Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Flash and the Pan, "Lights in the Night"

It's been several years since I mentioned Flash and the Pan in the Empoprise-MU music blog.

This Australian band that started in my teenage years has been mentioned several times in the past, including a September 25, 2008 mention of Grace Jones' cover of "Walking in the Rain," an August 25, 2009 failed attempt to find the band on Akoo, a March 16, 2010 "tymshft" discussion about bands who resisted online song-only releases, and a March 24, 2010 mention of the original version of "Walking in the Rain."

As you can probably tell, I like the song "Walking in the Rain," and in the past I'd describe it as my favorite Flash and the Pan song.

But the title track from the band's second album is growing on me. This video includes visuals from Ann Mari Nerman (WASP-Queen).

P.S. If you were a member of the Empoprises Public Community on Google+, you would have known some of this already.

Remember the Annie Leibovitz-Miley Cyrus brouhaha over a revealing Cyrus picture?

I was searching for information on Disney's use of public domain items (here's a list of over 30 public domain items that Disney has used for its copyrighted material) when I ran across this story from 2008.

2008 - it seems so long ago.

Annie Leibovitz (right), the celebrity photographer, has been accused of "manipulating" a 15-year-old actress into posing semi-naked for Vanity Fair magazine.

Miley Cyrus (left), star of the Disney Channel show Hannah Montana, was pictured apparently topless, with only a satin bedsheet protecting her modesty.

Initially, she said she was happy with the shot, declaring it "really artsy". But she has had a change of heart when the picture was placed in the public domain.

Now I suspect that The Week was using "public domain" for a different meaning - I don't see either Leibovitz or Vanity Fair intentionally surrendering their copyright privileges.

Of course, with Cyrus' nude popularity, Disney probably regrets that they didn't try to obtain the copyright to the picture.

Meanwhile, Contact Music has noted the supposed change in Cyrus' attitude over the years.

So what's changed in four (sic) years? Despite mega-hit after mega-hit, Cyrus appears to be more than happy to fall into the laziest of routines - the MTV Video Music Awards being the notable example. It's like Lady Gaga but without any of intrigue or excitement, and mostly without the songs.

And, as I noted in a September post in my tymshft blog, it's not an original idea either.

Monday, October 28, 2013

German English Spanish Pre-Batboy Voodoo Roseanne (are not random words)

This little clip has everything.

To start with, this is a German dub of a U.S. film, "True Stories." The dialogue is German, but the song has been preserved in its original English/Spanish (with German subtitles).

For those who are not familiar with the story, this clip shows scenes of a celebration of Texas' 150th anniversary - specifically, a talent show in which some of the talent segments, and all of the performers, are based upon stories found in the Weekly World News. You'll see clips of David Byrne and John Goodman, decked out in their cowboy hats. Goodman is about to sing, and drinks something before he goes on stage.

Meanwhile, Pops Staples is doing his voodoo/santeria stuff in an effort to help John Goodman find love.

For those of you who think that voodoo/santeria is a good thing, remember that after this movie, Goodman found love...with Roseanne Barr.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Know Your Meme Deadpool - #illmitch

I went to the Know Your Meme website to research the Hitler Nutella meme, which was not listed. I then began poking around the website, and discovered that it has a "deadpool" of memes. Unlike Wikipedia, which removes similar entries entirely, Know Your Meme just shuttles them over to the deadpool, presumably for people to scoff at.

So I was curious - what was the very last entry in the Know Your Meme deadpool?

At the time that I checked, it was this one.

The entry is preceded by a deadpool warning:

This entry has been rejected due to incompleteness or lack of notability.
To dispute this DEADPOOL flagging, please provide suggestions for how this entry can be improved, or request editorship to help maintain this entry.

The meme description consisted of the following story:

Ill Mitch, born in Soviet Russia, came to America with an insatiable appetite to rap, box, and ride skateboard. His addictive rhymes and deep lyrics (“I have two sides – one happy, one anger”) earned him billions of fans across the world.
He has also released a number of videos to connect with his fans:

After reading this, I felt like I had reached the end of the Internet. Or had I? I knew what I had to do next. I linked to the relevant Know Your Meme entry, and added this description:

As of right now, this is the very last entry in the "Deadpool" section of Know Your Meme.

You know what that means - time to popularize it.

As I often say, I am not trendy.

I started by going to ILL Mitch's YouTube channel. I chose the 21st video in the series, posted back in March 2009. Why? Because it's about science, subject of a September 24 mini-rant by Larry Rosenthal (actually a mini-sigh) regarding those who confuse science and technology. And, of course, I also shared it on Google+ with an #illmitch hashtag.

So, based upon the Know Your Meme entry and that video, I concluded that ILL Mitch had been someone who had been active several years ago, but who had disappeared.

As Jim Bakker would say, I was wrong.

While on Spotify, I found an ILL Mitch album with a 2013 release, entitled "Kblack." If you don't have access to Spotify, you can find information on this particular album at last.fm. The album is not a rap album, but is instead a synthetica/found objects album. As you may realize, such an album is right up my alley. There's even a song - Orange Black - that reminds me of my second favorite mp3.com artist Doctor Orange in more ways than one.

Unfortunately, I was unable to discover whether "Ill Mitch" is a real ex-Russian, a performance artist, or a creation of Jimmy Kimmel. The illmitch.com website registration is private.

But even if my efforts don't serve to resurrect the notoriety of ILL Mitch, perhaps I'll be able to bug a Know Your Meme editor or two. which reminds me - why doesn't ILL Mitch have a Wikipedia page? (Apologies in advance to Mitch McGary, whose unfortunate name placement next to the abbreviation for the University of Illinois is probably going to result in his unwanted fame as a Russian rapper.)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Surprise - I found a Patrice Wilson song that DOESN'T suck

While Patrice Wilson is presumably laughing all the way to the bank, he probably doesn't want to show his face in certain places. The new Alison Gold song adds to Wilson's notoriety - and, in case you didn't know, Rebecca Black has gone to some lengths to distance herself from her musical association with Patrice Wilson.

So, based upon the evidence, we are forced to conclude that Wilson is a really bad songwriter.

However, he has been involved with other tween artists. For example, listen to this song by Angel Jasmine, a song that Wilson co-wrote.

Now if you watch the video, you see some elements of Wilson's formula (tween singer, tween friends, cool tween stuff).

But there is one important difference.


Now I'm sure that people can pick the song apart (lucky jeans?), but this song actually flows pretty well, without some of the bad rhyming found in Wilson's more famous songs. And thankfully, no creepy Patrice Wilson appearance in the video either.

And yes, the vocals are overproduced, but isn't that the case for much more famous artists nowadays? And, for the record, the YouTube video page includes this comment:

Marlaine A 8 months ago

how sad that majority of the rates and comments are influenced by how one feels towards the producer, and not the artist. heard this girl sing in person quite a few times, and must say that her voice is pretty awesome. she's also beautiful, very smart and talented. the first time i heard this song (while my sister was playing it on her ipod), i knew right away that it's her singing it. wished i had the copyright to post some of her videos so i can prove all dislikers wrong :-(

If you're interesting, "So Free" is available on both CD Baby and iTunes.

Suspended animation - Radio Disney's outdated biography of Miley Cyrus

I was wondering if Alison Gold's new song "Chinese Food" was trending on Radio Disney - it seems ideally suited for that station's audience. Even if the Radio Disney audience enjoys the song, however, it seems that it takes a while for Radio Disney to reflect this.

But I was surprised to see who WAS listed on the Radio Disney website as featured artists.

Yes, even today, Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana are still on the Radio Disney website. Although it appears that the site hasn't gotten around to any recent updates on Miley.

In this case, perhaps a bit of update tardiness is probably a blessing.

A music factory and Chinese food - and no, this is not the second time that we've heard this

I, quite literally, #blamedrew for my exposure to the "I Like Chinese Food" video that's making the rounds these days, often in the form of "the same person who brought you Rebecca Black's 'Friday' has now created THIS!"

You will note that I am not embedding Alison Gold's video itself in this post, for a simple reason - the chorus is catchy, like a virus. And I do not want to be responsible for causing you to sing these lyrics endlessly in your head:

I love Chinese food
You know that's it's true
I love fried rice
I love noodles
I love chow mein chow me-me-me-mein

The person who brought you Rebecca Black and Alison Gold is one Patrice Wilson, and he (like any great musical artist, including Led Zeppelin and Nirvana) has a sure-fire formula:

While it looks like it took him a year of staggering around, pleading with the world to keep him relevant with their collective hate, he finally realized that the only way to generate the same buzz as "Friday" was to do the exact same music video again. No exaggeration there -- the two songs and videos are almost identical. They both open on a calendar, they both have rap interludes in the exact same section, they both promise a vague version of "fun" and "a good time" over and over and they both spend an inordinate amount of time pointing at objects and announcing what they are.

Patrice Wilson knew what he was doing and intentionally followed a formula that he stumbled upon with Rebecca Black to ensure that everyone despised his next music video, because that was the only way he could guarantee that it would be watched by millions and millions of people. Just think about that for a second. Fame is still desirable, even when it comes in the form of truckloads of letters from people inviting you to fall in a fire.

As unhealthy and sad as that sounds, it gets worse.

If Patrice Wilson wanted to situate himself in the focal point of the world's loathing, that would be fine. We genuinely like having something to hate, so if someone wants to fill that role, then there's really no harm. Except Patrice Wilson isn't the star of the "It's Thanksgiving" music video, even if he wishes he could be. No, the star is 12-year-old Nicole Westbrook...

