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Friday, January 22, 2010

The Weekly Roundup: 1.22.2010

Lawless But Loved
I’m such a sucker for an underdog, a rebel. It’s hard for me to not overly romanticize characters like Robin Hood, Billy the Kid, Clyde Barrow, and Che Guevara, despite their violent and dangerous natures. Now I’ve got a new larger-than-life person to add to that list: Colton Harris-Moore. Colton is a teenage bandit from an island off the coast of Washington, who has been on the lam for almost two years now. Allegedly, he has stolen planes, and successfully operated them with no training. This week NPR covered not just the bandit, but also his growing popularity as a cultural icon. Apparently, I’m not the only one enamored with this outlaw. With songs written about him, t-shirts featuring his face, and fan clubs of teen girls, Colton is well on his way to being a larger-than-life legend, and a post-modern part of the American folk tradition.
At Large: Teen Bandit. Even Larger: His Legend. by Vanessa Romo

All Songs Considered Responses
Some big and little questions have been posed on the All Songs Considered blog recently, and I am compelled to respond.
Q: Your Life In An Album Title by Robin Hilton
A: My initial reactionary answer to this was The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, the third album by Brand New, but that was swiftly followed by dismay. It just sounded so dramatic and pretentious. Now, all week I’ve been trying to think of a better answer, but I can’t. The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is my life in an album title. What's yours?
Q: Is It Too Easy To Make Music? by Will Butler
A: When we restrict the abilities and means to make culture we end up with cultural elitism and censorship, which can be utilized by dominant classes to control the sociocultural milieu of a society, and consequently the beliefs and behaviors of the people. However, music recording software and the internet have allowed for a massive proliferation of music that seems to be made with little care, effort, or appreciation. Something I’ve really internalized recently is that things you really have to work for often mean more to you. Maybe analog methods of recording mean more than digital methods, because they are more difficult. Maybe I’ve descended to a new level of music snobbery.

Temples In The Sky
The BBC has a spectacular audio slideshow available on the Jain religion. The photos are breathtaking, and the narration offers an explanatory glimpse in to the Jain Temples. At less than four minutes long, it is more than worth your time to check it out. Personally, Jainism has appealed to me for its emphasis on nonviolence, and its pantheistic overtones.
Audio slideshow: Temples in the sky by Sanjoy Majumder, Bhasker Solanki and Paul Kerley

Ladies Rock Camp
Girls Rock Philly is a developing nonprofit in Philadelphia that seeks to empower women with the power of rock. They host camps and workshops to help women come together and make music, and to teach girls to rock. Their next event is a Ladies Rock Camp the weekend of Valentine’s. Long live, RIOT GRRRLS!!!

Urban Nature 2009
Naoko Ito makes art that really quantifies my perception of Japan. Traditional Japanese culture is so rooted in nature and simplicity, yet modern Japanese culture is about gadgets, plastic, and lights. Somehow both seem to exist harmoniously and simultaneously in present day Japan. It’s not too uncommon for a hundred year old Shinto temple can be on the same street as an arcade, and both seem to be equally popular. Ito’s pieces interpret this fascinating dichotomy.

Untitled (2009)

First Listen: Teen Dream
NPR Music offers some mad sweetness with their Exclusive First Listen series that offers free streams of entire albums during the week before the release date. Right now they are streaming the new album from Beach House, Teen Dream, in its entirety for free. No lie. It's a quality listen, and I especially like the last track, Take Care. Listen now, because on January 26th when the album releases it will no longer be available. *For more of my ramblings on Beach House please refer to Tuesday Is For Tunes: Beach House.
First Listen: Beach House, 'Teen Dream' by Michael Katzif

Crazy Vegan Folk Cake
Recipes, like folk stories, are often handed down orally. They better, easier, and crazier they more staying power they have. The LA Times featured the history and recipe of a cake this week called crazy cake. There are hundreds of variations of this cake that all seem to come from an original recipe, possibly dating from at least to WWII. The recipe is unusual, but the basic version is vegan. I haven't had a chance to make it yet, but it looks mouthwatering. I'm all kinds of excited for this cake.
Mad for crazy cake by Emily Dwass
Recipe: Poppy seed crazy cake


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