drwex: (Default)
I deeply understand why many of the creative people I know are finding it hard to create in this environment. I don't think of myself as particularly creative, but so much of my brain-space is consumed by what's happening to the country and people I love that there's not a huge amount of room for other things. Look it's more numbered points.

1. https://www.facebook.com/FromBusinessToButtons/videos/vb.319214441472944/1424883597572684/?type=2&theater
(Sorry that's a Facebook URL; I couldn't find another. Also the sound quality is bad.) This is Mike Monteiro continuing to be f-bomb laden and in-your-face (if you're a designer) about the idea that ethics are not optional and how it's our job to fight fascism. He's not wrong - design is the gatekeeper to a whole lot of things and if you think about our problems as bad design solutions then you get to think about better designs.

2. Like Monteiro I remain weirdly optimistic. I see people getting energized, women running for office for the first time, and the strong likelihood that the complacent wing of the Democratic party is going to get a swift kick in its lazy ass. All good things. Arguably these are shining stars in a night sky of black-hearted evil but that's OK, I'll take it. I think we're not going to have a President Pence anytime soon, nor do I think we're heading for the sort of full-blown Constitutional crisis that seemed likely a bit ago. I don't think Drumph is going to launch nukes, but I do think we're likely to see more pretextual acts for ongoing violent distractions.

This lull is likely to last until the special counsel's report comes out, at which point I expect ALL the shit to hit the fan. Meanwhile, they still can't stop the signal - latest being that Congress is fighting Flynn's attempt to shield documents. Flynn-the-person can't be compelled to testify but his corporation doesn't have 5th Amendment protection.

I'm starting to be reminded of the proverb about "for want of a nail" which is sometimes attributed to Benjamin Franklin (see the entry at Goodreads Quotes). I can't imagine that Trump ever thought "gee if I fire this guy it'll bring the whole house of cards down" but that may well be what he gets.

3. I am also reminded of "Nixon's Spirit" from Paul Oakenfold. I wanted to find a version with lyrics but could not. Basically it's a spoken word piece from Hunter S Thompson over Oakenfold's music. Thomson is talking about the damage done to the late 20th century by Richard Nixon. When Thompson says, "You don't even have to know who Nixon was to be affected by his ugly Nazi spirit" I hear relevance to today. Trump, like Nixon, disgraces and degrades the office of President. That may not be a thing we ordinarily care about but it's going to matter, soon.

Think hard about whether you'd rather have crippled ineffectual President Trump or active engaged President Pence in charge between now and 2020. I can't definitively say one would be more damaging than the other. While my heart dearly longs to see Trump scurrying away in the dead of night like the diseased cur he is I fear what would happen in his wake.

4. I am UTTERLY BAFFLED by people who refuse to understand that the attack on the Ariana Grande concert was an attack that targeted women, young girls, and LGBTQ persons. Those are her fans. This asshole didn't drive a truck into a random crowd; he strapped on a bomb and picked a specific concert venue when a specific person was playing. It's like saying that the 9/11 attacks didn't target Americans because non-Americans were also killed. Yes, true, but those attacks targeted Americans. When we come to understand this attacker's motivations I will be floored if we fail to find misogyny and homophobia high among them.

5. I am still capable of being completely elated by seeing my child happy. I'll write more if I can catch up on updates.
drwex: (Default)
This all got delayed by the amusing investigative music work of earlier this week. Sorry if I haven't done as much research on these as I might.

http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/Bombay_Bicycle_Club/track/Lamplight
Bombay Bicycle Club (http://www.myspace.com/bombaybicycleclub) are a bit hard to classify. They've got a bit of the post-modern, not-emo three-guys-making-indie-alternative-music sound to them but they do a good job of sounding like themselves and not someone else. They've just won the big NME award in the UK for Best New Band (despite having been around since 2007) so I expect we'll hear more of them this side of the pond. Their sound is definitely electronic, and more ambient than a lot of rock or club acts.

http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/Kele/track/Everything_You_Wanted_RAC_Remix
Also in the interesting-and-hard-to-classify-indie-rock camp is Kele (http://www.myspace.com/iamkele), who used to front for Bloc Party. His bio says he's of Nigerian descent and that might be some of the rhythms I'm hearing that seem to be trying to break through the standard 3/4 and 4/4 signatures of most of his stuff. It's a little hard to tell because it's overlayered with a lot of electronica. The second track trends very directly toward electro-house mixing, and I was amused by the obvious nod to The Who.

http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/Tracey_Thorn/track/Why_Does_The_Wind_Morgan_Geist_Remix
Tracey Thorn (http://traceythorn.com/) has a very Annie Lennox-like sound going, mixed with some club sensibilities. I'm not 100% sold on her yet. The blend of styles is interesting but I'm not sure it works as well as going in one direction or the other all the way would work. She gets bonus points for being not-your-usual-chicksinga-with-guitar though.

http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/The_Like/track/Release_Me_Viking_Remix
The Like are kind of what you'd get if you re-invented The Bangles with a lot more twisted lyric sensibilities. This is not pop so much as it is using pop musical confections to deliver a more demented package. As with most of today's group I'm not utterly blown away with them but I'm bopping along to this remix off and on this week so I figure I'll pass it on.

