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  • Kevin Spacey’s big brother is Boise, Idaho’s #1 Rod Stewart impersonator and limo driver

    When you go to the website for Rod’s Limos, in Boise, Idaho, the one word you will probably NOT see, for legal reasons, is “Stewart.” Sure, the man running the establishment cuts his hair and dresses to look as much like Rod Stewart as he can, but any equivalency between the two men is something happening exclusively in your head, understood? Although interestingly, a prominent banner reads “Welcome to RODS LIMOS: Tonight’s the Night.” Wait—didn’t Rod Stewart have a song.....?

    Meet Randy Fowler, who’s been making a name as Boise’s top Rod Stewart impersonator/limo driver for some time now. He’s also the older brother of another well-known impressionist who is primarily an actor, that is to say Kevin Spacey, star of House of Cards and L.A. Confidential who has won 2 Academy Awards, for his work in The Usual Suspects and American Beauty.

    Judging from his appearance on Treasure Valley View linked below, Fowler is very personable, so it’s easy to see why he’s charmed the pants off of Idaho’s capital and largest city. In fact, in 2013 (according to his website) he was given the prestigious Boise Award for… something or other.

    When you order Randy’s services, you can choose his outfit from one among dozens of flamboyant options, including “Red & Gold Casanova Outfit With Nickers” (sic) and “Purple, Silver, Gold Mozart Outfit With Black & Silver Cape.” As he says, “We have like 92 outfits posted, and there’s 366 different outfits crammed in my condominium… It’s getting bad, no man should have more shoes than his wife.”

    Fowler doesn’t seem to get along with his little brother Kevin. Over the years he has contemplated writing a book or “having” a book written about him (whatever that means). Among the titles Fowler has contemplated are Living in the Shadows, Brothers Split by Secrets, and, most amusingly, I’m Spacey’s Brother, Whether He Likes It or Not. An additional title Fowler apparently considered was Spacey’s Brother: Out of the Closet, which at a minimum seems to reference Spacey’s famously coy answers to pointed questions about his sexuality.

    Q. Does “Out of the closet” mean what I think it means?

    Randy: I don’t know what you think it means, but it refers to the first chapter of the book, where I’m 13 years old and physically hiding in a closet, with a gun in my hand.

    Sure, there’s symbolism in the old title, too. Closets are dark, cramped places with the door closed. There’s something comforting about being alone in a familiar place. In a quiet closet, you’re sheltered on all sides when there’s nobody around you can trust. It’s a place where you can hide with your secrets.

    Sure, Randy, it’s got nothing to do with what “coming out of the closet” is universally understood to mean, right? Okey-doke.

    Then again, maybe Fowler does harbor generous feelings for his brother, as this message he posted in July suggests:

    Commercial for Rod’s Limos:

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Black metal murderer releases terrible white supremacist role playing game
    12:16 pm


    Varg Vikernes

    Guiding spirit of black metal Varg Vikernes spent 15 years in a Norwegian prison cell for the crime of murdering his fellow black metal practitioner Øystein Aarseth (a.k.a. Euronymous) in August 1993. It is also alleged that he was involved in the burning of at least three churches, although Vikernes denies this. Charmingly enough, on the cover of the EP Aske, released in 1992 by Vikernes’ one-man music project Burzum is a black-and-white picture of one of the churches he is alleged to have torched (the title is also the Norwegian word for “ashes”). (Anyone wishing to learn more about the whole bloody mess is encouraged to check out Michael Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind’s Lords of Chaos: The Bloody Rise of the Satanic Metal Underground.)

    Vikernes was released on parole in 2009 and currently resides in France, where, according to Wikipedia, Vikernes “promotes a neo-völkisch ideology (Odalism) based on the idea that White Europeans should re-adopt native European values, including elements of traditional paganism.” He has also released a RPG similar to Dungeons & Dragons called Myfarog that espouses explicitly white supremacist beliefs.

    The name Myfarog is a kind of acronym, standing for “MYthic FAntasy ROle-playing Game.” Intrepid reporter Jeff Treppel at Metal Sucks went and acquired a copy of the game (it’s a book, really) and wrote up an incisive account of why it’s a terrible game and also, far more important, why it’s a really racist game. As Treppel writes: “Look, I’m not stupid. ... You want to know just how racist this RPG is. Well, spoiler: it’s really fucking racist.” The game is designed to propagate Vikernes’ white supremacist beliefs, and it does that with no noticeable subtlety.

    Here’s Treppel’s summary of the racial schema used in Myfarog:

    There are a wide variety of races available for the player to choose from, as long as that race is Scandinavian. The lighter the hair and the fairer the skin, the more blessed by the gods your character is. And, of course, the higher born the better. Nobles are naturally superior to the peasantry in this world. It’s the natural order of things.

    Treppel also includes an image from the book, a full page describing the groups that correlate to Christians, Muslims, and Jews in the Myfarog schema, which is so disgusting that Treppel declines to summarize the contents. Suffice it to say that

    People of Middle Eastern and African descent are represented. They are the “filthy”, “vulgar”, “poorly educated”, “animalistic” Koparmenn (“Copper Men”). You can’t play them; they are intended to be cannon fodder. There are two varieties of Copper Men: the Skrælingr (“Weaklings”) and the Myrklingr (“Darklings”). I’m pretty sure that the Weaklings are supposed to be Semitic people, as they receive a bonus to trickery. The Darklings, meanwhile, receive a bonus to spear throwing. You can guess who they’re supposed to represent.

    As Treppel points out, this summary of the “motivations for adventure” concludes with a description of a campaign in which you must defend a realm from “savage and subhuman Koparmenn and untrustworthy Eirmenn” that is indistinguishable from ethnic cleansing:

    As mentioned, the game is apparently so convoluted that it’s well-nigh unplayable, so it’s just too bad if you happen to be a big fan of Nazi ideologies!

    Here’s a commercial for the game from last October:

    After the jump, Vikernes discusses the relationship between a survivalist worldview and RPGs…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    1957’s ‘House of the Future’—according to Monsanto and Disney
    11:16 am



    Photo: Ralph Crane, LIFE Magazine
    From 1957 to 1967, in Anaheim’s Disneyland, there existed the “House of the Future,” a creation of the plastics division of Monsanto, in order to demonstrate the wondrous uses to which plastic would be put in the decades to come. Today the house seems like a relic, a path not taken, much like Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67 concept that was unveiled at the Montreal Expo in 1967.

    Monsanto’s house was also called the “Plastic Mushroom,”  owing to its design, it seems, which required that four wings flare out from a concrete stump in the center. (As with The Jetsons or Star Wars, gee-whiz futurism apparently resides in buildings being perched on top of other things.)

    The Monsanto domicile was featured in a November 11, 1957 story in LIFE about “New Shapes for Shelter” in which the following description appeared.

    “Plastic Mushroom,” Monsanto Chemical Co.‘s experimental house, consists of only 20 molded pieces. Whole house rests on a 16-foot-square block of concrete. The four wings are cantilevered from utility core in center. Floors and ceilings are foot thick, of rigid urethane foam set between reinforced plastic panels. The 1,300-square-foot house has two bedrooms, living room, family room, kitchen and two baths. All fixtures, like bathtub and sinks, are molded plastic.

    After the “House of the Future” was torn down in 1967, Disneyland visitors were deprived of the chance to tour it for themselves—until now! The Disney History Institute (not affiliated with Disney) recently posted a “Virtual 360° Flythrough” on YouTube that will allow you to take a tour of the premises. After you hit play, you have the option of grabbing the frame and swiveling your point of view around so you can see everything in the home. It’s best if you keep the point of view directed at the direction you’re moving, most of the time.

    Continues after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    The Padaung ‘giraffe women’ visit London, 1935
    11:04 am



    Here are some fascinating images of Padaung (“copper neck”) women visiting London in 1935. From what I understand, “Padaung” is now considered an outdated term for this form of dress and Kayan is the preferred terminology in 2015.

