Gyards/Ralph Myerz

Today I was working on a show for the History Channel. I was asked to do some research and try to find a public domain image of first century Saxons wearing "sashes across their midsection called a 'gyard' which doubled as a measuring device." There is a fear in making documentaries that perhaps enough has already been said about the subject matter and that you really can't add anything new. But sometimes, when you have to go that extra mile to get what you're looking for, you know that you're doing something different. I think I can safely say that the measuring sash worn by the first century Saxons is not an overused topic, as evidenced by my search today. After two hours of searching the internet, this image was the best one I could find, in so much as, they are technically wearing sashes. I showed this to the other intern who was working on this project and we submitted the picture to the associate producer to show the extent to which we failed. She laughed and said (jokingly, I think) "We might have to have a little talk." Personally I would have been very impressed if they had used it anyway.

And we end this week of Radio Babylon music with some Norweigan downtempo. It's the very special music of Ralph Myerz and the Jack Herren Band.

Ralph Myerz & the Jack Herren Band - Casino

Ralph Myerz & the Jack Herren Band - Clouds



Euphemisms/Boom Bip

So my backup plan for my job hunt was to try to get something fulltime out of my internship. I was told a few weeks ago that they might have something for me in administration. I really want to work more in production, but a job's a job after all and I do like the company, so it seemed like a really good backup to have. Today I asked what the status of that was and if there was still a job that might be available to me in September. I asked the woman in charge of operations, the same woman who told me that there was a possibility a couple of weeks ago. Her response (and here I have done a public service to my readers and translated about half a page of corporate euphemisms into a more readable, concise statement written in modern day English) was "No." But I half expected that this might happen, so I'm not bitter about it. To be honest, I still actually like the company for the most part, which is why it's kind of disappointing that it's not going to last a little longer.

Oh, an update on the whole Republican National Convention mess and getting to the company. We are currently making photo ID cards for everyone there, so they can get pass the police barricades. In 15 years, the company has never needed photo ID cards. We're making them just for that week.

When Warp started up Lex Records, one of their first releases was from Ohio based artist, Boom Bip. He had previously recorded on Mush Records and frequently collaborates with Dose One from cLOUDDEAD. His new release, the Corymb EP is out now and features a new remix by the ambient geniuses of Boards of Canada. I'm convinced that everything they've remixed is brilliant (ok, so the Meat Beat Manifesto remix wasn't there best, but give it a chance, it's not bad either).

Boom Bip - Last Walk Around Mirror Lake (Boards of Canada Remix)



Untitled/Nobukazu Takemura

The newest link on my blog roll goes to An Idiot's Guide to Dreaming. I was reading it the other day, and I saw the Kate Bush is Björk post. Anything Björk related immediately gets my interest but I was skeptical. People get compared to Björk a lot, but I tend to think she's in a class all her own. But still, I figured I'd give her a fair change, considering I don't know very much about Kate Bush. But I'm very impressed by the very idea of someone covering the theme to Brazil, one of my favorite movies of all time. Kate Bush isn't quite Björk, but An Idiot's Guide to Dreaming has convinced me that she at least deserves my respect.

And if Kate Bush, Björk and Brazil seem too familar and you happen to be looking for something a bit more out there, let me direct your attention to the very unique Nobukazu Takemura. This music makes me think of a small Japanese child trapped inside a synthesizer and coming to terms with it.

Nobukazu Takemura - turutiksbinbon (Fr ver)

Nobukazu Takemura - uuru



Job Hunting/Slipper

With exactly one month left of my college career (i.e: my current internship), it's occured to me that I am well overdue to start seriously looking for a job. I started searching this weekend for media jobs in the area. It's a little rough at the moment. Maybe I'm a little picky, but I just can't get myself to apply for a job at, say, Radio Disney. Can't do it. And of course, Fox News is out (see previous post). Well, this is what's currently occupying me. I'll update my progress on this when something starts to happen.

A former artist on Aphex Twin's Rephlex label, Slipper creates his own form of "psycho" jazz/lounge music. All the reviews I've seen for his have included the word "bizarre" in there somewhere. These are some demos from the Zoon Sandwich album, that can still stand on there own as tracks.

Slipper - Obsession

Slipper - Tooth

Slipper - Lull



Outfoxed/Two Lone Swordsmen

In case you haven't heard about it, there's a new documentary out called Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism. It's about the biases of the "fair and balanced" reporting of the Fox News network. If you're interested in this and if you agree that there is a bias, there's an online petition that going out on wednesday to try to stop Fox News from using the "fair and balanced" ad campaigns, which are arguably false advertising.

This week's Better Propaganda track comes from Two Lone Swordsmen. Between the two members, Andrew Weatheral and Tenniswood, they've had production connections with The Orb, Primal Scream and David Holmes, among others. While their last album, Tiny Reminders continued in an acid house influenced ambient style, the new album, From the Double Gone Chapel moves in a more dirge/alt rock style, but is still noticably the same band. This is the first single from the album.

Two Lone Swordsmen - Faux



Untitled/Gotan Project

Today while doing some research for a show, I came across this quote from George Stults from 7th Heaven, when asked what he likes to do on the fourth of July: "My favorite thing to do for the fourth of July is to watch the fireworks; I love fireworks and downtown Detroit has one of the best fireworks display in at the least the country that I know of. I don’t know about the world" [shakes head] There are times when I hate my internship.

Gotan Project is a French band that combines the house sound of Paris with the tango sound of Argentia.

Gotan Project - Santa Maria (del Buen Ayre)



Blogging Digest/Thavius Beck

mp3blogs.org is the newest in the whole wget trend. Radio Babylon is included, among others. I like the site, the way it's taking excerpts from each of the blogs (and they pick from some of my favorites). So if reading all of these blogs everyday has gotten to be too much, now you have a nice centrally located place to get them all at once. Just remember to check back at the originals and read the whole reviews and/or rants that we write out all the time.

The selection today comes from Mush Records and Thavius Beck. It's sort of a hip hop track (if you can call it that) with some kind of dark atmospheres to it. The lyrics remind me of Losing My Edge by LCD Sound System, but with a lot more pop stars rolled off, reminding us why music will be the death of us all.

Thavius Beck - (Music Will Be) The Death of Us All



I've been thinking about the Republican National Convention in New York and how much it's going to suck. I'm trying to find out what the exact plans are for the convention, but I know that it's taking place at Madison Square Garden, which makes it seem like Penn station may be shut down (or if they do have a plan to keep it open, I'm sure it will be a mess), which is going to cause problems for me and a hell of a lot of other commuters. Then I hear that they're planning on blocking the streets within a mile radius of the convention, an area which my job falls into. Then of course around that will the protesters. I was in the protest against the Iraq war in February 2003, and if that's any indication, this will be a very, very big protest. People I know who don't seem to even be that interesting in politics are planning on being there. So I like the fact that people are going to exercising their democracy at such a crucial time, but I'm starting to wonder what that's going to mean for other ways of getting into the city. Port Authority isn't too far away from MSG, so taking a bus might be difficult too. The PATH will probably be packed. Ok, so all of this has a while before I really have to worry about it, but it does look like the Republicans are doing a very nice job of shutting down a nice chunk of Midtown Manhattan. Really I'm just hoping that I can get that week off, in which case I'll probably go anyway to see the protesters (I'll try to post some pictures if I go), but at least I wouldn't have to worry about being somewhere. Well, there's still time to worry about it, but I really do find myself wishing they'd gone somewhere other than Manhattan.

Today's mp3 is for fans of Aphex Twin styled acid/drum n bass/ambient. If you don't know µ-ziq, be sure to give this a listen.

µ-ziq - Meinheld



Radio Babylon has a sponsor, sort of

A little while ago someone from Better Propaganda had asked if I would put a link up here for them and then started talking about the idea of an occasional Better Propaganda sponsored track on here. I kind of like the idea, mostly because it saves me from having to get more web space for a while (I've been considering it on and off). So no money is exchanging hands or anything, they're just making my life a bit easier, and they have a lot of good music up. So my plan is to post some of their tracks on Thursdays. And there are a few other little details that I might have to work out, but that's the basic idea.

After seeing The Corporation last week, I've been thinking more about the state of the world, US foreign and economic policy, etc. So instead of getting music this week, I'm posting some excerpts from a question and answer forum with Noam Chomsky. This is from a CD on Alternative Tentacles that was recorded in 2002. He's been called the most important living intellectual in America today and I don't think that's undeserved. So today it's about learning that's going on in the world, and next week we'll have more music.

Noam Chomsky - Big Business And The General Population - A Nation Divided

Noam Chomsky - Latin America, The U.S. And Globalization

Noam Chomsky - The Problems With Iraq

Noam Chomsky - U.S. Doctrinal Constraints On Middle East Peace

Noam Chomsky - Why Do They Hate Us?



There was no update yesterday because Blogger was doing maintainence. Sorry about that. I guess it needs to happen every once in a while.

I don't know much about this artist, but I like these tracks. They sort of remind me of some of the solo work by Björk-producer, Howie B. Kind of dark, experimental, ridiculous and completely serious at the same time.

UM - A Personal Revelation

UM - Dracula's Lunch

UM - Jim O'Rouke Was In New York



USA Today ran an article from Reuters about mp3 blogs. They listed a few blogs (unfortunately not Radio Babylon) which reminded me that I've been meaning to update my sidebar links a little. So I'm adding The Suburbs Are Killing Us, Royal Music, and a handful of other links worth spending some time at. And if you want to read more about mp3 blog thing, check out the article too.

I thought it was about time to post some avant-influenced vocal techno from Underworld. I still think Underworld. These are a couple of alternate versions from underworldlive.com. These are from before Darren Emerson left the band.

Underworld - Mmm... Skyscraper (Jam)

Underworld - Something Like a Mama/NUXX (Jam)



Worst Ad Campaign... Ever

Among the TV shows that I'm working on for my internship, there is one about the history of presidental campaigns. I was doing research for this show last week and I was watching Bush and Kerry political ads online. The biggest tradegy of my not blogging last week is that I didn't get to include a link to one of the Bush ads, because it amazed me. Unfortunately, georgewbush.com has taken it down since then, which doesn't surprise me, but I'd like to give a description of this 60 second ad as best I can remember it. It begins with John Kerry and other democrats talking about how bad a president he is. Ok, I think, he's setting this up for a rebuttal. So Kerry and company go on about his poor diplomacy skills, his misjudgements about counterterrorism before 9/11, how he misled the American people into a war with Iraq, etc. About 45 to 50 seconds in, this is still going on and now Michael Moore has joined in the fun. So now I'm starting to wonder if I'm on the right web site or that maybe someone has hacked into the site and replaced the ad. But then finally the tone changes and a smiling image of Bush appears. Ok, this is it. I'm by means a fan of Bush, but I have to hand it to his campaign team, they've piled most of the major criticisms of his administration together into one package and now they're going to refute it all in less than 10 seconds. That can be no easy task. They must have something great lined up to be so confident in their abilities. Perhaps something that can even make me reconsider and think maybe he's not quite as bad a president as I thought, just someone who's doing his best in a very difficult position. Then here comes the voiceover... "George W. Bush doesn't believe in such pessimism in his campaign. Vote Bush, the optimistic candidate!" .... ? .... ! .... ?.... Is that it? Heapfuls of testimonials basically calling him one of the worst presidents this country has ever had, and that's your response? He may be a terriblely undiplomatic speaker whose lack of foresight resulted in the death of thousands of innocent Americans, a plummit in the economy, and a seemingly unnecessary war with an unrelated country, but damn it, he can still start the day with a smile! I'm guessing this is why it was taken off the web site and replaced by another one, again with the optimism message, but less damaging to his own campaign.

This has inspired me to post Two Minutes Fifty Seconds Silence for America by Matt Rogalsky. This track is simply a recording of George W. Bush announcing to the world that he was giving Saddam Hussein 48 hours to leave Iraq before US forces would invade. Rogalsky then used editing software to remove any point where Bush was speaking and then raised the volume of the recording. The result is a thunderous sound as Bush's words reverberate in the White House. According to Rogalsky, many people have likened the sound to something like "drums of war" and it definitely adds a new dimension and commentary to that speech.

Matt Rogalsky & George W. Bush - Two Minutes Fifty Seconds Silence for America



An American I-Matang in Kiribati

Suddenly while I sit here reading through mp3 blogs and listening to music in my air conditioned apartment, I feel thankful that I was not born in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. At least this is how I feel now that I have finished reading a book by J. Maarten Troost. For the last month or so I had been meaning to do some reading. I kept thinking to myself that I was really going to sit down and read a fine work of literature, something like Walden or Milan Kundera's The Unbearable Lightness of Being. But somehow everytime I started to read one of these books, I wouldn't get that far before I would end up getting sidetracked and putting them aside. I attributed this to my being pretty busy with everything else in my life right now. That is until my sister told me about this book by Troost. And so I shelved The Unbearable Lightness of Being for a while and began reading what I feel is an equally important work in the literary world. That book was called The Sex Lives of Cannibals. I just finished it, and as I said, it has made me very grateful to be living in a place where I have access to the wealth of recorded music that is so important to me, and not limited to, say, La Macerana and Ice Ice Baby. This was the unfortunate fate of the author, who spent two years of his life on the small island country of Kiribati, smack dab in the middle of the Equatorial Pacific. Now it's not that the other books I tried to read weren't good, they were just a bit more serious that I'm really interested in at the moment. That said, I would have to recommend The Sex Lives of Cannibals, if for no other reason that to read about the Poet Laureate of Tarawa, a young, drunk British man whose poetry is... let's say lacking. It's a good read and it will make you grateful for, among other things, any meal you've ever had without fish in it.

