Weird Al has a way of coming out of nowhere and grabbing the attention of a generation of nerds, well, just about once per generation of nerds. For me it was Michael Jackson (video), for some it was Nirvana (video), and maybe even The Kinks for a few. There is something beatuiful about the nerdification of pop culture. Of course there were a few misses in there as well.
This was mostly before the internet, of course. A song from his upcoming release Straight Outta Lynwood titled “White and Nerdy” has been leaked and is currently doing its rounds on the Web:
Original: Chamillionaire – Ridin’ Dirty (video)
Nerdification: Weird Al – White and Nerdy (audio)
The copy on putfile currently has over 1250 diggs, and for good reason: the lyrics are f’ing hilarious.
My MySpace page is all totally pimped out
Got people beggin’ for my top eight spaces
Yo, I know pi to a thousand places
Ain’t got no grills but I still wear braces
One question I’ve always had is what the original artists think of these parodies. Well, the artist responsible for “Ridin’ (video),” Chamillionaire, has put the Weird Al version up on his Myspace profile. I guess he likes it. Weird Al also notes that the video is finished, which is less surprising than the fact that he has an active Myspace blog.
Live electronic music used to be a rarity. Before the prevalence of laptops, USB audio devices and performance software, there were really only three choices for a live electronic musician: hardware, samplers, or some combination of the two.
The landscape today is entirely different. In fact, live performances are becoming the norm, even for dance music producers who used to DJ. Take a look at the DEMF/Fuse-in schedule for this year and compare it with the one from 2001. While a good number of people performed live in 2001, only one was billed as live, while in 2005 almost 1/5 of the acts are billed as such. Have audiences grown more receptive to live dance music? Are DJs becoming producers? Probably a little of both, but by and large the biggest change is Ableton Live.
The Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF), a.k.a. electronicmusicfest.org, a.k.a. The Movement Festival has once again changed its name under new ownership: with Kevin Saunderson at the helm, it’s now called Fuse-IN. They’ve just released the lineup for this year, and if you can find it amidst all of the horrible flash interface and tiny fonts, it appears pretty good. I’ve reproduced it below for those who can’t stand the website, or want to be able to link to it.
Fuse-Indetroit / DEMF 2005 Schedule
I think this might be the best lineup they’ve ever put together, with highlights for me being the Hague electro crew (Orgue Electronique, Bangkok Impact, and Legowelt), Surgeon, Fabrice Lig, Aril Brikha, Green Velvet, Slum Village, Aux88, Stacey Pullen, Juan Atkins as Model 500, Alexander Robotnik and the Shitkatapult guys (Phon.O, Apparat, and Peter Grummich). If I can afford the time, I’ll try to make it out there.
When Johnny Marr left the The Smiths in 1987 over creative issues with Morrisey, rumor has it that the pair were so angry they’d be lucky to set foot in the same room again. The Smiths were over, and fans would just have to accept that. Well, strangeways here we come. This week’s Popbitch email hinted at a possible change in plans.
Duran Duran have done it. The Pogues, Lloyd Cole and the Commotions, Doobie Brothers and Happy Mondays are all reforming too.
But the big news is that one 80s band no-one ever thought would be getting back together are in “early discussions.”
One fan had even promised his entire estate if Morrisey and Marr so much as shared an awkward silence for 61 minutes, but it appears that history has resolved things without fan intervention. If the Pixies can get back together and talk about another album, anything is possible. But until anything is formally announced, I’m going to assume that now is actually not very soon to come.
This past year was a great year for music, and consequently the cause of a few arduous weeks of consideration for this year’s top 10. In the past two lists I’ve struggled to come up with enough to make a list at all, but this year I could have had a top 30 without hesitation. So without further ado, the overstated top 10 albums and movies of 2003:
click for a good time
Some other 2003 lists I endorse: Carson Reynolds, Ben Recht, James Seo, Jameson Rollins, Adrienne Massanari, more soon…
Audioscrobbler is a plugin for WinAmp and XMMS that collects your listening behavior and aggregates it online along with other users. With data on what people are listening to, the system could begin to connect people to each other, users to new music they’re unaware of, or make predictions on the popularity of a given artist or song.
Unfortunately, the service has yet to reach critical mass (it only has 83 subscribed users), but it appears to be growing slowly. Even with a limited amount of raw data, its experimental artist similarity system pulls out pretty good predictions: a search for slowdive returns Sigur Ros, Mahogany, Bowery Electric and Mogwai, among others.
I’d love to see it grow, and I’d love to get my hands on the data. Mmmm… data.
What Cameron is listening to
Techno legend Derrick May has been given the keys to the city in Detroit for this year’s Detroit Electronic Music Festival. Riddled by bad management and shady dealings, the event has almost lost its backing many times over the past three years (we all remember “I support Carl Craig”).
Handing over the organization to one of the city’s many techno legends is a good step towards reliability for years to come.
May has DEMF contract in hand
It has become a tradition among my friends to release personal favorites each year shortly after the year ends. It is always one of the most arduous yet enjoyable tasks that i partake in regularly (last year’s list happened to be my first post on overstated). So without further delay, drumroll please…
Top 10 Albums of 2002
- the streets – original pirate material
- queens of the stone age – songs for the deaf
- lawrence – s/t
- wilco – yankee hotel foxtrot
- ekkehard ehlers – plays
- beck – sea change
- various – blue skied and clear
- drexciya – harnessed the storm
- rjd2 – deadringer
- people under the stairs – o.s.t.
Top Movies of 2002
- 24 hour party people
- spirited away
- dogtown and z-boys
- gangs of new york
- bowling for columbine
- minority report
- about a boy
- human nature
- 8 mile
Some of my friends are web savvy enough to post theirs: Ben, Carson…
Post your lists if you’ve got them, and let me know.. I always learn a lot about people through their favorites. Here’s some critical perspective to get you started:
All Music Guide Best of 2002
Pitchfork Top 50 of 2002
E! Online Replay 2002
All Movie Guide Best of 2002
We’ll all mourn the loss of one of the world’s beautiful voices. Mary Hansen, backup vocalist for Stereolab was just killed in a bike accident.
The music: Kraftwerk, Expo 2000
The theme: talent show dance competition
The outcome: some kid makes the competition look like 7 year olds hopped up on sugar with his sophistication [via b3ta]
Talent Show: 21st century dancing (requires Windows Media Player)