The Null Device
This looks doovy: One enterprising hacker has developed an Atari 2600-based musical instrument cartridge. The Synthcart has beats and arpeggiators, and can be operated without a TV. Wonder how long until we see Ataris take the stage next to circuit-bent Hello Kitty toys and GameBoys running NanoLoop. (via Slashdot)
"Please don't invade us, Mr. Bush" The world's last hard-line Stalinist dictatorship, North Korea, has started a charm offensive to improve its image abroad. This includes talks with South Korea and tentative moves towards a market economy. Next up: Fidel Castro offers Nike use of his labour camps, and Moammar Ghadafi invites McDonalds to set up a franchise in Tripoli.
(Though if North Korea does open up somewhat, it could probably market itself as a Stalinist-retro-kitsch tourist destination, and make quite a bit of money from post-ironic hipsters.)
Read: Attack of the Chicken-Hawks, about how most of the people calling for an invasion of Iraq are civilian politicians, and the actual US military isn't too keen on the idea. (via someone named Ben)
I went to the Rob Roy tonight to see some bands. First up were La Scimmia, who were a sort of cinematic jazz instrumental thing; perhaps a little similar to Dirty Three. They were followed by Ninetynine, whom it appears most of the people came to see. The crowd got really packed. And the band rocked, playing all new songs and doing a great job of them.
(Aside: I can't remember ever seeing a Ninetynine show that didn't rock. I remember seeing them once many years ago and not paying much attention, other than "hmmm, vibraphones and toy keyboards.. interesting", but that's because I went there to see The Paradise Motel (IMHO, perhaps the greatest Melbourne band ever), and because I didn't really "get" the indie/garage-band/casiopunk aesthetic back then. And/or because their style has evolved a lot since then.)
Then the Night Terrors, whose CD launch this was, came on. A screen was set up behind the stage, and films were projected onto it (one of the first was Un Chien Andalou, and a lot of the audience weren't expecting the eye-slicing scene at the start). Fluorescent lights were placed against the back walls of the stage, and switched on and off during the performance, adding an eerie, backlit effect to the guy playing the theremin. In one word, the performance was electric.
Afterwards, Cameron Ninetynine took on DJing duties and entertained the remaining people with his rather odd record collection. (He seems to have a thing for that Star Wars disco theme piece.)