Some things:

1. I like Hipster Runoff. Visually, it resembles the ridiculous "blog house" type blogs, but thematically, it's a brilliant parody on the medium, that type of blogs, and life itself. A while ago, its tag (it changes frequently, being "I am the meme economy" now-- all too clever for simpleton bloghouse-esque) used to be "So random, but authentic in a post-meaningful kind of way". That kind of sums it up: it IS random (addresses everything from memes, to tech, to fashion, to MGMT remixes, to whatever), but everything together conjures something SORT OF meaningful, but not really (which is the most you can get nowadays). Talking about hipsters or hipster lifestyle (the saddest anti-movement of this post-authentic era) is basically essential if you want to talk about today's world, and Hipster Runoff does it well by satirizing them. It's not a blog in the traditional sense, it's more of a sadistic art show-- there are no posts-- instead you get self-referencing meta-posts in the nature of "Should I post more about... ?". Saying more would damage the context I'm trying to create here, as it's all too self-referential to talk about seriously in a paragraph. Just head over there, give it a chance and enjoy the great somber-but-honest comedy. Also: the design is just hilariously fantastic.

2. I like Rososo.com. Rososo is labeled the "peaceful newsreader". Rososo comes from RSS, which is the 'push' technology geeks (hi Dave Winer) thought was a good idea, but instead - as usually happens when geeks create technology - became a horrible burden on people. Basically, RSS makes sure you will know of all new posts on your favorite websites and such. In reality, it creates a terrible mass of information, creating what the Rososo homepage calls "accumulation of obligation and guilt". I almost couldn't describe the problem with RSS readers today better-- and I've actually had the same idea (with a couple of different features), but I really like it. It's well-executed, simple, the design is kind of silly but makes its point, and most importantly - it gets the job done. Basically, it hides all the bad information (number of posts you haven't read, and other stuff), and gives a nice list of fresh websites, with no specific links to posts. All you have to do is click. That's why if you're an RSS whore, if you read too many blogs for your own good, this humane technology is what you need. Give it a chance as well.

So, now I'd say the next step in technology in the western world is for technology itself to take the role of parents-- educate us, take care of our (mental) health. This anti-technology is about CONCEALING, rather than EXPOSING (you have 142 unread blog posts! good luck!). It's about education and support, instead of letting us succumb to our overtaking caprices. Why is this necessary? This is the world today, and this is exactly what it needs. We're not evolutionary prepared for the tech we surrounded us with, and this is the essential step towards a peaceful - yes, indeed, peaceful - world.

3. I like BuzzFeed.com. The internet is a weird place. There are so many ideas, so many thoughts, so many cultures, that you're really sadly left with none. BuzzFeed tries to fix that mess, by addressing all of that as "memes", giving it that sort of context, etc. That type of editorial mindset is almost all you really need to have a great product (that's what Hipster Runoff does, too) -- choose your subject intersection right: anything goes, but in a good way.

4. I really like Krautrock. And Holger Czukay (here's "Persian Love", Movies 88'). I know, everyone likes Krautrock. Everyone can tell you how amazing Can is. But what I'd like to bring to the table is this: There's something about this sound, and Can in particular, that's very relevant to today. First, they understood space (minimal techno, anyone? etc) so well. I can see that their use of space in rhythms and melodies reflects very well in modern design, the 'less is more' approach, etc. But that's pretty trivial-- take a broader perspective on their unique sound-- the way they approached music, from almost a simultaneously listener-musician outlook, i.e from the ears outwards, or something of that nature-- is that kind of awareness everyone tries to reproduce these days (which, again, Hipster Runoff tends to refer to a lot). It's no coincidence that their astounding drummer, and one of Can's founders Jaki Liebezeit is known to be described as "one of the few drummers to convincingly meld the funky and the cerebral". Need I really mention James Murphy here?

5. I love DJ Harvey. Watch this:
That's House of House, BTW. Saheer Umar & Oliver Spencer (of Still Going fame). Out soon on Whatever We Want Records. Great-great tune, but that's not the issue. In an obsessive diggers-collectors-eBayers-Internet-seekers world, mega-stoner DJ Harvey seems like the gems FIND him. The highly obscure, unsung, sought-after pieces of forgotten, unclassical, super-rare music gold just finds its way to his sexy bearded vinyl case. The title 'crate digger' implies hard labour. Effort. Sweat. Harvey? He simply has an epic taste. It's all his, he's the music he's playing-- not just the DJ. As a pioneer of disco re-edits, he could laugh in the faces of hopeless "Nu Disco" (bleh) kids today. But he doesn't. Harvey is indeed amazing, but I warn you now: do not listen to anything by him. Not until you've established yourself. You're gonna be scared of DJing for a long time, and try to cluelessly imitate his style. Bad idea.

6. I still like Twitter. The world is having a constant and steady panic attack. "Where's everyone?", we ask ourselves an insane number of times during the day. "Has everyone disappeared? What's everyone doing?". Twitter does exactly that: much like the peaceful Rososo, it validates your existence an infinite number of times. That so-called ambient intimacy relaxes and calms your panic attack down a bit, in tiny doses everytime. It's essentially that anti-technology that's there to make you peaceful. What's Tal doing? Oh, he's having dinner. I feel better now.

7. And I like Tumblr. A lot. Why? Because it's just so cool.

8. Finally, I also like Lexx's mixtapes. Scattered over the web. Look for them.

7 comments:

ryan manning said...

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ryan manning said...

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hot chip's sister said...

i like hot chips

Tal said...

sorry Ryan?

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Anonymous said...

Come back Occam. Dazzle us with your good taste in music once again!

jeffxprince said...

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