Archive for July 2010

1st world problems getting you down?

2010/07/30

Is your allowance not high enough?

The car your parents bought you not quite flashy enough?

The clothes you were given for a new school term just not trendy enough?

You were asked to take out the garbage TWICE in order to get the new iphone?

Wow, sounds like you need a holiday!

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All Over but the Reading

2010/07/27

The Replacements: All Over but the Shouting by Jim Walsh. 2007. Voyageur Press. $14.99 US $ 8.99 UK $18.99 CAN.

This book is a great oral history account of the Replacements’ “career.”

Comprised mostly of recent interviews conducted by the author, the narrative also includes old quotes from band members and material straight out of the archives of newspapers, magazines and fanzines. And of course the odd comment from the likes of Bob Dylan and Greil Marcus.

The book gives a lot of insight into the Minneapolis music scene and the wider American underground milieu of the 1980s, from the people who were actually there.
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the 27 Club ain’t no picnic

2010/07/27

So like I was saying before, not every musician that died at age 27 went out with a glamorous bang.

Mia Zapata was murdered.

and D. Boon was killed in an automobile accident.

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And now it’s time for some light reading on the Vietnam War

2010/07/16

As every dorky history student knows, justification for the escalation of American involvement in Vietnam was largely based on the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. As every dorky history student probably also knows, there is a really good chance that the whole incident was made up.  Or at the very least the wrong information was getting filtered to LBJ.

This week, 1175 pages of previously classified transcripts from 1967+1968 were released. The documents show senators from the Foreign Relations Committee questioning if the wool had been pulled over their eyes in the Gulf of Tonkin on 4 August 1964. (more…)

Come on, let’s twist again

2010/07/16

Another twist in the tale of  Shahram Amiri, the Iranian scientist who has claimed that the CIA kidnapped and tortured him while on a pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia. Turning up earlier this month when he walked into the Pakistani Embassy in Washington, D.C., Amiri is now “safely” back in his home country. Iranian authorities must now decide whether he is a spy or a hero. To counter allegations that the CIA offered Amiri money in exchange for top secret Iranian documents, American sources have responded by claiming he had been funneling them information even before his “kidnapping.”

Even Chubby Checker would be impressed by all the twists.

U.S. Says Scientist Aided C.I.A. While Still in Iran

By DAVID E. SANGER and MARK MAZZETTI
Published: July 16, 2010

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Joining the 27 Club isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be

2010/07/13

A lot of American musical heroes have died at the age of 27. Janis Joplin. Jimi Hendrix. Jim Morrison. Kurt Cobain. Heck, Brian Jones was from England but you can count him too. Superstars dying while still in their prime has become the climatic symbol of rock-star excess and glamor – the ultimate and almost necessary outcome for those who believe it’s better to burn out then to rust.

But there have been other American musicians that have died at age 27. While their deaths have still been incredibly tragic and often taken place under mysterious circumstances, their stories have lacked the excess and glamor of  “the Big-Five.”

Mia Zapata is perhaps the best example.

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JUDAS! News in brief from the Onion:

2010/07/13

Rock Fans Outraged As Bob Dylan Goes Electronica

July 12, 2010 | ISSUE 46•28

NEWPORT, RI—Audience members at the Newport Rock Festival were “outraged” Monday when rock icon Bob Dylan followed up such classic hits as “Like A Rolling Stone” and “Maggie’s Farm” with an electronica set composed of atonal drones, hyperactive drumbeats, and the repeated mechanized lyric “Dance to the club life!” “We came here to see the authentic Dylan, the one with the Stratocaster guitar and signature wild blues-rock band behind him,” audience member Robert Hochschild said. “Then he walks out with these puffy headphones, some turntables, and a laptop? The guy’s a Judas.” When asked later about his musical transformation by reporters, Dylan said he had nothing to say about the beats he programs, he just programs them.