Month: October 2018
tina weymouth redux
not DB’s voice, but tina’s bass: for what lasts? certainly not DB’s lyrics, which will seem over time, cliche. while, tina’s bass playing will go on forever.
sound – intercession re: the brilliant bassist, tina weymouth
one of the talking heads who gave the early TH the sound it had: her bass playing. inevitably the clash with DB’s ego sent tina off into her own zone, with her truly brilliant playing not recognized generally. a new band was formed with former TH band members called, No Talking, Just Heads. For which D Byrne sued them for their name… and they you have it. power over principle. power over friendship.
yet, tina went on to record at least one memorable album with the new band, the best song of which, for me, was/is:
hard to call actually, so i’ll include the following because of it’s deep pathos and musical reinvention, rather than by the poetry of her titles: great resonant depths of musical history coalesce here.:
john roloff and ships of the night
\well, there are too many works that roloff has created to reflect on simply. so below see some early versions that still stand up. but in keeping with his principle of wild, coleridge and liebniz associative thinking, the following make their cases in their own terms: JR is a university trained geologist, who became a ‘ceramist’, then major sculptor and innovator an many media, post-60s, working at that time with Arneson and others in the CA assemblage tradition, from which he broke, radically.
i’ve not met may artists who recite from memory the work of Dunn.
what follows are images of a fully fledged epistemological manifesto. Liebniz’s wigs in sulfur and iron.
and yet, they continue to be reincarnated in different places and in different contexts.
roloff’s work may have hit an unintended audience for his work, but that only proves it’s universal value. that is, it’s defeat of stereotypes. [insufficient commentary yet, but tbc.] my point being, that, the new siting of roloff’s work outside the gallery world that never understood it, has achieved a brilliant new context.
Google censorship in Israel?
We’ve heard now about Google’s plan of building a censored search engine for China. But we’ve not heard about how many censored search engines it may have already built.
I was attempting to determine the exact distances between Tel Aviv and Gaza City, and then from Gaza Center to Jerusalem. I’m currently living in Mexico, so the response I received was in Spanish:
“Lamentablemente, no pudimos calcular cómo llegar de “Gaza City Centre, فكتورهوجو، gaza strip” a “Jerusalén, Israel” .”
Easily translated as: Lamentably, or, Unfortunately, we are not able to calculate how far it is from Gaza City in Gaza Strip to Jerusalem, Israel.
this might be a google mexico issue. but that seems highly improbably. and even if it were strangely so… it raises the issue of how much google is tailoring it’s searches to various nations, like it’s been reported doing for china. i’m not suggesting that mexico has requested this sort of censorship, but it could well be a place where Google is testing it’s censorship algorithms…. who would bother to look at mexico? far more importantly, it raises the question of how extensive is Google’s censorship on a global scale? I would not be surprised to learn that they are involved in censorship on a massive geopolitical scale… yet to be determined. particularly after net neutrality was killed by the trump administration.
[does anyone remember the moment when Google was sued for scanning every book on the planet in order to be able charge of access to it? no? Google. at that tome commented, well, fuck you. we’re doing it. and there was never any challenge to them. so know what was formerly knowledge in the public domain, available for free, has now been hoovered up by google and privatized behind a pay wall. just as ALL images have been similarly privatized by getty and microsoft. so, who gives a shit about the exploitation of humans anywhere around the world?]
okay… so in the meantime, my test of google maps search has been tested again, by a highly techno-savvy source in the US. who responded:
and there is of course the question: why would Israel want to suppress such information? the answer is not difficult to find: the distances between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem or Gaza City are less than an hour drive. So the Palestine-Israel conflict, to put that 60 year old war in banal terms, is like Boston declaring war and then occupying, and then, fencing off Providence, Rhode Island. and then cutting off their water, electricity, food, trade, free transit in and out of the city, quality of life, and in general, all the human rights ‘guaranteed’ by a democratic government. And then using snipers to kill the residents of Providence for protesting against being forced into such an open air prison camp. The problem with my Providence analogy is that the population of Providence is 180,000; while that of Gaza is 32 million people. Though, the numbers should not matter. one death is as egregious as 5000.
