Friday, November 07, 2003

Hi Monkey Brains In The Cup:

You sweet talkers, you. I was going to write today to say that I can't blog for a while, but then I read a couple comments that made me feel like maybe I can still handle it a little. I mean, Tony Pierce says you don't have to write a ton---just do it every day and be consistent. Sounds pretty easy, right?

So I'll give it a shot.

I have zero time this morning, so how about a quick news roundup:

1. I was in Minneapolis for a few days working on the Top Secret Project. It was ice cold, like Outkast.

2. I was Steve Martin for Halloween, possibly the best costume I've done yet. I had been planning this since last Halloween. I went all-out: white suit, arrow thru the head, bunny ears, fish-in-pocket. ("Best Fishes!") Then at the last minute, before going out, I got an inspiration to do another combination-costume (like last year's Meg White-as-a-pirate). I got the idea to do "Stefani Martin"----basically, to take my Steve Martin costume and cross-breed it with Gwen Stefani. The idea was better than the reality. It was an idea before its time, I'm afraid. My friend Julio told me it was too much information to process. i think i understand. So before we left I switched back to plain old Steve Martin. But nobody at the party questioned why this Steve Martin had black liquid cat eyeliner and a big weird rolled-up curl in the middle of his forehead.

3. I am currently very into learning about early stone age hip hop--i.e., the 1970s black corollary to Andy Warhol. I am interested in the way that hip-hop kind of started in Jamaica, and also in the way that Kraftwerk inspired Afrika Bambaata and others. I am also interested in the fact that, as far as I can tell, early hip-hop kind of reinvented postmodernism--like if you thought the psychedelic-era Beatles or the Monkees were postmodern, this was that it the fifth dimension. Since I have heard this music, I now have quite a bit less interest in Beck.

4. I have to go now and learn more about Kraftwerk and hip hop.

5. I am super-psyched for the new "Let It Be." I wrote something maybe a year ago on the blog about "Let It Be," but I can't find it anywhere.

6. I feel happy. Like Donna Summer sang, I feel love. That song is commonly considered the first electronic dance hit. That song, recorded in Munich, I believe, is really a marriage of Kraftwerk and American disco. I am very excited, as I learn about Kraftwerk, to also discover everything about Giorgio Moroder, who wrote/produced Donna Summer's timeless and perfect album "On the Radio." He was a pioneer of electronic music in the 1970s.

7. I don't like techno, and I don't much like hip-hop, but I like the earlier versions of them both. I think this is because back then, it all sounded so new, and there was an unmistakable smudgy human thumbprint on all of it, even the most pristine synthesizer stuff. Kraftwerk was hooky and melodic and harmonic and romantic and human, with a back-story, a message and a sense of place. And, once again, they were hooky. That's why hip hop dudes used them so much. There was something so deeply sensually human about them, and about the best early DJs. This is why I like Outkast and Daft Punk, among a few others. They have some of the same bloody freaky humanness. It hasn't been bled out of them.

8. i really have to go.



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