    There’s not much of a backstory to these images, the Kayan women were in London to be a part of a circus or sideshow which were hugely popular in the United Kingdom at the time:

    Girls first start to wear rings when they are around 5 years old. Over the years the coil is replaced by a longer one and more turns are added. The weight of the brass pushes the collar bone down and compresses the rib cage. The neck itself is not lengthened; the appearance of a stretched neck is created by the deformation of the clavicle. Many ideas regarding why the coils are worn have been suggested, often formed by visiting anthropologists, who have hypothesized that the rings protected women from becoming slaves by making them less attractive to other tribes. It has also been theorised that the coils originate from the desire to look more attractive by exaggerating sexual dimorphism, as women have more slender necks than men. It has also been suggested that the coils give the women resemblance to a dragon, an important figure in Kayan folklore.The coils might be meant to protect from tiger bites, perhaps literally, but probably symbolically.

    Kayan women, when asked, acknowledge these ideas, and often say that their purpose for wearing the rings is cultural identity (one associated with beauty).

    Sadly, the coil ring practice is gaining popularity again as, “it draws tourists who bring revenue to the tribe and to the local businessmen who run the villages and collect an entry fee of 250 baht per person.”



    More after the jump…

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Pranksters add micropenis to giant chrome gnome statue
    08:18 am



    If you pull out your magnifying glass, you might be able to spot the teeny-tiny weenie added to the “Giant Chrome Gnome” who sits proudly in Frankston on Melbourne’s Peninsula Link freeway since July. On Tuesday night, some evil genius pranksters added the microscopic phallus on the the nine-metre high sculpture that has been welcoming motorists for the past two months.

    The “Giant Chrome Gnome” is part “of the Southern Way McClelland Commission and is one of fourteen public artworks to be commissioned for the road over 25 years.”

    No word yet if anyone has of yet removed the chrome gnome’s micropenis.


    via Arbroath and SBS

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
    Is raver cop the best anti-police art of 2015? (Yes. Yes it is.)
    07:42 am



    Cops and donuts are a cliched pairing, sure, but just when you thought the final joke had been wrung from our collective psyche, someone does something so… amazing, that you just want to stand up and applaud. This 3D animation of a raver cop titled “Antonyms for Prejudice” is from a Spanish animator only known as “ofortvna.” The sparse caption—“donut mess with a cop”—doesn’t give us much of an artist’s statement either, but it really doesn’t require that much of an explanation.

    So maybe it’s not explicitly political or particularly insightful, but hey, absurdist cop-mockery is a pretty easy message to digest, and once you see our boy in blue start dancing hypnotically beneath a cascade of donuts to a very earnestly soulful cover version of “Maniac”—the song made famous in Flashdance—you just kinda sit back and enjoy.

    Via The Creators Project

    Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
    A Dangerous Minds exclusive: Carter Tutti Void talk about their new album, ‘f(x)’

    Carter Tutti Void’s first album, Transverse, holds the record for the longest a CD has stayed in my car stereo. I’m not sure what makes it the perfect soundtrack for driving around my apocalyptic city, but I think its appeal has something to do with the balance of opposites: it’s head music that grabs ahold of your loins, at once ugly, sexy, scary and fun.

    Carter Tutti, of course, is the name Chris Carter and Cosey Fanni Tutti have been using since the turn of the millennium for their 34-year, post-Throbbing Gristle partnership. (Earlier this year, the pair revisited their 20th century selves on Carter Tutti Plays Chris & Cosey.) In May 2011, Carter Tutti invited Nik Colk Void of Factory Floor to join them for a performance at a festival in London celebrating the 30th anniversary of Mute Records. Transverse combined live recordings from that show with a single studio track.

    On the trio’s second release, f(x), out on Industrial Records on September 11, they return to the nocturnal territory of Transverse, now operating at an even higher pitch of intensity. I don’t know of other contemporary music that works quite like this: for me, the first effect is overwhelming dread, which transforms into pure ecstasy if I just give it enough time (and, as Chris suggests below, turn it up loud enough). The band kindly answered a few questions I sent by email.

