The Weekly Roundup: 2.12.2010

Gorilla Manor In Its Entirety
Once again NPR is providing shear awesomeness free of charge with their Exclusive First Listen series. At least until its release date, February 16th, Gorilla Manor the new album by Local Natives is available to stream in its entirety thanks to NPR. I highly recommend taking a listen before they take it down next Tuesday. As I mentioned previously in the post Tuesday Is For Tunes: Local Natives, I expect Local Natives will be considered one of the breakout bands of 2010.
Exclusive First Listen: Local Natives by Bob Boilen

Prison Photography
This is a truly captivating blog I came across this week. Prison Photography features the writing and photos of photographers who have documented prisons, other sites of incarceration, and instances of state-sanctioned human rights violations. While the images and stories are compelling, one of the main objectives of the blog is to raise awareness about the need for prison reform, a social justice issue that has been of interest to me for a very long time. Be prepared. Some of the material on this blog is graphic and disturbing, because it is covering issues and events that you should find upsetting. Be aware.

The Morning Benders
I just discovered The Morning Benders through a video they had featured on Pitchfork, and they couldn't have made me happier. I'm about to dabble in some shamefully unprofessional music journalism here, so bear with me. I am in love with frontman, Chris Chu. He has the voice of Apollo with talent, style, and brains to match. He uses the word “reconcile” just like me, and he’s from San Francisco. My desire to make super hip, Asian American babies with him is pretty obscene. All that silliness aside, The Morning Benders have made some really great music that you should probably check out. Promises, the first single off of their new album, Big Echo, set to release March 9th is available as a free download when you sign up for their mailing list. But first, watch this video. Inspired by Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound recording method, Chu gathered a bunch of friends and musicians to record Excuses. The result has enamored me forever.
Download Promises by The Morning Benders

The Frisbee In Pictures
The man who invented the frisbee died this week, but his legacy lives on in this simple, plastic toy and piece of sporting equipment. To commemorate the lasting effects of his invention, the BBC posted a series of photos depicting the history of the frisbee, originally called the Whirlo-Way. It's all kinds of enjoyable.
In pictures: Years of fun from Frisbee creator Morrison

Vigilante Bike Messengers
Though I've been terrified of bicycles ever since I was hit by a truck while riding one as a kid, this should interest many of my friends. Apparently, Los Angeles has experienced a significant rise in bike thefts just in the last year. While the LAPD has been doing their best to control the problem, and even broke up a major theft ring, some local bike messengers decided to take matter into their own hands. They corned some suspected thieves, stripped them to their boxers, and took their belongings. Is it bad that I find that hilarious and awesome? You can get the full story from the LA Times.
L.A. sees 29% jump in bike thefts, prompting some vigilante justice by Richard Winton

Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, Noises, and Love
A true story of how Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan fell in love while compiling sounds, songs and noises for a golden record that would be launched in to space to serve as the aural compendium of humanity. This almost makes me believe in the value of Valentine's Day.
Carl Sagan And Ann Druyan's Ultimate Mix Tape by Soren Wheeler and Jad Abumrad

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