27.6.08

26.6.08

from eff:

In an important victory for the first sale doctrine, a federal district court today ruled that selling "promo CDs" on eBay does not infringe copyright. The court threw out a lawsuit by Universal Music Group (UMG), which had argued that the "promotional use only" labels affixed to these CDs somehow conveyed eternal ownership on UMG, making it illegal to resell the CDs (or even throw them away).


ebola: formaldehyde blunts vol. 1

tracklisting:
1. Some noises from my computer
2. John Carpenter - Blood Oath
3. Rustie - Jagz the Smack
4. Ebola - Painkillers
5. Zeddemore - Pop that Coochie remix
6. Ed DMX - Denki no Merodi
7. Tech Itch - Know
8. Utabi - Crackbank Cheese
9. Ebola - Pass the Buckfast (King Cannibal Remix)
10. Ebola - Neck Sprain
11. Zeddemore - Fake Crystal Sippin' (Ebola Remix)
12. An awesome dubstep track that Scotch Egg gave me (no idea who it is - sorry)
13. Drop the Lime - Fever Gasp
14. Ed Chamberlain - Zarathustra
15. Switch - ?
16. Eustachian - H8 Crimes
17. Drop & Skew - 5am
18. Snoop Dogg - Drop it like it's hot
19. Funkstorung - Grammy Winners
20. Rustie - Clipper
21. Rustie - Response
22. Otto von Schirach - Tits 'N' Feet in G Minor (Yarlen Remix)
23. Paul Blackford - Delta Nine
24. Ebola - Das Booty
25. Ed DMX - Echelon
26. Monster X - Avoje Acid
27. Another tune that Scotch Egg gave me. If anyone knows who it's by let me know.
28. LFO - Freak
29. Hard Off - Koumonni Genkotsu Wo Irerareta Tonakai
30. Skymall - Megamixxx (Electric Erection)
31. Ebola - Vomiting Skulls
32. Jason Forrest - RockRockRock (Zeddemore 'Kids Get Hyphy' Remix)
33. Soft Pink Truth - Whip me Down
34. Autechre - Tankakern
35. Zeddemore - Fake Crystal Sippin'
36. Mike Mustang - Beginner's Acid
37. DJ Rupture - Trinity (Bonechip remix)
38. Duranduranduran - Visitor D
39. Drop the Lime - Do it now kill
40. Daft Punk - Short Circuit
41. Curtis Chip - Chainsaw Panda
42. Cannibal Ox - Scream Phoenix
43. Flying Lotus - 1983

24.6.08

reviewed

by none other than k5k.
4 out of 5 stars, the review reads:

I laughed for hours after finding out that someone had been paying attention to our shit talking online for years...

Although I (K5K) have not been quoted as saying anything particularly stupid in this paper, I'd still like to mention the following points with regards to the stereotype discussed;

1/ I am not (and was not) a bedroom musician.
I have a full studio with fancy equipment, but I probably should be a bedroom musician (or dj).

2/ I have always had a girlfriend. Usually a model.

3/ At the time of the quotes used, I was working in an office, and actually getting paid to be in the breakcore chat room on slsk.

4/ I was the initial creator of the "Breakcore" chat room on slsk. However, at the same time Low Entopy created the "BREAKCORE" chat room. But as this is not commonly known, it really has no effect on the actual interaction in the room.

Most points discussed in this paper are highly accurate, but many points (ie sampling politics etc) are beyond the scope of understanding of several people quoted. (which diminshes the relevance of those points, but does not mean they are at all irrelevant)

Although I did find the section on the ".NFO Wars" to be pretty much crap, and not worthy of discussion at all.

23.6.08

control freak


control freak's hell hounds as zip, courtesy of heavy 7 productions.


we patiently await chaos royale's chaos all stars 2 from the same label.

22.6.08

look at reebee garofalo's chart. cool.

20.6.08

i was looking for information about the band frozen corpse but i found this instead:

thawing tundra releases infected corpses.

darklight. i like the sound of this:

As part of this year's Darklight programme, Darklight and Candy join forces for the first time to present a special late night screening of one of the most acclaimed documentaries of the year - VICE Films' Heavy Metal In Baghdad - with director Eddy Moretti in attendence.

Darklight and Candy present:
Heavy Metal In Baghdad
The Irish Film Institite
Friday, June 27th @ 11.00pm
This screening will be introduced by HMIB director Eddy Moretti

Created by Suroosh Alvi, the co-founder of counterculture magazine VICE, and Eddy Moretti, the head of VICE Films, this gonzo-style doc follows the two journalists as they attempt to track down the one and only heavy-metal band in Iraq, Acrassicauda.

The subject of a 2003 article in VICE magazine, Acrassicauda (named after a highly dangerous breed of black scorpion) is a hard-rocking group of friends who, with the magazine's help, managed to put on a sold-out show following Saddam Hussein's ousting in the summer of 2005.

More than a year later, the VICE crew heads back to Iraq in hopes of locating the band once again. What they find is both country and band torn apart by war, with buildings and rehearsal studios destroyed by bombs and band members unable to traverse the bullet-filled blocks that separate them.

Heavy Metal in Baghdad presents a welcome and surprising glimpse into the youth culture of modern Iraq. Using an intimate, street-level style, the documentary takes us to an Iraq beyond the lens of network news, introducing young Iraqis steeped in American pop culture, while registering the omnipresent violence that threatens to overwhelm any situation. Delving beyond the music, Alvi and Moretti casually capture the chaos of the country, from their troubles crossing the border, to the unease of their heavily armed bodyguards, whom they unwittingly put in danger by daring to stand in the open for too long. Candid interviews with the band members offer a new vantage point on a modern generation yearning for change but driven from their homeland by the fog of war.

Heavy Metal in Baghdad is a refreshing and vital piece of frontline journalism that finds hope in the power of music to connect people, and in the determination of Iraq's youth to find peace and rock the house.

http://www.heavymetalinbaghdad.com/

18.6.08

köln



some of the excellent people i met at cologne:
DissoNoiSex
interzone
the people who curated lost and found.
BoySkout/Youth Media Reporter
among many others.

this guy, chuck klosterman, one of the first things he said to me was 'i'm breakcore, i only like the breaks'. he likes the band kiss, i think that makes him not breakcore.
in an unrelated incident, the following took place: 'stop talking about breakcore' (...long pause).

in my paper i played extracts from the following tunes, in order:

maladroit: amen motherfucker
winstons: amen, brother
curtis mayfield and the impressions: amen
bizzy b: calling the amen
n.w.a.: straight outta compton
smith inc.: jungle (remix) - (from peshay's yaman 3 that i got from golden era jungle)
cutty ranks: limb by limb (dj ss mix)
venetian snares: clearance bin
countryside alliance crew (dj psylage): keep it rustic
kill-joy: britney stole my crackpipe
dysphemic: kill the dj
flakes: pognali

all the papers were great, but these were my personal favourites:

Álvarez-Fernández, Miguel (Madrid): “Playing under (the Illusion of) Control: Virtuosity and Amateurism in Sex and Music.”
Banerjee, Mita (Siegen): “The Cultural Logic of Bad Taste: Country Music, ‘White Trash,’ and Gender Politics.”
Boak, Sarah (Surrey): “Sounding the Recorded Body: Embodiment and Performance in PJ Harvey’s Uh Huh Her.”
Bradby, Barbara (Dublin): “Girls just wanna say No: Contradiction, the Body, and Self-Destruction in Contemporary Popular Song.”
Cantaluppi, Alice, Isabel Reiss, and Anna Voswinckel (Zurich/Munich/Berlin): “Lost & Found: Loss and Strategies of Cultural Self-Empowerment.”
Daewes, Birgit (Würzburg): “Sound Tracks to the Frontier: Gender, Difference and Music in the American Road Movie.”
Hohl-Trillini, Regula (Basel): “‘Like perfect music unto noble words’: Gender Metaphors in Victorian Music Poetry.”
Inigo-Chua, Maria (Manila): “Women, Rituals, and Music: The Fiesta of Virgen de Guadalupe of Loboc, Bohol, Philippines.”
Macias, José (San Antonio): “Gender Bias in the Corrido: Stability and Change in a Popular Mexico-U.S. Music Genre.”
Mayer, Ulli (Vienna): “Electronic Music, De-subjectivization, and the Reconfiguration of Gender as a Mechanism of Identification.”
Mieszkowski, Sylvia (Frankfurt): “Effeminate Idolatry - the Word and the Violin of Flesh.”



17.6.08

viral advertising

my gmail account was hacked or spoofed by a spambot to email everyone in the contacts list, with the subject header 'hi' and the main body as follows:
Dear friend:
We are an electronic products wholesale .Our products are of gh quality and low price. If you want to do business , we can offer you the most reasonable discount to make you get more profits. We are expecting for your business.
Please visit our website: http://www.skiny168.com
MSN : skiny168@hotmail.com
E-mail : skiny168@yahoo.cn
Looking forward to your contact and long cooperation with us!
Our mainly products such the phones, PSP, display TV, notebook, video, computers, Mp4, GPS, xbox 360, digital cameras and so on.
Welcome to visit our website!
something similar evidently happened to this woman, who has the best advice i found on what to do in the event of this kind of thing happening. it's a drag to come back from a great conference to this.

it seems like it's spoofing because i don't have the spam in my sent messages, but given that it is being sent to my contacts list, whatever this thing is must therefore have access to my account.
if i have no contacts in that account, however, presumably it has no one to email (right now the only contact there is skiny168@yahoo.cn, the contact in the spam message itself).
of course, this is not a solution to the source of the spam problem, but at least it stops it being sent to my contacts list. the problem is compounded, though, by the fact that gmail auto-adds anyone you ever email to your contacts list, and this ‘feature’ cannot be disabled, as numerous people have discovered to their annoyance and dismay.

11.6.08

absinthe


don't do it kids. artwork from absinthe: la folie verte.

10.6.08


awesome.

8.6.08

google is dirty.




'who's got the new snares man'. gabber.od, that's who.
part 1 and part 2.
according to mu it's out in two days.

7.6.08

amen break and the golden ratio. ehm.













by the way, this blog is one year old today. happy birthday blog!

i applied for an(other) academic job today, the submission process for which required a 'statement of research activites and agenda'. i'm not sure what that means exactly, but i spent a day and a half working on it and below is what i came up with. it's tailored to the dept. in question, but i'm still fairly pleased with it, especially given how little time i had. fingers crossed i get an interview. better go write my dichotonies paper.




... although my research is interdisciplinary, it is centred on a cluster of themes. These themes might be succinctly delineated as follows:


Contemporary musical practice, identity, and (sub)culture.
Gender and other forms of social differentiation (particularly masculinities), as these are articulated discursively, linguistically, and musically.
Computer-mediated communication, ‘new media’ and digital culture, and broader debates in this area concerning access and empowerment, copyright and culture, creativity and change and so on.


In turn these interests have, for me, led to a number of themes which I am currently exploring. Briefly, and in no particular order, I should like to elaborate on three of these:


1. Musical stylistics and semiotics, and their relation to identity in contemporary musical genres.
My research concentrated on electronic dance music, and I devoted several chapters to this issue in regard to the cultural politics of sampling. There are certain sound-samples which have become literally constitutive of genres, and I have an interest in understanding how, and what, these sounds signify. Such analysis is not, of course, restricted to samples, although samples are remarkable, and consequently extremely popular and pertinent for such analysis, given: their appearance as ‘simulacra’; their relation to the Benjaminian idea of ‘aura’; their sociotechnical accessibility and their roles in the rapidly developing modes of contemporary music production; the evident similarities in their use to earlier Afro-diasporic practices and musical means of affirming the past (this sometimes leads in to debates about authenticity and legitimacy); their contested legal status and their importance for debates about ‘fair use’ and copyright, and so on. It is my contention that certain generic sounds ‘speak’, as it were, to certain identity positions; they in some sense ‘hail’ or constitute the listener in certain subject positions. I hope to expand on this idea through two different but related means: considering generic sounds in other genres; and considering such sounds in different environments. To deal with the latter first: as indicated, my earlier work was largely concerned with how online interaction impacts upon music production and distribution. This emphasis has drawbacks as well as benefits, and although there are now numerous music ‘scenes’ which largely occur online (sometimes referred to in the literature as ‘cybersubcultures’), such scenes nonetheless afford opportunities for the collective effervescence of ‘face-to-face’ sociality. Clearly, any consideration of such scenes benefits from immersion in such events (observed discussions of music are highly informative, but so are observed, collective physical responses to such music). In future, therefore, it is my intention to explore more thoroughly the relations between online and offline in relation to musical subcultures, and in particular to research the embodied experience and social organisation of the ‘live’ event, and the social networks which enable it.

In addition, I should like to consider other subcultural genres, although remaining, initially, attentive to genres which are literally generic. By this I mean genres which are formally composed from very strictly delimited musicological and discursive elements (this is a rather rough definition and could be applied to any genre, but for the time being I mean musics where, to the uninitiated, everything ‘sounds the same’). There is another interest here, around genre development, innovation and creativity, and the degree to which genres can be assessed as ‘open’ or ‘closed formations’. It has been argued, for instance, that at one point the Northern Soul scene in the UK was at risk of becoming wholly ‘closed’: there was a debate as to whether or not records which sounded just like the ‘originals’ on which the scene was based, but were produced at a later date, could be accepted into the canon (which is to say, the ‘original’ records were all close to being ‘played out’). In this regard it is interesting to observe the life-cycles, as it were, of musical subcultures, what musicological features operate as ‘isoglosses’ between genres, in what musical ‘meaning’ can be said to lie, what it is that constitutes acceptable generic development and how this is related to notions of cultural authenticity and so on. My earlier work considered a genre called ‘breakcore’ (‘breakbeat hardcore’), a sample-based electronic form, which also draws on ‘gabber’ and the genre of ‘noise’ or ‘power electronics’. These musics are generic in the aforementioned sense insofar as they rely on quite restricted sonic palettes (distorted and synthesised kick drums, and feedback, distortion and literal noise, respectively). Of late though, I have become interested in a heavy metal subgenre known as ‘grind’ or ‘grindcore’, a type of ‘death metal’ which is extremely stylised and generic both musicologically and in terms of imagery and discourse. It is a genre which articulates ‘introversive semiosis’; it is always only ever about itself, and although it professes to be ‘about’ other things (usually the perennial heavy metal concerns of death, morbidity, murder etc.), this seems largely a stylistic convention. Although song titles are often named, for instance, after surgical procedures, lyrics, delivered in the characteristic ‘spewage’ style of grind, are customarily – though not universally – indistinguishable (this leads to interesting ‘code-switching’ by singers at live events, into and out of non-linguistic vocalisation). While socially, culturally and semiotically fascinating, I believe that all the genres thus far mentioned are discursively constituted as ‘masculine’ in ways which have not yet been fully analysed, but which do not (unlike ‘gangsta’ rap or dancehall, for instance) rely on lyrical elaboration – these are ‘alyrical’ genres. Although space prevents me from elaborating on this, I intend in future to do so empirically. I have an interest in how and to what extent cultural form and meaning translate into social and political exclusion, what the mechanics are of such processes, and in what ways particular embodied subjects experience and negotiate this. This interest is in some ways related to longstanding debates about subcultural involvement and gender, but is relatively distinct in emphasising the specifics of sonic or aural meaningfulness, and how fans and practitioners themselves impute and dispute such meaningfulness. The literature on contemporary dance music refers to gabber – if at all – as a musical form expressing ‘phallocratic mastery’ (similar arguments, of course, were once common about bands like the Rolling Stones). This tells us nothing about who is on the dancefloor, what they are doing there, and why.



2. Discourses of national identity and representation, with particular emphasis on the Irish context, and with reference to how these discourses are instantiated online.
One of the issues that emerged from the data in my doctoral research was around what might be called ‘extreme’ or ‘obscene’ speech. In analysing chatroom dialogue produced by young, largely male, amateur electronic music producers, it became evident that any thoroughgoing description of such would have to account for the discursive violence and obscenity within this dialogue (linguistic obscenity and such discursive themes as would customarily be classed as misogynistic, homophobic, racist etc.). I had initially sought to assess these online ‘scenes’ in terms of how democratising or rationalising (in Weberian terms) such locations might be. However, it soon became evident that active participation in these scenes entailed a degree of literacy in confrontational interactional styles, and a casual attitude towards stylised performances of identity which were often mobilised wholly along axes of exclusion. These empirical features of the interactional environment belied the possibility of describing online distribution and production as simplistically democratising. Such interactional forms and styles, however, are of course not limited to these environments, and indeed they are also commonplace in popular music genres (though often ‘re-keyed’ in certain ways by academics working in the sociology of popular music). My doctoral research was heavily focussed in a specific milieu; I should now like to broaden this out to explore how other exclusions operate in public discourse.

