"While planning the eventual DVD release for "1991: The Year Punk Broke", Dave Markey cut a 42-minute film out of unused footage to create a companion piece that would be included on the DVD. However, due to years of seemingly unresolveable legal issues, the DVD remains shelved." Text from Sonic Youth’s site
20 Years of Sonic Youth Documentary made for (by?) zdf (a German broadcaster)
Sonic Youth - Put More Blood Into the Music (somewhat out of sync sound and vid)
“1987’s “Put More Blood Into the Music” is an impressionistic documentary directed by George Atlas about Sonic Youth and the city that bred them, New York. With Lydia Lunch, Kramer, John Zorn, Gerard Cosley and more.”
From Thurston Moore’s pre screening talk, talking about his role in “1991: The Year Punk Broke” 4/11/2011
Thurston: “I’m not very happy with the way… maybe I speak personally but I feel there’s a certain complacency going on. i know that I was experimenting this time with not wanting sing the lyrics as they were writ but I was making them each time we were going out on stage; thinking that was something to do. maybe boredom i dunno what it was at the time. When I saw the film that they did at the time I was mortified how kinda lame that sounded. And I was also really very mortified and embarrassed to see myself in this film… I sort of became the master of ceremonies to the point of where i’m just sorta mugging inanely… I thought it was horrible I didn’t want the movie to come out.”
This is an mp3 of me saying something like
“nooish tof ser schnesr swa(t) vo su irat naa sung ieelse" followed by that same recording reversed and sounds kinda like
“slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”.
Then is repeated.
First I recorded the phrase “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” then reversed and played it many times in order to copy the sound of the backwards phrase. I tried to write down the reversed speech in words to help me. Then I recorded my imitation and reversed that. (Did this with Audacity)
For some reason today I was thinking about this bit in series The X-Files (s3 ep7 - The Walk ) in which there is a message played backwards.
Rumpus: Jumping back to process for a second, do the words come after you’ve already developed vocal melodies?
Garbus: Yes. And often that means that [sings wordless melody] is how it starts. “Blah blah blah blah blah, gangsta.” It starts way more with the sounds of the words and the sounds of the vocal melody than trying to shove words or ideas into a melody.
Been watching videos certain bands/people from the earliest to the most recent that I can find on YouTube. I’ve become fascinated, not only with certain people, but also (more?) with the differences/changes/all that stuff that one can see through time. Also seeing media and stuff change over time — interviewing styles, show formats, stuff off VHS — analogue distortions an’ that; and language habits — the use of the word “like”.
This past day or so I’ve been watching Devo related things. Here are links and some quotations too, where I could be bothered —
(8 min 38)
“Interviewer What does your mother think about what you’re doing? Mark : She just wants to know if I’m eating all right
Interviewer : Are you? Mark : Well, I get fed every day. Interviewer : So she’s not worried about you? Mark : No, her brain was stolen by Christ a long time ago so she has no idea what I’m doing…”
Devo in 1981 interview with Robert Hilburn talking about the “Whip It” video —
(3 min 14)
“Hillburn : Is it almost like a silent triumph… you were trying to stir people up with this thing, the fact that it did stir them up is that… in some kind of perverse way is that almost a kind of pleasure for you?” Casale : (laughs) I suppose yes, perverse. It certainly wasn’t meant to be received in the way it has been received.”
(9 min 10) “Letterman : What do you guys hope in the future, five years from now, for yourselves? Casale : Oh you know maybe, like, make a record that sells enough that we could subject ourselves to recombinant DNA experiments or something like that.
L : Well gosh, good luck…”
“Casale : We do things to ourselves before other people can do them to us, kinda self-demeaning — it’s basically the Devo aesthetic.”
Jerry Casale’s oral history of DEVO part 1 — description sez “Unseen interview from 1995 for rock ‘n roll history television documentary” not sure how many parts there are to this doc., I’ve not watched them all yet. On becoming politicised, doing performance art, forming Devo. Part 2 — on not being punk, making the videos, “being smart and appearing stupid”
Mark Mothersbaugh in 2005 on getting spectacles and being able to see clearly for the first time, becoming a visual artist, meeting Jerry Casale, starting Devo. Mentions the student shootings in 1970 that Casale talks about (in the oral history link above).
