Archive for March, 2012
Once again, an outstanding John Maus track, being a remastered version of a previously untitled demo. An ’80s vibe so well done that it sounds like Joy Division performing from the International Space Station.
Nice spoof from the Chris Matthews Show. Could have been an attack ad, but I doubt many Republicans would get it. And with health care reform under serious pressure this even becomes kind of painful:
The late 80′s/early 90′s revival just keeps on truckin’. It’s nostalgia for the era of acid, warehouses, whistles and glowsticks, but very over the top and tongue-in-cheek, almost satire. Still, the mix of jungle, rave and the retro visuals is nice:
Pretty cool. Watch for the latter half.
The mapping technique applied to human faces. Pretty neat.
It’s been a while that I was enthusiastic about a new guitar band. But here’s one. The sound of Japandroids feels like fresh air in a musical landscape dominated by endless 1980s rehashes, faux artsy bands, indie/electronic cross-overs, and the umpteenth minimalist hipster band. Instead, this is straightforward, hardcore, ramshackle, uncomplicated guitar music, calling into mind The Clash, the Ramones, the Pixies, punk and indie rock in general, and a little bit of ’90s rock.
But no text is necessary, just listen to this straight-up rock track bursting with force and energy (best sound quality here).
Every once and a while you run into a track that makes you realize again how fucking great electronic music is.
Take this 1993 track by Plastikman (Richie Hawtin), for example. Plastikman had an epiphany in the early 1990s, resulting in some of the most original and radical electronic music ever made. ‘Plasticine‘ is a great example: running for 11 minutes, it consists of only a few different elements that come up again and again in a different composition.
The resulting sound is so dark, epic and mysterious that it’ll blow your socks off if you’re susceptible to it. Although I’m still regularly surprised by the originality of new electronic music, a 19-year old masterpiece like this is rarely outdone.
Hipsters have been around since at least the late 1990s (although this is a label that is applied in retrospect). It is only in the last few years that mainstream society has started wearing moustaches, ironic glasses and embrace indie and electronic music.
The magazine Flavorwire has therefore asked eight American experts (sociologists, historians and cultural theorists): what will come after the hipster? Their answers are very interesting.
With Lana Del Rey’s meteoric, blog hype-fueled rise and rapid, SNL-catalyzed descent, the mere existence of MTV’s I Just Want My Pants Back and the trendy intellectual publication n+1 already taking a wishful backward glance at the subculture, hipsterdom appears to be on the wane. Have we reached a tipping point? If so, what’s next for American youth-based movements?
Here are some of the responses:
It’s difficult to talk about these groups as a “lineage,” because besides being groups that were associated with young Americans, they all had different levels of cohesion, formed in response to different social conditions, and produced different results. It seems to me that the beatniks and hippies were reacting more to society-level characteristics (conformity, political and cultural conservatism), whereas I associate the punks and “grunge” folks (slackers? Generation X?) with a cultural rebellion, reacting against a certain ossification in corporate culture (and especially music, although not exclusively). Interestingly, hip hop is missing from this list, and it seems to be doing both and neither at once, creating something new out of very limited opportunities. Hipsters seem to be a more general taste culture, embodying a number of different critiques of modern society in a more holistic, but I think less defined, way.
Predicting what comes after the hipster is almost as impossible as predicting the hippies would have been in 1959, or predicting the punks in 1967 (unless you knew that the Velvet Underground’s mostly-unheard debut album would give rise to a whole scene of like-minded folks a decade later). Subcultures usually form in response to some sort of perceived cultural conformity or hegemony. For me, today, that’s technology and the Internet, and in a way, some of today’s hipsters participate in some activities that try to eschew modernity (craft food and spirits, knitting, canning, etc.). However, I can’t see a youth subculture forming to react against modern technology, since it has become so intertwined with modern life.
I’m not sure that anything is going to emerge after the hipster, but not because we won’t have any widespread, cohesive youth cultures anymore. I think it’s possible that the hipster is just going to stay around indefinitely. As I said in my article “Generation Sell,” the hipster has been around as the dominant youth culture for way longer than anything that’s come before, and it occupies a place relative to mainstream culture that’s completely different. It’s not counter-cultural; it fits perfectly within the values of a large part of the mainstream, the so-called Bobos or bourgeois bohemians, which is what most members of the liberal upper-middle-class are. Hipsters are usually seen as consumers — “self-curators” who painstakingly select the music, movies, clothing and so on through which they construct their identities. More useful is to understand them as producers and distributors. Hipsters create Bobo culture. They make or sell or serve, or simply pioneer, what Bobos buy.
Of course, I could be wrong. The best bet for the next thing would be for something to emerge from the Occupy movement: less concerned about music and clothing, more concerned about politics; less concerned about differentiating yourself from the people around you, more concerned about working with them; less concerned about status, more concerned about social change; less ironic, more earnest; less polished, more grungy.
I don’t know whether the hipster was ever a cohesive subculture. It seemed more of a media creation than anything else, and as such it appeared coherent primarily from an outsider’s perspective. How many people do you know that actually call themselves hipsters? I don’t know any, or should I say the people I know that I consider hipsters only acknowledge that identity with sarcasm or irony.
So on the one hand, there appears to be this subculture called Hipster to the extent that we’ve learned to label certain clothing styles or mannerisms or values that way. On the other hand, many of the so-called hipsters I know are more concerned with being unique than they are being a part of something coherent.
[The] hipsters of the 2000s are a Millennial generation subculture (actually, a small, affluent niche of Millennials with enough cultural capital to discern hipness from a lack of hipness). Whatever comes after Millennials will find its own awesome or annoying forms of expression, and we just don’t know what it will look like because it hasn’t happened yet. But it’s probably safe to assume that like hipsters — whether of the 1940s and ’50s or of more recent days — the next waves of youth subculture will reject many aspects of square society, pick and choose elements of earlier styles or appropriate the styles of other cultures, define itself especially by its music and dress, and reject whatever label is given to it.
I predict that the hipster craze will pass, but the hipster will endure. Many subcultures exist in the side streets and alleys of mainstream society at any given time. These subcultures have their own distinct identities, and seek to differentiate themselves within the broader cultural landscape. Sometimes, a subculture will garner mainstream attention, as we’re currently seeing happen with the hipster, and the subculture may resent its newfound popularity. As the hipster subculture gains mass appeal, new adopters can diffuse or alter the hipster identity, causing the identity to become less distinct.
[The] “hipster” of today, at least as defined by my own observations and those of my students who are “in” that scene, is not one who is as much concerned with breaking or bending norms as he/she is with appearing to be different just for the sake of being different. It has become a superficiality of fashion and culture. The “hipster” of today doesn’t represent any kind of movement in the way that the Beats, Hippies, or Punks did. And, since so many of our taboos have been at least decriminalized, if not outright abandoned, what is there really to non-conform against? Not very much. That said, the other reason why it’s impossible to tell what’s coming next is because the “next thing” is always the product of a unique conflation of sociocultural, economic, technological, and political forces.
Has it been two weeks already? Time for some fresh beats and grooves. So what can you expect in this 7th FNS? We start off with a big one, Solomun’s remix of Noir & Haze’s “Around”. Then some funky minimal by Genius Of Time and Sebo K. Disco-flavored techno by Carl Craig, Miss Kittin and Jan Driver will fit in nicely after that. Not to mention Todd Terje’s delicious Chic-edit. Some freaky tracks by Kroman Celik and Egbert to counterweight all those happy tunes. And finally we go a little deeper with Shinedoe, Agoria, James Ruskin and the hyped but not overhyped Nina Kraviz.
There you have it. Partytime, bitches:
Het belang van sport in de samenleving wordt sterk overgewaardeerd. Dat komt niet alleen tot uiting in de sociale dwang om aan sport te doen vanuit “healthism” (het beoordelen van het geheel aan menselijke gedragingen vanuit gezondheidsperspectief); het goedpraten en financieren van hooliganisme, en het voortdurend bijstaan door gemeentes van bijna failliete voetbalclubs vanwege het zogenaamde “maatschappelijk belang”; maar eerst en vooral in het organiseren van miljarden verslindende, maatschappelijk ontwrichtende megalomane sportfeestjes zoals de Olympische Spelen en het WK voetbal. Sport is goed, dat is een axioma, en daar moet alles voor wijken.
Zo is de stad Londen in aanloop naar de Olympische Spelen dit jaar veranderd in een militaire zone: waar hordes zoemende drones de stad bespieden, en veiligheidscamera’s iedereen in de gaten houden; waar burgerrechten sterk zijn ingeperkt en het recht op demonstratie opgeschort wordt; waar meer militairen (13.500) op de been zijn dan in Afghanistan, en sinds de Tweede Wereldoorlog; waar een vliegdekschip in de Thames afgemeerd ligt en antiraketsystemen de lucht afscannen; waar private security bedrijven in de straten zullen patrouilleren, en biometrische ID-kaarten ingevoerd worden, en gezichtsherkenning, en waar een 80 miljoen pond kostend elektrisch hek van 500,000 volt het “Olympisch gebied” van de rest van de samenleving zal scheiden.
Leuk hè, de Olympische Spelen?
In Nederland willen we om een of andere reden ook een Olympische Spelen. Althans, de politiek. En dat willen ze zelfs zo graag, dat de ambtelijke top van een ministerie en een minister de werkelijke kosten van het evenement wilden verzwijgen voor de Tweede Kamer. Omdat dit afbreuk zou doen aan het draagvlak; het risico bestond dat ‘de Olympische ambitie’ zou worden ‘afgeschoten’. Goh, zou het? De kosten worden voorzichtig ingeschat op 8 miljard; daar kun je heel wat PGB’s, natuurgebieden, sociale werkplaatsen, en openbaar vervoer mee in stand houden. Zonder dat je je land paramilitariseert, en, evenals bij het WK, het primaat van de wetgever overdraagt aan een dubieuze oligarchische organisatie zoals het IOC.
Nee, laten we dit idee snel vergeten, en er nooit meer op terugkomen. Zo belangrijk is sport nou ook weer niet.
Niet alleen lagere ambtenaren, maar ook de hoogste ambtenaar op het ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport (VWS) wilde niet dat de kosten voor het mogelijk binnenhalen van de Olympische Spelen 2028 in een brief aan de Tweede Kamer zouden belanden. Dat blijkt uit een document waar RTL Nieuws vandaag de hand op wist te leggen.
De VWS-ambtenaren wilden de hoogte van het bedrag, 8 miljard euro, niet opnemen in het schrijven omdat dat slecht zou zijn voor het politieke draagvlak. De secretaris-generaal van het ministerie adviseerde om in de brief, die in 2011 werd gestuurd, geen bedragen op te nemen wegens ‘het risico dat de Olympische ambitie wordt afgeschoten’. Lagere ambtenaren zouden eerder al zoiets hebben aangeraden, berichtte RTL maandag.
In 2016 moet een keuze worden gemaakt over de Nederlandse kandidatuur voor de Spelen.
Snoop Dogg has always been pretty much the only cool rapper around. The only one who takes the ridiculous misogynistic gangsta culture with an ironic twist, and actually makes decent music. I still think “Drop It Like It’s Hot” was one of the best tracks of the ’00s, in any genre. Not to mention his forays into country music.
And here he is: now dropping a house mix. Snoop Dogg goes electronic, and it sounds pretty good! Of course, house music has much in common with hip hop, so in a way it doesn’t surprise. And he manages to put his own style in the mix, which is very smooth, relaxed and funky, with lots of deep house and nu disco.
Listen to this, it’ll make you happy. Artists featured are Todd Terje, Tensnake, Martin Buttrich and Toby Tobias. Big kudos to Snoop!
Check out these trippy stereographic Gif drawings of monsters by artist Dain Fagerholm. And stare at them for a while.
If you must hipsterfy your household, well, then consider these pixelated furniture objects and accessoires.
Actually I think that garbage can is pretty cool.
Last Thursday the Obama campaign showed its first feat of arms. The tone is harsh, gloomy and realistic, which is a pretty bold move, because I’m pretty sure that one of the primers of advertising is that it should always convey a positive message. It shows all the hardships the country went through in the last 4 years: the economic crisis, an imploding housing market, two nasty wars, etc. And it ends on a sort of positive note, with the capture of Osama Bin Laden, the retreat from Iraq and a slowly recovering economy. It’s narrated by Hollywood A-lister Tom Hanks and features usual suspects like Rahm Emanuel, Joe Biden and Bill Clinton. Would there be a particular reason not to include Hillary Clinton by the way?
Also, “Obamacare” is not mentioned (EDIT: Healthcare reform is actually mentioned quite a bit, from 7:15 to ,9:50. My bad).
The underlying message is: it takes eight years of Obama to repair eight years of Bush, so give me another term. I think this ad, or rather mini-documentary, is meant to assure his base that Obama is still the Obama of 2008, but that he is now wisened and hardened. And most of all, he has rescued America from imminent doom by averting financial breakdown, creating new jobs, bringing home soldiers and investing in the car industry. I am wondering if the tone is not a bit too gloomy, because at certain moments the film is almost like an obituary. But all in all it’s a pretty impressive mini-documentary IMHO, which gives a fair portrayal of his accomplishments (obviously, there are also enough negative points would have been mentioned in a real documentary), without any nasty smears to Republicans. It sets the tone for his reelection campaign, which I guess has changed from “Yes we can” to “We will overcome” or “Through struggle we are humbled”, or something like that. If voters are going to buy this (which in the end I think enough of them will) then Andrew Sullivan will be right with his “Obama’s long game” analysis.
- Edit: best analysis at TPM.