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Notes From The Niallist: That’s so CVNT, a ‘Future-House’ voguing mix
01.25.2013
03:30 pm

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Dance
Music

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I have a new house music project, and it’s renewing my faith in this whole “making music” malarkey.

It’s called CVNT TR4XXX, or if you don’t mind bad language, CUNT TRAXXX. If you;re wondering why I chose that name, the c-word has been used in drag and gay circles for quite a while as a compliment, and CVNT (for short) is dedicated to VOGUING and the culture that surrounds it, which is heavily gay, trans and femme. 

As the picture I use as a logo states:

CUNT: (adj) a term used in gay slang to describe someone who is impressive, original or fantastic in regards to style or demeanour.
 
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This week the London-based fashion label Long Clothing have uploaded a CVNT mix I put together showcasing some of my sounds, and a lot of others who operate in roughly the same ballpark.

For too long, house music has been perceived as a European-dominated scene (which it is to an extent) but it’s important to remember the roots of this music, and that it was born in the ghettos of Chicago, produced mostly by black and queer kids messing around with drum machines and boxed-up synth modules.

Not to mention house music’s spiritual home of New York City, the town that gave birth to voguing, and that, in the early 90s at least, spearheaded an assault of queer/black/latino/drag culture on the popular consciousness. Madonna didn’t start that shit, you know.

For those of you who don;t know, voguing was not just a fad, it was and still is a unique and complex culture in its own right, and it lives on, stronger than ever. That’s the real inspiration for starting CVNT, watching clips of various new way vogue dancers competing on YouTube and dreaming up a soundtrack to make them go wild to.

There’s some other kinds of house on this mix too, most notably “Jersey Club”, which features a distinctive 5-kicks-to-the-bar rhythm, a little bit of a “B-More”/Baltimore influence (similar to Jersey Club but with breakbeats) and “ballroom”, which is essentially house music for new way voguers and combines elements of B-More and Jersey Club with a heavy dose of 90s diva realness.

I call all this stuff “future house” because these genres are taking house music in a different direction, but one that is still very much connected to the black/gay undergrounds where they started. This music has got very little to do with dub, or spending hours tweaking a synth patch to sound good in a k-hole. This is defiantly DANCE music, designed to make you MOVE. Most of it is based around the rhythm, cutting up tiny samples of speech and music and arranging it around quick-fire patterns. This is music from the MPC generation, where you don’t get money for anything, but the synths are free.

Besides, I’m SICK of boring bloody minimal, ploddy bro-step and electro-house! As “EDM” takes more and more of a foothold in the American consciousness it’s worth reminding people that YOU GUYS INVENTED IT. You still have PLENTY of homegrown talent pushing these genres forward right on your own doorstep, but possibly not in the places you’d expect to find them. 

If I can point anyone in that direction, then it’s a start.

Here’s the mix for Long Clothing, which you can download from their website. The tracklist is here.
 

 
BONUS!

Here’s a couple more tracks for good measure, from the Death Drops EP:
 

 

 
You can hear more productions on the CVNT TR4XXX SoundCloud page.

 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
Porn 2.0: ‘Memes I’d Like To F**k’ (SFW)
01.25.2013
02:30 pm

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Media
Sex

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Wow, porn companies are really thinking outside the box these days! 

This James Deen clip doesn’t need much explanation, only to say it’s totally Safe For Work, and in fact, it’s more silly than sexy: 
 

 
The Veruca James/surprised kitty clip (pictured above) is here.
 

Posted by Niall O'Conghaile | Leave a comment
George Harrison (and me) bitching about Paul McCartney
01.25.2013
12:15 pm

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Music

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“Argh! Leave me alone…”
 
Recently I caught the famous Let It Be Beatles’ movie for the first time. Throughout, the individual Beatles are fascinating to observe –  particularly George, who continually eyeballs Paul with an expression suggesting (Hare Krishna notwithstanding) he’d like to bury an axe between his old friend’s eyes. Paul, meanwhile, goes on obliviously (and perhaps pathologically) craning his neck in the direction of the nearest camera, John and Yoko seem (shall we say) rather distant, and Ringo, in the words of one witty YouTube commenter, looks on “like a kid whose parents are splitting up.”

