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Darker Skratcher: The Essential document of the Los Angeles Free Music Society
01.08.2010
07:44 pm

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I bought my copy of Darker Skratcher at the Wherehouse records franchise in the Panorama City mall in 1980. It was in the “punk” section and sure enough it had a cut on it by 45 Grave that I had heard on Rodney on the Roq a few times and which I’m sure was the reason I bought it. The remainder of the tracks were a glimpse into a mysterious suburban/subterranean music scene that became a huge influence on myself and all of my friends. It was a musical approach that could incorporate free improvisation, musique concrete, obscure pop culture references and pure noise into its “punk”. Sounded like home to me. Each of the groups on Darker Skratcher warrant their own posts, so I’ll refrain from the details for now and defer to the sage Mr. Lumbleau over at Mutant Sounds :

A seminal artifact of the L.A. Free Music Society’s salad days and one that, unlike most extant L.A.F.M.S. compilations, spends most of it’s time highlighting the less well recognized quirk pop perfection dimension of the L.A.F.M.S.’ collective praxis; to wit, it’s a compendium essential enough for me to be willing to bear the karmic burden of sharing a recording containing work by a certain Boyd Rice*. All that aside though, what self respecting freaky fringe music acolyte could be without this watershed document? From The Rick Potts Band’s suavely ludicrous bontempi pop to BPeople’s angular art fracture and from 45 Grave’s delightfully dejected sounding novelty song kitsch to Human Hands’ ferocious post punk juggernaut (one of their finest moments ever), it’s a testament to the sundry modes of ass-backward brilliance collectively deployed by this genre disrupting (and genre defining) art geek mafia.

*fwiw I share his misgivings about Mr Rice, but this track (the opening cut from DS) is just too great not to post.

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
The Death Metal Rooster is Cocktastic !
01.08.2010
07:12 pm

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(thx JMJ !)

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Warp Records Retrospective Mix by DJ Food
01.08.2010
05:08 pm

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Well shit my leg off… it’s an excellent retrospective mix of the groundbreaking Sheffield record label Warp’s 20-year history. Listening now, not bad! Tracklist below:

Clark - Herzog
Jamie Lidell - A Little Bit More (Luke Vibert Mix)
Aphex Twin - Ventolin (Deep Gong Mix)
Prefuse 73 - Robot Snares Got No Cadences Or Balances
Harmonic 313 - Dirtbox
Aphex Twin - Window Sill
Nightmares On Wax - Night Interlude
Nightmares On Wax - What I’m Feeling (Rae & Christian Remix)
LFO - Shove Piggy Shove
Mira Calix - Ilanga
Boards Of Canada - Happy Cycling
Jamie Lidell- Multiply (a Cappella)
Autechre - Teartear
Aphex Twin - Ventolin (Plain-An-Gwarry Mix)
Plaid - Alba Eedio
Boards Of Canada - Sixtyten
LFO - Tied Up
LFO - Them
Autechre - Cipater
Mike Ink - Paroles
LFO - Pathfinder
Link - Amazon Amenity (Chameleon Remix)
AFX - Children Talking
Aphex Twin & Squarepusher - Freeman Hardy & Willis Acid
Aphex Twin - Bucephalus Bouncing Ball
Aphex Twin - Cock 10
Boards Of Canada - Zoetrope
Broadcast & The Focus Group - Various cuts
Jimi Tenor - Backbone Of Night
John Callaghan - I’m Not Comfortable In My Own Mind

(DJ Food: Warp Mix)

(Warp: Labels Unlimited)

Posted by Jason Louv | Leave a comment
Deke Dickerson’s 7th annual GUITAR GEEK FESTIVAL
01.07.2010
10:14 pm

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This one is pretty self explanatory. Tickets are only $35 in advance, but the ballroom only holds 400 so you’d better act fast if you want to attend.

Thank you Julien Nitzberg!

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dragstrip 66: Saying goodbye is such a drag
01.07.2010
09:32 pm

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Politics
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My colleague at the Los Angeles Times, Ramie Becker, wrote a great short article about the closing of iconic LA nightspot Dragstrip 66, looking back at the club’s almost unheard of seventeen year run. (Make sure to browse through the photo gallery. Some winners there):

Equally inspired by high fashion and lowbrow art, Dragstrip 66 carved out a niche for those who liked their night life tempo somewhere between a John Waters film, a Bob Mackie fashion show and a drunken punk dance party. It became a who’s who of the alternative/queer performance art scene; Jackie Beat, Joey Arias, Varla Jean Merman, Chi Chi LaRue and Jer Ber Jones all graced its stage. A-list celebrities showed up too: Marilyn Manson, Claire Danes, Roseanne Barr, Traci Lords, RuPaul, Alan Cumming, Drew Barrymore and Adam Lambert among them.

