A mélange of design, photography, music and life from Madison, Wisconsin

Gridlock’d

Posted: September 18th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Bicycles, Madison, Site of the Week, Sites | Comments Off on Gridlock’d

carfree_day
DO IT! Get out of the cage!

From the World Car Free Network:

World Carfree Day is an annual celebration of cities and public life, free from the noise, stress and pollution of cars. Every September 22, people from around the world get together in the streets and neighbourhoods to celebrate World Carfree Day and to remind the world that we don’t have to accept our car-dominated societies.

World Carfree Day, promoted and supported by the World Carfree Network, is intended to advance the economic, social and environmental benefits of self-propelled or mass transportation. It is meant to promote more sustainable ways of transportation and new ways of building and thinking the urbanism of our cities, allowing streets to be a living space, rather than only a transit space.

With the global economy in freefall, carmakers are facing turbulent times and people around the world are re-evaluating their relationship with the car. So now is the perfect timing to try out the alternatives, spread the carfree word, join or start a World Carfree Day in your area! It is also time to push for a new use of car factories that could be used to build public transportation, providing employment and allowing us to build a better urban environment.

Before the 10th anniversary of World Carfree Day next year, let the 2009 edition be a showcase for how our cities might look like, feel like, and sound like without cars 365 days a year!

From Carbusters:

“Cars are the largest source of pollution and environmental destruction in the world. Almost half of all petroleum is consumed by cars – a major impetus for the looming war in Iraq. Half of the toxic air pollution, a third of the smog and at least a third of all greenhouse gasses are [also] produced by cars.”

Continuing my aggregation, Mark at Planet Bike posted this on their blog:

The Top 10 Facts on Bicycling and Walking in the United States

1) Bicycling and walking make up 10% of all trips made in the U.S., but receive less than 2% of federal transportation funding.

2) Bicyclists and pedestrians account for 13% of traffic fatalities, but receive less than 1% of federal safety funding.

3) 40% of all trips in America are two miles or less, 74% of which are traveled by car.

4) Americans spend, on average, 18% of their annual income for transportation. The average annual operating cost of a bicycle is 3.75% ($308) of an average car ($8,220).

5) A small reduction in driving causes a large drop in traffic. In 2008, the number of vehicle miles traveled dropped 3%, translating to a nearly 30% reduction in peak hour congestion.

6) Transportation sources account for 70% of our nation’s oil consumption and for 30% of total U.S. GHC emissions.

7) Simply increasing bicycling and walking from 10% of trips to 13% could lead to fuel savings of around 3.8 billion gallons a year. This is equivalent to having 19 million more hybrid cars on the road.

8 ) 89% of Americans believe that transportation investments should support the goals of reducing energy use.

9) 71% of Americans report that they would like to bicycle more. 53% favor increasing federal spending on bicycle lanes and paths.

10) For the price of one mile of four-lane urban highway, around $50 million, hundreds of miles of bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure can be built, an investment that could complete an entire network of active transportation facilities for a mid-sized city.

See the original document here

Those points mean anything to you? Time to reboot people! You don’t have to drive to work/grocery/school.

Fugetaboutit! I’m done.


UPDATE Brotha!

Posted: September 9th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Politics, Site of the Week, Sites | Comments Off on UPDATE Brotha!

Amazon–King of the Jungle is struggling with reparations from the previously mentioned George Orwell copyright clusterf*uck.

Letter from Amazon CEO and Kindle Team:

Hello,

This is an apology for the way we previously handled illegally sold copies of 1984 and other novels on Kindle. Our “solution” to the problem was stupid, thoughtless, and painfully out of line with our principles. It is wholly self-inflicted, and we deserve the criticism we’ve received.

We will use the scar tissue from this painful mistake to help make better decisions going forward, ones that match our mission.

With deep apology to our customers,
Jeff Bezos
Founder & CEO
Amazon.com

As you were one of the customers impacted by the removal of 1984 from your Kindle device in July of this year, we would like to offer you the option to have us re-deliver this book to your Kindle along with any annotations you made. You will not be charged for the book. If you do not wish to have us re-deliver the book to your Kindle, you can instead choose to receive an Amazon.com electronic gift certificate or check for $30.

Sincerely,
The Kindle Team

Kinda slow putting on the band-aid huh Amazon? Six weeks?!? Hope you weren’t making annotations for a class in that time gap! AW SHIT!


Collect This!

Posted: September 2nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Music, Site of the Week, Sites | Tags: | Comments Off on Collect This!

Hmmmm? I’ve always had a bucketload of H8 for record collectors. Maybe collectors period… why have a home museum full of vintage guitars or books or art if nobody gets to see/use them. Records are meant to be listened to. I always loved hanging out with Grant Hart. He had the largest 7″ collection I’ve ever seen and he played the hell out of those sides. No kid gloves here, let the rhythm run!