I am aware, for instance that there are a number of online fora and blogs produced locally by those espousing an ‘Irish’ identity and devoted to discussions of ‘immigration’. Many of these are, to be blunt, racist, and express, in sometimes virulent, and sometimes supposedly ‘reasonable’ forms, anxieties familiar to those conducting research in this area. In short, what I am describing is a move from analysing the usually nonreflexive, allegedly jocular use of abusive language and discourse by young men online, to analysing the earnest and fully conscious use of such discourse by politically motivated individuals and groups who, however ostensibly marginal, wish to effect social change in our society concerning crucial and hotly contested issues of public interest. Another reason why I am interested in this is because a recurring theoretical concern, for me, lies at the juncture between discourse and agency, in the debate concerning to what extent it can be said that individuals ‘own’ their words, to what extent moral responsibility in discourse involves context, and so on. This issue is not, of course, limited to online environments, although access is certainly facilitated online and there is no shortage of material available for analysis there. Again, the relation between the online and the offline warrants further consideration.



3. Finally, another issue (perhaps the broadest in terms of its implications) which emerged from my earlier research originated specifically in an interest in internet research ethics. It has often been asserted that ‘life on the screen’ explodes conventional distinctions between public and private. More accurately, online environments can be taken of evidence of the ongoing reformulation of privacy and the private individual, of the distinction between mass and micro media, and of much else besides. This theme first emerged for me in relation to my own data, which was drawn from a ‘public’ chatroom, which was nonetheless a ‘place’ where a number of participants had an expectation of privacy – an expectation which may well have been misguided (although this does not warrant any exemption from conducting research in an ethically responsible manner). If we consider the aforementioned ‘anti-immigration’ bloggers and fora, for instance, a host of questions immediately arise as to what is ethically permissible in research terms. This material is ostensibly in the public domain: in fact, it is in current form more accessible than it would be if, say, reproduced in an academic monograph or journal article. But were one, for discourse-analytic purposes, to cite such material directly, it would be immediately ‘googleable’ and hence traceable. Although my chatroom data was in fact not logged and thus not traceable in this way, numerous usernames in that data (which provided rich local ‘colour’) were still active in other online environments. To return to the Irish ‘anti-immigration movement’ and its ‘voice’ online: is it acceptable to reproduce such material for academic purposes? May one cite material one finds morally dubious without the consent of its authors? Could not such citation conceivably put its authors at some sort of risk? Is one obliged to seek consent and even dialogue from these authors? Does the ‘objective’, social-scientific reproduction and analysis of such material contribute to the banalisation of ‘hate speech’? Evidently, these sorts of questions are linked to those described above in relation to moral responsibility and the relations between discourse and agency. I believe, however, that such questions are really local manifestations of now ‘virtually ubiquitous’ social change, and may serve as orienting points to issues we would be wise, as both sociologists and, simply, as people, to assess.

These issues concern technological change and its impact on privacy, but they also relate: to the critique of privacy as a bourgeois, male privilege and an historical artefact; to developing notions of subjectivity and embodiment, representation, ‘truth’, and desire; to Habermasian ideals of the public sphere and of rights to dialogue in a participatory public sphere; to crucial and very real notions of freedom and of control; to the reflexive role and responsibilities of the social researcher and to the changing nature of social research in an accelerated and informationally saturated culture; to the relations between private property, profit and surveillance; to information flow, access to it, and the role of and expectations towards the state in a ‘knowledge economy’; to the marketisation of the public sphere; and to the move from a ‘disciplinary’ to a ‘control’ society. We may also differentiate between largely ‘discursive’ and ‘material’ emphases in the assessment of such issues, so that the material and socioeconomic factors subtending the ideology and rhetoric can be brought into consideration. Thus: international flows of labour and capital; the hardware and software (intellectual property) on which information systems are based; the ‘digital divide’, the specific locations and ‘Others’, internationally distributed, whose cheap labour is used to produce this hardware and software; the environmental impacts, for instance, of the ‘server farms’ and data-centres which make ubiquitous networking possible, and so on, obviously impact on these questions, but are sadly often left to one side. This is an omission indicative of both the political legerdemain so constitutive of discourses of ‘cyberspace’ as a disembodied, ‘liquid modern’, ‘light’ set of practices, and, arguably, of how conservative perspectives come covertly to influence the possibilities of sociological critique.

