Every once in while you realize certain names are always appearing in the credits of old albums, and it’s a constant surprise. I was always astounded by how often I’d find Mort Garson's name, and on some of the most unlikely records. From Doris Day to Mel Torme to Glen Campbell, and all those albums of nice soft-pop vocals from the likes of The Letterman or the Sandpipers or the Glenn Yarborough record of Rod McKuen covers. And you would usually find Mort Garson conducting or arranging those safe but somewhat innocuous collections of ‘pop hits of the day’ by the Hollyridge Strings or the Sunset Strings. And if you’re lucky enough to find it, you’d see Mort Garson provided background music to Laurence Harvey reading poetry on Atlantic. And why do I think it’s so odd? Because whenever I think of Mort Garson I think of the legendary pioneer in electronic music, and not the multi-faceted, in demand arranger and conductor.Mort Garson, who also co-wrote the classic "Our Day Will Come," died this past January 4th of renal failure in San Francisco. He was 83. Born July 20, 1924, in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, Garson attended the Juilliard School of Music. He was a pianist and arranger with dance orchestras before serving in Special Services during World War II and before moving onto Los Angeles and the pop music world. But it was his work as a composer using the then novel Moog synthesizer on a series of albums in the late 1960s and '70s that is his lasting claim to fame, especially to record collectors and electronica enthusiasts. These albums, especially the 1967 exotica classic, and influential, The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds, established his cult following. The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds is one of the first electronic and psychedelic albums put out by Elektra Records.
In the short run, if you take away violent movies, you’re going to increase violent crime. -- Gordon Dahl
Having had to wade through a bunch of articles on violent media effects in my social psychology classes back in school and as a fairly non-aggressive guy raised on Bronson and Eastwood flicks (thanks, Dad, God rest your soul), I'm pretty skeptical of what's passed for the established consensus of social psychology. The majority of it tends to rest on fairly artificial procedures where children (as the subjects typically are) watch stuff like Road Runner cartoons or the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers and then act out what they saw in playtime situations. Just as kids who pretend to cook Play-Doh aren't by that act alone likely to have a propensity for being great chefs, these subjects don't seem any more likely to be really violent adults. And, in fact, the longitudinal studies of long-term effects of violent media are the least consistent (statistically reliable) aspect of the media-effects paradigm. I shot a lot of Indians and massacred even more aliens as a child, but I'm about as far from being sympathetic to our imperialist past as one can get, nor would my first inclination upon being visited by beings from another planet be "get the nukes."
In the weeks leading up to the debut last night (Jan 13th) of the new Fox TV show Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles much of its national outdoor advertising campaign (bus-stop and billboard posters) featured the poster (shown left) of the show's attractive actress Summer Glau who plays the half-woman/half-robot terminator unit Cameron Phillips sent to protect John Connor -- Sarah's son.
No doubt this image of a sexy woman who is really a robot will fuel discussion or at least fantasies (especially with lusty hetero males) on the popular, recurring Sci-Fi theme of the possibility of humans having relationships with human-like robots.
But really, just how likely is a time when humans will have sexual or loving relationships with lifelike female, male, or transgender robots? Well, according to David Levy, an expert in robots and artificial intelligence, a time when humans will routinely be having sex with robots is actually only about forty years into the future.
Levy is the author of Robots Unlimited, published in 2005, and more recently the provocative book Love + Sex With Robots: The Evolution of Human-Robot Relationships, which was just published by Harper Collins. He asserts that such technological advances are just around the corner and that they will be not considered weird but, he believes, generally be very warmly accepted.
January 17 Santa Cruz, CA Veterans Hall (also w/ ARCHONS)
January 18 San Jose, CA Blank Club (also w/ ARCHONS)
January 19 Pomona, CA The Glass House (w/ ARCHONS)
January 20 Tucson, AZ Plush (also w/ ARCHONS)
January 22 Lubbock, TX Jake's Backroom (also w/ RWAKE)
January 23 Corpus Christi, TX The Compound (also w/ RWAKE)
January 24 Denton, TX Rubber Gloves (also w/ RWAKE)
January 25 Little Rock, AR Revolution Music Room (also w/ RWAKE)
January 26 Memphis, TN Hi Tone (also w/ RWAKE)
January 27 Nashville, TN Exit/In (also w/ RWAKE)
January 29 Birmingham, AL Bottle Tree (also w/ RWAKE)
January 30 Atlanta, GA E.A.R.L (also w/ RWAKE)
January 31 Orlando, FL Back Booth (also w/ RWAKE)
February 1 Miami, FL Churchhill's (also w/ RWAKE)
February 2 Tampa, FL Crowbar (also w/ RWAKE)
February 3 Gainesville, FL Common Grounds (also w/ RWAKE)
February 5 Charlotte, NC The Milestone (also w/ CAR BOMB)
February 6 Carrboro, NC Cats Cradle (also w/ CAR BOMB)
February 7 Virginia Beach, VA Steppin Out (also w/ CAR BOMB)
February 8 Wilmington, DE Mojo 13 (also w/ CAR BOMB)
February 9 Allentown, PA Crocodile Rock Café (also w/ CAR BOMB)
February 10 Brooklyn, NY Europa (also w/ CAR BOMB)
February 11 Milford, CT Daniel Street (also w/ CAR BOMB)
February 13 Worcester, MA Palladium Upstairs (also w/ CAR BOMB)
February 14 Pittsburgh, PA Diesel (also w/ INTRONAUT)
February 15 Columbus, OH Ravari Room (also w/ INTRONAUT)
February 16 Louisville, KY Uncle Peasants (also w/ INTRONAUT)
February 17 St. Louis, MO 2 Cents Plain (also w/ INTRONAUT)
February 18 Iowa City, IA The Picador (also w/ INTRONAUT)
February 19 Lawrence, KS Bottleneck (also w/ INTRONAUT)
February 20 Denver, CO Bluebird Theater (also w/ INTRONAUT)
February 22 Sacramento, CA Blue Lamp (also w/ INTRONAUT)
February 23 Oakland, CA Uptown Nightclub (also w/ INTRONAUT)
w00t. – interjection: expressing joy (it could be after a triumph, or for no reason at all); similar in use to the word "yay", example: “w00t! I won word of the year”
The word has yet to find its way into the regular Merriam-Webster dictionary—but its inclusion in the online Open Dictionary, along with the top honors might just improve its chances. This year's winning word first became popular in competitive online gaming forums. Although the double "o" in the word is usually represented by double zeroes, the exclamation is also known to be an acronym for "We Owned the Other Team". In 2006 the Merriam-Webster dictionary voted “truthiness”, from the Stephen Colbert Report, as the word of the year.
However! (Drum-roll please)
New Oxford American Dictionary 2007 Word of the Year is “locavore”. Locavore was coined two years ago by a group of four women in San Francisco who proposed that local residents should try to eat only food grown or produced within a 100-mile radius. Another spelling variation sometimes seen is “localvores”. The locavore movement encourages consumers to buy from farmers’ markets or even to grow or pick their own food, arguing that fresh, local products are more nutritious and taste better. Locavores also shun supermarket offerings as an environmentally friendly measure, since shipping food over long distances often requires more fuel for transportation. The New Oxford American Dictionary word of the year in 2006 was “Carbon Neutral”.