Spot writes on The New Vulgate (my bold btw)

Thoughts on Record Collecting

Rare, valuable and highly collectible vinyl items (and assorted paraphernalia) from the “collection” were sold on eBay in a series of auctions starting in late October 2002. I’ve never been a record collector and have never really cared about it. Most folks are wrongly convinced otherwise. But whatever the case is, anything that I may have had is now gone. It had become a usual thing to get calls and emails from people seeking certain heady punk rock vinyl items from “that period.” No, I either never had them, or if I did have them, they’re gone now. I made the damn records and that’s all I cared about and, naturally, I ended up with a lot of test pressings, etc. That was par for the course but touché! You had your chance to own some of them but it’s too late now.

Y’see, at this point in my life any pleasure I could have derived from owning such a collection was marginal at best. I didn’t listen to ’em, didn’t show ’em off, they were stuck away in boxes that just gathered dust. Hell, I COULDN’T listen to ’em! Haven’t owned a turntable since about 1972! The pleasure was THEN in the NOW of recording the music and creating the product. There has never been glory in drooling over artifacts from the past.

And punk rock? Shit! At best it’s some latter day version of a Pet Rock? And the Beach Boys had a Pet Rock long before Iggy did! Don’t forget that some digital kid is now playing Dennis the Menace to Brian’s Mr. Wilson. Ha! And maybe it’s what inspired Beck in the first place… Anyway, record collections just lead us farther from the truth.

Why?

Well, Virginia, the major failing of history is the fact that it is a reconstruction at best. The blues wasn’t played by a buncha “deep and meaningful” men as some joker at a party tried to convince me one night. He was decrying the fact that contemporary country-blues picker Steve James had the audacity to inject a fair amount of humor into his performances. This, he felt, was an affront to dem bluesmen who back in the day sang about dat big leg woman. But hmmmm… it seems to me that dem ol’ bluesmen were as likely to be pretty hen-pecked jokers as they were to be macho bohunks. Think about it. Songs are what you make up to chronicle as well as to escape reality. And dat big leg woman was likely to use dat leg to kick dem men in de balls if dey gets uppity. I can hear the Minnesota Lutherans quietly nodding, “yes, yes.”

It’s the same with record collecting and music criticism. There are only so many archives and archivable objects to go around. Beyond these are reissues and bootlegs; poetically, they become archivable themselves. Beyond these are unauthorized copies; at best, they become archivable to educated listeners caught up in the act of listening. Beyond these, however, are the rudimentary copies made by the great unwashed and uneducated who simply want something to conveniently listen to; nothing archivable here. Yet beyond these, in an ultimate declaration of use, is the free/soft/music-ware files that eliminate the need to “search and copy”; archivable? — therein lies the rub.

To wit: Jason Enright, the owner of Jupiter Records* (yes, Records!) in Austin, TX, one evening passed along a realization about the CDs he sells. In a nutshell, the actual music disc as well as the plastic case in which it is packaged are made of the same basic material, via the same basic chemical process, and they both cost exactly the same amount of money per unit. Are we talking about values here? Are we remembering that vinyl records were made from a material that underwent a process that was unique to the product thus manufactured? And perhaps one can argue the same about the jackets in which they were packaged? For historical reasons, yes, we can pursue that argument. For practical reasons, however — no, we’re letting that discussion lie. This is not, after all, a “vinyl vs CD” diatribe.

BUT!

If we thought the record collector/music critic mentality was bad now… wait til all the downloadable musicware and its potential archives gives rise to the “new critic” — an old, wrinkly, tattooed geek with sagging pierce-holes whose knowledge is so tedious, so detailed, so mind-numbingly reprehensible… we’ll WANT to hear the worst of Eric Clapton and George Harrison if only for the relief of knowing that no one has to tell us how bad it is. And how many more Misfits outtakes will it take to keep granny awake? So consider — those deep musicware (holy shit!) archives may actually come to be the best friend of the concept of Copyright as Law. Those archives will have to be considered property since the collector/critic bases his knowledge, thereby his worth, on the rarity of the information/object he possesses. In this case, ironically, he will have acquired that information/object for free and at no risk to either his life or livelihood. Hence, once again the immutable rise of a system of values that must be regulated not by the possessor of the information/object but by the origin of its creation.

Although….. since most music creators of any worth never sell shit til after they’re dead, what the hell does any of this matter? The only difference is that nowadays the graves can be robbed before the artist is in them.


Ulysses

Posted: August 5th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Music, Site of the Week, Sites | Tags: | Comments Off on Ulysses

minutemen
Feeling all Minutemen this morning!

