It was around seventeen that my friends and I developed drinking as a hobby. My character being what it is was, I also decided to talk about drinking with everyone I knew. Incessantly. One of these people was Josh, who had somewhat-recently returned from Australia. It was there that he had encountered the comedy musical group Doug Anthony All Stars. Josh introduced me to “Broad Lic Nic,” a drinking song done as a rough pastiche of the Proclaimers. I promptly memorized the lyrics and ended up singing it every time I got a good bit of liquor in me. I'm not sure what it was that reminded me of it today, but listening to it I realized that I still remember all the lyrics. And all I can think is, sweet god, I must have been annoying as all get-out, wandering down a deserted Brooklyn street at 3 AM, belting the fucker out. Enjoy!
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In other news, awesome comics artist and all-around great gal Nikki Cook is having a big ole art sale, all originals. She's also taking commissions, so if you've always wanted a piece of, say, Big Barda a rollerderby girl or Thor, Loki and Beta Ray Bill as a black metal band, now is your chance.
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I have, for a number of years now, been very fond of the Canadian musician who goes under the name I Am Robot and Proud. His works are high pitched, whirring, squeaking pieces of very cute electronic music. Imagine if a kinder, gentler Aphex Twin was given free reign to design music boxes and you have the general idea.
A few months ago, while coming home from work, I was listening to his album You Make Me This Happy. As it was all mixes – not my favorite sort of compilation – I had never actually made it all the way through before. This time, aided by falling asleep, I discovered the “hidden” track: a remix of “Independent Woman” by Destiny's Child. I find myself putting this song on more often than anything else he's done. I'm still not sure how, but he's actually made me enjoy a group I never thought I would:
A while ago, my grandparents handed me a couple of photos from my childhood. They've finally been scanned so, let's play Pattern Recognition: what do these two pictures have in common (outside of atrocious mid-80s Soviet fashion.)
Did you guess? That's right. Lil' Griph has been rockin' a piece since he was knee-high to a bowling ball. There's another photo that may be found one day wherein I am hanging out in a hammock with a big ole toy rifle. Even after moving to America, I remember hanging out with the neighborhood kids with my super-realistic – this was before the laws mandating toy guns be painted in neon colors – automatic rifle and a candy cigarette in my mouth, pretending to be Rambo. When I was about ten, I spent a summer living with family in the suburbs and my cousin and I would run around pegging one another with BB guns. A year or two later, my mom's boyfriend would let me fire his hunting rifle at beer cans when we'd go out to his cabin on long weekends.
Considering all that, I am still pretty much a pacifist. I have not been in a fight since I was a pre-teen. I have no desire to own firearms, and probably never will unless our political situation demands I take up arms either for or against the government, depending on how well the Teabaggers do in the upcoming elections. Yet I still find myself fascinated by guns, bombs and all sorts of unrealistic, cinematic violence.
With all that said, if you go 1:55 into this video (not sure how to deep link into DailyMotion) you'll see one of the greatest animated firefights ever:
Dead leaves partie 1
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After being fully aware of the phenomenon for most of my adult life, and denying myself for the last five years, I have finally started watching Doctor Who. A forum thread regarding the latest story arc and my favorite plot device – hubris – coupled with the series' availability on Netflix has thrown me head-first into the world of Daleks, sonic screwdrivers, and all the other goodness.
One of my favorite aspects of Doctor Who, and one which I discovered long before encountering the show, is the theme. The series has existed for almost fifty years, but the theme to it has remained just about the same: a high-pithced theme played over a rocking bass line. Originally created via tape music/musique concrète methods in the 1960s, it was later recorded on analog synth and for the current series. There's an entire Wikipedia entry discussing both the history and musicology of the theme. Of course, someone on YouTube has spliced ten opening sequences (all except the 2010 one) together for your enjoyment:
...and lest we forget, acid house pranksters/revolutionaries the KLF mixed the theme with “Rock and Roll (Part 2)” to purposefully create the perfect and perfectly obnoxious Number 1 single. It worked. They released it 1988 as “Doctorin' the Tardis” by the Timelords.
