Latest Tweets:

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fuckyeahpandabear:

Panda Bear in his Lisbon studio where he made Person Pitch and Tomboy
via

That’s it.

fuckyeahpandabear:

Panda Bear in his Lisbon studio where he made Person Pitch and Tomboy


via

That’s it.

*5

Wince Like Flint

I’m not defending Laura Dimon’s article on Flint, MI. It’s sloppily reported, wasn’t fact-checked or edited, and is really a photo gallery masquerading as a clear grab by either her or her publication to get pageviews around photos that were most likely offered to them via e-mail or press release by the photographer or an affiliate. I also recognize that Dimon is someone who comes from a background of immense privilege that has enabled her to do whatever she wants and probably opens all sorts of doors to her unavailable to 99.99% percent of people.

However, all of Dimon’s editorial practices—from the format to the clickbait-rhetoric headline to the fact that she tweeted at a celebrity who might link to the article and get it more pageviews—is almost certainly the guideline passed down to her by her superiors. I’m assuming this because that’s the guideline that’s been passed down to a lot of people I know for the past half-decade or so. Her article is the most obvious, transparent kind of Internet “journalism” extant, but it’s also ubiquitous and (sadly) often overlooked. This particular clip job is being torn apart because Dimon’s dad happens to be an unfathomably wealthy person who is partly responsible in severely damaging the economy and fomenting a lot of class hatred, and she bafflingly didn’t seem to realize that writing about a city that’s been hammered by economic hardships would probably reflect poorly on her no matter how she writes about it. She’s also young, naive, and probably just doing what her bosses (and probably Columbia j-school) are telling her to do.

But a part of me worries that in piling it on Dimon, we’re avoiding what I think is probably not the central issue here, but an important one, which is that young journalists are not being taught how to do actual journalism. Blog posts full of hyperlinks and information you found on the Internet is not real journalism. It’s easy, obvious, and because all the research is found on the Internet, more prone to error and misinformation than articles actually reported (via sources) and researched in libraries. The problem is that blogs need voluminous quantities of quick hits and short takes, so that practice is taught through an unreliable method. What more magazines need are staff writers who just go out and do heavy-duty reporting, but most publications can’t support those positions in large numbers, nor can they afford the number of editors who ensure that reporting is clear, well-structured, and accurate. And until we figure out how to support that kind of editorial organization, we’re just going to keep reading these “articles” over and over again.

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Flashes of Quincy

Anonymous said: Any advice to a 19 year-old who has no idea what the fuck is going on?

markrichardson:

Do what is required of you while simultaneously thinking about what you really want to be doing. Pay attention to what makes you feel good but give that feeling time to process before chasing it with everything you’ve got. Try things but have no expectations and then study your reactions. Read. Think. Wait.

This is excellent advice.

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The inspiration for this album began when Eno was left bed-ridden in a hospital by an automible accident and was given an album of eighteenth-century harp music. After struggling to put the record on the turntable and returning to bed, he realized that the volume was turned down (toward the threshold of inaudibility) but he lacked the strength to get up from the bed again and turn it up. Eno said this experience taught him a new way to perceive music:

"This presented what was for me a new way of hearing music—as part of the ambience of the environment just as the color of the light and the sound of the rain were parts of that ambience."

This album is also an experiment in algorithmic, generative composition. His intention was to explore multiple ways to create music with limited planning or intervention.
The A-side of the album is a thirty minute piece titled “Discreet Music.” It was originally intended as a background for Robert Fripp to play against in a series of concerts. The liner notes contain a diagram of how this piece was created. It begins with two melodic phrases of different lengths played back from a synthesizer’s digital recall system (the equipment used in this case was an EMS Synthi AKS, which had a then-exotic, built-in digital sequencer). This signal is then run through a graphic equalizer to occasionally change its timbre. It is then run through an echo unit before being recorded onto a tape machine. The tape runs to the take-up reel of a second machine. The output of that machine is fed back into the first tape machine which records the overlapped signals.

—Discreet Music, Wikipedia

The inspiration for this album began when Eno was left bed-ridden in a hospital by an automible accident and was given an album of eighteenth-century harp music. After struggling to put the record on the turntable and returning to bed, he realized that the volume was turned down (toward the threshold of inaudibility) but he lacked the strength to get up from the bed again and turn it up. Eno said this experience taught him a new way to perceive music:

"This presented what was for me a new way of hearing music—as part of the ambience of the environment just as the color of the light and the sound of the rain were parts of that ambience."

This album is also an experiment in algorithmic, generative composition. His intention was to explore multiple ways to create music with limited planning or intervention.

The A-side of the album is a thirty minute piece titled “Discreet Music.” It was originally intended as a background for Robert Fripp to play against in a series of concerts. The liner notes contain a diagram of how this piece was created. It begins with two melodic phrases of different lengths played back from a synthesizer’s digital recall system (the equipment used in this case was an EMS Synthi AKS, which had a then-exotic, built-in digital sequencer). This signal is then run through a graphic equalizer to occasionally change its timbre. It is then run through an echo unit before being recorded onto a tape machine. The tape runs to the take-up reel of a second machine. The output of that machine is fed back into the first tape machine which records the overlapped signals.

Discreet Music, Wikipedia

*74

The New York Review of Books: Mango Seedling by Chinua Achebe

nybooks:

Through glass window pane
Up a modern office block
I saw, two floors below, on wide-jutting
Concrete canopy a mango seedling newly sprouted
Purple, two-leafed, standing on its burst
Black yolk. It waved brightly to sun and wind
Between rains—daily regaling itself
On seed-yams, prodigally.

For how long?
How long the happy waving
From precipice of rainswept sarcophagus?
How long the feast on remnant flour
At pot bottom?
    Perhaps like the widow
Of infinite faith it stood in wait
For the holy man of the forest, shaggy-haired
Powered for eternal replenishment.
Or else it hoped for Old Tortoise’s miraculous feast
On one ever recurring dot of cocoyam
Set in a large bowl of green vegetables—
   These days beyond fable, beyond faith?
   Then I saw it
Poised in courageous impartiality
Between the primordial quarrel of Earth
And Sky striving bravely to sink roots
Into objectivity, mid-air in stone.

From the May 22, 1969 issue of the Review

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You know what’d be nice?

If the people who are spending an absurdly large amount of time writing about whether writers should get paid would do some ACTUAL REPORTING, which people are more than willing to pay for, rather than writing about themselves and their opinions, which most people don’t care about. I’m not talking about people like Mike, who are professional academics and are therefore paid to think about these things, but people who are paid to be reporters.

On another level, it’d be nice if reporters used their Twitter feeds to direct their followers to actual news and reporting, rather than write for other supposed reporters, who, newsflash, are not their audience.

*4

"Ah, [deep, long, lonely-as-a-moonlit-desert sigh] Sea Change. Overwhelmingly the favorite Beck record of people who distrust sampling, jokes, disruptive bursts of noise, the postmodern impulse, etc.; I distrust these people. Twelve laments written immediately after Beck’s 2000 breakup with stylist Leigh Limon, his longtime girlfriend, but not recorded until 2002. That two-year gap is important: This is a record about the feeling of being bereft, created by a man who’s recovered enough to aestheticize that feeling, to view it from a distance, like a pretty sunset. Due to its backstory and the absence of lyrics about Norman Schwarzkopf and/or “the hot dog dance,” it was received as Beck’s most personal and mature work to date, and who knows, maybe it is. The more important thing is that it’s as highly stylized an exercise as Vultures — it’s just that the sound being self-consciously evoked is world-weary country-rock à la “Wild Horses” and Chris Bell’s “I Am the Cosmos” (except for “Paper Tiger,” essentially an essay about the genius of Serge Gainsbourg’s L’histoire de Melody Nelson). Just because the vocals aren’t mannered doesn’t mean the music isn’t; also, “glum” is a mannerism."

Alex Pappademas

A really good show, but Jesus Christ does the music SUCK or what?

A really good show, but Jesus Christ does the music SUCK or what?

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I’m going to try and make a resolution to post something here every day, whether it’s writing or an image or a video or whatever. Here’s to a better 2013. For this new year, here’s D’Angelo’s “Send it on.”

*4

Something sort of occurred to me

I’ve been listening to almost nothing but the Velvet Underground for the past two days, because, hey, I’ve got that urge. For a second I was going to tweet something (stupid) about how much I love the Velvet Underground. But then I reflexively said, “No, don’t tweet or post something to Facebook about that, that’s a totally rockist thing to say.” And then I realized that I have these warring impulses—the knowledge that listening to a lot of the Velvet Underground is totally lazy and conventional (and that the word “rockist” is meaningless), and the other that’s just the impulsiveness of enjoyment. And that can be really confusing, dealing with being pulled in those directions.

Carry on.

*15

Bottom Line

We need to find a way—”we” meaning “the intellectual media industry”—to come up with a revenue model that is not based off of web hits. For one, it’s not even an effective means of pulling in real advertising revenue, as plenty of highly trafficked websites have proven. But more importantly, the content that attracts web hits is not always in the best interest of a publication’s editorial vision or standards. We need to figure out how to convey that that vision and those standards have value, and what that value costs in concrete, numerical terms. Until we do that, we’re hosed.

*2

"

In 1998, a friend of mine, Robert Pinsky, who at the time was serving as the poet laureate of the United States, invited me to a poetry evening at the Clinton White House, one of a series of black-tie events organized to mark the coming millennium. On this occasion the President gave an amusing introductory speech in which he recalled that his first encounter with poetry came in junior high school when his teacher made him memorize certain passages from Macbeth. This was, Clinton remarked wryly, not the most auspicious beginning for a life in politics.

After the speeches, I joined the line of people waiting to shake the President’s hand. When my turn came, a strange impulse came over me. This was a moment when rumors of the Lewinsky affair were circulating, but before the whole thing had blown up into the grotesque national circus that it soon became. “Mr. President,” I said, sticking out my hand, “don’t you think that Macbeth is a great play about an immensely ambitious man who feels compelled to do things that he knows are politically and morally disastrous?” Clinton looked at me for a moment, still holding my hand, and said, “I think Macbeth is a great play about someone whose immense ambition has an ethically inadequate object.”

I was astonished by the aptness, as well as the quickness, of this comment, so perceptively in touch with Macbeth’s anguished brooding about the impulses that are driving him to seize power by murdering Scotland’s legitimate ruler. When I recovered my equilibrium, I asked the President if he still remembered the lines he had memorized years before. Of course, he replied, and then, with the rest of the guests still patiently waiting to shake his hand, he began to recite one of Macbeth’s great soliloquies:



If it were done when ‘tis done, then ‘twere well

It were done quickly. If th’ assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success: that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all, here,
But here upon this bank and shoal of time,
We’d jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgement here, that we but teach
Bloody instructions which, being taught, return
To plague th’inventor.

(1.7.1–10)

There the most powerful man in the world—as we are fond of calling our leader—broke off with a laugh, leaving me to conjure up the rest of the speech that ends with Macbeth’s own bafflement over the fact that his immense ambition has “an ethically inadequate object”:

I have no spur

To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o’erleaps itself
And falls on th’other….

(1.7.25–28)1

I left the White House that evening with the thought that Bill Clinton had missed his true vocation, which was, of course, to be an English professor. But the profession he actually chose makes it all the more appropriate to consider whether it is possible to discover in Shakespeare an “ethically adequate object” for human ambition.

"

Stephen Greenblatt, “Shakespeare and the Use of Power,” New York Review of Books, April 12, 2007.

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