Monday, August 31, 2009
WEbsite : http://listen.grooveshark.com/
Well no shit, Sherlock. We've only known about that since they went ahead and announced in on their website like 3 weeks ago. And even before that, when we were all spreading rumors about it. What a newbie. Pre-order the disc here.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Now get out there and pickle those livers!
From the album Thing of The Past, a collection of covers tapping frontman Andy Cabic's "catalogue of inspirations." "The Swimming Song" was originally writting and performed by Loudon Wainwright III in 1973 and appeared on the soundtrack for The Squid and The Whale.
Interestingly, Cabic is a longtime friend of Devendra Banhart. The two have toured together on several occasions.
Thanks to JMac for showing me these folks.
Still waiting on confirmation from the Brothers O'Connor, Mrs. Turner, Eric (probably not, right?) and our other acquaintances. Let me know within the next week or two.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Ed Is a Portal - Akron Family
I don't know about the rest of you, but I'll frequently take the lazy way out and just kind of let Scott and/or Jason tune me in to guys like these. Dudes, many thanks.
Last weekend, Scott and I were driving down to the lake and popped in a new (to us) disc by Akron/Family. We were immediately impressed. Listening, one cannot help but imagine this band as one composed of at least two really talented songwriters. Two really talented and egocentric songwriters, each of whom were determined to get their unique two cents in on each and every track.
And it totally worked.
The above song is perhaps the best example. If you haven't started it at this point, quit reading this and hit play.
By the way, Scoot, I gave you like four days to get this sucker up. Where were you on this one?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
"Tonight we have two types of cocaine; normal for 100 Bolivianos a gram, and strong cocaine for 150 [Bolivianos] a gram." The waiter has just finished taking our drink order of two rum-and-Cokes here in La Paz, Bolivia, and as everybody in this bar knows, he is now offering the main course. The bottled water is on the house.
The waiter arrives at the table, lowers the tray and places an empty black CD case in the middle of the table. Next to the CD case are two straws and two little black packets. He is so casual he might as well be delivering a sandwich and fries. And he has seen it all. "We had some Australians; they stayed here for four days. They would take turns sleeping and the only time they left was to go to the ATM," says Roberto, who has worked at Route 36 (in its various locations) for the last six months. Behind the bar, he goes back to casually slicing straws into neat 8cm lengths.
La Paz, Bolivia, at 3,900m above sea level – an altitude where even two flights of stairs makes your heart race like a hummingbird – is home to the most celebrated bar in all of South America: Route 36, the world's first cocaine lounge. I sit back to take in the scene – table after table of chatty young backpackers, many of whom are taking a gap year, awaiting a new job or simply escaping the northern hemisphere for the delights of South America, which, for many it seems, include cocaine.
"Since they are an after-hours club and serve cocaine the neighbours tend to complain pretty fast. So they move all the time. Maybe if they are lucky they last three months in the same place, but often it is just two weeks. Route 36 is a movable feast," says a Bolivian newspaper editor who asked not to be named. "One day it is in one zone and then it pops up in another area. Certainly it is the most famous among the backpacker crowd but there are several other places that are offering cocaine as well. Because Route 36 changes addresses so much there is a lot of confusion about how many cocaine bars are out there."
This new trend of 'cocaine tourism' can be put down to a combination of Bolivia's notoriously corrupt public officials, the chaotic "anything goes" attitude of La Paz, and the national example of President Evo Morales, himself a coca grower. (Coca is the leaf, and cocaine is the highly manufactured and refined powder.) Morales has diligently fought for the rights of coca growers and tossed the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) out of Bolivia. While he has said he will crack down on cocaine production, he appears to be swimming against the current. In early July, the largest ever cocaine factory was discovered in eastern Bolivia. Capable of producing 100kg a day, the lab was run by Colombians and provided the latest evidence that Bolivia is now home to sophisticated cocaine laboratories. The lab was the fourth large facility to be found in Bolivia this year.
Nowhere in South America is cocaine production growing faster than Bolivia. Reports by the UN show that in Colombia, production dropped 28% last year , while in Bolivia it rose nearly 10%. "There is more interest and and investment in purifying coca paste here and exporting it, rather than sending it to Colombia for purification," Oscar Nina, Bolivia's top anti-drug official, said recently.
As the US and Colombian military put pressure on drug traffickers, operations are migrating into nearby countries, especially Bolivia, where the turf for illegal operations is as fertile as the valleys where the locals have grown coca for the last five centuries. Stopping cocaine tourism in La Paz could be as difficult as keeping Americans from drinking during prohibition.
Down in Route 36's main room, the scene is chilled. A half-hearted disco ball sporadically bathes the room in red and green light. Each table has candles and a stash of bottled water, plus whatever mixers one cares to add to your drink. In the corner, a pile of board games includes chess, backgammon, and Jenga, the game in which a steady hand pulls out bricks from a tower of blocks until the whole pile collapses. If it weren't for the heads bobbing down like birds scouring the seashore for food, you would never know that huge amounts of cocaine were being casually ingested. There's a lot of mingling from table to table. Everyone here has stories – the latest adventures from Ecuador, the best bus to Peru – and even the most wired "why-won't-he-shut-up?" traveller is given a generous welcome before being sent back to his table, where he can repeat those stories another 10 times.
"Everyone knows about this place," says Jonas, a backpacker who arrived two days earlier. "My mate came to Bolivia last year and he said, 'Route 36 is the best lounge in all of South America.'" It is certainly the most bizarre and brazen. Though cocaine is illegal in Bolivia, Route 36 is fast becoming an essential stop for thousands of tourists who come here every year and happily sample the country's cocaine, which is famous for both its availability, price (around €15 a gram) and purity.
The scene here is peaceful; there seems no fear that anyone will be caught. ("The owner has paid off all the right people," one waiter says with a smile.) A female backpacker from Newcastle slips on to one of the four couches arranged around the table. "We've brought some [cocaine] virgins here. This will be their first time, so we are just rubbing it on their lips. But they are lucky – you could never get such pure coke back home. In London you pay 50 quid for a gram that's been cut so much, all it does it make your lips numb and sends you to the bathroom."
Travellers' blogs also give the place a good writeup. "I travelled the world for nine months, and for sure La Paz was the craziest city and Route 36 the best bar of my entire trip," writes one, while another says, "Like to burn the candle at both ends? Well, here you can bloody well torch the whole candle."
And torch your brain as well. Cocaine, as everybody knows, is highly addictive, destructive and easy to abuse. The rationale for outlawing cocaine was to protect public health – but instead the now 40-year experiment in prohibition has done little to protect the lives of millions of users worldwide who will snort whatever white substance is placed before them. The billions in annual profits have corrupted governments worldwide, and La Paz, without intending it, seems to have mutated into the front line of this failed drug war.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
"He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density at any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation."
Thomas Jefferson, in Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 6, H.A. Washington, Ed.,1854, pp. 180-181.
—by Patrick Slevin, August 5, 2009
Okay, it’s not exactly music news, but it’s news. The cast of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia will be performing their play, The Nightman Cometh (the subject of season 4’s finale) on Sept. 16 at the Beacon Theatre. The Beacon? I remember twiddling my thumbs nervously for a good few months wondering if they’d renew for a fourth season, and now they’re playing the Beacon?
No word yet as to whether they’ll be performing at a similarly sized room in Philadelphia for the more “authentic” experience, even though they film primarily in L.A. Would that they perform “The Gang Solves The Energy Crisis” as well. One can dream.
Tickets run from $39.50 – $59.50. beacontheatre.com. Read more for some crappy YouTube video of the live show.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Art & Copy is a new documentary about creativity and ideas in advertising, featuring some of the most influential creatives in the business. While probably none of you will be as excited about this film as I am, I thought it'd be interesting to post about seeing as everyone of us is exposed to thousands of ads every single day. For those of you in the Lou, a screening is available this weekend only, giving you an opportunity to not only see an awesome film, but also to rub it in my face that you were able to see it before me. See more Art & Copying HERE.
An older and music-related recommendation is DIG! For anyone that hasn't seen or heard of this, it's a film about The Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Dandy Warhols - specifically the lead singers of both bands - whose friendship fades over differences in opinion about creativity and corporate success. Worth Netflixing sometime.
08/27/09 Reverend Horton Heat - Slowdown
09/02/09 Umphrey's McGee - Whiskey Roadhouse
09/09/09 Matt & Kim - Waiting Room
09/10/09 Cotton Jones - Waiting Room
09/13/09 Buckethead - Slowdown
09/18/09 Silversun Pickups - Sokol
09/19/09 Bon Iver - Slowdown
09/21/09 Phoenix - Slowdown
09/23/09 Built to Spill - Slowdown
09/27/09 Amazing Baby - Slowdown
10/01/09 Tortoise - Waiting Room
10/07/09 STS9 - Sokol
10/09/09 Yo La Tengo - Slowdown
10/12/09 Kings of Leon - Mid America Center
10/17/09 Blitzen Trapper - Waiting Room
10/27/09 Dinosaur Jr - Slowdown
10/28/09 Monsters of Folk - Holland Center
10/29/09 Yonder Mountain String Band - Sokol
Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
"The First Amendment may offer little protection for a
competitor who labels its commercial good with a confusingly
similar mark, but “[t]rademark rights do not entitle the owner
to quash an unauthorized use of the mark by another who is
communicating ideas or expressing points of view.” L.L.
Bean, Inc. v. Drake Publishers, Inc., 811 F.2d 26, 29 (1st Cir.
1987). Were we to ignore the expressive value that some
marks assume, trademark rights would grow to encroach upon
the zone protected by the First Amendment. See Yankee
Publ’g, Inc. v. News Am. Publ’g, Inc., 809 F. Supp. 267, 276
"There is no doubt that MCA uses Mattel’s mark: Bar-
bie is one half of Barbie Girl. But Barbie Girl is the title of
a song about Barbie and Ken, a reference that—at least today
—can only be to Mattel’s famous couple. We expect a title to
describe the underlying work, not to identify the producer,
and Barbie Girl does just that."
"The Second Circuit has held that “in general the [Lan-
ham] Act should be construed to apply to artistic works only
where the public interest in avoiding consumer confusion out-
weighs the public interest in free expression.” Rogers v. Gri-
maldi, 875 F.2d 994, 999 (2d Cir. 1989); see also Cliffs Notes,
886 F.2d at 494 (quoting Rogers, 875 F.2d at 999)."
"Applying Rogers to our case, we conclude that MCA’s
use of Barbie is not an infringement of Mattel’s trademark.
Under the first prong of Rogers, the use of Barbie in the song
title clearly is relevant to the underlying work, namely, the
song itself. As noted, the song is about Barbie and the values
Aqua claims she represents. The song title does not explicitly
mislead as to the source of the work; it does not, explicitly or
otherwise, suggest that it was produced by Mattel. The only
indication that Mattel might be associated with the song is the
use of Barbie in the title; if this were enough to satisfy this
prong of the Rogers test, it would render Rogers a nullity. We
therefore agree with the district court that MCA was entitled
to summary judgment on this ground. We need not consider
whether the district court was correct in holding that MCA
was also entitled to summary judgment because its use of Bar-bie was a nominative fair use."
Dilution Act (“FTDA”), MCA’s song dilutes the Barbie mark
in two ways: It diminishes the mark’s capacity to identify and
distinguish Mattel products, and tarnishes the mark because
the song is inappropriate for young girls. See 15 U.S.C.
§ 1125(c); see also Panavision Int’l, L.P. v. Toeppen, 141
F.3d 1316, 1324 (9th Cir. 1998).
“Dilution” refers to the “whittling away of the value of a
trademark” when it’s used to identify different products. 4 J.
Thomas McCarthy, McCarthy on Trademarks and Unfair
Competition § 24.67 at 24-120; § 24.70 at 24-122 (2001). For
example, Tylenol snowboards, Netscape sex shops and Harry
Potter dry cleaners would all weaken the “commercial magne-
tism” of these marks and diminish their ability to evoke their
original associations. Ralph S. Brown, Jr., Advertising and the
Public Interest: Legal Protection of Trade Symbols, 57 Yale
L.J. 1165, 1187 (1948), reprinted in 108 Yale L.J. 1619
(1999). These uses dilute the selling power of these trade-
marks by blurring their “uniqueness and singularity,” Frank I.
Schechter, The Rational Basis of Trademark Protection, 40
Harv. L. Rev. 813, 831 (1927), and/or by tarnishing them with
"MCA’s use of the mark is dilutive. MCA does not dispute
that, while a reference to Barbie would previously have
brought to mind only Mattel’s doll, after the song’s popular
success, some consumers hearing Barbie’s name will think of
both the doll and the song, or perhaps of the song only. This
is a classic blurring injury and is in no way diminished by the
fact that the song itself refers back to Barbie the doll. To be
dilutive, use of the mark need not bring to mind the junior
user alone. The distinctiveness of the mark is diminished if
the mark no longer brings to mind the senior user alone."
"A “noncommercial use” exemption, on its face, presents a
bit of a conundrum because it seems at odds with the earlier
requirement that the junior use be a “commercial use in com-
merce.” If a use has to be commercial in order to be dilutive,
how then can it also be noncommercial so as to satisfy the
exception of section 1125(c)(4)(B)? If the term “commercial
use” had the same meaning in both provisions, this would
eliminate one of the three statutory exemptions defined by
this subsection, because any use found to be dilutive would,
of necessity, not be noncommercial."
"Fortunately, the legislative history of the FTDA suggests an
interpretation of the “noncommercial use” exemption that
both solves our interpretive dilemma and diminishes some
First Amendment concerns: “Noncommercial use” refers to a
use that consists entirely of noncommercial, or fully constitu-
tionally protected, speech. See 2 Jerome Gilson et al., Trade-
mark Protection and Practice § 5.12[c][vi] at 5-240 (this
exemption “is intended to prevent the courts from enjoining
speech that has been recognized to be [fully] constitutionally
protected,” “such as parodies”). Where, as here, a statute’s
plain meaning “produces an absurd, and perhaps unconstitu-
tional, result[, it is] entirely appropriate to consult all public
materials, including the background of [the statute] and the
legislative history of its adoption.” Green v. Bock Laundry
Mach. Co., 490 U.S. 504, 527 (1989) (Scalia, J., concurring)."
"Barbie Girl is not purely commercial
speech, and is therefore fully protected. To be sure, MCA
used Barbie’s name to sell copies of the song. However, as
we’ve already observed, see pp. 10489-90 supra, the song
also lampoons the Barbie image and comments humorously
on the cultural values Aqua claims she represents. Use of the
Barbie mark in the song Barbie Girl therefore falls within the
noncommercial use exemption to the FTDA. For precisely the
same reasons, use of the mark in the song’s title is also
May have looked more like...
At least that's what Professor Richard Wrangham claims in his book Catching Fire. In an interview with the folks at Bloomberg, Wrangham states:
Oh, never mind.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
With regards to language, the sign can be used to describe a word. For instance, "Tree." The sound made when we pronounce "Tree" functions as the signifier. Likewise, the text "Tree" on a page functions as a signifier. Even a picture might function as a signifier, but more on that later. Our understanding of tree functions as the signified. A sign is the simultaneous occurrence of the signifier and the signified. A sign occurs when we say "Tree," either to ourselves and/or someone else.
In keeping with the Tree example above the image Scootro posted of that magnificent redwood can function as a sign all by itself. There's the image which can function as the signifier:
Monday, August 17, 2009
Our banners flying proudly are unfurled
Even if we stand alone we must never hide
For in our hearts there is a sense of pride
For the blood and honor
For the blood and for the pride
For the blood and honor
We must never let our Europe be taken for a ride
We look with caution to the east
We can see the red flag of the beast
Countless millions have died at the Marxists' hands
We would fight and die to keep our land
Marxists' greedy hands around our throats
Bankers buying up your lives and sitting back to gloat
We should fight to control our people's fate
Europe never was no puppet state