Rather than doing something useful after getting home from school, I spent a bit over an hour with tech support trying to fix some nasty-looking BIOS errors on my new laptop. Now, it could have all been solved quickly if I simply said "oh, update the BIOS, got it," but no. I put myself in the hands of the bored-sounding tech support guy. Now, I'm not complaining about that, per se. He was very professional and, more importantly, did not treat me as if this was the first time I have so much as laid eyes upon this magic glowing rectangle. Anyhow, everything seems to be fixed (fingers crossed, knock on wood, &c &c) and I can get to writing with my brand new space bar.
Getting a new computer is a wonderful and exciting time in a boy's life. I have, in my short life, gone through four and am currently typing on my fifth. Thanks to a pair of books I received as a New Year's present, I knew what a daisy chain and how the first microprocessors worked by the time I was four. (Meanwhile, I'd give an arm to re-locate them, or to so much as remember what the hell they were called.) After a ten-year-long lifetime sneaking bits of screwin' around here and there, I received my first desktop - a 386/66 with a whopping eight megs of RAM and ~150 MB of hard drive space - entering 6th grade. I memorized the ins and outs of that bastard during the five or so years I had it. During my freshman year of high school, I upgraded it to Windows 95. This was back in the day that command.com came off a floppy and booting off a CD was an yet unheard-of advance in the field of computing. Why do I bring this up? Because I am now using Windows 7 and I haven't the time nor inclination to explore its dirty little insides like I did back the day of the 386. On the other hand, I don't really have to as technical issues can be solved by a simple Google search rather than hours and hours of painstaking DOS-based trial and error.
I have a feeling all of my good childhood memories revolve around technology. This scares me a little. Now here's some geeky twee goodness. Barcelona with “I Have the Password to Your Shell Account.” I originally encountered the song on the Twee As Fuck: The Joy of Kittenhood comp, which I have to say is just pure goddamn gold:
Moments into my senior year of high school, 9/11 quickly transformed cell phones from contraband into fashionable calculators, with the ubiquity to match. There was another revolution taking place, however. Portable music formats were still legion. Those of us who couldn't afford CD (and, later , MP3 CD) players still carried tapes. Flash-basedMP3 players were just coming into vogue. Quickly, the former - maxing out under a gig - would be replaced by the hard drive-based players, pioneered by the iPod. MP3 CD players vanished around the dawn on the hard drives, along with the minidisc's use as a casual music player.
Now here's a look at where all this history began, courtesy of the 1960's sitcom The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis. As an aside, Maynard G. Krebs, the cool cat with the air-bongos, was the first counterculture character (broadly stereotyped, natch) with a regular role in a television show. The actor, Bob Denver, would also go on to play Gilligan in Gilligan's Island.
Back on topic, the ill-fated minidisc had one unbeatable feature: lighting quick seek times. The times yielded at least one artifact taking advantage of the feature. Gescom, formed of artist Russel Haswell and half of Autechre (Rob Brown, specifically,) released an album entitled, appropriately enough, Minidisc. Composed of 45 quick compositions in 88 tracks, the album would be played on random/shuffle, creating new chaos each time. It wasn't spectacular in any iteration, but if I could backhandedly compliment it, the mediocrity really had nothing to do with experimental distribution. It was a genuinely interesting way to take advantage of a trivial (from the everyday point of view) feature and create a continuously unique composition. This is both representative of the music itself, and my issues with it:
My new laptop, with the functioning space bar, has arrived at the office. I'll be picking it up on Wednesday. Which means I can finally return to writing posts instead of three sentences and a music video.
The Flintstones, its well-earned merits notwithstanding, was a cartoon focusing on socialization towards suburban consumerism. While it may have been based on The Honeymooners - which focused exclusively on blue-collar urbanites - the Flinstone family always had the latest cold- and warm-blooded pieces of consumer technology available. Yes, they made for some brilliant “it's a livin'!” sight gags, but it also reinforced the necessity for having all these items in your new Levittown home. Considering this, I am still amazed that anyone is shocked when they see these commercials for the first time:
...and then there was the time the Ghostbusters went up against Cathulhu [sic] and his cultists.