    Since Transverse was mostly recorded live, this is Carter Tutti Void’s first studio album. How did you record f(x)? What did each of you play?

    COSEY:  We set up in our studio at home as if it was a live gig and jammed and recorded each track three times. The process was pretty intense and transcendent in the way it took form—each of us bouncing off the sounds, responding, leading, holding back, riding the waves of the rhythms and other sounds we worked into the mix.

    CHRIS: Cosey plays guitar through a Guitar Rig controller and processes her vocals through an Eventide H9 effect unit, her sample banks and sequencer loops are all in Ableton Live which she manipulates using two Korg NanoKontrollers. She is very ‘hands on’ during a performance, live or in the studio. For CTV I just ‘do beats’. The main rhythms and grooves are from my custom Machinedrum SPS-IUW+ going through a bunch of effects units. But I also trigger extra rhythm loops from my Kaoss pads. The bass-lines are being triggered from Ableton Live via a Novation Launchpad and I control all the levels and effects for my set-up using a Livid DS1 MIDI mixer.

    For the f(x) album we pretty much all had our usual set-ups but we separated out all the different elements we each use and fed all those channels—I think it was about 16 in total—into a Mackie Onyx mixer which was sending multichannel audio to Logic Pro X.

    To me, the album title and the track names (“f=2.4,” “f=2.5,” etc.) suggest the output of a machine varying with the input, though I’m not sure what to make of that. Tell me about the title.

    COSEY: Take out the word ‘machine’ and put ‘people’ and you have it. It’s about ‘form’ as I mentioned in the way we recorded the tracks. I feel the way we work together is very much about the ‘x’ elements (we three) that constitute the ‘form’—being the end result of our creating together as one. The sound is everything. f(x) is the formula for ‘function’ and we function as (x) to produce that sound. But it’s as far away from a ‘machine’ as you could get. It’s a very emotional creative process.

    CHRIS: In its most basic form f(x) is a formula and we are the elements.

    I know what it feels like to listen to this music—for me, there’s a familiar combination of dread, fascination with the shifting tones and textures, and an ecstatic feeling of self-dissolution, a bit like taking a drug. What does it feel like to play this music?

    COSEY: It’s difficult to describe how it feels when we play together. I enter a different space and abandon myself to the sounds we generate, working with them and weaving in and out or driving forward as the moods shift. It’s about intuition, rising and falling passions and most importantly relinquishing any preconceptions. The sounds can change so much from studio to a live situation with a big PA system, so I work with what I have—including the atmosphere. Working on the fly is a rush to say the least and I can get distracted by the intense emotions sometimes but that’s part of my enjoyment as well as seeing the people getting so much out of it too.

    CHRIS: It’s strange because not one CTV show will ever sound like another. And although we have certain recognisable elements to each track—mostly the beats or Cosey’s vocals—there is no beginning and no end, as such, to each track. Also because there is a tremendous amount of improvisation going on we are never quite sure where the tracks will take us, or the audience. Which can be quite disconcerting sometimes. Sometimes we go way outside our comfort zones, so to speak, but that can be a good thing.

    NIK: I feel a lot of adrenaline so maybe like driving a fast car, it’s 50% control and 50% allow the sounds I’m creating to run wild.

    Do you plan to tour?

    COSEY: We don’t do tours per se. But we have a Carter Tutti Void gig in Italy in November. Chris and I have some really big projects we’re working on at the moment and Nik is busy with Factory Floor gigs.

    CHRIS: Unfortunately not.

    What are the ideal conditions for listening to f(x)?

    COSEY: It’s uncompromising and relentless so best enjoyed in total surrender. When I was listening to the final mixes in the studio, it felt so powerful as it built up, like an invocation. It was wonderful to be taken over in that way.

    CHRIS: Honestly I don’t know. We’ve been listening to it on all kinds of systems—large, small, headphones, in-car—and it seems to be a different experience each time. But it definitely benefits from being played loudly, that way you can REALLY get into it.

    Where do you go for ideas? For entertainment? For news? What are you excited about?

