October 26, 2005

Welcome Returns: UbuWeb & Dictionaraoke

UbuWeb.jpgWelcome back. Whatcha all been up to while I was away? This is going to be a fairly modest return (I’m back from an O.S. trip that drained the finances pretty badly, so I won’t be buying too much new music in the coming weeks. Instead, it’ll just be sporadic cannibalizations of postings on other much cooler sites.) And speaking of cool sites, I am overjoyed to hear of the return, during my absence, of two of the brightest stars in the interweb firmament – the venerable Ubuweb, and the whimsical but inspired Dictionaraoke.

For the past nine years, Ubuweb has been the pre-eminent online repository of avant-garde, outsider and ethnopoetic writings and recordings. In its ever-expanding archives, you can find works representing ever major modern artist/composer from Antonin Artaud to La Monte Young; the complete 365 Days Project and the rantings of Francis E Dec; and field recordings of Inuit throat singers, Indonesian ketjak chanters, and Oklahomans “speaking in tongues”. In the June this year, Ubuweb called it a day. Thankfully, though, this turned out be only temporary, and its return was announced less than a fortnight ago.

Although it may never acquire the high cultural significance of a site like Ubuweb, Dictionaraoke deserves a permanent place in the roving smorgasbord of inspired silliness that constitutes the vast bulk of the Web because, well… it is a pretty inspired piece of silliness. The idea behind it is simple enough: starting back in 2001, members and acquaintances of the Negativland mailing list fed the lyrics of popular songs into online audio pronunciation guides, spliced together the output, and mixed it with cheesy karaoke backing tracks to produce the sorts of covers that might be assembled by nostalgic future robots a century or so after their complete eradication of the human menace… So if you want to hear what will be all the rage with the art-admin-bots in 2205, go check out this version of Cameo's "Word Up". (via Music For Maniacs.)

Posted by Warren at October 26, 2005 10:40 PM | Mp3 Blogs