I ain’t too keen on McCartney myself. A paradoxical chap, he managed to be both an admittedly essential component of the greatest band of all time, and one of the most vapid songwriters ever, with all the emotional sincerity of a greeting card.

That McCartney apparently “woke up” in possession of “Yesterday”– an incident singled out by others as proof of his genius –only bolsters my suspicion that some external entity was cooking up his trite little slices of whimsy before tossing them ready-made into Paul’s rubber soul. How else explain the truly perverse cause-and-effect of Paul getting into acid and shortly afterwards writing “When I’m Sixty-four” (perhaps the first installment of that grand McCartney song sequence the rest of the group christened “Paul’s granny music”)? 

Yup, if the grim reaper’s visiting the Fab Four in order of talent, I’m inclined to hope Ringo’s getting his house in order…

But Paul got on no-one’s tits like he did George’s. If you go through every scrap of Beatle stuff on YoutTube (as I have these recent weeks), you can’t help but be struck by Harrison’s consistent drollery on the subject of his former band-mate. The following snippet, from Harrison’s appearance on The Dick Cavett Show, is an excellent example, and brilliantly captures Paul’s aforementioned camera addiction.
 

 
Love that little shimmy! Another fave–before I leave the topic and Sir McCartney alone–occurs during episode six of the excellent Anthology series, and concerns Paul’s “confession” to the media about his taking LSD. Paul – who staved off trying the drug for months after the rest of the band (cos he’s a pussy) – tries to make out that he was cornered by the media. In fact, he blatantly did it to look cool, which is so Paul. And also, for the record, impossible. Cue George with another zinger…
 

Posted by Thomas McGrath | Leave a comment
Nina Simone’s 1976 ‘Live At Montreux’ full concert!
01.25.2013
09:09 am

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Music

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One of the greatest performers of all time, Nina Simone’s live recordings are best heard (and watched) in their entirety. When the whole thing goes up on YouTube, you have no excuse not to!

Her body language is unbelievable, as are her interactions with the crowd. The songs meld in and out of spoken word, her soliloquy sometimes outright antagonizing the audience (“I started to write a song about it, but I decided you weren’t worthy”). This concert also has her famous commentary on Janis Joplin, (“She got hooked into a feeling. And she played to corpses. Know what I mean?”)
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Boobs not bombs: The first ever computer art was made possible by the Cold War… & it was a girly pic
01.25.2013
09:04 am

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History
Science/Tech

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Are you actually surprised?
 
I know there’s all kinds of pithy puns I could make about the righteous dick-swinging contest that was the Cold War; of course it would produce a piece of art so rooted in masculine sexuality! I’m so enamored of the idea though, that I can’t help be reassured by the little glowing lady.

We spent $238 million on a computer system to detect Russian nuclear attacks, creating what was then the largest computer ever made, and a programmer rendered a George Petty pin-up on the screen, taking a Polaroid for posterity. It’s believed to have been created in 1956 or 1958.

Our most human priorities shine so brightly, don’t they?

Via The Atlantic

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
The Strypes: 15 years old and they know how to nasty
01.25.2013
05:42 am

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Music

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When I first heard the tune “Blue Collar Jane” by The Strypes on Handsome Dick Manitoba’s radio show I had no idea how old they were. I was impressed by the song and the band’s sound, a kind of throwback to groups like Them and The Animals. The band’s nitty gritty vibe felt authentic, lived in. They were from Ireland and I figured they were a bunch of guys in their 40s who’d been playing pubs for a couple of decades. My mind was seriously blown when I found out the average age of the band members is 15 years old. Then I remembered that cats like Eric Burdon and Van Morrison started out in their teens…but not 15! The only other rocker I could think of that started out this young playing blues-based rock was Stevie Winwood.

This is pretty impressive. The Strypes on Irish TV. They are Ross Farrelly, Josh McClorey, Peter O’Hanlon, Evan Walsh.

I do hear a second guitar track during the solo. Wonder if there’s someone offstage or on tape. There was, I think, a former fifth member playing guitar at one time, which might explain cheating a little.

