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Koffee

from The New Yorker

By Doreen St. Félix

Songs of the summer should be crowned not in the giddiness of July but in the waning days of September, once the hot season has finished its business. A rearview perspective suggests that “Toast,” by the nineteen-year-old “singjay” Koffee, and produced by Walshy Fire, of Major Lazer, and IzyBeats, ruled this season. It was a mellow, cheery reign. At parties, I would watch eyebrows slacken and shoulders relax as the opening notes bounced into the room. “We haffi give thanks like we really supposed to,” Koffee advises nimbly; the song, about choosing optimism and practicing gratitude, is itself something to be thankful for.

“Toasting” also refers to a kind of vocal work—not quite singing, more like charismatic chanting over a beat, or “riddim”—that is deeply associated with mid-century Jamaican music. Koffee was born Mikayla Simpson and was raised in Spanish Town, outside of Kingston, Jamaica. She sang in the church choir, played guitar, and won a school talent show that she’d entered somewhat unwittingly. In 2017, an acoustic-guitar performance of a song called “Legend,” which she had written in honor of the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, went viral after Bolt reposted the video on Instagram. Alongside artists like Protoje and Chronixx, Koffee has emerged as a modernizer of the roots-reggae philosophy practiced by artists such as Beres Hammond, Peter Tosh, and Bob Marley. On her EP “Rapture,” her sound seamlessly blends reggae and dancehall, socially conscious messaging and free-spirit liveliness. On the track “Raggamuffin,” with liquid agility, she offers a critique of the Jamaican government. On “Throne,” she praises her own song-writing prowess: “Lyrics put your very welfare / Pon the death row, pon the wet floor.”

“Toast” was an explosive début single. Earlier this year, Koffee won a prize for single of the year at the Jamaica Music Industry Association’s annual awards ceremony and performed on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”; it’s been rumored that she was courted by Rihanna to write on her upcoming reggae album. To understand both the history and the future of Jamaican music, listen to Koffee.

[ click to continue reading at The New Yorker ]

Posted on October 1, 2019 by Editor

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476 by James Frey

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Posted on September 30, 2019 by Editor

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KATERINA paperback – Check the new cover

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Posted on August 3, 2019 by Editor

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Rural Radio Gone (Almost)

from The Guardian

America’s rural radio stations are vanishing – and taking the country’s soul with them

At a time when local newspapers are disappearing, the loss of a radio station leaves a community with another cultural and informational gap

by Debbie Weingarten in Willcox, Arizona

 In the kill zone of the radio tower with the dungeon in the background in Willcox. Photograph: Cassidy Araiza/The Guardian

When I arrive at the radio station, Mark Lucke is standing in the doorway, looking out at the spitting, winter rain. He’s slim and stoic, with sad, almost haunted, eyes. The first thing he asks is if I’d like to see “the dungeon”. Who wouldn’t?

Lucke pulls on a Steeler’s jacket and a baseball cap over brown hair that falls halfway down his back, and leads me across the five-acre yard. Out here, 90 miles east of Tucson, the desert is a long sweep of brush the color of beach sand. Lucke seems to slip through the rainy day like a ghost.

The radio station, whose call letters are KHIL, has long been the daily soundtrack for this frontier town (population 3,500) that prides itself on its cowboy culture and quiet pace of life. But six decades after the founding of the station, the property is in foreclosure, with utility disconnect notices coming nearly every month.

Small-town radio is fizzling nationwide, as stations struggle to attract advertisement dollars. And as station owners are forced to sell, media conglomerates snap up rural frequencies for rock-bottom prices, for the sole purpose of relocating them to urban areas. In a more affluent market, they can be flipped for a higher price. With limited frequencies available, larger broadcasters purchase as many as possible – especially those higher on the dial – in a race not dissimilar to a real estate grab.

The “dungeon” turns out to be benign – just the original radio station building. Lucke explains that country music star Tanya Tucker “used to hang out here with the jocks”. This was before she recorded Delta Dawn at the age of 13 and left Willcox to produce a slew of hits, which landed her in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Her familiar drawl can still be heard at the top of every hour on KHIL, saying, “Hello, Willcox. This is Tanya Tucker, and you’re listening to the station I always listened to when I was a kid.”

