Wednesday, November 30, 2011

JJ Grey & Mofro - Dew Drops

Mofro from the same swampy soul, front porch blues region of Florida as Tom Petty.

JJ Grey & Mofro - Everything Good Is Bad

Saturday, November 26, 2011

What the heck -- let's watch an ad

Australian PSA.  Wait for the surprise ending.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Class struggle is symbolized in spatial struggle

Josh Marshall at TPM is concerned that the highly visible confrontations with the police (pepper spray at UC Davis being only the most recent) shifts the conversation, the meme, away from income inequality and economic corruption. But I think these struggles over physical space help us symbolize the more abstract features of our current problems.

Admittedly, the confrontations with the police shift the immediate focus of Occcupy protests away from income inequality and banking corruption. Personally, I'm pleased to see such nonviolent courage and the attention it's receiving. But the shifting meme might only be tangential, rather than a replacement of the original issue. These events are shocking and getting some coverage because they reveal the mostly obscured paramilitarization of the police and the arrogance of post-9/11 authority. But I would argue that the confrontations also expose the seams of inequity in the struggle over public space. With increasing inequity comes shrinking access to public space, and I think being able to occupy physical space has been an issue in most social and political movements. Controlling institutional space, on campuses and in cities, coincides with many other kinds of authority, including the ability to defraud the general population through unfair loans, corrupt trading, and manipulated elections. Even in an age of increasing virtuality, physical space can still figuratively and literally play out the drama of class struggle, for want of a better term, and these symbolic struggles enable us to give meaning to, or symbolize, the more abstract and shadowy inequities that are reshaping and determining the political process. The very fact that there has been a number of authoritarian responses suggests that the 1%, the oligarchy, whatever you want to call it, is invested in the symbolism of control over physical public space as much as the brilliant tactics of the Occupiers are so far.

In short, we all need ways of symbolizing difficult and abstract economic and political inequities, and the struggle over public space may be a way of articulating what's gone so wrong in our political and economic institutions.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Phoebe Killdeer & the Short Straws - The Fade Out Line

#OWS day of action, Nov. 17, police riot once again

The significance of police violence can not be underestimated.  Intimidation, inflicting pain, creating fear.  It's becoming hard not to exaggerate the goals of the police here.  One sign is that that they are targeting the Press.  Another is the quick willingness to hurt and threaten.  

Full face shot of pepper spray.

Source: Mother Jones

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ben Howard - Black Flies

Just can't stay out of the UK nu-folk groove lately.  Howard's first album, "Every Kingdom," was released last month.  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Laura Marling - No Hope in the Air

Part of a group of UK folk musicians affiliated with "Communion," an organization founded by the band Mumford and Sons.  "Peggy Sue", who I posted last month, is also associated with Communion.

Penn State: Redefining "to Tailgate" so you don't have to

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Radiohead - Pyramid Song

More nostalgia.  Music: Radiohead.  Film: "Wings of Desire"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Lucy Rose - Place

Rose recently contributed vocals to Bombay Bicycle Club, only now touring on her own.

Sonic Youth - Superstar

Sonic Youth covering The Carpenters.  Inspired to post after today's Fresh Air, which featured an interview with Richard Carpenter.  He "doesn't like the cover."

Weird interview, though.  Terri Gross confessed that she once thought The Carpenters were corny, and Richard was not at all amused.  Come on, dude, this song debuted the same year as "Stairway to Heaven."  Still, I can't hear "Rainy Days and Mondays" without getting chills (probably because I saw Todd Haynes' barbie doll bio-pic at some point, but the whole pop sensibility of The Carpenters is haunting to one degree or another).

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Hungry Ghosts - The Man Who Refused to Kill

Deep cut from Australia.  Post rock.  Ambient.  Minimalist neo-retro.   Not sure what to call it.  Perhaps "cinematic" would cover the its primary emotional effect.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Regina Spektor - Consequence of Sounds

A student pointed me toward Spektor, originally part of the "anti-folk" scene in NYC. Love the lyrics of the song. Ani DiFranco comes to mind, but I think Spektor has become a lot more commercially successful.
"And we keep on paying those freaks on the TV,
Who claim they will save us but want to enslave us.
And sweating like demons they scream through our speakers
But we leave the sound on 'cause silence is harder.
And no one's the killer and no one's the martyr
The world that has made us can no longer contain us
And profits are silent then rotting away 'cause

The consequence of sounds."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tallest Man on Earth - Walk the Line

Folk phenom Kristian Matsson. Not a Johnny Cash cover.

Aloe Blacc - I Need a Dollar

As the song for the opening credits of HBO's "How to Make It in America," it seems to have become the most notable thing about the new show. Have not watched it yet myself.