Thursday, December 06, 2007

betatitis b

Having just shot $400 worth of crap into my left arm, I'm just about ready for my trip. Tetanus! Diphtheria! Typhoid! Influenza! Hepatitis A! All sorts of dormant and weakened viruses stream through my blood right now. It just caps a week spent thinking about retroviruses, and that New Yorker article about reconstructing ancient viruses. As each needle got jammed into my shoulder, I took solace in the news that "our bodies are littered with the shards of such retroviruses, fragments of the chemical code," and the factoid that 8% of the human genome is made up of such scrap. Of course, I could feel it rise to 10% in me as I have since developed a sore shoulder and the sniffles.

It also makes me think of retroviruses in musical terms, as I've spent a great deal of time lately listening to disco edits, that phenom of finding obscure cuts, disassembling them, then tightening and brightening the track for the 21st century dancefloor (or chatboard, as that's where these seem most popular). Pilooski's dirty disco edits are a notable culprit, chopping up Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons so that it more resembles "The Rockafeller Skank" or else making the lone single from Jackson Jones, who sounds like the Caribbean version of Bryan Ferry, and make it feel extra woozy on "I Feel Good Put Your Pants On." Funny how such strands can float along, dead and dormant for decades, only to take root finally and proceed to blossom once more in a more fertile host. Vashti Bunyan is perhaps an even better example, but I'm not quite sick of either, by any means.

Wholly unrelated, a friend of mine produced this mash-up supreme: