Archive for February, 2009


Robert Smith “Violently Disagrees” with Basic Economics

February 28, 2009


Robert Smith took a brief hiatus from his normal day of aging badly, threating to break up the band and shopping for eyeliner to blast Radiohead’s pay-what-you-want experiment for “In Rainbows.” It’s not really too surprising to hear legacy acts complaining about the internet and people in general, but Smith’s comments stand out for contradicting one of the most basic economic truths (emphasis mine):

“You can’t allow other people to put a price on what you do, otherwise you don’t consider what you do to have any value at all and that’s nonsense.

“If I put a value on my music and no one’s prepared to pay that, then more fool me, but the idea that the value is created by the consumer is an idiot plan, it can’t work.”

That is the only way that value is created. By the consumers. (Note: value can be skewed by protectionism, subsidies, price fixing, etc.)

He also seems to have forgotten his previous tiff with iTunes, in which he complained that the prices were too high.

I guess any press is good press when your band peaked 20 years ago.



The People v. the State of California

February 22, 2009


As far as rock cliches go, hatin’ on California is right up there with “the fame and money makes me suicidal” and “this whole touring thing has really got me down.” A million bands have penned a million contemptuous tunes about the skin deep constituents and the million layers of fakery (exceptions: the Beach Boys, Tupac, Frank Black).

This one is no different, except that it is undeniably awesome.

On his latest Magnetic Fields’ album, Stephen Merritt whips up a Phil Spector-ish wall-of-fuzz and tops if off (and I’d have to check with RF on this) with some echoing kick-drum reverb just prior to the title. The final note of perfection is the female singer (Shirley Simms). If a man sung this, it would be hypocritical at least and sexist at best, considering most men will drop the hating pretense if the right sexual offer presents itself. But when a woman sings it, you know she means it.

See them on their big, bright screen,
tan and blonde and seventeen.
Eating nonfood keeps them mean,
but they’re young forever.

If they must grow up, they marry dukes and earls.
I hate California girls.

They ain’t broke, so they put on airs,
the faux folk sans derrieres.
They breathe coke and they have affairs
with each passing rock star.
They come on like squares, then get off like squirrels.
I hate California girls.

Looking down their perfect noses at me and my kind,
do they think we won’t–well, nevermind.
Laughing through their perfect teeth at everyone I know,
do they think we won’t get up and go?

I have planned my grand attacks.
I will stand behind their backs
with my brand-new battle ax.
Then they will taste my wrath.
They will hear me say, as the pavement whirls,
“I hate California girls…”

Magnetic Fields – California Girls.mp3

All mp3s are only temporarily available. If you like what you hear, please support the artists. If you wish to have a track removed, please contact me at



One for the Shepherd

February 21, 2009
Enjoys newly discovered synth, bullet wounds

Latest discoveries: synths, bullet holes

Four pack of remixes for the Scottish, haiku-inspiring Franz Ferdinand. I would recommend the Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve remix (BTWS is an Erol Alkan sideproject).



A Moneyball-esque Look at a Great NBA Player

February 17, 2009

It’s not often you find a player profile that doesn’t include weapons charges, paternity suits or forthcoming rap album news. Michael Lewis profiles Shane Battier, an anomaly in the least team-oriented of team sports. His true talent never shows up in the box score. He simply makes his team better and, more importantly, makes the opposing team worse.



Obama Acts to Ensure Status Remain “More Quo than Ever”

February 15, 2009


Of the hundreds of short-sighted and regressive attachments to the trillion dollar burning bag of shit that has been left at the taxpayers’ doorsteps, perhaps nothing is more profoundly stupid than the “Buy American” requirements attached to the infrastructure projects.

Obama says the stimulus package, supported by unions, could create more than three million jobs.

One can only imagine the drunken cheering in VFW and UAW halls across America as this parasitic attachment began sucking the life out of an already badly damaged recovery plan. As these dinosaurs proudly exclaim, “Fuck them right in the wallet!,” our foreign competitors are continuing to outpace and outperform American manufacturing despite a plethora of regulatory hurtles and punitive tariffs.

“Since 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States, American workers would be the first to suffer as ‘Buy American’ provisions trigger retaliation by other countries — that is, ‘Buy German,’ ‘Buy Chinese,’ and so on,” said Chris Braddock of the US Chamber of Commerce.

“We certainly aren’t against companies and governments ‘Buying American,’ but we are against the government arbitrarily mandating such a requirement, because it would harm our economy in numerous ways,” Braddock said, citing the trade wars that eventually sparked the Great Depression.

Oh, snap! The Great Depression. We don’t want that again, do we? Unless it could be used for political advantage and the government-led “mobbing up” of failing businesses.

And Obama’s not done yet:

The next day, the Obama administration branded China a currency manipulator, setting the stage for a trade war with the Asian giant which has overtaken Japan as America’s biggest foreign creditor.