Uh, wait a minute. I thought her name was Alison Gold, and I thought the song was called "Chinese Food," not "It's Thanksgiving." What gives?

You see, "Chinese Food" is not Patrice Wilson's second foray into bad teen music videos. It's at least his third - the quotes above are from a cracked.com post that was written back in November 2012. I had never heard of Nicole Westbrook until now, although Michelle Jaworski apparently has, and has placed Gold's work on a timeline with Black's and Westbrook's.

At this point, little is known about Gold. Last I checked, her Twitter account had no posts. Oh well, the kids use Snapchat anyway...

Monday, October 14, 2013

My oh my...a 2003 post

I've been marking my ten-year blogging anniversary by reprinting some of my favorite blog posts from the past ten years. I've written in a variety of blogs over the decade, and one of my first blogs was called "KOER Synthetica Radio Transcripts." These were supposedly written transcripts of broadcasts from my own personal radio station, based (as are all of my fake activities) in Guasti, California.

The transcripts preserved various commercials, playlists, and other items from this supposed station - and in one case, on November 24, 2003, the transcripts documented an important musical collaboration.

[KOER Synthetica Radio Transcripts]
(dramatic music)

A KOER important exclusive

Before I play the following song, I'd like to thank all the people who have been working behind the scenes to make this possible: Eddie, Will, Lisa, Jun, Robert, Daniel, Alan, John, Paul, George, Ringo, Carrie, Christine, Carnie, Wendy, April, May, June, Peter, Paul, Andrew, Nate, David, Kevin, Gene, Wesley, and of course Fred.

Considering the origins of this song, it's even more topical when you consider the events that have taken place over the last few days.

First, a bit of history.

- - -

On a January day in 1984, Talking Heads lead singer David Byrne was walking down Broadway in Manhattan when he was approached by a group of teenagers. The teenagers were chatting with each other when they noticed Byrne. David, well-known in New York, was not surprised when the youths suddenly hushed, stared in his direction, and ran toward him. However, Byrne was surprised by what happened next.

"Excuse me," asked a girl with a green mohawk. "Are you David Byrne?"

In a friendly manner, David replied, "Yes."

"Wow," said mohawk-girl in awe. "I remember when you were in the Talking Heads."

"Yeah," murmured a boy in agreement.

"Actually, I'm still in the Talking Heads," replied Byrne. "I'm writing some songs right now."

"I remember your show," said the boy. "You guys were really cool."

With a hint of irritation, Byrne turned toward the boy. "We're still busy, working on new things."

"Yeah, but not like Michael Jackson," said mohawk-girl.

Another girl nodded. "Michael Jackson's doing some really trendy stuff. But you guys were good in your day."

"Thank you, I guess," replied David as the group walked away.

David continued to his favorite diner and ran into his good friend Laurie Anderson. Still shaking his head, he described the encounter to her in detail.

"Michael Jackson?" said Anderson in amazement. "What a hack."

"Well, that's what they said," replied Byrne as he shook his head. "I can't believe that they think he's all that creative, though."

"Jackson's been getting a free ride," said Anderson. "He hasn't had to face anyone with real creativity."

"But he does sell a lot of records," mused Byrne. "Success is hotter than creativity any day."

"Maybe," thought Anderson as she sent her vegetarian bacon back to the cook. "But what if several creative people took him on? Thriller Schmiller."

Byrne sat in thought. "We'd need some help."

- - -

Laurie Anderson and David Byrne tried their best. After three months of work, they had recorded seven songs for a planned album called My Oh My, Look How Creative We Are. However, their attempts to assemble an all-star cast proved fruitless, and the seven tracks in fact documented seven rejections from leading music industry names. Here is one of those rejections, set to music by Byrne and Anderson, entitled "Laurie Calls Peter."

BYRNE (spoken) Do you have the number?
ANDERSON (spoken) Yes. I have the number.
BYRNE (sings) Then you'd better do some dialing.
(telephone dialing)
VOICE (spoken) Bloody hell, who is this?
ANDERSON (spoken) Hello. This is Laurie.
VOICE (spoken) It's three a m.
ANDERSON (spoken) It is earlier here. We have a different time.
BYRNE (sings) Time for shouting, time for smiling.
ANDERSON (spoken) Am I speaking to Peter Gabriel?
VOICE (spoken) Not any more. (Hangs up phone.)
BYRNE (sings) He's not a morning person.
ANDERSON (spoken) I guess that you are right.
BYRNE (sings) He's not a morning person.
ANDERSON (spoken) And neither was Elton John.
BYRNE (sings) So I don't know what I will do.
ANDERSON (spoken) You don't know what you will do.
BYRNE (sings) I dont' know what I will do.
ANDERSON (spoken) But you know it will be true.
BYRNE (spoken) What?
ANDERSON (spoken) True.

This exclusive presentation of the Byrne/Anderson/Gabriel song "Laurie Calls Peter" was brought to you by KOER.