Except for a washing machine and stacking radio conductors, the dungeon is empty. From here, in a feat of electrical wiring, several radio stations (four of which are run by Lucke) are connected to the 5,000-watt radio tower behind the dungeon, and pushed out into the sky.

KHIL was founded in 1958 by Rex Allen, who gained notoriety as the last of the singing cowboys. On the silver screen, The Arizona Cowboy could be seen strumming a guitar from the back of his horse, until the genre came to a close in 1954. He would go on to narrate a plethora of Disney movies, including Charlotte’s Web, and for years was the voice behind Ford truck and Purina Dog Chow commercials.

Allen – who died in 1999 – is now immortalized by a statue in the historic downtown. Born 31 December 1920 to Horace and Faye Allen in Willcox, Rex Elvie Allen was cross-eyed at birth, reads the plaque below the statue.

[ click to continue reading at The Guardian ]

Posted on June 8, 2019 by Editor

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Madonna

from The New York Times

Madonna at Sixty

The original queen of pop on aging, inspiration and why she refuses to cede control.

By Vanessa Grigoriadis

Madonna and her six children. Creditvia Instagram

The night before the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas in May, Madonna was sitting in the arena attached to the MGM Grand hotel, staring at a double of herself. The double, who was standing on the stage many yards away, was younger and looked Asian but wore a similar lace minidress and a wig in Madonna’s current hairstyle, a ’30s movie star’s crimped blond waves. “It’s always the second person with the wig — she wants to see it,” a stage designer said, adding that when she makes a decision, she is definitive. “Madonna wants 10 options, but when she says it’s the one, it’s the one.”

Madonna was observing Madonna to make sure Madonna was doing everything perfectly. Up on the stage set of a funky urban street with lampposts and a tiled bar, the double hit her marks and held a fist up to her mouth like a faux microphone for a rendition of “Medellín,” the on-trend, Latin-inflected song that Madonna would be singing. Madonna looked at a TV and assessed the augmented-reality part of the show, in which four additional virtual Madonnas, one playing an accordion and another dressed like a bride, would materialize in the televised awards performance out of thin air. Nearby, guys bowed heads and said cryptic things like “Where’s the digital key?” and “I need the alpha channel” to one another, tensely.

All the fake Madonnas ran through the song a few times before Madonna skipped enthusiastically to the stage. The sex bomb at 60 was slightly less than bionic and wore a Swarovski-crystal-encrusted patch over her left eye (“It’s fashion, darling,” an onlooker explained when I asked why she chose to wear it). Afterward, Madonna mused about something being off, and the next time she messed up the part where she stood on a table and gyrated her legs in and out in a move called “the butterfly” while popping her head in each direction. But by the third run-through she seemed ecstatic. “It’s so nice to see her smile,” Megan Lawson, a choreographer, said from under a black bolero hat, “and have it be a genuine smile.”

The AR part of Madonna’s performance was a feat, devised by some of the people who worked on this year’s Super Bowl, and the next night at the awards show she danced boldly despite the eye patch, which had to be difficult, peripheral-vision-speaking. But she wasn’t incorporating fireworks, a marching band and flying backup dancers, as Taylor Swift did; she didn’t hand out special bracelets to every person in the audience, then activate them to beam a thousand points of light, as the Jonas Brothers did; she wasn’t in a leotard and rolling around on the floor simulating a lesbian make-out session, as Halsey did, though the reason Halsey did that has a lot to do with Madonna doing it first. When the people in the audience lost their minds that night, they lost them almost exclusively for the K-pop band BTS, whose smooth hip-hop moves have birthed a million memes. For Madonna, they rose to their feet and took their phones out to commemorate “the time they saw Madonna” but seemed to scream loudest for the gyrating butterfly part, which was a little skanky, and that pleased them.

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on June 6, 2019 by Editor

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The Jersey Man

from Inside Hook

How the Dean of Sports Uniforms Stitched Together His Online Dynasty

Paul Lukas looks back on 20 years of Uni Watch, the preeminent website for all things jerseys and uniforms

BY EVAN BLEIER

Uni Watch is obsessed with the laundry of sports.

