Thursday, December 06, 2007
"You grow up the day you have your first real laugh at yourself." ~ Ethel Barrymore
"I'll not listen to reason. Reason always means what someone else has got to say." ~ Elizabeth Gaskell
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation." ~ Oscar Wilde
"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you – then you win." ~ Mahatma Ghandi
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Sunday, November 04, 2007
(l to r: Original Sonics Rob Lind, Larry Parypa and Jerry Roslie)
Throughout the first night of Cavestomp 2007, total strangers would approach us simply to express some variation of this sentiment: "I can't believe we're here to see The Sonics!"
There was a strong current of "pinch-me-I'm-dreaming" drifting through the ether. For the past 35 years, the band has resisted all overtures to reform... But tonight was the night.
And, holy shit, The Sonics delivered.
The band rehearsed anywhere from six to eight months (depending on what you read) for just these two shows, and the effort truly showed. We at Radio Zero hate hyperbole, but for those who worship at the altar of garage rock gods, this concert was nothing short of witnessing a second coming.
Original members Jerry Roslie, Larry Parypa and Rob Lind were ably augmented by two other Northwest garage rockers -- bassist Don Wilhelm (from The Daily Flash) and drummer Ricky Lynn Johnson (from The Wailers.) Wilhelm told us that original bassist Andy Parypa (Larry's brother), was actually sitting in at a Daily Flash gig back home that very evening, so Wilhelm could play with The Sonics. Oooh, the eerie synchronicity! And original drummer Bob Bennett flew in from Hawaii just so he could be in the audience, though he did not play.
Bennett was not the only one with serious jet lag -- people actually flew in from as far away as England and Japan to witness this event. For those unable to attend, there will be a DVD and live album (the band is recording overdubs tomorrow, in fact.)
And for those unable to wait that long, we shot some footage of the moment that 35-year sound barrier was broken. (As Cavestompers like to say: "It's primitive." But just you try holding a camera still when nearly four decades of pent-up ecstacy finally gets unleashed all around you.)
There are no plans for The Sonics to perform beyond these two Cavestomp shows, but Larry Parypa says future shows would be considered if, among other things, there is enough positive feedback from these performances.
Well, we can't imagine The Sonics aren't feelin' the love right about now.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
"The real story of Jena and the Jena 6 is quite different from what the national media presented. It's time to set the record straight."
From the Christian Science Monitor, this report by Jena Times Assistant Editor Craig Franklin:
"By now, almost everyone in America has heard of Jena, La., because they've all heard the story of the 'Jena 6.' White students hanging nooses barely punished, a schoolyard fight, excessive punishment for the six black attackers, racist local officials, public outrage and protests – the outside media made sure everyone knew the basics.
"There's just one problem: The media got most of the basics wrong. In fact, I have never before witnessed such a disgrace in professional journalism. Myths replaced facts, and journalists abdicated their solemn duty to investigate every claim because they were seduced by a powerfully appealing but false narrative of racial injustice."
In light of recent research on the difficulty of countering false information in the news media, it should be interesting to see how this develops.
Conventional response to myths and urban legends is to counter bad information with accurate information. But the new psychological studies show that denials and clarifications, for all their intuitive appeal, can paradoxically contribute to the resiliency of popular myths.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
The Role of Faith in the 2008 Election Campaigns
Monday, October 15, 2007
To paraphrase something George Carlin once said: Somewhere on the planet is the world's worst doctor... And someone has an appointment with him tomorrow.
Carlin's observation came to mind when we read the following, from the London Times:
"Some Muslim medical students are refusing to attend lectures or answer exam questions on alcohol-related or sexually transmitted diseases because they claim it offends their religious beliefs. Some trainee doctors say learning to treat the diseases conflicts with their faith, which states that Muslims should not drink alcohol and rejects sexual promiscuity. A small number of Muslim medical students have even refused to treat patients of the opposite sex. One male student was prepared to fail his final exams rather than carry out a basic examination of a female patient."
The (London) Times' Daniel Foggo and Abul Taher report
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Celebrity Culture and the Campaign
Early this summer, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign for president learned that the men’s magazine GQ was working on a story the campaign was sure to hate: an account of infighting in Hillaryland.
So Clinton’s aides pulled a page from the book of Hollywood publicists and offered GQ a stark choice: Kill the piece, or lose access to planned celebrity coverboy Bill Clinton. Despite internal protests, GQ editor Jim Nelson met the Clinton campaign’s demands.
The spiked GQ story shows how the Clinton campaign has been able to use its access to the most important commodity in media — celebrity, and in fact two bona fide celebrities — to shape not just what gets written about the candidate, but also what doesn’t.
There’s nothing unusual about providing extra access to reporters seen as sympathetic, and cutting off those seen as hostile to a campaign. But a retreat of the sort GQ is alleged to have made is unusual, particularly as part of what sources described as a barely veiled transaction of editorial leverage for access.
Politco's Ben Smith reports
Monday, September 24, 2007
Monday, September 17, 2007
The Sonics were one of, if not the great architects of the raw rock and roll that went on to be known variously as Garage, Punk and Grunge. In their heyday of 1964-66, The Sonics were cranking out some of the fiercest gutbuckets of sound ever waxed, with a power that holds up remarkably well to this day.
Just think about what was on the radio then…. Lovable mop-tops, harmonizing surfer boys, cuddly girl groups… Hell, think about what's on the radio today... and know why the world needs The Sonics reunion... Now more than ever!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
"Surveys have long shown that religious believers in the United States are happier, healthier, longer-lived, and more generous to charity and to each other than are secular people." Read "Moral Psychology and the Misunderstanding of Religion" By Jonathan Haidt
Harris on Haidt
"...Religion remains the only mode of discourse that encourages grown men and women to pretend to know things they manifestly do not (and cannot) know." Sam Harris and others respond in "The Reality Club" at Edge.org
Islamist Orders Hit on Cartoonist and Editor
The head of an al Qaeda-led group in Iraq has offered a $100,000 reward for the killing of a Swedish cartoonist for his drawing of Islam's Prophet Mohammad and threatened to attack major Swedish companies. Reuters' Diala Saadeh reports
Woman Sues Judge Over Language Restrictions
The accuser in a sexual assault case is suing a judge because he barred the word "rape," "victim" and "assailant" and other words from the trial. Read the AP report at Law.com
Ridiculously Rich Guy Buys Respect
Since 2002, Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz, has used his considerable financial clout as one of the richest men in the world to garner apologies and damages through the UK courts. Recently, his attention has been turned to respected academic publisher Cambridge University Press, over the book "Alms for Jihad."
The book's authors firmly deny bin Mahfouz’s claims that their book links him, financially and through family, to Osama bin Laden. However, CUP recent issued an outright apology, declared that it would pulp all unsold copies of the book in the UK, and requested that library copies be returned to meet the same fate. Such is the fear of bin Mahfouz that even US-based Amazon is not selling "Alms for Jihad," instead, somewhat disingenuously, offering a 557-word review for the knock-down price of $9.95. Read more in the Index On Censorship
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Tip #42: If You Can't Keep Your Protesters On Ice, at Least Strive for a Chilling Effect
Dahlia Lithwick looks at the "Presidential Advance Manual" in Slate
Monday, August 27, 2007
Last week, after an investigation spurred by the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, the Pentagon abruptly announced that it would not be delivering "freedom packages" to our soldiers in Iraq, as it had originally intended.
What were the packages to contain? Not body armor or home-baked cookies. Rather, they held Bibles, proselytizing material in English and Arabic and the apocalyptic computer game "Left Behind: Eternal Forces" (derived from the series of post-Rapture novels), in which "soldiers for Christ" hunt down enemies who look suspiciously like U.N. peacekeepers.
The packages were put together by a fundamentalist Christian ministry called Operation Straight Up.
From the Los Angeles Times article by Michael L. Weinstein and Reza Aslan
Americans call them "soccer balls." The rest of the world calls them "footballs." Except in Afghanistan, where they are called "blasphemous." That is, when the balls in question are adorned with the Saudi flag -- which features a verse of the Koran.
BBC's Alastair Leithead reports
In other news, Afghanistan is trying to decide what to do with the other giant Buddhas they didn't destroy.
BBC's Charles Haviland reports
Thursday, August 23, 2007
"Any deed that any human being has ever committed, however horrible, is possible for any of us—under the right circumstances."
The infamous "Stanford Prison Experiment" was aborted in less than a week due to its character-imploding power. Along with Stanley Milgram's studies of obedience to authority—the "shock experiments"— the investigation is considered one of the most important pieces of research demonstrating a core tenet of social psychology: external situations can lead us to behave in ways that we would not, could not, predict.
American Scientist Online features details in Robert Levine's review of "The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil," by Philip Zimbardo
Also, Discover Magazine Online has this excerpt
Friday, August 17, 2007
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Digging through the attic recently, we unearthed a memento of a fun little memory from just over five years ago. The occasion was the live premiere broadcast of Little Steven’s Underground Garage, a nationally syndicated radio show that continues to be one of the most wildly successful in recent history.
Little Steven took over New York City’s Hard Rock Café to throw a huge party for the launch, and Garage Rock legends were everywhere – We even shared burgers with Lenny Kaye and drinks with Richard and the Young Lions.
The event was just as much a celebration of New Jersey Guys Made Good, with virtually every celebrity from The State Next Door in attendance. That included co-stars from one of Little Steven’s other gigs, The Sopranos, who may not have been real Jerseyites but played them on TV.
Loud music, go-go dancers and swirling day-glo lights kept the surroundings psychedelicized. But it was genuinely surreal to weave around people on the dance floor doing the Frug and the Swim, then bump into TV Mafiosi.
In the V.I.P. Room, Jon Bon Jovi surrounded himself with a phalanx of what looked like genuine Mafiosi. Some people could occassionally be seen penetrating the barrier, however, creating the curious effect of a "V.I.P.-Room-Within-A-V.I.P.-Room." It was at one of the food tables in the remaining V.I.Plebe Zone where a woman named Pamela Vandenberg told us about some her recent projects, including a gig modelling as "Sindy" for Altoids cinnamon mints.
Have a look at this clip featuring Pamela as Sindy – which is way up there on our list of the best ads ever filmed.
This other clip is pretty good, too.
The Sindy campaign was an enormous success (dare we call it "iconic"?), and pushed Altoids way over the top in their effort to be a "hip" brand. But we have to admit that, at first, Pamela's claim to being Sindy seemed a bit dubious.
First of all, she looked more to us like a young Lauren Hutton than the devilish minx in the ads. But more to the point, famous models simply don’t make conversation with people like us. You know, people who use words like "phalanx," and still expect to hold someone's attention.
Yet there was Pamela, happily chatting it up. And any doubts about her true identity were dispelled when Pamela gave us her direct mail piece, a mini-portfolio of sorts, which included her work as Sindy.
A few minutes after we had all moved on to mingle, Pamela returned to give us an Altoids postcard, and autographed it: "You’re too hot! Sindy." It was that very postcard that we found in the attic recently, conjuring up memories of that great big loud insane party at the Underground Garage.
At a number of parties since then, we’ve taken a cue from Pamela and handed out autographed photos of ourselves, using character names like "Magnus," "Gaspard" and "Dr. Finger." They never seem to go over quite as well as "Sindy," though. And we can understand why... Have a look at Pamela Vandenberg’s website, and see for yourself.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Other highlights include Thomas Friedman's take on the enormity of being Green, and Richard Branson discussing his plans for privatized space travel. You can download or view streaming video at the links below... While you're there, take some time to peruse the entire Aspen Ideas Festival 2007 Audio/Video Library.
Thomas Friedman: Green is the New Red, White, and Blue
A Conversation with Richard Branson
In Conversation with Karl Rove
Bill Clinton Discusses His Work Around the World
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
by Jack Handey
Show monkey in a tree. Narrator says, “The monkey, proud and smart, in his native habitat. But one thing he does not have . . .” Show a giraffe. “. . . is a long neck, like the giraffe. Which is why nature has allowed them to combine forces.” Show monkey on giraffe’s neck. (Note: Monkey may have to be tied on.)
Then the narrator says, “The monkey can now see very far, and has protection from predators. And the giraffe has a little friendly guy to ride around on him.”
The monkey is shot by a poacher and falls from giraffe. Put ketchup on monkey to make him look bloody, but put something bad-tasting in the ketchup or monkey will lick it all off. Shoot BB gun at giraffe to make him run off.
Narrator: “The monkey and the giraffe have been separated.”
Continue reading here at Newyorker.com
Friday, June 22, 2007
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Peter played the folk circuit with people who went on to become Janis Joplin, the Quicksilver Messenger Service, the Grateful Dead, and Jefferson Airplane. (In the picture, he's the guy whose teeth are visible.)
By the way, virtually all of the above was lifted verbatim from Peter Kaukonen's site, which has more, so much more, about the man and his music from a live performance broadcast this past December on KRSH-FM. Joining Peter is bassist Michael Lindner (pictured here blissfully unaware), a long time compadre who also played in Black Kangaroo. Peter Kaukonen will also be live in the tattooed flesh on Friday, July 6th at the Warwick Valley Winery in Warwick, New York. Contact them at (845) 258-4858 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more info, or visit their Events Calendar.