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Friday, January 29, 2010

The Weekly Roundup: 1.29.2010

Wild and Urban: Moscow's Strays
This is a fascinating article from the Financial Times about the many stray dogs that populate Moscow. These dogs are as much a part of the city as any Muscovite. Some are smart enough to use the subway system, and statues have been erected in their honor. Additionally, the article looks at the work of Andrei Poyarkov, a biologist and wolf specialist. Apparently, the dogs make up a unique biological niche that affects their behavior and appearance. They look more like wolves, because they are more feral then pet dogs or even strays dogs from other cities. Very interesting.
Moscow’s stray dogs by Susanne Sternthal

A British Take On America's RV Obsession
The BBC sent a British correspondent to Indiana to report on the history and culture of American motorhomes and recreational vehicles. Slightly humorous, but actually somewhat deferential, it offers an outside perspective of this fervent, Americana subculture. Bonus: photos of some extraordinary vintage RVs.
Americans' love affair with motorhomes by Kevin Connolly

Heaven Help the Music Industry
In what I can personally only categorize as an epic fail for justice, anti-trust laws, and the music industry, the Department of Justice has approved the merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster with but a few paltry, ineffective stipulations. Though these two mega-corporations have already been working closely together for years, now their near-monopoly is official and legal. Bloated, domineering, mercenary corporations are one of the main reasons the music industry is floundering. Support independent music businesses! Support your local music scene!
Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger gets Justice Department's approval by Dawn C. Chmielewski, Ben Fritz and Randy Lewis

Preview Free Singles: Gorillaz and Caribou
Both Gorillaz and Caribou have each made a free single available to preview their forthcoming albums. You can stream Stylo featuring Bobby Womack and Mos Def on the Gorillaz's website and Myspace. Stylo is the first single from the Plastic Beach album that will be released March 9th. Even better, Caribou is offering a free download of Odessa on their website, and all you have to do is enter your email address. Odessa is the first single from the album Swim set to release April 20th.
Stream Stylo by Gorillaz
Download Odessa by Caribou

Noise Phenomenon
Oscar Hammerstein is quoted as saying, "All the sounds of the earth are like music." This romantic sentiment takes on particularly fantastic possibilities when we consider some of the strange and unexplainable noises that have been recorded here on earth. There’s an interesting cluster of articles on Wikipedia of odd noise phenomenon, including the hum, bloop, singing sand, slow down, and Schumann resonances. If you lust after noises as much as I do, they make for a must read.
The Hum
Bloop
Singing sand
Slow Down (unidentified sound)
Schumann resonances

Iggy Pop, The Godfather of Punk Rock
I deeply admire Iggy Pop. Even if you're not a fan of The Stooges, it's hard not to respect Iggy's acumen and sheer power as a singer. In 1969, while other bands were so removed from their audience that The Rolling Stones failed to notice their "security personal" stabbing someone during their performance at Altamont, Iggy was diving into the crowd and making music a mutual, physical experience. In 2010 NPR will be highlighting 50 Great Voices, and the first voice they've featured is Iggy Pop's. Brilliant. If after you read this article you're still not impressed, try watching this video of The Stooges performing live in 1970.
Iggy Pop: The Voice As Weapon by Robert Smith
TV Eye - The Stooges (live, 1970)

J.D. Salinger
The reclusive author, J.D. Salinger, died Wednesday at the age of 91. Ever since I first read Catcher In The Rye my sophomore year of high school, he has been one of my all time favorite authors. When I moved to Chicago and California I only had space to bring a couple of books, but I knew I had to bring Nine Stories and Franny & Zooey. His books have had a permanent and lasting impact on my life. Thank you, Mr. Salinger.
J. D. Salinger, Literary Recluse, Dies at 91 by Charles McGrath


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