The remix action doesn’t stop with just one song. In preparation for the release of his latest project later this year, Amplive remixed Why’s entire new “Eskimo Snow” into the slightly off kilter “One Dark Eskimo" (download link).
Odd Nosdam: I can’t even figure out exactly what happened musically this past decade. I would like to see people getting back to hearing music on a record played on a good sound system instead of an iPod. The MP3—especially if it’s at a low bitrate—is the most compromised form; it’s not the way music was meant to be experienced. I’d like to also see the low end aspect of music being pushed. Ambient is going in an interesting direction, and I’ve been incorporating some drum ‘n’ bass elements into my music. I want to get back to putting stuff on beat because the sloppy, off beat stuff gives me a headache sometimes. A steady four-on-the-floor beat would be nice to hear again.
I think I have a better idea of what I’d like to do as a lyricist [on Code]. The album itself is very varied, in that there’s some tracks that are a cappella, kind of churchy songs, some tracks are rap bangers, and some songs are melancholy, kind of a torch vibe.
It’s easy to get carried away when you finally get to hear an album you’ve been waiting on for literally years. You build up the hype in your head for so long that invariably you get let down by the final product and then you spiral into a whirlwind of disappointment. Well, maybe not that far, but you get the drift. Thankfully, that isn’t the case with A Badly Broken Code. In fact, quite the opposite - we might only be in the third week of the year, but I can safely say if there’s an album that tops Dessa’s debut full-length, it will be perfect.
Having a plethora of talent on the production boards - MK Larada, Paper Tiger, Cecil Otter and Lazerbeak from her Doomtree crew as well as Big Jess - ensures the beats are the perfect bedfellow for her delivery, a delivery which flits from beautiful melancholic singing on Poor Atlas to her own unique rapping style on The Bullpen.
Throughout the album her poetic lyrics weave intruiging stories taking in relationships, family and the love of her crew whilst never seeming contrived or overly wordy. The album is bound to appeal to many people [it’s been given the thumbs up by Mama Abjekt] because it has so many facets in its make up. But what stands out amongst everything, is the overall feel of the album - it flows seemlessly from one song to the next, never dipping in quality.
Below is a track from the album, Dixon’s Girl, which showcases the talent on offer. Absolutely brilliant.
Letter from Kurt Vonnegut, 1945, on his time in a German POW camp
Pfo. K. Vonnegut, Jr., 12102964 U. S. Army.
Kurt Vonnegut, Williams Creek, Indianapolis, Indiana.
I’m told that you were probably never informed that I was anything other than “missing in action.” Chances are that you also failed to receive any of the letters I wrote from Germany. That leaves me a lot of explaining to do — in precis:
I’ve been a prisoner of war since December 19th, 1944, when our division was cut to ribbons by Hitler’s last desperate thrust through Luxemburg and Belgium. Seven Fanatical Panzer Divisions hit us and cut us off from the rest of Hodges’ First Army. The other American Divisions on our flanks managed to pull out: We were obliged to stay and fight. Bayonets aren’t much good against tanks: Our ammunition, food and medical supplies gave out and our casualties out-numbered those who could still fight - so we gave up. The 106th got a Presidential Citation and some British Decoration from Montgomery for it, I’m told, but I’ll be damned if it was worth it. I was one of the few who weren’t wounded. For that much thank God.
Well, the supermen marched us, without food, water or sleep to Limberg, a distance of about sixty miles, I think, where we were loaded and locked up, sixty men to each small, unventilated, unheated box car. There were no sanitary accommodations — the floors were covered with fresh cow dung. There wasn’t room for all of us to lie down. Half slept while the other half stood. We spent several days, including Christmas, on that Limberg siding. On Christmas eve the Royal Air Force bombed and strafed our unmarked train. They killed about one-hundred-and-fifty of us. We got a little water Christmas Day and moved slowly across Germany to a large P.O.W. Camp in Muhlburg, South of Berlin. We were released from the box cars on New Year’s Day. The Germans herded us through scalding delousing showers. Many men died from shock in the showers after ten days of starvation, thirst and exposure. But I didn’t.
Under the Geneva Convention, Officers and Non-commissioned Officers are not obliged to work when taken prisoner. I am, as you know, a Private. One-hundred-and-fifty such minor beings were shipped to a Dresden work camp on January 10th. I was their leader by virtue of the little German I spoke. It was our misfortune to have sadistic and fanatical guards. We were refused medical attention and clothing: We were given long hours at extremely hard labor. Our food ration was two-hundred-and-fifty grams of black bread and one pint of unseasoned potato soup each day. After desperately trying to improve our situation for two months and having been met with bland smiles I told the guards just what I was going to do to them when the Russians came. They beat me up a little. I was fired as group leader. Beatings were very small time: — one boy starved to death and the SS Troops shot two for stealing food.
On about February 14th the Americans came over, followed by the R.A.F. their combined labors killed 250,000 people in twenty-four hours and destroyed all of Dresden — possibly the world’s most beautiful city. But not me.
After that we were put to work carrying corpses from Air-Raid shelters; women, children, old men; dead from concussion, fire or suffocation. Civilians cursed us and threw rocks as we carried bodies to huge funeral pyres in the city.
When General Patton took Leipzig we were evacuated on foot to (‘the Saxony-Czechoslovakian border’?). There we remained until the war ended. Our guards deserted us. On that happy day the Russians were intent on mopping up isolated outlaw resistance in our sector. Their planes (P-39’s) strafed and bombed us, killing fourteen, but not me.
Eight of us stole a team and wagon. We traveled and looted our way through Sudetenland and Saxony for eight days, living like kings. The Russians are crazy about Americans. The Russians picked us up in Dresden. We rode from there to the American lines at Halle in Lend-Lease Ford trucks. We’ve since been flown to Le Havre.
I’m writing from a Red Cross Club in the Le Havre P.O.W. Repatriation Camp. I’m being wonderfully well feed and entertained. The state-bound ships are jammed, naturally, so I’ll have to be patient. I hope to be home in a month. Once home I’ll be given twenty-one days recuperation at Atterbury, about $600 back pay and — get this — sixty (60) days furlough.
I’ve too damned much to say, the rest will have to wait, I can’t receive mail here so don’t write.
At a Sage Francis gig in ‘03, Dessa opened the show with a single poem. P.O.S. from Doomtree was in the crowd. Awestruck, he sought her out after the show, and within months she was recording her first solo track, “Hawks and Herons,” at the crew’s south Minneapolis manse, Doom Manor.
Despite Johnny Cash’s version of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” being considered among most to be in the canon of music history’s greatest cover songs, I must confess that I’ve never been too crazy about it. It’s a brilliant performance, for sure, not to mention Mark Romanek’s epic music video, but I’ve always felt that other Cash covers, like “Personal Jesus” or “I See a Darkness”, were better suited to Rick Rubin’s sonic aesthetic.
To be clear, I’m not going to say that this cover by the Dresden Dolls’ Amanda Palmer from New Years Eve is better—or even on par—with Cash’s, but there is something about the Boston Pops Orchestra’s arrangement that gets under my skin in the same that Trent Reznor’s original so perfectly punctuates The Downward Spiral.