Uni Watch is obsessed with the laundry of sports.

Paul Lukas lives for the laundry of sports.

Lukas is the man behind Uni Watch, a website where fans of sports uniforms congregate to dissect the minutiae of logos and stitches instead of play calls and pitches in an obsessive and informed manner. The 55-year-old, whose first sports fashion/design column appeared in the sports section of the now-defunct Village Voice20 years ago this month (May 26), concurs with Seinfeld’s assessment.

“It’s true because the players come and go,” Lukas tells InsideHook. “They get traded, they retire, they leave via free agency or whatever and we keep rooting for whoever is wearing that uniform, whoever that person is. Your team could be really good one year and really bad another year, but you stay loyal to that team and to that uniform. That’s a really uncommon thing and a really powerful form of brand loyalty, frankly.”

While he may not have realized it when he was worrying about the stirrups of his Little League uniform or doodling team logos in the margins of his notebook instead of paying attention in class as a kid, Lukas already sensed the connection between livery and loyalty.

“I’ve always been interested in uniforms. I guess because it’s really what we end up rooting for,”  Lukas says. “I don’t think I could have articulated it that way when I was a kid or when I was geeking out over my first Little League uniform or anything like that, but I think the seeds of it were there.”

[ click to continue reading at InsideHook.com ]

Posted on May 24, 2019 by Editor

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Ride Like The Wind, Bodexpress!

Posted on May 19, 2019 by Editor

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Join Me On Instagram

from Instagram

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Posted on March 12, 2019 by Editor

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Merry Christmas

Posted on December 25, 2017 by Editor

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Happy Turkey Day

Posted on November 23, 2017 by Editor

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Still Unbelievable To Know This Day Actually Happened

Posted on September 11, 2017 by Editor

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Happy Independence Day

Posted on July 4, 2017 by Editor

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Wienerdrone

Posted on June 29, 2017 by Editor

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Library Of The Apocalypse

from The Sun

Second Arctic ‘Doomsday Vault’ will allow the world’s precious books to survive Armageddon

Huge archive of digitised documents will be buried deep in an old mine buried within the permafrost of Svalbard in Norway

by Jasper Hamill

Like the Seed Vault, the Doomsday Library is buried in the permafrostAP /Like the Seed Vault, the Doomsday Library is buried in the permafrost

It is hoped countries will choose to store digitised versions of their most important books and documents in the vast library, allowing to survive nuclear war or some other grim apocalypse.

If Britain decided to get involved in the project and put a version of the National Archive in the vault, it would mean that copies of The Sun would be preserved for all eternity – so future generations can enjoy a few episodes of Deidre’s Ye Olde Photo Casebook.

The facility is called the World Arctic Archive and is based in the same area of Norway as the Global Seed Vault, which is stocked up with seeds to enable humanity to survive if a natural disaster wipes out food supplies.

[ click to continue reading at The Sun ]

Posted on March 28, 2017 by Editor

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Starry Night in Agar

from USA Today

Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’ recreated with bacteria in petri dish

by 

(Photo: American Society for Microbiology)

Bacteria may not be the tool of choice for most artists, but for microbiologists getting in touch with their creative side, it’s just as good as paint.

Microbiologists, members of the American Society of Microbiology, and a few citizen scientists were recently challenged to use microbes to create works of art as part of the American Society for Microbiology’s first Agar Art contest.

As a canvas, each artist used a petri dish filled with agar, a jelly type substance where bacteria live and grow.

“The artist picked the bacteria they wanted to use based on the different color expressed when that strain of bacteria grows,” Emily Dilger, public outreach manager for American Society for Microbiology, told USA TODAY Network.

The winners of the contest were announced in September and works of art included representations of Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” as well as numerous originals. There was even an outline of North Carolina created with Chromobacterium violaceum,which is a flesh-eating pathogen, according to American Society of Microbiology.

[ click to continue reading at USA Today ]

Posted on October 28, 2015 by Editor

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Happy Halloween

bunny

Posted on October 31, 2014 by Editor

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Help Save These Dogs, Please.

from Adrienne S.