so to whom do you listen? and when –hinge goes wrong
or, anonymous soldiers in holland during world war I?
the following should have been covered by Boulez, if was willing to cover Zappa’s Naval Aviation in Art? though, it’s best that he didn’t. he’d have smoothed out it’s intensity and anger way to much, even more than this studio version has, and sanitized it with classical strains. which is the problem with Boulez’s versions of Zappa. thus, –hinge is not always good.
there is no youtube version of quality that captures his brilliance.
but at least this poor quality audio/visual youtube version of his woodstock version of the star spangled banner gives a hint. imagine if youtube were willing to provide high quality audio, which they could do if they so chose.
sound and mathematics and another genre of minimalism – f(x) – therefore, hinge music
not unusual in production, in composition, see many posts below. but mathematics surfaces rarely in lyrics. but it does here: and if one knows anything about algebra, it’s audible, even if he’s being, which i doubt, ironic. he’s a minimalist, with a minimalist voice. therefore, his scores are algebraic repetitions of the same key function, (f)x, plus or minus a particular note. that gives him musical integrity with great density that goes directly to the heart of… something.
thom york has, rarely, done that.
A self-fulfilling prophecy of endless possibility
In rolling reams across a screen
In algebra, in algebra
The fences that you cannot climb
The sentences that do not rhyme
In all that you can ever change
I’m the one you’re looking for
It gets you down
It gets you down
There’s no spark
You’ve no light in the dark
not unlike, the other heads, the Talking Heads, at least thematically, but also, somewhat rhythmically both visually and sonically, though through the compositional technique of inversion…
not unlike supercolider:
and the live performance of his early work, ‘cymbal rush’, here re-titled, in 2018: but algebra all the way.
his audiences, i suspect, understand very little about what they hear… yet, the question remains, why do they listen? his music is as austere as the most esoteric of indian musicians playing ragas. so what are they listening for? not rock & roll, certainly.
yet, why do western audiences listen to yorke, but not to Indian musicians? a simple question. not an identity appropriation concern, necessarily. yet, it might be.
for a practiced context see: he may or may not, come off well… i think he fails.
whatever one thinks, one should remember that colonization flows in multiple directions, at once. power, conceived as a one way, flows in only one direction of course. but that’s rarely the case. but even assuming that one way street, the question of ‘power’ is not so simple. power is always multiply held, historically speaking. so where does any ‘authentic’ culture begin and end? atoms of peace, musically, is brilliant in its own terms, no matter where it comes from. and, it’s India origins is made explicit. so, must it not be conceived as an homage? inspired by. but not subservient to? ?
Above: Lamont Young on the far left. Terry Riley also studied with and was highly influenced by Pandit Pran Nath. And there is no traditional or world music more mathematical than Indian.
Of course, when has
the wealthy entertainment elite, from the beatles to lady gaga or whoever one might name, backed the politics of their lyrics with a single dime? many of them are in fact, tax evaders and only spend money on centrist politics at best. one can name a handful who support charities, or become cultural ambassadors, like Angelina Jolie for William Hague, former minister of state under Cameron’s Tory government. Or Bono’s questionable charity activities in Africa. Or the DiCaprio Foundation charity. All worthy endeavors no doubt. And, all safe ventures relative to any Hollywood political fallout.
however, just imagine if even a small percentage of their collective wealth were put to the same purpose as the koch brothers? for even liberal political causes, not to mention genuinely progressive or genuinely left causes.
now, imagine what power cultural consumers have, should they decide to boycott the cultural elite?
