Friday, September 18, 2009

Chuck, Chuck, Bo Buck…

There's nothing new under the sun. Especially when it comes to clichés, old saws, maxims, aphorisms and truisms. Or maybe even more especially when it comes to band names. Can we stop with the wolves/bears/panthers and the crystals, please? Hey, you, over there planning to name your band something clever, just consider the fact that you may confuse someone into buying a record by a band named exactly like yours only a hair's breadth different; different enough to earn you a place on my list. What exactly is this list? I sometimes imagine these pairings as bills for fantasy concerts where I finally see the bands and am therefore never again confused. Or maybe just a very entertaining walk through a record store. Or, more probably, it is likely that these things have stuck in my head and now I can throw you the hot potato. Feel free to add your own in the comments. And, finally, here it is, the list of shame:

Crystal Skulls / Crystal Stilts / Crystal Antlers / Crystal Method /
   Crystal Castles / The Crystals
Xiu Xiu / Xu Xu Fang / Red Fang / Fin Fang Foom
Locksley / Loxley
Wooden Shjips / Wooden Wand / Wooden Stars
Young Widows / Young Galaxy / Young Knives / Young Gods /
   Young Marble Giants
Youth Group / Youth Movies / Youth Pictures of Florence Henderson /
  Sonic Youth
Windy & Carl / Cyann & Ben / Meg & Dia / Matt & Kim /
   Tuck & Patti / Willie & Lobo
Willy Mason / Mason Jennings / Mason Proper / Mason Williams
The Owls / Wow Owls / Owl Service / Low Flying Owls
Wye Oak / Rye Coalition / 18th Dye
Dopo Yume / Yume Bitsu
Wolf Eyes / Wolf Parade / Wolf & Cub / Seawolf / Seabear
Willard Grant Conspiracy / Joel Plaskett Emergency /
   Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Wild Beasts / Wild Light / Wild Colonials / Wilderness
Volcano the Bear / Volcano I'm Still Excited!
Ut / Ui
The Books / Books On Tape / Book of Knots / Book of Kills
The Killers / Kills / Thrills / Stills / Chills
Black Dice / Black Angels / Black Eyes / Black Grape / Black Kids /
   Black Keys / Black Wire / Black Lips / Black Heart Procession /
   Black Box Recorder / Black Rebel Motorcycle Club /
   Black Moth Super Rainbow / Black Ox Orchester / Black Tie Dynasty /
   Black to Comm / Blackstone Valley Singers / Big Black /
   Crippled Black Phoenix / Phoenix
Cliks / Click Five / Count Five / Ben Folds Five
The Field / Fields / Field Music / Magnetic Fields / The Nields
Sage Francis / Page France
Headlights / Razorlight / Softlightes
Gregory & The Hawk / A Hawk and A Handsaw
Say Hi / Say Anything
Telephathe /  Telepathique / Telepopmusik / Television /
  Television Personalities / Alternative Television / TV on the Radio
Prefab Sprout / Tobin Sprout / Amon Tobin / Amon Düül
Pele / Pela
Barr / Bauer / Baumer
Bradley Strider / Tinchy Stryder / McCarthy Trenching
They Might Be Giants / Under Influence of Giants / Standing on Shoulders
   of Giants / Giant Sand / Giant Drag
Le Tigre / Tiger Lillys / Tiger City / Tgr Lou
Deer & The Headlights / Dear Hunter / The Dears
Band of Horses / HORSE the Band
I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness /
   Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin /
   Seagulls Screaming Kiss Her Kiss Her

I promise more later, but that's a good start.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Like a drunk in a midnight choir

Brilliant, elegant idea.

The composer/poster, Jarbas Agnelli, says it best himself:

"Reading a newspaper, I saw a picture of birds on the electric wires. I cut out the photo and decided to make a song, using the exact location of the birds as notes (no Photoshop edit). I knew it wasn't the most original idea in the universe. I was just curious to hear what melody the birds were creating.

I sent the music to the photographer, Paulo Pinto, who I Googled on the internet. He told his editor, who told a reporter and the story ended up as an interview in the very same newspaper.

Here I've posted a short video made with the photo, the music and the score (composed by the birds)."

I'm glad he took the trouble.

Sound archive(s), free, online, go now

"Explore 44,500 selected recording of music, spoken word, and human and natural environments."

The British Library has opened its very impressive archive of recorded sounds to the public. Who knows what's out there?

Here's a clip of an "aboriginal song on wax cylinder 1898." (courtesy of the Guardian)

Speaking of archives, Ubuweb has an amazing one. Theirs is focused on art, and it's just about that specific; you can find almost anything relating to any art medium that's ever been recorded or documented via this incredible site.

Case in point: I tried to collect the Tellus cassette-only music magazine when it was being published, but I only managed to snag a few (I miss See Hear.) Ubuweb has links to all 26 of these historic collections of avant-garde work, all downloadable, legit and cost-free:
Tellus #10: The All-Guitars issue (1985): Glenn Branca - Acoustic Phenomena (mp3)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Michael RIP

Here's a great, and lengthy, story about digging up Michael Jackson's first recorded track:
Link via the excellent Numero Group record label's blog.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Gaining perspective; Canine disgrace

Here's a new project on Kickstarter that I'm excited about:

I just love the Kickstarter system: you pledge support, the amount of which will only be charged if the proposed goal amount is reached by the deadline date. Therefore, if not enough people pledge, you aren't charged, and the project does not go. The Jay Bennett project I posted about earlier met exactly that fate, lack of pledgers, and did not come to fruition. But so far, that has not happened to many of the Kickstarter projects, certainly none of the others I have gotten behind.

This is the first one for me that is not a music-based project. I think these guys are twins. That's not why I pledged. This pop-up design/drawing innovation is fascinating. I would love to be able to do the maximum pledge and have them come and give a lecture; perhaps they will show up here in NY anyway. I've become more interested in perspective drawing lately; I studied mechanical drawing in high school and have never really explored beyond that. Did I mention that I collect ViewMaster reels? And pop-ups are cool. My sister collects pop-up books. I guess the collecting thing runs in my family, although she denies that she's been bitten by the bug.

I'm sorry; I cannot help myself. I must post this photo: