May 13, 2005

Two New, One Missing [Open Thread]

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at May 13, 2005 3:41 PM

Yeah, I didn't post an open thread this week. So I'm posting one now that will cover this weekend and next week. Also, I will make up for the lack of posts by photoblogging Bay to Breakers on Sunday.

My schedule for June is solidifying:
June 4: Sleater-Kinney concert
June 8-11: Travel to Pasadena
June 16-19: Travel to Chicago
June 26-July 8: Travel to il Ciocco, Italy

So, that will be a pretty awesome month. (But maybe I should start recruiting guest bloggers...)

Double music post today:

M. I. A.: Arular: Did I first hear about M. I. A. on Boing Boing? Or was it one of the political blogs? She's been getting a lot of attention for her distinctive international sound and her lyrics that touch on subjects like violent revolution. The music is a very interesting mixture of electronic and hip-hop with some exotic elements thrown in: try "Amazon" for example.

New Order: Waiting for the Sirens' Call: As a fan of some of their musical descendants (Franz Ferdinand in particular) I was intrigued to learn that New Order themselves had a new album out. And it's quite good! I'm not extremely familiar with their previous work (except for the most widely played stuff) so I can't say anything authoritative on how it compares to that, but it certainly holds its own against the other recent new wave bands. Also, as someone with way-too-many Castlevania remixes on his hard drive, I have a certain appreciation for a song called "Dracula's Castle".

Ok, one more music item: The New Pornographers have released the title track from their upcoming album Twin Cinema; it can be found here.


Wait wait wait... New Order -> Franz Ferdinand? I would so love an explanation here--do they share some members? Just going through in my head, I don't really see much similarity in their musical styles, but maybe I'm just being retarded... New Order was certainly a huge player in modern / alternative rock in the 90s (though the songs may have come out earlier than that).

My most recent musical aquisition was Maroon 5's album, which I like quite a bit. Also, my most heavily played song in iTunes lately is Float On by Modest Mouse. It makes me feel all warm and fluffy, in a dangerous sort of way.

Posted by: Lemming | May 13, 2005 4:04 PM

They don't share any members, but stylistically Franz Ferdinand is commonly said to draw on the 80's new wave bands including New Order. (I'm not knowledgable enough to point to the specific elements that back this up.) This is said about The Killers as well, and Interpol sounds very much like Joy Division, the band that re-formed as New Order after the suicide of their frontman Ian Curtis.

I remember I liked "Float On" even though I didn't really get into the album as a whole. Haven't heard the Maroon 5 album--I should check it out.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | May 13, 2005 4:19 PM

New Order was more prominent in the 80s than in the 90s, but they did some stuff in the early 90s before taking a bit of a break (for side projects like the band Monaco). The new album is indeed awesome and very much in the spirit of their awesome earlier stuff (both the stuff that received airplay and the stuff that didn't). You may or may not remember my indication that I liked the new album when I downloaded it while visiting you.

Among the new wave bands, New Order has been quite influential (strictly speaking, people seem to cite Joy Division more often, but it's not clear how true that is given the relative durations of these iterations). In particular, they (along with the Pet Shop Boys) are given lots of props for combining new wave with techno and dance stuff.

Dracula's Castle is indeed very cool; it's one of the best songs on the album.

As for your lack of familiarity with New Order, I obviously didn't do my job of playing them enough. (Of course, at the time, the only album of theirs I had was Substance, and several of their better songs are from albums that came after that compilation.)

Ignore my MIA question from before. I'm reading your as a stack rather than as a queue.

Two Taiwai observations (well, one about a radio station and one about my hotel):

The radio station the limo driver had on was playing some remixes of English tunes from the 80s (including a fairly obscure one by Bananarama, for example). I think it was some sort of dance station, although not all the songs were remixes.

The hotel keeps cycling between elevator music versions of Careless Whisper, Love Lift Us Up Where We Belong, and We Are the World. There might be a couple other songs on their list, but this made for a fairly odd breakfast experience. It just seemed wrong.

Observation 3: They seem to like motorcycles around here. There are lots of shops near the hotel that sell them.

Oh, you should take a look at USA Today next week---probably the Tuesday edition.

Posted by: Mason | May 14, 2005 6:39 PM

Oh, two other things:

Italy's a conference? There are certainly certain perks to being in academia...

For Pasadena, maybe there will be a chance to get some gaming in? I'll be back in town by that point.

Posted by: Mason | May 14, 2005 6:41 PM

Mason: I figured you'd come through with some New Order knowledge. :)

The Italy event isn't quite a conference, it's basically a summer school where us graduate students will get two weeks of lectures from various luminaries.

As for gaming, I may have time to put together one of the literary one-shots I've been wanting to run. Probably the China Mieville game, saving the Richard K. Morgan game for some time when Joe isn't so busy getting married.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | May 14, 2005 11:10 PM

Oh man, but I just read Perdido Street Station! And picked up Iron Council when I was at the bookstore. :) Anyways, i'd love to game, but I suspect it'll be a bit busy for me. We'll see. ;)

Posted by: Zifnab | May 15, 2005 9:11 PM

Dude! In that case maybe I'll hold onto that game for you as well. Also, that will give you time to read Iron Coucil and The Scar before I run it. :)

Having just finished Smilla's Sense of Snow, maybe I'll convert the plot to a Lovecraftian milieu (easier than I would have thought originally) and run it as a Call of Cthulhu game. Heh heh heh.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | May 15, 2005 9:32 PM

I'd be up for a Cthulhu game! Plus, I could then show you my other Cthulhu mythose stuffed animal.

As for New Order knowledge, 80s music is one of the few things about which I know a lot (with a specialty in the subfield of new wave, of course).

This trip to Taiwan is really fun, especially as I am now more alert.

By the way, I'm very happy that the Chinese word for 'iced latte' is 'iced latte'. :)

Posted by: Mason | May 16, 2005 10:03 PM

Excellent. I was thinking more about the proposed scenario today and finding it promising. I could aim for a Resident Evil style with this one. Maybe I'll send out e-mail to the likely suspects, find out how many players I potentially have.

Posted by: Arcane Gazebo | May 17, 2005 12:07 AM
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