San Simon, AZ rescue relief effort

554405_4372618315983_1070036605_n_thumb By Nadine | October 11, 2014 | Comments (2)

On 9/28 I visited a man and his wife who have spent the past several years picking up stray dogs and dogs needing homes. This man is a disabled veteran who does not receive enough income to support the situation he has now found himself in. He is unable to afford proper vet care, (spaying/neutering, vaccinations or general medical) or food. Because of this, and despite his efforts to keep them separated by chaining them, they have been breeding and increasing in numbers. After speaking to this man, I’ve come to realize this is a situation of him not being able to turn his back on dogs that have been dumped at the local truck stop or stray. He is more than willing to let the dogs go to a BETTER situation.

He had 51 dogs of which I removed 10 that day and 9 more have since also gone to rescue. Boxer Luv Rescue, Cruz’s Crusaders and AZ Care have taken in dogs but I believe they said there are still 22 outside on chains and most he is willing to part with. There are also 8 (possibly more) inside the house. He has tried to create shaded areas for all of them and they appear to be healthy aside from one with a growth under his left ear who is in need of vet care. I did not enter the home but many of the ones indoors have never been outside or have not been outdoors in many years.

I DESPERATELY need help from rescue groups given the severity of this situation. Please PM me on Facebook “A Voice For Arizona Shelter Dogs” if you are able to help these dogs. Thank you

[ click to see pics of these pooches at DogHeirs.com ]

Posted on October 18, 2014 by Editor

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Happy Independence Day

from artnet

Giacomo Balla, Fireworks (sketch) (1915) Photo via Wikipedia Commons

Giacomo Balla, Fireworks (sketch) (1915).
Photo: Wikipedia Commons.

 

[ click to view more fine fireworks at artnet.com ]

Posted on July 4, 2014 by Editor

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Reading Kickbow Starter

Posted on June 13, 2014 by Editor

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Picking Up Indecent Pecans and All Kinds Of Things With Animals

from BREITBART NEWS

THAD COCHRAN: I GREW UP DOING ‘ALL KINDS OF INDECENT THINGS WITH ANIMALS’

by 

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) provided his latest head-scratching comment in public, this time joking he engaged in illicit activities with animals as a child.

“[We’d] get back [to the Pine Belt-Hattiesburg area of Mississippi] as often as we could because it was fun—it was an adventure to be out there in the country and see what goes on,” Cochran said of his childhood and how parts of his family lived in the central part of the state. “Picking up pecans, from that to all kind of indecent things with animals.”

The audience laughed at that point, video published by the Jackson Clarion-Ledger shows. Cochran’s facial expressions did not change, nor did his stance or demeanor. “I know some of you know what that is,” he continued. “The whole point of the story is not just coming here to visit cousins and get to know aunts and uncles better, you absorb the culture and you know what’s important to people here. I feel very comfortable here and have an identity with this area of the state that’s different than any other.”

[ click to continue reading at Breitbart.com ]

Posted on June 12, 2014 by Editor

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Happy Independence Day

Posted on July 4, 2013 by Editor

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HAPPY NEW YEAR!

:)

’13

Posted on January 1, 2013 by Editor

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Yea! We Made It!


2012

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Happy Thanksgiving

Posted on November 22, 2012 by Editor

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Happy Independence Day

INDEPENDENCE DAY by Danny Byl

Posted on July 4, 2012 by Editor

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Happy Valentine’s Day

[ available from Saper Galleries ]

Posted on February 14, 2012 by Editor

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Happy New Apocalypto

2012

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Posted on December 31, 2011 by Editor

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Peace On Earth

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Posted on December 25, 2011 by Editor

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10 Years

Posted on September 11, 2011 by Editor

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2011

HAPPY

NEW

YEAR

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Merry Christmas

Posted on December 25, 2010 by Editor

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Happy Juneteenth

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Posted on June 19, 2010 by Editor

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Happy Easter

Emil Nolde, Der Prophet, 1912

Posted on April 3, 2010 by Editor

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