FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
August 2nd, 2007
Legendary culture jam-band Negativland announces upcoming release of My Favorite Things DVD (complete with doo-wop covers CD by the 180 Gs) and reissue of its 1983 conceptual masterpiece, A Big 10-8 Place.
Group launches first East Coast tour in seven years with a Time Out New York profile and performance at NYC’s Highline Ballroom.
Declared heroic by their peers for refashioning culture into what the group considers to be more honest statements, Negativland suggests that refusing to be original, in the traditional sense, is the only way to make art that has any depth within commodity capitalism... – The New York Times
Twisted genius...compelling...parody and satire as a grass roots weapon of consumer resistance. – Rolling Stone
Negativland isn't just some group of merry pranksters; its art is about tearing apart and reassembling found images to create new ones, in an attempt to make social, political and artistic statements. Hilarious and chilling. – The Onion
Negativland’s greatest hits become all new moving pictures in the amazing and long awaited DVD release of My Favorite Things, to be issued via the Other Cinema (Sonic Outlaws, So Wrong They’re Right) imprint on October 23rd. Years in the making, this package is an epic career-capping project from Negativland. Sure to please the group’s old fans, this very accessible DVD is also an incredible introduction to Negativland's work for new ones. Created with a crew of 18 other experimental filmmakers from all over the USA, Our Favorite Things is a collaborative project that takes a striking visual leap into the same legally gray area that Negativland has been exploring with sound for the last 27 years. A dark and charming film collection of unforgettable collage and classic cut-up entertainment for all ages, it also comes with over 90 minutes of bonus material, as well as a truly silly and bizarre 18-minute bonus CD of 100% acapella versions of Negativland's work by The 180 Gs, a five-person black acapella group from Detroit, that has endeavored to “cover” Negativland’s cut up collage work in R 'n B, Doo-Wop, and Gospel styles. The resulting album 180 D’Gs To The Future! is extremely fun, funny, and very weird.
Also in the works is the long awaited re-issue of Negativland's legendary 1983 difficult listening conceptual suburban epic A Big 10-8 Place. Over three years in the making, and with ten-thousand-million-billion analog tape splices, this insanely cut-up and uniquely weird release remains the hands down favorite of many fans of Negativland's work. This re-issue, due out on September 25th, comes with a 60-minute bonus DVD of Negativland's No Other Possibility video, created in the mid-1980’s.
As if all of this Negativland activity weren’t enough to cause a government reaction, the band will bring a new version of its weekly radio broadcast (“Over the Edge” – on the air since 1981) to the live stage, mixing music, found sounds, found dialog, scripts, personalities, and sound effects within a “radio” theater-of-the-mind. Time Out New York featured the band this week in anticipation of its first New York City performance since a sold-out show at Irving Plaza in 2000 (LINK). “It's All In Your Head FM” is a two-hour-long, action-packed look at monotheism, the supernatural God concept, and the all-important role played by the human brain in our beliefs. Dr. Oslo Norway is your “radio” host, and Christianity and Islam are the featured religions, as Negativland asks you to contemplate some complex, serious, silly, and challenging ideas about human belief in this audio cut-up mix best described as a “documentary collage”. “It's All In Your Head FM” is a compelling and uniquely fun presentation of sticky theological concepts, which has actually been known to provoke arguments for days after the show is over.
Opening the NYC performance will be two other significant contributors to the history of re-appropriation of found sounds – Steinski and Double Bee. In 1983, Tommy Boy Records held a promotional contest, in which entrants were asked to remix the single “Play That Beat, Mr. D.J.” by G.L.O.B.E. and Whiz Kid (members of Afrika Bambaataa's Soulsonic Force). The entry submitted by Steinski and Double Dee, “Lesson 1 — The Payoff Mix” was packed with sampled appropriations from other records -- not only from early Hip-Hop records and from Funk and Disco records that were popular with Hip-Hop DJs, but with short snippets of older songs by Little Richard and The Supremes, along with vocal samples from sources as diverse as instructional tap-dancing records and Humphrey Bogart films.
Double Dee and Steinski followed up this success with “Lesson 2 — The James Brown Mix” in 1984, which began with a sample from The War of The Worlds before quickly running through a montage of memorable breaks from classic James Brown records, with sampled appearances by Dirty Harry and Bugs Bunny.
In 1985 came “Lesson 3 — The History of Hip-Hop Mix” which attempted a survey of the great breakdancing favorites, along with snippets from Johnny Carson and Hernando's Hideaway. The Illegal Art label, home to notorious musical collage artist Girl Talk will issue a definitive compilation of this long unavailable material in 2008.
08/02 New York, NY Highline Ballroom (tune in live at www.free103point9.org
08/03 Philadelphia, PA International House
08/04 Baltimore, MD The Church on St. Paul St.
