I’ve become curious about the way my phone’s screen turns off. It’s a Nexus, and I’m not sure if this is specific to the model or all Android phones but upon pressing the off button, the dark nothingness zips in from top and bottom and zaps out the light in the middle as if it were an old television. I wonder if this is a genuine outcome of the phone’s machinery or a software-encoded reaction to simulate that familiar closure. Children growing up right now will have no idea why the cameras on their increasingly thin soul gems make a chk-chak noise. It’s just the noise the app makes, after all. They’ll have no understanding that it’s a simulation of a genuine noise produced by the moving mechanics of an ancient and entirely separate device, one which was basically a load of bullshit because you couldn’t even put a filter on your photo without having an entire fucking room and a bunch of chemicals to do so. I find these simulations haunting as they are historical, like every device now is a museum of curios, exhibiting the fading ghosts of analogue experiences.
The Web is the great enabler when it comes to turning what once were parlor debates into clamorous viral feuds. This one has all the pretension of academic politics but even lower stakes.
1) Fucked Up
"I’m going to be out of the office for a couple of hours this afternoon."
"I have to do that fucked up interview."
"What’s wrong with it? Does the artist keep cancelling?"
"Are all the reviews set for tomorrow?"
"Still one more to edit."
"Because I need to get the reviews set for tomorrow!"
"This comparison feels off, let’s change that, to me it sounds more like a 70s prog band."
"I really do think so, yeah."
"Hey do your impression of someone from Boston."
"MORE THAN A FEEEELINNNNNNNN’!"
You’ve been a great audience, thank you goodnight.
100% Australian music real talk.
FOUR HEAPS GOOD BANDS AND TWO KINDA SHIT ONES. Jeremy Neale in the former camp:
Featuring shredding by Chuck D. Sale of Brisbane heart-throbs Babaganouj, ‘Stallion Rider’ is nerd-nip for the geeks still clinging to their high school power metal phases. Them who’ll cop to Carly Rae Jepsen and Taylor Swift as guilty pleasures but click their Spotifies to Private when the clock strikes Dragonforce. ‘Stallion Rider’ is not a particularly artful parody but considered as homage, it’s beautiful.
Neale sports the cropped mop of Maiden’s latter-day Bruce Dickinson but the headband, the basketball, the date it was released (April 1) - these might, to great dismay, be clues that ‘Stallion Rider’ is less than sincere. And that’s for the worse, since there’s great fun in the fantastical theatre of metal, which given Neale’s previous camp-vamp posturing seems like a natural lure. C’mon Jezza, give yerself over to the Beast and play it straight. What’re you doing fucking around in Velociraptor when you could be Australia’s Justin Hawkins?
This week Buzzfeed published a piece called “A Complete Ranking Of (Almost) Every Single Mitch Hedberg Joke”. It contained a complete ranking of (almost) every single Mitch Hedberg joke. A few things occurred to me as I read it:
1) For me, Mitch Hedberg’s jokes, kind of like Jack Handy’s jokes, actually work best as words on a page (or screen). I do like his delivery, and I know for many people that is part of what makes the jokes so good, but it’s another situation where having the right word in the right place is the essence of it, so I can really laugh just by reading them, which I have done over and over, even if I’ve never heard a given joke performed.
2) So this list of 275 jokes is essentially his life’s work as a writer (and his life wasn’t that long). He had about seven good years as a stand-up, where he made a living, toured, did late night television. During those seven years, he supported himself with these 275 one-liners (obviously delivered by his performing self), and he was able to do so, make a living, by thinking up these lines. He was in a movie or two in there, but everything in his professional life flowed out of these bits of text. The body of work reproduced on this Buzzfeed page was the core of his livelihood.
3) In 2014, if you write the kind of one-liners Mitch Hedberg did, it’s very tempting to put them on twitter, because twitter is perfect for the format. And you could burn through these 275 jokes for free in a few days or weeks and that would seem normal and your opportunity to make a living from those jokes would be gone. Maybe they would lead to other work, if you were good at anything other than thinking up one-liners.
4) When I read this, I wondered if Buzzfeed paid his estate anything to include all these jokes on its page. I think there are reasonable arguments for paying and for not paying. These jokes are on a million web pages scattered around all over the internet, and they were not published in written form but were transcribed from performances. So in that regard it would be silly. But the jokes seem so writerly to me, and it’s so clear that they survive as a written thing, and they are, as I said, essentially the life’s work of this late writer. So it’s not totally unreasonable that an entity making money from gathering them in one place would funnel some of that money to the writer’s estate.
I’m inclined to say that BuzzFeed absolutely should pay to re-print those jokes and it’s a sign of how far over the line the internet has pushed us that that’s not the consensus view, but that they’re ranked changes things slightly. I mean, if they are in fact ranked. I have no interest in doing anything for BuzzFeed so I’ll hold off on seeking it out but if it’s actually just a list of Hedberg’s jokes with numbers next to them, sans commentary, then it seems like pretty blatant copyright infringement, right? BuzzFeed’s core business model is based on that. And I have friends who’ve worked at BuzzFeed and friends of friends currently do, and making the run-of-the-mill dumb lists (49 Ways You Know You’re Australian etc.) seems like a pretty okay way to make a buck, but this part of it seems, if not downright illegal, then certainly unethical. I don’t think it’s an issue of Fair Use but those guidelines seem apt, even so, to try and discern what worth the article adds as context for the material, or how it meaningfully differentiates itself from a straight-up unauthorized republication of another artist’s work.
Also I think it’s a good point that Hedberg’s jokes work as text - probably a byproduct of his anxiety about performing, right? - but part of the fun for me reading unfamiliar Hedberg jokes is already knowing his delivery and being able to simulate it while reading. They might function as text, especially the subtly cerebral ones like the broken escalator joke, but they kinda come to life in his voice.
nonchalantjon asked: Every time my brother comes home we have a "Show me what you been listening to" stand off and 90% of the songs he likes when it's my turn to play stuff are songs I discovered on your blog. Dance music is really the only thing we bond over and I guess this is a thank you cause if it weren't for those songs we'd just end up arguing more
Dance music is the great uniter! It brings souls together unlike any other. It is on the dance floor where we are free to let go of the pretenses of the outside world and bond with each other soul to soul.
Miles Davis (trumpet), Carlos Garnett (tenor and soprano sax), Bennie Maupin (bass clarinet), Herbie Hancock (electric piano, synthesizer), Harold Ivy Williams (organ, synthesizer), Dave Creamer (guitar), Colin Walcott (electric sitar), Michael Henderson (electric bass), Jack DeJohnette, Billy Hart (drums), Don Alias (congas, percussion), Badal Ray (tablas). Recorded June 6, 1972. This is the baddest shit I’ve ever heard and it makes other music seem small.