Friday, July 21, 2017

Get your enjoys, Jonathan Toubin Soul Proprietor,
New York Night Train



originally Published on Feb 13, 2017
Summer of 1960 saw JFK's nomination at the Democratic Convention, “Psycho” at drive-ins everywhere, the Greensboro, NC, Woolworth's sit-in, Cuba’s nationalization of foreign-owned property, the Cold War heating up after the U2 incident, and “Money (That’s What I Want)” on the radio. During those uncertain times, 1960’s big #1 summer R&B hits were mostly about good lovin’ gone bad, Jackie’ Wilson’s “Doggin’ Around,” Bobby Marchan’s “There Is Something On Your Mind,” and The Everly Brothers’ “Cathy’s Clown,” but Berry Gordy's “Money” pushed romance out of the picture in favor of finance.

“Money (That’s What I Want),” from its subject matter alone, might as well be our national anthem. And like so many of smash hits of the time, a barrage of covers, answer songs, and parodies followed hot on its heels. But “Money” was special in that it continued to be played, and played with, year after year - becoming one of the most-covered and referenced songs of its era. The blurry pen of Chess house bassist/producer/songwriter Willie Dixon didn’t waste time responding that summer, pushing romance back into the equation with “I Need Love.” Dixon’s protagonist acknowledges that “money will make you jump and shout” but… attests that a little bit of good lovin’ will knock him out…

Raised in the King Biscuit harmonica heaven of Arkansas blowing alongside another harp genius James Cotton, Little Mack Simmons was a bright star in the Chicago blues diaspora’s mighty constellation by the time he started churning out exciting sides for Bee and Baby, CJ, and Chess by the end of the 1950s. In August 1960 Little Mack stormed Chess studios with a killer cast of usual suspects - the explosive dual guitars of longtime Little Mack collaborator the legendary Eddie King and the diverse jazz/soul wunderkind Freddie Robinson (later Abu Talib), who was just getting his start with Little Walter, Howlin’ Wolf etc, superstar pianist Detroit Junior, Big Three organist Lafayette Leake, backing vocalist Georgia Hinton (who takes the lead on the B-Side) and Chess rhythm section regulars Bob Anderson and Billy Davenport. They plow through “I Need Love,” slamming on a bold kinetic wiggle from the get-go and relentlessly and dynamically pushing though a couple of minutes of the most exciting music ever waxed... This may just be the finest of Little Mack Simmons' dance sides...

You can find this in print on vinyl on Volume 10 of the "Jerk Boom Bam!" compilation series!


graphics by AVI SPIVAK (http://www.avispivak.com)!

You're listening to my daily addition to the New York Night Train Party Platter playlist. Each track here is recorded directly from my original 45s (no bootlegs, reproductions, etc) to give you an idea of what the real deal authentic vinyl sounds like. COME BACK EVERY DAY FOR A NEW FIX! Because the records pass so quickly at my danchttps://www.youtube.com/JonathanToubin
https://www.facebook.com/newyorknight...
https://twitter.com/jonathantoubin
https://instagram.com/jonathantoubin/
e parties, this channel is an attempt to stop and focus on one record at a time in hopes to personally learn more about each one and at the same time turn you on to the artists, tracks, labels, etc. I'm just hipping myself to a lot of these records for the first time as well - so you can view this as our journey to learning more about cool old records together! But mostly I hope this music moves you as much as it moves me.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The Allisons "Surfer Street" (Tip, 1963)
Get your enjoys, Jonathan Toubin Soul Proprietor,
New York Night Train



Originally Published on Feb 24, 2017
Cut in 1963 at Gold Star Studios with Darlene Love on the lead vocals, this epic platter contains a Jolly Green Giant sound and a heavy re-arrangement of Don and Dewey’s Specialty Records classic “Big Boy Pete.” And maybe other members of The Blossoms were also harmonizing? And The Wrecking Crew laying down the backing tracks? Probably! And what the heck... Maybe you're even hearing a Jack Nitzche arrangement? If you know something, say something... This strange and beautiful gem hasn’t only been making the New York Night Train glow for many years, but is also a staple for top disc jocks like Intoxica Radio’s Howie Pyro and Sock Hop Austin’s Andrew Mcalla. The A-Side, a cover of “Money,” is also worth a turn…

graphics by AVI SPIVAK (http://www.avispivak.com)!

You're listening to my daily addition to the New York Night Train Party Platter playlist. Each track here is recorded directly from my original 45s (no bootlegs, reproductions, etc) to give you an idea of what the real deal authentic vinyl sounds like. COME BACK EVERY DAY FOR A NEW FIX! Because the records pass so quickly at my danchttps://www.youtube.com/JonathanToubin
https://www.facebook.com/newyorknight...
https://twitter.com/jonathantoubin
https://instagram.com/jonathantoubin/
e parties, this channel is an attempt to stop and focus on one record at a time in hopes to personally learn more about each one and at the same time turn you on to the artists, tracks, labels, etc. I'm just hipping myself to a lot of these records for the first time as well - so you can view this as our journey to learning more about cool old records together! But mostly I hope this music moves you as much as it moves me.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Larry Bright “Bloodhound” (Tide, 1962)
Get your enjoys, Jonathan Toubin Soul Proprietor, New York Night Train



Originally Published on Feb 24, 2017 - In one of the most wildest runs in L.A. history, the infinitely under-rated Larry Bright cut a hair-raising stack of wax for some the west coast’s top labels - Del Fi, Tide, Original Sound, Rendezvous, etc. And both sides of this holy obscurity are up there with the best of ‘em. Bright came to California from Corpus Christie, hit the jackpot with his first record “Mojo Workout,” and spent the next decade sporadically knocking ‘em dead on record and on stage but never could scale his mountain of legal battles, personal problems, and bad luck. Everyone from The Kingsmen to Bill Cosby recorded “Mojo Workout” and Downliners Sect did “One Ugly Child.”


graphics by AVI SPIVAK (http://www.avispivak.com)!

You're listening to my daily addition to the New York Night Train Party Platter playlist. Each track here is recorded directly from my original 45s (no bootlegs, reproductions, etc) to give you an idea of what the real deal authentic vinyl sounds like. COME BACK EVERY DAY FOR A NEW FIX! Because the records pass so quickly at my danchttps://www.youtube.com/JonathanToubin
https://www.facebook.com/newyorknight...
https://twitter.com/jonathantoubin
https://instagram.com/jonathantoubin/
e parties, this channel is an attempt to stop and focus on one record at a time in hopes to personally learn more about each one and at the same time turn you on to the artists, tracks, labels, etc. I'm just hipping myself to a lot of these records for the first time as well - so you can view this as our journey to learning more about cool old records together! But mostly I hope this music moves you as much as it moves me.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Swamp Rats "Psycho" (St. Claire, 1966)
Get your enjoys, Jonathan Toubin Soul Proprietor, New York Night Train




originally published Published on Apr 21, 2017
Since the NY Night Train is off to Pittsburgh tomorrow I figured I'd throw a Swamp Rats platter up here... Swamp Rats are of course one of the most exciting garage bands ever and this track is a bonafide classic that I initially learned from Crypt Records' canonical first volume of "Back From The Grave." Its hard to imagine a worthy cover of The Sonic's "Psycho," but, like the "Louie Louie" on their debut 45, Swamp Rats make it their own with unprecedented speed and brutality. "Psycho," like another one of my other favorite Swamp Rats' spins, a snarling stab at The Sparkles' "No Friend Of Mine," is a contemporary standard that was far from an obvious cover choice in its time. Pittsburgh however was one of the only markets outside of Washington state where The Sonics both charted (and visited!) - due in no small part to the advocacy of tastemaking DJ god Mad Mike Metrovich and his inclusion of "Psycho" on his "More Mad Mike Moldies Volume 4" LP. The entire thing is perfect but stick around for the experimental backwards explosion at the end is the cherry on top and makes this one of the more unique sides of its time!

Like The Monkees, The Sex Pistols, and other earthshattering acts, The Swamp Rats were a prefabricated band. Formed from the ashes of McKeesport, PA's amazing teen trio The Fantastic Dee Jays, WMCK DJ Terry Lee put the group together. He explains, “There was no actual "band'...the Swamp Rats was a group of people that I put together to make records and do live shows at my dances. The group slowly started to change. As it changed, there were personality conflicts, members left, members returned, and new members were added. It was like a revolving door. The Swamp Rats consisted of over 12 people at various times..."

Pittsburgh Music History pittsburghmusichistory/pittsburgh-music-story/rock/the-swap-rats
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/swamp-...


graphics by AVI SPIVAK (http://www.avispivak.com)!

You're listening to the daily addition to the New York Night Train Party Platter playlist. Each track here is recorded directly from my original 45s (no bootlegs, reproductions, etc) to give you an idea of what the real deal authentic vinyl I turn at my parties sounds like. COME BACK EVERY DAY FOR A NEW FIX! Because the records pass so quickly on the dance floor, this channel is an attempt to stop and focus on one record at a time in hopes to personally learn more about each one and at the same time turn you on to the artists, tracks, labels, etc. I'm just hipping myself to a lot of these records for the first time as well - so you can view this as our journey into learning more about cool old records together! But above all else I hope this music moves you as much as it moves me.

Monday, July 17, 2017

School Life Monday:
Things It’s Best to Say in Latin


Latin is a language beautifully suited to expressing certain ideas with concision and grace. Here are seven phrases that sound better in the original Latin than in any other language.



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

Little Woo Woo "Harlem Shuffle" (Heat, 1967)
Get your enjoys, Jonathan Toubin Soul Proprietor, New York Night Train



originally published Published on Apr 22, 2017
A flaming bare-bones take on "Harlem Shuffle" by the consistently fabulous Little Woo Woo on the mysterious Heat Imprint!

Edward "Little Woo Woo" Early started out in a Dayton, OH combo called The Moroccos in 1956. By 1960 they recorded the first and perhaps only single on Dayton's 3M label as Little Woo-Woo & the Moroccos' - "This Wonderful Girl Of Mine" b/w "My One And Only." The charming platter did well enough to get national distribution on Port Records. Little Woo Woo and the Moroccos next surfaced in 1962 on another obscure Dayton imprint, Greenstar, with the under-known two-sided classic featuring the explosive "The Big Swim," which you may remember from "Souvenirs of the Soul Clap, Vol. 4," backed with the very cool and crazy jam “Muzik Megaton.” The band next caught their big break - loading up the truck and zipping up to Detroit to record a total of six sides in two sessions at Motown. The result, under the Morrocco Muzik Makers moniker, and their sole soul 45 for Motown. The A-Side "Back to School" hit far below the band's usual standard of excellence but its fat flipside “Pig Knuckles” is a wailing firecracker and one of Motown’s most candid, unusual, and exciting instrumentals. The rarity of this record is testament to how little the label attempted to do with it and it looks like the The Moroccos disappeared from recording after their Motown adventure.

Little Woo Woo however, sans the Moroccos, appeared at least once more on vinyl - on an impossibly rare 1967 Heat Records “live” LP. Today’s Party Platter is the scarce single contains the LP's tracks “Harlem Shuffle” and the instrumental “Outrigger.” The band credited on the LP is Dayton organist Sammy Dobson, drummer Billy Vance, and vocalists Leatha Early (Woo Woo’s sister?), Connie Lawson (Dayton singer of Connie and Kenny?), and Leroy Rogers. Like 3M and Greenstar, Little Woo Woo also appears to be the only act released on Heat - making me wonder if his three amazing non-Motown singles were private presses. Though the band was from Dayton and the Heat records were on the log at Cincinnati’s RITE Custom Pressing, the label mysteriously includes only a Birmingham, Alabama address.

If you have any information to add about this amazing band or record, feel free to chime in!

graphics by AVI SPIVAK (http://www.avispivak.com)!

You're listening to the daily addition to the New York Night Train Party Platter playlist. Each track here is recorded directly from my original 45s (no bootlegs, reproductions, etc) to give you an idea of what the real deal authentic vinyl I turn at my parties sounds like. COME BACK EVERY DAY FOR A NEW FIX! Because the records pass so quickly on the dance floor, this channel is an attempt to stop and focus on one record at a time in hopes to personally learn more about each one and at the same time turn you on to the artists, tracks, labels, etc. I'm just hipping myself to a lot of these records for the first time as well - so you can view this as our journey into learning more about cool old records together! But above all else I hope this music moves you as much as it moves me.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Big Ella "Too Hot To Hold" (Salem, 1969)
Get your enjoys, Jonathan Toubin Soul Proprietor, New York Night Train




originally published Published on Apr 28, 2017
Getting ready for Saturday's Chicago Soul Clap and Dance-Off with a huge Windy City platter by thee one and only Big Ella! This killer diller vocalist whose life and career details remain clouded in mystery is the next evolutionary step in a the bawdy blues diva lineage going back beyond Bessie Smith and Ma Rainey. Despite her obscurity, and she only has three known records, Big Ella is one of the coolest vocalists of her time and all six ofher sides are stellar!

Stanley Booth's "True Adventures of the Rolling Stones," Bill Wyman goes to see Big Ella play in Memphis and her 1969 banger "It Takes a Whole Lot of Loving", from the same year, she shouts "They call me Big Ella and Memphis is my home". So this heavy duty slice of some of the grittiest funky soul action ever cut into wax is both a Chicago record by a Memphis superstar. And wait 'til you hear the flip (https://youtu.be/yxysSxULNig)! Big Ella is thee Queen (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTJ05...) and all of her flaming sides are earth-shaking and way too hot to hold!

check out the only internet page on her thusfar...
http://www.sirshambling.com/artists_2...


graphics by AVI SPIVAK (http://www.avispivak.com)!

You're listening to my daily addition to the New York Night Train Party Platter playlist. Each track here is recorded directly from my original 45s (no bootlegs, reproductions, etc) to give you an idea of what the real deal authentic vinyl sounds like. COME BACK EVERY DAY FOR A NEW FIX! Because the records pass so quickly at my danchttps://www.youtube.com/JonathanToubin
https://www.facebook.com/newyorknight...
https://twitter.com/jonathantoubin
https://instagram.com/jonathantoubin/
e parties, this channel is an attempt to stop and focus on one record at a time in hopes to personally learn more about each one and at the same time turn you on to the artists, tracks, labels, etc. I'm just hipping myself to a lot of these records for the first time as well - so you can view this as our journey to learning more about cool old records together! But mostly I hope this music moves you as much as it moves me.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Louis Jones w/The Bobby Scott Orchestra "The Birds Is Coming" (1963)
Get your enjoys, Jonathan Toubin Soul Proprietor, New York Night Train




originally published Published on Apr 14, 2017
Get ready for Saturday's Houston, TX Soul Clap with Galveston soul screamer Louis "Blues Boy" Jones surrealist horror rhythm and blues masterpiece informed by Alfred Hitchcock's "The BIrds"... "The Birds is Coming"!

Years back I found a record for one my favorite DJs and people, Action Pat of Miami's fabulous Southernmost Soul Club and he gave me this curious platter as a thank you. When Pat gave me this killer slice of eccentricity I shouted, "This might just be the best record I've ever heard!" then I asked, "But how can i get anybody to dance to it?" He told me they'll dance if they're in the right mood. And he was right! And the flip "Cuz I Love You" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLNrn...) is one of the ultimate Texas soul ballads and a showcase for Jones' unreal pipes!

Like Wilson Pickett, Louis "Blues Boy" Jones is one of the rare soul screamers who is also a super-musical note hitter that delivers the goods with impeccable phrasing for maximum emotional effect. While his ballads are something to behold, all five of his A-sides work hard on the dance floor. Particularly his "Come On Home" - a signature song of sorts for me that hasn't stopped rotating on my tables since nearly the beginning...

Blues Boy Jones was born in Galveston in 1931 and by the early 1950s had served in the Korean War and was in Houston lending his amazing vocal talents to the backing Bobby Blue Bland, Big Mama Thornton, and other stars of Don Robey's universe in the studio. His first record, the ringing "Rock'n'Roll Bells" on Peacock was as much novelty as high grade dynamic rhythm and blues. It was a minor hit and a favorite of Elvis Presley. Its surprising that not much followed on Duke/Peacock. He then hooked up with Bobby Scott Orchestra and churned out a couple of amazing 2-siders recorded in Beaumont and released on a Lelan Rogers' pre-International Artists imprint, Sabra Records. As a member of Bobby Scott Orchestra, Jones toured the world as a featured vocalist and behind Otis Redding, Jerry Butler, and Maxine Brown. Brown invited the band to New York where this single and another killer diller for Bobby Robinson's Enjoy were both recorded in 1963.

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/onlin...
http://thefacts.com/free_share/articl...
graphics by AVI SPIVAK (http://www.avispivak.com)!

You're listening to the daily addition to the New York Night Train Party Platter playlist. Each track here is recorded directly from my original 45s (no bootlegs, reproductions, etc) to give you an idea of what the real deal authentic vinyl I turn at my parties sounds like. COME BACK EVERY DAY FOR A NEW FIX! Because the records pass so quickly on the dance floor, this channel is an attempt to stop and focus on one record at a time in hopes to personally learn more about each one and at the same time turn you on to the artists, tracks, labels, etc. I'm just hipping myself to a lot of these records for the first time as well - so you can view this as our journey into learning more about cool old records together! But above all else I hope this music moves you as much as it moves me.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Creep "Betty Lou Got A New Tattoo" (Oakridge, 1964)
Get your enjoys, Jonathan Toubin Soul Proprietor, New York Night Train



originally published Published on Jun 2, 2017
I learned “Betty Lou Got A New Tattoo” from the A-Bones cover that for years remained a staple of their live set and also from Norton Records’ stellar “Fort Worth Teen Scene” compilation on which this appears. I will always associate this song with Billy Miller and remember the playful smirk on his face and his distinctive vocal delivery as the band reliably tore through this one with unbridled gusto. Since Billy passed away a few months ago I play this every Friday at Home Sweet Home in his memory and I feel his spirit in the room when it inevitably shakes the house down. So this of course goes out to him.

The Creep, AKA Nick Kithas of Creep and the Deacons, moved on from his rockin' roots to become a notable a jazz musician, club owner, and restauranteur in Ft. Worth. Another hero of mine Jim "The Hound" Marshall says, "It's basically a take off on Bobby Freeman's Betty Lou Got A New Pair Of Shoes, but better, and dumber."

I hope that you enjoy this classic as much as I do and get yourself a copy of "Fort Worth Teen Scene" to get wowed by all the killer rock'n'roll coming out of DFW in the 1960s. http://www.nortonrecords.com/304-vari...


graphics by AVI SPIVAK (http://www.avispivak.com)!

You're listening to the daily addition to the New York Night Train Party Platter playlist. Each track here is recorded directly from my original 45s (no bootlegs, reproductions, etc) to give you an idea of what the real deal authentic vinyl I turn at my parties sounds like. COME BACK EVERY DAY FOR A NEW FIX! Because the records pass so quickly on the dance floor, this channel is an attempt to stop and focus on one record at a time in hopes to personally learn more about each one and at the same time turn you on to the artists, tracks, labels, etc. I'm just hipping myself to a lot of these records for the first time as well - so you can view this as our journey into learning more about cool old records together! But above all else I hope this music moves you as much as it moves me.

Monday, July 10, 2017

School of Life Monday:
How to Narrate Your Life Story


The difference between despair and hope often boils down to different ways of telling stories from the same set of facts. Some of the art of living means learning how to tell the story of our lives back to ourselves.



Sunday, July 9, 2017

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Thursday, July 6, 2017

The Honey Drippers "Impeach the President" (Alaga, 1973)
Get your enjoys, Jonathan Toubin Soul Proprietor, New York Night Train




Originally Published on Jun 8, 2017
Tonight, after a long day of consuming political theater, I turn this summer's theme song as I take over Questlove's Bowl Train at Brooklyn Bowl... I finally picked up Roy C and the Honey Drippers' much-sampled Nixon-era classic "Impeach the President" from thee immortal Todd-O-Phonic Todd at WFMU Record Fair and its going keep spinning round and round all summer long until I don't need to play it anymore!


graphics by AVI SPIVAK (http://www.avispivak.com)!

You're listening to the daily addition to the New York Night Train Party Platter playlist. Each track here is recorded directly from my original 45s (no bootlegs, reproductions, etc) to give you an idea of what the real deal authentic vinyl I turn at my parties sounds like. COME BACK EVERY DAY FOR A NEW FIX! Because the records pass so quickly on the dance floor, this channel is an attempt to stop and focus on one record at a time in hopes to personally learn more about each one and at the same time turn you on to the artists, tracks, labels, etc. I'm just hipping myself to a lot of these records for the first time as well - so you can view this as our journey into learning more about cool old records together! But above all else I hope this music moves you as much as it moves me.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Public Enemy Make Entire New Album Available For Free Download on the 4th of July!

Sounds like Independence Day has come early for Public Enemy. After recently leaking plans to release a new album, Nothing Is Quick In The Desert, on July 4, the iconic rap group has uploaded the entire LP to its Bandcamp page.

Chuck D deciphered the meaning behind the title earlier this week. "The record business is appearing like a desert," he told HipHopDX. "But the music has a life if you look at it right."

Prophets of Rage — Chuck D's new band consisting of Cypress Hill's B-Real, DJ Lord and Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk — is featured, in addition to Ice T and others.

The 13-track release follows up 2015's Man Plans God Laughs at a time when America's political landscape couldn't be more ripe for the Rebels Without A Pause. Consider your Fourth of July playlist complete.

The full album can be downloaded here, or streamed below.



Nothing Is Quick In The Desert comes as the band celebrates its 30th anniversary. Full track listing:

1. Nothing Is Quick In The Desert
2. sPEak!
3. Yesterday Man
4. Exit Your Mind
5. Beat Them All
6. Smash The Crowd
7. If You Can't Join Em Beat Em
8. So Be It
9. SOC MED Digital Heroin
10. Terrorwrist
11. Toxic
12. Smells Like Teens Hear It
13. Rest In Beats (Part 1 & 2)

Monday, July 3, 2017

School of Life Monday: Success at School vs Success in Life


Many people who do brilliantly at school turn out not to do so well at life. Why?


