Friday, May 29, 2009

SCOTT!!! What was that site you talked about at the Jay? The one where you could upload CD's and others could download them? Or something like that?

www.ineedtoreadthis.com

Awesome little tool for those of you that find way too much cool shit online but just don't have the time to read it all as it hits you in the face like a fire hose.

Real easy to use.  Create an account (totally noninvasive), and then just start adding pages by clicking the "Add an article" at the bottom of the screen.  Be careful.  Articles will disappear after you read them from your page (that is, after you click on them on your page).  

I use it all the time.  It pretty much makes up my agenda for Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Check this out...

Dude named miles benjamin anthony robinson. Really good.

Buriedfed

America, Fuck Yeah.

PAPER MAGAZINE approached some of the world's best visual communicators and asked how they would create a visual ad for America, taking into consideration how they would make people love us again, change our brand image, our perception abroad, project our future to our citizens, etc. Here are a few examples of what they came up with:


Alex Bogusky


WK12


Ivan Chermayeff




Pretty cool I thought. Be sure to check out the brief in its entirety as well as the rest of the work HERE.

Relentlessly pursuing this disk

McDeeshai brings up a great point.  Ben's moving in a totally new direction.  On the one hand, it's like that time when you may have been screaming at Damien Rice, after having run "O" into the ground, that he just needs to rock the fuck out!  In a moment of myopic appreciation of my own telepathic capacities, he did.  The Jambase article makes note of the move for Ben.

To some, this news may shock. It may also disappoint young lovers out there to know that "Steal Your Kisses" will not be on the setlist. And a big "boo-hoo" to the midnight tokers; you will NOT hear "Burn One Down" coming from the stage.

I'm celebrating the move, don't get me wrong.  But does anybody else kinda wish that he could have done so without changing bands?  I mean, it's kinda like throwing the baby out with the bath water.  What's great about MMJ's shift is that they can still reach back into Tennessee Fire whenever they want to.  I'm going to miss "Burn One Down."  "Steal Your Kisses" can rot in the ground, for all I care.  Thankfully (or maybe not), Ben's fans didn't lose everything.  The article later continues.

Though the band is currently writing ("we are writing like crazy, pen to paper" says Harper) and working out new material at sound checks, one or two of Harper's old songs may make it into the rotation, though it may take awhile to recognize them. At Webster Hall they re-worked the funky marching band drumbeats of "Better Way" into a crushing dirge that would have made Uncle Neil and his Crazy Horse cohorts beam in approval.

I loved "Better Way."  When I first heard it on one of those great Relix samplers from the days of yore, I played it over and over (little did I know that the song may have foreshadowed Ben's later band choice).  I thought it'd be fun to line the tracks up to see the change from "funky marching drumbeats" to the "crushing dirge."  








Yea...I can't tell which one I like more.  Maybe a cleaner break would have been better.  Or maybe the recording is just ruining the dirge for me.  We'll have to wait and see.

Relentless follow up...

Though I haven't heard the record, this article made me very curious. Notice the tone while describing to a New York crowd that he's decided to move in a new direction... Without even hearing it yet, I think it's a much needed move. Looks like he realized it was time to get back to the roots of rocking things, as opposed to making the same tired old record he put out several times with the Criminals. I'm excited to hear it-- I really hope it rocks. We all know the potential is there-- it's a matter of channeling it.

http://www.jambase.com/Articles/17964/Ben-Harper-and-Relentless7-Fly-One-Time

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Does Ben Still Got it?

So Ben Harper's got this new backup band, the Relentless 7.  They've got a new CD.  I don't know if any of you guys have checked it out, but I haven't seen anything on it in The Shanty. I guess I'll be the first one.  To start off, let's look at what's out there in cyberspace. (NOTE: These videos are of varying quality.


"Shimmer and Shine" on Letterman





"Skin Thin" @ Spaceland





"Boots Like These" @ The Mint





"Under Pressure" @ The Mint (not on the new CD, but a pretty popular cover)




So what's the verdict?  First impressions for me, I think he rocks hard on this one.  The music is solid, even if the lyrics are a little weak.

