President Obama’s Weekly Address (May 25, 2013)

May 31, 2013 at 10:19 pm (Life & Politics)

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (May 18, 2013)

May 25, 2013 at 7:12 am (Life & Politics)

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Ray Manzarek (1939-2013)

May 20, 2013 at 6:16 pm (Life & Politics, Music)

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Vampire Weekend – “Modern Vampires of the City” (2013)

May 16, 2013 at 8:09 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

Another take on the new VW album, this time from Drowned in Sound. Marc Burrows wrote this May 9th…

Let’s get some things out of the way upfront 1) the new record by Vampire Weekend is the best alternative pop album you will hear this year. Unselfconscious, technically brilliant in a way that crucially you will never actually notice, shimmering with beautiful, strange melodies and just a small smidge of actual bonkers. 2) Beyond this sentence, this review will not feature any of the following words or phrases: ‘preppy’, ‘posh’, ‘college’, ‘Paul Simon’, ‘monied’, ‘Afro-‘ anything, ‘fraternity’, ‘smug’, ‘button downed’ or ‘bafflingly sockless hipsters’ (although in the latter case that’s a hard one to resist).  We’re jettisoning those words because Vampire Weekend have stepped smartly away from all of them — they no longer apply as critical statements, not even as descriptions. Modern Vampires of the City (bloomin’ marvelous title, FYI) overshadows such petty concerns by simply being immaculate, beautifully balanced and enthralling pop music.

Take lead single ‘Diane Young’, if only because it’s the one you’ve already heard. We know Vampire Weekend do great singles, we’ve clocked ‘Oxford Comma’, ‘A-Punk’ and ‘Cousins’, indie floor-fillers one and all. Small fry, dear reader. ‘Diane Young’ ascends into the post-millennial seven-inch-super-league, it’s within touching of distance of ‘Hey Ya!’, ‘Seven Nation Army’ and ‘Crazy in Love’, it’s dizzy with the exhaust fumes of ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’. Ezra Koenig and co-producer Rostam Batmanglij blend jugfulls of disparate musical ideas into a wonderfully refreshing pop smoothie, squelchy at the bottom, sweet and fruity at the top and all weird and fizzy in the middle. It doesn’t sound like any of the bands’ textbook influences or any of their imaginary ‘Brooklyn Scene’ contemporaries, it doesn’t sound of the past — it sounds how twenty-first-century pop should sound: completely of its time — released 20 years ago it would have been utterly baffling.  The confidence here is staggering. Do you know how much confidence it takes for a hip indie band to use ”Baby, baby, baby, baby” as a hook? Unironic ”babies” are the property of Elvis, of Motown, of Madonna, of Prince, or Jacko, R Kelly and Mrs Carter, not guitar-toting Read the rest of this entry »

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Gertrude Stein – “Rooms” (1914)

May 15, 2013 at 10:59 am (Poetry & Literature)

Act so that there is no use in a centre. A wide action is not a width. A preparation is given to the ones preparing. They do not eat who mention silver and sweet. There was an occupation.

A whole centre and a border make hanging a way of dressing. This which is not why there is a voice is the remains of an offering. There was no rental.

So the tune which is there has a little piece to play. And the exercise is all there is of a fast. The tender and true that makes no width to hew is the time that there is question to adopt.

To begin the placing there is no wagon. There is no change lighter. It was done. And then the spreading, that was not accomplishing that needed standing and yet the time was not so difficult as they were not all in place. They had no change. They were not respected. They were that, they did it so much in the matter and this showed that that settlement was not condensed. It was spread there. Any change was in the ends of the centre. A heap was heavy. There was no change.

Burnt and behind and lifting a temporary stone and lifting more than a drawer.

The instance of there being more is an instance of more. The shadow is not shining in the way there is a black line. The truth has come. There is a disturbance. Trusting to a baker’s boy meant that there would be very much exchanging and anyway what is the use of a covering to a door. There is a use, they are double.

If the centre has the place then there is distribution. That is natural. There is a contradiction and naturally returning there comes to be both sides and the centre. That can be seen from the description. Read the rest of this entry »

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Vampire Weekend – “Modern Vampires of the City” (2013)

May 14, 2013 at 7:56 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

The new VW album, reviewed by Danny Wright of DIY (, dated May 1st…

It’s the right amount of the old Vampire Weekend and the right amount of bold experimentation.

Listening to Modern Vampires of the City you start to recognise what a singularly odd band Vampire Weekend are. Their first two full-lengths have sold nearly 1.2 million combined copies, yet theirs was always a sound delightfully out of sync with everything else. This third album opens with ‘Obvious Bicycle’, whose percussion sounds like someone jumping up and down on a pogo stick. You wouldn’t put it past them that it’s not. It’s an album where weird flourishes are the norm: whether it’s ghostly choirs, elephant herd blasts of horns or frog choruses. There’s also Ezra Koenig’s pitch-shifted Elvis-like curled lip vocal delivery on ‘Diane Young’. And later there’s the spoken word narrative on the, up until then frantic, ‘Finger Back’.

