Video mashup of epic proportions: Kanye West as Tetsuo from Akira featuring Daft Punk=hip hop-Japanimation-Franco-Italo-House-Disco goodness

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Kanye West’s new video for “Stronger

Akira=one of the touchstones of modern sci-fi/animation/Japanimation.

Daft Punk=one of the best modern music groups especially for their Discovery album.

In this video, Kanye West plays the role of Tetsuo from Akira, with Daft Punk playing the role of video surveillance operators, in a hip hop track with a sample from Daft Punk’s Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger.

So that mixes hip hop with 1980s/1990s Japanimation plus French disco/house/italo circa late 1990s/early 2000s. Daft Punk also did their whole animated movie with Leiji Matsumoto of Captain Harlock/Galaxy Express 999/Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers fame.

Mixing a bunch of geek-core stuff–Japanimation, French Italo disco/house–this takes cultural mixing/referencing, sampling to a whole new level–good one, Kanye! Next up: a Just Blaze video featuring Saigon and Transformers???

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We need a logo

we need a new logo

We’re heading in the right direction. We’ve got some good content -some serious, some frivolous. Good regular posting schedule. A hopefully growing fanbase. Now all we need is a cool logo. I’m getting tired of looking at the boring design at the top of the page.

Mr. Trickle-Down, want to whip something up? Legions of fans, give us some help!

It’s all in the charts

sweet chart, dude

Want to make your dry, academic white paper more sexy?  Add a really sweet chart like the one above (click on the picture to zoom in).

This is taken from an essay called “The Soviet Collapse: Grain and Oil“, and it’s actually pretty damn compelling reading.  I dig the argument, and I’m printing this chart out for my wall.

Link again from the still amazing Marc Andreessen blog.  I know it’s bad etiquette to quote repeatedly from the same source, but he’s probably got the hottest blog going right now.  Jump on the bandwagon

“They should have put down the Web 2.0 pipe”

web 2.0

This is a very entertaining story from Business Week about the advantages and dangers of using Web 2.0 marketing techniques.

Link from the new Ogilvy China Digital Watch blog, mostly written by ex-Tang Dynasty guitarist and notable Beijing expat Kaiser Kuo.

Music downloads of the day

Zbigniew Karkowski

For those of you who feel guilty about acquiring new music through dubious channels, there are plenty of very interesting & legal free downloads available these days.  From big names even!

 1-  Since they apparently admire The Dead and and have an ‘open source taping policy’, there are now 20+ Smashing Pumpkins live shows from 1992-2007 available for free download on the Internet Live Music Archive.  The sound quality of the shows I’ve listened to is soso to decent, but definitely raw and energetic.  Despite being a huge MTV band, The Pumpkins put out some amazing, doomy, sludgy rock.

2- The Internet Music Archive is a fantastic resource.  Most of the artists are jam bands, but that’s not always a bad thing.  Check out my favorites:  The Mermen and Acid Mothers Temple.

3-  If you scoff at such commercial crap, get this great hi-fidelity ambient noise album:  Zbigniew Karkowski – Uexkull

Hmm…

“As for the idea that universal education is the way to a meritocratic utopia, that’s pure crap whether it comes from old-style liberals or from neocons like Brooks. It betrays a fallacy of composition. Education may be a great way for an individual to increase his chances of moving up the pyramid, but there are only so many positions at the top of the pyramid. If everybody gets a state-subsidized PhD, guess what? You’ll have the entire population competing for the 15% of jobs at the top of the pyramid (and hence driving down the pay of middle managers and technicians), and the other 85% of the population will include the best-educated burger flippers and bedpan emptiers in the world.”

“There’s a reason the educational differential is so high. The state has been subsidizing the most capital-intensive and skill-intensive forms of production for most of the past century. The purpose has been to deskill labor, reduce blue collar workers’ control over the production process from the shop floor. Such policies have had the additional benefit, from the ruling class POV, of increasing the education “toll” that has to be paid to get into a good job, so that the population will be too busy doing homework and jumping through academic hoops until they’re thirty to focus their anger on the system.

What we really need to be doing is attacking the shape of the pyramid itself.

Posted by: Kevin Carson | February 15, 2007 at 05:36 PM

http://ehrenreich.blogs.com/barbaras_blog/2006/09/are_you_too_stu.html

Well hopefully the theory and in practice the reality is that with more educated people, the “pie” grows larger–more entrepreneurs and innovators, and more value is added in the workplace in general. But of course, yes, in the short-terms, greater supply of workers in certain fields leads to more competition and can drive down wages…Hmm..

Shellac-Excellent Italian Greyhound

Amazingly, after not caring much at all for any number of the last Shellac albums since At Action Park I find the most recent one to be very worthwhile. Maybe they are refining their more-stripped down-less frenetic sound, or compared to all the other junk out there their current “formula” (or lack of a formula) finally makes more sense to me (and I am getting older). Quite aptly, they have a song entitled “Steady as She Goes”–which could describe any number of aspects of Shellac’s existence.