Monday, 27 June 2022

from the 2 d

Apparently to universal acclaim with the vehicle and the venue raising no objection despite the collapse of crypto-currency and that non-fungible token handmaiden are the even better at uncovering the greater fool, established rappers Eminem and Snoop Dogg, in their Bored Ape Yacht Club avatars for the eponymous festival, premiered their new collaboration. What do you think? There are no words for these new heights of what used to be considered selling out and pandering. Reportedly an impersonator called Dupe Shogg showed up at the event unannounced complete with full escourt and entourage and attendees were a bit disappointed it was not the genuine article.

Thursday, 23 June 2022

can you turn this up, please?

The debut single from by Berton Averre and Doug Fieger from the album Get the Knack was released on this day in 1979, quickly climbing to the top of the US charts where it remained for six weeks and achieving Gold status in the fastest time since “I Want to Hold Your Hand” in 1964. Inspiring muse and eventual girlfriend of Fieger, the titular Sharona Alperin was not only the subject of the song but also appears on the single-photo sleeve, recursively holding a copy of the record under her arm. Rhythmically similar to Smokey Robinson’s “Going to a Go-Go,” the number also features a stuttering vocal informed by Roger Daltrey’s “My Generation” for the Who and reportedly was a major influence on Michael Jackson’s “Beat It.” The song re-entered the charts in 1994 as part of the soundtrack to the film Reality Bites.

Tuesday, 21 June 2022


zhaocai: office cats in China face redundancy with startups closing 

utterly buttery: an etymological lesson and childhood memory on oleomargarine  

frisson: a group of neuroscientists compile an extensive playlist of chill-inducing musical tracks  

blood sugar sex magik: chants delivered by Aleister Crowley (previously) preserved on a wax cylinder 

umwelten: a new volume by Ed Yong explores the “self-centred world” (another Rรผckwanderer) of human and non-human animals  

barn cats: felines at work at a creamery in Maine

Monday, 20 June 2022

glastonbury fayre

The free four-day concert hosted in Pilton—the second Glastonbury festival, opened on this day in 1971 with the venue of a special Pyramid Stage, a one-tenth scale model of the one at Giza constructed of sheet metal and positioned over a water source discovered with dousing and was documented by filmmakers Nicolas Roeg and David Puttnam—released the following May. Performances included numbers by Melanie, David Bowie, Traffic, Fairport Convention, Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, Mighty Baby and Hawkwind.

Sunday, 19 June 2022


crisis on terra prime: US president Biden invokes emergency powers to boost solar energy production

midsommar: ten ways to celebrate the June Solstice—via Strange Company  

madagascator projection: another look at mapping and bias—see previously  

unai no tomo: an early twentieth century catalogue of Japanese toys  

imago and eclosion: good pictures of a newly emerged swallowtail  

controlled burn: astronauts have lit thousands of little fires in microgravity to understand its strange behaviour  

you spin right round, baby, right round: the only way to play Weezer’s new singles is to become one’s own turn table—via Waxy  

perovskites: research into making cheap but brittle photovoltaic technology sturdier to rival modern solar cells

Saturday, 18 June 2022

you gotta to say yes to another success

On this day in 1983 the Zรผrich electronic music duo Yello, a collaboration between Boris Blank and Dieter Meier with contributions from Carlos Perรณn—probably most recognised for their 1985 single “Oh Yeah” whose whump-whump has featured in several film and television soundtracks, notably Ferris Bueller’s Day Off or their 1988 “The Race,” released singles from their titular third studio album as three-dimensional picture discs complete with 3D glasses (see also), leading with the opening track below.

Thursday, 16 June 2022

the rise and fall of ziggy stardust and the spiders from mars

Released in the UK on this day in 1972, the loosely connected concept album presented as a rock opera relates the arc of narrative in eleven tracks of David Bowie’s titular alter ego sent to Earth to avert an impending apocalyptic event who himself falls short after succumbing to his own inflated ego. Members of the backing band include Trevor Bolder, Mick Ronson and Mick Woodmansey. Ziggy introduces himself in the third song below, Moonage Daydream, as “an exotic hybrid of rock’s past and mankind’s future” among other colourful epithets after the first two numbers present the coming doomsday and characters reacting to unavoidable disaster.

