Cal-Q-Lator, "Dr. Bradford (Urgent Call)" [YouTube]

The original mix of a semi-obscure techno-rave track (Germany, 1994) that combines fight-or-flight urgency with obsessively bouncy joy. Have only heard a shorter form on a compilation. Yes, it's "dated" but boundlessly amusing. You can hear the connections between techno and bluegrass (even though there is nothing remotely "country" about it) when several riffs merge over a footstomping beat: in place of saws, banjos and jugs you get cutoff knob twiddling, morse code, Farfisa squiggles, and persistent hi-hats.

A guitar sample at the midpoint initially grates but then integrates intriguingly into the other riffs.

This is a dance track meant to be beatmatched with other songs by "DJs," so it starts with some vocal samples and a gradual introduction of instruments. For the impatient, the main riff is at 2:00 and all the parts start to come together at 4:15.

Despite claims made for YouTubes as a form of "video art," it's kind of perversely satisfying, in a one hand clapping way, to listen to this track and stare at the half-moon graphic that invites you to buy this song for "15 c" on an mp3 site.

Another version: the slower, shorter forrm from the video mix tape where I first heard it.

Bonus: Laurent Garnier, Astral Dreams
Saucermen, Aquarius
Dave Clarke, Zeno Xero

norman rockwell: that looks 'shopped

Ken Johnson of the New York Times drew the short straw and had to cover the Brooklyn Museum's Norman Rockwell show. Possibly Rockwell fan Dave Hickey wasn't available to do a freelance story. In any case, the article gives us a fascinating glimpse at Rockwell's working process, as seen in the following photos. His painting style isn't nearly as inert and schmaltzy as people think, and it turns out he is a hitherto-unappreciated forerunner of the dark arts of Photoshop: