Monday, August 18, 2008

My 36 favorite punk songs

Or, at least, Jason Forrest's:

Bonus clip! JF's "War Photographer":

Monday, June 2, 2008

Miles Davis, Rated X

Jungle 20 years before it's supposed to have been invented. Ignore the crappy video (best I could find), look away from the monitor, and just listen:

Electro crunchy beats

A post for Aeron Alfrey:

Friday, May 30, 2008

My favorite Saint Etienne song (and its source)

I just discovered that it came from "Silver Dagger" (a folk song, sung on the Dylan album by Joan Baez), but this makes me like it even more--especially when you listen to how the lyrics play ("trope," to be more pretentious but also more exact) on the original.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Boris Vian...

and his amazing guitar:

and more:

"A philosophic catastrophe..."

"...the regression of philosophy... an assasination of philosophy." Deleuze on Wittgenstein:

I don't know if I 100% agree with him (maybe only 95%--ok, 96%), but it's nice that somebody said it.

La complainte de la butte

Cora Vaucaire in Renoir's "French Can-Can," 1954:

Mouloudji, 1955 Scopitone:

Patrick Bruel and Francis Cabrel (the homemade anime video adds a certain je ne sais quoi):

French Can-Can

I was just going to post the last sequence of Renoir's film, but then I found this--apparently filmed in the U.K. ca. 1943:

Wall-painted animation by BLU

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

Thanks to Peter Schwartz who pointed this out to me!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Borges TV interview, 1980

Jan Kott tells a story of having seen a lecture by Borges on Shakespeare. Borges was underamplified, and Kott could barely hear him: about the only word he was able to make out was "Shakespeare," "Shakespeare," "Shakespeare." But, somehow, that was enough. I was a senior in college when I had almost the same experience, except in that case the speaker was Marguerite Yourcenar and the subject of the talk, and the only word I could make out, was "Borges."

And, by the way: no, I don't speak Spanish. But I wonder whether knowing it wouldn't in some way detract from my enjoyment of this clip.


Think of it as a commentary on my remarks in the previous post. A while ago I found a mixtape with the track listing written in the hand of my 13-year-old self, and the first tune on it was "Moskow Diskow," which blew my mind. When I rediscovered Telex in my late 20s, I had no idea I had known them years before.

How I discovered Tom Waits

I had never heard of him before I saw this video on Much Music:

I bought the album soon after; I remember the exact date, March 21, 1984, because when I played it I was surprised to hear a song ("Town with no Cheer," to be exact) mention the date, "March 21st." I was sixteen, and his music was my own private possession. A few years later, in college, when everybody started talking about him and his latest album could be heard blasting out of dormroom windows, I felt dispossessed.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Lettrist films

Poem in memory of Antonin Artaud, by Isidore Isou and Francois Dufresne, from Isou's "Traité de bave et d'éternité" (1951):

From Guy Debord's "Hurlements en faveur de Sade" (1952):

For some reason, by the way, I always find myself singing the title of this film to the tune of "Chevaliers de la table ronde." Try it.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Musical abstract comics

Iannis Xenakis, "Mycenae Alpha," visual generative score:

Gyorgi Ligeti, "Artikulation," visual listening score:

Xenakis (the digital instrument, not the composer) creates stochastic music based on shapes placed on a luminous surface:

I recommend playing all three at once. Restart the ones that end early.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Super Cat

Unfortunately, most of his videos on YouTube are posted by Sony BMG, and have the embedding disabled. But here are some I was able to find that work:

with Nicodemus, live:

Horace Andy with Lone Ranger

Dawn Penn Dawn Penn Dawn Penn

And an extra Dawn Penn (the original 1967 Coxsone Dodd Studio One recording):

Monday, March 31, 2008

Lacan speaks

How different theory classes would be if, along with texts, one also studied from films and videos the theorists' facial features, expressions, gestures, and delivery, not to mention their cravattes.


A dissertation on a drum loop. Feel free to turn it off about three quarters of the way through, before it gets to the message.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Someone's cute newborn and Raymond Scott's "Lullaby"

Same baby, not long after, with a piece of music that I can't quite recognize. A pretty stunning clip, actually (read Roland Barthes' Camera Lucida and mentally transfer it to video in the age of YouTube):

Electrofunk 101

Afrika Bambaataa's "Planet Rock":

Source for the melody sample:

Source for the beat sample:

Yes, I know this is really obvious. But it's a good excuse to hear again three great songs.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Motorhead/Punk connection

Telegram Sam

The other Bauhaus song.

Guy Maddin's "Sissy Boy Slap Party"

The "director's cut," no less:


Being not very nice:

D.C. LaRue: Cathedrals

A 2008 video (well, barely), starring Mr. LaRue himself, for the great 1976 song:

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The absolute pinnacle of progressive rock

Magma, June 29th, 1970:

You'll have to turn the volume way up on this one, but it's worth it.

Before the big eyeballs

The Residents 1976:

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Shiny Shiny

Because you just can't have too much Haysi Fantayzee.


As performed by the Raymond Scott Quintette:

(Notice the weird dancing lights)

As performed by six guys with harmonicas:

And as someone's pretty cool abstract animation project:

Violins and Helicopters

Stockhausen's Helicopter String Quartet:

I love the landscape they're flying through. And doesn't it seem that, in using helicopters, Stockhausen was taking dead aim at Wagner (via "Apocalypse Now")?

Sunday, March 9, 2008

The Music of Ezra Pound

Literally. Violin solo by Pound, attempting "to set the speech rhythms of a poem by Guido Cavalcanti to music." Better than many a piece by real composers.

And the music of Pound's verse (and voice and, if I'm not mistaken, tympani):

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Look! It's the Mekons!

Back when they were rock stars:

The Mexican

Before Jellybean, there was Babe Ruth:

From Jean Renoir's "The River" (1951)

One of the most beautiful movies ever made.

(Renoir reputedly had some of the tree leaves painted to get just the right kind of green on film. It was his first color movie, after all.)

And the great Radha's dance:

Beethoven, String Quartet op. 131

in C# minor, first movement, Adagio ma non troppo e molto espressivo. Budapest Quartet, 1943:

Whoever uploaded this to youtube also uploaded about seven other performances of the same movement. This one's my favorite, but follow the links and judge for yourselves.

Before the Man-Machine: Early Kraftwerk


1971, part 1:

and part 2:


Friday, March 7, 2008

A Number of Names

Folks dancing to Sharevari on The Scene, Detroit, 1982:

The first fully animated film

Emile Cohl's "Fantasmagoria," 1908

Reich! Orgone! Freely!

Foucault on Bachelard

This clip makes me like both Foucault and Bachelard a hell of a lot more.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Clara Rockmore, grand dame of the theremin

Playing Saint-Saens and Wieniawski:

Fara Zahar

Peasant-themed Romanian Eminem impersonators.

Manele! (pronounced: Mah-neh-leh)

Romanian Bollywood.

Yves Klein Anthropometries (1960)

And one with music (Stravinsky) and commentary by art critic Pierre Restany:

Dreams that money can buy

Duchamp, Cage, Richter.

Bonus clip! M.D. on taste:

The Cramps' homage to Duchamp

Cold Crush Brothers Cold Crush


First Tarkovsky movie I saw, at thirteen or fourteen. Left me completely baffled, which I found incredibly artistically exciting. I remember walking out of the theater (it was daylight still, so it must have been a daytime showing), and talking about it at length with my dad (and with someone else, I don't remember who--a family friend?), without coming to any definitive conclusions.

Greatest opening shot ever

To redeem myself after the last post. I remember watching this movie for the first time when I was about fourteen or so. It completely changed everything I thought about film, or about art in general.

Slowly I Turned

It's not about how funny it is, but about how happy watching it makes me.

Mozart, Sinfonia Concertante, Adagio

and part 2:

Sheer ecstasy.

Screamin' Jay and Serge

Le Nouveau Western


Albert Ayler and Krazy Kat together at last

Brakhage Brakhage

Bonus clip! "Mothlight":

Tranquility Bass

Where is Mike Kandel now?

Blur in Marienbad

Raul Ruiz, Le temps retrouvé

I was looking for some clip from "Les trois couronnes du matelot" or "l'hypothése du tableau volé." Couldn't find it, but this is beautiful too:

Perec, Un Homme qui Dort

continued here, after some overlap (and with horrible subtitles):

Sarah C. (from Saint Etienne)

Jarvis tells it like it is

And here's the original bad cover version:

Big Leggy

I wanted to embed this (which made me very happy when I found it), but it's been disabled:

You'll just have to make do with the original version:

And you're welcome!

Tammy, stand by the JAMs!