(1 min 58) ”Mark : He had a very fatherly approach to the whole thing, he could have been a jerk and he wasn’t. He was very empathetic to five crazy guys from Akron Ohio that really… Bob Casale: Had their minds set on something. Mark : Yeah, and he kind of gave us the ability to do it. He empowered us by taking us to Germany and putting us up in a studio when we didn’t have a record deal. Interviewer : So are you gonna work with him on the new album? Bob C : He hasn’t called Mark : You know, he’s a funny guy. I had a conversation with David Byrne about him. David said, ‘you know, I worked with him (Brian) a number of times, but I gotta tell you, if he doesn’t have a specific need to talk to you he hides from you and he doesn’t take my calls, he won’t talk to me.’ So I didn’t feel so bad then.”
(0 min 40) “Mark: I don’t know if you know, I have a band and we put an album out last year, so I’ve been touring some and finding out how shocking it is to go out on stage for like 3 or 4 weeks in a row every night compared to when you’re 20; it’s different when you’re 20. Honestly, it kinda sucks. I like the part where you’re on stage, but the rest of the day is such a waste cos you’re being corralled into airplanes and then into cars and then backstage and then you’re waiting to do a show. And then you do a show for 90 mins and the rest of your day is a waste…”
(2 min 40) “Mark : It’s kinda weird to find yourself to be an elder statesman in pop music…”
I watched more stuff than this. And there’s even more that I could have watched, but by then I had a headache.
Austin from Swim Deep talks about the Birmingham scene. Mentions Peace, Troumaca, and the National Sea Life Centre (not a band).
Austin : “I think there was just like a whole generation of us just going out and getting wasted, but just like “this is boring, let’s do something else”. And cuz there’s so many of us all together doing it then I think obviously there’s a scene that’s collected; and it is a genuine scene because we are all buddies. It’s pretty cool…”
Sez they’re on tour with Pond; talks about writing a song about Jenny Lee Lindberg from Warpaint.
Podcast with that interview and session tracks is available to download for a month (I think) on this page, tho probably not till later today (it’s 02:10 as I write this.) And show on iPlayer for a week.
As a disclaimer, I don’t know much about these bands at all, and I’m not really following their exploits. I wonder why I post about this.
“We’ll write a bit of music and sing over the top. Then we’ll tidy up the music and write some new vocals. Then we’ll write a new piece of music and sing the new vocals over the top. And then when it’s about to be released we won’t like it anymore, and record a different song with the same name so we dont have to change the artwork.”—Helen Love from An Interview with Helen Love
I don’t know what to blog about these days, things don’t seem worth writing about, or I want to write about something that it doesn’t seem possible to write about.
For example, recently I’ve begun to get around this mental(?) block I had where I knew what notes to play on guitar or keyboard but always messed them up. I knew I could play the thing (whatever it was I was trying to play) cuz when my mind began to wander sometimes my hands would just move to the place they were supposed to be, a bit like typing a password. I’ve drifted from my point — I’ve begun to be able to not completely mess up everything I play and I wanted to write about that, then realised I have no idea how to do that.
Also I don’t want to build a little nest for myself and feel trapped by it, or have to leave a string of abandoned homes in the wake. It’s enough to have one physical home without having to represent yourself on the web, mebbe it would be easier if I was making very imaginary things/ places.
I bought some new musical stuff recently, was going to post about that (guitar, soundcard, microphone) and have been watching stuffs on YouTube that I could have blogged about (e.g. A few weeks ago I was listening to Serbian, Croatian and Yugoslavian bands on theYouTube, I found many that I liked). Then I felt like — Every way that I can imagine writing about these wonderful discoveries sounds so boring I’m not going to. Cos the excitement is in the doing but writing about it — bleh.
I might try posting again, some things that I don’t think are worth posting and see how ridiculous I feel.
A few years ago I thought, for a change, I’d venture into the world outside and get involved in stuff that was happening, meet people and do stuff; blog, make things. I thought I enjoyed some of the things I was doing, but now I have no idea what I enjoyed/whether I enjoyed anything/what enjoyment is. I’ve tried to re-evaluate everything that is evaluateable but I’m no clearer about anything.
