At The Guardian, author/musician Stephen Thrower -- a member of Coil and Cyclobe -- presents a fascinating primer on horror movie soundtracks. Links galore too. From The Guardian:
If I had to choose just one great horror soundtrack from the 1970s, I'd go for The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Relentless, disturbing and totally "out-there", this groundbreaking work arose out of free improvisations by the film's director Tobe Hooper and his musical associate Wayne Bell. Rather than composing melodic themes for the characters, or dutifully applying motifs to particular events, Hooper and Bell approached the soundtrack like vengeful deities, raining down storms of pure nightmare. The sound design rumbles with elemental violence; it's difficult to discern precisely which musical instruments, if any, are responsible. When I spoke to Bell a few years ago he told me that a signature ingredient was "an upright bass, which we did all sorts of torturous things to during the Chain Saw sessions". There's also lots of tape manipulation (slowed-down and speeded-up gongs), and what sounds like a heavily asthmatic pedal-steel guitar (it is set in Texas, after all). Hooper and Bell smear these cues (with ad hoc titles such as Seethe and Madness) throughout the film, creating a dense, expressionist impasto into which screams, chainsaw engine noise and murderous gibbering are embedded; the effect is to completely mire you in the film's claustrophobic horror.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Alex Wood is an addict but won’t give up his smartphone. But he has five strategies for limiting its control over him: “I used to wake up tired. My body would ache and my head felt sore, like waking up with a hangover. Finally, I took control, like attending an AA class for addicts, I […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]
Yes, yes there is. The ultraportable Twisty Glass Mini boasts all of the simplicity of its forebear, while fitting just a little bit better in your pocket.The Mini is perfect for casual smokers, and anyone who doesn’t have the patience or fine motor skill for rolling papers. This piece keeps the convenient design of its older […]
Learning to code is a perfect way to grow your technical sophistication, and open up a host of new career options. But since most “learn to code” initiatives focus heavily on web development, it can be tough to find good resources for general-purpose computer science outside of a 4-year degree program. To get a broad […]