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Wednesday, Feb 14, 2007
by Harlem Shakes

Harlem Shakes w/ Deerhoof
Diary #2


On Tuesday, North Carolina—land of Blackbeard, Michael Jordan, and prose-master Allan Gurganus—welcomed us with open arms. After a satisfying set at Cat’s Cradle in Carrboro, we said goodbye to our bearded, Ashkenazi guardian angel, Jon Natchez from the band Beirut, who had been playing bari sax, French horn, and flute for us. After the show, our friend Daniel from 8088 Record Collective kindly lent us his floor.


We met his neurotic timberwolf, Treebeard. Daniel told us: “I swear, the wolf is more afraid of you than you are of it!”  We tried to tell the animal, “dude, you’re the wolf here, we should be afraid of you—in fact, we’re totally goddamn terrified of you! Oh my god! Oh Jesus Christ! It’s a wolf!!”


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Wednesday, Feb 14, 2007
by PopMatters Staff
Placebo

Placebo


MedsVirgin Records is re-releasing Meds, the newest album by London-based alternative rock trio PLACEBO on January 23, 2007, the label announced. The album was originally released in the U.S. earlier in 2006 through the Astralwerks label.


The Virgin Records edition of Meds, described by the band as a back-to-basics project with the elemental feeling of a first album, will add three songs not on the Astralwerks release: “Lazarus,” “UNEEDMEMORETHANINEEDU,” and a cover of Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill.” R.E.M.‘s Michael Stipe duets on the track “Broken Promise” and Alison Mosshart of The Kills is a guest on the title track.


Along with the growing alternative radio coverage of title single, the band has racked up over 4 million streams of the songs posted in the PLACEBO MySpace.com page. “Running Up That Hill,” the trio’s cover of the Kate Bush mid-‘80s classic, has been recently featured on two U.S. television series, Bones and The O.C. - Virgin


Stream “Meds (She Wants Revenge Remix)”


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Wednesday, Feb 14, 2007

Shame on me for focusing on the Grammys and not adding my two cents or less about that other music industry phenom that insiders mostly care about: the Village Voice’s annual Pazz and Jop poll.  Though I did vote in it (and admittedly got quoted twice there), I didn’t have high hopes for it this time.  Other than losing Chuck Eddy and Robert “the Dean” Christgau, a number of writers said that because of these loses (and related changes at the Voice), they weren’t going to participate in it any more.  But just like the Grammys, I was pleasantly surprised by P&J.


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Wednesday, Feb 14, 2007

Via Scott McLemee at Crooked Timber comes these slogans from the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, ready-made for inscription on a card to your beloved (that is, if you are enough of a reactionary bourgeois to enslave another spirit in a property-based relation that negates the unbounded potentiality of your comrade for partcipatory joy):


  Proletarians And Oppressed Peoples,
  1. Progressive And Revolutionary People Everywhere, Resolutely Uphold The Militant Bolshevik Spirit And Revolutionary Romanticism Embodied In Comrade Valentine!
  2. Decisively Smash Retrograde And Joyless Ultra-Left Lines Which Disparage Proletarian Love And Desire!!
  3. Warmly Celebrate The 20th Anniversary Of ACT-UP, A Militant Organization Which Attacked The Bourgeois State and Big Capital On Behalf Of LGBTQ People And All AIDS-Affected Oppressed Communities Worldwide In 1987 And Has Remained On The Offensive For Two Decades! ! !


Ah, the inimitable tone poetry of Maoist jargon. Note how (1) every word is capitalized, (2) no verb can be left unadorned without an adverb to amplify it. The earnestness is extremely poignant, yet it brings out the reactionary bully in me who wants merely to mock it. I need to practice some revolutionary self-criticism and purge myself of my capitalist-roader ways.


If you go to the FRSO’s site looking for more Valentine’s Day fodder, I recommend you also read “Loving in the Movement: Revolutionary Task or Unity Crusher?” The post asks this essential question: “Does the person have to be a hard-core Marxist-Leninist for you to love them, or is anarchist, or simply anti-capitalist, enough?”  And this is useful advice when it comes time to extend the praxis of radical critique to your relationship: “The important thing to remember in all cases is that the person is someone you love or once loved. They are probably not intending to take power from the people or cause oppression (though they may be doing so). Please be very kind to each other even as you raise your criticisms in a principled way.”


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Tuesday, Feb 13, 2007
by PopMatters Staff

In honor of black history month, Fark TV investigates yet another African-American phenomenon poached by Whitey: rap music. By looking back at seminal Caucazoid hip-hop pioneers, we can learn to appreciate the evolution of this underestimated genre. [From superdeluxe.com]


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