Um …

This is either the best or worst thing I’ve ever seen.

EDIT: Video won’t embed because they want you to watch it on YouTube so they can try to talk you into buying the song on iTunes. Diabolical.

Finally

Only took me 38 years to get around to it. One lunchtime Target run and Wired YouTube video later, I solved a Rubik’s Cube. Twice. With this method, solving the bottom two layers is pretty easy. The top layer is where it gets complicated, with different algorithms for different scenarios. Will I actually memorize those? Doubtful.

The Song That Started It All

For The Replacements, I mean. This is the demo version of “Raised in the City,” which I hadn’t heard until Other Other Elvis hipped me to that song-ranking site. Far superior to the album version.

The band soon recorded a four-song demo tape in Mars’s basement and handed it to Peter Jesperson in May 1980. Westerberg originally handed in the tape to see if the band could perform at Jay’s Longhorn Bar, a local venue where Jesperson worked as a disc jockey. He eavesdropped as Jesperson put in the tape, only to run away as soon as the first song, “Raised in the City,” played. Jesperson played the song again and again. “If I’ve ever had a magic moment in my life, it was popping that tape in,” said Jesperson. “I didn’t even get through the first song before I thought my head was going to explode.”

Fappity Fappity Fappity Fap

I never hated Don’t Tell a Soul as much as some other diehard Mats fans, but always really wanted to hear these other versions, especially after reading Trouble Boys. Speaking of that, here’s Mehr, who wrote the liner-notes for this box set with a really weird format.

“While it’s impossible to unhear a record that’s been around for three decades, this version, Don’t Tell A Soul Redux, is the album the band made and intended to release. In addition to Matt Wallace’s mix, Redux also restores several crucial elements from the sessions, including original drums tracks, vocal takes and tempos that were altered in post-production…[and] the band’s original sequence of the album.”

The box also includes a contemporary live set. I saw them on that tour, and they were quite good.  My birthday is in a couple of weeks. You can pre-order it for me here.

Replacements At A Turning Point

Here’s a great 32-year-old article from SPIN’s archives, from around the time that I was getting into them. (Yes, I was late to the party and had to work my way back through the Twin/Tone albums.) The band had just parted ways with manager Pete Jesperson, fired lead guitarist Bob Stinson, and released one of their best albums, Pleased To Meet Me. Recorded right here in Memphis!

“When we started,” [Westerberg] says, pausing to sip from a midmorning Schmidt, “we definitely had a fear of success. We had a fear of everything. We were all very paranoid, and I think that goes hand in hand with the excessive drinking thing. We’d get drunk because we were basically scared shitless, and that snowballed into image. Now we’re a little more assured of what we’re doing. We’re not positive which way we’re going, but we think we know what mistakes lie ahead, and we’re trying to sidestep ‘em.”

Full article here.

And There’s A Podcast

Two episodes in to HBO’s new miniseries and I’m hooked. Thanks for the recommendation, Droog!

The attention to detail is amazing, all the way down to the slightly fucked up font used in the credits. There’s a great interview with writer/producer Craig Mazin on Vice regarding his motivation to get it right.

Chernobyl accomplishes this, in part, by adhering as closely as it can to historical fact. Every major character save one—a nuclear physicist played by Emily Watson—has a real-life counterpart, from the scientist in charge of cleanup efforts (Valery Legasov, played by Jared Harris), to the wife of a firefighter at the scene of the explosion (Lyudmilla Ignatenko, played by Jessie Buckley). The clothing Chernobyl’s characters wear, the cars they drive, the cigarettes they smoke, the glassware they drink from, the wallpaper in their homes—all of it is staggeringly accurate, a product of more than two and a half years of research.

So anyway, podcast. It provides additional information for each episode in the five-part series, so watch an episode and then give the podcast a listen.

This Might Be The Best Thing I’ve Ever Seen

Specifically for any bastards who read Conan the Barbarian books and comics, or maybe came of age around the time Heavy Metal was released.

Korgoth of Barbaria is a pilot episode for what was originally planned as an American animated television series created by Aaron Springer, a storyboard artist, writer and director for Dexter’s Laboratory, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Samurai Jack, and SpongeBob SquarePants … Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of Dexter’s Laboratory and Samurai Jack, directed the animation for the pilot, and was not the only time he’s worked on a pilot created by Springer, as Tartakovsky also produced and directed Periwinkle Around the World.

It was first aired in the United States on June 3, 2006, at 12:30 AM (EST) on Adult Swim. On June 18, 2006, Adult Swim ran a bumper announcing that Korgoth of Barbaria was officially picked up as a series, because of its critical and commercial success with garnering high ratings. Later events, including a formal petition to revive the show and an Adult Swim bumper announcement mentioning its cancellation, indicate that it was dropped before production began due to high production costs.

Get Out Your Geiger Counters

Chernobyl started this week on HBO. I’ve always been fascinated by this disaster, and the abandonment of Pripyat. The first episode was fantastic, I thought. Who’s watching with me?