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September 28, 2008 9:13 AM   Subscribe


 
Wow, if that were released now as a political ad it would be the best post-modern campaign ad ever.
posted by furtive at 9:24 AM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


difficult and confusing educational material like this is why are children is not learning.
posted by Auden at 9:25 AM on September 28, 2008


Do you know how many time zones there are in the Soviet Union?

Correct answer: None. Because the Soviet Union doesn't exist.
posted by Avenger at 9:25 AM on September 28, 2008 [8 favorites]


Don't kid yourself.
posted by finite at 9:26 AM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


How many TIME ZONES?!
posted by ardgedee at 9:27 AM on September 28, 2008


None. Because the Soviet Union doesn't exist.

October surprise!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:28 AM on September 28, 2008 [5 favorites]


How many of them can Sarah Palin see from her tanning bed?
posted by digaman at 9:30 AM on September 28, 2008 [6 favorites]


(love Negativland)
posted by digaman at 9:30 AM on September 28, 2008


This thread is useless without pics

How many of them can Sarah Palin see from her tanning bed?

She can definitely see the 5th American one, and possibly the 6th.
posted by cillit bang at 9:34 AM on September 28, 2008


I never really studied that up.
posted by gubo at 9:36 AM on September 28, 2008


This must totally make it difficult to vote on Former Soviet Union Idol, eh?

Is there any more background on this strange piece?
posted by Mister_A at 9:38 AM on September 28, 2008


Do you know how many time zones China has? That's right--one. So, as much as I love Negativland, I'm not sure I understand the FPP purpose, other than perhaps to remind us of the Negativland awesomeness.

Cuz if there's some other point--it could be made better and probably has been.

And, any time system that denies the 4-corner cube is educated stupid.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:40 AM on September 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


> Is there any more background on this strange piece?

It's a key track from the great album Escape from Noise by Negativland. Obviously dated because of the Soviet Union and Cold War references, but decreasingly so. I imagine it was posted because it's a good video, and it has nothing to do with Sarah Palin.
posted by ardgedee at 9:44 AM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure I understand the FPP purpose, other than perhaps to remind us of the Negativland awesomeness.

Worked for me. I think I'll spend the rest of my morning browsing old Mondo articles over gopher.
posted by 7segment at 9:46 AM on September 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


Have you ever seen the back of a 20$ bill?

Have you ever seen the back of a 20$ bill on weed?
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:50 AM on September 28, 2008


Christianity is stupid. Communism is good!
posted by DenOfSizer at 9:51 AM on September 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


There are actually six time zones in the U.S. (i.e. the 50 states).
posted by gubo at 9:55 AM on September 28, 2008


Thanks ardgedee.

Also, many Christian principles are a lot like what you call communism.
posted by Mister_A at 9:55 AM on September 28, 2008


I love Escape From Noise. It's great fun.
There's info from the video artist on the You Tube page.
posted by podwarrior at 9:57 AM on September 28, 2008


Wow, if that were released now as a political ad it would be the best post-modern campaign ad ever.

There is some significant competition in that category from Mike Gravel.
posted by finite at 10:08 AM on September 28, 2008


These guys are from England, and who gives a fuck?
posted by gcbv at 10:14 AM on September 28, 2008


Very cool.
posted by MarshallPoe at 10:21 AM on September 28, 2008


Negativland are great, although Hosler did come off as insufferable when he talked at The Last Hope.

I think our internets have really raised the bar for pranksters who want to exploit the media. Journalists are still often too lazy to fact-check, but at least the folks watching might type 'David Brom' into their friendly neighborhood search engine.

On the other hand, when a prank does go through, it'll spread much quicker.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 10:25 AM on September 28, 2008


how many time zones does putin take when he rears his head?
posted by pyramid termite at 10:26 AM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


And remember: shop as usual. And avoid panic buying.
posted by jscott at 10:28 AM on September 28, 2008


It's not even funny.

Copyright infringement is your best entertainment value.
posted by SansPoint at 10:29 AM on September 28, 2008


Every time someone around me says 'eleven', I respond 'that's rediculous, it's not even funny.' It's like a compulsion.

Earns me a bunch of weird looks.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:30 AM on September 28, 2008 [4 favorites]


http://kol.coldfront.net/thekolwiki/index.php/11

Eleven. (That's ridiculous. It's not even funny.)

Kingdom of Loathing prints that message every single time 11 of -anything- happens. Eleven damage, eleven items, you name it, if there's an eleven, you get the message. I've never seen the source of it before (I knew it, it's cited in their wiki's page but I had never heard it before. Thanks for the post.)
posted by FritoKAL at 10:32 AM on September 28, 2008


Man, I need to find some Doritos.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 10:35 AM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


And I don't dream about the president any more! And most of my friends they say that they don't either!
posted by jscott at 10:41 AM on September 28, 2008


We used to play this so much in college that we could pretty much recite whole chunks of it word-for-word. That's why we need computers. Because, man, nobody is perfect.

Thanks for posting this, finite -- nice video.

Uh, one-two-three... yessir!
posted by scody at 11:07 AM on September 28, 2008


That's pretty awesome.

Apropos of nothing, I was sent this earlier today, presented as a genuine interview.
posted by maxwelton at 11:19 AM on September 28, 2008


Ohmigod, I had no idea they had a greatest hits DVD out, with new videos for their old stuff.

Now all we need is to take Negativland's stuff and run it through a Markov machine, and the earth will explode!
posted by not_on_display at 11:26 AM on September 28, 2008




In Soviet Russia, time zones you!
posted by jaronson at 12:00 PM on September 28, 2008


DEAR CASEY...
posted by chuckdarwin at 12:08 PM on September 28, 2008


Do you know how many time zones there are in the Soviet Union?

In what respect, Charlie?
posted by clearly at 12:19 PM on September 28, 2008


The DVD that not_on_display linked to also includes a bonus CD of "The 180-Gs" with catchy a cappella renditions of a bunch of classics.
If you have Adobe® Flash™ installed, you can click here to hear a few of them.
I try to avoid that site like panic buying, but it is sadly where they appear to have decided to host their music.
posted by finite at 12:25 PM on September 28, 2008


Eleven. That's a lot of time zones.

I've tried so hard to get people tounderstand that song, and even intelligent people just look at me and go *blink, blink* when I play it for them. Sigh.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:27 PM on September 28, 2008


Blast from the past for me; I ♥ Negativland
& ☠ Casey Kasem.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:31 PM on September 28, 2008


Anyone know if the clip of the original call-in is available?
posted by reishus at 12:59 PM on September 28, 2008


Your favorite band sucks your favorite your favorite your band sucks.
Your favorite band take it to MeTa, band sucks take it to MeTa, band sucks.
Take it to MeTa, your favorite band sucks. Take it to MeTa, your favorite band sucks. FTFY
Your favorite band sucks, your favorite band sucks, your favorite band sucks, FTFY FTFY Take it to MeTa.
Take it to MeTa, take it to MeTa, take it to FTFY.
Take it to MeTa, your favorite band sucks this will wendell your favorite band sucks.
This will wendell take it to MeTa, you know who else will wendell? FTFY.
Your favorite wendell will wendell, this will wendell.
Your favorite band sucks, take it to wendell.
.
Metafilter: . FTFY
posted by Riki tiki at 1:01 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


amazing. this was the first negativland track i heard, via a mixtape from a friend. crucial stuff for me, really. the video is great.

i'm surprised at how many people reflexively quote from this. I thought it was just me.
posted by dubold at 1:08 PM on September 28, 2008


song sung pepsi blue

Does anyone know where I can find the video someone made for that song the dispepsi album that has lyrics something like:

when seven up has got me down
when yoohoo won't call me back
when barq's is up a tree

I know I am misremembering these lyrics, but every stanza is a reference or pun on the name of some drink (mostly sodas), being inferior or letting the singer down somehow.
posted by idiopath at 1:10 PM on September 28, 2008


No other possibility.
posted by peewinkle at 1:15 PM on September 28, 2008


That would have been cool, but the repetition was way overdone. I got annoyed, so I skipped ahead. The point I skipped to was repeating the exact same thing, so I closed the tab.
posted by spaltavian at 1:33 PM on September 28, 2008


I've tried so hard to get people tounderstand that song, and even intelligent people just look at me and go *blink, blink* when I play it for them. Sigh.

I doubt intelligence has anything to do with it, but by all means, explain what we're missing.
posted by spaltavian at 1:35 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


To reply to my own query above, I found the video: drink it up. Indulging in brand recognition against consumerism is a bit funny to me, and the song has stuck with me since I saw the video at the Olympia Film Festival.
posted by idiopath at 1:35 PM on September 28, 2008


Kind of a weak post, but I love this track. Escape From Noise (the album from which the track comes) was my first exposure to Negativland, and still one of my favorites.
posted by greenie2600 at 1:37 PM on September 28, 2008


Askme.
posted by Zambrano at 1:48 PM on September 28, 2008


Hey Negativland fans, anybody have a clue who the female vocalist is on DisPepsi who sings Voice Inside My Head (I need a Pepsi; I need a Pepsi; I need a Pepsi right away)? She really sounds like Kevin Blechdom. That possibility makes me crazy.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:49 PM on September 28, 2008


Every time someone around me says 'eleven', I respond 'that's rediculous, it's not even funny.' It's like a compulsion.

"Eleven." I had a friend back in the day who would say this at the most random and sporadic moments, completely out of context. I did my own bit to spread the Negativland meme via the CAR BOMB sticker (free with every copy of ESCAPE FROM NOISE) affixed to the bumper of rust bucket Mazda. Fortunately I traded it (the Mazda) for a bottle of cheap red wine a couple of years before the Oklahoma bombing.
posted by philip-random at 2:41 PM on September 28, 2008


> Escape From Noise (the album from which the track comes) was my first exposure to Negativland, and still one of my favorites.

I heard it with no prologue, no introduction. I was hanging with a friend previewing a stack of albums. We dropped the needle on the first track, in which a slick, professional announcer declares that the next track was a radio-ready sure-fire hit custom-formulated for optimal audience appeal, and then he counted down to a couple minutes of thudding, pulsing beats, screaming, and explosions. And the only time we moved for the next forty five minutes was when the record had to be turned over. When we were done, we'd heard all the anxieties our twentysomething college selves carried turned back on us: Anxiety about nuclear war, kool-kid musicians acting like assholes, porn, Michael Jackson, a Christian nightmare gone wild and turned on itself, and the very noise we were getting played back to us: constantly shifting, endlessly distracting, never at rest. It portrayed an America that was going to careen out of control whether despite or because of our best idealist efforts.

Unlike the standard gothy or emo or protester's trappings that are supposed to go around topics like that, the band's as bemused as they are upset. There's neither despair nor chest-thumping declarations of survival. Problems are scored with equal parts resignation and frustration. It would have been a horrific forty minutes without any humor. It's from the points of view of average joes who want to camp in the woods, relax and drink a soda; we want our little kids to do well at the talent show. But there's damned bugs getting into the soda pop and the girl has the hiccups when she sings 'Over the Rainbow'.

We were completely in thrall to it, and every moment was unexpected. It's a beautiful example of art transcending technique, built with tape splices rather than samplers, and we've both been fans since.

It's strange what we've gotten accustomed to since we heard it in 1987, the waning days of the Ronald Reagan presidency. Radio-ready pop hits actually are demographically designed and algorithmically optimized now and, strangely, sometimes sound a little like Negativland's parody of the pop music of 1987. The Soviet Union is gone, and although nuclear war is a diminished threat the persistent, ineradicable sense of fear persists in different forms. The Christian Right still does things that makes much of America and most of the world scratch their heads. I'm not calling this album prescient, any more than 'Neuromancer' was. I'm saying that they found the essence of a time, made art of it, and the art has survived as art.
posted by ardgedee at 2:41 PM on September 28, 2008 [12 favorites]


So you're... philosophical?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:56 PM on September 28, 2008


Thanks, finite, for the good thoughts.
posted by fungible at 3:23 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


In Soviet Russia, zone times YOU!
posted by blue_beetle at 3:27 PM on September 28, 2008


My first Negativland was Big 10-8 Place, and let me tell you, that messed me up bad.

And spaltavian.... move along, nothing to see here.
posted by jscott at 4:03 PM on September 28, 2008


Way too repetitive. This is what happens when you don't listen to marketing.
posted by yath at 4:08 PM on September 28, 2008 [2 favorites]


I feel like the only one here who doesn't get it. WTF did I just watch? And does the audio sound like shit on purpose?
posted by Venadium at 4:23 PM on September 28, 2008


I saw Negativland live in 1990 or so, at Reed College Renn Fayre. I was a huge fan and it was a great show. My favourite bit was the guy playing samples with an 8-track cart player like radio stations use for filler. It's a lot easier now with digital gear. I've always wondered if the hip-hop guys learned any sampling tricks from these California nerds.
posted by Nelson at 4:42 PM on September 28, 2008


Negativland inspired me to pursue the career I am now pursuing. How's that?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:02 PM on September 28, 2008


Ambrosia Voyeur, I have to know...what career is that?

And, yeah, A Big 10-8 Place is a fantastic album, too.

Venadium: you just watched a fan-made video to a classic track by a seminal culture-jamming sound art band called Negativland.
posted by greenie2600 at 5:16 PM on September 28, 2008


These guys are from England, and who gives a fuck?

From Wikipedia: Negativland started in Concord, California, in 1979 around the core founding members of Lyons and Hosler (who were in high school at the time), and released an eponymous debut in 1980.

...and I do. They are good and bear repeating.
posted by podwarrior at 5:41 PM on September 28, 2008


From Wikipedia: Negativland started in Concord, California, in 1979 around the core founding members of Lyons and Hosler (who were in high school at the time), and released an eponymous debut in 1980.

...and I do. They are good and bear repeating.


It's a lot of wasted names that don't mean diddly shit.
posted by Snyder at 5:58 PM on September 28, 2008 [3 favorites]


We have so much power now, so how about the power to find a higher-resolution version of what looks like a beautiful video? Youtube quality sucks.
posted by exogenous at 5:58 PM on September 28, 2008


greenie2600: hopeful career? Media theory scholar, specializing in "found" strategies, studies of the archive, access, and the global progress of the language of montage. Oh could I blather on?! Like Larry Lessig, less the law, pretty much.

Also, worthwhile reason to comment? The artist's site is chock-full of awesome, you know.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:59 PM on September 28, 2008


hmm..exogenous...Nice suggestion, but have you noticed that your link features the Same Exact Video? Same compression artifacts, same resolution...Blown up slightly bigger so we can see the pixels better.
posted by gorgor_balabala at 7:13 PM on September 28, 2008


I know - I didn't mean to imply that I'd found it. The link does go to screeenshots that make it looks like there's a nice HD version somewhere. Maybe the artist doesn't want to pay hosting fees or something.
posted by exogenous at 8:20 PM on September 28, 2008


What fits into Russia.
posted by mazola at 8:35 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


And spaltavian.... move along, nothing to see here.

You can't answer the question? Am I not allowed to ask? I'm clearly not seeing what others are, I'm just asking what's up.
posted by spaltavian at 8:45 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


wikipedia: In 1999 Negativland collaborated with UK anarchist band Chumbawamba to produce the album The ABCs of Anarchism, which is largely based around the writings of Alexander Berkman and cut-up versions of Chumbawamba's hit song "Tubthumping", the theme tune to the children's program Teletubbies and the Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK".

Wow, really? Guess so!
posted by rmless at 9:36 PM on September 28, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm clearly not seeing what others are, I'm just asking what's up.

spaltavian, I dunno if this is going to sound insultingly remedial, but Negativland uses recontexualized samples of a wide array of media materials to create music that highlights the absurdism of many cultural institutions in a politically motivating fashion. I don't think the video adds much to that, but it does seem aptly done, it suits the song. Perhaps an interesting contrast would be the found footage filmmaker's foray into music videos, the inverse of this: Mongoloid by Devo/Bruce Conner?

Of course, it also seems true that people are becomign increasingly blase about art that makes meaning via twiddling with its context. I think it seems more didactic than savvy to many people now. That's postmodernism for you. Everything's recontextualized and unbounded already. I'm just riffing here.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:19 PM on September 28, 2008


This post prompted me to listen to Escape From Noise for the first time in about 15 years. Wow, what a masterpiece, seriously. I am surprised how well it holds up considering that much of what was revolutionary about it at the time is commonplace now.

Ardgedee nailed it.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:43 PM on September 28, 2008


At work we are hiring programmers who where in diapers when the USSR fell.

Who is the Negativland of the post 9/11 world?
posted by dirty lies at 2:52 AM on September 29, 2008


Who is the Negativland of the post 9/11 world?

Negativland. They've been producing record after record as they go for the last few decades. Many tackle contemporary ideas or issues or go after various things; dispepsi is considered pretty accessible, and It's All In Your Head is fairly astounding. (I saw it live earlier this year, but it's also an album.)

For that matter, the book/cd combination The Letter U and the Numeral 2 is the band, 18 years ago, struggling with the same issues of copyright, RIAA lawsuit, stacked legal decks, and fair use that so many people suddenly have an interest in. It's very relevant.
posted by jscott at 6:19 AM on September 29, 2008


All these years later I still can't hear the number 11 without immediately thinking of this cut and replaying it in my head. This bit captures the same pleasantly creepy feeling I get from numbers stations.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:46 AM on September 29, 2008


Yellow. Tiangular. THEY'RE EVERYWHERE, I TELL YOU!
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:56 AM on September 29, 2008


They've been producing record after record as they go for the last few decades.

Yeah, but the last 10 years of Negativland is mostly garbage recycled from off-the-cuff live radio shows.

The folks who most remind me of Negativland musically right now are DJ Shadow (particularly Endtroducing) and The Kleptones' Night at the Hip Hopera. They're both quite hip-hop influenced but do interesting things recontextualizing samples. Part of what I find interesting about Negativland is that they don't sound in any way like hip hop and yet hip hop uses most of the same techniques.
posted by Nelson at 11:50 AM on September 29, 2008


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