Welcome to the redesigned site, a long overdue project I’ve been dabbling with for months. My main goal was to steer clear of a cookie-cutter Blogger look and go for a cleaner, more streamlined look. Does it work?
Many thanks go to my best bud John, who toiled over the drawing for the banner and withstood my many demands. To his wife Gabriela, who showed me the dark and mysterious ways of HTML and Dreamweaver. I am in debt for their patience. And to Eric, whose clean layout led me to, um, borrow some of his coding (with his permission, of course). There likely will be tweaks here and there.
The idea for the banner drawing was inspired by some old Twilight Zone watching, specifically The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street (Season 1). In sum, a neighborhood in Suburbia, USA, becomes convinced of an alien invasion. When a boy who reads sci-fi says human-looking aliens usually precede the invasion, the once-friendly neighbors start pointing fingers, speculating who might be the alien. As Rod Serling recaps: “There are weapons that are simply thoughts, attitudes, prejudices â€“ to be found only in the minds of men.”
Neighbors turn ugly in The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street.
In keeping true to the redesign theme, I’m offering up the inaugural Remix Week. In addition to any regular posts, I’ll make available a few of the many remixes in my music library: whether from CDs, vinyl or cassettes. Other than that, I have no particular procedure for how I’ll pick them.
And what about remixes, which once seemed the proprietary domain of hip-hop? Why do we love (or loathe) them so? As my sometimes contributor Royce likes to say: “I’m a sucker for remixes.” To that end, remixes have become bait for consumerism. Full albums of remixes are becoming commonplace. Look at Bloc Party: Did Silent Alarm really need to be remixed? Probably not. More likely, the clamor for Bloc Party created an opportunity (in the form of sales) that Vice Records would be dumb to pass up.
So, what draws you to remixes? I have many in my collection, though I’m hard-pressed to think of a remix I like better than its original. But is that ever the point? Sometimes I fear my impression of the original will be tainted somehow. On the other hand, a really well-done remix offers a new vision or perception of the song.
My first selection is Z-Trip’s reworking of The Jackson 5’s I Want You Back. In this instance, Z-Trip maintains the true spirit of the song, but adds an updated drum loop, really putting the focus on the beat. Z-Trip’s respect for the original is evident, and he still is able to put his imprint on it.
The Jackson 5 | I Want You Back (Z-Trip remix)
(From Mowtown Remixed)
My second choice is an example of a remix that makes me wonder: Why? Paul Banks of Interpol takes his own group’s song Narc and strips it down to a bare minimum. It’s not that the remix is particularly bad; but I quite enjoy the original, so it’s difficult to frame the lyrics/music in the much slower, moodier remix.
Interpol | Narc (Paul Banks remix)