Tag Archives: bass cars

Meat Beat Manifesto & Not Breathing @ Santos Party House 2.20.11

This was a low-end affair, caught inside the world’s most well-orchestrated bass car.

Security was remarkably tight; despite the Class of Nuke’em High brigade’s plumage, mistaking signals of menace for fashion trapped in (gothy 80s) amber is confusion. Perhaps the city has been causing issues as of late? Regardless, if you enjoy a good pat-down, the Santos security team has you covered.

Not Breathing continues to be one of the most criminally underrated electronic acts in the United States.

The intersection of booty bass and broken glass crushing out of Santos fairly dang amazing sound system had this woman in front of us doing aerobics. Other people were bopping and dancing – the set’s undercurrent was a solid slab of a heavy kick drum – but she was genuinely doing aerobics. It was a bit disconcerting, no matter how appropriate for an evening of painfully loud power electronics meets acid dancehall.

But what I like most about Not Breathing is that perfect mix of the ugly and the funky, but humanized and humorized just enough to avoid the sterility of the clinical UK style take on that ideal. Check out the video below for the basic idea.

Meat Beat Manifesto is one of the few acts I’ve seen that actually gets the whole VISUAL MULTIMEDIA DJ EXPERIENCE right. Triggered samples and clips from movies running forward and backward in perfect synchronization. Jack Dangers knows he’s just a dude with a beret, and responds accordingly. The music was excellent, mixing old classics with a mostly straightforward runthrough of the new album, Answers Come in Dreams. The bass was nearly sickening, as in “blaarrrghhhh” sickening, not “bro that was most sick” sickening. The last show I remember being that dense on the low end was Pole (remember him?) doing a neat and tidy set in the old neat and tidy Cooler back when it still existed.

It was kind of absurd, but in a way that convinced me to pick up the last copy of the new album they had at the merch table. Much of the crowd had come to a similar conclusion at this and the other shows that had come before; bless their hair extended and welding goggled-hearts.




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Long, Long Winds

While reading Thoreau’s comments on the lenses of specialists in the field of cultural interpretation, I thought of this essay on a very Brit hyper-hybridity popping out amongst their kingdom of sub genres. The essayist above draws together a slew of really disparate threads into a coherent – if not very convincing – narrative about (I think) what happens at the margins of genre. I’m not entirely sure, but I find it interesting writing about largely uninteresting music.

This one’s even more relevant to Thoreau’s topic, or maybe it’s simply that I can follow it more easily. That essay was written partly in response to this hilarious character assassination. If IOZ was British, straight and cared a lot about hating dubstep, he might read this essay. I can’t say I actually follow most of the personal snippiness, or even agree with him on most points, but it is a funny read. [1] Continue reading

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2009 Was The Sort of Year That Passed In One Month Increments

Music For Infants: My preliminary field notes indicate that babies, by and large, don’t give a shit about music. However, there are two exceptions in Vashti Bunyan and David Tibet, particularly Sleep Has His House. Weirds me the hell out, it does. Not because Sleep is a bad album, or because it is rightfully considered one of Current 93‘s finest works and this indicates supernatural prescience, but because it’s about a dead father, sung by his living son.

But it soothes the savage beast, and so I worry not.

This past year was one of preparation and rediscovery. Health and Death and yet another triumphant Boredoms experience. Throbbing Gristle, set in motion during my own infancy, played “Discipline” in an old Masonic Temple and drew a circle around what I imagined my youth to be. Will Oldham demonstrated extreme American exceptionalism while millions inexplicably mourned a dead pedophile; Antony showed an overwhelming capacity for international superstardom, hemmed in only by being a beautiful woman who doesn’t look like one. Continue reading


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Bass Cars Co-Opted Into Participatory Kitsch

Truly the greatest strength and weakness of American culture is it’s incredibly modular ability to de-fang brutal trends by transmuting them into less harmful forms.

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Death To Bass Cars; Or, To The Guidos Of All Nations

the-fish-carThe rich multi-ethnic polyglot of northeastern Queens extends even to the “bass car” phenomenon. Not only are there genuine 80s hair metal fans still running about – bless their souls – but it seems as though every ethnic grouping here has their own preferred soundtrack to match their fast-riding, look-ma-no-eyes motoring about town.

Traditional Italian-esque “Goodfellas/Scarface” composite guidos have their KTU techno and freestyle, a zombified musical form that refuses all attempts to kill it with decent electro; various “Queens Shmoes” – white, black, Asian, etc – really do seem to love Queensryche with a genuine heart that will never be hard-of-hearing, no matter how many pedantic guitar solos it endures; an even wider ethnic blend enjoys the loud sounds of whatever passes for hip-hop as it coasts through its hair-metal phase right into the arms of neo-disco; arabica and bhangra beats abound; there’s even plenty of that hilarious Mexican style of music with all the accordions in it. Aside from driving like complete assholes, they share the heavier-than-heavy need to bleed from the ears. They do this to let everyone know they’re coming and going, as well as allow those equipped with sonar know their approximate density, speed and distance.

The one exception to this rule are the Hasidim, who prefer to do their peerless homicidal driving in a comparative near-silence – all the better to haunt my dreams as an army of Civil War reenactors dressed like obese Abraham Lincolns and guiding half-wrecked minivans towards my terrified family.

I now share the road with them all, having been a legally licensed driver in the state of New York for almost a week. But I have studied guidos and bass cars for years. Continue reading


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