But then Vampire Weekend have always followed their own idiosyncratic path. They create their own world, cherry -picking elements from different genres, cultures and times; making them their own. You always thought there was something more in them, something less arch and which aims for the heart as much as it does the head. This is that record; it delivers in every way. It’s been three years since Contra and the passage of time seems to be something that’s been on the band’s mind.

As you could imagine with a release focused on time, this is a more grown up collection of songs. It’s certainly more emotionally developed. Whereas in the past, if there’s one thing you could have levelled at Vampire Weekend, it’s that there was no emotional resonance, that everything felt a little too detached. Here they’ve created an album which mixes their sonic trickery with a beating heart. Read the rest of this entry »

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (May 11, 2013)

May 13, 2013 at 1:28 am (Life & Politics)

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Gertrude Stein – “Food” (1914)

May 12, 2013 at 12:40 am (Poetry & Literature)



In the inside there is sleeping, in the outside there is reddening, in the morning there is meaning, in the evening there is feeling. In the evening there is feeling. In feeling anything is resting, in feeling anything is mounting, in feeling there is resignation, in feeling there is recognition, in feeling there is recurrence and entirely mistaken there is pinching. All the standards have steamers and all the curtains have bed linen and all the yellow has discrimination and all the circle has circling. This makes sand.

Very well. Certainly the length is thinner and the rest, the round rest has a longer summer. To shine, why not shine, to shine, to station, to enlarge, to hurry the measure all this means nothing if there is singing, if there is singing then there is the resumption.

The change the dirt, not to change dirt means that there is no beefsteak and not to have that is no obstruction, it is so easy to exchange meaning, it is so easy to see the difference. The difference is that a plain resource is not entangled with thickness and it does not mean that thickness shows such cutting, it does mean that a meadow is useful and a cow absurd. It does not mean that there are tears, it does not mean that exudation is cumbersome, it means no more than a memory, a choice and a reëstablishment, it means more than any escape from a surrounding extra. Read the rest of this entry »

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Gertrude Stein – “Objects” (1914)

May 11, 2013 at 12:39 am (Poetry & Literature)


A kind in glass and a cousin, a spectacle and nothing strange a single hurt color and an arrangement in a system to pointing. All this and not ordinary, not unordered in not resembling. The difference is spreading.


Nickel, what is nickel, it is originally rid of a cover.

The change in that is that red weakens an hour. The change has come. There is no search. But there is, there is that hope and that interpretation and sometime, surely any is unwelcome, sometime there is breath and there will be a sinecure and charming very charming is that clean and cleansing. Certainly glittering is handsome and convincing.

There is no gratitude in mercy and in medicine. There can be breakages in Japanese. That is no programme. That is no color chosen. It was chosen yesterday, that showed spitting and perhaps washing and polishing. It certainly showed no obligation and perhaps if borrowing is not natural there is some use in giving. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mike Weisser – “An Open Letter to Wayne LaPierre”

May 6, 2013 at 9:56 am (Life & Politics, Reviews & Articles)

Taken from The Huffington Post, May 5th, 2013. Please excuse the sickening sight of Wayne LaPierre, a truly despicable person if there ever was one…

Dear Wayne:

Sorry I couldn’t make it to the annual meeting. I’m a Life Member and I try to get there every year. But this year is different. If I showed up you’d tried to get me to help you fight a “culture war.” But if there is a war going on, you represent the wrong side.

I just watched your speech. I think it’s time you dropped this nonsense about protecting our “rights.” Be honest and tell it like it is. The reason you’re opposed to background checks has absolutely nothing to do with the Second Amendment. It’s about making it as easy as possible for everyone to own a gun. More guns means more profits for the gun companies, and that’s who you really represent.

In 2011, Ruger’s stock was trading at $21 a share, now it’s at $51. Smith & Wesson’s stock was three bucks a share, today it’s almost nine. I remember after the 2010 elections when it looked like the Obama administration was going to be toast, gun dealers like myself couldn’t give away the inventory. Now we can’t keep anything on the shelves. You keep referring to the president as an enemy of the gun industry. The truth is that Barack Obama is the best salesman the industry ever had.

And the reason he’s such a good salesman, Wayne, is because you and your allies have spent the last 20 years making every gun owner believe that the only reason we have any gun laws at all is because the Washington “elites” want to take away all our guns. So when a tragedy like Sandy Hook occurs and well-meaning people react to such senseless violence by looking for ways to make it harder for guns to get into the wrong hands, you and the other Read the rest of this entry »

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