Beautiful things grow out of shit. Nobody ever believes that. Everyone thinks that Beethoven had his string quartets completely in his head—they somehow appeared there and formed in his head—and all he had to do was write them down and they would be manifest to the world. But what I think is so interesting, and would really be a lesson that everybody should learn, is that things come out of nothing. Things evolve out of nothing. You know, the tiniest seed in the right situation turns into the most beautiful forest. And then the most promising seed in the wrong situation turns into nothing. I think this would be important for people to understand, because it gives people confidence in their own lives to know that’s how things work.

If you walk around with the idea that there are some people who are so gifted—they have these wonderful things in their head but and you’re not one of them, you’re just sort of a normal person, you could never do anything like that—then you live a different kind of life. You could have another kind of life where you could say, well, I know that things come from nothing very much, start from unpromising beginnings, and I’m an unpromising beginning, and I could start something.

—  Brian Eno, Here Is What Is (cf. David Rakoff: “Writing starts off as shit.”)
He (David Byrne)’s a genuine eccentric,” says Eno. “He’s always been exactly like that, and I’ve seen him remain like that in quite extreme situations. For instance, we were mugged together once in New York. It was quite frightening; we were mugged by 14 people. My enduring memory is of David being dragged off into the bushes, saying ‘Uh-oh!’ That’s absolutely true; it was like a cartoon scene.
—  Brian Eno

When you slow down the Windows-95 startup sound by 4000%, it becomes 2.5 minutes of dreamy, ethereal, ambient music. 

Regular version:

Slowed version:

The sound was composed by Roxy Music’s Brian Eno (who created 84 micro-compositions on his Mac before choosing this one), and his well-known, ambient work sounds eerily similar to the slowed down version.

Source

Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit - all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided. It’s the sound of failure: so much modern art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart. The distorted guitar sound is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to record them.
—  Brian Eno, A Year With Swollen Appendices
What Your Favorite ’80s Band Says About You.

Written by John Peck for McSweeney’s, 2011

Tears For Fears: You have used whiteout on a pair of white loafers.

Art of Noise: You have been paid to be furniture at a party.

Pat Benatar: You have had three or more Superball bruises at one time.

Air Supply: You have punched an arcade game hard enough to injure yourself.

Eddie Money: You have eaten several Shrinky-Dinks on purpose.

Bryan Adams: Your hair smells faintly like barbecue sauce.

Dexy’s Midnight Runners: Your shower smells like Skittles and unfiltered cigarettes.

Dead or Alive: Your pet smells like Goldschlager.

Tangerine Dream: You have a half-full can of Sanka at the back of your cupboard.

Devo: You have dissected a Nintendo game.

Simple Minds: You have tasted a scented pen.

Kajagoogoo: You have used AquaNet in self-defense.

Limahl: You have used Nair in self-defense.

Naked Eyes: You have almost been tricked into eating silly string on a saltine.

Gary Numan: You own more than one pair of sock garters.

Mike and the Mechanics: You have thrown a Rolodex at a raccoon or skunk.

Peter Gabriel: You know what Fimo tastes like.

Roxette: You have injured yourself with a Q-Tip.

Madonna: Your bedroom smells like Midori.

B-52s: Your laundry room smells like Midori.

Richard Marx: You have woken up to a dog licking your hair.

Wham!: You have made nachos while on ecstasy.

The Cure: You have several bracelets or rings you cannot remove.

Berlin: The last book you read used “countenance” as a verb.

This Mortal Coil: You know the act, scene and line that “this mortal coil” comes from.

Billy Idol: You own a piece of clothing that involves both argyle and leather.

Robert Palmer: You have used “argyle” as a verb.

Tommy Tutone: You have attempted to use a Polaroid picture as an ID.

Rick Astley: You have used a hairnet as a handbag.

Bangles: You have chewed gum while delivering a keynote speech or eulogy.

Psychedelic Furs: You have worn sunglasses through an entire tooth cleaning.

The English Beat: You have injured yourself while doing the Electric Slide.

General Public: You have injured yourself while doing the Centipede.

Madness: You have injured several bystanders while doing the Centipede.

Men at Work: You wear shorts with boots at least once a week.

Eurythmics: You have lost a mood ring in a hot tub.

The Smiths: You have read aloud to a hamster, ferret, or turtle.

Joy Division: You have been bitten by a cat while trying to dress it in period costume.

New Order:  You own several fish tanks but no fish.

A Flock of Seagulls: You have destroyed a calculator watch in anger.

Men Without Hats: You have accidentally dropped a pager into a tub of frozen yogurt.

Nena: You have put a cigarette out in a piece of birthday cake.

John Cougar Mellencamp: You have put a cigarette out in an industrial-sized jar of relish.

Loverboy: You have eaten relish as a meal.

Rick Springfield: Your wallet weighs over a pound.

Falco: You have killed a fly with a program from Cats.

Michael Jackson: You have exploded a beanbag chair by landing on it.

Huey Lewis and the News: You are hanging from monkey bars in two or more successive class pictures.

The Police: You have shattered a Rubik’s Cube with a rock.

Sting: You have tried and failed to shatter a Rubik’s Cube with a rock.

Big Country: You have a Highlander poster in a tube in the back of your closet.

Soft Cell: You mouth the words when you watch Highlander.

A-ha: You own a VCR with a copy of Highlander stuck in it.

Survivor: You have cut a Nerf football in half to see what was inside.

INXS: You have knocked someone over with an Aerobie.

Thomas Dolby: You have used a laserdisc as a shaving mirror.

Pet Shop Boys: You have woken up next to an empty bottle of Magic Shell.

Mr. Mister: You have forgotten soup in the freezer and ice cream in the microwave on the same night.

Wang Chung: You have a money clip with an amusement park logo printed on it.

Bauhaus: You know what LARPing is.

OMD: You have gone to a party dressed as a dark elf.

Culture Club: You have woken up under someone who was dressed as a dark elf.

Ministry: You have thrown up on someone who was dressed as a dark elf.

Cocteau Twins: You have spilled Zima on someone who was dressed as a dark elf.

Toni Basil: You have spilled Zima into a motel heating vent.

The Pointer Sisters: You dot your i’s with hearts.

The Pretenders: You are excellent at dodgeball.

ABC: You were one of the first ten people in history to drop a cell phone in a toilet.

Lionel Richie: You have shaved a word into your hair.

The Cars: You have hit a whiffle ball with a fake lightsaber.

Frankie Goes to Hollywood: You have woken up under your high school gym teacher.

Joan Jett: You have woken up on top of your high school gym teacher.

Simply Red: You have temporarily blinded someone by whipping your hair into them.

Europe: You think Europe is Asia.

Asia: You think Asia is Europe.

REM: You minored in something.

Cyndi Lauper: You have lost several silk scarves to escalators.

Starship: You consistently pay for extra cheese at Subway.

The Fixx: You have sunbathed in a suit.

Phil Collins: You have worn shorts while accepting an award or diploma.

Go-Go’s: Your favorite air freshener is Vanillaroma.

Bananarama: Your favorite air freshener is New Car.

Prince: You have used a hamster ball as a cocktail shaker.

Depeche Mode: You have drawn Tintin or the Little Prince in the margin of a math test.

Erasure: You have been caught kissing a copy of The Little Prince.

Thompson Twins: You have been spanked with a copy of The Little Prince.

Human League: You have been spanked with a VHS copy of The Neverending Story.

The Clash: Your safety word is “Nicaragua.”

Grace Jones: Your safety word is forty-seven syllables long.

Brian Eno: Your safety word is “10011101.”

Duran Duran: Your safety word is “Kim Wilde.”

Kim Wilde: You have forgotten your safety word.