You know how it is: you’re doing laundry one day and suddenly your clothes are the the thing that’s firmly planted and it’s you that’s spinning! Wait, maybe that was just that acid trip I had. Nope, wrong again: it was that new music video from the Postal Service (and, of the two brand-new tracks on the 10th Anniversary Edition of Give Up, they definitely picked the better of the two songs to do a video for). The duo’s videos have always been interesting, so let’s just chalk it up to a good bit of their legacy and hope that they’ll make another record before Owl City does ...
“Salim used to tell me, “Shikha, there’s a place I go, where they teach art and stuff. Like puppets you make dance on a string.’” Remembering when she first heard of the school inside the brickfield, Shikha Patra slows down and glances up. “So I asked him,” she goes on, “‘Where is that?’” The little girl is remembering an early encounter with a student at Prayasam, a child-driven community organization located in the slums of Kolkata. Her surprise and curiosity soon give way to belief, when Shikha begins working with Amlan Ganguly, the community’s founder and primary counselor and teacher. As you come to see in Revolutionary Optimists, Maren R. Monsen and Nicole Newnham’s remarkable documentary premiering on PBS this month as part of Independent Lens, Ganguly brought to his project in 1996 passion and commitment, a determination to help the kids find their way out of poverty and into futures with hope, grounded in creativity and love and hard work. As impossible as this may seem at times, even when his students are forced into emotional difficulties, arranged marriages or hard labor to support their families, he persists. This is the extraordinary balance the film manages, celebrating the efforts at Prayasam and the successes, while never losing sight of the crises that define daily life for the kids growing up in the Kolkata slums.
See PopMatters’ review.
Accomplished British electronic music producer DJ Fresh teamed up with three disabled musicians—Andy, Mark and Jo—who share Fresh’s passion for electronic music, but lack the ability to physically play the keys of a synthesizer, in order to create a new song based solely on the three men’s brainwaves. Dr. Julien Castet is the fellow who manages the technology, which utilizes Brain-Computer Interfaces that allows individuals to literally send commands to a computer via their brainwaves. It’s hugely powerful technology that opens up a world of creativity and digital productivity to people previously denied such means of expression.
“‘The Red Wing’ has a sense of fear and of loneliness, as if deserted in an abandoned city,” says Benjamin John Power. “The feeling of malevolence is something we hadn’t really explored in our music prior to this.”