Music today comes courtesy of Bubblecore Recordings. Two tracks by electronic influenced indie jam band, The Dylan Group. The first is a cover of Aphex Twin's We Are the Music Makers, and then a remix by We. If you like the tracks, Bubblecore's web site has the entire album (and the remix album) available as a free download. They do ask for a donation through PayPal if you're feeling generous, but you're not obligated.

Dylan Group - We Are The Music Makers

Dylan Group - Bittersweet (Hot & Sour Mix by We)




A conservation from behind the scenes at the autopsy show:

Editor: "I need you to find me some pictures of polydactyly that we can get licensing for. It's a condition where people have either six fingers or six toes."

Me: "Can't we just photoshop that? Take a picture of my foot. I'll sign the release form and then you can add as many toes as you want."

Editor: "Ha ha ha! (pause) Are you good with photoshop?"

And now for To Rococo Rot, the indie rock band that sounds like an electronic group. Their new album, Hotel Morgan is out now on Domino Records. This track comes from one of their earlier releases, and it's also featured on the Modulations soundtrack.

To Rococo Rot - Kritische Masse 1



Back with the Braindance

Ok, so last week was a slow one for Radio Babylon. It was a combination of being sick and having to work late one night. At my internship I was asked to stay a couple of hours late to work on a show for the Women's Entertainment channel. There was quite a lot of transcribing to do for this show which people have been working on for weeks now. So I was asked to stay late and finish all the rest of the tapes, transcribing the final hours worth of interviews needed for this show. Now transcribing is not a particularly fun job. I'd witnessed many people getting ready to rip their hair out after a few hours at the viewing stations. So I felt good about doing this because afterwards, it would be done forever (for this show anyway). So this is why I agreed to it. Well that and they paid me extra for it. Now this wouldn't be too terrible a task if the the subject matter of the interviews was interesting. Sadly, this was not so. I've never watched anything on the Women's Entertainment channel before, but after this experience, I can say that if I was a woman I would hate this channel for giving pandering to all the stereotypes of their gender-biased demographic. In other words, this was basically a show about gossip. Where was this or that famous person last seen eating? Who are they dating now? When is their new clothing line coming out? Maybe I'm just a little bitter because I had to watch this for hours (the girl who paid me to work overtime also apologized to me many times), maybe it's because after seeing Fahrenheit 9/11 I really wanted to punch Britney Spears in the face, or maybe it's because this show has inspired Radio Babylon strange dream #1. In this dream, I am eating lunch with the Olsen twins who are devouring starving Ethiopian orphan children and then vomiting them back up to maintain their twig-ish figures. At any rate, that's why I haven't been blogging as much lately.

Elsewhere, I've become very impressed with The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra. As the name suggests, these guys have created all of their instruments out of vegetables. The web site also has a lot of pictures of the instruments and some excerpts from their albums. Granted, the music isn't something that's going to start any movements or anything, but I give them a lot of credit for trying something different and doing it with such a passion. I'm currently trying to find an album by them. Anyone know of anywhere that I can order it without having to place an order to Austria?

Also, the message boards at We Are the Music Makers is back online. A while back, WATMM was one of the best resources for information about Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Boards of Canada, Autechre, and all things braindance. Which brings us to today's music (6 tracks today to make up for last week). Today's music is all unreleased from Cylob. The mixture of ambient, idm, drum n bass, UK acid, and the general experimental braindance sound is what defines Aphex Twin's Rephlex Records label. So here's Cylob's Braindance Anthem and some other tracks that weren't included on any album (or the porno soundtracks that he supposedly produces).

Cylob - I Believe in Braindance (The Braindance Anthem)

Cylob - Eldritch

Cylob - Grandular Psychosis

Cylob - Set Off Gamelan

Cylob - Cutting Remarks

Cylob - Rewind (live at Bayside Jenny, Osaka, Japan 1998)