08/05 Washington DC Warehouse Theater
08/07 Charlottesville, VA Satellite Ballroom
Our Favorite Things DVD Chapter Listing:
180 d’Gs To The Future Bonus CD Track Listing:
Release Date: October 23rd, 2007
01. Learning To Communicate
02. No Business
03. Gimme The Mermaid (VIDEO
05. Time Zones
06. Freedom’s Waiting
07. Yellow, Black and Rectangular
08. The Bottom Line
10. Over The Hiccups
11. The Mashin’ of The Christ
12. KPIX News
13. Truth In Advertising
14. Why Is This Commercial?
15. The Greatest Taste Around
16. Taste In Mind
17. Humanitarian Effort
18. Drink It Up
19. My Favorite Things
01. Intro (Everything’s Going Fine)
02. Christianity Is Stupid (MP3
03. Helter Stupid (Excerpt)
04. Greatest Taste Around
05. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
06. Car Bomb
07. A Nice Place To Live
08. Seat Bee Sate
09. Roy Storey’s Sports Line
10. I Am God
11. Playboy Channel
12. Oven Noises
13. Theme From A Big 10-8 Place (Live)
A Big 10-8 Place Track Listing:
Release Date: September 25th, 2007
01. Theme from a Big Place
02. A Big 10-8 Place, Pt. One
03. Clowns and Ballerinas
05. Four Fingers
06. 180-G, A Big 10-8 Place, Pt. Two
More About Negativland:
“Negativland, longtime advocates of fair use allowances for pop media collage, are perhaps America's most skilled plunderers from the detritus of 20th century commercial culture. Negativland are media addicts who see society suffering under a constant barrage of TV, canned imagery, advertising and corporate culture...the band's latest project is razor sharp, microscopically focused, terribly fun and a bit psychotic. – Wired
“Brutally hilarious...a compelling argument for the anti-copyright movement.” – Village Voice
“Fearless artistes or foolhardy risk-takers.... by constantly haranguing the audience with authentic advertising spiel and highlighting its transparency, they kill the messenger, kill the message and produce highly entertaining art simultaneously. – L.A. Weekly
Since 1980, the four or five Floptops known as Negativland have been creating records, fine art, video, books, radio and live performance using appropriated sound, image and text. Mixing original materials and music with things taken from corporately owned mass culture, Negativland re-arranges these bits and pieces to make them say and suggest things that they never intended to. In doing this kind of cultural opposition and “culture jamming” (a term coined by Negativland in 1984), Negativland have been sued twice for copyright infringement.
Okay, but what, you still ask, is Negativland exactly? That's hard to answer. Negativland definitely isn't a “band,” though they may look like one when you see their CDs for sale in your local shopping mall. They're more like some sort of goofy yet serious European-style artist/activist collective - an unhealthy mix of John Cage, Lenny Bruce, Pink Floyd, Bruce Connor, Firesign Theatre, Abbie Hoffman, Robert Rauschenberg, 1970's German electronic music, old school punk rock attitude, surrealist performance art, your high school science teacher…and lot's more.
Over the years Negativland's “illegal” collage and appropriation based audio and visual works have touched on many things - pranks, media hoaxes, media literacy, the evolving art of collage, creative anti-corporate activism in a media saturated multi-national world, the bizarre banality of suburban existence, file sharing, intellectual property issues, wacky surrealism, evolving notions of art and ownership and law in a digital age, artistic and humorous critiques of mass media and culture, and, of course, so-called “culture jamming” (a term now thoroughly and somewhat distastefully commodified by Adbusters Magazine.)
While they have been, since getting sued, aggressively and publicly involved in advocating significant reforms of our nation's copyright laws, and are often perceived as creative and funny shit-stirring anti-corporate activists, Negativland are artists first and activists second, not the other way around. Their art and media interventions have (often naively) posed questions about the nature of sound, media, control, ownership, propaganda and perception, with the results of these questions and explorations being what they release to the public. Their work is now referenced and taught in many college courses in the US, has been written about in over 30 books (including No Logo by Naomi Klein, Media Virus by Douglas Rushkoff, and various biographies of the band U2), cited in legal journals, and they often lecture about their work here and in Europe.
In 1995 Negativland released a 270 page book with 72 minute CD entitled Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2. This book documented their infamous four-year long legal battle over their 1991 release of an audio piece entitled U2. They were the subjects of Craig Baldwin's 1995 feature documentary Sonic Outlaws. Negativland also created the soundtrack and sound design for Harold Boihem's 1997 documentary film The Ad and The Ego, an excellent in-depth look into the hidden agendas of the corporate ad world that goes very deep into the gross and subtle ways that we are adversely affected by advertising.
Negativland is interested in unusual noises and images (especially ones that are found close at hand), unusual ways to restructure such things and combine them with their own music and art, and mass media transmissions which have become sources, and subjects, of much of their work. Negativland covets insightful wackiness from anywhere, low-tech approaches whenever possible, telling humor, and vital social targets of any kind. Without ideological preaching, Negativland often becomes a subliminal culture sampling service concerned with making art about everything we aren't supposed to notice.
A complete discography of Negativland's work is available at the band’s website.
On The Web:www.negativland.com