Archive for February, 2010
...as in, it's worse than AOL.
Had heard about "the poke" but couldn't believe it. (Obviously we aren't Facebook users here.)
A tune of mine ("Yog 2012") is used in a YouTube-documented sculpture work by Aron Namenwirth, titled I Can Hear You. An abandoned speaker is filled with soil, which is used to grow an oak tree seedling. The music emanates from the "tweeter" while the tree occupies the slot for the former "woofer."
Namenwirth is using cast-off furniture and other artifacts as soil cases for growing trees--in this case with a literal audio component. Back in the '70s there was much discussion and media buzz about talking to plants and playing music for them. That's somewhere in the cultural background of this electro-eco-botanical artwork. I like the lumpenfuturistic element--it works as an abject counterpoint to all the buff new media pieces that try to incorporate growing things, while still being straightforward in its urban environmentalism (Namenwirth plans to eventually plant the trees and let the casings rot in the ground).
"Fusion Disassembly" [3.9 MB .mp3]
Tunes were added to "Audrey (Royal Beats 2)." Much time spent EQing and compressing and rearranging to get this--it's about 10 tracks total, including three drum tracks, three basses, and two e-pianos.
Had in mind a kind of deliberately robotic, or MIDI-oid, fusion jazz, a collection of parts that come together as counterpoint elements as the song progresses. (But still feels "perky" and moves along, and with a fuller sound than old school "homepage MIDI.") So the tunes are kind of placeholders, that I start liking more towards the end of the song. (And it's only two minutes.) No idea if any of this communicates in the finished piece, or why anyone would especially want to do this.
Newspapers are more and more becoming simple distributors of corporate press releases. For example, this New York Times story by John Markoff about a new, malicious botnet that is sweeping through many companies' computers. Alarm bells should always ring when reading stories about cyber-attacks, since they are so often sourced to "security consultants" who can help you solve the problem (for a fee).
The Markoff story originates with one such consulting service, which "discovered" the botnet and wants us to know they are on top of the situation. While the article may have a grain of truth and will be "prescient" if said viral cootie becomes a larger threat and eventual household word, how credible is it that no other cyber "experts" besides this one company are quoted?
Markoff makes it look to the hurried morning skimmer that he's sourced the story more widely by obtaining quotes from two people, in addition to what he recycled from the press release. But they both work for the company that "discovered" the botnet! The last sentence admits the Wall Street Journal got the jump on the Times, by previously running a story on the alleged botnet prior to the security consultant's press release. (Which means the consultant gave the Journal an "exclusive.")
The Journal story is here, and not much more credible. The companies supposedly compromised by the botnet are barely talking. A consultant asked to give a second opinion doesn't actually speak to the first consultant's data but makes a vague statement like "these darn worms can really be a problem." It's clear that both the Times and Journal took this story seriously because the CEO of the consultant who made the announcement used to work for a major government agency (hint--the one that brought us color coded terror alerts).
From wikipedia: "he is on a search for a wind that is sweeping across his land and destroying any plant [life]... He can reshape his entire body into several forms for some of his attacks using a plant theme, and plant smaller, child like versions of himself. He is one of the few characters in the game also to feature a healing assist." (emphasis added)
Continuing to be impressed by Scorsese's The Aviator (2004). It might be his best film (certainly not the one he won the sympathy Oscar for a few years later). Taxi Driver is more Paul Schrader's vehicle and Raging Bull is too damn arty (and grim).
The teevee has a truncated, censored version of The Aviator--even that's pretty good.
And YouTube has many of the strange bits where Hughes' obsessive-compulsive disorder gets the better of him in public situations (e.g., "show me all the blueprints"), well acted by Leonardo di Caprio.
Ted Goranson has a good review of the movie, including this part:
Howard Hughes: The movie gave the impression that Howard simply inherited his money. No so. He was a brilliant engineer who famously codesigned systems and the engineering organizations to support them. While most of us were barfing at frat parties, he designed a drill bit (often credited to his father) that is still the standard in the industry, together with a set of screw connections that has since become the international standard. That's where the money came from. And though he went loopy toward the end, he ensured that 100% of his wealth (yes, all assets were sold) went to endow the world's largest private research institute.
This was a passionate engineer in a world of monopolistic thugs (Gates take notice), truly what we like to think the "free market" is all about. The movie also ignores a key movie connection: He always intended the "Spruce Goose" to be made of wood, and because all US manufacturing assets were committed, he designed a production system that allowed small businesses, even backyard groups, to make pieces that would be floated down rivers and successively be glued into larger parts. This (what he called the "packet production system") was the first serious research into what we today call "virtual enterprises."
