Archive for February, 2008

February 28th, 2008

Prison, American Style

1 in 100 U.S. Adults Behind Bars, New Study Says

For the first time in the nation’s history, more than one in 100 American adults is behind bars, according to a new report.

Nationwide, the prison population grew by 25,000 last year, bringing it to almost 1.6 million. Another 723,000 people are in local jails. The number of American adults is about 230 million, meaning that one in every 99.1 adults is behind bars.

Incarceration rates are even higher for some groups. One in 36 Hispanic adults is behind bars, based on Justice Department figures for 2006. One in 15 black adults is, too, as is one in nine black men between the ages of 20 and 34.

Sure, this is a country of excess. But having the highest incarceration rate in the world, and so contoured around race, is nothing to be proud of. This represents far more than an image problem, it’s a real self-image problem, an identity crisis, a sign of deep social and political illness. Symptoms abound.


American style indeed (photo by Hiroko Masuike for the NYT)

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February 28th, 2008

Ethan and TED

Ethan Zuckerman is live blogging the TED conference. I’m really impressed with his ability to do so, and I’m grateful for the very interesting, acute reportage he’s been offering. Lots of juicy quotes, like this one from Stephen Hawking:

“We now understand the universe,” says Hawking, “Maybe we should patent it and charge people for existing in it.”

Check it out —

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February 27th, 2008

linkthink #3935tt50: Oxfam Biscuits & Mosquito Nets


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February 26th, 2008

Electro Malady



What with all the linkthink round here of late, it’s quite possible that an item or two of particular interest and/or awesomeness might slip past even the most attentive, regular readers. So with that in mind, I would like to devote a post of its own to an emerging sound in Brazil known as “eletro melody.” After André put me on to it via an article @ overmundo, I made but a passing, linkythinky reference to it, and I think it deserves a little more shine.

Eletro melody is closely related to tecnobrega (the post-copyright music par excellence), but I haven’t heard enough of either to make the connection, or the distinction. A video link in the article implies that Benny Benassi has had some influence on the sound. (I can hear that.) So does FruityLoops, no doubt.

In the weeks since reading the article & DLing the mp3 included as an example — which, I should note, was quite striking on first listen — Maderito & Joe’s “Passageiros da Nave” has fast become a track which I play out on just about any occasion I get. It’s got a great sound, distinctive yet zeitgeisty. The synths, jumping from extremely high to rather low registers, saw through the texture — not unlike in bassline, grime, and fidget bizniz. & the prevailing rhythm is pretty engaging with its halftime/doubletime feel (at 85/170!), either sounding like some srsly uptempo soca/techno and/or some half-time rock/bachata ish. Add some funkcarioca-tinged poppy vocals and you’ve got quite a thing in your ears.

     >> Maderito & Joe, “Passageiros da Nave”

I’d love to hear more of this stuff. Indeed, more like this one! (Ok, maybe not this similar.)

In the article, which discusses eletro melody as one strand in the rich musical fabric of Belém, my man Ronaldo Lemos — copyleft crusader and keen observer of Brazilian technoculture — tells readers not to be surprised if some foreign DJ (“hello Diplo”!) begins to “export” the style:

Não será surpresa se algum DJ estrangeiro (alô Diplo) começar a “exportar” o estilo.

It sure doesn’t have to be a foreign DJ, far as I’m concerned (and I don’t think this post makes me the guilty globalista). Give me a local mediator of this new sound and I’ll be muito obrigado. Pages like this might be a good starting place, but, man, that’s gonna take some serious sifting through, techno-rumba style. (Plus, I think all the files are Windows Media. Ugh.) Get to work, blogobrain.

Then again, according to Ronaldo, the genre is new enough that there simply may not be much available yet. But if Ronaldo is right, we can rest assured that compilations of eletro melody will be forthcoming, following, as with technobrega, the desire of the people —

O estilo é tão novo que só é possível encontrar faixas de eletro melody perdidas em meio a outras coletâneas mais genéricas. No entanto, como o mercado do tecnobrega não dorme no ponto, dá para esperar com enorme segurança que em breve começarão a aparecer compilações só de eletro melody, saciando os fãs.

So, Brazilians? Brazilianists? Onde posso encontrar mais eletro melody? Give the people what they want, lest some foreigner hop on a plane…

9 comments

February 25th, 2008

linkthink#76457864: Pitch Black Pitch Pipe

videyoga ::

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February 24th, 2008

linkthink #565687: Shadows and Acts

videyoga :: (u saw this comin’)

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February 24th, 2008

Adventures in Anachronistic Irony #5593935

Bruce Sterling on Jules Verne’s Invasion of the Sea

Mr. Verne’s latest techno-thriller boldly confronts the menace of Islamic terrorism. He has topnotch chops in technical accuracy, with endearing dashes of broad humor and a keen eye for telling detail. Let me be the first to predict this: someday this French novelist will be known worldwide.

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February 23rd, 2008

linkthink #9449340: South American Jive

videyoga :: (via)

4 comments

February 23rd, 2008

Under Constrcution

undergoing some (hopefully) routine maintenance here @ w&w this p.m.

no need 4 alarm

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February 22nd, 2008

linkthink #0293535: King of Wok


there is none frier

videyoga :: (via)

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February 22nd, 2008

Walk the Vote! Participatory Democracy b/w Civil Disobedience

from The Field ::

Texas Republicans have worked overtime to make it harder for key Democratic voting groups to vote and be represented fairly. The redistricting games they’ve played are infamous. And for the Prairie View A&M University precincts, they put the early-polling place more than seven miles from the school.

So what did the students in this video do? They shut down the highway as they marched seven miles to cast their votes on the first day of early voting.

Awesome.

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Wayne&Wax

I'm a techno-musicologist, internet annotator, imagined community organizer.

I left my <3 in the digital global, but I reside in Cambridge, MA, where I'm from.

I represent like that.

wayne at wayneandwax dot com

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