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SNOBSITE AWAKENS FROM MONTHLONG SLUMBER

Sometimes, a Web site gets exhausted, overextended, and just plain preoccupied. It goes dormant for weeks, un-updated, and the colors on its title page peel and fade and get unsightly splotches from water damage. (Note to Stacy, site designer: will budget cover this effect?)

Snobsite was not exactly in an abandoned building smoking crack, but it was, for much of June, in Ireland enjoying the craic. And now it’s back and active again. Thanks for your patience. Here are a bunch of bullet-point items.

–Want to hear a clip of Film Snob Lawrence Levi on the nationally syndicated program Culture Shocks with Barry Lynn? Click here and scroll down to #643, the interview with Mr. Levi dated 3/10/06. If you hit the interview with Bernard Henri-Levy dated 2/20/06, you’ve scrolled too far–and confused an Italian Jew with a French one.

–Lawrence and David Kamp also appeared on Tribeca Radio’s Alan Smithee Internet Radio Experience with Josh Horowitz and Josh Block, but they don’t have their archiving act together yet so it’s not available for podcast. But keep checking.

–Good lord, Yacht Rock has been canceled!

–Rock Snob couture! Check out all the stuff this dude on eBay regularly has for sale.

–British Rock and Film Snob Humo(u)rist Peter Serafinowicz has edited together his two previous Macca-heavy video shorts and added a new Snobberific bit pertaining to Scorsese’s Raging Bull. Watch it here. Peter alleges that a TV series based on this stuff is in the offing.

–We lament the recent passings of two very different Snob causes célèbre, Arif Mardin (who warrants his own entry on page 65 of The Rock Snob*s Dictionary) and György Ligeti (who, perhaps, should have been an entry in The Film Snob*s Dictionary). Actually, maybe the two men weren’t so different: Both were responsible for stunning soundtrack music involving strangely timbred high voices. Mardin, a longtime arranger and producer, revived the careers of fading ’60s Britpoppers the Bee Gees by encouraging Barry Gibb to try out falsetto vocals and take up R&B rhythms. This experiment, first attempted on the song “Nights on Broadway,” set the stage for “Jive Talkin’,” “You Should Be Dancing,” and, in 1977, the whole Saturday Night Fever juggernaut, whose songs should simply be considered pleasures, not guilty pleasures. Before and after the Bee Gees, Mardin was at the helm of some of the twentieth century’s great recorded music: Aretha Franklin’s late-’60s peak, Dusty Springfield’s Snob-tastic Dusty in Memphis (“Son of a Preacherman” and all that) and Chaka Khan’s “I Feel for You.” Ligeti, on the other hand, was the avant-garde composer responsible for one of the most evocative pieces of music ever used in a film, Lux Aeterna, otherwise known as “the scary, disembodied yi-yi-yeeeee voices during the weirdest scenes in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey.” Kubrick didn’t seek Ligeti’s consent to use the piece for the film (along with two others in the Ligeti canon, Atmospheres and Requiem for Soprano, Mezzo Soprano, Two Mixed Choirs and Orchestra), and evidently Ligeti wasn’t happy about this. But the microtonal a capella weirdout that is Lux Aeterna was the perfect musical expression of the spooky unknowability of outer space, suggesting the language of an advanced alien race, or the ghostly cries of the explorers who’d come before, or the electronic hum of the matrix that secretly determines all experience. It’s fun to ponder what the recording session for the German Lux Aeterna choir was like–did the participants sway and jovially sing through mikes while clutching headphones in “We Are the World”-chorister style, all the while making terrifying sounds?

June 27, 2006 More Declamations »

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