Monday, December 14, 2009

Weather forecasts and ecomonists

This is the weirdest CD that has landed on my desk this year. According to the brief press release package, List of Jehovah's Witnesses publications is a new band from Debrcen, Hungary, consisting of four conservatory students in their early twenties. How they got their bizarre name, or the equally bizarre title for their first album, typo and all (Weather forecasts and ecomonists), is a mystery. Their web site, the link to which is courteously included on the back of the CD, contains neither photographs nor text, except for one line in capital letters: WE DO NOT KNOW EITHER. After all this, it is probably stupid to expect any connection between their music and the strange cover art - and indeed, I could not find one. Anyhow, to the music. You guessed it - bizarre. Although their basic music patterns fall under the instrumental post-rock genre, every so often they go off on a tangent. Fragments of czardas dances, a string quartet playing Schubert, a brilliant impersonation of Pavarotti singing Puccini's Nessun dorma, and samples of Russian speeches by Brezhnev - to name a few. In the end, all this madness works surprisingly well, and when the album had finished, I just had to play it again. Weird, absurd, yet fascinating stuff.

The idea of this little game is to create an album cover for an imaginary artist/group, as well as an imaginary review, following these instructions:

[1] The artist/group: go to the wiki random page generator. The first random Wikipedia article obtained this way is the name of the band or performer. In this case, I ended up with List of Jehovah's Witnesses publications.
[2] The title: go to the random quotations site. The last four words of the very last quote of the page is the title of the album. The random quote that came up was by Kelvin Throop III: Isn't it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists? Yes, I made a typo, but in the context it worked well enough not to change it.
[3] The illustration: pick a suitable one from my Flickr collection. My picture, More shoes, can be found here on Flickr. The on-line editing was done with the programme On-line image editor, the font settings selected were Onyx 85 white and Madfont 24 white, respectively.

Note: this is a variation on the "Debut album game" that has been making its rounds around bulletin boards and blogs for some time now - the original version called for a random Flickr Explore photograph to be used as the cover. I have been trying to find out who had the original idea, but so far no success.