The Ebony Hillbillies


I used to walk by these guys playing every Wednesday morning on my way to work in New York. They're fucking awesome. HERE is a link to some recorded stuff. And HERE is their website. Check this sheez out for sure.

Kinda Gross

Hey folks!  Haven't been able to spend a spell at The Shanty for a little bit.  Some great music being tossed around, though.  Like Cotton Jones!  There's a find, huh?  I wish I had some music to share, but unfortunately all I have right now is a bit o' truth to lay on you.  It's a hard pill to swallow, so the squeamish may want to turn away now.  Here it goes.

You swallow spiders in your sleep.  Though the numbers vary with who you talk to (like 2 or less than 1), recent events have confirmed that it does happen.  There are lots of folks who claim that this is an urban legend, that is has no basis in fact, an absurdity that only internet gullibles believe.  Well, it's not.

I can prove it.  Just this past weekend it happened to me.  I swallowed a spider while at the Pedaler's Jamboree.  After nearly 35 miles of pedaling, drinking and eating it was time for sleeping.  I woke up the next day and my throat kinda hurt.  Here's what I found...


A fucking spider bite on the back of my throat!  Yea, you swallow spiders in your sleep.  It may not happen to everyone.  It may only happen in certain circumstances.  But it happens.  And when it happens, you better hope that the spider's not a fighter.  Fuck spiders.

please use headphones for this one...not safe for work!

Dudes...

Xavier Rudd @ the slowdown. August 12th ;)

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Brilliant Commercial


So I decided to watch my favorite commercial again this afternoon and thought y'all might find it interesting. All the imagery was achieved using photron cameras that shot the scenes at 10,000 frames per second. And it appears as though they casted Luke Skywalker to get hit in the face. Pretty cool.

And if you enjoy the song, it's by the CINEMATIC ORCHESTRA.

Unexpected, Bummer

http://www.jambase.com/Articles/18138/Jay-Bennett-Dies-at-Age-45

Ol Cotton

http://searchservice.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=sitesearch.results&orig=search_Header&origpfc=Splash&type=Music&qry=cotton+jones&submit=Search

Cotton Jones-- Uffda, Sunduh, Monduh, Tuesduh




Speechless. Notice my future wife in this video. Thanks again Scoot for finding another gem of a band. Here's there myspace too--

http://searchservice.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=sitesearch.results&orig=search_Header&origpfc=Splash&type=Music&qry=cotton+jones&submit=Search

Friday, May 22, 2009

Hayes Carll- The Waiting Room 6/3/09

Nothin like some toe- tappin' country porch music. Riding in on the trails blazed by bands like Son Volt, this should be a beer drinkin' good time. I'm gonna go, anyone else interested?

http://www.myspace.com/hayescarll

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Basia Bulat

In the Night

Furthermore, THIS chick is awesome. And this video is fun.

Dancing Pandas In Canada!

THIS is a site for an ad agency in Calgary. Click on 'See what we're doing' and chuckle a couple if not billions of times!

Funny stuff...

Lightning Crashes Wodes- Part II

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Man Kills Girlfriend's Cat


According to the report, Selk's girlfriend came home from work and found blood all over her bedroom, as well as two bloody knives. The girlfriend confronted Selk, who admitted he killed the cat. At that point, his girlfriend called the police.

Check out the full story here.  Or what they claim is the full story.  I'm sure they didn't even try to get the dude's perspective on this one.  You know, this kind of thing actually happens all the time, and it's starting to piss on my cheerios how the dude is automatically demonized for something that most "city folk just don't have the stomach to do."  Just ask Dwight Schrute.


Phoenix man killed in gun-safety demo

Part II in the ongoing "Irony Series" (see Part I)


ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Tucson, Arizona | Published: 05.18.2009

A 26-year-old Phoenix man accidentally killed himself early Sunday while explaining gun safety to two Sierra Vista residents.
Samuel Benally Jr. was at an apartment on West Tacoma Street when he said guns should be kept unloaded because people could point them at their heads, said Sierra Vista police Sgt. Brett Mitchell.
Benally then demonstrated by putting his own 9mm Ruger, which he believed to be unloaded, to his head and firing it, Mitchell said.
Benally was flown to University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, Mitchell said.
An investigation is ongoing, but police do not believe alcohol or drugs were involved, Mitchell said.
Kim Smith

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Some Delicious Ear Food


We all ENJOY flying animals. So hopefully you've heard of Fruit Bats. If not, you can find them HERE and HERE. It's been my band of choice as of late.

Animal Collective on Letterman 5/7/09

free stream- New Wilco

http://beta.wilcoworld.net/records/thealbum/index.php

GOAL for the SUMMER: Redesign The Shanty

I actually don't know where to start on this one. I have virtually no experience in web design, nor have I really begun to explore the available design features on blogspot. But I have a vision, the likes of which you haven't seen since...



...and I need a Mugatu.  Also, ideas and creative insight is welcomed and encouraged.  I thought we might start with a nice rug...


...and work The Shanty around that.  Any other thoughts?

This Weekend in CoMo

Live Music while biking on the Katy Trail, camping in Boonville.  Dig it.

RE Congrats Rusty: Butters What What

Did you know the gang from South Park, in an attempt to gain Internet stardom, convinced Butters to do an internet video?



By the by, thanks for shout out, Scott.  Great seeing you guys this weekend!  I should be up to harass you all again real soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Silly Canadians

http://www.myspace.com/mydadvsyours


if the album leaf and the malah had a kid, they would name it my dad vs. yours

i don't know what i would do if work took away myspace. enjoy wodes!

Congrats Rusty!

Hope that yesterday went alright for you. Seemed to be quite the chaotic weekend! Anyhow, here is a video for you to celebrate with. Enjoy.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

OLOSPO

I met these guys at a Big Wu Family Reunion a while back. They don't really tour much anymore, but they put on a great show.

Music recommendation

http://www.myspace.com/hauschka

reminds me of visiting a friend who's living room is more like a library- or flagging down a big city cab in the rain. enjoy!

Ben Aqui Summer: Habib Koite "Wassiye" (Live)

Summer 2006.  My head was here.




For another great performance of the same song, click.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Yea, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

FOR YOUR READING PLEASURE, THE "EVIL URGES" ISSUE:




Scott "The Devil" (Jun 10, 9:12 am): The new MMJ is quite the disappointment! Holy shit, I am not impressed at all. Number three is just annoying really. What do you guys think?


Paul (10:12 am):  haven't heard it yet


Paul (10:52 am):  That's it I am taking down Jim's picture


Rusty (11:14 am):  now hold up there fellas.  i haven't heard it yet, but i've got it on
my itunes and i plan on listening today.  are we talking about another
"z" type situation?  remember, that one turned out to be awesome, even
though it rubbed me weird at first.  thing was, i couldn't stop
listening, and eventually i came around.


Munthun (11:31 am):  That song sounds better today than it did yesterday.  I still haven't made up my mind about it however.  There are some great tracks on there, I don't think we should kick it to the curb just yet


Scott (11:42 am):  well, i hope you are right, if not, i will spend my money on the fleet foxes disc instead


Rusty (1:42 pm):  Fuck, MMJ really jumped on the 80's train.  So far first impressions.  Librarian redeems the album for me now.  Love that song.  The album has hooked some other claws in me.  But songs like Highly Suspicious pretty much suck for me right now.  Only more listening will tell.  We definitely have a "Z" type situation here.  I ended up loving Z.  My hopes are still high for Evil Urges


Rusty (Jun. 12, 11:18 am):  lright.  A couple days have gone by.  I've probably listened to the album in its entirety at least 20 times or so.  And I like it more, as a whole, each time I listen to it again.  There are some new songs that I love now, besides Librarian.  Take another couple looks at I'm Amazed.  Sit back and do something American while listening.  Light the grill, crack open a cold one, light some fireworks, spark a J, whatever it is.  I'll run it by a couple of my southern brethren for confirmation, but we may be reaching back to Tennessee Fire on this one. 

