warn in sines

Look, I made a new track. Funky beats, synths — you know the drill.

Here’s the mp3 in case you want it. The new album will be out in Summer 2011.

warn in sines

W is for Wiki, X is for Xiaobo

Okay, if this isn’t the coolest picture ever taken of a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate ever, I’d like to see one cooler. Liu Xiaobo is so cool. He’s all Wazzzzzaaaaaap! (I assume he’s not flashing some butterfly-silhouette west-coast sign in response to Chinese authorities torturing him off-camera.)

And of course China’s being all Jessi Slaughter, like “d00D if you countries wanna front and go to the ceremony we’ll pop a glock in your mouth and make a brain slushie!” But the funniest article by far has been the Xinhua (Pravda of the Peoples’ Republic) article:

By enshrining a convict, the Committee pulled the old trick of trying to impose the Western values and political system on the rest of the world.

LOLZ. Hey China! Suharto called; he wants his ludicrous camouflage of brutal authoritarianism under the guise of anti-colonial struggle back!

WikiStuff

If you’re like me, when WikiLeaks starting blowing up, you were all “But are they really a wiki, like Wikipedia, all open to everyone?” Well, it turns out they’re not. But they were planning to be! Julian Assange put it like this:

It was our hope initially, because we had vastly more material than we could possibly go through, that if we just put it out there, people would summarize it themselves. That very interestingly didn’t happen – quite an extraordinary thing.

Our initial idea was: Look at all those people editing Wikipedia. Look at all the junk that they are working on. If you give them a fresh classified document about the human rights atrocities in Fallujah that the rest of the world has not seen before – a secret document – surely all these people that are busy working on articles about history and mathematics and so on, and all those bloggers …, will step forward, given fresh source material, and do something? No! It’s all bullsh**.

So he’s all cranky because not everyone wants to work on what he wants everyone to work on. Sorry, dude! Even Noam says you gotta go where your interests are!

Anyway, they switched away from the wiki model, but .. they kept the name! What’s up with that? Meanwhile, it’s causing some headaches and confusion for Wikipedia, since lots of people get them confused.

But Assange isn’t the only one trying to glimmer off Wikipedia’s shine! Check out Amazon’s pathetic weakness! All the info you could ever want to know about James Joyce (because they copied it all from Wikipedia), but enhanced with “shopping-enabled” links to his books on Amazon! I swear to Jebus I’m not making this up. They probably have a Balzac page, but I can’t find it and I’m tired and the XBox is calling for me.

TimeWaster™

Look, it’s Jessi Slaughter. Apparently you can’t stop her.

Today I’m listening to: Meat Beat Manifesto!

Hip Hop = No Country for Old Men

I’m feeling old.

I don’t get Lil’ Wayne. I don’t understand why Drake is popular. I don’t see why everyone’s wetting their pants about Gucci Mane.

I grew up with hip-hop. Run-DMC, Public Enemy, Paris, The Coup, etc etc. I still listen to hip-hop all the time. I buy new releases from new artists like Lifesavas and Lupe Fiasco. But I feel alienated, cut off from the hivemind of modern hip-hop.

Part of it may be that I’ve never been down with the mainstream. I appreciate the aesthetic of lumpenproletariat artists like Snoop, Slick Rick, Geto Boys, Redman, DMX. But I’ve always preferred rappers who have something real to say — something important.

Very few artists getting regular rotation these days have anything important to say.

As I said on Facebook, I’m wrestling with Jay-Z right now. He just put out a book called Decoded, and I’ve heard three interviews (two of them hour-long) with him, during which the interviewers (legendary intellectuals like Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson) heap untold praise on his skills. I’ve never been blown away by Mr. Hova, mostly because it all felt so standard — dealing drugs, getting money, attracting women.

But I’m willing to give him another chance. So I’m listening again and reading lyrics carefully, and I’m discovering that his lyrics are all about .. dealing drugs, getting money, and attracting women. If there’s insight or groundbreaking material here, I simply cannot find it. I met a woman at a hip-hop-and-education conference several years ago who expressed some mixed emotions about Jay-Z’s music. I wish I could remember her name so I could see if she’s written about this.

Let me say that I have lots of respect for Jay’s lyrical skills and musical production. Obviously he deserves lots of praise and success for the figurative language and aesthetic quality of his work. But for me, that’s as far as it goes. Meanwhile, artists who are every bit as linguistically creative, but also raising important social and political points — Dead Prez, Paris, Conscious Daughters, Public Enemy — don’t get this same kind of love.

It’s quite likely that we’ve reached the gulch-point of the generation gap that all music reaches. Fans of Floyd and the Beatles complain that Nirvana and Pearl Jam don’t have the same lyrical quality or depth of thought. I’m sure older country music fans would make the same points about Willie Nelson vs. Toby Keith.

It’s bad enough when my students show disgust toward The Simpsons and Star Wars Episodes IV-VI. But now they’re sneering with disdain when I mention Rakim and Boots. (And there’s near-unanimity that Northern State “sucks”, while Vanilla Ice is “fun”.) Yeah — I know, they just don’t know. But it’s another example of failure on the part of cultural institutions you would think would be showing them the way.

TimeWaster™

Taalam Acey, tell ‘em, would ya?

Today I’m listening to: Sunka!