China is already one of our biggest creditors. I’m sure it makes sense to piss off our largest debt holder with protectionist policies. Not to mention the damage done to our American exporters, who may find themselves without a market as their former customers decide to buy locally.

The most unsettling aspect of all this?

This was signed off on by our first multicultural president. The man who was supposed to bringing positive change and sending notice to the world that this wasn’t the same old USofA.

It really does nobody any good to be the first black president and a young go-getter if some of your first acts are to protect the interests of corrupt and outdated unions, whose only motivation is a steady stream of union dues.

Obviously, a platform relying on the unquantifiable term “change” allows you to keep your promises even if nothing is different than the nameplate on the Oval Office.


Show Trials, Rwandan Orphans and Buggery

February 14, 2009

Clicked over to this post whilst browing the always informative Adam Smith Institute blog. The British government has forced the CEO’s of their two largest bank failures to apologize on a nationwide broadcast. Comparisons to other show trials abound, but Mr. Eugenides questions the lack of apology from the government reps who profited from association with these same banks:

More to the point, as LR rightly points out, their much-trumpeted apologies have not been matched by any parallel contrition from our political leaders, not least Gordon Brown, and his creature Darling, who continue to act as if they had spent the last twelve years running an orphanage in a remote Rwandan village before answering a desperate nation’s cries for help, rather than, in reality, having been fucking us all up the ass on an almost daily basis while the flood waters were lapping up round our ankles.

There’s great stuff all the way thru it. And due to his amazing way with words I am now feeling much less satisfied with pretty much everything I’ve written up to this point in my life.



Without Hyperbole…

February 13, 2009

I can safely say that this is the greatest DJ set ever recorded in the history of recorded DJ sets. That includes you, DJ Jazzy Jeff. Your jazz is weak, my friend.

2_many_djs-as_heard2ManyDJs (aka Soulwax) guested for Rob Da Bank on BBC Radio One and crammed a mashup of 420 (four hunnert and muthafuckin twenny) intros into 60 surprisingly funky minutes. Link to the download and tracklist after the jump…


Read the rest of this entry ?


Art of the Remix v2

February 13, 2009

Today’s case study: the Rapture.

The Rapture is one of New York’s finest dance punk bands. Their music tends to be more weighted towards the dance end of the spectrum and their punk is of the decidedly post- variety. Post-post-punk to be exact (thanks for clearing that up, allmusic). They look like this:


and are most definitely not to be confused with the Rapture, which (although spelled the same) apparently looks like this:


The Rapture (Christian version) is some sort of a mass soul harvest, wherein God declares all bets off and retrieves those headed to heaven without much concern as to whether this “is a good time for them.” Presumably, the summoning will instantly convert believers into Polyphonic Spree members and all cash into St. Peter’s Pearly Gates Amusement Park and House of Worship Fun Bux.

Those left behind will be forced to deal with a catastrophe on par with what the Y2K bug was supposed to do, if only the tinfoil hat brigade has been right. They will also have to deal with the huge discrepancy between the number of people who thought they were going to heaven and the number that actually went.

SCENE: Family driving to church…or synagogue

MAN: Anyway, the homeowners association isn’t going to be able to legally make me take down the “Jesus Hates Fags” sign in our front yard. Not only is it a moral statement, but it’s also protected by their precious “First Amendment rights.”
WIFE: I think you’re confusing morals with bigotry… *yoink*
CHILD1: Mom?  *yoink*
(Dodges suddenly driverless vehicles and crashing plane.)
MAN: This is bullshit.
CHILD2: Fuck this, I’m going Wiccan. Oh. And I’m gay, Dad.
MAN: Jesus…
(Car demolished by suddenly driverless semi.)

On to the remixes:

the Rapture – Get Myself Into It (SebastiAn Mix)
Banging, charging remix by one of a new wave of French DJs/producers that retains some of the original funk and definitely all of the handclaps.

the Rapture – W.A.Y.U.H. (Claude VonStroke Drops Your Panties Mix)
More of a techy, somewhat house-like feel to this one. Nice work on the vocal samples and the bass progressions are hella catchy.


the Rapture – Out of the Races and Onto the Track
Early single by the punk funkers, featuring some galloping percussion and a fair bit of yelling. Used to magnificent effect in the “Pre-Saturday Night Party Party” scene during the opening minutes of “Rules of Attraction.”

All mp3s are only temporarily available. If you like what you hear, please support the artists. If you wish to have a track removed, please contact me at



Click Fraud: an Insider’s View

February 13, 2009



Profiles in Randomness

February 13, 2009


Who: The Foreigner, one of the “heels” of the Robot Fighting League (featured in the Futurama episode Raging Bender).
Contemporaries: the Clearcutter, Billionaire Bot, the Chain Smoker, Sgt. Feces Processor and the Gender Bender.