Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith

People either love or hate The Fall.
Here's a cool documentary on them, their enigmatic singer Mark E. Smith and more ex-members than Spinal Tap.
Check it out.
This is the first time that Mark E Smith has agreed to the story being told on television and he, along with many of the major players, takes us through this unique English rock ā€˜nā€™ roll story.

Their rollercoaster story is told alongside footage of their most recent and sadly now last Peel Session recorded in August at the legendary BBC Maida Vale studios.

There is also film of John playing out the session at Peel Acres a week later.

I, like others, am all a-twitter with anticipation of this being released on DVD. Hopefully it'll be a legit release, with extras and - one would hope- subtitles enabled for our favorite rumpled-looking Manc Bard.

Found at the Grey Lodge

Russian MP3 find #893

Two classic albums from Germany's Kraftwerk:

Click on links below:

Radio Activitat (1975)
Man Machine (1978)

From Russia, with love.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Kill Ugly Radio Presents: Old Sounds for New Flesh

An ambient exploration of David Cronenberg's Videodrome, utilizing Howard Shore's brooding, minimal score and many sounds and dialog from the movie itself.

Old Sounds for New Flesh.mp3 (55 megs, 60 min.)

Friday, January 20, 2006

Giant, Very Eclectic Dex

Over at Escrito En Agua, after scrolling through one relatively mundane dex after another, I found this gigantic dex filled with artists from all around the globe, but with an obvious tendency towards French music. There's lots of French girl-pop, from Francois Hardy, to the nails-on- blackboard voice of France Gall.
This is the kind of stuff that Boyd Rice would eat up.
I even found a nifty version of My Way sung by Rachid Taha.
I really like his voice. He has that husky style of Arabic singing that seems to come out of Moroccan traditional styles, filtered through a French influence, I suspect. Also, check out his version of The Clash's Rock the Casbah, rendered really potent (and timely) when sung in in Arabic. He performed this live recently with Mick Jones and with Brian Eno on keys.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Russian Grey-Market Soundtrack Blowout

MP3Search.Ru, the trials and tribulations of which I've blogged about before, has resumed regular updates in earnest, compelling me to fork over more virtual dough (via ChronoPay). For some reason, they seem to hide new releases behind their seldom-updated front page.
Lately, they've been on a roll with movie soundtracks.
They keep adding lots of Ennio Morricone, Angelo Badelamenti and finally more Goblin.
Adding Howard Shore means not only all of the LOTR soundtracks, but his earlier, more minimal stuff done for David Cronenberg (Videodrome, Naked Lunch, Crash).
So, it's gonna be Suspira and the Videodrome soundtrack. Finally, I have a place to imbed all those Videodrome samples I've been tormenting friends and family with for years. I used to just listen to Suspira for its creepy ambience. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is good in that respect, too.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Cry for the Monolithic Entertainment Industry

A recent Reuters article details the woes of the culture industry and their inability to shift product in a reliable manner:
U.S. music album sales last year slid to their lowest level since 1996, squelching any hopes that the recording industry's long downward spiral may have bottomed out, according to sales data issued on Wednesday.

Tracking firm Nielsen SoundScan, which measures point-of-sale purchases across the United States, said total album sales -- including current and catalog titles -- fell 7.2 percent from 2004 to 618.9 million units, the lowest since 1996, when they were 616.6 million.

After enjoying a rare "up" year in 2004, prompting predictions the worst was over, sales flagged during 2005, hurt by competition from illegal downloads, rival forms of entertainment such as video games, and a lack of breakout musical acts.
Of course, it doesn't take into account economic factors, such as people having less disposable income to spend on the disposable music icon du jour, nor does it mention the increased feeling alienation that the majors have created with consumers, via their predatory marketing practices and their malicious copyright protection measures.
This editorial from Brainwashed about the above article is more on the money:
Among corporate labels, there is much fretting and wringing of hands. Reuters, however, fail to recognize the non-major label music industry, who don't seem to be pissing and moaning. Major labels are a dying breed due to their own avarice, and nobody's gonna cry when they die.

The four major labels (there were six when we started banning major labels on Brainwashed: two down, four to go!) haven't woken up to the new reality: more and more people don't want to pay for shitty corporate music and shitty corporate tactics. Why should they? The money isn't going to the artists and it isn't going to hard working employees: it's going to computer companies who develop malicious spyware that destroys your computer, payola, and RIAA lawyers, who continue to sue mothers who have nothing to do with any illegal operations.
Read whole article.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Over the Edge and Negativland Gone?

One of my favorite Friday rituals - especially if I have to hunker down for long projects- has been to tune into KPFA's Over the Edge, hosted by Negativland's Don Joyce. It's the perfect soundtrack to the closing of a boring work week. I haven't listened a lot lately, due to other things, such as having to run a lot of work related errands, but would tune in occasionally. His recent series entitled How Radio Isn't Done has been fascinating. There have even been a few Negativland related shows on, which I posted about previously.

But now it seems Negativland has let their domain and website lapse.
Hope this is a temporary thing. I know the four or five floptops are spread about the map and only sporadically come together for shows and releases.
We'll have to wait and see.

BTW: get Death Sentences. It's easily one of the coolest things they've done in years, and is certainly a departure from their cut-and-paste culture jam thing. It really reminds me of early Hafler Trio or even their first two albums, before razor tapes and anti-commercialism became an over-arching motif.