C.L. Chafin says in tomorrow’s review of Black Dice’s Repo that the album “melds overmodulated drumbeats, guitars, otherworldly chattering, distorted saxophone, and a million other bleeps and blurps into echoy sonic clouds. It’s by turns engrossing, boring, and terrifying.” The Brooklyn-based group has just released a video for “Glazin” and has announced their upcoming tour schedule (after the jump).
Yesterday I was trying to make a point about information search costs, and I don’t think I ever succeeded in making it clear. I’m hoping the ideas in this Boston Review article by Evgeny Morozov will help. Morozov argues that cyber-optimists who think of the internet as a medium inherently spreads freedom because it creates a public sphere that’s harder to control and because it lowers the costs of disseminating information are being somewhat myopic. “Cyber-utopians’ biggest conceptual mistake is treating cyberspace as some kind of anarchist zone, which the authorities dare not enter except to shut things down. Media reports encourage this view of authoritarian governments as technophobic Internet censors.” But as he points out, authoritarian regimes (and the media interests that collude with them, perhaps) don’t maintain power and oppress people merely through censorship, through the stifling of the information flow. Rather than also maintain control by (1) flooding the public sphere with disinformation or trivia, drowning out or diluting subversive communication and (2) by encouraging egocentric apathy in the population so that they don’t develop an interest in political protest or collective action.
The Beats: A Graphic History
Edited by Paul Buhle
(Hill and Wang)
Continuing their smart series of alternative cultural historical graphic novels, Hill & Wang has come up with one of the best of the bunch. This quick-take introduction to the beatnik generation is about three-fourths excellent short-take biography and one-quarter well-meaning addendums of varying quality. The book starts with a lengthy take on the (like it or not) king of the beats, Jack Kerouac, and gives his sad tale—always running after the cool kids, forever trying to please mama—all due respect.
The Paper Chase release their new album Someday This Could All Be Yours (Part 1) on May 26 and have just offered up the first MP3 from the effort to the Tripwire.
The Paper Chase
“What Should We Do With Your Body? (The Lightning)” [MP3]
Jun 18 2009 Walter’s on Washington Houston, Texas
Jun 19 2009 Thirsty Hippo Hattiesburg, Mississippi
Jun 20 2009 Drunken Unicorn Atlanta, Georgia
Jun 21 2009 Local 506 Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Jun 22 2009 DC9 Washington DC, Washington DC
Jun 23 2009 Brillobox Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Jun 24 2009 M Room Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Jun 25 2009 Mercury Lounge New York, New York
Jun 26 2009 Maxwell’s Hoboken, New Jersey
Jun 27 2009 AS220 Providence, Rhode Island
Jun 28 2009 II Motore Montreal, Quebec
Jun 29 2009 The Drake Toronto, Ontario
Jul 1 2009 Mac’s Bar Lansing, Michigan
Jul 2 2009 Cactus Club Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Jul 3 2009 Empty Bottle Chicago, Illinois
Jul 4 2009 The Busted Lift Dubuque, Iowa
Jul 5 2009 Firebird St. Louis, Missouri
Along with the controversy about gay-themed books losing their ranking, Amazon has dropped some of their prices for music. Not because they love consumers but for another reason. iTunes finally caved to major label demands and added variable pricing to their songs, which means that some of the newer and hotter items are now costing over a dollar. Now there’s some early evidence that the higher priced songs have dropped on the charts, according to Billboard. The big labels had been pushing for variable pricing for a while now with Apple. Careful what you wish for, eh?