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Wednesday, Sep 19, 2007

Here’s a pretty infuriating story from the New York Times about how a noted and respected musician and teacher was summarily interrogated and booted out of America and given no reason why.  As the article notes, not only is she deprived or her rights but also the students and faculty who were going to work with her have lost out also.  Why is there no accountability for this kind of insane xenophobia?  Are we just going to lock up all of our foreign scholars so that we can live under the illusion that we’re making ourselves safer and that we’re still a free country?


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Wednesday, Sep 19, 2007

On Friday, September 14 and Saturday, September 15, the world famous Red Rocks Amphitheater outside of Denver, Colorado, played host to the inaugural edition of the Monolith Festival—a huge gathering of over 50 bands and performers billed as the largest-ever festival to grace the historic stone steps of Red Rocks.  With five stages, the event was a practically non-stop blend of music, focusing mostly on the indie crowd, but including a scattering of singer-songwriters, hip-hop artists, and more.  Headliners included Cake, the Decemberists, Spoon, and the Flaming Lips, and the event was packed with bands ranging from local Colorado talent on up through internationally touring acts.  Here’s a peek at some of the photographic highlights (Photo credit Jessica Partridge):


Red Rocks Amphitheater's

Red Rocks Amphitheater’s “Creation Rock”


The Main Stage

The Main Stage


Cat-A-Tac plays the WOXY.com stage

Cat-A-Tac plays the WOXY.com stage


Crowds dancing to some hip-hop breaks

Crowds dancing to some hip-hop breaks


Das EFX's DJ Rondevu laying beats

Das EFX’s DJ Rondevu laying beats


Das EFX rock the mic

Das EFX rock the mic


Crowds gather for the headliners

Crowds gather for the headliners


Editors kick off the night

Editors kick off the night


Editors' Chris Urbanowicz

Editors’ Chris Urbanowicz


Editors' high-energy stage show

Editors’ high-energy stage show


Editors' Tom Smith croons

Editors’ Tom Smith croons


The Decemberists take the main stage

The Decemberists take the main stage


The Decemberists' Colin Meloy

The Decemberists’ Colin Meloy


The Decemberists' Chris Funk

The Decemberists’ Chris Funk


The Decemberists' Jenny Conlee

The Decemberists’ Jenny Conlee


The Decemberists' Nate Query

The Decemberists’ Nate Query


New York's White Rabbits

New York’s White Rabbits


The Hot IQs draw the locals

The Hot IQs draw the locals


Spoon on the main stage

Spoon on the main stage


Spoon's Britt Daniel grabs the spotlight

Spoon’s Britt Daniel grabs the spotlight


The Flaming Lips kick off the giant stage show

The Flaming Lips kick off the giant stage show


Wayne Coyne in the famous ball

Wayne Coyne in the famous ball


Coyne and company

Coyne and company


The Flaming Lips stage-show entourage

The Flaming Lips stage-show entourage



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Wednesday, Sep 19, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

Havoc
I’m the Boss [MP3]
     


Be There [MP3]
     


Mobb Deep MC and producer, Havoc, released his debut solo album, The Kush [18 Sept: Nature Sounds] this week. The album was produced in full by Havoc, and features appearances by Havoc’s Mobb Deep partner Prodigy (“Set Me Free”), along with 40 Glocc (“By My Side”), Nyce (“Set Me Free” and “Ride Out”), Un Pachino (“Ballin Out” and “Hit Me Up”), and Nitti (“Class By Myself”).


Doveman
Sunrise(Medley) [MP3]
     


With My Left Hand I Raise the Dead‘s [9 Oct: Brassland Records] 16 tracks alternate between melancholic chamber pop, sleepy folk music, and interludes which have more to do with lush, modern classical and experimental music. The songwriting and execution is that of a master craftsman, with meticulous attention paid to every detail. However it’s the voice of Thomas Bartlett—a heartbreaking, barely there sound—that gives the compositions their heft. With My Left Hand is a dense, experiential affair; a challenging yet engaging record that will truly reward repeat listening.


Dragons of Zynth
Get Off [MP3]
     


Coronation Thieves [25 Sept: Gigantic Music] (co-produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek) captures the same raw energy of a Dragons of Zynth show. The release follows a buzz-laden year in which the band saw themselves in a series of high profile concerts such as David Bowie’s Highline Festival, a Central Park Summerstage show with seminal punk band Television, and a date with indie royalty Modest Mouse.


Dragons of Zynth - Labor Day Lung


Emma Pollock
Adrenaline [MP3]
     


Galactic
What You Need [MP3]
     



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Wednesday, Sep 19, 2007

Newspaper or Viewspaper? Advertising or Editorial? The blurring of categories.

Maira Kalman. From Times Select.

