Lang Lang – Master Class

 Music, Video  Comments Off on Lang Lang – Master Class
Feb 042017
 

I found this series unexpectedly captivating.  There’s something about the experience of artistic tutoring at this level that really pulls you down the rabbit’s hole.  These kids all walked in the door with a level of technical and artistic sophistication that’s kind of eye-widening.  But even my tin ear easily distinguished the changes he brings about in their expression.

War: The Lethal Custom (Gwynne Dyer)

 Books, History, The Widening Gyre  Comments Off on War: The Lethal Custom (Gwynne Dyer)
Feb 032017
 

Dan Carlin sometimes references this in his Hardcore History podcast – it’s a great overview of warfare, from ancient times to the present.  Explains things such as why chariots fell by the wayside (selective breeding finally produced horses with backs strong enough to carry a man) as well as why they were developed in the first place (ie. the abilities of cavalry and the roles it can play on the battlefield).  However, the book’s overarching theme is that the destructive capability of human technology has reached the asymptote of existential threat: mankind must abandon the custom of war or go extinct.

War: The Lethal Custom

Lang Lang – Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2

 Music, Video  Comments Off on Lang Lang – Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
Jan 282017
 

As a onetime music student, I’m ironically not that into classical music.  Mostly it just doesn’t do anything for me.  It’s dead-on-arrival: stilted, mannered, and self-conscious.  As in “take a deep breath, get serious-as-cancer, and play it right“.  Kind of the same reason almost every Shakespeare performance turns me off: “To be… or NOT.. TO BE!”  ACTING!  

That said, Lang Lang fucks my shit up.  It’s not often my mouth hangs-open surfing YouTube.  His interpretations really bring the music to life, as cliched as that sounds.  I’ve heard lots of musicians alter the tempo a little here or there:  he changes it every note.  It breathes.  It’s like the difference between an automated tech-support phone menu and an angry drunk trying to pick a fight with you in a bar.

 

Apple sucks

 Comedy, Tech, Video  Comments Off on Apple sucks
Nov 072016
 

Apple and Microsoft still running neck-and-neck for title of “Most Evil Tech Company in the US.”  Some things never change.

Rise of the Ghostface Killah – Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge

 Music, Video  Comments Off on Rise of the Ghostface Killah – Ghostface Killah and Adrian Younge
Oct 172016
 

The saga of Ghostface Killah continues, his will made manifest thus in the form of a 70’s Italian horror movie.  We are all Dario Argento’s children (save ODB, for whose style there is no father – shimmy shimmy ya, shimmy yam, shimmy yay; he liketh it raw, verily, unto the floor doth he liketh it forever and ever…)

Bjork – Bachelorette (dir. by Michel Gondry)

 History, Music, Video  Comments Off on Bjork – Bachelorette (dir. by Michel Gondry)
Oct 132016
 

Another blast from the past, this one from acclaimed French director Michel Gondry.  I know the French fucked-up in WWII, but to be fair, we fucked them first with this whole notion that you can just overthrow whatever the hell governmental structure happens to be in-place at the time and instantly become a perfect, Platonistic ideal of democracy overnight.  It’s true that our shit was derived to a significant degree from their philosophers, but it’s not like they took it seriously – at least not until 1789.  We benefited from a freak one-time-only superfluosity of genius statesmen whose ambitions were unnaturally checked by a puritanical spirit of self-abnegation.  They just ran with it, and their political and bureaucratic institutions have been fucked-to-hell ever since.

 

Say what you will, but the U.S. hasn’t produced a Michel Gondry.  And it sure as hell hasn’t produced a Daft Punk.  And I’ll trade you a Reign of Terror for Human After All any day of the week.  But I digress…

 

 

Aphex Twin – Windowlicker (dir. by Chris Cunningham)

 Music, Video  Comments Off on Aphex Twin – Windowlicker (dir. by Chris Cunningham)
Oct 132016
 

While I’m rasping nostalgic about my youth, here’s a masterpiece by Chris Cunningham.  It’s a scathing allegorical denouement for everything that’s wrong with the modern hip-hop music video, or something, I dunno, I think you just sort of go along for the ride with this shit.  In any case, it’s a classic in its genre.  The genre being… lemme get back to you on that…