Depending on one's point of view, Orgasm (later reissued as Cave Rock) is either a ridiculously self-indulgent artifact of the '60s counterculture or an underground gem that was way ahead of its time -- and it's probably a little bit of both. The basic idea behind Cromagnon, an obscure East Coast group led by vocalists Austin Grasmere and Brian Elliot, was psychedelic rock combined with the sticks and stones of prehistoric cavemen, as well as with traces of folk-rock; it's a bizarre concept, certainly, but at times, it works. You can hear the whole crazy album on YouTube, or stick with the most song-like track (featuring bagpipes, tribal beats and some sort of scream-singing), Caledonia, seen here with an unofficial video. [more inside]
With the passing of Casey Kasem, noise artists Negativland have released the the original un-mixed studio multi-track tape "stems" for their 1991 single "U2" and are welcoming remixes on their facebook page. Previously.
Casey Kasem, the resonant voice of Top 40 radio and a vocal fixture on cartoon programs for the past 40 years, has died, according to his daughter. He was 82. [more inside]
Composer/ musician/ artist John Oswald coined the term Plunderphonics in the essay "Plunderphonics, or Audio Piracy as a Compositional Prerogative," (previously) which discussed the efforts to create something new by sampling and distorting audio. Even though Oswald coined the term in '85, he has been working in the style since the late 1960s, and many people have joined in. [more inside]
'It's probably easy today to dismiss Negativland's activities as trifle, banal or plain stupid. They probably wouldn't be too uncomfortable with that, as they rarely claimed to go beyond the softest platitudes of the entertainment biz. No Other Possibility (1989, 58 mins, .avi d/l link), their first video work, showcases the band at a career threshold, before their U2ploitation move and just after their Christianity hoax. It typically explores the debris of American pop culture, dealing with automobile fetishism, televised preaching, halloween traditions, Marlboro masculinity, soft drinks and MTV.' [more inside]
Do you know how many time zones there are in the Soviet Union? Eleven. That's Ridiculous. It's not even funny.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet died last Thursday at age 70, from Alzheimer's. In the 1970s, she helped found and led a New Age doomsday cult, the Church Universal and Triumphant, and predicted (in the 80s) a nuclear strike inside the United States that led all her followers to do the compound/weapons stockpiling thing in Montana. Also of interest is the Smithsonian/Folkways recordings of her cult, Sounds of American Doomsday Cults, Vol. 14 which contains many fascinating and insane chanting tracks, most notably the Great Divine Rector's Call, which was sampled to hilarious effect by Negativland and Mylo. [more inside]
While Courtney pulled an Albini, Jeff handed out the bread. Are the peasants acting like emperors, or do they still want something shiny, aluminum, plastic, and digital? Debacle or cage, something's got to give (pdf). Alternatively, you can just roll your own.
Have you ever seen a synth and said "Man, what this needs is cartoon eyes?" A bit similar to the Buchla Box or theremin in that they don't have a keyboard to control the sounds -- it's probably closest to the Booper, invented by The Weatherman from Negativland (or, well, Circuit Bending), the Thingamagoop is a photosynthesizer... which means it basically uses light sensors to generate sounds. The signal's run through a couple oscillators and, well, it comes out as somethin' that's pretty dang awesome. I'm on the fence on pickin' this one up. On one hand, it's a really neat toy that makes noise... on the other hand, um.... um.... I dunno. It's not made of candy?
U2 vs. Negativland IPod "special edition". Totally Unauthorized, but your purchase will help Downhill Battle , and thus, will end the major label monopoly and build a better, fairer music industry. If you are not the high-bidder, you can always make your own by stopping here and here .
The Mashin of The Christ "Earlier this month a hacker broke through Negativland's UMN mainframe firewall and stole the final version of Negativland's top-sacred for-internal-use-only "Mashin' of the Christ" video project. Negativland prayed that their in-house project would not make it into the hands of the unsuspecting public, but we all know how hard it can be to stop those "peer to peer" criminals from illegally sharing the property of others."
Negativland Uses Mosquito Fleet To Bite Clear Channel and the NAB. Six unlicensed FM stations in Seattle joined forces, simulcasting a fake "KJR-FM" broadcast created by members of Negativland. The spoofed programming repeatedly jabbed at the Clear Channel affiliate for claiming to play only "The Best Of The 60s and 70s", while injecting at least almost 100 songs from the 80s into it's smotheringly-tight, mechanised auto-pilot playlist. Snippets of the simul-pirate-cast can be heard here.