January 31, 2009

That tumbling strain

Musical Schadenfreude, via Gizmodo:

Posted by oook at 07:59 PM | Comments (0)

Cuban music again

I confess and lament my cluelessness about Cuban music, and I've been working at repairing the historical part of the deficiency by a careful reading of Ned Sublette's Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo. It's a wonderful book on many counts, not least for its careful weaving of history (political, economic, ethnic) with musical disquisition. I (like most Americans) knew very little of Cuba's history and woes, and little of the importance of Cuban musical ideas in American popular music --some names, but not much of the profound entanglements that are context for the last 50 years (which are not covered in Sublette's book). I can't recommend the book highly enough, though I do wish (on practically every page) that recorded snippets were available to illustrate the text. Some bits can be imagined, thanks to Sublette's felicitous prose:

The intensity of Pérez Prado's music came not only from its dissonance but from its rhythmic tension, the clarity of his writing, the physical impact of its brilliant, forceful timbre, the discipline of the ensemble, and the leader's sense of humor. The breaks in Pérez Prado's tunes were typically silences, punctuated by his sonic signature: a head-resonated grunt that some have romanticized as Ungh! and that sounded rather like someone undergoing a prostate exam. And then the trumpets assaulted again, as if to say: this is serious. (pg. 559)

Posted by oook at 06:50 PM | Comments (0)

King Coal

Doc Searls has some great pictures of Powder River coal lands (see his Flickr set), and he points to John McPhee's 2005 articles in the New Yorker. After I'd read the articles in 2005 I did a bit of link-gathering and Google Earth messing, and it's still worth a look as an addendum to Doc's photos. As I updated the links on that page I realized how rusty I am with the mechanics of FTP... and in fact a lot of my former skills seem to have gone walkabout.

Posted by oook at 02:47 PM | Comments (0)

links for 2009-01-31

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January 30, 2009

links for 2009-01-30

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January 27, 2009

The Bold Marauder

I recall a late-60s season of fascination with the sound of Richard and Mimi Farina, but I never saw them live. Here's a nice bit:

and it goes on:

Posted by oook at 07:12 AM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2009

links for 2009-01-25

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January 24, 2009

links for 2009-01-24

  • "...analysed basic vocabulary from 400 languages in this database using computational phylogenetic methods to build a set of "family" trees for the languages of the Pacific. The results clearly show that the origin of the entire Austronesian language family can be dated back to Taiwan around 5,200 years ago, and moved through Island South-East Asia, along New Guinea and into Polynesia..."
  • truly astounding. zoom in to various of your favorites, explore the moment on thousands of faces, feel the cold
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January 23, 2009

links for 2009-01-23

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January 20, 2009

links for 2009-01-20

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January 18, 2009

links for 2009-01-18

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January 17, 2009

links for 2009-01-17

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January 16, 2009

Chris Jordan on excess

Now THIS is great teaching:

(file under numeracy, data, visualization, anthropology, Nacirema, anthropology, argybargy)

Posted by oook at 08:34 AM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2009

links for 2009-01-15

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January 14, 2009

links for 2009-01-14

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January 12, 2009

Branford Marsalis lays it out for you


Posted by oook at 09:02 PM | Comments (1)

January 11, 2009

"...spilled the blood that turns the wheel of retribution..."


Posted by oook at 10:22 AM | Comments (0)

links for 2009-01-11

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January 10, 2009

links for 2009-01-10

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January 09, 2009

links for 2009-01-09

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January 08, 2009

links for 2009-01-08

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January 07, 2009

Camden clog

oh yes!

(via The Guardian)

Posted by oook at 08:17 PM | Comments (0)

links for 2009-01-07

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January 06, 2009

links for 2009-01-06

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January 05, 2009

links for 2009-01-05

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January 03, 2009

one is taken aback, aghast almost

Compare and contrast:

(via Crooked Timber)


Posted by oook at 07:56 AM | Comments (0)

links for 2009-01-03

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January 02, 2009

New years thought

This one wandered out of my mind and onto a piece of paper yesterday, and sat around for a day expecting to be posted:

I grew up wondering
if I'd live to see the Millenium
and here it is almost a decade beyond,
the last of the Noughts.
What should I wonder now?

Posted by oook at 08:59 PM | Comments (0)

January 01, 2009

Badger visits the mailbox

Kate and Shannon are at the Family Home in Nova Scotia, where the weather can be a bit dramatic:

Posted by oook at 03:06 PM | Comments (0)

This Is Where We Live

This makes me feel that Everything will be All Right:

This Is Where We Live from 4th Estate on Vimeo.

(via MAKE:Blog)

Posted by oook at 09:13 AM | Comments (0)

links for 2009-01-01

Posted by oook at 06:00 AM