Yearly Archives: 2008

Mirroring Minds

In researching technological mediation (which many of you know has been my most intense intellectual jones over the past few years), I started looking internally a year and a half or so ago. Internally meaning cognitively, thinking that quite a lot of the process I’m trying to figure out is going on inside our heads. I first read about mirror neurons when David Byrne and Daniel Levitin were in Seed Magazine‘s “The Seed Salon,” and I immediately knew I’d stumbled across something I couldn’t ignore. (more…)

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Maker Faire, 2008: Austin, Texas

Wow, where does one start? The makers of the world convened in Austin, Texas one weekend in October to make, build, rebuild, battle, and exchange their stuff and their ideas. I even had visitors from two other states join in the fun. Perhaps the best way to approach a summary of Maker Faire’s controlled chaos, of this menagerie of goods and good-doers, of this DIY carnival, of the impossible to sum up is a list with occasional pictures… (more…)

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Radio Silence: The Salad Days of American Hardcore

In the early eighties, American hardcore brought extra speed and confrontation to the DIY punk-rock game. Radio Silence: A Selected Visual History of American Hardcore Music (MTV Press) documents a big chunk of the beginnings of this genre and its culture. Authors Nathan Nedorostek and Anthony Pappalardo opened up their archives of letters, original artwork, records, tapes, fliers, t-shirts, zines, and photographs — all the the sacred ephemera of the movement. (more…)

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Sonic Youth: Goodbye 20th Century

No band has been more consistent while simultaneously being more experimental than Sonic Youth. Ever. When it comes to making great records while still pushing the limits of themselves and their listeners, Sonic Youth are the reigning ensemble. I doubt that anyone in the know — fan or foe — would contest that. In Goodbye 20th Century (Da Capo), their first authorized biography, David Browne wades through waves of feedback and gets behind the amps of the nearly three decades of noise from this veritable institution of American music. (more…)

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Tom Waits: By Demons Be Driven

Somewhere in a dark corner of rock and roll’s junkyard, there’s a carnival going on. An old white blues man is noisily trying to shake off his demons. His once-shiny suit is dusty from the melee, and the twisted metal of his soul is on display. As a crowd gathers in the night, the carnie growls in delight. That ol’ devil’s got ‘im in fevers and fits, howling his gospel to any and all who’ll listen. (more…)

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Music for Magazines: This is Not a Record Review

I wouldn’t even bother writing about Coldplay’s latest record, but as the water of the music industry recedes, Viva la Vida has landed as a big fish in a little pond. Dave Allen exerted quite a bit of effort vilifying the record over at Pampelmoose, and while I don’t disagree with all of his points, I think his keyboard’s venom is at least partially misplaced. This is not a record review. (more…)

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