Saturday, September 13, 2008

15. Diamanda Galas, Lonely And Looking for her Heifer (The 23rd Swiss National Yodelling Festival, Thun; American Yodelling 1911-1946)

What are we, obstensibly extremely hip arbiters of taste on the consensual Mongolian clusterfuck that we call "The Internet," doing putting yodelling up for your delectation? Well, for one, eat shit and die, Junior. I was rocking IRC chatrooms like #madchester and #brooklyn-queens while you were still trying to h4xx0r your way out from betwixt thatandroidyoucallyourmomma's marshy thighs.

Secondly, we have a god-given duty to turn you on to music you have not considered. The best way to do this is to burrow so deeply into the trashpile of popular culture that you find a nugget rancid enough that no-one will touch it. Bring that festering glob up into the sun and let the young new light of NOW play along its ruined surfaces. There are people out there who will listen to the sounds of rutting goats from Albania as long as they can be assured that no-one has listened to the recordings for the last 80 years. As a matter of fact, we uploaded just that last month, and got Greil Marcus to guest-write! He used the terms 'chthonic' and 'haunted' several times, and The Wire Magazine has set up camp in our dumpster, praying for cast-off drafts to gnaw on. In such a way do we top up our hip quotient, if not our 'Q' rating. And to be sure, if there's one thing that a hipster discounts even more than lite beer, it's yodelling. We're providing you ammo, kids. You're welcome.

Thirdly, every wannabe avant-garde wingwang gives lip service if not full on saliva-soaked fellatio to the concept of extended technique. Extended technique nine times out ten means whatever you can con your applied bagpipe prof into believing without giggling until you swallow your tongue. Thurston plays his geetar with a screwdriver or twelve. Rashaan Roland Kirk plays three saxes at once: one with his mouth and one jammed into each sinus. Jason Adjemian and Fred Lonberg-Holm play the double bass with their foreheads.

Ah, but the original extended technique was probably the yodel of some poor motherfucker getting burned at the stake in Babylon BC. Before we had instruments, we just had what we came with.

We don't hear much about extended vocal technique outside of Joan La Barbara and Diamanda Galas. But dammit, shouldn't we look beyond those two shop-worn mainstream radio chesnuts? Hence, two shining examples of extended vocal technique from two different continents. I'm not including Tuvan throat singing because I don't like it, even when Bjork does it. The fact that I like it is irrelevant. I'm putting these up there for your education.

Fourthly, I think that everyone should send five bucks to the descendants of the Dezurik Sisters, wherever they may be. And the use of coins rolled in a bell for a sort of percussive ostinato on "Zauerli mit Talerschwingen" classifies as extended technique on its own.

And finally, are you here to fix the sink? Is Charlie Rose on? Will you empty my bag? Where the flittery fuck have you youngsters gone with my Bandit, the only motorized wheelchair with a rollbar? What sick swine god curses me with another day on this stinking earth filled with such ungrateful snots as you?

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