Friday, January 29, 2010

Sound & Vision: Love More








Sound: "Love More" by Sharon Van Etten (from Weathervane Music's Shaking Through series)
Vision: Photograph by Jeremy O'Sullivan

Snow Monkeys!

These snow monkeys (a.k.a. Japanese macaques) are enjoying some down time, relaxing and keeping warm in Nagano's hot springs.












(from The Huffington Post—thanks Allison!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I realize I'm behind the times, but Prisencolinensinainciusol is pretty great



When my friend Gabe clued me into Prisencolinensinainciusol, I thought it was a contemporary song rendered to sound like something from the '70s. The choreography, the clothing, and the excellent beat and horn bleats seemed really fresh somehow and, well, kind of weird and great.

Of course, my pop-culture knowledge stinks, and as such I had no idea that Adriano Celentano wrote and performed this with Raffaella CarrĂ  in 1972. The lyrics are purely gibberish and are, apparently, intended to sound phonetically and tonally like English. Thus, it's often said of the song that this is how English sounds to non-English speakers. Enjoy.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Hamster MIDI! (The Genius of Levy Lorenzo)

My old friend (and one-time band-mate) Levy Lorenzo has always been a shockingly awesome polymath. Among myriad other accomplishments, back in college he built a MIDI sequencer controlled by...yes...hamsters! It's even cooler than it sounds on paper...

Intelligent MIDI Sequencing with Hamster Control from Levy Lorenzo on Vimeo.

Go here for more info about the project.

Bonus: Here's Levy performing an improvisation for teacups and light (!):



And, because I'm feeling extra generous, another bonus (LL performing Roger Reynolds' "Autumn Island" for marimba):

Head over here to learn more about the inimitable Levy Lorenzo.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Shannon Fields et al. (including me) Perform @ ISSUE PROJECT ROOM this Sunday



I will be performing as part of the choir for Shannon Fields' (Stars Like Fleas, The Silent League) new composition premiering at Issue Project Room this Sunday, January 17, 2010. Buy tickets now! It should be great.

Details from Issue Project Room:
01/17 @ 8:30pm - ISSUE Artist-In-Residence Collective w/ Shelley Burgon, Shannon Fields, Ryan Sawyer, Matt Lavelle, Laura Ortman & Jon Natchez

To launch our 4th year of providing multi-month artist residencies, ISSUE will host the first AIR Collective Residency featuring Brooklyn-based musicians.

These composer/musicians have, for the greater part of the past decade, recorded and performed consistently beguiling and volatile and genre-defying music as members of the critically acclaimed group Stars Like Fleas.

As part of this new collective, these artists will be provided with rehearsal space, curatorial guidance, opportunities to meet with members of our Artistic Advisory, technical/production support, marketing/pr support, and opportunities to create new and site-specific works.

Thought-Provoking Interview with Goldman Sachs Board Member Bill George



Harvard Management Practice professor Bill George is a smart guy, no question. But his recent interview with Big Think raises several questions about executive compensation that are intriguing and troubling. While George recognizes that there's an ethical and rational disconnect between executive pay and teacher pay, he unreasonably relates compensation in the banking world to the pay received by professional athletes and movie stars. At face value, the analogy doesn't seem unreasonable—paying top dollar for top talent is a fundamental part of a competitive capitalist system.

But consider this: 1) Neither Tom Brady nor Tom Hanks have the responsibility for the savings and fortunes of others that a broad percentage of those working in investment world inherently shoulder. They are responsible for their own careers and their own incomes and savings; and 2) When an actor or a sports star experiences financial ruin, the public is not expected to come to the rescue because someone was "too big to fail."

Facebook Debate re: Aid for Haiti


(AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

OLD GRADE-SCHOOL FRIEND: wait just a god damn minute... i was under the impression that this country was pretty much broke... how the hell and why are we giving money to Haiti ....way to go ...lets give it all away... HAVE YOU THANKED A DEMOCRAT TODAY....oh yea keep the change ...
10million dollars are you out of your freakin mind...how is this guy still in office...is there any other country, or major corperation [sic] out here that needs help... we dont have it but we will give it to ya .... just ask general motors

ME: Hey old pal, isn't this what Facebook is good for? A lively debate between old friends... As a Democrat and as someone who just donated money I can't really personally afford to the recovery efforts in Haiti, let me take a stab at this:

Yes, the U.S. is in debt. However, (1) Haiti is a nation that has long been crippled in poverty, a poverty largely forced upon them, first by French imperialism and slavery and second a ruthless 3-decade-long dictatorship to which the U.S. turned a blind eye; all the while the U.S. (and other countries) kept Haiti in stifling debt for incredibly high-interest loans we made 2 centuries ago...

(2) This isn't a political issue; it's a humanitarian issue. Tens of thousands of people have died due to a natural disaster, and countless more are now homeless. I can't imagine any developed nation failing to respond with aid. If a Republican were in office, I am certain the figures wouldn't be much different, actually (take a look at the Bush administration's response to the earthquake in Pakistan, for one example). And regardless of what dire straits we may be in in this country, it's nothing compared to what Haitians are now experiencing. Regardless of how much debt we're in to China, our government can afford to, and has an ethical obligation to, assist people in desperate need.

Friday, January 8, 2010

This is pretty rad...



From Blue Dot Studio ():
"When we opened our SoHo store in 2008, we were introduced to the resourceful culture of "curb-mining": the act of finding furniture and art on the street. Now that a year has passed, we decided to conduct a curb-mining experiment of our own to celebrate our one-year anniversary in New York.

On November 4-5, 25 Real Good Chairs were dropped around NYC, free for the take. Many were GPS-enabled. Watch the film to see what happened."

Directed by Andrew Zuchero
Produced by Supermarche
Concept by mono
Technology by Tellart