One Neat Thing a Day

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    Sean Daily is an English major from New Jersey now living in Las Vegas, the Other City of Lights. "I consider 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' to be comfort reading, I like the al pastor tacos at Tacos Mexico and I count among my literary influences the Chainsaw from 'Doom'. 'RRRRRR! You don't like that, do you, Mr. Undead Marine! RRRRRR!'"

    Shanoah Alkire is our Discordian at large. "Born in Santa Cruz, I grew up in Grass Valley and the Bay Area, and now lurk in Las Vegas. My literary influences include Ray Bradbury, Lewis Carroll, and Douglas Adams. I also program as a hobby, and currently maintain the Gtk port of Angband. You can find a rather old bio of me here."

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Archive for February, 2008

2-29-08 Billboard Liberation Front

Posted by Sean on February 29, 2008

This seems like an appropriate neat thing for Leap Year, something that people observe because, well, because they were told to.

The Billboard Liberation Front, started in 1977 in San Francisco by spring-and-autumn partners Jack Napier and Irving Glikk, is a group of culture jammers. They’re worried, as am I, about the grip that modern advertising has on culture and our minds and souls. So, like many good culture jammers fighting the Good Fight, they alter advertisements, either to hijack its power and get out their own message or to jam the mind control and give you a moment – and hopefully more – of gnosis and free thought.

And if there’s anything we need more of in an election year, it’s gnosis and free thought.

Their target is the billboard. As they say in their manifesto/mission statement:

You can switch off/smash/shoot/hack or in other ways avoid Television, Computers and Radio. You are not compelled to buy magazines or subscribe to newspapers. You can sic your rotweiler on door to door salesman. Of all the types of media used to disseminate the Ad there is only one which is entirely inescapable to all but the bedridden shut-in or the Thoreauian misanthrope. We speak, of course of the Billboard. Along with its lesser cousins, advertising posters and “bullet” outdoor graphics, the Billboard is ubiquitous and inescapable to anyone who moves through our world. Everyone knows the Billboard; the Billboard is in everyones mind.

They’re pretty cool about how they do it; it’s very yang instead of yin. Instead of spray-painting or destroying a billboard, they attach their embellishments in such a way that they can be easily removed.

It makes sense, if you think about it. After all, nothing scares people off faster than wanton destruction, and if there’s anything we need less of in an election year, it’s fear. Besides, if the billboards were damaged, then their targets might be perceived as victims and not the mind-controlling They Liveesque overlords that they really are.

I highly recommend you check out their website. It’s very corporate looking, very deadpan. They’re not culture jammers, oh no. They’re a crack team of advertisers “unlocking messages” in their “clients'” billboards! Gotta love it.

Billboard Liberation Front
http://www.billboardliberation.com/

They were also kind enough to videotape their latest improvement project – an AT&T billboard in San Francisco – which they hit the night of Feb. 27. (Thanks to Boing Boing for posting this video, which was the inspiration for this post)

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Posted in Gooey Gummi Goodness, Happy Media, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2-28-08 Mastodon – Circle of Cysquatch

Posted by Sean on February 28, 2008

Diane’s Kamikaze Fun Machine on WFMU is a good place for RAAAAAARRRRRGH! music, the kind of music that makes you want to say, in the immortal words of Messrs. Milk and Cheese, “We’re whooped up! Let’s have activities!” And Diane likes Mastodon. Mastodon is very good RAAAAAARRRRRGH! music.

And they have a crackerjack album cover artist to boot. Click the thumbnail for the full view.

mastodon_desktop_blood_mtn.jpg 

Here’s Circle of Cysquatch off Blood Mountain.

Posted in I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

2-27-08 Pinball Number Counting – Medieval Times

Posted by Sean on February 27, 2008

I was reminded of your neat thing today while hunting for videos for my Myspace (my my?) page. I wanted to find the video of Bert and Ernie going death metal on their drums, but what I stumbled across was Pinball Number Count.

PNC was a series of one-minute-or-so shorts that ran on Sesame Street (and may still do, I don’t know). I remember being really bothered by how the ball managed to stay on the ramps without any walls, but otherwise I liked them.

The art was some of the better bits of 1970s psychedelia. If you lived during the 1970s, you know how bad that could get, as anything from Sid and Marty Krofft would attest. But PNC kept it just gumdroppy enough without collapsing into “I’m trying desperately to be Peter Max!” drekness. And it had that funky, infectious music (sing it with me, Gen-Xers!): “OnetwothreeFOUR!FIVE! SixseveneightNINE!TEN! Eleven! Twelve!” (I found out today that said music has some real funk cred; it was sung by the Pointer Sisters)

But then I completely forgot about PNC. I didn’t even think about it for over two decades – until I started hunting for neat things. See what neat-thing-hunting will do to you?

This one, according to Wikipedia, is short no. 10, Medieval Times. Watch it, and then honestly ask yourself: could you really see anything this weird and this cool on kidvid TV today?

Posted in I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2-26-08 A post that’s possibly about reggaeton, Kanye West or maybe being white and nerdy

Posted by Sean on February 26, 2008

I wanted to show you the videos for two reggaeton songs that I like, Daddy Yankee‘s Gasolina and Don Omar‘s Conteo. But, after tracking them down, I gotta admit I’m a little embarassed by them. They both manage to hit the Hip Hop Video Trifecta:

  • Expensive cars? Check!
  • Numerous objectified females in estrous shaking their junk? Check!
  • A singer who’s waving his arms around like he’s about to punch you in the mouth? Check!

Oh well, I guess it’s like the Fuzzy Haired One says: I’m just too white and nerdy.

By the way, if you have to have women and fast cars in your video, at least have the common decency to do it right… like Kanye West in Can’t Tell Me Nothing.

And no, I have no idea what a woman doing the Dance of the Seven Veils in front of a wind machine and a Lamborghini cutting donuts down on the dry lake bed have to do with this song. But at least it looks cool.

POSTSCRIPT: Oh, and here’s a bemusing little take on Gasolina. Imagine Yoda singing reggaeton from inside the body of a blinged-out turtle and…

Yeah, just watch.

Posted in I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2-25-08 Barnes & Barnes – Fish Heads

Posted by Sean on February 25, 2008

So my very good friend Shanoah e-mails me today:

Der Furher’s face rather reminded me of this for some reason (probably from the same cd). Looked it up and the music video for it is certainly one of the weirder things I’ve seen.

“One of the weirder things”. You got that, right, bubbie, cos I checked out the link and nearly knocked myself out smacking my forehead when I saw where it led. Of course, I chastised myself! How could any collection of neat things be complete without Fish Heads!

Some things you may not know about this cultural touchstone of the 1980s:

  • It’s based on a 1978 song from Barnes & Barnes. According to Wikipedia,  they are twin brothers “based in ‘Lumania‘, a fictional mythological civilization (similar to Lemuria or Atlantis)”.
  • One of the Barnes is really Bill Mumy. Yes! Lost in Space! He also appears in the film.
  • Fish Heads originally appeared on Dr. Demento‘s novelty song show. Dr. Demento, AKA Barret Hansen, is the bum who gets weirded out by Paxton at the start of the film (and anything can weird out the good Doctor has got to be fairly twisted… oh God, no, Paxton’s not doing what I think he’s do… AW GROSS!).
  • This short was the directorial debut of Bill Paxton, who also stars as Creepy Fish Fetish Sunglasses Guy. According to IMDB.com, his one acting credit before Fish Heads was zillionth billing as John in Jonathan Demme’s 1975 Crazy Mama (a Roger Corman film). Before that, he was a set dresser for Corman.
  • According to Wikipedia, Paxton was also in the crowd waving at JFK when he emerged from the Hotel Texas in Ft. Worth on Nov. 22, 1963, the day he was assassinated. This has nothing to do with the movie. I just think it’s one more weird detail about this weird little movie.
  • No matter what Paxton and Mumy do in the future, I will now be their biggest fans forever.
  • Shanoah’s, too.

So here it is. Ye who enter, abandon hope and a good deal of your sanity.

Posted in FREAKIN' ME OUT MAN, I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

2-24-08 Spike Jones – Der Fuerher’s Face

Posted by Sean on February 24, 2008

With primary season on us and all, this one just seemed weirdly appropriate: Spike Jones and His City Slickers doing Der Fuerher’s Face.

Posted in I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

2-23-08 Dick Dale – Nitro

Posted by Sean on February 23, 2008

The brighter and warmer days have me wanting to hear some surf music. And who does surf music better than Dick Dale?

Now, I could have done the obvious thing and given you Misirlou – you know, the song that Quentin Tarantino had at the very start of Pulp Fiction. Now, that would have been a neat thing, but it also would have been an obvious neat thing. I mean, anyone who knows Dick Dale automatically thinks Misirlou when they think of him.

What would be even neater is something that’s just as good as Misirlou, but not as well known – and that has a good headbanging beat to boot.

Something like Nitro.

Posted in I Tunes Not U Tunes, Mailing List | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

2-22-08 Tom Waits – Rains on Me

Posted by Sean on February 22, 2008

You know those online personality tests? you know, the ones where you answer a bunch of questions and then you find out that you’re a horse or the Punisher?

I hate those.

I hate someone who doesn’t know me from Adam making pat observations about me. I hate having my unique personality shoehorned into one convenient and often stereotyped pigeonhole. And I hate the Punisher (although I can see their point on that one; guess my large buried cache of illegally modified assault rifles gave that one away).

In fact, the one on my brother’s MySpace page is probably the first one I’ve taken in, oh, give or take, a decade. But I gotta admit…

Which fucked-up genius composer are you?
Tom Waits… charismatic story-teller with a penchant for freaky people and unusual settings. You thrive on the concept of the underdog coming out on top.
Take this quiz!
Quizilla | Join| Make A Quiz | More Quizzes | Grab Code

Pretty accurate.

In light of this stunning revelation (“I am TOM WAITS! RAAAARRRGH!”), I bring you the bourbon-soaked Rains on Me, from the Fuzzy-Faced One. This one’s courtesy of Maria Levitsky at WMFU.

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2-21-08 Me First and the Gimme Gimmes – Country Road

Posted by Sean on February 21, 2008

My brother Brian is my hero. He runs the theatre shop at Mesa Community College, where he builds sets for the theatre department. He’s always got at least three irons in the fire, it seems, yet he handles the constant pressure with grace and humor. He’s everything I wish I could be: confident, wise, articulate, funny, laid back, good with a power saw, at the center of a deep ring of friends and successful.

I really am in awe of him; all my cleverness and snarkiness pales before that easy smile and knowing nod that he has. No matter how bad my life is, I can at least look east, towards Mesa, Arizona, and say, “Well, at least my brother’s doing okay.” I can live and succeed vicariously through him.

My brother is also a Mountaineer (11-2 for 2007, can’t do much better than that). So his birthday present this year is the most overplayed jukebox song in Morgantown, West Virginia: Country Road.

Presented to you by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes, of course.

Happy Birthday, Bri.

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Update on “YOUR ONLY HOPE FOR A FUTURE… now in stereo”

Posted by Sean on February 21, 2008

zer0 commented on my post “12-16-08 YOUR ONLY HOPE FOR A FUTURE… now in stereo” today:

WFMU:s recording of the “Three young seekers seeking out Mr. Dec” is actually the ripped soundtrack from Mr. Forrest Jackson’s videotaped visit to Mr. Dec’s house and deathbed, shot in late 1995. You can learn more about said visit here: http://www.pacifier.com/~dkossy/decvisit.html

It is also possible to purchase Mr. Jackson’s video (something I highly recommend) of meeting Mr. Dec and visiting his house by going to the following link on my forum and contacting the afforementioned Mr. Jackson: http://www.bentoandstarchky.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1162831084

Finally, my website actually contains one Dec rant (complete with recording) which is brand, brand new and which has never been published anywhere before. Said rant is called (by me, it’s transcriber and recorder) “A TERRIBLE PRISON SENTENCE”. You can read (and listen to, by hitting the “Click here to listen” -button) said rant from this address: http://www.bentoandstarchky.com/dec/terribleprisonsentence.htm

Keep on Deccin’, my brothers in Dec!

//zer0

He’s right, of course, about the Three Young Seekers MP3. And I didn’t listen to A Terrible Prison Sentence; I assumed it was one I’d heard already. See what happens when you assume?

Posted in FREAKIN' IMPORTANT MAN | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »