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by Rob Horning

22 Oct 2009

I’ve always been skeptical that a person’s sense of direction is an empirically measurable thing, and that someone can have a better sense of direction than someone else. I’ve always tended to think that those with a self-professed “bad sense of direction” were just too lazy to think about what they have decided is someone else’s problem. Directions? That’s for the chauffeur to worry about. Not being able to read a map seems like it’s not some innate shortcoming but a product of indifference. And the ramifications of this fundamental negligence merely continue to multiply as the ability to orient oneself becomes more and more pertinent. To plead a poor sense of direction is to confess a craving for dependency.

Perhaps I’m unsympathetic to the directionally challenged because I’m never afraid to get lost. It strikes me as an inconvenience at worst and in most cases an opportunity for discovery. I usually don’t hesitate to take an exit, any exit, off a freeway if the road is congested—tangling with surface streets is all part of the fun and the only way to get to know a city. Getting to scrutinize maps is half the reason I take driving trips anywhere. I like unearthing short cuts, even when they are to places I’ll never need to go. I think makes me exude some sort of palpable navigational confidence, because I tend to get asked for directions in cities I am only visiting—even abroad in countries where I don’t speak the language.

by Eleanore Catolico

22 Oct 2009

Performing at the Hoxton Hotel in London, indie rockers Wild Beasts have put their full live concert online, featuring songs from their most recent album, Two Dancers. Get a glimpse of the show by watching Wild Beasts perform “Hooting & Howling” and “All the King’s Men” now.

by Eleanore Catolico

22 Oct 2009

The boys of Jamaica Plain, MA, Caleb Johannes and Eric Farber, make up Truman Peyote. Drawing on the inspiration of music collectives like Breakfast of Champs, Truman Peyote mashes up genres as craftily as basket weavers weave baskets. Their new song, “New Wife, New Life” is Animal Collective-tinged, pulsating with tribal chant and sampled helter skelter. Download “New Wife, New Life” here, and check out more of their tracks on Truman Peyote’s MySpace.

by Eleanore Catolico

22 Oct 2009

Watch Pearl Jam give a relentless performance of “The Fixer” on Austin City Limits, along with a nice PBS spot on the history and impact of the show.  Eddie Vedder’s bristly bravado does not disappoint.

by Thomas Hauner

22 Oct 2009

Free Energy
Santos Party House, New York City
“This is all we got tonight,” sang Free Energy in raggedy, homespun harmonies.  It was the sentiment, however, not the vocals, which resonated in their early set.  They played an agreeable synthesis of classic, at times psychedelic, rock (two raging, and dueling, Epiphone Les Pauls) and post-punk dance music (propulsive rhythms and a skinny, dancing front man), instantly becoming the best bar band around without even playing a cover.  Whether their sound could convince a dance floor is dubious, despite their tambourine and cowbell qualifications.  As new additions to the DFA family, though, I’m sure I’ll be proven wrong reasonably soon.

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U2's 'The Joshua Tree' Tour Reminds the Audience of their Politics

// Notes from the Road

"The Joshua Tree tour highlights U2's classic album with an epic and unforgettable new experience.

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