bleeps & bloops


Eggzausted

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I have stopped writing because I work too much. I am now officially brain-dead. Even my inner social commentary has just gone kaput. When I see something entertaining I don’t even shoot sly remarks at things in my head anymore. There’s no more “remember that for later” or “when I’m finally free I’ll….” Nope. It’s just trudging forward through lack of sleep and interest in life these days.

I’m giving the 9-5 a go again, or rather, the 9-6. And I think it isn’t for me, again. No Sir. Surprise. My joy in life has just turned to a sludge similar to what you might find in the drain when there’s a lot of hair and soap residue built up down there. Not a pretty sight. Especially when the water gets all scummy and won’t go away like the people, interests, bills and all the clothes on my floor that are just waiting for me to care.

I’m tired of it. I miss art’s constant magnetism, freaking out listening to music, feeling a mystical religious experience every once and a while, the highs and lows. A natural Prozac substitute, this full-time work business. Maybe once you do it enough then you need the real stuff. Right now it’s just a mellow lack of feeling. Well, a lack of all feeling except frustration.

I plan for it to be over relatively soon with a drop to part-time-ish work, but damn, New York City is a hard place to live in and actually have a creative moment. When I get home I barely have the energy to make dinner.

I’m lucky if I get home by 8pm, so I generally rush along and just bike the 6 miles from Chelsea to Brooklyn with my eyes scanning the horizon and potholes, not stopping until I flop on the couch in my room. Occasionally I get a wild hair up my ass and actually look around me and then I remember why I actually live here.

Like tonight. I saw some things that made me glad. And that was a feeling I had missed for a while. Biking along 20th St towards the Lower East Side I got behind a man on a bike with one of those little add-on back bikes where a little blond girl was perched, peddling along behind her Dad, probably contributing more to fun than peddle power. She was maybe 6 years old. My immediate reaction was shock especially when he barely slipped in between two taxis. Peddling behind them, I envisioned the little girl getting quickly crushed. The Dad navigated along the bike lane until they came upon the NY cyclist’s favorite obstacle- a taxi in the lane. (They should seriously be called taxi or delivery lanes, why lie.) He biked up to the driver’s window and asked him rather nicely to get out of the bike lane. The taxi obliged and slowly pulled out of the way. As they biked by the little girl turned and yelled “get out of the bike lane!” in her squeaky high voice with true conviction. I was so impressed.

On my way up the bridge, I passed a girl weaving her way up the bridge in an “8” formation, going up the bridge circling back and forth horizontally, slowing ascending and smiling to herself. This is quite a difficult way to go up a bridge, but noble none the less.

And then lastly I stopped at the top of the bridge on the Brooklyn side to remove my hoodie as I had worked up quite a sweat by that point and I finally took a breath and looked around me. The city was absolutely perfect- everything had this bright aura around it because of the humidity and the moon hung like a sliver above the skyscrapers. I heard some noise and looked down onto the street far below, close to the giant SCREWRENT graffiti that I love so.

There were some kids skateboarding off a concrete barricade. They had taken some more concrete and smoothed out a spot where the barricade touched the asphalt to create a better ramp. They were having a blast jumping off the thing.

A friend I really like is coming to visit soon. I envision dancing at Weird, playing music together and visits to the Natural Science Museum among other fun things. Having guests helps me take time to enjoy the city again and refreshed my memory of who I want to be.

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Freezepop comes to NYC, finally
October 9, 2007, 8:57 pm
Filed under: Music | Tags: , , , , , ,

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Freezepop, a three piece from Boston and one of my favorite synthpop bands, is playing for free on Oct. 19 at the CMJ Rykodisc Showcase at the Slipper Room located at 167 Orchard. To get in for free, you are supposed to email Rykodisc and RSVP at info@rykodisc.com. I tried this and I got a returned reply that said that they’d be back by Sept 15th and to check back then. Yeah… So who knows if it’ll work.

Their first album, Freezepop Forever, is their best in my opinion. Incredibly simple and playful lyrics with beautiful melodies and synthesizer work (especially for using just one instrument to create and compose all the music- the hand-held Yamaha QY-70).

