Tags: music


the power of hymn

Those of you who know me well know I don't often sing hymns outside of church. When I do, it's usually in times of great joy, fear, epiphany, or sadness--and more often than not it's a little out of place. Folks generally don't make much of a fuss when I do this, probably figuring that it's some kind of Christian thing. And, you know, they're right. But it's not something I picked up at church, or at retreat, or from my OCF friends at Oberlin (who would kind of look at me funny sometimes on the rare times I did it in front of them, but not even have to ask, because they understood). It's not something that anyone or anything ever really told me to do, aside from Scripture, which merely says, in many places, that it is good to sing the praises of the Lord. It's something that, after reading the Bible and worshipping the Lord for a while, just sort of comes naturally. And I'm certainly not the only one who does it. persistent_sun, a Conservative Jew, sometimes sings the shema when he climbs to the top of a tree, in praise of God for making this beautiful world, of which the tree that he has just climbed is but one tiny part. Collapse )
  • Current Music
    Graham Ord - The Lord is Gracious And Compassionate
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genealogy of a mashup

  • Ludwig von Beethoven composes Symphony No. 5 in C Minor (1804)
    • which Walter Murphy remixes into A Fifth of Beethoven (1976)
      • which Soulwax remixes into A Fifth of Beethoven (2008)
      • which A Plus D mashes with
        Kanye West's Gold Digger
        into Beethoven's Fifth Gold Digger (2008)
  • Party Ben mashes Justice's Let There Be Light
    and Kanye West's Love Lockdown
    into dance mashup Let There Be Love (2008)
    • which he mashes with Beethoven's Fifth Gold Digger
      and Soulwax's A Fifth of Beethoven
      into Let There Be Love / Beethoven Lockdown (2009)

You have accepted Let There Be Love / Beethoven Lockdown of the Temperance Arcana into your heart.
Your Pretentious Hipster S.Link has granted it additional power!

  • Current Music
    Party Ben - Let There Be Love / Beethoven Lockdown
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fun things i have done lately, part 1

Yes, I do occasionally leave the house, or do things other than make stuff. Sometimes. On occasion. Every now and then.

Last week I met theotherbaldwin in person! It's weird; I've known him through the Internet for over twelve years, longer than I've known most of my closest friends, and he used to live less than an hour's drive from me, but we'd never seen each other in meatspace. (He was a regular and eventually maintainer of the Cafe Eblana Messagebase, the first Internet community I'd ever been a part of, back when I was an attention-starved twelve-year-old messageboard troll.) He didn't look or sound anything like the pictures and audio he's put up over the past few years, but that may be because he's just been through an ugly divorce and that will mess up anyone pretty badly. Funny how in this day and age you can meet up with someone you don't recognize and in less than thirty minutes go on to reminiscing with him about the time a dude you guys both knew in middle school broke his penis in a tragic masturbation accident.

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riding down the lane, snuffing tobacco-weed, sipping on juniper and turpentine

O, have I maidens in the sitting room,
Be getting on, for they depart not 'fore
The cock is risen, six at morn, so what
Or whom be done? Confound thine chamberpot,
or chambers thine. My fob-sack brims with skins
Of noblest lamb; my knaves garment their knobs
With prophylactic raiments similar!
So extinguish the torches, gates be shut
As well. But what? What, ho? The love with which
We plow our seed be not thine truest love,
but that which be for garden implements.
So light thine pipes, dear sirs, with tinctures green,
Knave up, dames down; lend ears, and bounce to this!

poke poke poke poke her how low

I know what you're thinking: Oh, geez, Nirvana and Lady Gaga. Yet another mashup with "Smells Like Teen Spirit" in it. Yet another mashup with "Poker Face" in it. Peanut butter. Strawberries. How original. The weird thing, though, is that this mashup actually sounds pretty okay! And not just if you ignore the discordances and tilt your ears eighteen degrees to the side (as is the case for so many other unlikely mashups).

Thanks to Big Fishy for the heads up.
  • Current Music
    DJ Lobsterdust - Nirgaga
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when new year comes around

The Crypt Sessions: a vidcast series of simple music videos filmed in a tiny studio in North London. An all-acoustic motif, hi-fi audio, HD videorecording, powerfully mood-setting lounge/bar decor and some of the most heartachingly gorgeous independent folk, pop, and rock music you've never heard. The Crypt Sessions are the closest you can get to an excellent live show in the city without having to call a cab afterwards to drag your drunk ass home. So true to the actual experience you can almost smell the cigarette smoke.

What's good? Well, I like The Chemists' "This City" myself. Samantha Whates's "Happy Birthday" is pretty good late-night listening too.

