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14 Sep 2010 10:54


World: Iran lets hiker Sarah Shourd go for a hefty price

  • good Sarah Shourd was able to walk free on Tuesday after 14 months of being held in Iran for hiking in the wrong place.
  • bad Her “representatives” had to score $500,000 to pull it off. Not fun. Plus, her friends are still in captivity ‘cuz they’re guys. source

11 Sep 2010 13:49


World: Par for the course: Hiker in Iran supposed to be released, isn’t

Sarah Shourd, right, was supposed to be freed this week, but Iran suddenly changed their minds. Two other hikers remain in custody after a year. source

20 Aug 2010 11:30


World: UK to Libya: Don’t celebrate the Lockerbie Bomber’s release

  • Any celebration of Megrahi’s release will be tasteless, offensive and deeply insensitive to the victims’ families. We have made our concerns clear to the Libyan government.
  • A spokeswoman for the United Kingdom’s Foreign Office • Telling Libya very publicly not to celebrate the anniversary of the release of Abedelbaset Ali Mohmet al-Megrahi, the convicted Lockerbie bomber, who was released over seemingly terminal health issues, only to live the entire year after his release. As you might imagine, it’s a sore spot for the British. source

16 Jul 2010 10:22


Music: Vampire Weekend’s cover model: I’m suing you jerks!

  • The thing about this photo, which Vampire Weekend made the cover of their second album, is that it looks like it could’ve been taken at any moment in the last year. People like this still exist. But no, it was taken in 1983. And now, Kirsten Kennis, the presumably middle-aged woman in the photo, has reportedly sued the band to the tune of $2 million, claiming the photographer forged her signature on the contract and the band never verified it was hers. source

26 Apr 2010 10:51


World: Evidence Mexico’s justice system really freaking sucks

  • ten Mexican mayors were arrested last year for aiding the drug war
  • nine of those mayors are already free; they mostly went back to work source

23 Apr 2010 10:57


Music: Protip: The National’s new “High Violet” streaming free this weekend

This, of course, is only for fans of anthemic indie rock sung by dudes with really low voices. In other words, everybody. (Right?) source

14 Apr 2010 10:50


Tech: Sorry, world: Apparently, the iPad’s really popular in the U.S.

  • Faced with this surprisingly strong U.S. demand, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the international launch of iPad by one month, until the end of May.
  • A statement from Apple • Regarding the company’s decision to delay the international release of the tablet which we’re currently using to read tweets while blogging (Twitterrific for the win). The company says that they’ve already shipped half a million iPads but it appeared demand in the U.S. would top expectations for at least the next several weeks. We blame the awesome Reuters app. source

02 Apr 2010 16:11


Tech: Need proof the iPad is going to be an amazing device? See this

  • This is a drum machine emulator. As many budding musicians will tell you, learning recording techniques on a PC isn’t exactly much fun due to the learning curve involved. You can already see how much less of one a device like the iPad creates. Korg’s iElectribe app suggests just how much possibility is out there. Hopefully, Apple fixes their App Store situation to encourage creativity like this. source

22 Feb 2010 10:18


U.S.: Get ready to sink your teeth into health care again – for the first time

  • Admit it, you’ve been waiting for this moment all morning. Obama’s got a health care plan for everyone to dig into at length, and a fresh Monday morning is as good a time as any to sink one’s teeth into health care. Reuters has the details if you don’t want to dig in, but let’s put it this way: This is put together as if bro wants to get it passed. ‘Nuff said. source

13 Feb 2010 19:32


Music: Saturday Mixtape: Johnny Cash is the new 2Pac is the new Nick Drake

  • This weekend’s release of “We Are the World 25,” which features Michael Jackson taking on a few lines beyond the grave (both in the song and the video), got us to thinking about the artists with seemingly never-ending vaults, in part because we’re sure Jackson himself will be a victim of this kind of musical grave-robbing. Here’s a sampling of the state of posthumous releases:

  • 1. Johnny Cash died way back in 2003, but he has a new album coming out, and “Ain’t No Grave,” held together by a rhythm made of dragging chains, is actually pretty good. Surprising it didn’t get a release back then, honestly (he recorded a lot of tunes with Rick Rubin in the years before his death). It’s one of Cash’s better late-period tunes.
  • 2. Nick Drake’s “Family Tree” probably never would’ve seen the light of day had Drake lived to an old age, but the 2007 release of privately recorded demos stands above the fray of most of the grave-robbing reissues by the guitarist. On “Bird Flew By,” you can hear a lot of the blues influence in his guitar-playing.
  • 3. Jeff Buckley may perhaps have the legacy most damaged by posthumous releases – even moreso than 2Pac. He had one amazing album and one aborted attempt at a second album that was released as an incomplete work. And a lot of live recordings. “Live at Sin-é” may be the key example: A short EP initially, it was reworked as a monster 34-track compilation in 2003. It’s not necessarily the worst release of his, just the best example.
  • 4. 2Pac has tons of posthumous releases (including a live album for a show he wasn’t even headlining), but some of these at least have interesting approaches. In the case of 2004’s “Loyal to the Game,” Eminem produced the entire thing off of some tapes Tupac Shakur’s mom gave him, which means it has some interesting productions and top-of-their-game guests. But it still feels kinda grave-robby, even though it’s respectfully done.
  • 5. Michael Jackson will likely follow the same path as the other stars here, and “This Is It” is really only the beginning. We gave the song a good review when it first came out, and the reason it sounds solid is because it was recorded during his still-interesting “Dangerous” era. We’re sure he has some huge vaults. And there are significant financial reasons for digging into them. We’d like to see them go the Elliott Smith route here, with compilations respectful of his legacy. But a Jeff Buckley-style “everything must go” is more likely.