit Sekou” live at the RTG studios in 1979. Slays me every time. Top-notch interplay, jagged but never showy guitar ... Love the VHS / helical scan wobble in the intro as well ...
5. Short film of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s commission for The Curve at the Barbican Center in London, 2010 ; Incredible idea, gorgeously executed ...
6. Great clip of Moroder actually performing “The Chase” from “Midnight Express” on a MiniMoog in 1979 ; proper synth freakout in there as well ...
7. Harry Bertoia Sound Sculptures, performed by his son, Val in 2001. About 5 years before this was filmed, I made the pilgrimage out to rural Bally, PA to witness these for myself ... since Harry’s passing in 1978, the sculptures have been standing in a barn, largely untouched, for the last 30 years; this is a rare document of their majestic forms / sounds ...
8. Pink Floyd “Echoes Part II” ; never was a big Gilmour fan, but I’ll rate this as the best bit from the later “Stadium” Floyd’s reign ...
9. Erkki Kurreniemi “Computer Music” ... mid-60’s film showing Erkki’s process for composing with computers. Typewriter? Check. Scads of jumbled up paper tape? Check. Composer falls asleep, dreams of psychedelic spinning landscape, rife with paranoid overtones? All there. As close as you’ll get to a valid “performance film” of early Computer Music ...
10. The Voice Crack trio of Norbert Möslang, Andy Guhl, and Knut Remond performing a set of their trademark “Cracked Everyday Electronics” in a gallery in their hometown of St. Gallen, Switzerland, 1989 ... I hear this not only as the blueprint for every “pedal noise” performance of the 90s / 00s, but as the invention of a few different languages that make up a large part of our current experimental music vocabulary. These guys are VISIONARIES ...