But I would be remiss to not mention Sophie Madeleine. And not just because her first album "Love, Life, Ukelele" on my iPod or Nintendo DS is the only thing that keeps those late-night silences in empty bus stations and airport terminals from eating my soul.

If you've been reading this blog a while you already know I'm a fan of her music. She's that internet famous British ukelele gal, who (with her friend Hannah Rockcliffe) performs cute yet spellbinding, richly textured YouTube songs about beards and cakes and gays. The Crypt Sessions's more serious treatment of her single "Stars" (embedded above) truly brings out how well Madeleine puts her Masters in music to use. This is not MTV Unplugged, this is truly naked music. No impressive arpeggios, no intricate, wailing solos, no clever production gimmicks, no flirtsy sidelong glances at the camera. Not only is she playing a ukelele, her backup band is a toy xylophone and a drum loop on a ten-year-old Casio keyboard. And yet, her gentle, nuanced delivery and the awesomely faithful production makes this one of the velvetiest recordings my eardrums have ever sampled. I like it even better than the studio version, by leaps.

It almost makes me want to fly out to London to compare it to the real thing. But I won't have to! According to the mailing list she is playing her first American show in New York on Jan. 10 at the Pianos Bar in the East Village (139 Ludlow St., $10, 7:30 PM).


If you are in the city and you like soft, soulful music, please come with me. It would make me very happy.
  • Current Music
    Sophie Madeleine - When New Year Comes Around
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oontz oontz oontz oontz

I couldn't sleep last night, so I sat up in bed with my Nintendo DS and made this goofy little song in NitroTracker. It is my first mod track ever! I am excited. (You can download the original XM here if you prefer.)

Most of the samples and instruments are cribbed from cybernitro.xm by atomtwist, since I was just dicking around and didn't have a sample library on hand. I later had to use Schism Tracker to lower the pitch of several instruments by about an octave so that they wouldn't sound weird on a pair of normal computer speakers, but aside from that the song was entirely composed on my DS. Yay for insane yet oddly practical homebrew software!

And yes, that last sample was recorded by me with the DS microphone.
  • Current Music
    MC Fuckface - Horsedick
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one plus one plus one

Tonight I discovered Harry Nilsson, the man behind some of my favorite songs.

Did you know he wrote "One (Is The Loneliest Number)" the song that made Three Dog Night famous? This is Three Dog Night's version, which is a classic rock staple and one of my favorite songs ever:

This is Nilsson's version. It doesn't have Three Dog Night's legendary rockin' breakdown but the smooth bass line and more subtle production makes it feel a little more soulful, a lot more sincere, and much more, well, lonely. I'm honestly torn about which "One" I like better--the feeling is extremely different.

Aimee Mann, the Dresden Dolls, the Ambitious Orchestra, and your mom have all done fantabulous covers, too, but Nilsson's and 3DN's versions are unbeatable.

And here's an amazing cover by Nilsson of "Without You" by Badfinger (the band that would have been destined to be the next Beatles had they not killed themselves to death). Not the cover of that song he's famous for--my mom's favorite song ever, and one I grew up listening to a lot--but an obscure demo that I personally find far more powerful, because it brings out the best in both Nilsson's intense delivery and his capability for restraint. Still a very sentimental song, but it blows Mariah Carey's sapfest right out of the water.

Just goes to show that as fond as I am of mashups, indie rock, all this crazy new avant-garde music, some things only get better with age.

  • Current Music
    Harry Nilsson - One
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a profound critique of capitalism in the vein of herbert marcuse

...no, not really, I'm just fucking with you.

Incidentally, there is no official music video for this song, but this one should be it. 1990s Pizza Hut and Taco Bell commercials, other YouTube users, and TMNT! Culture jam. I'm reminded a lot of the Evolution Control Committee's Breakfast series.

(edit) omg they have a sequel it is called chicken and meat. I was skeptical when critics said "Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell" was a scathing, mocking critique of hip-hop consumerism cleverly disguised as mindless repetitive bullshit, but this new song leaves little doubt that these guys do know what they're talking about. And oh, hey, it's the F train.
  • Current Music
    Das Racist & Wallpaper. - Combination Pizza Hut And Taco Bell (Wallpaper. RMX)
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new york i love you but you're bringing me down

Mood swings recently have been terrible. I can't even write on LJ about what I want to write about.

So...have this song. You've already heard it if you've listened to my Post-Oberlin mix album, but I can't plug it enough. This is so dead on--it has pretty much been my theme song ever since I moved to New York.

You might have to be a New Yorker to get all the injokes ("Our billionaire mayor who thinks he's a king") but the general feeling is pretty universal.

Oh, take me off your mailing list / For kids who think it still exists / Yes, who think it still exists...
  • Current Music
    LCD Soundsystem - New York I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down
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