Sunday, July 2, 2017

No, you can’t drink cow’s milk with a clear conscience

from Ecorazzi:

The NZ Farmer side of Stuff wants to clear your conscience so you can go on drinking cow’s milk. Careful, it could make you choke on your almond milk.

Jon Morgan took to penning an opinion piece that reads like a 1950’s ad for milk, without the flashy use of logic or facts to distract people into thinking there’s any value in it. Morgan begins by shunning the “eyewash spouted by the anti-farming brigade,” a favourable comparison as better vision is exactly what those again cow’s milk are after. I wouldn’t call myself anti-farmer though, I’d just prefer all farmers switch over to making a living off of, oh I dunno, asparagus and not living beings.

Morgan loses all credibility immediately by loosely assuring readers milk isn’t bad for you and that all the substitutes on the market are in another “league.” That grade school style low-blow doesn’t amount to much without anything to back it up, since repeating “complete protein source” and sticking your fingers in your ears when someone tries to bring up fecal coliforms, calcium-leaching, or increased risks of fatal cancer doesn’t count as facts. Again, it’s like we’ve time travelled to back before we had a world wide web full of information and are relying on the upright fist of a bully to teach us all we need to know.

Naturally, the next defence is the importance of dairy on the economy. He claims no one in their right mind (not so hidden ‘crazy vegans’ reference) would want to see the 5-6 percent that dairy contributes to the economy (another unsupported statistic) drop, and then claims dairy is a “wealth creation system that sees anyone prepared to study and work hard become a millionaire in their 30s, even earlier in some cases.” It’s so good to know some choice individuals, thanks to bank subsidies and a very dairy-happy Government, can get rich at the expense of cows, the planet, and the health of their customers. It’s amazing we don’t see more tractors with gold rims.

But uh oh, even Morgan can’t ignore the obvious environmental and ethical problems with dairy farming. He has a simple solution though; ride the wave of controversy out because it’s bound to die down. He advises farmers avoid PR disasters by reducing their cows in an effort to decrease waste and/or participate in “bobby calf adoption schemes” to, well, pretend they’re saving some cows. By decreasing the amount of dead calves and preserving a small patch of grass, surely all the vegan advocates will shut their mouths, and only open them again to suck back a refreshing glass of milk. We’ve officially slipped into Morgan’s deepest fantasies.

The blatant undertones of right-leaning propaganda in this piece could only be topped by a conclusion that screamed “also, don’t you guys think soy milk and liberals are so gross?” But with Fonterra’s support of NZ Farmer and their glorious pieces of sensationalism, name calling could have been a step too far, maybe.

If someone like Jon Morgan can recognize that there are “flies in milk,” it’s time for everyone to take the appropriate action against it’s continuing production by going vegan. Cows need the wide open eyes of those who are no longer able to turn off their conscience long enough to choke back the corrupt secretions being marketed to us. Sorry Morgan, challenging people to digest the misinformation and bullying of the dairy industry is a thing of the past. The world does not need cow’s milk as you suggest, it needs vegans.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Latest post from my Instagram


This photo i made at the 2nd FUCK YOU ALL exhibition in Tokyo. doing some research i believe this is Satoshi KAWAMURA (active and influential Japanese pro in the 80's and 90's), circa 1999 at the Super X Media presentation of my FUCK YOU ALL exhibition, in Shibuya at Space Edge. The space was unique and a cool presentation of the work, next to the gallery there was some skate ramps set up within the space of the same building... SuperX media was a cool magazine i was working with at the time who's owner Takuji Masuda had grand ideals on how a magazine could be produced remotely from all over the globe via the internet. In 1997 this was a novel idea and worked out pretty incredibly, ahead of the curve. In fact they didn't pay me in currency, they got me on line and all my first few years of computer equipment to become an active contributor along with a few other folks including CR Stecyk. The magazine lasted for some years, and a huge hard cover compilation book was made from some of the best articles and other new pieces. Over the years there were some really great stories contributed from all places and varieties of folks. You may be able to find copies of the magazines or the book on line. The publisher "Tak" most recently finished his first feature documentary "BUNKER 77" a look at the peculiar life of the surfer Bunker Spreckles #Bunker77film . We made an article about some skaters in Japan, mostly shot out in the streets and by cool historical sights. This insane wall ride was just at the venue of the show where a heavy session was going down opening day. #skateboarding #inspiration #tokyo #shibuya #SuperXmedia #FuckYouAll #exhibition #photography #FuckYouHeroes #FuckYouToo #SpaceEdge #WallRide #miniramp #Kawamura

A post shared by glen E. friedman Ⓥ (@glenefriedman) on

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

READ:
Veganism in a World Full of Harm

from Ecorazzi:
I move in circles with people who care about social justice issues and who also care about animals. While such people are often open to being vegan, they frequently object to veganism for three reasons, even when they understand and agree to the moral principles underpinning it.

The first objection is to the fact that we live in an unjust world, in which animals are harmed frequently and indirectly. Those who try to diminish the moral imperative of veganism on these grounds overlook the fact that our lives and our actions also cause indirect harm to other humans. We would never use the existence of indirect harm as a justification to harm other humans or to abrogate their rights avoidably and directly whenever it suited us.

Our behaviour towards others is undergirded by certain moral principles that compel us to refrain from causing unnecessary harm to those others. This is why we don’t steal from people, even though it would be to our material advantage to do so. This is why we don’t allow arguments to escalate into physical confrontations, even when it may benefit us physiologically (by releasing nervous energy) to do so. This is why we don’t shove people out of our way when we want to get to the front of a long checkout queue, even though it could save us time to do so.

Further, we bring nonhuman animals into the world with the express purpose of exploiting and killing them. When we become vegan, we acknowledge that there is no good reason for us to do so, and that we are personally going to abstain from those rights violations because they run counter to the principles on which we have based our lives. When we go vegan, we are refusing to act against the precepts of justice, fairness, and nonviolence that we perceive to be central to good moral behavior. When we stop using animals, we are acting in a way that demonstrates that we respect the rights of others not to be treated as things that exist for us to use.

Just as we would never use the existence of indirect harm as a justification for directly and deliberately harming humans, so too must we apply this moral congruity to nonhumans. If we truly uphold the principles to which we claim to subscribe, we can and must refuse to participate in that system that directly exploits nonhuman beings by treating them solely as a means to our ends; this refusal is veganism (for more on the topic of incidental harm, see here and here).

The second objection I hear to the moral imperative of veganism is that there are so many other issues to tackle. While this is true, we can address those issues while wearing synthetic shoes, eating plants, and not attending animal shows. Veganism is not an obstacle to us participating in other forms of pro-justice work; in fact, for many (including me), it is a gateway to other areas of social justice. Veganism doesn’t require anyone to sacrifice their human rights work in order to pursue animal advocacy; it merely requires that at the very minimum one stops eating, wearing and otherwise using animals. As Francione and Charlton write in Eat Like You Care, “How does eating, for example, tofu instead of steak impede your ability to fight for human rights causes? It doesn’t. If anything, a healthy vegan diet will give you more energy to pursue those causes.”

The third objection is not particular to veganism, but is also heard among those who are reluctant to get involved in social justice issues because they are not sure that they can have any impact: “what difference can one person make?” As a matter of justice, this is a nonsensical question. We would never continue to participate in rights violations in the human context because we thought that our opting out wouldn’t make a difference to those whose rights are being violated if we stopped. If we acknowledge the wrongness of our actions, and we persist in those actions, then we are acting against our own consciences and principles, and this is not something we can ever justify to ourselves, as hard as we might try.

Putting aside the fact that animal agriculture exists only because there is a demand for it, and that everyone who refuses to participate in that system is helping to drive down demand, we have to take responsibility for our own behaviour and should use our own consciences as a touchstone for morality. In a world full of harm, be just, be fair, and be respectful of the rights of all beings—human and nonhuman; otherwise, you’re choosing to say “I knew, and I did nothing.”

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Noam Chomsky - On Being Truly Educated

Noam Chomsky is an eminent American theoretical linguist, cognitive scientist and philosopher, who radically changed the arena of linguistics by assuming language as a uniquely human, biologically based cognitive capacity. He suggested that innate traits in the human brain give birth to both language and grammar. The most important figure in “cognitive revolution” and “analytic philosophy”, Chomsky’s wide-ranging influence also extends to computer science and mathematics.



Monday, June 26, 2017

School of Life Monday:
POLITICAL THEORY - John Maynard Keynes


John Maynard Keynes was arguably the greatest economist of the 20th century. He discovered the idea that governments should stimulate demand during economic downturns – and was the creator of both the IMF and the World Bank.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Modern art was CIA 'weapon'

from the INDEPENDENT

Revealed: how the spy agency used unwitting artists such as Pollock and de Kooning in a cultural Cold War

By Frances Stonor Saunders
For decades in art circles it was either a rumour or a joke, but now it is confirmed as a fact. The Central Intelligence Agency used American modern art - including the works of such artists as Jackson Pollock, Robert Motherwell, Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko - as a weapon in the Cold War. In the manner of a Renaissance prince - except that it acted secretly - the CIA fostered and promoted American Abstract Expressionist painting around the world for more than 20 years.

The connection is improbable. This was a period, in the 1950s and 1960s, when the great majority of Americans disliked or even despised modern art - President Truman summed up the popular view when he said: "If that's art, then I'm a Hottentot." As for the artists themselves, many were ex- communists barely acceptable in the America of the McCarthyite era, and certainly not the sort of people normally likely to receive US government backing.

Why did the CIA support them? Because in the propaganda war with the Soviet Union, this new artistic movement could be held up as proof of the creativity, the intellectual freedom, and the cultural power of the US. Russian art, strapped into the communist ideological straitjacket, could not compete.

The existence of this policy, rumoured and disputed for many years, has now been confirmed for the first time by former CIA officials. Unknown to the artists, the new American art was secretly promoted under a policy known as the "long leash" - arrangements similar in some ways to the indirect CIA backing of the journal Encounter, edited by Stephen Spender.

The decision to include culture and art in the US Cold War arsenal was taken as soon as the CIA was founded in 1947. Dismayed at the appeal communism still had for many intellectuals and artists in the West, the new agency set up a division, the Propaganda Assets Inventory, which at its peak could influence more than 800 newspapers, magazines and public information organisations. They joked that it was like a Wurlitzer jukebox: when the CIA pushed a button it could hear whatever tune it wanted playing across the world.

The next key step came in 1950, when the International Organisations Division (IOD) was set up under Tom Braden. It was this office which subsidised the animated version of George Orwell's Animal Farm, which sponsored American jazz artists, opera recitals, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's international touring programme. Its agents were placed in the film industry, in publishing houses, even as travel writers for the celebrated Fodor guides. And, we now know, it promoted America's anarchic avant-garde movement, Abstract Expressionism.

Initially, more open attempts were made to support the new American art. In 1947 the State Department organised and paid for a touring international exhibition entitled "Advancing American Art", with the aim of rebutting Soviet suggestions that America was a cultural desert. But the show caused outrage at home, prompting Truman to make his Hottentot remark and one bitter congressman to declare: "I am just a dumb American who pays taxes for this kind of trash." The tour had to be cancelled.

The US government now faced a dilemma. This philistinism, combined with Joseph McCarthy's hysterical denunciations of all that was avant-garde or unorthodox, was deeply embarrassing. It discredited the idea that America was a sophisticated, culturally rich democracy. It also prevented the US government from consolidating the shift in cultural supremacy from Paris to New York since the 1930s. To resolve this dilemma, the CIA was brought in.

The connection is not quite as odd as it might appear. At this time the new agency, staffed mainly by Yale and Harvard graduates, many of whom collected art and wrote novels in their spare time, was a haven of liberalism when compared with a political world dominated by McCarthy or with J Edgar Hoover's FBI. If any official institution was in a position to celebrate the collection of Leninists, Trotskyites and heavy drinkers that made up the New York School, it was the CIA.

Until now there has been no first-hand evidence to prove that this connection was made, but for the first time a former case officer, Donald Jameson, has broken the silence. Yes, he says, the agency saw Abstract Expressionism as an opportunity, and yes, it ran with it.

"Regarding Abstract Expressionism, I'd love to be able to say that the CIA invented it just to see what happens in New York and downtown SoHo tomorrow!" he joked. "But I think that what we did really was to recognise the difference. It was recognised that Abstract Expression- ism was the kind of art that made Socialist Realism look even more stylised and more rigid and confined than it was. And that relationship was exploited in some of the exhibitions.

"In a way our understanding was helped because Moscow in those days was very vicious in its denunciation of any kind of non-conformity to its own very rigid patterns. And so one could quite adequately and accurately reason that anything they criticised that much and that heavy- handedly was worth support one way or another."

To pursue its underground interest in America's lefty avant-garde, the CIA had to be sure its patronage could not be discovered. "Matters of this sort could only have been done at two or three removes," Mr Jameson explained, "so that there wouldn't be any question of having to clear Jackson Pollock, for example, or do anything that would involve these people in the organisation. And it couldn't have been any closer, because most of them were people who had very little respect for the government, in particular, and certainly none for the CIA. If you had to use people who considered themselves one way or another to be closer to Moscow than to Washington, well, so much the better perhaps."

This was the "long leash". The centrepiece of the CIA campaign became the Congress for Cultural Freedom, a vast jamboree of intellectuals, writers, historians, poets, and artists which was set up with CIA funds in 1950 and run by a CIA agent. It was the beach-head from which culture could be defended against the attacks of Moscow and its "fellow travellers" in the West. At its height, it had offices in 35 countries and published more than two dozen magazines, including Encounter.

The Congress for Cultural Freedom also gave the CIA the ideal front to promote its covert interest in Abstract Expressionism. It would be the official sponsor of touring exhibitions; its magazines would provide useful platforms for critics favourable to the new American painting; and no one, the artists included, would be any the wiser.

This organisation put together several exhibitions of Abstract Expressionism during the 1950s. One of the most significant, "The New American Painting", visited every big European city in 1958-59. Other influential shows included "Modern Art in the United States" (1955) and "Masterpieces of the Twentieth Century" (1952).

Because Abstract Expressionism was expensive to move around and exhibit, millionaires and museums were called into play. Pre-eminent among these was Nelson Rockefeller, whose mother had co-founded the Museum of Modern Art in New York. As president of what he called "Mummy's museum", Rockefeller was one of the biggest backers of Abstract Expressionism (which he called "free enterprise painting"). His museum was contracted to the Congress for Cultural Freedom to organise and curate most of its important art shows.

The museum was also linked to the CIA by several other bridges. William Paley, the president of CBS broadcasting and a founding father of the CIA, sat on the members' board of the museum's International Programme. John Hay Whitney, who had served in the agency's wartime predecessor, the OSS, was its chairman. And Tom Braden, first chief of the CIA's International Organisations Division, was executive secretary of the museum in 1949.

Now in his eighties, Mr Braden lives in Woodbridge, Virginia, in a house packed with Abstract Expressionist works and guarded by enormous Alsatians. He explained the purpose of the IOD.

"We wanted to unite all the people who were writers, who were musicians, who were artists, to demonstrate that the West and the United States was devoted to freedom of expression and to intellectual achievement, without any rigid barriers as to what you must write, and what you must say, and what you must do, and what you must paint, which was what was going on in the Soviet Union. I think it was the most important division that the agency had, and I think that it played an enormous role in the Cold War."

He confirmed that his division had acted secretly because of the public hostility to the avant-garde: "It was very difficult to get Congress to go along with some of the things we wanted to do - send art abroad, send symphonies abroad, publish magazines abroad. That's one of the reasons it had to be done covertly. It had to be a secret. In order to encourage openness we had to be secret."

If this meant playing pope to this century's Michelangelos, well, all the better: "It takes a pope or somebody with a lot of money to recognise art and to support it," Mr Braden said. "And after many centuries people say, 'Oh look! the Sistine Chapel, the most beautiful creation on Earth!' It's a problem that civilisation has faced ever since the first artist and the first millionaire or pope who supported him. And yet if it hadn't been for the multi-millionaires or the popes, we wouldn't have had the art."

Would Abstract Expressionism have been the dominant art movement of the post-war years without this patronage? The answer is probably yes. Equally, it would be wrong to suggest that when you look at an Abstract Expressionist painting you are being duped by the CIA.

But look where this art ended up: in the marble halls of banks, in airports, in city halls, boardrooms and great galleries. For the Cold Warriors who promoted them, these paintings were a logo, a signature for their culture and system which they wanted to display everywhere that counted. They succeeded.

* The full story of the CIA and modern art is told in 'Hidden Hands' on Channel 4 next Sunday at 8pm. The first programme in the series is screened tonight. Frances Stonor Saunders is writing a book on the cultural Cold War.

Covert Operation

In 1958 the touring exhibition "The New American Painting", including works by Pollock, de Kooning, Motherwell and others, was on show in Paris. The Tate Gallery was keen to have it next, but could not afford to bring it over. Late in the day, an American millionaire and art lover, Julius Fleischmann, stepped in with the cash and the show was brought to London.

The money that Fleischmann provided, however, was not his but the CIA's. It came through a body called the Farfield Foundation, of which Fleischmann was president, but far from being a millionaire's charitable arm, the foundation was a secret conduit for CIA funds.

So, unknown to the Tate, the public or the artists, the exhibition was transferred to London at American taxpayers' expense to serve subtle Cold War propaganda purposes. A former CIA man, Tom Braden, described how such conduits as the Farfield Foundation were set up. "We would go to somebody in New York who was a well-known rich person and we would say, 'We want to set up a foundation.' We would tell him what we were trying to do and pledge him to secrecy, and he would say, 'Of course I'll do it,' and then you would publish a letterhead and his name would be on it and there would be a foundation. It was really a pretty simple device."

Julius Fleischmann was well placed for such a role. He sat on the board of the International Programme of the Museum of Modern Art in New York - as did several powerful figures close to the CIA.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Stormchaser films a new cloud type during spectacular sunset

from Boing Boing:

Earlier this month, stormchasing photographer Mike Olbinski witnessed stunning and rare undulatus asperatus clouds roiling above the setting sun. 4K and headphones highly recommended.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Another incredible scary vision from Steve Cutts
kinda fucked up friday

via Moby's new music video:



Bonus slide show:



and his original classic with over 20 million views:

Thursday, June 22, 2017

ELECTRIC BLUE HEAVEN

from The Surfers journal


Introducing Globe's ELECTRIC BLUE HEAVEN, a short, conceptual film featuring Dion Agius in the WORLD'S BEST WAVE POOL! Read on to know more...
A few weeks back, Dion Agius and crew embarked on a journey to an unknown land. A journey for waves. A journey that would bring Dion to unleash on the world's best man made wave. A studio for surfing. Smack in the middle of a desert mountain range in a foreign land.
There was a concept. A concept involving 10 Russian models, a Lamborghini, and Dion boosting virtually every air in the book, plus a couple new ones. Electric blue water contrasting against wild mountainous backdrops.
A story was captured. Captured through the lenses of Joe G, DJ Struntz, Beren Hall, and Grady Archbold. Motion & Still. Film & HD. The story will be told through the pages of our global media partners and through this short film directed by Joe G.
WWW.GLOBE.TV

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Thinking is a group activity

from Boing Boing:



Most of us vastly overestimate our understanding of how things work. We think we know more than we do. Why? Because we get by with a little help from our friends. (Sorry.) Cognitive scientists Steven Sloman and Philip Fernbach explore why we think we're so smart in a new book titled The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone. Over at Scientific American, Gareth Cook interviews Sloman about how thinking turns out to be more of a community activity.
TELL ME MORE ABOUT THIS IDEA THAT WHAT WE KNOW IS “SOCIAL”?

People fail to distinguish the knowledge that’s in their own heads from knowledge elsewhere (in their bodies, in the world, and—especially—in others’ heads). And we fail because whether or not knowledge is in our heads usually doesn’t matter. What matters is that we have access to the knowledge. In other words, the knowledge we use resides in the community. We participate in a community of knowledge. Thinking isn’t done by individuals; it is done by communities. This is true at macro levels: Fundamental values and beliefs that define our social, political, and spiritual identities are determined by our cultural communities. It is also true at the micro-level: We are natural collaborators, cognitive team-players. We think in tandem with others using our unique ability to share intentionality.

Individuals are rarely well-described as rational processors of information. Rather, we usually just channel our communities.
The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone (Amazon)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

New York Public Library turns subway cars into mobile ebook libraries

from Boing Boing:


Ten MTA cars have been outfitted as Subway Libraries by the New York Public Library: the in-car wifi connects riders to an e-reading repository containing "books, short stories, chapters and excerpts donated by publishers to the New York Public Library."

It's just one of the many excellent ways that NYPL is leading on ebooks, from lending patrons wireless hotspots ("borrow the entire internet!") to the world's greatest elending platform, to the world-beating public domain repository to the amazing, wall-climbing book-train!
“It used to be that you were ‘unplugged’ on the subway, and even though you’re connecting to the wireless now, you’ll still have the sense of being unplugged when reading books,” said Lynn Lobash, manager of reader services for the New York Public Library. “It’s a lot different than the frantic sense of checking your email or being on Twitter.”
Subway Library [NYPL]

New York Today: A City Library, on the Subway [Alexandra S Levine/New York Times]

Monday, June 19, 2017

School Of Life Monday:
Is There an Alternative to Political Correctness?


Political correctness aims for some very nice results, but its means have a habit of upsetting a lot of people. Might there be an alternative to it? We think there is, and it’s called Politeness.

“Political Correctness is, in many ways, an extraordinary and admirable achievement of our age. It involves an acute sensitivity to the suffering of minority groups traditionally overlooked by the dominant forces in society – and a commitment to teasing out examples of adversity in the large but also the small moments of daily life. Its aim is to spread empathy, justice and fairness...”




Saturday, June 17, 2017

MC5 - Long Lost video number three from Wayne Kramer

from Dangerous Minds:
Rounding out the trio is a fan-shot video taken at the Gibus Club in Paris in 1972. The video is pretty muddy but the audio is not so terrible. Noteworthy here is that Fred “Sonic” Smith is wearing his superhero getup—as Kramer writes, “Enjoy Fred in his Sonic Smith suit!” Only two songs here but both are a treat: “Kick Out the Jams” and “Black to Comm,” one of their perennial jams going back to when the band were all still teenagers.



Rare Performance Footage of Wayne Kramer's #MC5 Performing "Kick Out The Jams" and "Black To Comm" w/ Fred Smith in Sonic Smith suit. Unedited, original camera transfer. First-time ever published; Mastered, Unedited Audio. Wayne Kramer, Fred Smith, Rob Tyner, Dennis Machine Gun Thompson, Steev Moorhouse. ©Wayne Kramer 1972/2017

Friday, June 16, 2017

MC5 - Long Lost video number two from Wayne Kramer

from Dangerous Minds:
[This] second clip, and certainly the most satisfying from the perspective of an MC5 fan who wants to rock out, was shot at Wayne State University’s Tartar Field on July 19, 1970. We actually posted a version of this footage last year. The band plays “Ramblin’ Rose,” “Kick Out the Jams,” being the first two songs off of the MC5’s first album Kick Out The Jams from 1969 and then “Looking at You” from the 1970 follow-up Back in the USA. This was the first-ever live performance of that song, it seems. This concert was recorded by multiple cameras, and it looks and sounds great.

FUCK YEAH!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

MC5 - Long Lost video number one from Wayne Kramer

from Dangerous Minds:
Don’t look now, but it seems that Wayne Kramer, of the legendary MC5, has suddenly discovered his YouTube account and decided to use it to showcase some killer footage of the band from its heyday. Over the last three weeks he’s uploaded a handful of videos on his Facebook presence as well as his YouTube account. It’s going to be worth keeping an eye on his account for the next weeks and months.

The earliest video from a chronological perspective is a short compilation of DASPO-CONUS footage of the 1968 Democratic National Convention. DASPO was the Department of the Army Special Photographic Office, the “CONUS” bit means “Continental United States.” DASPO recorded footage from the Vietnam conflict as well. This is a true compilation—there’s no audio and it’s just a mishmash of different images, quite interesting actually even if the MC5 only pop up for a few moments. Around the 29-second mark there is a clip of a folk singer performing in the middle of a crowd of people—the singer is Phil Ochs—and then a few seconds later, there’s the MC5 in a similar setting. As I said, there’s no audio: unfortunately it seems that the Army was callously insensitive to the needs of audio bootleggers. According to Kramer, this footage has never been published before. The YouTube caption indicates that the footage has been sync’d to “Wayne Kramer’s original underscore musical compositions.”



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Putin and Oliver Stone interviews


19 Teasers should play back to back once you hit play.





But this Steven Colbert interview may also give some insight...

Monday, June 12, 2017

School of Life Monday:
PHILOSOPHY - Emil Cioran


Emil Cioran is Romania’s most famous thinker: his darkly pessimistic philosophy is a perfect antidote to the sentimental cheeriness of our times.


FURTHER READING

“Towards the end of the twentieth century, a celebrated Romanian-French philosopher and aphorist was invited to speak in Zurich. He was introduced with rhetorical pomp and flattering comparisons to the likes of Kierkegaard and Schopenhauer. The speaker smiled, and immediately confounded his German interpreter by beginning his presentation with the words: ‘Mais je ne suis qu’un déconneur’ / ‘But I’m just a joker’.

A few of his critics might agree, but they would be wrong. For Emil Mihai Cioran is very much worthy of inclusion in the line of the great French and European moral philosophers and writers of maxims stretching back to Montaigne, Chamfort, Pascal and La Rochefoucauld...”

You can read more on this and other subjects on our blog, here: https://goo.gl/mKs6TZ

MORE SCHOOL OF LIFE

Our website has classes, articles and products to help you think and grow: https://goo.gl/bZhXZM

Watch more films on PHILOSOPHY in our playlist:
http://bit.ly/TSOLphilosophy

MORE SCHOOL OF LIFE

Our website has classes, articles and products to help you think and grow: https://goo.gl/bZhXZM

Watch more films on PHILOSOPHY in our playlist:
http://bit.ly/TSOLphilosophy

Saturday, June 10, 2017

THE MONKEES’ LAST STAND: THEIR FINAL 1969 TV SPECIAL ‘33⅓ REVOLUTIONS PER MONKEE’




from Dangerous Minds:


After the glorious fiasco that was the 1968 movie Head, the last project that the Monkees undertook as a quartet was a TV special for NBC called 33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee. It’s basically the TV equivalent of Head, complete with corny jokes, audacious cameos, hummable ditties, and stuff that makes you scratch your noggin in puzzlement. 
Like the band itself, 33⅓ Revolutions Per Monkee, which aired on April 14, 1969, is thoroughly of the Sixties, somehow managing to blend (say) the Batman TV show and Barbarella with musical performance shows of the day like Shindig! (which makes sense, as the producer of Shindig!, Jack Good, was involved with this as well.
The Monkees enlisted Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll to take care of the half-baked framing narrative, a crazed musical impresario (errr, Don Kirshner?) who turns the four Monkees into mindless automatons so that he can “brainwash the world!!” (I told you it was right out of Batman.) The Monkees’ arrival is highly reminiscent of the “beaming” effect on Star Trek, which had been out for a couple of years by that point, so that counts as a reference.
About a third of the way through the show, Auger (still in “sinister” character) explains the nature of the musical mind-control properties of the rock and roll piano chords via an audacious device—the camera shows Auger at the piano and strategically pans away from the action to reveal that Auger’s piano is perched on a piano played by Jerry Lee Lewis, which is perched on a piano played by Little Richard, which is perched on a piano played by Fats Domino. Like this:
  

  






























It was probably no accident that the band chose a metaphor of being controlled by a sinister puppet master. After all, the Monkees’ story is the most vivid example in rock history of a band struggling to seize the means of production (we call them “instruments”) from the corporate overlords that had conjured them into being in the first place—in the show, Auger actually uses the word conjure to summon them into being. Later on in the show, the four fellows sing a discordant little ditty called “Wind Up Man” (as wind-up men), which included lyrics like this:
I’m a wind up man
Programmed to be entertaining
Turn the key
I’m a fully automatic
Wind up man
Invented by the teeny bopper
Turn me on
And I will sing a song about a
Wind up man

As mentioned, it would seem that the stress of being the world’s first purely manufactured rock and roll TV sensation had gotten to the boys…...
The show features a fair bit of material that never made it onto any of the Monkees’ record releases. The most interesting of them, by far, is a composition written and performed by Nesmith called “Naked Persimmon” that shows as vividly as possible in what direction Nesmith’s musical ambitions were headed, namely the country rock of the First National Band, which would be Nesmith’s post-Monkees solo project. In case you were in any way unclear that Nesmith was looking to fuse country and rock, “Naked Persimmon” will remove all doubt. It’s a kind of portmanteau song that required some TV editing magic to present properly, as it featured two Michael Nesmiths trading “rock” and “country” verses, each Nesmith duly mystified whenever the other’s verse intrudes on his own.
The end sequence of the show is every bit the everything and the kitchen sink Sixties freakout that you would devoutly wish for and expect.
As with Head, it must be said that 33⅓ Revolutions per Monkee was not a resounding success in commercial terms. NBC was so unenthusiastic about the special that it chose to run it against the Oscar ceremony. Then some engineer accidentally presented it out of sequence, thus ensuring that nobody in the home audience would be able to follow any of the show’s thematic hijinks. Peter Tork left the band right after the special, buying himself out of his contract and bringing the main period of Monkees to a definitive end.
I find almost all of it pleasurable on its own terms, though, and I’d recommend it in a heartbeat for that patented Monkee note of amiable mindfuckery. See it now.

Friday, June 9, 2017

The arctic seed bank that was going to save us all is flooding (UPDATE)


see UPDATE BELOW first article:

from Boing Boing:


Svalbard seed vault exterior

Strategically placed to survive any natural disaster, this winter's rains flooded the arctic seed bank. The bank wasn't destroyed, but it shows how fast things are a changing.
The Guardian:

It was designed as an impregnable deep-freeze to protect the world’s most precious seeds from any global disaster and ensure humanity’s food supply forever. But the Global Seed Vault, buried in a mountain deep inside the Arctic circle, has been breached after global warming produced extraordinary temperatures over the winter, sending meltwater gushing into the entrance tunnel.

The vault is on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen and contains almost a million packets of seeds, each a variety of an important food crop. When it was opened in 2008, the deep permafrost through which the vault was sunk was expected to provide “failsafe” protection against “the challenge of natural or man-made disasters”.

But soaring temperatures in the Arctic at the end of the world’s hottest ever recorded year led to melting and heavy rain, when light snow should have been falling. “It was not in our plans to think that the permafrost would not be there and that it would experience extreme weather like that,” said Hege Njaa Aschim, from the Norwegian government, which owns the vault.
Turns out the Svalbard seed vault is probably fine

from Popular Science:

Global Crop Diversity Trust via Flickr
Update 5/22: Recently, media reports emerged of water leaking into the entryway of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a facility that stores backup seeds for other seed banks all over the world. The facility is designed to be a backup for the backups. In an e-mail to Popular Science, Hege Njaa Aschim—communications director of the Norwegian Government-led organization Statsbygg, confirmed that the leaks happened last fall, during a time of high temperatures and unusual rainfall in the Svalbard area.
“This fall—October 2016—we had extreme weather in Svalbard with high temperatures and a lot of rain—very unusual. This caused water intrusion into the tunnel leading to the seed vault. The seeds and the vault was never at risk. This was no flooding, but more water than we like. So we are doing measures to improve and secure the entrance and tunnel,” Aschim said.
Aschim added that this year, no water has leaked into the entryway. In October, the water made it about 15 meters into the 100 meter tunnel and then stopped, freezing solid. The volume of the water that leaked in is unknown.
Even before the events of October 2016, Statsbygg had already planned to take measures to waterproof the tunnel, which had an established tendency to let water in during the spring melt.
While the tunnel is overlain by soil and permafrost, subject to the vagaries of weather and climate changes, the seeds themselves are stored in a vault built into the rock of the mountain—about 110 meters from the entrance to the tunnel. Initially, the people working on the project thought that the permafrost near the tunnel entrance would re-form (or re-freeze) after construction of the tunnel disturbed the layer of frozen Earth. It did not.
Our original post from Friday continues below.
A failure at a fail-safe vault. The irony is delicious, but that’s not the whole story.
On its website, the Svalbard Global Seed Vault is described by Crop Trust—the nonprofit that runs it—as “a fail-safe seed storage facility, built to stand the test of time—and the challenge of natural or man-made disasters.” It holds backups of seeds from seed banks around the world, with the goal of preserving a legacy of crop diversity in the face of changing climate, natural disasters, and human conflicts. It’s operated for a little over nine years.
Then, on Friday, news spread that water from melting permafrost had gushed into the tunnel and frozen, making the floor slick with ice but not impacting the seeds. It would seem the fail-safe had failed. Or had it?
“Flooding is probably not quite the right word to use in this case,” says Cary Fowler, who helped create the seed vault. “In my experience, there’s been water intrusion at the front of the tunnel every single year.”
Fowler wasn't at the seed vault this year when the flooding (or 'flooding') in question took place, but has extensive knowledge of the project and facilities. He explains that a 100 meter long tunnel leads into the heart of the mountain where the seed vault is stored, running at a slight downward slope. At the base of the slope are two pumping stations to remove any water that might get in. Then there's a slight uphill section before you reach the doors to the vault itself, where the seeds are kept at 0.4 degrees Fahrenheit or -18 Celsius.
“The tunnel was never meant to be water tight at the front, because we didn’t think we would need that,” Fowler says. “What happens is, in the summer the permafrost melts, and some water comes in, and when it comes in, it freezes. It doesn’t typically go very far.”
Permafrost is a frozen layer of Earth that's meant to be permanent, but it can be damaged if temperatures rise, or if humans dig into it and create more ways for heat to enter. In this case, the area has been going through a record heatwave, and the construction of the tunnel nine years ago dug into the permafrost and made it more vulnerable. The combination means that near the entrance to the tunnel—where the overlying soil is thinner—meltwater can indeed make its way through. That’s why the designers installed the pumps in the first place.
seed vault tunnel
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault
Global Crop Diversity Trust via Flickr
“If there was a worst case scenario where there was so much water, or the pumping systems failed, that it made its way uphill to the seed vault, then it would encounter minus 18 [degrees celsius] and freeze again. Then there’s another barrier [the ice] for entry into the seed vault,” Fowler says. In other words, any water that floods into the tunnel has to make it 100 meters downhill, then back uphill, then overwhelm the pumping systems, and then manage not to freeze at well-below-freezing temperatures. Otherwise, there's no way liquid is getting into the seed bank—so the seeds are probably safe.
That doesn’t mean that water getting into the tunnel and freezing isn’t alarming. This is Svalbard: land of snow, ice, and polar bears. Meltwater is still worrying, even if it isn’t an immediate panic-inducing threat. That’s why, as The Guardian reports, the Norwegian government (which operates the facility) is taking action.
“There are not a lot of seed vaults in the middle of mountains in Svalbard, so it's really important. They need to study where the water is coming in and the amounts to figure out what the situation is,” Fowler says. The groups that operate the seed vault have been looking into the issue for years now, and it appears that they are moving forward with plans to waterproof the tunnel, preventing ice from building up on the floor, and keeping that seasonal influx of water from getting in.
“At the end of the day we have to realize that in a sense, everything is relative with this initiative,” Fowler says. “This whole planet is warming, and that includes Svalbard.”
Even as temperatures increase, areas near the poles like Svalbard will remain colder than other places on the planet, meaning it will take less energy to cool a seed vault down to the required temperatures.
“I think Svalbard is a good place to start from,” Fowler says, “It’s a better starting point that Memphis or New York or just about anywhere else.”
Still worried? Maybe this will help you exhale: “We did this calculation; if all the ice in the world melted—Greenland, Arctic, Antarctic, everything—and then we had the world's largest recorded tsunami right in front of the seed vault. So, very high sea levels and the worlds largest Tsunami. What would happen to the seed vault?” Fowler says. “We found that the seed vault was somewhere between a five and seven story building above that point. It might not help the road leading up to the seed vault, but the seeds themselves would be ok."