And by the way, these little pricks also wrote the song. Fuck, I feel ancient.
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Best Obama speech ever: ‘I’ll do the spaceman boogie’
01.25.2013
02:27 am

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Amusing
Politics

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I can never get enough of these bad lip reading things and this is a particularly funny one.

Listen ladies, romance is deception. Romance is a parody. It’s how we get you cuddly and naughty naughty and not questioning men more than a two nights window.”

Best inauguration speech ever!
 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
The sublime heaviness of Vanilla Fudge
01.24.2013
11:10 pm

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Music

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This clip never fails to raise the little hairs on the back of my neck. Vanilla Fudge, heavier than Godzilla with a stomach full of Tokyoites, unleash a monolithic roar (and some rumbling low end)  that is still as exciting as when it was first performed on the stage of The Ed Sullivan Show in 1968, a full eight months before Led Zeppelin played their debut gig. And it comes with a pretty fucking cool light show!

Underpraised and underrated, the Fudge flung subtlety to the floor in favor of something much more primal and sexual than most of the stuff coming out of the radio in the psychedelic Sixties. If you wanted your rock cerebral, you listened to the Jefferson Airplane. If you wanted to be hammered into blissful oblivion, The Fudge would oblige. 

Vocalist/organist Mark Stein, bassist/vocalist Tim Bogert, lead guitarist/vocalist Vince Martell, and drummer/vocalist Carmine Appice.
 

 
An even more amazing clip of Vanilla Fudge at New York’s Bitter End in 1967 after the jump…

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Peter Sellers vs. Spike Milligan: ‘The Running, Jumping & Standing Still Film’, 1960
01.24.2013
08:53 pm

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Amusing
Heroes
Movies

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Peter Sellers was bored. It was 1959, and he was tired of appearing in The Goon Show with Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe.

While The Goon Show was still the biggest and most influential comedy show on British radio, Sellers was now a movie star, with a successful stage and TV career, and the offer of a tenth Goons series was too much to contemplate. He said:

‘I think we should leave it now before the standard goes down - we [Sellers, Secombe & Milligan] aren’t adding anything new and the original drive and enthusiasm has gone.’

Sellers was more of an anarchist than Milligan. Sellers wanted the unfettered life, to be free of all responsibilities. Milligan was far more predictable, he was enthralled by the success of his legacy.

Sellers pretended not to give a fuck. While Milligan’s ambitions meant he was often a shit to those people closest to him.

When The Goons first started, the rivalry between Milligan and Michael Bentine forced the latter to leave the group. Similarly, when Milligan worked with Goons co-writer Larry Stephens, he did everything in his power to belittle him. ‘Larry Stephens was small beer…’ Milligan once said:

‘He was never really a writer…Larry would occasionally think of an idea, but by then the show was over.’

TV writer, biographer and Goons expert, Roger Wilmut disagrees with Milligan’s opinion about his co—writer.

‘Stephens’s plots tend to have a beginning a middle, and an end; whereas Milligan’s tend to have a middle.’

Milligan was great at coming up with original, often brilliant ideas, but he needed someone to help structure these ideas into a coherent script. At first he had Jimmy Grafton, then Bentine, Stephens and Eric Sykes. He also had his producers, like Peter Eton who later said:

‘Spike used to have the marvelous lively extrovert ideas, and Larry used to bring them down to earth. Larry was the strong man. Spike used to have these paradoxical ideas and wrote them down in the form of one line gags. Most of it was rubbish, utter rubbish. It was Larry who used to pull it into shape and make sketches out of it.’

The seeming anarchy of Milligan’s Q series now seems like a collection of unfocussed gags. Yet, I have always preferred Q to The Goon Show.

By 1959, Stephens’ untimely death (he suffered a brain hemorrhage while driving a car, and died in hospital days later) left Milligan to write the final Goons series on his own. As he later rather nastily said:

‘Larry Stephens died conveniently, it was very nice of him, and I went on to write them on my own.’

Milligan’s response to his past life often depended on his mood, he also claimed (falsely and tearfully) that Stephens had died in his arms at a restaurant.

With no Stephens to fret over, Milligan turned on his fellow Goons, in particular Peter Sellers, whose film career, and successful stage and TV work, had greatly dimmed Milligan’s own success. It was up to Harry Secombe to act as peace-keeper.

Sellers wanted to do something new. Something different. Something with film. He bought a camera for £70 (around $170 back then), and suggested to Milligan they make a short movie together. They tried the camera out at Sellers home, then asked Dick Lester to direct. Over two Sundays The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film was made.

When released in 1960, it was an incredible success—award-winning no less—and a direct influence on The Beatles to hire Lester to direct (and later to ask Leo McKern to star in) their fab movies.

But Milligan wasn’t happy. The success of The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film niggled, and he felt aggrieved over who was the real talent behind the film. Of course, he had to wait until after Seller’s death in 1980 to claim the film as his own:

I said to Peter [Sellers], ‘Look, films are being made for millions - I think we can make one (not very long) for - what’s the cost of the cameraman?’ He said, ‘Seventy-five pounds.’ So we paid that, and the sound engineer was fifty.

We had about twenty ragged characters in a van and we just drove up the Great North Road until we saw a suitable field…

We just went to the hill, and I wrote the script out, what I wanted roughly, and we had just to improvise how to do it.

Milligan also claimed, at a Goons Appreciation Society meeting, that he had in fact directed the whole thing.

So, that is Milligan’s version of events. What actually happened was that Dick Lester directed and operated the camera, and the script was a concoction between Sellers, Lester, Milligan and Mario Fabrizi (an actor and friend of Sellers), which included some re-workings of sketches lifted from the TV series The Idiot Weekly Price 2d, A Show Called Fred and Son of Fred, which had been the first collaborations between Lester, Milligan and Sellers.

The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film was shot over two days, with Milligan only in attendance for one of these days. It was then edited by Lester and Sellers in a bedroom at the actors home.

Inevitably, because of his incredible influence on British comedy, The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film was considered mainly a Milligan film, when it truth, it should be seen as a film devised by Peter Sellers in collaboration with (“thoughts”) Dick Lester, Spike Milligan and Mario Fabrizi—just as the film’s opening credits have it.
 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
Simply hilarious: ‘Richard Marx hates my guts’
01.24.2013
03:24 pm

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Amusing

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In which the obviously thin-skinned 80s rocker makes a complete ass of himself over a snarky blogpost… over and over and over again.

A short excerpt from Edward McClelland’s article at Salon, but trust me, the whole thing is worthwhile, LOL reading:

It occurred to me, after my story was published, that Marx might be picking fights with writers as a way to keep himself in the public eye. Because his tweets and emails are so loaded with grievance and crass invective, a run-in with Richard Marx makes great copy. As that Metafilter poster predicted, I have never received as much attention for a piece of writing as I have for that yarn about my barroom encounter with a pop star. It even inspired a Tumblr site devoted to “mostly fictitious stories about people meeting Richard Marx.”

As the Facebook counter and my Twitter followers climbed into the thousands, and emails hit my in-box from England, Ireland and all corners of the USA, I wondered whether Marx had been playing me. But while I respect him for facing me down personally, rather than siccing a lawyer or a P.R. agent on me, which he certainly could have afforded to do, I cannot believe a man as rich and famous as Marx has anything to gain professionally from feuding with bloggers. For whatever reason – insecurity, bitterness, an exaggerated sense of honor — Marx has a bottomless need to vent against his critics.

Less than 24 hours after my article appeared, Marx – who had flown to Los Angeles that day – sent me a long email in which he attacked my looks, my marital status, my lack of professional achievement, my hypocrisy and my factual accuracy. He informed me that my arrogance is in league with Adolf Hitler’s and Joseph Stalin’s. (To be fair, I’d done some of the same to him, although I didn’t compare him to Hitler, Stalin or any other 20th-century dictator.)

This isn’t the good part. Go to Salon to read Richard Marx hates my guts.”

Chicagoist.com editor, Scott Smith also got into an online tussle with Richard Marx that Smith later reenacted with a Tina Turner wig-wearing pal playing the part of the prickly pop musician.

Methinks Scott won this battle of the wits. None of this was made up. They even invited Richard Marx to be there in person to read his own emails, but he declined because apparently he had to clean his espresso machine.
 

 
H/T Marc

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
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