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Laika: "Badtimes"

If you were on the net in the mid-to-late 1990s, you probably encountered an email with the subject "Goodtimes" or "Good Times" which contained dire warnings about an email with the subject "Goodtimes" or "Good Times" which, if opened, would release a virus that would do all sorts of harm to your computer. It was a hoax which was so widespread and got so much attention that it has its own Wikipedia entry.

It was followed by a parody called "Bad Times," which I did not know about until today. The parody came to my attention because I was listening to the album Good Looking Blues by a group called Laika in which the lyrics are the text of "Bad Times." I think it's pretty funny. Some of the references are quite dated now but still amusing.

Laika, as you may know, was the name of the dog sent into orbit by the Soviets in 1959. She did not survive the experience (she also has a Wikipedia entry), which suggests that the band named after her has a somewhat dark view of things. The album bears that out. I like it (not particularly for that reason). I'd describe it as a sort of high-speed trip-hop, which is almost a contradiction in terms. It has a lot of intricate and very fast percussion, and mostly spoken rather than sung lyrics. This song is slower than most. The intensity makes listening to the whole album at once a little much, but two or three tracks at a time are fascinating. 


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I wasn't online until after 2000 so I don't remember "Good Times," but the "Bad Times" response is pretty funny. Reminds me of the old SNL "Happy Fun Ball" sketch.

As for the music, yeah, I can see a little going a long way. I listened to a couple other tracks on Youtube and it strikes me as the sort of thing that would be more enjoyable as part of a mix than as a whole record.

Speaking of which, an excellent album I came across not too long ago has some of these elements -- it's got a couple rap songs, a couple reggae-tinged songs, some electronica, but all of it has a trip-hop underpinning that sort of ties it all together. It's Thievery Corporation -- "Culture of Fear." Came out around 2010 I think.

"Happy Fun Ball" is pretty funny.

"more enjoyable as part of a mix"--yes.

I have a Thievery Corporation album, which I just learned, thanks to AllMusic, is their first: Sounds from the Thievery Hi-Fi. I like it but, if I remember correctly, it doesn't rise much above pleasant: low-key groove instrumentals. I also have a few miscellaneous tracks from other albums (from the eMusic freebie days), some of which are more interesting.

I've heard that first TC album and agree: it's really nothing spectacular, just nice chill-out music. Culture of Fear sounds more like a very well-curated mix tape.

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