Maira Kalman. From Times Select.


THE ONLINE REVENUE HUNT CONTINUES


Today I feel the kind of pain and indignation that early adopters of the i-Phone must have felt. After about a year of paying $US7 a month to read the thin and tentative Times Select service to extract a few gems—guest columns by Maira Kalman, Steven Johnson and Michael Pollan and access to the archive without having to pay about $US4 to retrieve a story—I received an e-mail this morning informing me that Times Select was discontinued today. Why the change?


Since we launched TimesSelect in 2005, the online landscape has altered significantly. Readers increasingly find news through search, as well as through social networks, blogs and other online sources. In light of this shift, we believe offering unfettered access to New York Times reporting and analysis best serves the interest of our readers, our brand and the long-term vitality of our journalism. We encourage everyone to read our news and opinion – as well as share it, link to it and comment on it.


We welcome all online readers to enjoy the popular and powerful voices that have defined Times commentary – Maureen Dowd, Thomas L. Friedman, Frank Rich, Gail Collins, Paul Krugman, David Brooks, Bob Herbert, Nicholas D. Kristof and Roger Cohen. And we invite them to become acquainted with our exclusive online journalism – columns by Stanley Fish, Maira Kalman, Dick Cavett and Judith Warner; the Opinionator blog; and guest forums by scientists, musicians and soldiers on the frontlines in Iraq. All this will now reach a broader audience in the United States and around the world.


The salve or booby prize being offered is limited access to another service that seems as tenuous as TimesSelect, the Times Reader which apes the appearance of the physical newspaper. “It is normally offered for $169 annually, and is free to Home Delivery subscribers. (Please note that Times Reader is available for Windows only, though a version for Macintosh is planned.) For the duration of this complimentary offer (through Dec. 31, 2007), you also have access to our Premium Crosswords as well as the full online Archive, back to 1851 (100 articles per month).” I have the feeling of having been sucker-punched. And due to a “database upgrade” I can’t, for the moment, even access the stories I used to have to pay to read. And the crossword requires additional software in order to run on my computer. 


In a story in The New York Times, the failure of Times Select has been attributed to the fact that many readers came in behind the firewall, through permalinks within blogs and from feeds, rather than from the paper’s home page. “These indirect readers, unable to get access to articles behind the pay wall and less likely to pay subscription fees than the more loyal direct users, were seen as opportunities for more page views and increased advertising revenue. “What wasn’t anticipated was the explosion in how much of our traffic would be generated by Google, by Yahoo and some others,” said Vivian L. Schiller, the site’s manager.” A Reuters report quotes Rupert Murdoch as having similar thoughts about removing the $US99 per year subscription fee for The Wall Street Journal’s website.


Online is a savage world. A couple of months ago the Simon Kelner, the Editor-in-Chief of English newspaper The Independent told the UK Press Gazette that the website must come second. “Kelner also said the economics of newspapers were ‘fundamentally flawed’ and that he didn’t see the advertising market improving. “If you have an exclusive story at five o’clock to go in the following day’s newspaper, the idea that you would put it on the website for nothing strikes me as complete madness. Our relationship with our own website is one where the paper is first and foremost, and the website comes second. Until there is a model for making money out of a newspaper website, we’re not going to plough millions of pounds into it.” “


Simon Kelner created a more “compact” tabloid edition of The Indepent to save on newsprint costs, and has strong concepts for raising revenue and making newspapers more relevant. In an interview with Evening Standard journalist David Rowan he talked about raising the cover price of newspapers (although he doesn’t want to be the first one to do this). “We sell our product far too cheaply, and cover prices have got to go up. A daily paper should be a pound, a Saturday and a Sunday quality paper should be heading up to £2.That’s when the economics change, and you can put more investment in the journalism and be less at the mercy of the vagaries of the advertising market.”


 


 


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Wednesday, Sep 19, 2007

You go away for a few days…


I’ve been without my beloved Internet for going on a week now, which means I’ve heard precious little in the way of news. I heard second and third hand about the Chasers awesome arrest, I had to text five different people to find out who got booted from Idol on Monday night as I missed the eviction show, and I hit the IMDb in haste today to see how Ricky Gervais went at the Emmys. Pointless entertainment news is why the Internet was invented, right?


While it’s good I finally get to see the Britney video everyone’s talking about (this week has really demonstrated to me how quickly hot news becomes old news), I did not enjoy booting up today to find out authors Madeleine L’Engle and Robert Jordan had passed. While not especially fond of the works of either, I know how much they’ve given to my best friend, who will be as shocked when I relay the news to her (she has no Internet at all—and sometimes I envy her).


The BBC reports on Jordan’s death.


The New York Times has a piece on Ms. L’Engle.


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