http://hypem.com/track/1139119/Milt+Mortez-Astoria
I'm trying to remember who pointed me to this one and if it was you please remind me. Miltz Mortez (http://www.myspace.com/miltmortez) is a tribal-house producer from Canada. This track is one of the few full-length things from him I can find. Much of it is, like his MySpace page, just snippets. He is obviously drawing heavily on tribal influences, but they seem much more North American to me than the more common African. The rhythms and bird-like flute sounds remind me of the Native American drum circles I've listened to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWkSjlyw0Zs
Tip of the hat back to [livejournal.com profile] sunstealer for this one. In response to a meme fitting a song to me or finding something I'd enjoy he pointed me to this. Now if you've read my musical blogging at all you can pretty well guess that anything Paul Oakenfold remixes is going to get my thumbs-up. This track, which was popularized as "Requiem for a Dream" is both ethereal and lovely and sinister bass creepy all at once. Clint Mansell's story is worth noting here - some of you (Pygment I'm looking at you) will be interested to know that his musical career more or less consisted of being the front man for P.W.E.I. Somehow he got hooked up with Darren Aronofsky (Wikipedia claims they were friends) to score the cult-hit movie π and then he also did the score for Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream which is how this track came to have that misnomer. In fact it's called "Lux Aeterna".

More odd trivia: the trailer for "Requiem" was initially released with Moby's "Everloving" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUD7m3MZOt4) and I remember first hearing Lux Aeterna mis-ascribed to Moby. The songs are quite similar in feel, I'll grant you.
drwex: (Default)
This all got delayed by the amusing investigative music work of earlier this week. Sorry if I haven't done as much research on these as I might.

http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/Bombay_Bicycle_Club/track/Lamplight
Bombay Bicycle Club (http://www.myspace.com/bombaybicycleclub) are a bit hard to classify. They've got a bit of the post-modern, not-emo three-guys-making-indie-alternative-music sound to them but they do a good job of sounding like themselves and not someone else. They've just won the big NME award in the UK for Best New Band (despite having been around since 2007) so I expect we'll hear more of them this side of the pond. Their sound is definitely electronic, and more ambient than a lot of rock or club acts.

http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/Kele/track/Everything_You_Wanted_RAC_Remix
Also in the interesting-and-hard-to-classify-indie-rock camp is Kele (http://www.myspace.com/iamkele), who used to front for Bloc Party. His bio says he's of Nigerian descent and that might be some of the rhythms I'm hearing that seem to be trying to break through the standard 3/4 and 4/4 signatures of most of his stuff. It's a little hard to tell because it's overlayered with a lot of electronica. The second track trends very directly toward electro-house mixing, and I was amused by the obvious nod to The Who.

http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/Tracey_Thorn/track/Why_Does_The_Wind_Morgan_Geist_Remix
Tracey Thorn (http://traceythorn.com/) has a very Annie Lennox-like sound going, mixed with some club sensibilities. I'm not 100% sold on her yet. The blend of styles is interesting but I'm not sure it works as well as going in one direction or the other all the way would work. She gets bonus points for being not-your-usual-chicksinga-with-guitar though.

http://rcrdlbl.com/artists/The_Like/track/Release_Me_Viking_Remix
The Like are kind of what you'd get if you re-invented The Bangles with a lot more twisted lyric sensibilities. This is not pop so much as it is using pop musical confections to deliver a more demented package. As with most of today's group I'm not utterly blown away with them but I'm bopping along to this remix off and on this week so I figure I'll pass it on.

http://hypem.com/track/1139119/Milt+Mortez-Astoria
I'm trying to remember who pointed me to this one and if it was you please remind me. Miltz Mortez (http://www.myspace.com/miltmortez) is a tribal-house producer from Canada. This track is one of the few full-length things from him I can find. Much of it is, like his MySpace page, just snippets. He is obviously drawing heavily on tribal influences, but they seem much more North American to me than the more common African. The rhythms and bird-like flute sounds remind me of the Native American drum circles I've listened to.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWkSjlyw0Zs
Tip of the hat back to [livejournal.com profile] sunstealer for this one. In response to a meme fitting a song to me or finding something I'd enjoy he pointed me to this. Now if you've read my musical blogging at all you can pretty well guess that anything Paul Oakenfold remixes is going to get my thumbs-up. This track, which was popularized as "Requiem for a Dream" is both ethereal and lovely and sinister bass creepy all at once. Clint Mansell's story is worth noting here - some of you (Pygment I'm looking at you) will be interested to know that his musical career more or less consisted of being the front man for P.W.E.I. Somehow he got hooked up with Darren Aronofsky (Wikipedia claims they were friends) to score the cult-hit movie π and then he also did the score for Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream which is how this track came to have that misnomer. In fact it's called "Lux Aeterna".

More odd trivia: the trailer for "Requiem" was initially released with Moby's "Everloving" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUD7m3MZOt4) and I remember first hearing Lux Aeterna mis-ascribed to Moby. The songs are quite similar in feel, I'll grant you.

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