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I consider Freezepop to be one of the best modern synthpop bands because they don’t seem to take themselves too seriously or stray into swirly dance-club epic-ness very frequently (like so many new synthpop bands) as they tend to stick to straight pop without too much flair for computer-produced effects. The sound is ultra clean and minimal and Liz Enthusiasm’s voice sounds crisp, smooth and naive. It’s just great pop music, plain and simple.

Freezepop- Science Genius Girl (Hi Phive Mix)

Freezepop- Tracey Gold

Freezepop- Smoke Machine

www.freezepop.com

Their Myspace page has some new songs. I really like “Pop Music is Not a Crime.” I can definitely sympathize.



blood is going to flow from the place I love- New Mexico

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Listen here to Moonface Mike
Tell you all what it was like
To light the sky not so long ago
Not so long ago
In crimson red hills so dead
Sands that bled in burning red
New Mexico

See the rednecks watch the skies
Flying saucers myths and lies
Myths and lies
Snakes are rattling on the ground
Wriggling into what they’ve found
Gouged-out holes of ripped-out eyes
See the rednecks watch the skies
In the megadeath birthplace
The megadeath birthplace
New Mexico

The White Sands of time
Are losing face, running down and going slow
In the Land of Enchantment
The Land of Enchantment
New Mexico
-from “New MexicoOppenheimer Analysis 1982

Music with politically subversive content typically remains within the ghettos of the punk rock and protest folk music genres. Though it has been known to radicalize many a white suburban angst-ridden teenager, the revolutionary content tends to remain within its subculture. I guess I tend to think of bands like Crass where, damn, they sure were wonderful but I feel like there are so many people out there who will never hear their witty political lyrics and possibly decide to join an anarchist collective.

I’ve always been a peripheral part of the anarchist punk scene though I generally dislike the music for its lack of musical creativity, I love the message and the people involved. My dream, which I have wanted more than anything, is to one day uncover my beautiful little planet that will be a politically radical synth-pop wonderland (and it’s not the Erasure album). Really. And I have my heart set on creating it if it doesn’t exist.

Why are there so few political synth bands? Why do they just sing about love or other abstractions? It drives me crazy. I feel like a lot of recent electronic bands branched off of new wave which branched off of punk back in the late seventies but the message got lost somewhere along the way. I guess back then most of the creative groups, if they made it into the eighties, were snagged by record labels when new wave became popular. They were then churned into pop-vomit by 1982. Those bands spawned tons of others who made some incredible songs with some unfortunately vapid lyrics. They are great to dance to but wouldn’t a song with lyrics highlighting the roots of our oppression be even better? Why not explore the wellspring of our sadness and disappointment, that which inspires the gloomy synthetic beats and makes you want to wear torn lace and leather. Let’s go there.

Only a few synth bands make it into my Arcadia and I worship the ground they walk(ed) on. They broke out of the box that is electronic music as a whole- a widely unpolitical music genre where I don’t understand the people but I love the music…

Though lately I’ve been listening to Andy Oppenheimer and Oppenheimer Analysis. With poetic yet potent lyrics focused on the Cold War, nuclear arms, power and paranoia, they stand out as having created some of the most beautiful minimal synth-pop music with a great dance sensibility to boot. Andy Oppenheimer, a nuclear expert, created some brilliant songs alone and with Martyn Loyd as Oppenheimer Analysis in the early 1980’s.

An excerpt from “Cold War“-

Your blood runs cold
When you think you only did what you were told
Look what it leads to the race to the end
The race to the end
They’re running out of lies
Please don’t listen when they try to rationalize
Look what it leads to the race to the end
The race to the end

After all these years
Closer to disaster
It isn’t very clear
Just who is the master
It’s getting harder every day to keep control
Can’t you see the danger getting sold getting sold
Get a hold
Please get a hold
Get a hold get a hold get a hold
Of a world in your hands
A world in your hands
There’s blood on my hands

Another song, “Radiance,” contains eerie yet gorgeous lyrics-

If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst into the sky
If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst into the sky
That would be like the splendor of the Mighty One
I become Death
Destroyer of Worlds

A short lived yet incredible project. I believe they reunited in 2005 for a spell to do some live shows.
Check them out here:

Oppenheimer Analysis

Andy Oppenheimer