I don’t know what to do with my time/self, I’m back to the idea that even were I healthier, any sort of life I’d want to live is impossible, things that I’d stumbled upon that seemed promising now seem so small and pale and thin; a trick masquerading as a treat; waking hours feel like they’re spent killing time until I go to sleep. What am I going to blog from here?
I’ve been in hiding/extended hibernation for a few months, I haven’t been anywhere, haven’t spoken to anyone (besides my mother and the occasional apartment maintenance person). I haven’t had the energy to do much, besides making/listening to music/watching web stuff. I’ve been more consistently unwell lately that I’ve been for a couple of years. The thought of having to meet anyone or go anywhere makes me anxious, the idea of blogging or tweeting or sending an email makes me nervous, all this is familiar territory.
I spose I haven’t posted about this cos 1) in hiding, 2) it seems somewhat melodramatic and goes no where — all of this is a dead end.
Anyway, that’s the “Why I haven’t been posting lately” post.
Yes, another song. I began this a few weeks ago and thought add more bits to it, but I don’t think more bits were required.
I had been messing with this 8/16 bit tracker thing Milkytracker in an attempt to make some kinda tune, but I find it challenging to make anything decent with it so, I didn’t/haven’t yet. The song has a video game feel to it. Somewhat.
I see this post isn’t going anywhere, so I’ll stop now.
Another song. I am still learning the ways of Logic Pro 7 and other music related stuff.
Of those that I’ve made, this song is one of my favourites so far. I haven’t made anything that is kinda danc-y before, I don’t think.
The title “X It Down” is cos most of the song I was singing … it down; I can’t really remember what (“Burn it down, tear it down, let me down, hand me down” that kind of thing), I was making it up as I went along. And also in the chorus the words alternated between things like
“Don’t sit how you would”, “dancing hollywood” etc.
but I think the second line is definitely
“You’re going on, you’ve got a goat on”, tho it sounds at time like “you’ve got it going on”.
I suppose the reason I’m going on about the words is that I feel somewhat as though I’m not doing things in a legitimate fashion, just making things up. I have tried coming up with lyrics pre song and hasn’t worked so far.
As an aside, it”s the first time ever really noticed the effects of mp3 compression.
This week I have been noodling with Logic Pro 7 again, and made another song while trying to figure out how the software functions, and trying to use it with some competence. I’m not sure how I’m doing. Vacillating between “Ooh I’m getting the hang of this” and “Can you imagine what a producer would think — the horror”.
And as often, there aren’t any words in the song, though in singing sounds over and again words begin to emerge, “November Dancehall” (the song’s name) is a phrase that could be in the lyrics, were there any.
It’s guitarless, cos I can’t be arsed to play guitars, too much effort. I use the computer keyboard MIDI input thing to “play” notes, either that or I add/move notes using the mouse. I have a MIDI keyboard, but I can’t be arsed to use that, are you sensing the emerging theme?
The image below is of this Caps Lock activated, onscreen MIDI controller thing. You can also see that the working title of my song was “Ner ner ner” — I’m not good with naming things.
A song I made up today, voice and synths, no guitars this time. It even has (very limited) percussion sounds.
Here is an image I made for it, that has nothing to do with the song, (besides the fact that I made the image for the song) But anyways.
I was trying to rearrange another song when I came up with this one. The vocals are awkward, I’ve got kindof a sore throat. The song ends just as you think it’s getting going, but that’s cos I got tired and I wanted to finish it and get it over with.
Sometimes it’s nice to put a song away to incubate, but this time I wanted just to make a thing, even a “not great but an improvement on whatcha could have done a few months ago” thing, and be done with it, “Goodbye”.
“… if you put it in digital form, expect it to be bootlegged, remixed, manipulated, and endlessly commented upon. Expect spiders to pick it up and use it as ad-bait on spoof web pages. The moment you put it out there, all bets are off; it’s way out of your control.”—Kenneth Goldsmith via AUSTIN KLEON : TUMBLR
I tried to keep a note of every song that “played” in my mind throughout one day (while awake). I only noted songs that hung around for more than two minutes or so. I might have missed some as I don’t always notice them. Some songs recurred, but I only noted each song once.
__ Saturday 00:00
Pop Muzik — M
City Of Angels — The Distillers
Beat Your Heart Out — The Distillers
Trash — The Whip
My Puppet Pal —Tiger
A Fond Farewell — Elliot Smith
Laura — Scissor Sisters
Time Tunnel Cellar — Tiger
Calcutta — The Names
Tick Tick Boom —The Hives
Hollaback Girl — Gwen Stefani
Milkshake — Kelis
Would I Lie To You — Charles And Eddie
Drain The Blood — The Distillers
Metal Guru — T-Rex
Isobel — Bjork
Close Your Eyes (‘Xxx’ Mix)— Acen
Beverly Hills — Weezer
__ 10:00, I went to sleep
__ 14:00, I woke up
Little Boys Blue — Kinky Machine
Call Me Names — Echobelly
Gooseberry Fool — Kinky Machine
B Is For Brutus — The Hives
Antidote — The Hives
The Bends — Radiohead
Myxomatosis — Radiohead
__ 18:00 Fell asleep again and didn’t wake up till about 03:00 the next day (i.e. Sunday).
Just re-read the above. It sounds terse. Am I usually terse? I don’t know.
“The end product of photosynthesis is sugar. It sounds almost boring, but the perspective is mind boggling once you grasp the concept: in this instance you must not consider sugar to be merely granulated sugar. On the molecular level, sugar equates with energy, sunshine in disguise.”—Claus Meyer : Nordic Terroir
And after discovering music which was not only the stuff on Top of The Pops, the temptation was to become a music snob, as a defence mechanism, and sneer at “the mass” and set yourself up as the member of some kind of cognoscenti. But I couldn’t manage that cos lots of stuff I liked was very popular, but mainly cos I couldn’t take pleasure in sneering at the music that other people genuinely enjoyed.
The music newspapers (and magazines) used to upset me (cos they were full of sneer) but I still bought them and cut stuff out which I stuck on my wall. Below is a picture of my bedroom circa 1993 (edit: I think it’s 1994). Posters/cut out things include Nirvana, Oasis, Suede, Manics, Tricky, Morrisey, Echobelly, PJ Harvey, Weezer, Smashing Pumpkins and others (there’s a picture of that Paul Whitehouse character that sez everything’s “brilliant”).
The reason I go on about popularity of music is cos it was only the Blurs and the Pulps that I could mention to my friends, otherwise they were like “who?”, which simultaneously pleased and disappointed me.
When I was little I had this naive idea that the reason anyone was writing in a national newspaper, or had a book a in good bookshops everywhere, or had CDs in high street record shops was cos they deserved to be there, they were not only good but they were the best. This made the fact that I didn’t like the most of this stuff even more upsetting. The implication of their ubiquity was that everyone likes this stuff, why don’t you, what’s wrong with you?
The attention, or the implied attention, of all those people (the public) made mass media entities seem like unassailable authorities to me. It took the internet to help me realise that newspapers, book publishers, record labels, movie studios, music journalists were not what I’d thought; were not the arbiters of good judgement/taste, the people who held culture in their grasp, without whom we’d live in a wasteland. Creativity and skill weren’t as scarce as I’d come to believe.
Tho, I still have a problem even knowing when I like something. I was brought up to ignore my own liking or disliking or indifference (that sounds a bit like a joke, but isn’t).
This past year I have been mostly —
Dismissing myself, especially my former self. Trivialising what I loved and what mattered to me. Cuz now you’ve “grown up” and you get praise for “growing up”, doing adult things, pretending you endorse values that are “good and proper and necessary” but make you sick, cuz, y’know you’re supposed to “put away childish things”.
And the impetus for any “grown up” behaviour is actually my desperation to get acknowledgement/praise from others and to fit in (which don’t seem like very grown up motives). And also the fatigue from justifying my behaviour to myself (or others) cuz the world indicates that this behaviour x is not normal/healthy/correct/worthwhile.
With a fear that this is the way you have to live — directing yourself by precepts that you despise — if you want to live in some kinda physical comfort. Although I’m telling myself that this isn’t true and hating myself for cowardice.
