The indiscreet art of ass puppetry
01:04 pm



The title of this video doesn’t give the slightest inkling of what the viewer is in store for—and it’s also fairly hilarious. The title is: “This girl is going places. Not college, but places.”

The video is a collection of perhaps 20 Vine-ish gags involving a face made when a pair of googly eyes are placed on a woman’s body ... south of the border. The soundtrack includes the Star-Spangled Banner, Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love,” Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” and Tom Jones’ “What’s New, Pussycat?” 

A pair of googly eyes and suddenly you’re the Señor Wences of ass puppetry…

If anyone in your workplace would object to even mildly risqué material, you’d be completely crazy to play this there. You have been warned!

via Death and Taxes

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
White Noise Boutique to sell ‘artisanal white noise’
10:46 am



Residing at the precise point where conceptual art meets commerce meets mathematics meets cyptography meets transcendental meditation meets, shall we say, hipster excess is the White Noise Boutique, a pop-up shop that will exist in the city of Brighton in the United Kingdom from September 9 to 18 of this year. The only products the White Noise Boutique will sell are custom-made LPs and digital files containing unique white noise, a term that encompasses both a washed-out static-y sounding audio tone as well as a cryptographically pleasing set of random data. The quest for “truly” random numbers, useful for encoding data, is a daunting task with a multitude of high-end applications, which are described here.

Used properly, white noise can be soothing to listen to, especially for hyperactive minds, so white noise is frequently used to help people get to sleep, to meditate, or to concentrate on urgent work. You can listen to Wikipedia’s 20-second sample of white noise generated by Jorge Stolfi. To my knowledge this project has nothing to do with the excellent 1985 novel by Don DeLillo.

Once you create a batch of white noise at the White Noise Boutique, you can spend £1 for a digital file and £4 to receive an LP with the white noise on it (if you go that route, you will receive a digital file as well). One pound is roughly $1.50 these days, so the LP will run you about $6.

The White Noise Boutique’s descriptions of their process and options make it all but impossible to resist making hipster jokes about “hand-crafted bologna” and the like. Indeed, it honestly does seem parodic much of the time. What follows are the captions for a series of slides that you can see on the video embedded below, which capture that elusive, slightly vacant and solicitous tone that tells you you might be in hipster territory. Remember, they could have mimicked The Matrix or Mr. Robot, but instead they aped the patterns of people who use the word “artisanal” a lot.

We craft unique white noise to your exact specifications.

Select a random-number generator to create your noise.
Some generators allow for a starting value, called a “seed.”
For extra security, we can apply additional randomness through a process called “salting.”
We apply a battery of statistical tests to ensure your white noise is as random as possible.
Once generated, we hand-cut your white noise to a unique vinyl record or direct to digital download.
Finally, if specified we upload a digital version of your white noise for download.


The explanation on the website is full of verbiage like “Type 1390-B tube-powered noise generator” and “a Faraday cage for generating your noise to avoid electro-magnetic radiation.” Can’t you just imagine that conversation at your local latte purveyor in which the one dude sneers at the other dude because HIS randomly generated white noise did not use a Faraday cage?

The funny thing is, as the proud owner of a record collection purchased entirely in the last 2 years, I ........ kinda want one.

via Death and Taxes

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘I would love to play for you, but I can’t’: Lemmy stops gig after two songs for health reasons
08:33 am



It’s one of the more poignant entries on I’ve ever read, by far. It’s a list of the songs played at last night’s Motörhead show at Emo’s in Austin, Texas, and it reads, as follows, in full:

1. Damage Case
2. Stay Clean
3. Metropolis (partial)

Note: Lemmy left stage at the start of the third song because he wasn’t feeling well.

Rock and roll fans the world over have been tracking the news about Motörhead’s beloved bassist and frontman Lemmy Kilmister, who is still touring at the age of 69 against the advice of doctors. (Lemmy turns 70 on Christmas Eve of this year.)

Just a couple of weeks ago, the news that Lemmy was switching from his beloved whisky to vodka for health reasons made the rounds. Some observers pointed out the contradiction inherent in Lemmy’s big quote from that story, “I am still indestructible.” Lemmy was treated for a hematoma in 2013, and he has also been fitted for a defibrillator.

This week Lemmy’s health issues are finally coming to a head in a serious way. On Thursday Lemmy similarly cut the show in Salt Lake City short because he was having difficulty breathing in the thin air of the high-altitude city. The next night’s show, in Denver, was cancelled altogether for the same reason.

Here’s a report from Eduardo Rivadavia at Ultimate Classic Rock:

We were in attendance at last night’s Austin show, and can report that the evening’s activities got under way normally enough, with a well-received set from Pennsylvania stoner rockers Crobot, and then a quite commanding one from New Wave of British Heavy Metal survivors Saxon.

Unfortunately, Lemmy seemed shaky from the start, as he ambled onto the stage looking noticeably gaunt and tried to sing the first number, “Damage Case,” clearly out of breath and at half speed. Meanwhile, guitarist Phil Campbell was doing everything he could to compensate by running about and engaging the audience much more than is his habit. Drummer Mikkey Dee also seemed to be trying to will Lemmy onward with his more measured but typically powerful attack.

Alas, the situation did not improve as Motorhead struggled to complete another Overkill standard, “Stay Clean.” After greeting his fans and admitting he was still under the weather, Lemmy lasted barely one minute into their next song, “Metropolis,” before dropping his arms, backing away from his microphone, and conceding defeat in obvious disgust, as his bandmates simultaneously ground to a feedback-screeching halt.

As for the crowd, many of whom were no doubt aware of the frontman’s recent health issues, they had nothing but supportive chants of “Lemmy! Lemmy! Lemmy!” — especially once Kilmister briefly returned to the microphone, leaning on his now familiar cane, and apologized yet again for his inability to carry on, leaving those assembled no choice but to turn away and start filing out.

Motörhead is touring to support its 22nd studio album, Bad Magic. The trek began on Aug. 19, in Riverside, Calif., and is slated to run until February. Their next scheduled show is tonight in San Antonio’s Aztec Theatre—the only information I was able to find out about that show comes from the well-known German tabloid BILD, which reported that the San Antonio show “fällt definitiv aus”—is definitely cancelled.

You can watch Lemmy’s heartbreaking announcement, as well as the loud support of the fans at the venue, right here:

via Ultimate Classic Rock

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Game Theory/Loud Family’s Scott Miller honored with posthumous reissues and biography
07:36 am



Though the extraordinarily gifted musician Scott Miller died almost two and a half years ago, the idea that there will never be another Loud Family album, or that the Game Theory reunion he was readying will never happen, remains very hard to take.

Should those dropped names mean nothing to you, you’ve got some listening to do. Game Theory was Miller’s luminous and utterly stunning ‘80s pop band, and though they earned gushing critical raves and practically ruled the college radio roost in their day, they’re largely forgotten now. They never grabbed the corporate-label brass ring, and so slipped into obscurity just before that key ‘90s moment when “college rock” became “alternative rock” and there was finally a growing audience for such indie strivers. Miller was quite a figure—he sported a HUGE mop of red hair and sang in an improbably high-pitched voice, purveying a hyper-literate guitar rock that drew from jangle-pop and the Paisley Underground—though as they were variously based in Davis and San Francisco, Game Theory were never really an actual part of that particular L.A. scene, Miller was pals and sometime writing partners with the Three O’Clock’s Michael Quercio, who even joined a later version of the band. They hit a stride mid-decade with the 1986 LP The Big Shot Chronicles and the sprawling, experimental and flat-out ASTOUNDING 1987 2XLP Lolita Nation, my copy of which has been with me since its release and will leave my shelves when I’m dead. They followed that with the straightforwardly rock Two Steps from the Middle Ages before the band’s lineup fractured. For three years, no subsequent version of Game Theory would make an album, and the best-of compilation Tinker to Evers to Chance would serve as the band’s tombstone.


In 1991, in deference to those whom he thought might be weary of him naming yet another group of musicians “Game Theory,” Miller renamed his band the Loud Family, and pursued a more musically headstrong power-pop direction, though his unbeatable lyrical IQ remained a signature feature of his songwriting. The Loud Family would release music on the independent Alias label through the quite fine 2006 collaborative album with Anton Barbeau, What If it Works? Miller continued to write until his passing in 2103, but declined to release anything. His unexpected passing came just months before an intended Game Theory reunion that could have brought him some of the recognition that was criminally overdue to him.

At the time of Miller’s death, everything by Game Theory was out of print. In a move that I will always remember as one of the coolest ever, Miller’s family posted free MP3s of everything the band ever released upon his death, so fans and the curious could hear it without getting hosed by the preposterous pricing spike in the vinyl aftermarket that invariably seems to accompany a cult artist’s death. Those MP3s are offline now, as the reissue label Omnivore is bit by bit reissuing all the band’s work, in order. So far they’re up to 1985’s Real Nighttime, and The Big Shot Chronicles is due this year. A Riverfront Times piece published yesterday hinted at unreleased material (I’d loooooooove to hear what got left off of Lolita Nation), and told about Don’t All Thank Me At Once: The Lost Genius of Scott Miller, a forthcoming Miller biography, named for a Loud Family song and penned by Boston music writer Brett Milano.

[Don’t All Thank Me At Once] promises to tell not only Miller’s story, but more generally, “the story of the college and indie-rock explosion of the 1980s and 1990s, when everything seemed possible but some of the flagship artists still managed to fall through the cracks.” Milano managed to track down and interview almost every member of Miller’s three main bands (no small feat: this includes at least two dozen people). He’s also interviewed Mitch Easter, who produced many of Game Theory and the Loud Family’s recordings, Aimee Mann, with whom he had planned to collaborate, and others from Miller’s life and career.


Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment