The blog incarnation of the Desperado mailing list, the voice of the apocryphalypse since 1978.

Saturday, April 30, 2005

You want roots music, we got roots music! 

If world music has sometimes seemed a little too worldly and not earthy enough, then, as Lord Buckley enjoined in an entirely different context, "Hipsters, flipsters and finger-popping daddies, knock me your lobes."

I give you, KONONO N°1, three electric thumb pianos (likembé), home-made junkyard microphones, a scrapheap high-hat that makes the Violent Femmes drummer look like Vic Firth backing up the Boston Pops, some more pot-and-pan percussion, and a ton of musical adventurousness, soul, and penetrating beats.

I can't do better here than to quote the web site here:
The musicians come from an area which sits right across the border between Congo and Angola. Their repertoire draws largely on Bazombo trance music, but they've had to incorporate the originally-unwanted distorsions of their sound system. This has made them develop a unique style which, from a sonic viewpoint, has accidentally connected them with the aesthetics of the most experimental forms of rock and electronic music, as much through their sounds than through their sheer volume (they play in front of a wall of speakers) and their merciless grooves.
There's a video and some anguished press as various sophisticated critics try to get their brains around how much they like this stuff.

Tip o' the Desperado tan galan to the original slim root-boy, JO.
posted by Tom  # 4/30/2005 01:09:00 PM

Monday, April 25, 2005

Moore's Law? It's here somewhere 

You say your house is piled so deep in old books and magazines that you're actually stuffing them under the floorboards to get them out of the way?

Is that what's troubling you, Bunky? Well lift your head up and walk proudly in the sun and it may be that someday a giant corporation will swoop down and buy one of your old magazines for $10,000, just like this.

This great moment in collecting per Number Two Son (Parmenator-X).
posted by Tom  # 4/25/2005 12:12:00 PM

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Less than three cents a word 

Some of my best book buys come at the fifty-cent-discard rack at the local libraries. I recently picked up The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction, Seventh Series (1958) and came across this by one Ron Smith:
The Horror Story Shorter By One Letter
Than The Shortest Horror Story
Ever Written

The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a lock on the door.
With our modern sensibility we could shorten the story by taking out an extra word and substituting another. In the meantime, I wonder if anyone remembers the former shortest horror story ever written.
posted by Tom  # 4/23/2005 01:01:00 PM

Thursday, April 21, 2005

It kinda sounds like Cadillac, eh? 

I like to plop you down in the middle of interesting web sites, drawing you there with such dramatic fare as:
posted by Tom  # 4/21/2005 11:46:00 AM

Monday, April 18, 2005

Building quickly to a climax 

With the success of "The Vagina Monologues" and "Menopause The Musical", I have composed a show of my own, "The Penis Dialogue".

Here 'tis:
First Penis: Wanna go score some cooze?
Second Penis: You bet, pal!

posted by Tom  # 4/18/2005 12:31:00 PM

Friday, April 15, 2005

It's mental judo, not logic, if that helps, a riddle not a math problem 

Most people find Petals Around the Rose absolutely infuriating. Some get mad because they can't figure out what it is, some because they can't solve it, some when they do solve it, and some because they don't want to know what it is because they think it will be really dumb.

For the record, I found it baffling and infuriating. Baffling the first time I tried it, infuriating when I went back and solved it immediately.
posted by Tom  # 4/15/2005 05:59:00 PM

The Shocking-But-False Story of America's Blackstronauts 

A pitch-perfect Ken Burns parody: The Old Negro Space Program

Except for the actual words and pictures, everything is true.
posted by Tom  # 4/15/2005 05:48:00 PM

Metaphorical re-mix 

Billboard reports on Rush Limbaugh's obsession with oral sex. All lovers of figures of speech will smack their own pouty lips over the master baiter's choice of apologetic words.
Rush Limbaugh, in a fit of “unbridled passion,” used his self-described “pouty lips” to utter the words “blow jobs” on his April 12 show.

posted by Tom  # 4/15/2005 01:14:00 PM

Rabid leftists for Wolfowitz 

Brother Dave finds dripping-fang leftist George Monbiot cheering the nomination of neocon bugbear Paul Wolfowitz to head up the World Bank.

"I'm with Wolfowitz," the man says, arguing that the World Bank has never been a friend of any poor people anywhere.

Dave's annotation,
Interesting take. I think I might agree.

The wolf nomination is a good thing for three reasons:

posted by Tom  # 4/15/2005 12:47:00 PM

Grape, orange, raspberry and pineapple scroggin? 

Thanks to the Matron of Honor, I learn, with some dismay, that gorp is not necessarily an acronym for good old raisins and peanuts.

There's that, and lots more, at World Wide Words, "international English from a British viewpoint".
posted by Tom  # 4/15/2005 12:30:00 PM

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

They must be braves to live their own lives 

There need never be another music video, or another big-guitar guitar instrumental. Indeed, there never need be any more art of any kind.

Per JO per his friend Stewart who is, according to Roget, upright, honest, veracious, constant as the northern star, staunch, scrupulous and integer vitæ sclerisque purus when he avers:
This is the greatest thing I have ever seen in my entire life:


posted by Tom  # 4/13/2005 07:48:00 PM

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Number in stock: 2 Weight: 2500 g. Price: $128.00 

The Japanese lap of luxury, presented with appropriate modesty and fine technical documentation, by the inappropriately modest JO.
posted by Tom  # 4/12/2005 12:24:00 PM

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Fighting General Clark shreds Armchair General Perle 

There's a good bitter laugh or two in this confrontation between General Wesley Clark and the exalted Chairman of the Defense Policy Board Richard Perle.

Clark shreds him, of course, just as he had shredded him before the invasion, when Perle described Clark as "hopelessly confused" and spouting "fuzzy stuff" and "dumb cliches."

Let's see if we can find any examples of hopeless confusion, fuzzy stuff, and dumb cliches in Perle's response to Representative Walter B. Jones, a Republican from North Carolina who voted for the war and demanded that Perle apologize for misleading the Congress and the nation about the need for the war:
Perle wasn't about to provide the apology Jones sought. He disavowed any responsibility for his confident prewar assertions about Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction, heaping the blame instead on "appalling incompetence" at the CIA. "There is reason to believe that we were sucked into an ill-conceived initial attack aimed at Saddam himself by double agents planted by the regime. And as we now know the estimate of Saddam's stockpile of weapons of mass destruction was substantially wrong."

posted by Tom  # 4/09/2005 02:24:00 PM

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Passing side : Suicide 

Select a car to match your favorite bumper sticker.
posted by Tom  # 4/05/2005 12:57:00 PM

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Spitting image of you, you, you! 

The utterly unique JO finds the future in the present in the form of a DNA Immortality Kit:
Your Essence Saved For All Eternity!
As they note:
Unless you have an identical twin, no other person ever had or ever will have the same DNA as you. Your DNA is the ultimate statement of individuality. Remember this during the Clone Wars of 2045.
The story that he was browsing for this is what the French call a faux canard.
posted by Tom  # 4/02/2005 12:28:00 PM


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