As I say, this sort of thinking first emerged for me as an ethical issue, and although this preliminary sketch can only indicate an outline, it should be clear that current social change, and not only in its technological aspect (where it is perhaps most visible, at least initially), has ongoing repercussions which we are only beginning to feel, and which require careful consideration. This is evident if we consider, for example, Google Maps, the objective of which is to systematically photograph and present urban environments online. Whether or not we, as citizens and as embodied individuals who walk down the road, might have any objections to this is a rather under-debated question (famously, Google aspires to be, in its own words, like ‘the mind of God’). It is perhaps worth mentioning that geopolitical security concerns have also been raised over Google Maps. I fear this summary is rather broad and vague, but what I am trying to get at is how social change, and especially that associated with or first clearly emergent in connection with technological change and ‘new media’, is not something always-already achieved, it is rather an ongoing process which we may document, but also critique and intervene in, a process which is itself imbricated ideologically in discourses whose effects are often alienating and disempowering.


It should be evident that in some ways the three themes outlined above share similarities. Underlying all three, in short, is an interest in the social production of cultural meaning and meaningfulness, and of cultural identity, whether this be ‘local’ to musical subcultures and concerned with processes of sonic signification, with reference to contested political perspectives and their dissemination and the analysis thereof, or with an eye to the sociopolitical, discursive and material frames through which such meaning is produced. Another similarity, somewhat more prosaic, concerns the shared emphases on the site of meaning production and the role of media technologies, the extent to which ‘new media’ are actually ‘new’ in their consequences, and the problematic relations between the discursive and the material, particularly as these relations are elaborated online, where a sort of upwards-reductive moral suspension or ‘as-if-ness’ often seems to hold. The sketch above is provisional, but I hope nonetheless fruitful in terms of describing the directions I hope to take in future.



4.6.08

from waxidermy:

As interest continues to surge in the softer sounds of yesteryear, it is apparent that a Soft Renaissance is upon us. This is no secret to deep diggers around the globe: rival collectors are frantically scouring the earth, scrambling to Out-Soft each other with unheard obscurities of extreme gentleness. Every now and then, the collecting world is set ablaze when a new record surfaces that is so soft, it literally sets a new standard for softness. Soft, it seems, IS the new Hard.

3.6.08

2.6.08

your debut album.


mine is Buharkent: My Neighborhood After Dark.

1.6.08

OLD LADY: I shouldn’t cry if I were you, little man.
LITTLE BOY: Must do sumping; I bean’t old enough to swear.



Punch
cartoon, 2 April, 1913, cited in
Allan, Keith, and Kate Burridge. 2006. Forbidden Words: Taboo and the Censoring of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.





swearing in private and familiar talke … is used and taken there for a vertue. So that he that can lashe out the bloudiest othes, is coumpted the bravest fellowe: For (saie thei) it is a signe of a coragious harte, of a valiaunt stomacke, & of a generoseous, heroicall, and puissant mynde. And who, either for feare of Gods Judgementes will not, or for want of practice cannot, rappe out othes at every word, he is counted a Dastard, a Cowarde, an Asse, a Pesant, a Clowne, a Patche, and effeminate person, and what not that is evill. By continuall use whereof, it is growne to this perfection, that at every other worde, you shal heare either woundes, bloud, sides, harte, nailes, foote, or some other parte of Christes blessed bodie, yea, sometimes no parte thereof shalbe left untorne of these bloudie Villaines.




Philip Stubbes. 1583. The Anatomy of the Abuses in England in Shakespeare’s Youth, cited in
Shirley, Frances. 1979. Swearing and Perjury in Shakespeare’s Plays. London: George Allen & Unwin.


didn't make the final cut.