Hell Interface

Colonel Abrams & Boards of Canada – Trapped (Hell Interface edit)

Boards of Canada make some really amazing music but I was not familiar with their Hell Interface side project. I’m so not like a dude when it comes to music. I know what I know and I sometimes when I’m in the mood, I’ll actively research bands and genres but there’s a lot I miss. And unfortunately, I missed this Boards of Canada experiment with R&B perhaps because these remixes were done way back in the 90s. But I found out about them tonight thanks to my musical compadre Nicholas, and I am a million times happier with life now that these little musical treasures have made their way into my life.

Midnight Star & Boards of Canada – The Midas Touch (Hell Interface remix)

Broken String

Tek-One – Broken String

Broken strings. Broken wings. Kill your dreams. Dirty, filthy dubstep.

The last time I listened to this I thought there was a draft in my house but it was just the bass pushing the air out from the sub-woofer.

Carcrash International

Carcrash International – The Whip (1992 remixed version)

Me (to a DJ who was in the middle of a Joy Division-y set): Who is this your playing?
J: Hard Crash International*
Me (mentally scratching my head…): Hard Crash International?
DJ: Yup!

Why hadn’t I ever heard of this band? I looked them up on Youtube right on the spot and I couldn’t find a thing. I get home and then it dawns on me, Carcrash International! I’ve had this record in my house for like 15 years. This is what I get for not ever giving it a proper listen, I’d totally missed out on this song. Time to revisit the record collection.

original version, 1983

I was born with a cannibal instinct
And bound up in the house of fear
For sweet kisses love and affection
I had to eat myself alive

*He probably said Carcrash International and I couldn’t hear him over the music.

Arabella, Dance Queen of the Mahala

Arabella, denim-clad dance sensation of the mahala is mocked by her family and neighbors for her modern “disco” Romani style of dance. While her father entertains with hoots and jeers, the mahala laughs but also watches. Perhaps in a few years, the children circling her now will dance as she does, learning, much the way she did: village gatherings, impromptu parties, adults twirling, swaying and shimmying around them. Little gestures caught by the eyes and heart. Arabella is the descendant of master interpreters; her legacy, to create new languages of movement. A lineage stretching from Rajasthan to Romania made up of bits and pieces of everywhere.

Traditional Romanes mixes with the bumps, grinds and pops of the video vixens Arabella watches on satellite TV. The result is a fusion of old and new, rooted, looking back and moving forward and infused with the swing of her ancestors. Called forth by two polyrhythmic violins and a syncopated bass doubling as a drum, Arabella’s hips offer tiny kisses to the wind. Around her, the Rajasthani/Romanian sands rise and warm her body, preparing it for the long night of revelry.

Beyonce and Shakira have nothing on her.

Links and Other Things: April 6, 2010

Blossoming and fruiting


pink jasmine



Pictorial Webster’s: Inspiration to Completion from John Carrera on Vimeo.

The amount of work it takes to make a handmade book is astounding. Even more astounding is the price, $3000! Whoa, a mass-produced version is available for much cheaper. It’s cool and all, but I bet Dover has cheaper clip art.


A food activist becomes a mistaken messiah!

“I don’t think a messiah figure is going to be a terribly good
launching point for the kinds of politics I’m talking about – for
someone who has very strong anarchist sympathies, this has some fairly
deep contradictions in it.”

I’m not the messiah, says food activist – but his many worshippers do not believe him. Members of religious group believe London-born author has come to save the world


Oil spills are aggravating

Oil spill feared on Great Barrier Reef

“The state government has been acting like snake oil salesmen spruiking
the riches to be made from exporting LNG (liquid natural gas) and more
coal, however they fail to acknowledge the environmental harm that will
be caused both on land and sea by these industries,” Capricorn
Conservation Council spokesman Ian Herbert said.


“OC life is not the life for me”


In theory this seems good, bring back all the old punk and hardcore bands for an autism awareness. I mean, how many of the old punks were suffering from autism and didn’t know it, right? But honestly, I want to preserve my memories of the band members youthful bodies,their frenzied on-stage energy and the loud, fast music. These reunion shows are stuffed with old dudes laboring through sets while trying to relive their glory days, the songs are slower and some even try to shove long metal guitar riffs into hardcore songs. Isn’t that what we were against? I don’t want sad new memories.

Orange County Punk Rock Picnic


Turkish Ice Cream Man

When I was 17, I was an ice-cream scooper at Thrifty’s, now Rite-Aid. I quit after a month because the weird guys from the nearby Hollywood halfway houses gave me the creeps, I kept breaking the sleeves of ice-cream cones making them unusable and I also didn’t realize part of my duties was to lug heavy cases of ice-cream out of the huge storage freezer down a flight of stairs. So much for my first job.



Trails Cafe in Griffith Park has some tasty eats for an after hike respite, vegetarian stuff too. It’s a bit on the pricey side so hike with money. I had a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a very nice lavender and vanilla cookie which I have not stopped thinking about, yum!

Learn Vegetable Gardening by the Foot

For many years I gardened using the square foot method. Initially (and subsequently, come to think of it) it’s pretty labor intensive but the rewards are high yields and less time spent thinning and wasting seeds. The soil must be double-dug due to the close spacing of plants but most gardening folks would recommend raised beds so as not to damage soil structure. I used a kitchen colander for soil sifting and two school rulers to measure my little plots.
I didn’t have a job at the time and would sometimes spend ten hours a day in the garden. Yeah, I was a little OCD. Now I’m the laziest gardener ever and my vegetable yields are representative of my work.


I saw The Runaways movie and was kinda disappointed. First off, I was a Runaways fan although I was the generation ten years later. I thought Cherry Bomb was the bomb, har har. I always wondered why none of my peers seemed interested in them. Perhaps it was because Joan Jett was already a pop sell-out by then and Weird Al Yankovic had already improved her music. I have always liked this song by Joan Jett though, maybe because it reminds me of a football chant.
Back to the movie…The production quality was cheap and not in a good, edgy way, just cheap. Like they’re supposed to be in Japan but the actors don’t look Japanese and “Tokyo” is a recognizable street in Downtown LA.
The actress Dakota Fanning who played Cherie Currie was just wide-eyed and goofy. If you see videos of Cherie Currie, she was hard, like chola hard. I mean she looked like she was 30 years old and tough. That did not come through in the movie at all. And Kirsten Stewart as Joan Jett, pfft, she’d try to do this rough thing with her voice and I wanted to laugh. It was like an after-school movie for rebellious girls but not too rebellious, you know. Ah, maybe I just compare these things to my own teenage years too much. Overall, the movie did not capture the spirit of the era nor was it evocative of something monumental as I imagined it set out to be.


Among the many t-shirt ideas I’ve had in mind to make “Los Angeles: Number One in Riots” is one of my favorites. According to this list, we’re number five and six which I think makes us number one as we are the only city listed twice. Oh yeah!

Ten of the Wildest Riots of All-Time


Celebration – New Skin

Crazy about the vocals and the organ on this song. You can hear more of them and get downloads too and this amazing music site: The Sound of Indie


one more song before the end of this long post…

I can’t believe this is Paul McCartney! Why? Because I actually like it and I dislike most anything having to do with The Beatles.


From the Daily Bleed:
April 6th is the birthday of ERICH MÜHSAM
German anarchist poet, murdered by the Nazis

Favorite Video(s) of the Week: Cam Ly

Minh Oi (My Honey) – Cam Ly

A few weeks ago, I was home sick and exploring all the new non-English HD stations. I spent a good long time flipping between Korean cooking shows, Armenian commercials and Asian soap operas. One Vietnamese soap opera in particular attracted my full attention. I was pulled in by the tropical setting, the dramatic tension and then, the characters began to sing. The instrumentation sounded traditional and the melodies were everything I could ask for in a song: complex, meandering, evocative. The singing plaintive and melancholy. Were they singing about bittersweet love, family members long gone or decisions made in a hurry resulting in dire consequences? It didn’t matter, I was entranced.

The next day I went back to work and asked one of my Vietnamese co-workers if she could recommend some “traditional” Vietnamese music. She explained that most popular artists sing both traditional and modern songs and it was difficult to just get a CD of one or the other. A few days later, she handed me a stack of CDs to try and I brought them home to listen. Unfortunately, most were the usual faux-American pop sounding mush with the requisite Mariah Carey style runs completing the effect. However, just as my co-worker said, there were a few more traditional sounding gems mixed in. One of these was Minh Oi by Cam Ly.

Just as I often do when I hear something new, I looked her up on Youtube and came across this amazing live performance of this gorgeous song. There is something in her eyes, I can’t quite define it, perhaps it’s sorrow but there is something in her expression and singing that goes way beyond what I would expect from a pop singer.

By the way, Vietnamese music benefits from a bit of musical philanthropy, a contribution of Indian musical influences in melody and rhythm have made my ears hungry for these alluring songs.

Another Cam Ly song as melancholy and gorgeous as the first…

Buồn Hát Lý Chờ Mong – Cẩm Ly (2/2)

This is the second part of a longer video (part one here) so I think I need to give some context to the on-going story in this video.

A sweet, young pregnant wife must take charge of the household because her jerky irresponsible husband blows all their money on his annoying gambling habit, a daily card game with his Donald Duck sounding friends. His friends are even jerkier and get him to bet more and more money, till there is none left. Despite raiding his wife’s pockets and her secret hiding places, he demands she give him the money she’d been saving for their soon-to-be-born baby. She’s like hell no, I’m already out in my boat everyday trying to rustle us up some food and now you’re gonna take my last pennies, uh-uh. Then his stupid friend is like be a man, get the money homes. And like the vice infested jerk he his, he smacks her and she’s like OK you gonna be like that, take the damn money. And off she goes in her little boat to a better life.

It’s hard though and she’s out in the jungle chop, chopping for her food. Then the baby comes and the little thing grows up so fast, she’s almost tall enough to reach the coconuts. So mom is still all badass and expresses her sorrow through the most beautiful songs. The little girl is happy but wonders, where’s pop?

Well, pop is fresh outta money and gets his thrill through vicarious gambling voyeurism but his swindling, no-good friends are sick of his metiche ways and shun him. Then pop, blubbering and retrospective, gets some kinda revelation. Off he wanders, like a walking palapa hut regretting his poor jerky choices in life and pining for the beautiful wife and child he left behind. Will they ever forgive him?

In a tears from heaven scene he comes across them, and the real treasures of life become very apparent. In a tense last second happy ending, his daughter accepts him with a forgiving greeting…but does his wife?

I love this song!

Cam Ly