Monday, February 28, 2011

Ahmed Abdul-Malik - La Ibkey

a find for all you enthusiasts of 78rpm recordings of world music

and my man at Excavated Shellac makes them available for free download!:

It’s been my philosophy that good music is best when it is shared. Of course, nothing beats that feeling, say, when you alone break open that box from Turkey or Indonesia, place the fragile platter on the turntable, only to feel your hair stand on end when the music begins. The feeling that you’ve never heard anything like this before in your life; it transports you to a place where words are irrelevant. But part of that feeling is thinking how you’d want to share that with others, to have them feel exactly the same way. This music – old music – never sounds “old” to me, personally. In fact, I believe that it is music of THE FUTURE. Our future.

Record collectors are eccentric people. I don’t even like the term “record collector.” They’ve been parodied far too many times. Accurately, I might add. But I could not live with myself as a “collector” without at least one person I could share sounds with. So this blog is for my friends, and for you, stranger.

If you like what you’re hearing, drop me a line. Yes, yes, it’s okay to download everything and then leave, but seriously – if you feel so moved, give me a shout out!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Rebirth of Uni-tasking

I definitely can be accused of occasionally sipping from the multi-tasking koolaid ( I type all this up as I have 25 tabs open on my Chrome browser and interrupted my cultural Anthropology reading to post this.). But seeing the futility in such an approach, I'm determined to convert to uni-taskism. As Steven Aitchison and the Frontline special "Digital Nation" * forcefully argue, multi-taskers are less efficient and productive then folks on the straight and narrow path of task completion.

The Death of Multitasking and Rebirth of Unitasking - by Dumb Little Man

*btw, you can not only watch the full episode online for free (and watch it on netflix), but you can download the podcast, and the podcasts to most former

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

James Baldwin on Writing

...which could easily apply to anyone who considers him or herself an artist.

Baldwin opens his tribute of sorts on Richard Wright in his collection of essays Nobody Knows My Name with these apposite observations on the writing process and a writer's personality (of course touching on the bipolar psyche of the writer that craves human/social connections while simultaneously allowing those connections to fuel his or her misanthropic isolationism).

In "Alas, Poor Richard":

"Unless a writer is extremely old when he dies, in which case he has probably become a neglected institution, his death must always seem untimely . This is because a real writer is always shifting and changing and searching. The world has many labels for him, of which the most treacherous ins the label Success. But the man behind the label knows defeat far more intimately than he knows triumph. He can never be absolutely certain that he has achieved his intention."

"The writer's greed is appalling. He wants, or seems to want, everything and practically everybody; in another sense, and at the same time, he needs no one at all; and families, friends, and lovers find this extremely hard to take. While he is alive, his work is fatally entangled with his personal fortunes and misfortunes, his personality, and social facts and attitudes of his time. The unadmitted relief, then, of which I spoke has to do with a certain drop in the intensity of our bewilderment, for the baffling creator no longer stands between us and his works."