Posted tagged ‘American culture’

You say you want a revolution: Soundtracks for Change in American Protest Movements

2011/10/14

Recently, Tom Morello gave an interview with Keith Obermann on the Occupy movement that has sprung up in the United States, Canada, and across the Atlantic. The musician behind the Nightwatchman and guitarist for Rage Against the Machine spoke of the importance of music and culture in political change, saying that in America, “every successful, progressive, radical or revolutionary movement this country has ever seen has had a great soundtrack.”

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Happy Birthday to Sub Pop – April Fools to Everyone Else!

2011/04/01

So they did it on April 1st so it could be called a joke if they failed, but really they were serious. Today is the anniversary of the day Sub Pop Records officially opened its office doors, way back in 1988. With a knack for self-deprecation, the independent label also had a talent for combining innovation, timing, and marketability – not only for its bands, but for the label itself.

Sub Pop developed a unique image based around hype that became the straw that broke the camel’s back – that is, if you can call the wall that was blocking underground musicians from having mainstream success in the United States a camel – and thereby caused a major shift in American glamour. Nevermind the make-up and leather outfits, here’s the flannel.

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Dropping the Iron Curtain

2010/12/29

Nowadays, American bands don’t just influence American bands. American bands also influence British bands, Canadian bands, Australian bands, heck, American bands influence at the very least bands all over the world, if not also in places that aren’t even planets, like Pluto. (sorry Pluto)

The same was the case during the Cold War. Despite the USSR’s official rejection of western culture, all things American were slipping through the Iron Curtain. Music was no stranger to this transmission into Eastern Europe and the USSR. Musicians picked up from acts like Iggy Pop and the Stooges, the Velvet Underground, and of course later punk bands like the Talking Heads. I know this to be true because I read about it in a fanzine called Flagpole Magazine, from Athens, Georgia.

BIX

In 1991, a band called BIX came across the Atlantic to perform across the United States. They were from Lithuania, a country that had just declared independence from the Soviet Union. Already veterans of playing throughout Europe, and at a short 1990 US tour including a stop at the New Music Seminar in NYC, BIX was back for their second tour of America.

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Spam might not be real food, but it’s a real American hero

2010/12/26

Don’t tell the terrorists, but America’s secret weapon is none other than SPAM. And it has been since World War II.

the real key to a woman's heart

Kevin Connolly from the BBC provides some Spam trivia:

-The US supplied huge amounts of Spam to the USSR in WWII
-Its original name was Hormel Spiced Ham – the name Spam was chosen in a competition
-Production in the UK (in Liverpool) ceased in 1998
-Hormel Foods sued Jim Henson in 1995, after an “evil” boar called Spa’am featured in a Muppets movie
-Spam email is said to have been named after the Monty Python sketch, where the word takes over the dialogue
-A web archive of haiku about spam (or “spam-ku”) contains 19,000 poems

Kevin Connolly from the BBC also provides this article on Spam, American influence abroad, and a little town called Austin, Minnesota:

“How the US cemented its worldwide influence with Spam”

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My MA thesis explained in 3 youtube videos

2010/11/12

“I think I helped wipe out the 60s”

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Recycling in America

2010/11/07

Why do something new when you can just reuse what’s worked before?


Multiple Choice Exam to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

2010/11/01

Lindsay Sidders Hodgins is from Edmonton and is currently a PhD student at the University of Toronto (but don’t hold that against her). She is also the Rally Correspondent for The Past Is Unwritten, and as such she went trippin’ on down to The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear held this past weekend in Washington, D.C.

I sat down with Lindsay in Internetland to ask her about her experience at the rally. I then took that interview and turned it into a multiple choice exam.  You’ve been to the rally/watched it online. You’ve read about the rally on Fox News/Al Jazeera. Now take the test.

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