The Null Device
Online Journalism Review interviews David Mikkelson of snopes.com, where he talks about his role in debunking the "Hunting for Bambi" hoax, and other things:
We have a section on our site called Lost Legends. We just made up the most outrageous things we could think of, made them out to being true, then put them out there to see if people would suspend their common sense. The most popular one is that we say that Mr. Ed was not a horse [but was a zebra]. We made up that the song "Sing a Song of Sixpence" was actually a song pirates used to recruit each other in the days of Blackbeard. It turns up on the "Urban Legends" show broadcast on a cable channel that it was true. They read it and thought that it was true.
Tonight I saw Yo La Tengo at the Corner Hotel. First up were the supports, Decoder Ring, who also played at the Mogwai gig last year; this time they seemed to have more electronics and sequenced synths in the mix, sounding somewhere between (post-)rock instrumentals and some kind of post-Kraftwerk electro; they were pretty good.
Then, after a DJ break, Yo La Tengo came on, and played for some two hours (including two encores), starting off with their cover of Sun Ra's Nuclear War, and going on to Let's Save Tony Orlando's House (one of my favourite YLT songs). They swapped instruments a fair bit, playing four keyboards, two drum kits (plus bongos!) and numerous guitars (which were handed to them by a guitar tech/valet offstage), not to mention some 2- and 3-part vocal harmonies. Ira (the guy in the striped short) stole the show in places with his antics, rocking out on the guitar, thrashing it about, and pretending to be about to throw it, though carefully not letting go. (Perhaps he was only thrashing it about in an ironic sense?)
Anyway, they played a few quieter, country-tinged numbers (Today Is The Day, Tears Are In Your Eyes and Take Care near the end), some of their more upbeat pieces (Season Of The Shark, a great rendition of How To Make A Baby Elephant Float (dig those chords!), Moonrock Mambo, and Georgia vs. Yo La Tengo at the very end), and a few rock numbers (including one off their Christmas EP -- the one with the artwork by Daniel Clowes). During the second encore, whilst taking a request, they said that they didn't like to repeat songs from the previous night; given that they played most of their new album tonight, I wonder exactly which ones last night's audiences were treated to.
Anyway, next week it's Interpol, which should also be good.