While we’re waiting for Moby’s evidence of Russian blackmailers, enjoy Tunnelmental’s badass remix
02.23.2017
08:52 am

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Current Events
Music

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It’s not like American politics could get weirder (he wrote, praying that American politics doesn’t overhear and respond with an “Oh yeah? Hold my beer”), but that kind of baffling episode last week when noted musician Moby asserted definite insider knowledge of Russians having blackmail material on President Godfuckinghelpusall was, while far from a new and dizzying height of strangeness, certainly an amusing diversion. Here are his FB posts; I’d be loathe to accidentally misrepresent his words by paraphrasing:
 

 

 
It’s pretty hard to argue with much of that second post, and you can’t say he didn’t totally call it on Michael Flynn with a few hours to spare, though it may be a sign of encroaching Trump fatigue (if anything ever needed a long German portmanteau word, THAT’S IT) that my bigger takeaway from that was “How cool of a Dangerous Minds post would it be if Moby actually was into making balloon animals?” Moby, if that’s for real, please get in touch.

But still, this prompts, um, QUESTIONS. I don’t think it’s such a foregone conclusion that a pop musician couldn’t possibly know someone with such information and a willingness to gossip about it, but wouldn’t you think that someone possessing evidence of foreign blackmailers with a grip on the West Wing might find it more utile to share that with an investigative journalist or a prosecutor instead of, you know, MOBY?

But there’s news from the musician of a less cloak-and-dagger nature. That long-lived and celebrated unit Tunnelmental Experimental Assembly have done a new remix of Moby & The Void Pacific Choir’s “Don’t Leave Me,” that single from last fall’s These Systems are Failing with the incongruously animal-rightsy video to accompany the song’s plaintive breakup lyrics. Tunnelmental’s version is a good bit noisier and more aggressive than the already headstrong original, and the man himself seems to be pleased, telling DM “I love this Tunnelmental remix, and that I’m now in the Psychic TV, Killing Joke club of people who’ve received Tunnelmental remixes.” For Tunnelmental’s part, producer Nigel Mitchell’s comment was a good bit more verbose:

We all see things differently, so when Derek [Pippert, producer/beat doctor] and I work on a remix we use our experience as songwriters as well as our producer skills. We paint a “tunnelmental” picture from pieces of someone else’s painting, it’s like “collage” art where you get to add your own colours and shapes to form an alternative piece of art. We have the greatest respect for artists and it is an honour when they entrust us with their art. Remixing an artist like Moby’s music is a fun challenge, his work is already so good, you really have to channel that original and find an innovative way to make it your own without losing the original creative energy.

 
Listen after the jump…

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
Pleasure Goat: The art of the fake magazine cover
02.23.2017
08:26 am

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Amusing
Art

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A fake magazine designed by Sean Tejaratchi.
 
Many of you may be well acquainted with the brilliant work of graphic designer and writer Sean Tejaratchi—and as it had sadly been a while since I had visited his awesome Liar Town USA Tumblr. When I did I found it hard to stop clicking on his ludicrous faux books and other odd yet authentic looking magazines and found myself wishing that there was a website that featured photos of things that Marilyn Monroe kicked.

As couldn’t stop yucking it up over at Liar Town USA I thought I’d share a few of my favorite fictional magazines that Tejaratchi put together, most of which center around inappropriate knitwear and unexpected orgasms. Two things that when they appear in the same sentence sound like a great premise for a publication, don’t you think? Someone, please get on that immediately. That said many of the images that follow are NSFW.
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb | Leave a comment
‘A for ABBA’: The story of the Swedish sensation as told by John Peel, 1993
02.23.2017
07:46 am

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Music
Television

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International superstars though they may have been, the members of ABBA were not, individually, all that fascinating. If you think the group identity that emerges during, say, their medley of “Pick a Bale of Cotton,” “On Top of Old Smokey,” and “Midnight Special” is less than exciting, check out what Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid had to say when they met representatives of the press in their capacity as persons. I’m not just being snotty. As I understand it, the absence of personality is a key part of ABBA’s appeal, and I’m all for it. Zero subjectivity—let’s go! In the same way Kraftwerk audiences greet robotic simulacra of Ralf and Florian with ten times the enthusiasm they muster for the actual human beings in the group, I’m counting the days until I can buy tickets to hologram ABBA, even though I probably would not get out of my chair to see plain old meatbag ABBA reform. The collective, or in this case the brand, is everything.

But the ABBA brand itself could not talk to journalists, and compelling TV the meatbags’ interviews did not make. Into this void, BBC cast John Peel, duded up in smarter attire than wardrobe provided on other occasions. Enlivening the proceedings with Peel in this 1993 retrospective were Ray Davies, Elvis Costello, Roy Wood, and Ian McCulloch. Generous helpings of these and other interview subjects, plus clips of ABBA parodies from Not the Nine O’Clock News and French and Saunders, make A for ABBA (in homage to the 1985 TV special A for Agnetha?) the best encapsulation of the band’s story for those of us who are grouchy, impatient, and easily bored.
 

 
One thing we cultural anthropologists of the amazing future year 2017 know that contemporary viewers of this program did not: the lone ABBA LP in John Peel’s collection was their disco record, Voulez-Vous. An orthodox ABBA fan, Peel asserts in A for ABBA that Stig Anderson was the group’s fifth member, ignoring the heresy of the Tretowist deviation. Without discipline, the party of ABBA is nothing!

More ABBA after the jump…

Posted by Oliver Hall | Leave a comment
Maximum Lute Jams? Hear your fave punk and metal classics like never before!
02.22.2017
12:40 pm

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Music
Punk

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Lutes aren’t rock n’ roll, everybody knows that. Lutes are the stuff of medieval folkies. Lutes are for the Incredible String Band or Gentle Giant, not Black Sabbath or Van Halen. At least, that’s what I used to think… and then I heard Dawn Culbertson.

A reclusive but active member of Baltimore’s folk, baroque, and classical scenes for decades, Culbertson was a composer, performer, and radio personality, who hosted an overnight classical music program on John Hopkins University’s radio station for over a decade. She played bass in an avant-garde big band and played lute on the weekends at local restaurants in Baltimore. In 2004, at the still-tender age of 53, she died of a heart attack. She was twirling the night away at a waltz event at the time. If you’re gonna go at 53, you might as well go out dancing.

While she will be surely be fondly remembered in her native Baltimore for her tireless work promoting folk and classical music, to the rest of us, she will remain the undisputed master of what she liked to call “punk lute.” Shortly before she died, Culbertson began performing covers of popular punk and metal songs on her instrument. They are collected on a long out of print and highly sought-after 2011 cassette release, Return of the Evil Pappy Twin. “The Evil Pappy Twin” was her punk lute alter-ego. We all have one. Accompanied by her plaintive, unwavering vocals—a kind of bored monotone drone that really is punk-as-fuck—these magical covers breathe new life into crusty old nuggets by DEVO, Van Halen, The Ramones, Black Sabbath, the Stooges, Sex Pistols and more, turning them into doomy outsider ballads from the outer edges of sanity.

I honestly like most of her covers way better than the originals!
 

 
Check out Culbertson’s desolate take on “Iron Man” below, and listen to the rest of Return of the Evil Pappy Twin here (I can’t embed it).

Further proof that punk is a state of mind, not a costume.
 

Posted by Ken McIntyre | Leave a comment