25th Anniversary of Double Nickles on the Dime

From LA Record, EXCELLENT August 3rd interview with Mike Watt:

Is Double Nickels your Ulysses?
I try to be black-and-white about what Minutemen were trying to do with political songs. ‘Organizing the Boy Scouts for murder is wrong!’ It wasn’t supposed to be satire. We’re an anti-war band! A working people band! Kind of a weird-kind-of-people band! Dudes who didn’t fit in so much. To us, the message of our band and a little bit of punk, too-start your own band! Say what’s on your mind! Sometimes it was scary-there were skinhead bands and shit who were terribly enthusiastic in their message. But that’s the way the scene was. No rules. People went for it. I talk about Minutemen in two songs on that album-the one I actually mailed to Michael Jackson and ‘Politics of Time.’ I didn’t really sing about the band in ‘History Lesson’-because it was Hurley, too. On Punchline, the song ‘History Lesson’ is very hard-hitting. The story of most human civilization is killing each other. And I thought maybe there might be a part two-we don’t have to kill each other? So I’m gonna take it relaxed-talk about heroes like Richard Hell, Joe Strummer, John Doe. Those are my three songs that ain’t about Ulysses. About the band and my friend. Georgie’s? I don’t know what his are about-a working guy writing them at work. Boon-his tunes are usually about his beliefs. The outside writers-we never asked ‘em. It wasn’t important to us. It might have been like censorship. Just 100% used their words. And some of them were pretty cryptic. Like Dirk’s ‘The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts.’ And Jack Brewer’s cousin Joe-we didn’t even know the guy!-writes a weird one-‘Please Don’t Be Gentle With Me.’ I don’t know what the fuck-that’s a love song?

How do you feel when you listen to Double Nickels now?
I didn’t listen for a long time. I listened around We Jam Econo. It was amazing! George said the same thing-‘How could I play that shit?’

Shit from an Old Notebook

And an old interview here from the band when they were touring in support of Double Nickles. Love this!

Watt: Oh, we average about 400 bucks per show… average… some shows more, some only 80. We made money on the tour though.

DBoon: We’re just thrifty. Ten bucks a day….

Watt: Ten bucks a day… some dude’s moochin’ (laughs).

We Jam Econo is right! Speaking of Econo, from the LA Record Watt interview:

Where can you hear Boon the most on Nickels?
Maybe ‘Anxious Mofo’-that solo he does! Hardly any notes! It’s just great.

Makes me think of this Charles Mingus Quote: “Anyone can make the simple complicated, creativity is making the complicated simple.”


“What do you know about Grace Jones?”

Posted: July 28th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Music, Site of the Week, Sites | Comments Off on “What do you know about Grace Jones?”

These words were spoken to me by a young gay guy at my last DJ gig while spinning Nipple to the Bottle

I wonder why this guy thought gays were the only ones whom understood Grace? I’ve been a fan since I first heard Warm Leatherette.

Here is what she says about gender:

MEN ARE TERRIFIED OF ME. I CAN EASILY STEP INTO THE MANS SHOES -THAT’S WHAT SETS OFF THE TENSION. IT PUTS THE MAN IN A POSITION WHERE HE HAS TO BECOME THE FEMALE. BUT MY IMAGE IS SUPPOSED TO FRIGHTEN MEN, SO ONLY THE GOOD ONES COME THROUGH.

and

PEOPLE HAVE OFTEN MISTAKEN ME FOR A MAN. BUT I AM ALL WOMAN TO ME! BUT WHAT’S A WOMAN SUPPOSED TO FEEL LIKE? I LIKE HARD THINGS. I LIKE SOFT THINGS. I GO FEMININE, I GO MASCULINE. I CHANGE ROLES IN LIFE. I AM BOTH.

Grace Jones Picture

The World of Grace Jones is a beautifuly designed site that keeps you clicking to get more

I LOVE THIS:

I’VE ALWAYS BEEN A REBEL. I NEVER DO THINGS THE WAY THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE DONE. EITHER I GO IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION OR I CREATE A NEW DIRECTION FOR MYSELF, REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE RULES ARE OR WHAT SOCIETY SAYS.

And going back to my gay friend. Maybe Grace sums it up best here:

I THINK IT’S OUR NATURE TO BE MAN AND WOMAN ALL IN ONE. TO GIVE AND TO RECEIVE. I THINK THAT ALL MEN NEED TO BE PENETRATED AT LEAST ONCE IN THEIR LIFETIME, TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS LIKE TO RECEIVE. IT’S MY OWN THEORY, WHICH I THINK COULD HELP TAKE SOME OF THE AGGRESSION OUT OF THE WORLD.

At 61 Grace just performed in L.A. She’s still got it going on! “Best legs in the business” (I thought that was Tina Turner’s claim)

New (2008) album HURRICANE that may still not have seen the shelves at record stores…Some nice remixes at her MyAssFace site.

AWWW shit!  Just found a bad-assed Sly and Robbie remix of Pivate Life RRRRRrrrrr!


Yeah I’m “Sleuthing!”

Posted: July 22nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Photography, Site of the Week, Sites | Comments Off on Yeah I’m “Sleuthing!”

The Library of Congress now has a Flickr site.

Super fun perusing there!

Check this one out:
UNCLE SAM’S SECRET SERVICE SEEMS TO HAVE A POWERFUL ATTRACTION FOR YOUNG MEN
More than seven hundred applicants are on the waiting list for employment as “sleuths,” though the pay is not high


New-York tribune. (New York [N.Y.]) 1866-1924
December 20, 1908, Image 15
Notes: Cover, illustrated supplement.
Format: Newspaper page, from microfilm
Rights Info: No known restrictions on reproduction.
Repository: Library of Congress, Serial and Government Publications Division, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA.
Part Of: Chronicling America (Library of Congress) (DLC) – lccn.loc.gov/2007618519
More information about the Chronicling America Web site is available at chroniclingamerica.loc.gov

I think it is awesome that institutions, particularly government units that specialize in archiving, are using the “cloud” to share their work.

Here is a detail crop:
ss

Campaign? I wonder if it’s an assassination plot?


How2

Posted: July 16th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Site of the Week, Sites | Comments Off on How2

Had a super great discussion last night on the future of archive. All started with the death of Polaroid, which led to shoeboxes full of photos and 8mm movie reels. Where will your photos (hard drive) be in 5 years, 10 years, 50 years? Does Flickr really care about my precious family pictures? What is the future of YouTube?  People blog and share minutia on FaceBook ’til the cows come home, but is the internet a reliable document? No–DUH! All conjecture of course, but something to ponder for sure. I love archive.org and see now that they have absorbed the WaybackMachine which is super fun(and kinda scary).

All being said, I love all the “how to” stuff that one can now reference online:

How to Kiss

Be a good boyfriend (#1 put the toilet seat down- check!)

Grill an Amazing Vegan Meal

Mmmmm seitan!


This just in!

Posted: June 23rd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Art, Bicycles, dogs, Madison, Music, newlow, Site of the Week, Sites, Sports | Comments Off on This just in!

Crazy day! Drunk golf carting on highway, Gimmie my hotdog!, Power outages, fire alarms, life threatening heat, puppy stabbings! Crazy day I tell ya!

and then this:

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
If you’re going to keep looking over your shoulder, make sure you’re also looking ahead.

Thanks Eric!

This dude is focused down the road

Speaking of focusing on the road, I love this Ride Journal out of England. Great articles and photography. You can download the first issue in pdf format for free. How’s this for a lead?

My bike is a vehicle. It transports me both mentally and physically. It acts as a social lubricant, a reason to go places and meet people. It is the totem of my tribe, the common denominator in the web of relationships and friendships of which I am a part.

ridejournal

An excellent critique on CriticalMass and the 2009 solution:

There is a more effective way to move steadily towards a culture that can be enjoyed by everyone. It’s something I call, somewhat revolutionarily, ‘riding your bike’. A normal bike. Wearing normal clothes. Just like the way that hundreds of thousands of people in Europe – from Ferrara, Italy in the south to Trondheim, Norway in the north – do. Will it work? Indeed it will.

This is a “Joe Everyman” bike journal. Everything from tech to race to relationship advice to ‘how to commute’ articles. Great art and photography too.

See Flickr’s Velocouture Pool for Joe Everyperson in action.

BTW, Phoenix’ Lisztomania-classixx is the song of the Summer of 09


Steal this graphic!

Posted: June 9th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Music, newlow, Site of the Week, Sites | Comments Off on Steal this graphic!

sinkorswim

The amazing HipHop pioneer Steinski (Steve Stein) aimed me to this alarming Electronic Freedom Foundation post:

Taking Copyright Education Seriously

Recently, the Copyright Alliance Education Foundation (CAEF) unveiled its plans to disseminate a school curriculum titled “Think First, Copy Later” as well as other intimidating educational materials produced by the MPAA, RIAA, Business Software Alliance, and other content holders to frighten students into believing that making copies is wrong.

The debates over copyright and technology – whether they take place in classrooms, pressrooms or courtrooms – should be based on facts, not fear. Support EFF’s tireless efforts to educate the public – including smart, creative, and inquisitive young people – about the purpose and limits of copyright law.

Teachingcopyright.org

DONATE!


BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

Posted: June 5th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Site of the Week, Sites | Comments Off on BWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!

PUNKmatch
pm
Punk singles can find love today at Punk match free punk personals.

Nice looking bunch right?
pm
HEY! I know that dude with the cross on his face!