I’ve lived so long thinking that the best I could ever hope for was a pat on the head — good dog.
I’ve been suppressing this realisation — the emptiness of praise/acknowledgement and the worthlessness of pursing it. Suppressing it cuz I know that this is my automatic method of conducting myself and I don’t know how else to behave.
A cover, a whole song this time. Recorded with a microphone “live” as it were ( I mean not multitracked asynchronously). I’m singing and playing bass — at the same time. I’ve been trying to get the hang of it.
The song is “Eisley Vs The Mountain” by Mos Eisley, (to which I can’t find a link so’s you can hear the original.) I could upload it but I shan’t; being cautious.
It’s been normalised and I snipped a few seconds off the start (from before playing began); apart from that I’ve not altered it. Not all the words are correct. I doubt I’ll get the “quality”* of the bass playing will match the singing anytime soon/ever.
*I put the word quality in inverted commas cos I’m kinda one of those “everything’s subjective/relative/specific” types, them wot most people seem to loathe.
I’m not sure how much of the past 2 1/2 years have been a bad idea. A lot. Lots of picking up of habits that seemed like “improvements” but were only partially so. Were I well enough I’d be looking for a new city in which to live. Or country.
Tired of trying to reconfigure the pieces, now I’m like, fuck the pieces; I want to throw everything away. (I have discovered much amazing musics in the past 2 and a half years, so was not all rubbish.)
'Scuse any LOLcattery in my writing. All the seriousness of previous posts is boring me now. I'm doing non sequiturs, keeping on track is rarely satisfying and sometimes feels contrived, but not anything else (e.g. contrived but clever).
I tried to make a song about something cute, I don’t usually write songs *about* things. This is supposed to be about the idea of a sleepy cat. I had a vague tune some weeks ago.
I gave up halfway, cuz I assembled this “song” with Logic 7, struggled. Didn’t play the bass well and now can’t re-record it cos my guitar to line-in thing not work now (time for a soundcard I think). Had enuff. But I still like what is there. Kinda.
and (metaphorically speaking) a manifesto to re-write
There are tenets/presumptions, that like memes I’ve willingly allowed myself to be infected by. Despite several “god, what the fuck am I doing?” moments of supposed realisation there’s still a sense that things are horribly wrong.
I have much reassessing to do, and (metaphorically speaking) a manifesto to re-write.
I’ve just noticed the similarity between this here blog’s design and the current state of Duck Down’s tumblr theme. My links used to be pink (which is now the hover colour). I changed the colour to some kind of red orange (#fc4056) a few weeks (or was it months?) ago.
How did this vaguely similar likeness escape my notice? So inattentive of me. I do tend to pick up patterns of behaviour/thinking/speech etc. from other people. But read into it what you may; it’s probably all/somewhat/partially/perhaps/not in any way true.
I spent most of yesterday playing my guitar and bass, in the making up of songs (I’m not very good at playing guitars, but I enjoy it). I have at last acquired an adapter thing, so I can plug the guitar into the line-in audio thing on my Mac.
I spent far too many hours doing this playing of the guitar; now am tired. Hours after I put the guitars down, I’m still thinking of songs, and trying to move bits around, add bits, change this or that section etc. I can’t relax or rest.
I have a habit of turing a very fun thing into a horrible chore and pain. There’s this compulsion to continue, that something awful will happen if I stop. This usually leads to me becoming ill. I can’t say “OK enough, finished for now”. Running away from a thing only to find you’ve run headlong into it. Cos it’s not out there at all, really, so attempting to flee is kinda silly.
“All books, all documentaries I find anyway, are like the world’s most complicated jigsaw puzzles, and when you’re in the middle of it you want to throw it all up in the air and give up, but you can’t give up, you have to keep going…. I always feel this way… when you’re in the middle of the complexity you just want to fucking kill yourself… If you didn’t go through this what you would be writing would be too shallow to be worth writing.”—
Being around people who have a tale about themselves, have roles in the world, I realise I don’t have a role, can’t tell you a tale. Without one I am currencyless. Can’t indicate that I would be of value to anyone. “What do you do?” — Many things, mediocrely.
I don’t know whether I’m fed up not having a decent tale, or fed up with this desperate search for one. Or both.