    COSEY: You make it sound like there’s some kind of ‘ideas’ store. I don’t go anywhere. Life happens. News arrives via TV, internet, newspapers, word of mouth. Entertainment can be on a trip to the shops or in great series like ’Spiral’. I rarely watch regular TV programmes unless they’re documentaries—or athletics. I get excited by something I’ve never experienced before.

    CHRIS: I have no idea, they just come to you out of the ether. Oddly though I occasionally think of ideas for tracks when I’m reading a novel. Make of that what you will.

    Tell me about the relationship between Carter Tutti Void and Factory Floor.

    NIK: First time I met Chris and Cosey after a Factory Floor show at the ICA. Paul Smith from Blast First introduced us. At the time Factory Floor was a three piece. We heavily relied on eye contact and instinct to keep the machine rolling on stage. Cosey and Chris later said it reminded them of how they play in TG.

    Nik, how is playing in Carter Tutti Void different from playing in Factory Floor?

    NIK: The majority of what I play in CTV is limited to guitar, in Factory Floor I play guitar, vocals and electronics. As guitar is my main instrument it’s exciting to focus all my attention on stretching my sounds with the bow and stick and play in response to Cosey—so perfect to play with another atypical guitarist.

    f(x) will be released on Industrial Records, the label Throbbing Gristle founded almost 40 years ago. Do you have a sense of continuity with the work TG started?

    COSEY: In some ways I find it similar just because of the way we work. And that wasn’t intentional. When we first did Carter Tutti Void we were in a great position where we could do anything we wanted. Total freedom is a gift and I guess that’s comparable to when we did TG first time round.

    CHRIS: I guess so… as Cosey says primarily due to the way we three work together. I certainly don’t hear any similarities with what TG did.

    I just revisited Cosey’s Time to Tell, and it made me want to ask: How much control does a performer have over a crowd? What do the performer’s desires have to do with the crowd’s desires?

    COSEY: I’m not sure anyone is ever completely in control—performer or other. As far as I’m concerned control exists in part as a point from which to lay out your intent. From that moment, it’s about negotiation, spoken or unspoken. I’m not into dictating how people should be or respond to my work. I love dialogue and control tends to close that down. The crowd are an essential part of our live work and we like to work with them, delivering and responding to the feedback. It’s a shared moment. I’ve often worked against desire. It suggests expectation and I have an aversion to expectation. I prefer to open things up and discover something new.

    CHRIS: Control can be an illusion and it’s such a random thing too. I’ve been to shows—but I’m not naming names—where the audience have been in raptures over what’s going on onstage while I couldn’t care less. Other times C&C have performed and I think the audience aren’t connecting with what we are doing but then at the end of the show the place erupts into mad screaming pandemonium and we have to go back onstage and play an encore to keep everyone happy.

    From my friend Greg: With so many titles and sonic experiments to your credit, has the process of recording become more methodical or intuitive?

    COSEY: It’s got better and better over the years especially with such great technology at our disposal. Obviously we’ve acquired technical skills along the way and that allows us to maintain an intuitive approach—which has always been our primary approach. The only methodical part of our work is our dedication to archiving everything we do.

    CHRIS: No not yet. I think it’s partly to do with the fact that we are forever changing what gear we use to produce music. Of course we have a basic recording process that hasn’t changed much and favourite instruments we return to but—and this goes way back to TG days—we adopt, abandon, acquire and dispose of instruments, equipment and gear in random cycles. Sometimes we’ll hear of a piece of gear we’d like to try using—it doesn’t have to be a new thing, it could just as well be something retro. If we can’t afford it we’ll look through the studio cupboards and see what we haven’t used for a while and sell it to fund something else. It’s basically recycling but getting new (or old) gear can be quite inspirational in itself.

    Chris, are there likely to be any more hardware products along the lines of Gristleism and the Gristleizer?

    CHRIS: Well it’s funny you should mention the Gristleizer because there are secret plans afoot as we speak. Unfortunately I can’t say more right now but something is definitely coming this way—cue spooky music.

    When Carter Tutti played at REDCAT ten years ago, my then-girlfriend and I worked security: we stood in front of the stage at the end of the show so no one could steal your gear. Is this a continuing problem? What has been stolen in the past?

    COSEY: My worry about theft is based on the fact that we can’t afford to replace gear that’s stolen and that some of it is irreplaceable. When we play live we want to ensure we deliver so if anything goes ‘walkabout’ then the show is lost. It’s about protecting your work more than materialism. We know bands that have had equipment stolen and it’s devastating. Our Art is our life so we have to ensure we have the means to create.

    CHRIS: Well it’s not a new phenomenon, it’s been going on forever. I‘ve lost count of how many bands we know that have had equipment stolen over the years. I know most people think bands are paranoid or overzealous about protecting their stuff but we have to be realistic. I had a friend who had a drum machine stolen, and another who had his laptop stolen which meant they couldn’t perform. One had to cancel a tour because he didn’t have any back-ups for his laptop—which is pretty dumb I know. But there are a lot a musicians who are basically living from hand to mouth these days and can’t even afford a spare hard drive.

    Carter Tutti Void’s f(x) comes out on September 11. Pre-order it on CD and LP from Industrial Records, Forced Exposure, or Amazon.

    Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
    TV’s cheerfully dark cult comedy: A review of ‘Review with Forrest MacNeil’
    01:12 pm


    Review with Forrest MacNeil
    Andrew Daly

    Yesterday I was speaking to a new Dangerous Minds contributor on the phone and trying to distill, boil down, encapsulate, etc, what I felt the mission of this blog was, and what “reviewing” meant in the days where someone can just press play and instantly see or hear what you are nattering on about in text and quickly form their own opinion. In the golden age of “rock” magazines like CREEM or Rolling Stone, the role of a music critic like, say, the great Lester Bangs, was to convince his readers to purchase some album or another with the power of his persuasive prose. Several decades later, YouTube, Vimeo and Soundcloud have lowered the barrier to cultural participation to merely clicking on something. You needn’t leave the couch to walk across the room let alone have to trek down to the local record store that no longer even exists. The thing you are curious about is right there in front of you. It’s already in your hands. A short burst of “enthusiastic” prose that basically indicates “This ___ is great, here’s why I think this is so wonderful, some background information on it and here’s why you should hit play” seems to be a winning recipe for a “review” on a blog in an age where all manner of cultural products are digitally pumped into your home like water or electricity.

    Which brings me to my own review of Review with Forrest MacNeil, one of the things that I am indeed most enthusiastic about here as this hot, hot summer winds down (along with Mr. Robot, the upcoming Dungen album and the new Slim Twig). Now in it the midst of its second season on Comedy Central, Review with Forrest MacNeil, is produced by and stars Andrew Daly. You’ve seen him in a number of things (notably Eastbound and Down, as Kenny Powers’ tweedy, button-downed romantic rival) but this is the first time he’s really had such a great venue for his talents. Review—an American restyling of a brilliant Australian series called Review with Myles Barlow—is one of the most consistently gut-bustingly hilarious shows on television. And it is dark, but it is cheerfully dark…

    The set up is simple enough to be telegraphed rapido in Review‘s opening credits where Forrest explains that he’s not like other reviewers who review books, movies or food, he reviews life itself: “Life, it’s literally all we have…. but is it any good?” He reviews “life experiences”—what it’s like to have frostbite, commit theft, be a drug addict, go into space, etc. His perky co-host A.J. Gibbs announces which experience Forrest is expected to try out for his audience’s vicarious thrills. She’ll read an email or open a video file sent in from a viewer who might request something like “What’s it like to eat fifteen stacks of pancakes?” which Forrest then goes out and dutifully does, offering on camera commentary as he vomits outside of the diner leaning against a parking meter. He can veto two review requests per season.

    And this is the beauty of Review‘s comic conceit: Forrest’s single-minded determination to maintain absolute fealty to the dumb rules of his TV show which demand total commitment no matter what the consequences, even if if leads to carnage, death and destruction in his own life, and the life of his family and other innocent people he comes into contact with during production. Daly as Forrest is the single best clueless white guy character to come along since Fred Willard’s “Jerry Hubbard” on Fernwood 2Night, which is, of course, one of the nicest compliments I could ever possibly bestow upon the man. (Willard guests as Forrest’s father-in-law on Review.)

    Have I mentioned yet just how much I love this show? To be honest, I just found out about Review with Forrest MacNeil recently myself. Before season two started airing I read something about it that piqued my attention and so I downloaded the first episode, loved it and then powered through the remainder of the season in a matter of three days before starting the second season, which as I mentioned is already in the middle of airing. It the perfect show to binge-watch because you see the destruction of this fool’s life practically occurring in real time.

    Below, Forrest MacNeil reviews being a racist:

    More after the jump…

    Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
    DEVO, Blondie, Talking Heads, Klaus Nomi on ‘20/20’ segment on New Wave, 1979
    09:45 am


    new wave

    At DM we often poke fun at impossibly stiff or clueless news reporting on the music of the past, but sometimes you run across a piece of news coverage that is much better than it has any right to be. In that category falls this detailed segment from ABC’s 20/20 on the rise of new wave music that aired in December 1979—impressively astute for a news segment on new music from one of the major TV networks. It was written by Thomas Hoving, whose primary competence lay in the world of high art, so he deserves extra credit for being able to assess new impulses in popular music in an intelligent way.

    The piece links the new wave impulse with the recent stirrings of punk while also making sure to find precursors in figures of the past such as Buddy Holly. (DEVO’s cover of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” is, naturally, enlisted to make plain these appropriations of the past.) The segment features live footage of Blondie, the Clash, and Talking Heads—it takes an effort of will to remember how weird David Byrne, here singing “Psycho Killer,” must have seemed to a mainstream audience in 1979. The reporting emphasizes the simple chord structures, youthful exuberance, and a stance of general skepticism as integral to the movement, such as it is.

    Joe Strummer is shown in an unflattering clip, while Talking Heads’ Jerry Harrison idiotically compares the fresh air of new wave music to Beethoven. Remarkably, the piece ends with a look at Klaus Nomi, before Hugh Downs avuncularly cites the 1958 Danny & the Juniors hit “Rock and Roll is Here to Stay.”

    The report, after the jump…

    Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
    Man sheds tears of joy, finding song after decades of searching that reminded him of his mother
    09:37 am


    name that tune

    Here’s a lovely video of man overwhelmed with joy when he finally gets the name of a song he’s been humming to people for over 20 years asking their help to identify it. His reaction is priceless.

    The backstory to this video is heartwarming. Redditor Hotspur000 sums it up nicely:

    This man is from Congo. One day he and his mother went to a Chinese grocer there and heard a song playing over the PA system. The mother liked it so much she asked the owner about it and the owner gave her the tape. The mother would listen to the song a lot and the man came to associate it with her (but of course, since it was all in Chinese they didn’t know what it was called, who sang it, or anything about it). Later, the mother and the man emigrated to South Africa, and somewhere in the process, the tape was lost. Soon after, the mother died. The man was heartbroken that he had lost the song which always reminded him of his mother.

    For 20 years he has worked as cab driver, and every time he got an Asian person in his cab, he would hum the song to see if the person could tell him what it was, but no one ever knew. Finally, one day, he had his first ever Taiwanese passengers; it turns out the song was Taiwanese, and they knew it immediately. What you see in the video is him reacting after hearing the song again after 20 years.

    I had a friend who had an earworm of song that no one knew. He would hum it to everyone he met in hopes someone could “name that tune.” It became almost like an obsession for him to identify the name of this musical motif, a mystery that he just had to solve! It went on for years. Was it Beethoven? An obscure Wagner passage? Stravinsky? Phillip Glass?

    One day he hummed the song to a mutual friend and the friend knew what it was immediately! He said, “Dude, that’s the demo song for the Casio keyboard. You mean to tell me you’ve had THAT song stuck in your head all these years?” 

    via reddit

    Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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