Saturday, April 24, 2004

Taboo Tunes

Peter Blecha: Taboo Tunes : A History of Banned Bands and Censored Songs
Taboo Tunes: A History of Banned Bands and Censored Songs

From the medieval eras diabolus en musica to the Dixie Chicks firestorm of late, Elvis to Eminem, from Puff the Magic Dragon to Cop Killer.

A unique compendium of several centuries worth of scandalously morbid murder ballads, blasphemous satanic songs, paeans to intoxicating substances, raunchy sex ditties, and radical political anthems along with the dirt behind historical efforts by censors to squelch artists and their ideas. Taboo Tunes flips the rocks over and casts a much-needed spotlight on the largely untold story of the various societal forces be they repressive governments, busybody community organizations, or self-appointed moral guardians who have throughout history attempted to regulate the conduct of others and limit what forms of public expression are acceptable.

Note that ancient (451 BC) Roman law that defined the singing of bawdy songs as a disruption of public order an infraction punishable by death.

taboo_tunesFar from simply recounting dusty old history, Taboo Tunes brings readers fully up-to-date by documenting some of the under-reported impacts that reactions to the 9/11 terrorist attacks have had on music. Most folks probably remain unaware that, for example, within hours of those traumatic attacks Americas largest radio chain (Clear Channel) imposed a ban on further airplay for over-150 particular songs. Or, that the Secret Service leaned on the managers of one popular-if-a-bit-rebellious rock bands Web site resulting in perfectly legal content being disappeared. Or, that the nations largest Internet provider, America Online (AOL), suddenly began cutting service to punish subscribers for simply getting involved in online chats about the political dimensions of certain hit song lyrics. Or, that the Crime Prevention Resource Center (CPRC) recently proposed the creation of computerized databases for law enforcement agencies to monitor the Internet traffic and musical proclivities of suspicious youth. Or that, in the wake of 9/11, certain risk-aversive record companies altered a few new records over concerns that various lyrics or graphics might be offensive to the shell-shocked American psyche. And that, according to the cruelly misnamed USAPATRIOT Act of 2001, anything the authorities now decide to define as advocating terrorism including: home computers, libraries, diaries, and music can be targeted and seized by the FBI.

Taboo Tunes digs deep to examine serious complexities within key censorship issues. Among those are: Threats to authority posed by the intrinsic power that songs have to suggest new and different ideas to people; The constitutional principal of Free Speech as it applies to the arts; America’s traditions of dissent as expressed through music; The varying manifestations of censorship from the political Right and Left; The role that the radio and record industries play in America’s informal censorship “system;” And, perhaps most significantly, the patterns of censorial behavior which have occurred and reoccurred throughout time. As Blecha writes: “By surveying this historical landscape it is hoped that we can gain a more informed understanding of how crusades to ban music—usually in the guise of “protecting society”—have been woefully misguided, often destructive, occasionally comical, and remarkably unsuccessful.”

Posted at 05:37 AM in Books, Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, April 23, 2004

London Booted

If you liked Danger Mouse's the Grey Album, try London Booted:

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The producers have requested downloaders make a donation to one of a selected group of charities.

CD artwork included

You can download London Booted here.

courtesy of Culture Deluxe

Posted at 05:23 AM in Music | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Hamilton D-6 rapid fire pulse cannons

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From the same people who brough you the Electrolux Deathray, comes the Hamilton D-6 rapid fire pulse cannons:

The lightest of the rapid fire pulse cannons, this compact power house turns you from a tank commander into an actual tank. Choose from a range of antipersonnel and armor shredding settings for the variable auto-feed. Repeated firing can damage internal organs so be sure to add a rapid fire recoil vest before hitting the field a one man wrecking crew.
Gotta get me one . . .

Posted at 10:45 PM in Design | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

CIA threat level

The CIA has a very straightforward threat advisory:

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It may not be Bert and Ernie, but its a pretty good, straight forward design nonetheless . . .

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Tuesday, April 20, 2004

How's Your Air Quality?

Why did the EPA official in charge of Air Quality quit? Here's a hint: It had something to do with the administration's changes in clean air regulations and enforcement:

If you're going to make a stand by walking away from your job, it should be over something pretty important. How about the air we breathe? A new government report found that the air in 31 states, affecting nearly 160 million people, fails to meet new federal health standards for smog. Part of the reason is pollution coming from big coal-burning power plants. For decades, the Clean Air Act helped improve air quality, a man named Bruce Buckheit helped enforce it. But now, this former top government official has given up his job, frustrated because he says the country is taking a giant step backwards -- and that you and your children may soon see the difference in the air you breathe.

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Worth reading in its entirety . . .

Posted at 06:12 AM in Politics, Science | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, April 19, 2004

Rocked With Gina Gershon

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The Independent Film Channel is the source of my latest little guilty pleasure: Rocked With Gina Gershon. It's a quasi documentary about the Gershon produced film, Prey for Rock & Roll.

Gina first drew my attention with her portrayal of Corky, the pouty lipped lesbian ex con in Bound.

As a rocker, she has a sexy presence in leather pants and a tight cut off t-shirt. But her smoldering dark is somewhat reminiscent of Chrissie Hyndes of the Pretenders. Every now and again her voice has that "Precious" sneer which Hyndes perfected in thier debut album.

Its a guilty lil pleasure because as sexy as Gershon is -- which is to say very -- you almost want her tobe a good singer. She shows a glimmer every now and again.

I suggest she do a the life story of Hyndes and the Pretneders. Now THAT is an interesting tale worth seeing . . .

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Here's IFC's promo crap:

Have you ever dreamed about leaving the daily grind behind and being a rock star? (Who hasn't??)

Gina Gershon decided to stop dreaming and start screaming...into a microphone, that is. And IFC followed her every step of the way to create our new documentary series, Rocked with Gina Gershon.

This documentary series follows the actress on a multi-city tour across the US with her band. Along the way, Gina encounters the highs and lows of touring: a crazed fan calls in a bomb scare at one of the venues, the House of Blues has to shut down temporarily for crowd control and she jams with Lenny Kravitz til 3am at her NYC show at Joe's Pub.

It's a riveting glimpse in to a world most of us only dream about, and a tribute to taking a leap of faith.

Check out the show -- you might find it intriguing.

Posted at 09:07 PM in Music, Television | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Greatest Movie Characters of All Time

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The 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time (via PREMIERE magazine)

Celebrating the most memorable movie characters and talks to some of the actors who brought them to life:

"There are plenty of things we go to the movies for: spectacle, an escape from our workaday lives, a portal into a different world, a laugh, an artistic epiphany. And then there are the people. Not the people we go to the movies with, or the people in the theater for that matter. (Hey, you in the next row—knock it off with the cell phone.) The people in the movies, conjured by an actor speaking a writer’s words, guided by a director, locked onto celluloid by a cinematographer, projected onto the screen by a beam of light. So many degrees of contrivance—but sometimes we believe in these people as much as we believe in . . . well, actually, more than we believe in that joker who’s still on her cell. For this list, we’ve shunned biopics, which begin with a filmmaker’s mission to do justice to reality. Here we’re giving priority to people who never were—but who are always with us movie lovers."

What, no Deckard, from Bladerunner? What about Bill Murray's Dr. Peter Venkman? Go argue with them right now.


Posted at 07:04 AM in Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Drunk is Better than Dead

Hey Rick: Listen up:

The Push Stars hail from Boston -- as did edgier guitar bands like the Pixies -- but the Push Stars' music is far more melodic and comfortable. Lead singer Chris Trapper has a great rock-n-roll voice -- soulful and pleading -- and is an inventive songwriter. The band's signature is well crafted pop tunes with clever but deeply felt lyrics. The songs are upbeat and catchy, with a rich, warm sound -- yet avoid the cloying sentimentality of other pop bands.

After the Party
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Play the tune: Drunk is Better than Dead




Amazon.com noted "After the Party" is the perfect accompaniment to sunny days, open windows, and good moods."

Posted at 08:59 PM in Music | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

BlogShares

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BlogShares is a simulated, fantasy stock market for weblogs where players invest fictional money to buy stocks and bonds in an artificial economy where attention is the commodity and weblogs are the companies. Weblogs, or blogs for short, are valued by their incoming links from other known blogs. In effect, links become the business deals in the simulation and players speculate on the fortunes of thousands of blogs by buying and selling shares. A whole host of options exist for advanced play including gifting shares, leveraged buy-outs, stock splits, additional share issues, market and player bonds.


Go outside and play with your friends. RIGHT NOW. No, seriously, I'm going to take that computer away from you if you don't boot it down and have some nonvirtual human interaction.

Posted at 06:45 AM | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, April 17, 2004

iWing

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Here's a very funny parody of the iMac adverts ala Star Wars.

The Basics The iWing "Colors" commercial is a parody of the original 30-second iMac "Colors" commercial featuring the song, "She's a Rainbow" by the Rolling Stones. The iWing ad uses the same soundtrack as the original iMac ad, as well as an almost-identical choreography. However in certain sequences, iWings performed fly-by's rather than the constant dizzying rotations of the iMacs.


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Download the video

Posted at 07:03 AM in Humor | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack