“Musical Minds,” the season premiere of “Nova” on PBS, is based on the neurologist Oliver Sacks’s most recent book, “Musicophilia,” a collection of case studies of people whose brains have unusual relationships to music, cases in which, as Dr. Sacks puts it, “music gets them going to an extraordinary degree.” A one-hour program can’t approach the depth and texture of Dr. Sacks’s book, but it does get at one question that nags the reader: What do these musical savants sound like? Or put another way: Are they really as amazing as they’re cracked up to be?
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
What did he mean to me? I couldn’t pull off a red, multi-zippered leather “Beat It” jacket, but my little Onkyo boombox in high school was red, and my laces were red and the one breakdancing move I ever mastered was his moonwalk. He was the Jackie Robinson of MTV and, in many ways, the Google of pop dancing. No male pop star who wants to dance on stage has any chance of avoiding Jackson’s choreography, not that many of them try. (See Usher, Ne-Yo, Justin Timberlake, any boy band.) Two albums he made with Quincy Jones—“Off The Wall” (my favorite), and “Thriller”—redefined so many different kinds of music. Why couldn’t a pop song also contain an enormous, barn-burning guitar solo? Why couldn’t a dance hit verge on Afropop? Why did a creamy ballad about human nature have to sound like humans were singing it? Pop has in no way exhausted all the questions he and Quincy posed.
Great essay by Sasha Frere-Jones from last week on MJ
Monday, June 22, 2009
You may have more Facebook friends as the years go by, but when it comes to your close friends, you lose about half and replace them with new ones after about seven years, new social research suggests.
As a result, the size of your social network stays about the same.
Very interesting story, wish it was longer.
In one of the most ridiculous verdicts I’ve seen, the jury decided that Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the first woman who was charged with copyright infringement and offered to settle but decided to fight the RIAA, is guilty and owes the recording industry 1.92 million dollars, or $80,000 per song.
THAT First 100 Days hoopla seems like a century ago. The countless report cards it engendered are already obsolete. The real story begins now. With Iran, universal health care, energy reform and the economic recovery all on the line, the still-new, still-popular president’s true tests are about to come.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Friday, June 19, 2009
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
What is this fury about? In his scant 145 days in office, the new president has not remotely matched the Bush record in deficit creation. Nor has he repealed the right to bear arms or exacerbated the wars he inherited. He has tried more than his predecessor ever did to reach across the aisle. But none of that seems to matter. A sizable minority of Americans is irrationally fearful of the fast-moving generational, cultural and racial turnover Obama embodies — indeed, of the 21st century itself. That minority is now getting angrier in inverse relationship to his popularity with the vast majority of the country. Change can be frightening and traumatic, especially if it’s not change you can believe in.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Monday, June 08, 2009
According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That translates to 95 percent of blogs being essentially abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream — or at least an ambition — unfulfilled.
Judging from conversations with retired bloggers, many of the orphans were cast aside by people who had assumed that once they started blogging, the world would beat a path to their digital door.
“I was always hoping more people would read it, and it would get a lot of comments,” Mrs. Nichols said recently by telephone, sounding a little betrayed. “Every once in a while I would see this thing on TV about some mommy blogger making $4,000 a month, and thought, ‘I would like that.’ ”
A STATEMENT FROM EXENE CERVENKA
June 2, 2009
After some months of not feeling 100% healthy, I recently had some medical tests run
and the prognosis is that I am suffering from Multiple Sclerosis.
Apparently, it has been affecting me for quite some time.
Although this is obviously unfortunate news, I am choosing to see the positive in it.
I, and X as a band, have supported the Sweet Relief charity since the mid-1990's;
the irony of this is not lost on any of us. Sweet Relief was started as an aide to uninsured artists by musician Victoria Williams when she herself was diagnosed with MS in 1992.
While this diagnosis will most certainly mean some changes for me, personally, it will not affect my commitments to the current X U.S. tour, nor will it affect my solo album that is slated for release this fall on Bloodshot Records.
My focus will certainly be on maintaining my health--many people remain strong and continue to live their lives as productively as they had before an MS diagnosis and I plan to be one of those people.
To find out more about Sweet Relief please visit: www.sweetrelief.org
To find out more about X please visit: www.xtheband.com
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
GOD TEXTS THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.
BY JAMIE QUATRO
- - - ---> 1. no1 b4 me. srsly.
2. dnt wrshp pix/idols
3. no omg's
4. no wrk on w/end (sat 4 now; sun l8r)
5. pos ok - ur m&d r cool
6. dnt kill ppl
7. :-X only w/ m8
8. dnt steal
9. dnt lie re: bf
10. dnt ogle ur bf's m8. or ox. or dnkey. myob.
M, pls rite on tabs & giv 2 ppl.
Part of America’s “battle against terrorist extremists involves changing the hearts and minds of the people they recruit from,” he added. “And if there are a bunch of 22- and 25-year-old men and women in Cairo or in Lahore who listen to a speech by me or other Americans and say: ‘I don’t agree with everything they are saying, but they seem to know who I am or they seem to want to promote economic development or tolerance or inclusiveness,’ then they are maybe a little less likely to be tempted by a terrorist recruiter.”
I think that’s right. An Egyptian friend remarked to me: Do not underestimate what seeds can get planted when American leaders don’t just propagate their values, but visibly live them. Mr. Obama will be speaking at Cairo University. When young Arabs and Muslims see an American president who looks like them, has a name like theirs, has Muslims in his family and comes into their world and speaks the truth, it will be empowering and disturbing at the same time. People will be asking: “Why is this guy who looks like everyone on the street here the head of the free world and we can’t even touch freedom?” You never know where that goes.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Unsourced rumors that Last.fm handed over user data to the RIAA have resurfaced thanks to renewed and revised accusations against Last.fm's parent company, CBS. We reached out to the targets of the rumor to see if they had official comment. The RIAA, Last.fm, and CBS vehemently deny the claims, in broad terms, with one related party speaking on the condition of anonymity going so far as to call the story an instance of "irresponsible journalism."