“You are here”, AKA the Newswipe theme tune

Fans of minimal electronica (it’s not quite a chiptune, I think) and Charlie Brooker have no excuse not to listen to this:

It’s the full majestic eight minutes of the Fortdax remix of Nathan Fake’s “You are here”, both the perfect news theme tune and the perfect name for a news theme. Although the Newswipe version’s basically distilled one of the best bits, I still can’t stop listening to it in its entirety, and you should too.

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Lily Allen only hates pirates because her dad looks like one

Well I think I speak for all the not-entirely-legal music downloading community when I say “Oh fuck, Lily Allen’s weighed into the piracy debate“. I think she might have been panicked by International Talk Like a Pirate day. Lily says, and I quote:

“music piracy is having a dangerous effect on British music. but some really rich and successful artists like Nick Mason from Pink Floyd and Ed O’Brien from Radiohead don’t seem to think so.”

Seeming to imply that the evil rich overlords of music are indifferent to the suffering of mediocre musicians. Hm, I can’t imagine why Lily would be bothered by the trials of the bland, the mundane, the humdrum purveyors of beige music. Not at all.

I’d just like to point out here that while it’s certainly not ideal for the desperate muso, I should imagine that any musicians who’d genuinely be pushed over the poverty line by their sales dropping are probably saving a fortune on their own music collections by Limewiring the shit out of that bitch. In fact the only people I’d say should be concerned about the loss in profits are the cocaine dealers of the semi celebrity pop idol winners.

Not that I’m claiming torrenters are guiltless. It is taking somebody else’s work without paying the requested fee – which is pretty unreasonable for something which, when all is said and done, is entertainment. At the very least it’s impolite. The point, however, is moot, and not one Lily should be worried about. The people with a real stake in this are the pushers, the dealers, the recording industry gods like Sony and EMI who’ve built up a massive advantage over the competition. Although they’ve certainly got the resources to construct a new medium that works for both artists and consumers, it’s never going to be quite as profitable for them as the status quo.

The current situation is, as far as I can see, simply massively influential bodies clinging by the fingernails to a dying medium that has been paying their amphetamine bills for decades. Artists weighing into the debate are simply footsoldiers who have been convinced they have something to lose. Chill out, Lily. There’ll always be teenage chavs. I don’t think anyone can say that the current setup is particularly great for anyone save the suits who run it.

The simple fact is that these megalithic entities have been acting like such pricks to artists and fans alike over the years, they realise nobody would give a shit if they turned up their heels in the wake of the revolution. So they use puppets, like Lars Ulrich, Patrick Wolf and, indeed, Lily Allen, to promote their cause. The visionaries who can see the change in the wind are capitalising on the situation; you only need to see the sales figures on In Rainbows to realise that even if “pay me what you like” isn’t a sustainable paradigm, you can certainly capitalise on that kind of shenanigans.

The future belongs to the innovators. Imminently, a new way of distributing entertainment will be demanded; Big Music’s leverage is slipping. Without it, compromise will be needed to bring customers and artists into their fold. Possibly after someone’s explained the concept of compromise to them. In the meantime, fresh blood, the Spotifies and the like will be surging ahead, becoming new giants, earning the right for the next decade or so to be total and complete arseholes.

Bootleggerybloggery – A golden stream of seven (7) of my favourite mashups

Okay, it’s not a stream.  Titles are harder than they look.  I have listened to some good mashups and put them in a list with a number of the things in the title, because people like to know how many things they are going to read before they read them.

    Shut up on a blue monday

  1. ComaR – Shut up on a blue monday
    Rihanna vs. New Order
    One of those mashups that’s just unescapably right when you hear it, and also has been making me dance like a great big gay for some time now.  The better the mashup, the more humiliation it subjects you to.  That is the rule.
  2. I kissed the nobodies

  3. Yold – I kissed the nobodies
    Katy Perry vs Marilyn Manson
    I’ve got a slightly guilty love of both these artists, so this makes me very happy. You might have to engage brain to find it though, because hotlinking is naughty.  Worth listening to some of Yold’s other tracks while you’re there though, he/she/it is a very talented man/woman/robot, even if this does go on for ever so slightly too long.
  4. This town

  5. This Town – DJ Le Clown
    Blues Brothers vs Sparks
    It’s hard to see how a coupling like the Blues Brothers and Sparks could go wrong.  Admittedly a little more Sparks in the mix would be nice, but then I’m not the Clown, now, am I?  For optimum enjoyment, listen whilst fleeing from several hundred police cars.
  6. Busy Fuckin in the Bushes

  7. Busy Fuckin’ in the Bushes – DJ Schmolli
    Oasis vs Sean Paul vs Fergie vs House of Pain vs Faith no More vs Kelly Clarkson vs Jay – Z
    Oh come on. This one gets in based on pure volume of artists used, with bonus marks for Fuckin’ in the Bushes. It doesn’t even sound as cramped as some mashups using two or three songs. Hats off, Schmolli, whatever the fuck your name means.
  8. Psyche Encore

  9. Psyche Encore – ComaR
    Psyché Rock (Fatboy Slim Remix) vs Encore
    I’ve never heard of Psyché Rock before, and I’d be prepared to put it down to ComaR being a French man who is French, except it’s a Fatboy Slim mix of a 1964 track so I’m not narrowly horizoned, I’m just badly informed. And it is in fact big in England, since it’s almost exactly the Futurama theme song. Do you like Futurama? Do you like Jay-Z? You’d better.
  10. Guns Up Your Life – PingPong
    Guns Up Your LifeGuns n Roses vs Lisa Stansfield vs Pussycat Dolls
    See, this is why I love mashups like I love ham salad sandwiches. Lisa Stansfield is the food group that I would never eat unless it was combined with other, more palatable foods. Admittedly, vegetables are food you need to live, and Lisa Stansfield is almost the diametric opposite of that, but nevertheless. She goes well with hammy, hammy Guns n Roses.
  11. prodigy_cover_outnow__400x400Thunderstruck Thunder – PingPong
    Prodigy vs ACDC
    Since I’ve not heard heard the Thunder track on the Prodigy’s new album (and Spotify fails pretty hard on certain artists), I can’t vouch for how much of the thickly-spread acid bass funk on this mashup is down to PingPong’s considerable talents. I can tell you though that it’s very very good, and anyone familiar with Invaders must Die should know that Thunderstruck Thunder beats the shit out of it and steals its lunch money for drugs.

Honourable mention:

The Ghost That Feeds
Nine Inch Nails vs Ray Parker Jr.
The best mashup of either The Hand that Feeds or Ghostbusters I’ve ever heard. Unfortunately vanished from where I got it from, you can allegedly still download it from the NIN remix page, linked from Nathan Chase’s blog. God bless you, Reznor.

Jonathan Coulton & Paul and Storm, Manchester Academy

So yesterday was the Jonathan Coulton(website) and Paul & Storm(website) concert at Manchester Academy.  I’ve been waiting a long time for Coulton to come over this way (he never writes, he never calls…) but it’s got to be said, it was worth it.  Call me shortsighted, but I’d never realised just how much his audience is biased towards the Y chromosome; admittedly, he sings about robots, evil overlords and mathematical functions but yeah, whatever.

Paul & Storm were a surprise for me.  I mean, their songs didn’t have the geekily identifiable vulnerability of Coulton’s, but they made up for it with pirates.  It was a beautiful, beautiful moment when they asked for a “dejected arr”, “surprised arr”, as well as “perverted arr”, and the audience to a man nailed it.  When they asked for a “William Shatner arr” the guy on the front row was rightly presented with a packet of Haribo Starmix (Starrrrmix?) when he correctly stood up and screamed “Kharrrrrrrrn!“, and I think we’re getting an accurate image of the atmosphere here.  The only thing that surpassed the chaos of pirates (new james bond title?) was the Rickroll at some point in the gig, though I’m not going to let slip where.

Another thing I’m not going to tell you is who the surprising celebrity guest was, though I’ve no idea if it’s even recurring.  Put it this way though, there was a squeeeeee from the few female members of the audience that was just about audible over the roar of approval from the guys.  Who knows, if you pay careful attention you might be able to figure out who it is from this blog.  And if I’m impressed by a celebrity, you know it’s good.

Coming soon, possibly; blurry pictures of Coulton performing that could equally be bigfoot.

Put’choo onnit (kill me)

Fuckbuttons - Street Horrsing album art

I’m spending a lot of time lately listening to Fuckbuttons (myspace, media heavy, duh), a duo from dahn sahf bringing a kind of harmonic tribal white noise to my ears; it’s hard to describe beyond “ambient electronica” which frankly fails to capture it; if you’ve got a better description then feel free to tell it to your own backside.  The best suggestion I can give is to head over to their Myspace page and listen to Sweet Love for Planet Earth.  Go on; fuck off, you’ve got my permission.  Then come back.

It’s nice to see Late of the Pier (myspace, website)  getting some mainstream recognition lately.  I’m not actually much of a music wanker (my reasons for being a bit of a wanker are completely distinct) but it’s gratifying to see a band that I’ve already discovered, listened to and grown bored of gracing the cover of the NME under the title “next big thing”.  To be honest, I’ve had trouble getting into anything of theirs as much as Bears Are Coming, which sounds like an epileptic in a pan shop with a keyboard.  I also think it’s going to be my new favourite thing to scream while running naked through the local park.

Anonymau5?

Anonymau5?

Furthermore, Deadmau5 (website, media heavy).  The guy’s clearly a fantastic house musician with an awesome helmet and solid geek credentials.  Why haven’t I heard of him before this week?  I was against Dave Pierce’s insurgence on BBC 6 Music, but maybe it’s what I need if I’m going to hear Sometimes Things Get… Yeah for the first time when I’m shopping in a music store.  Last week I asked the cashier who was on the stereo and it was Soulwax.  And I didn’t know it.  I live in Manchester, she gave me a look as if she was expecting me to commit seppuku.

For the unaware, Manchester’s vibrant, youthful, progressive image can basically be interpreted as follows; at any point in Britain, you are, allegedly, at most five feet from a rat.  Rats in Manchester complain that they’re being swamped by fourteen year old Amy Winehouse dressalikes, swarming around the shopping centres and showing off the latest fashions.  The kids, not the rats.  As far as I can tell the latest fashions – for the image conscious reader – all involve a charity shop and a random number generator.

Get me out of here.