Posted by Charles Reece, August 2, 2008 09:05pm | Post a Comment
In W., the third in Oliver Stone's trilogy of "you're expecting a leftist nut, but really I'm just another bourgeois liberal" films (following Nixon and World Trade Center), our current President gets Stone's patented humane treatment:

The majority of Stone's post-JFK work points to something I didn't initially realize about that one truly great film of his, namely that its frenzied, foaming at the mouth and forgetting to breathe conspiratorial style came from a humanistic fear. Similar to those racialist conspiracies of Atlantis and other myths of ancient white civilizations that are grounded in the fear that non-whites might've advanced technology and world culture, Stone doesn't want to accept that another human being might be so foreign to his own humanistic beliefs as to behave in a manner that would call into question his own humanistic worldview.  Thus, he needed to fantasize about the machinations of a Big Other in order to fit the evil that a common man might do and has done into his provincial ontology. This approach de-humanizes evil by making it always one-step removed from its practitioners. As with white racists not having to worry about "savage" technology -- being explained away as the result of their own mythological Aryan ancestors -- humanism is inoculated from evil, since it's always something else causing it, never humanity itself. Instead of looking at how we might be just like them, Oswald, Nixon, Castro, etc. are made to be just like us. Little wonder why Natural Born Killers was so hellbent on blaming the media. A little bit of Saint Augustine's worrying about his dirty thoughts would be good for Stone.

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Posted by Mr. Chadwick, August 2, 2008 02:55pm | Post a Comment
A late entry in the vinyl yesteryear was the barcode. When exactly did they start appearing on the back of album jackets? I'm not exactly sure myself, but it appears to have been very early in the 80's. I've seen copies of the 1st Dickies on original yellow vinyl with one, and that album is from 1979. It might be that they had old copies of the vinyl lying around and had to repress covers in the early 80's though. Sometimes certain records can be difficult to track because a company might press up a ton of covers while pressing smaller batches of the actual vinyl, or vice versa. Coltrane on Atlantic is notorious for that-- you'll see covers clearly printed in the mid 60's with 70's label designs and such. Anyhow, I digress...This is not a gallery of barcodes off of the actual albums; it's a collection of price tags, primarily from the 80's-90's...

meliss etheridge barcode price tag
JC PennyHarry Chapin Verities & Balderdash barcode price tagcure kiss me kiss me kiss me barcode pricetagdeath scream bloody gore barcode pricetaglamont dozier black bach barcode price tag
hellion ann boleyn barcode price taghollies another night barcode price tagjoan jett i love rock & roll barcode price tag k-mart runaways
steve perry street talk barcode price tag k-mart journeyjacksons victory barcode price tag michael jackson record towntarget lp barcode price tag
rolling stones steel wheels barcode price tag keith richards mick jaggerkenny rogers what about me? barcode pricetag k-martzia records barcode price tag

The Conclusion of the Anthrax Attacks -- The Rush to Judgement

Posted by Eric Brightwell, August 1, 2008 08:31pm | Post a Comment
Remember the anthrax attacks of 2001? The case was named Amerithrax by the F.B.I. The attacks began one week after the 9/11 attacks and were linked by the government and media to Iraq as yet another reason to invade. And then, as quickly as it began, the anthrax scare ended with a conspicuous lack of closure. By the time the US invaded Iraq, the media were content to be Bush's hype men.

The anthrax attacks came in two waves. The first set were mailed out, as mentioned, one week after 9/11. Letters were mailed to ABC, CBS, NBC, the New York Post and AMI (publishers of The National Enquirer). Robert Stevens, an employee of AMI, was the first to die. Following him to their deaths were Thomas Morris Jr, Joseph Curseen, Kathy Nguyen and Ottilie Lundgren. At least 22 were infected with anthrax. The original wave of letters read:


The attempt to make the anthrax-containing letters look like the work of a fanatical Muslim was crude. Few Muslims write the date in the American manner of day/month/Christian Calendar year. In addition, most Muslims say "God is great" if writing in English, not "Allah is great." I'm not suggesting that the anthrax attacks were part of a conspiracy to drum up support for the invasion of Iraq, but they certainly helped win support.

The second wave of letters were dated October 9 and were addressed to Democratic senators Tom Daschle and Patrick Leahy. They were identified by the media as opposed to the Patriot Act over concerns of its violation of civil liberties. The second letters read:
If the rationale was, as it seems, to target opponents of the Patriot Act and to use the media to get attention, it suggests that perhaps the perpetrator was not a crazed Muslim hoping for abuses of civil liberties. No, the perpetrator's main aim was apparently to make himself needed and he merely used the post-9/11 paranoia as a smokescreen and tool for his own advancement. Indeed, in 2003, Dr. Bruce Ivins (a top US biodefense researcher) and two of his colleagues at USAMRIID at Fort Detrick were awarded the Decoration for Exceptional Civilian Service for their development of an anthrax vaccine.

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Ethan Miller of Comets on Fire and Howlin' Rain Chats

Posted by Miss Ess, August 1, 2008 02:19pm | Post a Comment
ethan miller, comets on fire, howlin rain

Ethan Miller
is one of the Bay Area's best musicians. He formed the psychedelic/noise, super intense comets on fire, ethan miller, utrillo kushner, ben chasney, ben flashman, noel von harmonsonband Comets on Fire in Santa Cruz in 1999. The group has met with much success-- Comets was signed to Sub Pop, has toured all over the world and released four great albums. After relocating to Oakland, around 2004 Ethan brought together another outlet for his creativity, the riff-heavy Howlin' Rain. Howlin' Rain has released two exceptional records and was recently signed to musical luminary Rick Rubin's label American Recordings, which should bring the group's heavy rockin' sound to even higher highs. Check out Howlin' Rain's performance at Amoeba back in March here.

What follows is my recent chat with Ethan about songs that make him cry, his old piano teacher, and why the studio is what really windshowlin rain ethan miller his clock.

Miss Ess: Is there someone in particular who recognized and nurtured your musical interest/talent when you were young?

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Posted by Billyjam, August 1, 2008 09:35am | Post a Comment
Amoeba Music San Francisco
Hip-Hop Top Five: August 01, 2008

1) NaS Untitled (Def Jam)

2) Jean Grae + 9th Wonder Jeanius

3) People Under The Stairs The OM Years 
(OM hip-hop)

4) Husalah & B-Luv Tonka Boyz
    (SMC Records/City Hall)

5) RZA as Bobby Digital Digi Snacks

A shout-out to Luis in the hip-hop department at the San Francisco Amoeba Music for this week's Top Five chart, which includes the new Bay Area indie rap release from the rhyme duo Husalah & B-Luv, Tonka Boyz, that features guest spots from such local faves as PSD, Yukmouth, The Jacka, and Dubee. Also charting high this week is the double CD retrospective by People Under The Stairs (PUTS) from OM hip-hop. Disc one is "The OM Years" and includes such crowd pleasers as "San Francisco Knights," "The Cat," and "Jappy Jap," while disc two (my personal favePUTS, since it has some stuff I had not heard before) is titled "B-sides & Rarities."  

Luis admits that he is not really feeling the new RZA as Bobby Digital (Digi Snacks) and I have to fully agree with him.This, the artist's fourth solo record, not only fails to match any of his Wu Tang output, but also falls short of his own previous solo work. However, as is often the case with overall mediocre albums, there are a few great songs to be found on the 15 track Digi Snacks, including "Drama" featuring Monk and Thea and "You Can't Stop Us Now" (feat. fellow Wu warrior Inspectah Deck).

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