New Spoon

New single from Everything Hits At Once: The Best of Spoon, coming July 26th.

Check it, yo.

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.

Another Fucking Watch

This time I fell for the Vostok Amphibia, a ridiculously affordable Russian diver. Watch the video for a little history – it’s fascinating stuff. There seem to be hundreds of styles to choose from on this site. Here’s mine.

Oh! For you trivia-obsessed bastards, this is the watch that Steve Zissou’s crew wore in Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, only it was this dial …

Good News For Droogie

In a short musical film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, Thom Yorke of Radiohead scores and stars in a mind-bending visual piece.

Best played loud.

Album available for digital download ($11! Cheap!) June 27, film available on Netflix … June 27!

ANIMA:

01 Traffic
02 Last I Heard (…He Was Circling the Drain)
03 Twist
04 Dawn Chorus
05 I Am a Very Rude Person
06 Not the News
07 The Axe
08 Impossible Knots
09 Runwayaway

Ready Or Not?

This looks fun! Careful, this is the red band trailer.

READY OR NOT follows a young bride (Samara Weaving) as she joins her new husband’s (Mark O’Brien) rich, eccentric family (Adam Brody, Henry Czerny, Andie MacDowell) in a time-honored tradition that turns into a lethal game with everyone fighting for their survival.

Lickamaforbus

Since one of you bastards broke iTunes and got it cancelled for the rest of humanity, I’ve been looking for new Apple products to consume.

Speaking Of Classic Synthesizer Albums …

The soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange was released to accompany the 1971 film of the same name. The music is a thematic extension of Alex’s (and the viewer’s) psychological conditioning. The soundtrack of A Clockwork Orange comprises classical music and electronic synthetic music composed by Wendy Carlos. Some of the music is heard only as excerpts, e.g. Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance March No. 1 (a.k.a. Land of Hope and Glory) heralding a politician’s appearance at the prison.

The main theme is an electronic transcription of Henry Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, composed in 1695, for the procession of Queen Mary’s cortège through London en route to Westminster Abbey. “March from ‘A Clockwork Orange'” (based on the choral movement of the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven) was the first recorded song featuring a vocoder for the singing; synthpop bands often cite it as their inspiration.

Switched-On Bach features ten pieces by Bach available under the public domain, performed by Carlos, with assistance from Folkman, on a modular Moog synthesizer. Carlos worked closely with Robert Moog, designer of the instrument, throughout the recording process, testing his components and suggesting improvements. The album was recorded in a studio in the basement of a brownstone building acquired by Carlos and Elkind in the West Side of Manhattan in New York City, using a custom-built 8-track recording machine constructed by Carlos from components built by Ampex.

Recording was a tedious and time-consuming process; as the synthesizers were monophonic, meaning only one note can be played at a time, each track was assembled one at a time. According to Carlos: “You had to release the note before you could make the next note start, which meant you had to play with a detached feeling on the keyboard, which was really very disturbing in making music.” The synthesizer was unreliable and often went out of tune; Carlos recalled hitting it with a hammer prior to recording to obtain correct levels. After several notes were played, it was checked again to make sure it had not “drifted”. According to Carlos, Switched-On Bach took approximately five months and a total of one thousand hours to produce.

Bach provided only two chords for the second movement of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 in G Major, intending that the musician would improvise on these chords. Carlos carefully constructed this piece to showcase the capabilities of the Moog.

Falling In Love Again, What Am I To Do?

Never wanted to, I can’t help it. I mentioned this one to Renfield the other day, but I feel like it’s worth a post. Behold, the Seiko SLA033J1, a gorgeous reissue limited to 2,500 pieces. (The bastards.) It’s always a bad sign when the company’s own website won’t tell you how much the damn thing costs. But I did a little research, and this watch will set you back about $4,000.00. (EDIT: $4,250.00, to be exact.)

Introduced in 1965, Seiko’s innovative diver’s watch has been chosen by divers and adventurers globally. Seiko’s diving watch has become a global standard as a result over 50 years of innovation. The 1970 launch model, which boasts strong popularity in its history, will be reinstated. It is resurrected by modern state-of-the-art technology and design interpretation.

For comparison, here’s the original, the Seiko 6105-8110 …

And as worn by Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now

Movement
Caliber Number
8L35

Movement Type
Automatic with manual winding capacity

Accuracy
+15 to -10 seconds per day

Duration
Approx. 50 hours

Exterior
Case Material
Stainless steel (super hard coating) with stainless steel bezel

Glass Material
Dual-curved sapphire

Glass Coating
Anti-reflective coating on inner surface

LumiBrite
Lumibrite on hands and indexs

Band Material
Silicone

Other Details
Water Resistance
200m / 660ft diver’s

Magnetic Reluctance
Equipped

Case Size
Thickness: 13 ㎜
Diameter: 45 ㎜
Length: 49.7 ㎜
Other specifications
Screw case back
Screw-down crown
Serial number engraved on the case back
Unidirectional rotating bezel

Other Features
26 jewels
Date display
Stop second hand function

What I’m Reading Right Now

I somehow made it to 50 without ever reading any of Raymond Carver’s short stories, but I’m fixing that now with this collection. Great stuff! Little depressing slices of life that any bastard can relate to. Perfect bedtime reading …

By the time of his early death in 1988, Raymond Carver had established himself as one of the great practitioners of the American short story, a writer who had not only found his own voice but imprinted it in the imaginations of thousands of readers. Where I’m Calling From, his last collection, encompasses classic stories from Cathedral, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love, and earlier Carver volumes, along with seven new works previously unpublished in book form. Together, these 37 stories give us a superb overview of Carver’s life work and show us why he was so widely imitated but never equaled.

I picked this one up in hardback at Barnes & Noble for a few bucks. Chabon I’m quite familiar with, having read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Wonder Boys, and Werewolves in Their Youth. I honestly believe Chabon is one of our greatest living writers. Anyhoo …

In 1989, fresh from the publication of his first novel, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Michael Chabon traveled to his mother’s home in Oakland, California, to visit his terminally ill grandfather. Tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the imminence of death, Chabon’s grandfather shared recollections and told stories the younger man had never heard before, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried and forgotten. That dreamlike week of revelations forms the basis for the novel Moonglow, the latest feat of legerdemain from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon.