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Brilliant! Toddler REALLY feels Dubstep groove
08.16.2010
03:32 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music

Tags:
Dubstep
Fred the Raver

 
Wait for the bass to kick in. God, I love this kid!

Previously on Dangerous Minds: Fred The Raver: Toddler Trippin’ Balls

Thanks, Nico!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
God’s Lunatics: Shining a light on those who prey
08.16.2010
12:21 pm

Topics:
Belief
Books

Tags:
Michael Largo

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Illustration by Reuben Munoz/Los Angeles Times
 
My review of Michael Largo’s new book, God’s Lunatics: Lost Souls, False Prophets, Martyred Saints, Murderous Cults, Demonic Nuns, and Other Victims of Man’s Eternal Search for the Divine appeared in the Sunday Los Angeles Times book section. I had fun writing this:

Sometimes the best place to hide something is out in the open. Michael Largo chose to veil his wry polemic against the excesses of religious dogma and superstition in the form of an alphabetized reference book. In this deceptively benign format, even something with a title like God’s Lunatics — hardly a coy understatement — can come across more measured and nuanced, than, say, one of Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens’ slash-and-burn screeds against faith, which can strike even nonbelievers as unnecessarily offensive to those who do believe.

In Largo’s hands, the origins and customs of the world’s great religions are purposefully given equal time alongside tales of lecherous popes, greedy gurus and apocalyptic cult leaders. With example after example of often stunning religious lunacy, Largo marshals a powerful and difficult argument to refute, namely, that religion has done far more harm than good for mankind. By the time readers have traveled from entries on the afterlife and the Akashic record to those on the Westboro Baptist Church and the Salem witch trials, Largo’s exhaustive examples of religion’s excesses will leave them, well, exhausted.

Among the head-scratching notions found in God’s Lunatics is the fact that 59% of Americans believe that the events described in the biblical book of Revelation will actually come to pass. The extraterrestrial aspects of not only Scientology but Islam are discussed (each day, Largo writes, more than a billion people pray in the direction of Mecca, not because it is the birthplace of Islam but because of the Black Stone, a meteorite sitting in the Kaaba). Levitating ascetic St. Thomas Aquinas and the virgin martyr St. Agatha — normally depicted carrying her breasts on a platter — compete for space against decidedly less saintly types such as self-described Victorian-era “Antichrist” Aleister Crowley and the Robin Hood-esque Jesus Malverde, protector of those who would traffic in los drogas. (DEA agents know that the presence of a Malverde medallion or dashboard saint is usually a dead giveaway that narcotics are present.) In one entry, Largo details the staggering number of King David’s sexual conquests. (Tiger Woods has nothing, I repeat, nothing, on the Jewish patriarch.)

Although the author doesn’t hesitate to employ coldly withering prose when describing religious con men and faking fakirs, his smartly written A-Z capsule entries allow readers to come to their own conclusions. Surprisingly, the author has a lingering affection for “seekers” — who he seems to think are born every minute. Despite his clear misgivings about organized religions and cults alike, Largo still harbors a grudging respect — even envy — for those who would spend their lives questing after religious ecstasy. There’s no shame in wanting to know why we exist and if there is a creator and what his or her master plan might be — but he’s markedly less generous with those who would claim to possess that creator’s secrets or dispense them.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Herman Leonard photographer of Billie Holiday, Sinatra and Miles Davis has died
08.16.2010
12:13 pm

Topics:
Art
Music

Tags:
photography
jazz
Herman Leonard

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Dexter Gordon
 
Jazz photographer Herman Leonard has died. Leonard’s black and white photographs of jazz greats such as Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra, Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington were masterpieces of lighting and mood. He captured moments in time that became an indelible part of jazz culture. Like the musicians his camera chronicled, his photographs sang.
 
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Billie Holiday

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Ayn Rand nut wastes a lot of time, accomplishes very little
08.16.2010
11:57 am

Topics:
Belief
Kooks

Tags:
Ayn Rand
Objectivism

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I’m sure his heroine would have been proud of him! Then again, she was all about people who accomplished things. What does this silliness prove?

One man drove 12,238 miles across 30 states to scrawl a message that can only be viewed using Google Earth. His big shoutout: “Read Ayn Rand.”

Nick Newcomen did a road trip over 30 days that covered stretches from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. First, he identified on a map the route he would need to drive to spell out the message. He put a GPS device in his car to trace the route he would follow. Then, he hit the road.

“The main reason I did it is because I am an Ayn Rand fan,” he says. “In my opinion if more people would read her books and take her ideas seriously, the country and world would be a better place — freer, more prosperous and we would have a more optimistic view of the future.”

Fuck off.

Man Scrawls World’s Biggest Message With GPS ‘Pen’ (Wired)

Previously on Dangerous Minds: Ayn Rand Assholes

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dangerous Minds Radio Hour episode 2
08.16.2010
11:32 am

Topics:
Drugs
Kooks
Music

Tags:
Dangerous Minds Radio Hour

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It lives! Richard and I have taken the leap and are aiming to post a new episode of Dangerous Minds Radio Hour every two weeks. It’s serious fun for us to sit around and play records and chat about them, so listen in and know the pleasant feeling of being in a small room in Granada Hills with a couple of total music nerds for an hour or so.
 
Sir George Martin: “Theme One” (BBC Radio One theme)
The Fall: “Fit and Working Again”
Material w/ Nona Hendryx: “Take a Chance”
Nervous Gender: “People Like You”
The Turtles:“Somewhere Friday Night” (produced by Ray Davies of The Kinks)
Lilys: “And One (On One)”
Meredith Monk (with Don Preston): “Candy Bullets and Moon”
Love: “Willow Willow”
Firesign Theater: “Station Break”
Tyrannosaurus Rex: “Fist Heart Mighty Dawn Dart”
Marsha Hunt: “(Oh No! Not) The Beast Day”
Klaus Nomi: “Za Bak Daz”
Talk Talk: “It’s Getting Late in the Evening”
The Goon Show:“The Ying Tong Song” (Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan & Harry Secombe. Produced by Sir George Martin)
Orchid Spangiafora: “Dime Operation”
 

 
To download this episode or subscribe to the podcast please go to our internet radio partner Alterati.com
 
Listen to Dangerous Minds Radio Hour episode 1

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
Those damn birds!

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Those Damn Birds by Alvaro Arteaga Sabaini.

(via Super Punch)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Pitchfork reviews Brad Laner Natural Selections LP
08.16.2010
10:29 am

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Tags:

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They kinda like me, they really kinda sorta like me !
 

Take a look at Brad Laner’s musical career. It goes back to the early 1980s, when he was a teenager playing in bands around L.A. He played in Savage Republic, a highly influential group that anticipated a lot of ideas later explored in post-rock, his early 90s band Medicine was about as close as the U.S. got to answering My Bloody Valentine with its mix of surging noise and soft vocals, and he’s done tons of other stuff, with a recorded output that amounts to appearances on around 300 albums. So he’s already accomplished a lot, and that may be why, in 2007, when he finally issued his first album under his own name, it was such a casually assured-sounding work. He’s earned his way to a place where he can make whatever music he wants at whatever pace he wishes.

The same holds true on Natural Selections, which Laner himself has described as “a simulacrum of what the band of my dreams sounds like.” He took his time making it, laying down tracks in between his responsibilities as a father and laboring over the details—the work shows in the album’s many intricately layered songs. Two central threads of Laner’s long career have been juxtaposition and electronic exploration, and both are prominent compositional tools here. Laner loves to layer his voice over and over, creating big, pillowy textures out of it, which he then sets against all manner of contrasting and complementary sounds, from sharply buzzing synthesizer and crackling drums to fuzzed-out psychedelic riffs and loopy dabs of keyboard.

In fact, the “band of Laner’s dreams” sounds less like a band than a walking tour of a guy’s head. Sometimes, pastoral songs stay soft and gentle; other times, he’ll detour sharply, such as when he rips open the mellow piano groove of “Little Death” with an overdrive-saturated guitar solo. There’s a little room in there for the occasional hard-charger too, which Laner offers on “Brain”, when guitars, synths, and vocals smear together in one big wash that’s propelled forward by drums and a quirky, counterintuitive bass line. You could call it shoegaze or something, but that wouldn’t quite capture its eccentric buzz. “Lancaster” has a bit of everything, with a wailing lead guitar clearing the way for tight self-harmonizing that sounds like Yes with Hendrix on guitar instead of Steve Howe. Its straightforward refrain of “people buy drugs in Lancaster” is among the album’s most startlingly lucid moments, and the way it contrasts with its dreamier surroundings makes it an arresting little hook.

The album’s least arresting moment is undoubtedly the wallet photo of his young son that Laner slots in on track nine. I can see how fatherly pride and a desire to stamp the album with something that would firmly place it at a particular point in the artist’s life might have led Laner to include a track of his six-year old banging on both a guitar and a kick drum while singing, but it’s definitely distracting. While it’s not much to listen to, though, it is mercifully brief and easy to forgive in light of everything else here.

 
Pitchfork: Brad Laner-Natural Selections review
 
Order Brad Laner-Natural Selections

 

Posted by Brad Laner | Leave a comment
German blogger sued for linking to an image of Jesus with a ‘penis’

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This is rather peculiar, don’t you think? A blogger in Germany posted the following:

I received mail today by the State Office of Criminal Investigation regarding an illustration of Jesus Christ on twitpic I linked to several weeks ago. I am accused of profanity.

Interestingly, the picture was taken in the Church of Warr Acres and is not photoshopped. Just recently it ignited a debate about the phallic depiction of the abdominal muscles.

I do not envy the police. And I do not think that the complaint was religiously motivated, but if it was, I do not consider it to be very Christian.

How can he get in trouble for THIS? It’s not photoshopped, even. Besides that, well, the historical Jesus WOULD have had a dick anyway , so where’s the beef? (Maybe there is a better way to put that…)

Malte Welding

(via Nerdcore)

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Johnny Cash: White pills, red pills, everybody’s a nut
08.16.2010
12:40 am

Topics:
Drugs
Music

Tags:
Johnny Cash

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‘The One On The Right Is On The Left’ appeared on Johnny Cash’s Everybody Loves A Nut album released in 1965. The lyrics by Jack Clement are deftly written and witty, but a load of bullshit. In an attempt to trivialize sixties protest music the message of the song, and the album as a whole, discounts the political roots of folk music. The song suggests that folk music is simply a style of music when it was actually much more than that. It was the music of the people (folks) and it spoke to real issues and feelings. Cash’s pandering to right wing, beatnik-hating rednecks was not one of his brighter moments. Cash’s tune would change with time.

But, it’s not the music that I find compelling in Johnny’s performance, it’s the way he looks and moves. The footage was shot during Cash’s Benzedrine years and he appears wired: tight-jawed and jumpy. His face is skeletal and his eyes seem haunted, distracted, frightened. I see a little bit of death in this video.

How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man.

 

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
Red Army vs. ‘Beat It’
08.16.2010
12:21 am

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Pop Culture

Tags:
Red Army
'Beat It'

 
Epic.

Posted by Marc Campbell | Leave a comment
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