SF Disco Preservation Society: Huge archive of DJ mixtapes from the 2000s back to the days of disco.
It’s Got a Great Beat, and You Can File a Lawsuit to It: “Originality is a con: Pop music history is the history of near overlap. Ideas rarely emerge in complete isolation. In studios around the world, performers, producers and songwriters are all trying to innovate just one step beyond where music currently is, working from the same component parts. It shouldn’t be a surprise when some of what they come up with sounds similar — and also like what came before.”
Clubbing: ‘I can’t bear the idea that there is an age at which you should stop’: I’m 46, and while I don’t get out as often as in my 20s (can’t do 3-4 nights out a week anymore), I have no intention of stopping. It’s too much a part of who I am and what I need. “Typically, clubbing loses its appeal in our early 30s; 31 is the age at which most give up, according to a 2017 survey. But for those who do keep dancing, it can be much more than just a night out. What starts as an act of teenage transgression becomes radical in middle age.”
For no particular reason (and certainly no good reason), resurrecting a silly little meme from a few years ago…
Some silly pointless statistics on my iTunes music library:
- How many total tracks?
33,978: 109 days, 2 hours, 38 minutes, and eight seconds in total, taking up 228.35 GB of storage.
Sort by song title — first and last?
- First: A Drowning (Bonus Track), by How to Destroy Angels, from Welcome Oblivion
- Last: } . } @ } . @ . } @ } . @ . } @ } . @ . } @ } ., by The User, from Symphony #2 for Dot Matrix Printers, if you sort special characters and numbers after letters, as iTunes does, or Zyklon B Zombie, by MSBR, from In Formation–A Tribute to Throbbing Gristle if you just want the last one alphabetically
- Sort by time — shortest and longest?
- Shortest: 0:01 — g-and that’s all she talks about, a sample of a girl’s voice I pulled from somewhere for use in DJing
- Longest: 4:23:21 – Thor’s Day Night, a nearly four-and-a-half hour mix of me DJing at Norwescon 36
- Sort by Album — first and last?
- Sort by Artist — first and last?
- Top five played songs?
- Wasted, by And One, from Virgin Superstar
- One World One Sky, by Covenant, from United States of Mind
- Kathy’s Song (Come Lie Next to Me), by Apoptygma Berzerk, from Welcome to Earth
- Afterhours, by Covenant, from United States of Mind
- Doubleplusgood, by Eurythmics, off of 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother)
- Find the following words. How many songs show up?
- Sex: 279
- Death: 215
- Love: 1,853
- You: 3,014
- Home: 344
- Boy: 901
- Girl: 793
Sometime between January 11th and January 23rd, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- A meteor hit the moon during the lunar eclipse. Here’s what we know.: “In what may be a first-of-its-kind event, a flash of light seen during totality has astronomers on the hunt for a new crater on the moon.”
- DuckDuckGo Taps Apple Maps to Power Private Search Results: "We're excited to announce that map and address-related searches on DuckDuckGo for mobile and desktop are now powered by Apple's MapKit JS framework, giving you a valuable combination of mapping and privacy."
- To save the sound of a Stradivarius, a whole city must keep quiet: “Cremona is home to the workshops of some of the world’s finest instrument makers, including Antonio Stradivari, who in the 17th and 18th centuries produced some of the finest violins and cellos ever made. The city is getting behind an ambitious project to digitally record the sounds of the Stradivarius instruments for posterity, as well as others by Amati and Guarneri del Gesù, two other famous Cremona craftsmen. And that means being quiet.”
- An Idea for Electoral College Reform That Both Parties Might Actually Like: “As long as we continue to have the Electoral College, we should make it work as intended. This means bringing it back into compliance with the majority-rule principle.”
- The oral history of the Hampsterdance: The twisted true story of one of the world’s first memes: “What started 20 years ago in Nanaimo, B.C. spawned hit songs, worldwide LOLs and a giant hairball of drama.”
Sometime between November 14th and November 29th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- Neuroscience says listening to this song reduces anxiety by up to 65 percent: “The group that created ‘Weightless’, Marconi Union, did so in collaboration with sound therapists. Its carefully arranged harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines help slow a listener’s heart rate, reduce blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.”
- Physicist Wins Ig Noble Prize For Study On Whether Cats Should Be Classified As Liquids Or Solids: "At the center of the definition of a liquid is an action: A material must be able to modify its form to fit within a container," Fardin said. "If we take cats as our example, the fact is that they can adapt their shape to their container if we give them enough time. Cats are thus liquid if we give them the time to become liquid."
- Pseudoarchaeology and the Racism Behind Ancient Aliens: “Where, exactly, the idea of ancient aliens building the pyramids began — and why some academics think racism lies at the heart of many extraterrestrial theories.”
- Do you have any advice for someone who is 16?: "Watch Star Trek. // I’m sorry anon. I realized belatedly that I basically just told you 'turn to Jesus!' and walked away without explanation. I’m absolutely not kidding, though: Star Trek. Especially in times of difficulty and change: watch Star Trek."
- This is the Greatest Example of Wanton Cruelty in All of the Star Wars Universe: "There’s a lot here that can be considered cruel—torture, enslavement, sadism, and so on—but the really cruel thing isn’t directly happening in the scene, but it does make the scene possible. It’s the fact that droids can feel pain."
Sometime between July 16th and July 30th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!
- Is there any anti-abortion talking point that isn’t based on a lie?: "As I’ve investigated both sides of the abortion debate, I’ve become honestly curious to discover if there is any anti-abortion argument that isn’t based on a lie (or lies). I’m going through the most popular current US anti-abortion talking points and giving each a Politifact-esque truth rating. Let’s investigate!"
- Meet Mike Cernovich: Right-Wing Provocateur Who Got James Gunn Fired: “Cernovich didn’t dredge up Gunn’s old tweets out of a genuine care for women, children, or LGBTQP+ people. He didn’t write this as a feminist or left-wing activist hoping for a more productive dialogue surrounding trauma that gives these issues the seriousness they deserve; Cernovich directly accused Gunn of being a pedophile for these tweets, and Disney submissively just bent to that and fired him.”
- What it’s like when Nazis infiltrate your conference: Interesting look at how nazis trolled and attacked the narrative of a hacker con. Worth considering and keeping these techniques and brainstorming ideas of how to combat them effectively when planning for conferences/conventions these days.
- The 9/11 Country Music theory: "MY HOT TAKE: with very few exceptions, including goodbye earl, before he cheats, and daddy Iessons (side note – all women!) 9/11 ruined country music." Sounds about right to me. Country's never been my primary genre, but what I do like is universally pre- (usually very pre-) 9/11.
- “People like to think that Hitler came straight into power with ‘Kill the Jews y/n?’ and all the Germans were like ‘yeah totes’ but it’s just not how it goes.”: "No, the defining moment of this timeline was that people didn't show up to vote the Nazi Party out in the one last chance they had. The one last chance they had before the power grab was up and the whole thing was too far off the rails."
We’re once again in the holiday season, which means it’s time for everyone’s favorite winter song debate: Is Baby, It’s Cold Outside acceptable or not?
Personally, while I certainly understand why lots of people today find it objectionable (and are even rewriting the lyrics), particularly due to the “hey, what’s in that drink?” line, I think it’s important to look at the original context of the song:
I’ve heard the take on “Baby” as “rapey” a couple of times over the years and the concern about the song usually centers in on one line: “Say, what’s in this drink,” which many contemporary listeners assume is a reference to a date rape drug. But narrowing in on this particular line divorces it from its own internal context, and having only passing familiarity with the song divorces it from its cultural context.
The structure of “Baby” is a back and forth conversation between the male and female singers. Every line the woman utters is answered by him, until they come together at the end of the song. When we just look at “Say, what’s in this drink,” we ignore the lines that proceed and follow this, which are what indicates to the listener how we’re supposed to read the context.
Personally, I’m a fan of the song. And thanks to that Wikipedia article I linked up above, it turns out that though written in 1944, it was broadly popularized in the 1949 film Neptune’s Daughter (which I’ve never seen), in which it’s performed twice: once by Ricardo Montalbán (Khan!) and Esther Williams, which in staging, I have to admit, seems to hew fairly close to today’s interpretation of the song, with Montalbán coming across as predatory; then again by Red Skelton and Betty Garrett, in which the roles are reversed as Garrett tries to keep Skelton from leaving.
If you’re not a fan, I totally understand — but for me, it will remain a staple of my winter playlists.
Lo-Fidelity All Stars’ “Battle Flag” is one of the few times when I’ve heard a group release a de-profanitized radio-friendly edit of a track that I actually prefer to the original uncensored version. Not that I have any problems with the uncensored version, but rather than simply mask out the profanity with silence, beeps, or word substitutions, they use a drawn-out stutter effect on the words immediately preceding or following the censored word. Not only is it a neat sounding effect on its own, but it’s an effect that they use elsewhere in the song as well, so it doesn’t stick out as much due to only appearing when they’re removing words.
Plus, it’s a pretty cool song, whichever version pops up. Good sound, heavy beats, some organ riffing, and a nice slow-ish tempo that works really well on a dance floor.
For comparison purposes…
Pulp’s ‘Common People’ has been one of my top ten songs for quite some time now. I’ve mentioned it a time or two in the past, which I spent a few minutes throwing together a silly little video putting the audio from the song against this mashup of the song and panels from Archie comics, which you might be able to view here or here on my blog, or maybe here on YouTube, depending on what the copyright rules are in your country.
So it was fun to come across this post about the song from The rage of Common People « 33revolutionsperminute’s Blog:
Insecurity breeds viciousness. The pathos of “watch[ing] your life slide out of view” and having “nothing else to do” gives way to blistering fury at those who “think that poor is cool” and that, in turn, to violence. In a verse cut from the single edit, Jarvis compares the “common people” to a dog lying in the corner who, without warning, will “tear your insides out”, a line so savage that it seems impossible that just two minutes ago we were still smirking in the supermarket. In the BBC3 documentary, Jarvis calls another section missing from the single edit (“You will never understand…”) the “punchline” to the whole song, and winces at the intensity of his own vocal. Did he intend the song to contain so much discomfiting ambiguity, or did it get away from him, as great songs often do?
I think it’s the slide from amusement to condescension to all-out-rage as the song goes by that really does it for me. This is one song that I just will never get tired of.