When the war ended, he sent his virtual enterprise experts into his film business where they used the system (freely giving away details) to destroy the vertically integrated studio system. Nearly all movies today use his virtual enterprise approach and the Weinsteins (producers of this very film) are the current masters of the system.
I can't find any support for the statement that Hughes Junior designed the drill bit--need to investigate that further. The Aviator airbrushes quite a bit of Hughes' bio, such as his support for the Hollywood blacklist and his rather, er, omnivorous sexuality. It may be I watch the movie through the lens of what I know about Hughes from James Ellroy and Sam Shephard (Shephard's mostly forgotten play Seduced featured Rip Torn as the aged reclusive Hughes in a great off-Broadway performance). In other words, if you already know Hughes as a malevolent arachnid moving from one penthouse nest to another, the movie shows you the young manhood and the aviation chutzpah that were part of the same equation adding up to this Inspiring and Scary American Figure.
"Tea partiers" come from the omnipresent group of homegrown racists that always resents redistribution of tax income to help the poor. But who don't begrudge the money to blow up non-whites in parts of the world they will never visit. There wouldn't be any "tea parties" if the US had a caucasian president--the current activism of these whiners is exacerbated by their fear of a "minority takeover."
The US media supports this ostensible movement to (a) sell papers, and (b) create an appearance of "balance" even though progressives have yet to enact any legislation that couldn't have been passed in the Bush era.
The reason we read blogs and stopped taking the corporate media seriously is they keep spinning fiction to sell papers. From Alternet:
Four years ago, when millions of Americans took to the streets to support the human and civil rights of immigrants and, by association in the public mind, Latinos, the news media scarcely covered the marches -- even though they drew larger crowds than any other marches in the history of the nation, including the oft-dramatized culture-changing protests over the Vietnam War.
Fast-forward four years, to the Tea Party Convention, which boasted all of 600 registrants and [Sarah Palin] and the contrast in news coverage is astonishing. The news media, including progressive talk radio and blogs, have been crowing about the big Tea Party "movement" for days now. USA Today has taken a poll about a Tea Party candidate’s viability in presidential elections.
In short, what we are seeing is a mind-boggling double standard, and a wholehearted swallowing of right-wing propaganda as fact, in an American news media whose mathematics deem one Tea Party member to be greater than 4,000 human rights marchers.
This seems completely self-evident, but there's the New York Times this morning with a photo of teabaggers on its web site front page. The same paper that "reported" on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction but managed to underplay the size of the antiwar rallies in the streets of its own city.
"E.B.E. is Lucas Rodenbush, from California (and originally Carrollton, Texas, I seem to recall reading in a bio somewhere). His tech-house tracks from various EPs from 1999 to the present feature very subtle minimal melodies and a lot of attention to the craft of the sound. Lush, trippy pads; abstract tones as hooks; solid danceable beats. He is like a god to me." - Tom Moody, Deep Grooves magazine
Tony Williams Lifetime, "Something Spiritual"
"...a track from Lifetime's first LP, Emergency! It's Tony, John McLaughlin, and Larry Young with one of the all time great seven note riffs. From the 'jazz fission' era, as Kodwo Eshun calls it, before what became Fusion gelled and grew codified. I would compare it to Soft Machine One (with a guitar and no singer) and the earliest Krautrock." - Tom Moody, Deep Grooves of the '60s magazine
Tony Williams Lifetime, Ego LP
"The personnel are: Ron Carter, bass and cello; Khalid Yasin (Larry Young), organ; Ted Dunbar, guitar; Don Alias and Warren Smith, percussion; Tony Williams, drums, singing, all songwriting.
"This is a very strange album I got in a cutout bin for a dollar. I was amazed to see it was a Verve/Polydor 'listener request' reissue. All these years and I thought only I liked it. Tracks 1-5 I call the 'guitar side' and tracks 6-9 the 'organ side,' with incredibly eeriely beautiful Hammond B3 work by Young. Williams' singing is an acquired taste but kind of adds to the weirdness, and the lyrics are great. This is one of my favorite records. 'Clap City' is filler and not representative of the depth of this release. I would start with Lonesome Wells, Mom and Dad, or The Urchins of Shermese.
"There was briefly a YouTube up of this combo live in Canada. Very murky but exciting to see the setup and players. It was pulled fairly quickly. Something tells me ol' Ton watches his copyright crap carefully. [Williams died several years before YouTube -ed.]" - Tom Moody, Deep Grooves of the '70s magazine