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by Allison Taich

16 Sep 2009


What goes through your mind when having an alcoholic beverage? Apparently for Russia and Poland, alcohol, or more specifically vodka, is much more than a consciousness-numbing substance—it is a key to history, tradition, and cultural pride. Since the late 1970s, both countries have been at war over where vodka originated, who has the right to call their product “vodka”, whose version is the knock-off recipe, and who gets to claim the drink as their own. The battle for vodka credit has even made it to the International Trade Court on multiple occasions.

After decades of fighting, The Vice Guide to Travel sent correspondent Ivar Berglin on a mission to find out once and for all if vodka originated in Russia or Poland. The Wodka Wars, a 33 minute documentary streamed on VBS.tv, presents the argument from a variety of perspectives. Berglin’s participatory approach took everything from history, nationalism, culture, and beliefs into consideration. He included diverse opinions and views on the debate from around the world. After watching the film one may ponder if history sufficiently proves claims to vodkas origins, or if opinion and pride are proof enough.

by Eleanore Catolico

16 Sep 2009


Stop it Sindri! I keep getting lost in your dewy eyes. Sindri Mar Sigfusson, bandleader of the whimsical pop-folk group Seabear, has just announced North American tour dates in support of his solo project Sin Fang Bous. Alongside Múm, this tour is to promote Sin Fang Bous’s first record Clangour, off Morr Music. Clangour explores Sigfusson’s personal musical ambitions with a thoughtful quilt of eclecticism: layered instrumentation and electronic hooks, colorful yet subtle melodies, and swirling vocals that keep you in a trance. Such pop ingenuity has led many to make comparisons between Sin Fang Bous and other experimental acts like Animal Collective. What separates them is that Animal Collective thrives on a dissonant, jungle-riffic street sound. It almost feels like it’s coming from an alien city. Hailing from Reykjavík, Sin Fang Bous’s songs are homemade quaint morsels of vibrant aural color. Clangour is a controlled chaos that is kind to the ears. These “pocket symphonies” remind you just how precious, and maybe fragile, the man and his music really are. Look below for his video for “Advent and Ives”, a free download of “Catch the Light”, and click through the jump to see the tour dates.

Sin Fang Bous

Catch the Light[MP3]

     

by Katharine Wray

16 Sep 2009


Working class rockers, Meat Puppets, are heading out on the road to finish off a year already full of touring to promote their latest album, Sewn Together. They also have a brand new video for their single, “Rotten Shame”. Check out the dates after the jump.

by Katharine Wray

16 Sep 2009


Daniel Merriweather
Love and War
(J)
Releasing: 19 January

Hip-hop with horns. Australian soul singer Daniel Merriweather’s debut album Love & War, a Mark Ronson production, has already delivered two hits in England, “Change” and “Red”. Hopefully the States will have the same reaction when it gets a US release early next year.

SONG LIST
01 For Your Money
02 Impossible
03 Change (Featuring Wale)
04 Chainsaw
05 Cigarettes
06 Red
07 Could You
08 Not Giving Up
09 Getting Out
10 Water And A Flame (Featuring Adele)
11 Live By Night
12 Giving Everything Away For Free

by Allison Taich

16 Sep 2009


Roots musician extraordinaire Tony Trischka has jammed on his banjo with everyone from Pete Seeger to Bela Fleck to Steve Martin. Now Trischka is offering banjo lessons to the world via his new website, School of Banjo. He has made learning the banjo possible wherever and whenever, through over 150 instructional HD videos posted to his website. His approach allows students to develop the craft at their own pace. Students even have the option to send Trischka videos of their playing, and receive actual constructive feedback from Trischka himself. The site also offers networking features for students to post videos of their progress and critique each other’s playing. In regards to his new approach, Trischka stated: “My site’s social networking features make it the perfect environment for worldwide banjo students to share the joy, camaraderie, and history of banjo playing and roots traditions. It’s as if banjo playing is getting a new historical dimension”.

//Mixed media
//Blogs

A Chat with José González at Newport Folk Festival

// Notes from the Road

"José González's sets during Newport Folk Festival weren't on his birthday (that is today) but each looked to be a special intimate performance.

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