Wednesday, 15 June 2022


Starting a three-week run at the top of US singles charts on this day in 1963—as well as attaining an impressive standing in the UK and Australia, Kyu Sakamoto’s “Sukiyaki” (ๅ‚ๆœฌ ไน with “Ue o Muite Arukล”) was his breakout hit after leaving a pop-group called the Drifters for a solo career. Translated as “I look up when I walk” (so that the tears in his eyes don’t fall—ostensibly a forlorn lovers’ song but originally inspired out of songwriter Ei Rokusuke’s feelings of dejection over the US-Japan Security Treaty and permanent American presence), it was the first Japanese language song to excel in this way in Western markets and became overall one of the best-selling singles in history. The alternative title is a more familiar menu item to Anglophone ears and does not occur in the actual lyrics and has been compared with re-titling “Moon River” as “Beef Stew.” The Taste of Honey’s 1980 version has the same rhythm and cadence but completely different lyrics which attempt to preserve the spirit of the song.

Monday, 13 June 2022

mccartney ii

Paired on the double single release with “Check My Machine” and first in record shops on this day in 1980, “Waterfalls” is a minimalist ballad from Paul McCartney’s eponymous second solo album. Failing to match the success of the lead single “Coming Up” and first song that failed to chart, McCartney was questioned in 2009 whether he regretted that it were not more memorable, responding that, “There are quite a few, actually—Watersfalls, and I think that’s nice,” referring to the 1995 TLC signature tune that was a resounding international hit which incorporates the opening lyric and stylistic elements. The following single put out in September, “Temporary Secretary,” was again a musical departure and an outlier, futuristic and complex, about a disposable, cyborg administrative assistant, sampled and re-sampled with sort of an experimental mania with cult appeal. Don’t go chasing polar bears into the great unknown. Some big friendly polar bear might want to take you home.

Friday, 10 June 2022

meditate in my direction

Reaching number one on UK and US singles charts on this day in 1978, the John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John duet from Grease (released as the second single, “Hopelessly Devoted to You” was the lead, from the original movie soundtrack) was written specifically for Sandy Olsson and was not in the stage version and not universally admired among the production team as not fitting with the rest of the score. The number from the Warren Casey lyric was to be “All Choked Up,” an Elvis pastiche with Sandy being a bit more forward with T-Bird leader Danny Zuko.

Thursday, 9 June 2022


null island: errant data lands at this imaginary place at the intersection of the equator and the prime meridian (see also)

miscellany № 95: assorted links from Shady Characters, including some emoji code for illicit drugs  

fairlight synths: Kate Bush rediscovered by new audiences with her 1985 hit “Running Up That Hill”—previously  

mullet sneakers: for mental health 

¶ the encyclopedia of light is a curious mode of escape:the strike-through as a form of shadow writing, contextual undoing  

linkroll: your friendly reminder to pay a visit to the cabinet of hypertext curiosities of the illustrious Mx van Hoorn—previously 

terra nullus: a tour of ten off-limits places

Wednesday, 8 June 2022

help me make the most of freedom and of pleasure

Peaking at the top of US charts on this day in 1985, the lead single from the new wave pop duo from Bath, Tears for Fears’, second studio album, Songs from the Big Chair, originally had the refrain “everybody wants to go to war” and the rather jaunty tune addresses the anxieties of every age with the struggle for dominance and corruption and the misery it brings. The music video features bassist and lead vocalist Curt Smith driving an antique Austin-Healey roadster through southern California. One headline, why believe it?

Sunday, 5 June 2022

but the kettle’s on the boil and we’re so easily called away

Starting a two-week run at the top of the UK charts on this day on 1971, the album Ram, the second by the duo of Paul and Linda McCartney, featured the leading single “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey,” that song itself reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 and the McCartneys’ first certified Gold post-Beatles. A medley of sound-effects and harmonies, the montage style is reminiscent of Abbey Road and is described by the artists as a musical apology from the younger generation to the older for being impatient and dismissive. I had another look and I had a cup of tea and butter pie.

Saturday, 4 June 2022


2slgbtqia+: a calendar of Native American and First Nations’ Pride events—the 2S is for “Two-Spirits”  

about the damn end: DJ Cummerbund (previously) mixes Lizzo and Linkin Park—via Waxy  

sacred modernity: McGregor Smith explores Europe’s superlative post-war churches—via Things magazine

why ernest saves christmas: wholly machine-generated articles on any number of topics—the logorrhoea of infinite neural networks producing infinite copy, via Web Curios  

signature sound: a 1957 musical horoscope album (see also here and here) orchestrated by Hal Mooney  

the endangered california bumbletrout: court declares bees are fish to afford them better defence under the state’s species protection act  

night of a thousand judys: a tribute concert for charity on what would have been Garland’s one-hundredth birthday

Friday, 3 June 2022

your hit parade

The cover of the standard ล koda lรกsky (Wasted Love) by Jaromir Vejvoda known in the German Sprachraum as Rosamunde and released for English-speaking audiences under the title “Beer Barrel Polka” by accordionist and bandleader Will Glahรฉ topped the charts in the United States on this day in 1939, selling over one-million copies by 1943. Glahรฉ, prohibited by the Chamber of Culture of the Third Reich from spelling his name with an accent from 1934 to 1945, had toured internationally and were particularly popular in America and achieved further successes with his “Liechtensteiner Polka” and “The Cuckoo Waltz” and performed with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and Fats Domino.

Tuesday, 31 May 2022


not to put words in your mouth: Google’s collaborative incubator discreetly withdraws from deepfake research—via Slashdot  

mermay: a month-long (didn’t get the memo but for next year) sketching challenge to draw merfolk with daily prompts    

bubasteion: necropolis sacred to Ancient Egyptian feline goddess yielded a trove of two-hundred and fifty perfectly preserved sarcophagi  

now listen to my heart—it says ukrainia: the Scorpions update their lyrics to Winds of Change to stop romancising Russia 

joueur-animateur en direct: French ministry of culture reforms guidelines on gaming jargon to combat anglicisation—see previously  

monk tone scale: Google adopts a better classification system for skin pigment to combat baked-in biases (see previously) for its algorithms and artificial intelligence

Monday, 30 May 2022

dear sir or madam will you read my book?

The eleventh single credited to the Lennon-McCartney collaborative partnership, Paperback Writer was released on this day in 1966 (the B Side was “Rain”). It climbed to the top of the charts in the US for two non-consective weeks, interrupted by Frank Sinatra’s “Strangers in the Night.” A promotional film for the song, later aired on The Ed Sullivan Show, was shot at Chiswick House in West London and was among the first music videos.

Saturday, 28 May 2022


scotch tapes: commercials, idents and continuity from British television from 1984 salavaged from VHS casettes  

boldly go!: a medley of songs from and about the Star Trek franchise—see also  

apiculture: a survey of bee hives throughout the ages  

latex: Goodyear and the US Department of Defence are partnering to manufacture tyres from dandelions—see previously  

kleksographien: revisiting the blotograms (previously) of Justinus Kerner plus other inspired symmetries  

red wine and ginger ale: Vulture correspondent Rebecca Alter samples all the food combinations referenced in Harry’s House  

diagrammatic map: another look at how Massimo Vignelli presented mass transit to the masses—see previously here and here—via Things magazine  

the fantastic journey: an obscure 1977 time-travel series starring Joan Collins and John Saxon

Monday, 23 May 2022

i keep telling you, you listen to me more, you live longer!

One of the first coinages of prequel and prompting the Motion Picture Association of American to mint a new intermediate rating between parental guidance suggested and restricted (PG-13), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom debuted in US cinemas on this day in 1984, with the highest opening weekend of the year, competing with other blockbusters Beverly Hills Cop, Ghostbusters, Gremlins, The Karate Kid, Footloose, Romancing the Stone, Splash and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and received Oscar nominations for musical scoring and visual effects.  Mola Ram, prepare to meet Kali, in Hell!

Sunday, 22 May 2022

oom papa

The always exquisite Fancy Notions directs our attention to a delightful classic cartoon from UPI and storyboard artist and writer T. Hee about generational clashes and the fear of being made obsolete with Pops Tuba discouraging son from experimentation and stern warnings against falling in with the wrong crowd. “And Orville and his friends thought they had the hippest sound—until Steel Johnny Six-String and his pals Fuzzpdal and Fenderstack came to town.”