Warren Ellis (author of Transmetropolitan and Freakangels amongst other great and freaky shit,) has a podcast of mostly ambient stuff called The 4am. He included “ennui” (aka “that i would find you” aka “sinister chemical wisdom”) in the latest podcast.
So last night I hit Grand Central in downtown Miami w/ Cira, met Bunny and Eden for ODDSAC, the Animal Collective/Danny Perez visual album. Ran into Prem and Yasmin on the way in, but they didn’t get in until later. Bunny and Ed introduced us to Emily (not Public Emily #1, Bunny’s Mrs., but another one; electronic musician. Seemed nice, but quiet and disappeared when we got inside.) The merch table had shirts and a poster (that Deakin apologetically said was for display purposes only, as they’d run out.) Producer comes on, says welcome, here’s Danny the director, he says how much he digs MIA and he’s got fam from here and it’s a weird place and here’s a movie to take you to another weird place. (I am paraphrasing.)
It’s probably slightly impossible to classify the damn thing. It’s not a video set to AC music, and it’s not a movie w/ an AC soundtrack. The music’s really bass-heavy in parts, heavy atmospheric and trance bits, acoustic guitar and sudden dynamic shifts, vocals etc. So great. The visuals are chaotic and have a vague series of “stories” or “sections” — they’re more like video vignettes to accompany these soundscapes. The addition of the visuals makes the music less vague and more defined “dark”, imo. A lot of AC’s latter stuff has dark overtones but this makes it more explicit. There were a few things I could have done without — the “water static” scene about 10 minutes in went on too long, I found it kind of grating and boring, but that’s probably my only real complaint. The opening piece, bass-heavy and vocal, sort of like a trance-y meditation
During the Q&A period afterwards someone asks the question I am wanting to ask: “What does ODDSAC mean?” and Danny says “you’ll find out in the morning when the subliminal effects have had time to sink in”, everyone laughs and someone else asks about the equipment (DVX100, final cut pro, after effects,) and someone asks the most insipid question: “how much fun was this to make?” (which is maybe another way to say “I have nothing to ask but would like you to acknowledge that I spoke to you”) — unsurprisingly, it was apparently a lot of fun to make. I’m going to posit that the title is way to conflate the ideas of a jumble of oddness and a sort of nascent strange egg (cf Coil’s “Strange Birds” — “One day your eggs are going to hatch and some very strange birds are going to emerge”, although I don’t think that’s what they were referring or alluding to, I mean that it’s in the similar idea.) Other bits: the Guggenheim installation was apparently much, much harder to do than this (Danny Perez also did that w/ AC), although the dude asking also wanted to know if they had plans to do more work like this (or the Guggenheim thing) in the future, that was left sort of open — Deakin said that Guggenheim thing was a sudden thing they didn’t know about until it was possible; no word on whether they’d do another visual album like this.
At any rate, Danny’s joke aside, I did have a horrible nightmare this morning. Personally very frightening and woke heart pounding and angry and confused, woozy and headache.
Here’s the trailer, doesn’t do it any justice:
If you get a chance, go, it’s fucking brilliant. It’ll be on DVD in June, no non-DVD CD release.
Cory Doctorow’s got a story over at Tor.com which is pretty cool. It includes a sly little reference to The Cuckoo’s Egg by Cliff Stoll (the 0.75$ error leading to a spy-ring thing). That book was the first thing I ever read about hacking, in probably ’89 or ’90; the first time I heard of telnet or unix. It’s dated as hell now — fuck, it was dated as hell in ’90, I bet, but it’s got humourous little flourishes that make it entertaining even now:
Dave knew my ignorance of obscure Unix commands. I put up the best front I could: “Well, theÂ eÂ flag means listÂ both the process name and environment, and theÂ aÂ flag lists everyone’s processâ€”not just your process. So the hacker wanted to see everything that was running on the system.”
“OK, you got half of ‘em. So what are theÂ gÂ andÂ fÂ flags for?”
“I dunno.” Dave let me flounder until I admitted ignorance.
“You ask for aÂ gÂ listing when you want both interesting and uninteresting processes. All the unimportant jobs, like accounting, will show up. As will any hidden processes.”
“And we know he’s diddling with the accounting program.”
Dave smiled. “So that leaves us with theÂ fÂ flag. And it’s not in any Berkeley Unix. It’s the AT&T Unix way to list each process’s files. Berkeley Unix does this automatically, and doesn’t need theÂ fÂ flag. Our friend doesn’t know Berkeley Unix. He’s from the school of old-fashioned Unix.”