And let's not forget the range gentlemen.  Not only in the album itself, but when you place the album among the others you understand the steps that these boys take every single time they put out a new album.  It's a new MMJ, for christ's sakes.  But I still love 'em, and not because they keep delivering the same kind of songs.  Granted, even Evil Urges
 includes some time tested favorite themes.  But I love them because the songs they keep delivering, well, they deliver.

Wait for your moment with this one fellas.  It'll come. 


Munthun (11:29 am):  thank you rusty.  couldn't have said it better myself


Scott (3:27 pm):  what do you think about this review for the album..
 
There are few fiery guitar freakouts, folk-influenced melodies, soaring space-rock bridges, or psychedelic flourishes here; instead, the empty space is mostly filled with serviceable falsetto funk and glassy-eyed yacht-pop.
-Pitchfork
 
Pretty much hits the album right on


Rusty (4:37 pm):  what's your point?  they're branching out?  that they're not playing
the same old stuff?


Scott (Jun.13, 8:37 am):  you are correct. It was just like an opinion man.


Rusty (10:03 am):  you're just like an opinion, man.

what do you think of the new sigur ros?

Wow, the shanty blog really slowed down?!

Want an addicting game? If so, see if you can beat my score: 10830.

http://www.addictinggames.com/bubblespinner.html

Monday, May 11, 2009

THIIIIII

I am done with school folks! At least for the summer! :) Who the hell is excited for f*$&ing Mogwai tonight?!?!?!
This one can be seen from my folks' back yard and is also quite the sight. If developers ever build on this pasture, I'm going to be very angry.
This tree, the Burr Oak Tree as it's known in central Missouri, is one big wode. I'm pretty sure it's protected and will never be cut down. It looks like the Tree of Life, and that's why I'm posting it. For those of you that have been there, you know the power of this thing.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mom-Sourcing


For anyone too lazy to give their mom a call on Mother's Day, you now have a SOLUTION.

The Beatles



After I rescued them from their carbon-neutral submarine fiasco, they insisted on taking a picture with "their hero."  It sucked that George couldn't make it in, but there wasn't enough room on the set.

Sam Beam

I'll see your William Elliot Whitmore and raise you Sam Beam and me after a free Tortoise show at Millenium Park in Chicago

Saturday, May 9, 2009

William Elliot Whitmore


Jason and Matt with William Elliot Whitmore, right after we tried to steal the man's cab.

The Next Coolest Thing You've Seen: Dark Side Of The Rainbow

If all goes according to plan, this should be the entire feature.  Hopefully without buzz-killing seams.


Additionally, check out the YooouuuTuuube mini-feature.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Coolest Thing You've Seen All Year

Just stumbled on this great alternative to YouTube.  I guess you'd call it YooouuuTuuube.  You take a video available on YouTube and enter it into into Yooouuutuuube and it turns your video into something of a kaleidoscope that's sensitive to the rhythm of the video (I'm not exactly sure how it'd work with non-music videos, haven't really tried it).  Mess around with the specs, like px width and height, and then click "Do This".  I chose this video:

Check out the result here.  It's too Shanty to talk about.

Switch Pitcher From Creighton


Do you guys remember Pat Vinditte?  From Life of Reilly on Espn.com:

There's been only one other such pitcher in the past century: Greg Harris, who threw one scoreless inning for the Expos, in 1995. More than 120 years ago, three guys are believed to have done it occasionally. The best was Tony Mullane, who stood on the mound with no glove and the ball cradled in both hands so nobody would know which way he was going to pitch until his windup. I've had bosses like that.

But Venditte, a four-year letterman at Creighton, has a chance to be the best. If the Yankees bring him up—and at this pace it could happen within three years—they won't need a pitch count. Venditte can throw every day! And when manager Joe Girardi needs to call the bullpen, he can say, "Okay, get a righty and lefty throwing. In other words, get Pat." Of course, how would Girardi signal the bullpen? Touch both arms? Either way, it's a steal for the Yankees. As one scout says, "This could be an economical two-for-one."


I had no idea Creighton baseball was such a big deal.  And to think, I only went to one game, and I watched it from the bed of Mander's Chevy.  


New Music Friday (let's keep it going!): Raphael Saadiq

Actually came across ol' Raph on Daytrotter (great find, McDeeshai!).  This guy makes Old School the next big thing, ya dig?  These are some of my favorites so far.

"Big Easy"


"100 Yard Dash"



"Let's Take A Walk" (this one might need two sets of quotation marks)



Big band is back.

Fuck It Fridays have begun

Friday music recommendation...Plants and Animals and Dr. Dog



ANd a bit of DR DOG for ya! Awesome stage set up~

Thursday, May 7, 2009

i chuckled a long time after reading this

Oil Tanker Saves Carbon-Neutral Yachters
By Kate Galbraith
BBC News The crew of the Fleur, a carbon-free yacht, was rescued by an oil tanker last week.
Carbon-neutral travel on the high seas has its perils.
“An expedition team which set sail from Plymouth on a 5,000-mile carbon emission-free trip to Greenland have been rescued by an oil tanker,” the BBC reported.
Apparently, a trio of environmentally-minded seamen had set sail from the town of Plymouth in Great Britain on April 19, aiming to make a “carbon neutral” journey to Greenland with the aid of solar power and, of course, the wind.
But the solar panels got “ripped from the yacht” amid rough weather, and the winds – reaching 68 miles per hour – were so harsh that they knocked over the boat (named the “Fleur”) several times.
The sailors issued a Mayday call late last week, and in a twist that has struck some Web commenters as the height of irony, the Overseas Yellowstone, an oil tanker loaded with 680,000 barrels of crude oil, came to their rescue roughly 400 miles off of Ireland’s west coast.
The rescued sailors have expressed “heartfelt thanks” to the tanker’s crew and will reach land in Maine in a few days.
The travails of the sailors feed into a broader debate about the merits of eco-tourism. As this blog’s editor, Tom Zeller Jr., has written in a column, there are important questions about “how to strike a balance between appreciating the natural world through firsthand experience and protecting it by staying away — and staying at home?”
“I think it’s fair to say that ’sustainable tourism’ is an oxymoron,” said Auden Schendler, executive director of sustainability at Aspen Skiing Co. in Colorado, in the column.
(Our thanks to Bradford Plumer at The Vine for flagging this item.)

Jonsi


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Raconteurs, Old Enough


Hey folks.  Tried to suggest these guys earlier, but didn't get any real feedback so I thought I'd toss it out there again. 
http://80-35.com/lineup/

Not Bad, A Cheaper Alternative to Rothbury

http://80-35.com/lineup/

To fellow mn's/vikings fans....wtf? do you think this will really happen???

You know what really pisses on my cheerios?

I hate it when people try to make the following point. "Put 100 monkeys in a room with a typewriter, give them from here until eternity and they'll eventually come up with Shakespeare."  You don't know what you're saying.  To those people, I believe, one young David Gilmour had this to say:

It would be interesting to see exactly what four people could do if just given the equipment, who didn't know anything about it really, and just told them to get on with it and do something.  I think we'd come off better.

This comment was made in 1972, during the filming of a docu-concert detailing the creative Big Bang of progressive rock, when the Les Paul was forced to make room for the amplifiers and synthesizers and cultural alarmists were already mourning the death of rock and roll.  




But we already know how this particular story goes.  Rock and roll never died.  The Saucerful experiments didn't give rise to some awful Frankenstein monster (though they were initially received with popular hostility, see Rolling Stone 26 October 1968); art was not freakishly manufactured in some violent and unstable way.  Nor was the curtain pulled in the Emerald City.  Rather, rare talent met with technological circumstance and Dark Side of the Moon, one of the best selling albums worldwide, was born.

I'm not trying to be a specist or anything, so when I say I hate it when people make the "100 monkeys" comment I'm not saying that they're wrong; I'm sure 100 monkeys and a typewriter given from here until eternity could produce Shakespeare.  I'd still consider it a cause to celebrate when they do.  The part I hate is the attempt to shine a light on Shakespeare and dissect the work into its constituent parts; a monkey, typewriter, time and chance.  What's lost is the moment, in real time and in physical space, of creative inspiration when rare talent meets technological circumstance.  What's lost is what happens in the dark.

Sanku

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

laugh...laugh...laugh...

http://izismile.com/2009/05/04/laugh_laugh_laugh.html

Interesting group...

Bunch of hippies, familiar to polyphonic, but I think the singer sounds a bit like lennon. Kinda fun music really.

http://www.myspace.com/edwardsharpe

Gimme a thumbs up if you agree

Some Good Music

Can be found here: http://radio.wk.com/. It's an internet radio station created by an ad agency in Portland. Lots of 'underground' stuff and tunes from around the world. Stick it in your ear holes.

Happy Cinco!

Ha! Balloons are great.

Found a cornor of The Archive that I never knew existed. Ever wonder how that dude beat super mario super quick?

Unreal. Kinda looks like all you have to do is press over to the right and that 
jump button once in a while to win. Weird. 

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Race in America: The Minority-Owned Business

More proof of progress in this great country of ours.

Getting ready to pick up that new furniture you ordered from The Red House? Need to move that old furniture into storage? Luckily, Jones is here for you:



For more information, visit the SITE. Oh, and FOOT MASSAGES are complimentary.

100 POSTS! (If you count this one)

This post marks the 100th post on The Shanty Blog.  Pat yourself on the back, 100 times.  In honor of the occasion, I decided to pull the room together a little bit. 




Please don't pee on our rug.

For your listening pleasure...

This is a site called lost children. They describe themselves as: "The Lost Children net label seeks to distribute music created by artists with humble budgets to all corners of the globe. The cost to the audience is, of course, nothing. Lost Children does not believe that in today's technological world an artist should be unable to deliver his music to a willing listener just because he does not have suffcient label representation. Music is a joy in all of our lives and no one should be deprived of it.The meeting of these two forces resulted in a compilation of artists pushing the instrumental and independent scenes in new and creative ways. A big thanks goes out to all the bands and labels involved in this compilations; everyone's effort is greatly appreciated." 

So as it goes, this is a site, which is located on the all too familiar website archive.org. You can go on, stream the albums, and if you like it, can download it, for free  ;). There is tons of amazing stuff on here. In addition to albums, they make mix tapes of a bunch of random shit. Here is a link to one that has been standing out on this beautiful sunday afternoon. Enjoy. 

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Sky In Motion

túrána hott kurdís by hasta la otra méxico! from Till Credner on Vimeo.

It's just like Mr. Munthun's Time Warp but the exact opposite.

Credit & CopyrightVideo: Till Credner, (The Sky in Motion.com
Music: túrána hott kurdis by hasta la otra méxico!

holy shit!

Jaw dropping at 1:25!

Boston Bruins...doing good.

The Boston Bruins are in the playoffs doing awesome! Remember ol Marky Stuart, well he's very much a part of this run!

Book Reco: Gonzo

It starts like this...

"So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself.  Who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived, or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?"

from "Security" by Hunter S. Thompson, age seventeen, 1955

...and it barrels on with over 200 pages of intimate snapshots from the life and times of the late Mr. Duke.  Perfect to pick up for only 5 minutes or hours at a time.  Gonzo's the kind of coffee table book that borders on biblical, provided you spent enough time on your couch.

Friday, May 1, 2009

folkishness at its best. makes you wanna party like brendan in his green man costume.

http://www.myspace.com/canyoncountry

Race In America, We've Come a Long Way

For instance, furniture stores in North Carolina are now selling to white people AND black people (and exspanic people too, and all people).  Don't believe me?  See for yourself.



There, proof positive.  Now, I know what you're thinking.  Give me a break, you can't point to some state in the South as representative of the entire country.  But this isn't some state in the South, or did you forget to read the "North" in North Carolina?  In any case, it's in the middle of the map.


To support the strengthening of race relations through furniture, please visit their site.

For the career blogger . . .

Here are some additional blogs worth checking out. These guys have radio shows on XMU that introduce some interesting music. Its pretty hit or miss, but who knows what you'll uncover. I can only handle the hippy-bitching on jambase for so long . . .

Ah, blogging about blogs. Talk about your all-time mind blower.

http://gorillavsbear.blogspot.com/

http://www.aquariumdrunkard.com/

http://www.brooklynvegan.com/

http://myoldkyhome.blogspot.com/

http://www.hipsterrunoff.com/

http://www.itsatrap.com/

So Cockatoos Can Danceatoos: Experimental Evidence for Synchronization to a Musical Beat in a Nonhuman Animal

Parrots can dance.  If you didn't know, shame on you.  Videos have been posted on YouTube for years; obviously your elitist perception of the world prevented you from seeing that a species besides your own can shake their tail feathers, or ride dirty (like Paul can), maybe even better than you can.  Fucking specist.  You're the new racist.  But I digress.

This particular video has been getting a bunch of attention recently.




That was kinda fun.  Let's check out another.



OK, you may be thinking, "So Snowball can dance to Backstreet Boys and Queen, but that's like the easiest music to dance to.  Let's see your precious Snowball do THIS":



I'd say that you're missing the point and that not only are you still a specist, but now you're a Michael Jackson fan.  I can forgive the second part.  But dude, put your specist blinders down for two seconds.

This video and those like it inspired two studies, published very recently and available at Current Biology.  I'm looking at the first, titled "Experimental Evidence for Synchronization to a Musical Beat in a Nonhuman Animal" (available for download here, pdf).  The paper contains the following summary:

The tendency to move in rhythmic synchrony with a musical beat (e.g., via head bobbing, foot tapping, or dance) is a human universal [1] yet is not commonly observed in other species [2]. Does this ability reflect a brain specialization for music cognition, or does it build on neural circuitry that ordinarily serves other functions? According to the vocal learning and rhythmic synchronization hypothesis [3], entrainment to a musical beat relies on the neural circuitry for complex vocal learning, an ability that requires a tight link between auditory and motor circuits in the brain [4,5]. This hypothesis predicts that only vocal learning species (such as humans and some birds, cetaceans, and pinnipeds, but not nonhuman primates) are capable of synchronizing movements to a musical beat. Here we report experimental evidence for synchronization to a beat in a sulphur-crested cockatoo (Cacatua galerita eleonora). By manipulating the tempo of a musical excerpt across a wide range, we show that the animal spontaneously adjusts the tempo of its rhythmic movements to stay synchronized with the beat. These findings indicate that synchronization to a musical beat is not uniquely human and suggest that animal models can provide insights into the neurobiology and evolution of human music [6].

This is actually pretty amazing stuff.  Two theories to explain the ability to dance are advanced and evaluated experimentally (and I hope that you guys will correct me on this if I misspeak or if I miss the point).  The first theory suggests that dancing reflects a specialized ability to understand and appreciate music.  The second theory suggests that dancing doesn't reflect such a specialized ability, rather it is an extension of a capacity for vocal learning.  If the second theory holds true, then that would mean that only those species with a capacity for vocal learning should be able to dance.  And as far as I can tell, the evidence from this study supports the second theory.

So cockatoos can danceatoos.  Let me put this in terms that you can understand, you Jackson fan.  "Heal the World," man.  "Black or White" or feathered, man.  It's all the same.  And if you don't like it, you can "Beat It," man.  What?  You "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"?  Before you do, take a look at the "Man In the Mirror," and "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough."  "The Way You Make Me Feel"?  "Bad," man.

NOTE:  This post may be revised and developed throughout the day as comments or thoughts arrive.  Keep checking, you fucking specist.

emancipator