Saturday, August 03, 2013

Dying on the Inside

"The Other Shoe" by F*#^&d Up, from their punk-rock opera David Comes to Life. I think you would call this type of music post-hardcore (?). At any rate the singer has a super-hardcore-y voice, which might not be for everyone. But the guitars! Man, the guitars on this album are pretty cool. The music is this propulsive swirl of echoey, chiming sound. It's so dense I couldn't process it all the first or second or third time I heard it. And the singer's voice doesn't much help you figure it out. But eventually the melodies pop out like one of those magic eye things. It's a grower. There's supposed to be a storyline to the album (as you can kinda see in the video), but after the first few songs or so it's not entirely clear what's happening. ("Queen of Hearts" is another favorite from the album.)

Thursday, August 01, 2013


A few cool and random things I found on Wikipedia of late:
  1. "The highest unclimbed mountain in the world in terms of elevation seems to be Gangkhar Puensum, 7570 m (24,836 feet). It is in Bhutan, on or near the border with China. In Bhutan, climbing of high mountains has been prohibited since 1994."
  2. The Most Recent Common Ancestor of every human being living today may have existed as recently as 300 BCE, according to a statistical demographic model published in 2004. (see also Carl Zimmer)
  3. "The Chipko movement or Chipko Andolan is a movement that practiced the Gandhian methods of satyagraha and non-violent resistance, through the act of hugging trees to protect them from being felled. [...] The landmark event in this struggle took place on March 26, 1974, when a group of peasant women in Reni village, Hemwalghati, in Chamoli district, Uttarakhand, India, acted to prevent the cutting of trees and reclaim their traditional forest rights that were threatened by the contractor system of the state Forest Department." Perhaps I need to hand in my Dirty Hippie card for not having know this already.
  4. Aaron Burr, our nation's 3rd VP, was even weirder than I remembered. In addition to the whole duel thing, he was later charged with treason by Thomas Jefferson, the president he had served under. "According to the accusations against him, Burr’s goal was to create an independent nation in the center of North America and/or the Southwest and parts of Mexico." He was acquitted, but still, weird. Not even "Diamond Joe" Biden can top that.
  5. "Night Doctors, also known as night riders, night witches, Ku Klux doctors, and student doctors are bogeymen of African American folklore who emerged from the realities of grave robbing, medical experimentation, and intimidation rumors spread by Southern whites to prevent workers from leaving for the North."
  6. "The Molly Maguires was a 19th-century secret society composed mainly of Irish and Irish-American coal miners. Many historians believe the "Mollies" were present in the anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania in the United States from the time of the American Civil War until a series of sensational arrests and trials that occurred between 1876 and 1878."
  7. "Pink Panthers is the name given by Interpol to an international jewel thief network [...] which is responsible for some of the most audacious thefts in criminal history."
  8. "The [Cave of the Crystals]' largest crystal found to date is 12 m (39 ft) in length, 4 m (13 ft) in diameter and 55 tons in weight." By the way, the photos from this cave (via National Geographic) are ba-na-nas.