Friday, June 27, 2008

Friday Downstreams (Drifting through Days of Sunshine)

So rarely do I have so little to do. This week has been blissfully empty. Blogging, spending time with my sons, reading, listening to music, tending to our allotment, experimenting with Ital cooking, and trying to avoid thinking about my thesis...which I will have to return to soon. Maybe next week? In the meantime, here are the fruits of the web that I can recommended for this week:

From Political Prisoner to Cabinet Minister: Legendary Brazilian Musician Gilberto Gil on His Life, His Music and the Digital Divide (Video, Audio, Text)
Forty years ago, the legendary Brazilian musician Gilberto Gil was a political prisoner. Today, he is a cabinet official in the Brazilian government. As protests raged across the globe in 1968, Gil was at the center of a cultural and political revolution in Brazil known as Tropicalia. The movement was seen as such a threat to Brazil’s military dictatorship that Gil was jailed, then forced into exile, where he would become one of the world’s most celebrated musicians as well as a spokesperson for Brazil’s emerging black consciousness movement. Today, Gil remains one of Brazil’s best known artists, as well as the country’s Minister of Culture. He is now spearheading a different kind of anti-establishment revolution. This time it’s about democratizing the distribution of intellectual property rights. We spend the hour with Gilberto Gil in a wide-ranging interview on his life, his music, the black consciousness movement and the future of the internet. [includes rush transcript]

Marcel Broodthaers - Le Corbeau et le Renard (1967)
In 1957 Marcel Broodthaers made La Clef d l'Horloge, an eight minute, 16 mm film about the work of Kurt Schwitters. In 1967 he made Le Corbeau et le Renard, a seven minute color film that was shown at Knokke, although the selection committee had turned it down.

Broodthaers: I don't believe in film, nor do I believe in any other art. I don't believe in the unique artist or the unique work of art. I believe in phenomena, and in men [sic] who put ideas together.

UbuWeb Sound - Janek Schaefer
Janek was born in England to Polish and Canadian parents in 1970. While studying architecture at the Royal College of Art [RCA annual prize], he recorded the fragmented noises of a sound activated dictaphone travelling overnight through the Post Office. That work, titled 'Recorded Delivery' [1995] was made for the 'Self Storage' exhibition [Time Out critics choice] with one time postman Brian Eno and Artangel. Since then the multiple aspects of sound became his focus, resulting in many releases, installations, soundtracks for exhibitions, and concerts using his self built/invented record players with manipulated found sound collage. The 'Tri-phonic Turntable' [1997] is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the 'World's Most Versatile Record Player'. He has performed, lectured and exhibited widely throughout Europe [Sonar, Tate Modern, ICA], USA/Canada, [The Walker, XI, Mutek, Princeton], Japan, and Australia [Sydney Opera House]. In 2007 he was Nominated for a British Composer of the Year Award.

The St. James Sessions Songs - Lynn Point
Most of these 1920's recordings were copied from 78 rpm onto cassette tape. From there they were transferred into a computer using the Polderbits software program. Nothing was done to enhance or clean these recordings as they were transferred. Finally they were converted to MP3's at a setting of 192. A special thanks to Bradley Reeves for researching and obtaining these recordings and to Todd Eaton for transferring them to digital format. As well as to the many musicians and people who were there at the time.

Busted Wonder - by Kieron Gillen & Charity Larrison
Web comic of strange intensity. Don't let the cute pastels fool you.

Kemialliset Ystävät Live at WFMU (Mp3s)
Kemialliset Ystävät's improvised jam consisted of Jan with Niko-Matti Ahti, Jaako Tolvi, Sami Sänpäkkilä (whose excellent Fonal label put out several KY releases), and some American pals in tow Spencer Clark (the Skaters), Dave Nuss (No Neck), and Jersey City ex-pat Karl Bauer (Axolotl).

Girl Talk: Feed the Animals
Featured in the great documentary Good Copy Bad Copy, Girl Talk is giving his latest CD away over the net. You can download it here. Girl Talk is the stage name of musician Gregg Gillis (born October 26, 1981). Gillis, who is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has released four CD albums on Illegal Art and vinyl releases on 333 and 12 Apostles. He began making music while a student at Case Western Reserve University. He specializes in sample-based remixes, in which he uses at least a dozen elements from different songs to create a "new" song. At his early shows, Gillis became notorious for his exhibitionist antics on stage, spontaneously removing most or all of his clothing mid-performance. He has given different explanations for the origin of his stage name, once saying it alluded to a Jim Morrison poem and once saying it alluded to an early Merzbow side project.

Pissant: The Story of 80's Australian Underground (A Multimedia Essay)
Reminiscences (from someone who wasn't there) from the late 80s music scene that existed in Australia around a handful of independent labels and venues:

"The notion of the underground being taken seriously by the mainstream or perceived as any kind of a threat was still several years away. During this era, dozens of independent acts on labels such as Au-go-go, Waterfront, Red Eye, Phantom, Aberrant, Citadel, Missing Link, Mr. Spaceman & Grown Up Wrong were all quite content with remaining independent and free of hindrance."

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