Read more: Dragstrip 66: Saying goodbye is such a drag (Los Angeles Times)

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Ice Cube and Ice-T Soda Fountain
01.07.2010
12:41 am

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(via Super Punch)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Saruman Sings Charlemagne
01.06.2010
02:22 pm

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Coming this Spring, Sir Christopher Lee’s symphonic metal concept album about the first holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne.  If that sounds at all like an odd career move for the knighted actor, consider this:

The Carandinis, Lee’s maternal ancestors, were given the right to bear the coat of arms of the Holy Roman Empire by the Emperor Frederick Barbarossa.  Through his Carandini ancestors, Christopher Lee has a direct link to Charlemagne, and has decided for the first time in his life to pay homage to his distinguished ancestor, who is credited as “The Father of Europe.”

 
More on Christopher Lee’s Charlemagne: By The Sword And The Cross

(via YBNBY)

Posted by Bradley Novicoff | Leave a comment
The New (Ed) Hardy Boys: Kings of Leon launch overpriced clothing line for faux hipsters
01.05.2010
10:13 pm

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Fashion
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The much-maligned Ed Hardy clothing company has simultaneously given the fashion-challenged, uh, idiot population a way to express their “uniqueness” to the world while giving the rest of us something to point at and laugh about (well “white people” at least, but I suspect it’s possible for persons of any race, creed or color to find the Technicolor vomit of Ed Hardy clothing absolutely insufferable). Now there are some new kids on the fashion block and they want to do for trust fund hipsters what Ed Hardy did for Jon Gosselin and the cast of MTV’s “Jersey Shore.”

Yes indeed, the Grammy award-winning Kings of Leon pop group are coming out with a new line of expensive prefab hipster togs which will be for sale in just one store on London’s trendy King’s Road. Starting this month, if you are so inclined, you can spend your parents’ hard-earned dough on a dozen overpriced items of the ?

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Michel Chion’s 1973 Musique Concrete masterpiece: Requiem
01.04.2010
11:04 pm

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Belief
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Michel Chion’s 1973 composition “Requiem” is a noisy and surreal deconstruction/recreation of the Funeral Mass. In retrospect it sounds positively pre-industrial and is jam packed with grating, annoy-the-dog high pitched frequencies, snatches of actual church music and some genuinely scary uses of the human voice. Listen loudly in the dark if you dare.

from Modern Illusions:

Chion’s Requiem probably represents one of the defining moments of the musique concrete canon, a work all other pieces must be judged by and one of the few absolute masterpieces of the genre. Things begin with a high pitched tone soon joined by an electro-acoustic, echoing wind and then just after 40 seconds, silence, a man narrating a few lines in French and the start of a slow buzzing, chant-like humming, dripping water, echoes, reverbs and more French vocals repeating the words ‘Requiem Aeternam’. And all of this is only two and half minutes into this labyrinthine construction which comes close to nearly annihilating the standard structure of a requiem. Traces of the traditional Funeral Mass remain (largely through the titles of the various movements), but have been so brutally deconstructed that it’s very difficult to know exactly at which point in the proceedings you are experiencing. In fact, it’s almost as if Chion wants to create all moments at once, stopping time so that everything and anything can happen simultaneously, purposefully disorientating and confusing the listener.

listen to the opening piece here
 
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And here are two more excerpts with great sound quality but not great (mostly lifted) visuals added by the kind fan that uploaded them.

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Marvin the Paranoid Android Performs His First Single Release “Paranoid Android” (1981)
01.03.2010
11:16 pm

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Ahem, Radiohead? From Youtube user Kjd100:

Marvin, the manically depressed robot from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy TV series (were *you* old enough to stay up and watch it?) makes a special “personal appearance” on the BBC’s flagship Kids’ TV show to “perform” his first vinyl single release. (Don’t know what you think, but I reckon he’s miming!) As ever, Stephen Moore provided the voice, with a special recording for the part where Marvin speaks to the BP presenters.

(via Nerdcore)

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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