Ahh, 1996, a milestone year. The first flips phones were invented, Bill Clinton was reelected, Tupac was shot (or was he?), and America was introduced to a strange, new technology called the internet. This old school instructional video, converted from an old VHS tape, was what the average Joe needed to learn about connecting to the world wide web.
Sure it’s funny to sit back and laugh at the archaic nature of its tech jargon, but this video is also an interesting look at how far we have come. To think, I could be typing this article in raw HTML into a Netscape browser to publish onto a Geocities page. Yikes!
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, March 17th, 2016||No Comments »|
Ahh, conventions. You go to one and you go to them all, right? It certainly seems like it. Just look at this old video from a 1976 Star Trek convention. Recorded by ultimessence, he took his old Super 8 camera down to Denver, Colorado’s Northgenn Mall to capture the rising swarm of Trekkies taking over America. Not only were Leonard Nimoy and James Doohan at the event, but also the first possible sighting of a furry at 1:20 of the video (although YouTube commenters say he’s actually dressed as a cataan from the Star Trek cartoon series, but hey, “furry” is funnier). The video is more than just a crazy, retro blast from the past, it’s also a video proof that conventions were always a little strange and a little awkward.
|Recommended by The Absolute Staff||Thursday, March 3rd, 2016||No Comments »|
Most people remember electronic producer DNTEL (real name James Scott “Jimmy” Tamborello) as being one half of The Postal Service. I personally hate The Postal Service and was never a fan of their music. However, before the Postal Service, DNTEL was a solo joint, and his first album, the cynical Life Is Full of Possibilities, was one of my favorite albums when it came out in 2001. This track, “Umbrella,” is the opening track from that album and sets the mood right away. “You can turn the city upside down/ like an umbrella / but it won’t keep you dry” guest vocalist Chris Gunst sings. The song sets you up for the sadness and depression that continues throughout the rest of the album, but “Umbrella” does the best job conveying this message. It’s hard to believe it’s more than a decade old now, but what better song to listen to on a rainy day like today?
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, February 25th, 2016||No Comments »|
German duo Ms. John Soda burst onto the indie/electronic scene in 2002 with the release of No P. or D., followed by Notes and the Like. They took a 9-year break before coming out with 2015′s Loom, an album I’ve been listening to on repeat for the past few weeks. Although not a huge departure from their earlier work, the duo expands their sound beyond the “alternative” one they’re usually saddled with.
But, since today is #ThrowbackThursday, instead of highlighting a few of my favorite songs from Loom (which is obviously “Millions,” by the way) I decided to highlight one of their older songs. Taken from their first album, “Hiding/Fading” is probably one of their better known tracks and encompasses the “edgy whimsicality” sound their known for. If you like this, definitely check out Loom when you get a chance.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, February 11th, 2016||No Comments »|
For this week’s #TBT we’re not going that far back. After all, 2011 wasn’t that long ago. But Pink Playground’s debut album Destination Ecstasy came and went with little fan fare, which was unfortunate considering gems like “Never Was” and “Dark Bloom” was on there.
From Houston, Texas, the duo has a post-80s shoegaze sound that sounds as thick and nostalgic as you could imagine. Probably my favorite thing about “Never Was” is how proudly it hat tips the dreamy proto-rock bands of yore, creating an ethereal experience that you want to experience again and again. It’s a shame the duo hasn’t released an album since, but here’s hoping they have something lined up on the horizon.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, December 3rd, 2015||No Comments »|
It’s a bit like a rite of passage to be a kid in middle school being forced to watch an educational video about “your changing body.” Mine was held in a special classroom where they showed us some ’90s video about some girl who got her period and panicked because she didn’t know what to do. I always felt like the videos they showed us weren’t really informational, just blatantly fear-monger-y, with a bleak conclusion that periods are awkward so just deal with it.
Normally when you hear the words “1950s” and “Walt Disney” you think of things that are super old-fashioned, conservative, or sexist, but this animation surprisingly has none of those things. Sure it’s a little outdated, showing shots of women cleaning houses and cooking, but its message is straight forward and educational, unlike those frightening ’90s videos I was forced to watch. There is some cringeworthy mothering in the cartoon, like telling girls to “not slouch” or to smile and “stop feeling sorry for yourself,” but overall it’s an interesting relic of Disney history that was made during a time when Disney, apparently, was desperate for cash.
Unfortunately, if you’re wondering why your teachers never showed you this video in school, it’s because the cartoon was later banned for some reason. I guess they had to make room for those scary ’90s videos. Too bad.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, November 5th, 2015||No Comments »|
When it comes to #TBT pieces, we usually try to go as far back as the ’90s or earlier. Cobra Killer‘s sophomore album 76/77 isn’t that old, but it was released over a decade ago. And while I remember their track “L.A. Shaker” making a minor splash on college radio, I highly doubt anyone remembers it now. In fact, I forgot all about them until this song randomly popped up in my iPod one day. And how fortunate I was too, because this song is too awesome to forget.
The German duo had a vampy, retro style that played with electro hooks and vintage samples. They had the kind of coy, playful sexuality that made their music as dark and alluring as a sleazy bar. And if their “retro kitsch” style wasn’t obvious enough, they even sampled the famous guitar riff from Southern Culture On The Skids’ cult classic “Camel Walk.”
But don’t let the sample fool you. Cobra Killer totally makes the song their own with an explosive chorus that shakes off any lingering suspension of irony and becomes a full bodied force of ghoulish, dark fun. It’s a shame the duo aren’t making much music anymore. However, according to their Facebook, they’re getting ready for a comeback.
Now might be the best time to get introduced (or reacquainted) with a unique band.
|Recommended by Tiffany White||Thursday, October 22nd, 2015||No Comments »|