the cultural elite are politically compromised, and like Tom Cruise, stash their cash in tax free off shore accounts, and are therefore, basically hypocrites. they don’t give a shite, in practice, about those they sing about. or perform in movies for. they all rake in millions and millions and live the lives of billionaires. along with them. so the ‘politics’ they entertain us with, is just that, entertainment, part of the cultural industry complex, as Adorno and Horkeimer called it. just as the obamas spend their holidays with the likes of Virgin billionaire, richard branson, in bromance, while presenting themselves as ‘progressives’. Meanwhile, delivering TOO BIG TO FAIL global economics, the debacle of housing foreclosures, forgiving the Bush administrations torture policies, while ramping up his policy of extrajudicial assassinations by drone warfare. etc etc.
sound, even older school: AND – Israeli and US law of extrajudicial assassinations
London calling to the faraway towns
Now war is declared and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls
London calling now don’t look to us
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling see we ain’t got no swing
‘Cept for the ring of that truncheon thing
The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Meltdown expected and the wheat is growing thin
Engines stop running but I have no fear
London is drowning and I live by the river
London calling to the imitation zone
Forget it, brother, you can go it alone
London calling upon the zombies of death
Quit holding out and draw another breath
London calling and I don’t wanna shout
But when we were talking I saw you nodding out
London calling see we ain’t got no highs
Except for that one with the yellowy eyes
The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Engines stop running and the wheat is growing thin
A nuclear error but I have no fear
London is drowning and I, I live by the river
Now get this
London calling yes I was there too
An’ you know what they said? Well some of it was true
London calling at the top of the dial
And after all this, won’t you give me a smile?
I never felt so much a’like a’like a’like
THOUGH it may be relative:
‘popularism’, has a long history, and for most of that history, it’s been radically left, authentically, if, anarchistically, politically left, and not right. Philosophically right, but not politically ‘right’, it called out the hypocracies of political alliances and monetary deal making.
for the above video, today, the Clash would be assassinated by MBS. an act of extrajudicial justice no doubt sanctioned by Teresa May, as part of her hostile environment program.
so, in that historical spirit, in defense of their prescient take, there could be no greater lawyer than
harvard’s gabriella blum,
who helped to create the law international law in support of extrajudicial assassinations. and who seems, now, to be somewhat apologetic about it.
[The Israeli government] didn’t want to call their conflict with the Palestinians a “war” since that would recognize the inevitability of a Palestinian state and trigger a number of requirements under the laws of war. But they also didn’t want call it an “occupation,” since then they would be subject to the laws that govern occupiers. Among other things, occupation law would mandate them to use policing powers instead of offensive military tactics like targeted killing. So to avoid doing either, they simply created a new and unprecedented legal category that is, in effect, a new law for colonial dominance.
After 9/11, there was a shift under the Bush administration toward the use of preventive force, as opposed to pre-emptive self-defense, under customary law, or a response to an armed attack under treaty law. This shift becomes the basis of legal justification for extrajudicial assassinations, or targeted killings, outside of hot battlefields.
It was during the Obama-era drone warfare campaign, however, that these changes were really institutionalized.
No other state has invoked the concept of “armed conflict, short of war” in any other scenario, which Israel’s military lawyers admit they made up. Israel wants to be an occupying power in the Palestinian territories, but also claim that those territories are not occupied as a matter of law so that it can facilitate its settler-colonial territorial expansion. That is why Israel has remained in the territories for so long — it has never intended on withdrawing from them.
What are some of the frustrations that exist with the way that matters of Israeli targeted killing policy are discussed, particularly with regard to legal rationales?
Even in contrast to the United States, Israel attempts to frame itself as the more humane face of war because they’ve been legally regulating their war. But what articles like this don’t really mention is that even when defining rules around civilian harm and proportionality, as the PCATI v. Government of Israel decision does, Israel’s military lawyers, ethicists, and practitioners are able to legally redefine who counts as a civilian or not.
Israeli Gabriella Blum, Lawyer, Professor at Harvard Law School
and don’t forget zappa:
Zappa, from Plastic People:
Take a day and walk around
Watch the nazis run your town
Then go home and check yourself
You think we’re singing ’bout someone else…
and as a reminder of political positionality: so everyone stands somewhere, relative to some ethical ‘center’. how political is your center?