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"Dearth of the Cool (Reaktor)" [mp3 removed].
The song I posted previously, played with Reaktor instruments Carbon2, Titan, and Oki Computer 2 instead of the pianos and organs.
"Dearth of the Cool (B4)" [mp3 removed].
The original tune played live in my studio using Gretsch drums, a Steinway, and Hammond B3. Not really, but it does have a more naturalistic sound. I think I prefer the Cubase and Reaktor versions, but included this as matter of purist curiosity. Update: it's growing on me. If I was JP Morgan I'd hire musicians as a vanity project to play this live. In fact I'd like to hear my entire catalog live. I would also have to hire an audience. Seriously, though, the downloading is greatly appreciated!
"Dearth of the Cool" [mp3 removed]. Gradually reloading all the programs I lost in the recent hard drive mishap. Am burning incense, sacrificing tofu chickens and saying prayers to all the Gods before I try to reinstall the Native Instruments virtual instruments, after reading all the squawking on the chatboards about software keys not working, etc. In the meantime, wrote this pseudo-jazz song in Cubase using just the factory VSTs--piano, organ, and a traditional drumkit. Looking forward to hearing it with all the great licensed soft-gear I theoretically still own. Yeah, baby, I'm hep.
Update: Everything is back up and running, so any badmouthing of NI real or implied is hereby retracted.
From a Stratfor report circulating around the internet, on the geopolitical significance of the Bush/Katrina disaster:
The displacement of population is the crisis that New Orleans faces. It is also a national crisis, because the largest port in the United States cannot function without a city around it. The physical and business processes of a port cannot occur in a ghost town, and right now, that is what New Orleans is. It is not about the facilities, and it is not about the oil. It is about the loss of a city's population and the paralysis of the largest port in the United States.
Let's go back to the beginning. The United States historically has depended on the Mississippi and its tributaries for transport. Barges navigate the river. Ships go on the ocean. The barges must offload to the ships and vice versa. There must be a facility to empower this exchange. It is also the facility where goods are stored in transit. Without this port, the river can't be used. Protecting that port has been, from the time of the Louisiana Purchase, a fundamental national security issue for the United States.
Katrina [and the negligent governance of the Bush Administration --tm] has taken out the port -- not by destroying the facilities, but by rendering the area uninhabited and potentially uninhabitable. That means that even if the Mississippi remains navigable, the absence of a port near the mouth of the river makes the Mississippi enormously less useful than it was. For these reasons, the United States has lost not only its biggest port complex, but also the utility of its river transport system -- the foundation of the entire American transport system. There are some substitutes, but none with sufficient capacity to solve the problem.
It follows from this that the port will have to be revived and, one would assume, the city as well. The ports around New Orleans are located as far north as they can be and still be accessed by ocean-going vessels. The need for ships to be able to pass each other in the waterways, which narrow to the north, adds to the problem. Besides, the Highway 190 bridge in Baton Rouge blocks the river going north. New Orleans is where it is for a reason: The United States needs a city right there.
New Orleans is not optional for the United States' commercial infrastructure. It is a terrible place for a city to be located, but exactly the place where a city must exist. With that as a given, a city will return there because the alternatives are too devastating. The harvest is coming, and that means that the port will have to be opened soon. As in Iraq, premiums will be paid to people prepared to endure the hardships of working in New Orleans. But in the end, the city will return because it has to.
Geopolitics is the stuff of permanent geographical realities and the way they interact with political life. Geopolitics created New Orleans. Geopolitics caused American presidents to obsess over its safety. And geopolitics will force the city's resurrection, even if it is in the worst imaginable place.
From the WFMU message board, via bill s:
bill kelly: How about this. Instead of proselytizing and politicizing, we all write a check for an amount of money we can afford and send it to a legitiimate organization equipped to offer some relief for those in need?
I love you buddy. I'd take a bullet for you, if it would give you a chance to play one more Chesterfield Kings or Shadows of the Knight 45. And I back you up 100% in your call for people to donate. I did it this morning and I hope every American does the same.
But don't tell me not to "politicize" this. Everything is "political" when it affects the polity. If you have any opinion whatsoever about thousands---maybe tens of thousands---of your fellow citizens dying like pigs in the middle of a major American city while Nero, Jr. dithers and spins and poses for photo-ops and waxes eloquent about the redevelopment opportunities this temporarily difficult situation presents, that opinion is "political."
Did you complain about Republicans "politicizing" Bill Clinton's blowjobs?? Distracting the President from important business like fighting Al Qaeda with utter bullshit? I don't seem to remember that post.
Since 2000, we have been living with the most blatantly, brazenly, ruthlessly "political" ruling elite this nation has ever seen. They have "politicized" everything, from supposedly non-partisan government documents (like the budget, which contains more ruling-elite propaganda than a North Korean newscast) to the fucking phone messages at the Social Security Administration, to the FCC, to 9-11 (the bullhorn photo op, the "hugging the child" photo op, the entire 2004 RNC), to lies about how Jessica Lynch was captured and released, to lies about how Pat Tillman died, to the despicable "mission accomplished" photo-op, to lies about Kerry's war record, to the Terry Schiavo melodrama, to the "purple fingers in solidarity with the Iraqi people" photo op, etc. etc. fucking etc.
Face it: much of the policy of this one-party government has been directed by the "political" calculation of a vicious, soul-dead bastard named Karl Rove who would laugh in your face if you ever suggested there was any such thing as a "non-political" person, place, thing, or event.
No one who voted for or supports this filthy, incompetent batch of robber-baron scumbags can EVER, EVER cry "don't play politics." Nothing is sacred to them---not God, not country, not the flag, not the Constitution, not life, death, war, freedom, liberty, Nothing. It's all fair game for "political" calculation. And you goddamn well know it.
Karma's a bitch: Live by the sword, DIE by the fucking sword.
Steve Gilliard reposted this CNN article contrasting rosy assessments from FEMA and Fatherland Security about New Orleans with statements from people on the ground there. A commenter on Gilliard's blog pointed out that this is not like Iraq with controlled, embedded media--reporters are actually reporting. Part of the reason for this sudden attack of integrity on the part of the coiffed, high paid talking heads is that they feel they can go after local politicians in a way they can't go after the more powerful, vindictive Bush--e.g., Anderson Cooper grilling Mary Landrieu. Also, images of violence and mayhem feed the need of the masses for "good TV." Whatever the reason, word finally seems to be getting out after five years that the Bush Administration is incompetent and racist.
This newspaper headline is from March 2004. For the last 18 months or so Digital Media Tree blogger Jim Louis has been compiling a record of the inner-city shootings and mayhem in New Orleans, where he lived for many years. So it came as no surprise to us here at the Tree that this city, which was already a killing field, devolved even further into anarchy when everyone suddenly lost food, shelter, and property. The question is, why didn't the "authorities" know that and prepare for it? Troops and essential supplies should have been available immediately. Instead, all these wingnuts are scratching their heads and saying "I can't believe they're looting!"
Again, this is from before the hurricane:
Thursday, August 11, 2005
• Child, 7, mother gunned down at home
A 7-year-old girl and her mother were killed Wednesday after police said at least one gunman entered their Hollygrove home and shot them both in the head.
Friday, August 12, 2005
• Violence shows no signs of letup
In one slaying, a 22-year-old New Orleans woman was shot in the back while clutching a 2-year-old boy in her arms in Hollygrove. A few hours later, a 30-year-old man was near death in the 9th Ward after being shot multiple times early Thursday. He died later at Charity Hospital.
Saturday, August 13, 2005
• N.O. teen dies in Algiers shooting
A teenager died Thursday after being shot in Algiers, the Orleans Parish coroner's office said.
• N.O. man shot dead on city street
A man was shot and killed Friday about 1 a.m. in Central City, police said.
• Killers are killed, Orleans police say
For the second time in a week, the New Orleans Police Department has closed a murder case by saying that the suspects became murder victims themselves.
This comment on Sally McKay's page I want to pass along as a reality check to the Republican spin of "New Orleans residents didn't heed warnings and/or they deserve their fate." (The current variation on the sliming of Cindy Sheehan by a right desperate to shore up the fading image of their klutzy poster boy.)
my cousin (who's also an artist who was teaching at loyala university before the hurricane) lives(-s +ed) in new orleans. she evacuated to my uncles house in florida just before the hurricane hit. she has since gone back to the bayou, with a generator and other supplies she bought in texas, and headed to her partners parents house which apparently is still standing about an hour outside new orleans. she was telling my mom that this is the third time in a span of a few months they have been told to evacuate. so thinking that nothing too horrible was going to happen, because she was getting so used to the routine, she didn't pack much stuff and thought of it as a visit to my uncles before the new school year. which i think is an important thing that people are leaving out when they're blaming people for not heeding the warnings about getting out. the desire to heed warnings fades with repetition, and repeated costs of fleeing. she was indeed lucky/privledged, because she had the means to leave, and a place to go. she lost only her house and job. (big onlys but given the horrible stories, it's not that much) when i first started hearing about looting, i thought, that's not looting, that's stock that could be put to good use in this emergency. i read tons of knee jerk posts on craigslist new orleans, where people were getting angry at "looters" and saying crap like "i'll help when they stop looting!!" i'm thinking, what is so hard to comprehend? their immediate world is ending, they have nothing. and some media accounts are acting all righteous like it's a greedy capitalism thing. maybe some of it is but really, who cares. the city's decimated, so's the stock. i mean, so what if people are taking things to make their situation more endurable, to survive, to help people. it's such a dumb thing to focus on. i mean, bush, whatever - like we needed more evidence for his idiocy but he keeps providing it. blah.