The Unix operating system was invented in the early 1970s at AT&T’s Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. In the late ’70s, Unix zealots from Bell Labs visited the Berkeley campus, and a new, richer version of Unix was developed. Along with hot tubs, leftist politics, and the free speech movement, Berkeley is known for its Unix implementation.
A schism developed between advocates of the small, compact AT&T Unix and the more elaborate Berkeley implementation. Despite conferences, standards, and promises, no consensus has appeared, and the world is left with two competing Unix operating systems.
Of course, our lab used Berkeley Unix, as do all right-thinking folks. East Coast people were said to be biased towards AT&T Unix, but then, they hadn’t discovered hot tubs either.
From a single letter, Dave ruled out the entire computing population of the West Coast. Conceivably, a Berkeley hacker might use an old-fashioned command, but Dave discounted this. “We’re watching someone who’s never used Berkeley Unix.” He sucked in his breath and whispered, “A heathen.”
Another year coming around. I find myself re-evaluating all the shit, good and bad, come my way. I’m doing OK, I guess. There are some causes for sadness, but overall, I can’t complain too hard, really. I enjoy my new job, and despite the death of Vic (or maybe because of?) I am learning more and doing different things, which is something I wanted when I left the old joint. Had Indian for lunch earlier with the dudes from Ye Olde Jobbe and they are in misery full-force. Which sucks. That whole environment is like a kid trying too hard; they want to be a business/enterprise instead of educational/medical — or maybe they think they should be? — and they’re just stressing the wrong things. Be a hardass about what you expect, don’t be a hardass about vanity or chain of command or other bullshit pipe dreams about how to show that the proverbial dick is bigger than the other dudes’. On the bright side, in about 5 to 10 years time, it’s going to be SUCH a premier environment (reputation-wise, for their care and tech etc…workwise, meh…too soon to say and things are too fast-moving to be able to pin down.) Relationship stuff’s worked out, really. Interpersonal drama-llama visits have been avoided. Old friends come back, Eden’s back and I will hopefully soonish find myself making some music with Bunny. I find myself thinking of Cass, wondering if she’s doing OK. My phone calls and emails to her are infrequent and I think awkward for her. I’m hoping this is why she doesn’t reply to emails. I switched back to winamp for playing music (itunes for the ipod still, but winamp is still awesomer) and the queen cover comes up at the oddest fucking moments. Still, she was awesome and that was aside from having the most amazing tits ever. Skeeter’s still pissed at me, but since she won’t answer or pick up, I just leave “wishing you the best” messages every 6 months or so. Mils is here today and gone tomorrow, back with the ex she always will have a spot for, which is kinda good, really. Sun’s comin’ from the tx, and i will be going to tx come august and maybe san fran or canada in the winter? I dunno. The old man’s gonna have multiple surgeries done at once but is putting it off until my sister gives birth, I guess in case he dies. I try not to think about it. Maybe let the vacousness of television numb it down; dr who greys anatomy dexter futurama cooking shows. Some days it’s just so much and some days you just relish in jumping into the fray, you know?
I just stumbled on a site about Set Theory Primer as it relates to music theory. Which reminds me of my favorite story about music I wrote that no one ever heard.
Bunny called me up, “hey there’s a gallery opening, we’re doing a music/performance/installation — the theme of the gallery is Summerian/Babylonian art, they’re showing some pieces etc etc”
I dig Sumer, cradle of civilization etc etc and I’ve read through Snow Crash so I know just a bit more than nothing about their language construction (atonal glosolalia? or some shit. doesn’t matter, i’m not writing poetry). So I look up Summerian music. Turns out it uses a 60-tone scale. Because I am S-M-R-T smart, I figure OK, I can make music akin to atonal 12-tone theory pieces, but I have to use 1/2 and 1/4 microtones (ie, bends and half-bends) and viola, 12-tone automagically becomes 60-tone. So I write this long droning piece in an open D tuning and because it would be a bitch to be bending whole chords (although you get some really awesome dissonances, some sonic youth/glenn branca shit going on where the notes beat against each other in the air) I go and get me a slide. So it’s like this blues hawaiian indian drone monster thing. It’s made of pure, concentrated awesome.
And then the day of the show, come to find out they go on an hour before they said they would and also that the music has been relegated to the alley behind the gallery. Which is OK, since that’s where the party people’s at anyway. Ran into solo and other people from the wayback.