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by tjmHolden

14 Nov 2009

Walking along the edge of the city, you stumble upon a quiescent river, nestled within a squat ravine. And bisecting the grey waters of the interior, a line of dots.


Two lines, in fact, enabling figures to pass in opposing directions.

And despite the danger of walking across precarious squares set in water, figures frequently pass from one side to the next. Saving time. Shaving kilometers off their journey from one end of town to another. Taking their chances with nature, with life.



by Sean Murphy

13 Nov 2009

Back in 2006, I recall reading many intriguing reviews of Daniel J. Levitin’s book This Is Your Brain on Music. It’s been on my Amazon wish list ever since, and writing about music as much as I do, I occasionally have friends ask me if I’ve read it, or tell me I should read it. The latest reminder came from a friend who wrote the following email to me and a few of our mutual (music loving) friends:

In his brilliant book… Levitin relates the tale of how an elderly colleague and he used to dine every Wednesday and discuss music. During one of these dinners the colleague, an octogenarian, confessed that he did not understand rock music, but wanted to be able to. He asked Levitin to choose six songs that would capture “all that was important to know about rock and roll music.” Levitin chose the following songs:

“Long Tall Sally” (Little Richard), “Roll Over Beethoven” (The Beatles), “All Along The Watchtower” (Jimi Hendrix), “Wonderful Tonight” (Eric Clapton), “Little Red Corvette” (Prince), “Anarchy in the UK” (Sex Pistols).

What would you guys choose, and why?

by Rob Horning

13 Nov 2009

Slavoj Žižek has a good essay in the LRB about the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. He looks at the idea that the end of the socialism brought in its wake a realistic mind-set grounded in the “truth” that markets and capitalism are the only basis for a social order that works. He basically argues that after the Wall fell, the same sort of people maintained political control. Neoliberalism has its power elite, just as Warsaw Pact countries had their Politburos. What’s striking about the velvet revolutions, Žižek argues, is that after the fall of the Wall, these elites turned out to be the same people:

Indeed, one could argue that, when the Communist regimes collapsed, the disillusioned former Communists were better suited to run the new capitalist economy than the populist dissidents. While the heroes of the anti-Communist protests continued to indulge their dreams of a new society based on justice, honesty and solidarity, the ex-Communists were able without difficulty to accommodate themselves to the new capitalist rules. Paradoxically, in the new post-Communist condition, the anti-Communists stood for the utopian dream of a true democracy, while the ex-Communists stood for the cruel new world of market efficiency, with all its corruption and dirty tricks.

He sums up the ideological usefulness of this misrecognition: free marketeers can argue that their revolution was betrayed and demand more radical reforms.

In the 1990s, it was believed that humanity had finally found the formula for an optimal socio-economic order. The experience of the last few decades has clearly shown that the market is not a benign mechanism that works best when left alone. It requires violence to create the conditions necessary for it to function. The way market fundamentalists react to the turmoil that ensues when their ideas are implemented is typical of utopian ‘totalitarians’: they blame the failure on compromise – there is still too much state intervention – and demand an even more radical implementation of market doctrine.

Markets don’t exist by virtue of natural law; impersonal exchange is hardly inscribed into human genetic code. Violence, or its implied threat, establishes the terms of exchange, or worse, the arbitrary neutrality of a society governed by unimpeded markets fosters an anything-goes climate where violence between competitors is tolerated, and is inevitable.

by Eleanore Catolico

13 Nov 2009

Check out the stupendously hilarious video for White Denim’s “I Start to Run”. Here, White Denim seriously induces a ROFL moment.

by Eleanore Catolico

13 Nov 2009

Dayve Hawk’s inventive musical brain trust, Memory Tapes, remixes Yeasayer’s new song “Ambling Alp” off their upcoming record, ODD BLOOD. The glo-fi engineer carves ornate sonic shapes into “Ambling Alp”, making the refrain all the more urgent.

Yeasayer
Ambling Alp (Memory Tapes Remix) [MP3]
     

//Mixed media
//Blogs

How a Song By Unknown Newcomer Adam Johnston Ended Up on Blondie's New Album

// Sound Affects

"Adam Johnston of An Unkindness wrote a song at 17 years old and posted it online. Two years later, magic happened.

READ the article