Sharon Jones, still bringing soul power to the people. Photo: Daptone
Although soul sister Sharon Jones is continually referred to as a throwback to a funkier 20th century, she’s here, now, and still fighting to bring more humanity (and less autotune) to our increasingly digital music. And we’re the better for it.
So I made time for Filter Mag to review Give the People What They Want, the latest throwdown from Sharon Jones and her Dap Kings. Postponed by a cancer scare but thankfully here now, like the blessed Jones, to remind us all what’s worth listening to, and supporting as well.
That Filter‘s cover story belonged to my beloved Pixies — which I didn’t know before I wrote my review and who I am interviewing next week for Salon — just made everything flow much more smoothly.
Stream Sharon and Dap’s cool animated video above and scan my Filter review of Give the People What They Want below, and pick up both if you can! Jones and her funky crew hit the road in February.
Please Continue Reading: All Hail Sharon Jones, Unstoppable Soul Sister!
Image: Kristian Hammerstadt/Lex Records
I have spoken with Alan Moore, celebrating his 60th birthday this week, quite a bit over the last decade or so. Earlier this year, his crew at Lex Records reached out for another mindmeld, and it was an opportune time.
The creator and muckraker of iconic, philosophical comics V For Vendetta, Watchmen, From Hell and many more that were made into middling blockbusters (at best) had decided to crowdfund his first film, a dream noir called Jimmy’s End, on good old Kickstarter. How’s that for an optimistic technocultural headline?
Yet it happened as the sprawling panopticon Moore foresaw in those comics (and other books with no pictures) stole global headlines with more depressing tales of watchmen and whistleblowers. All while uprisings and disruptions at home and abroad. There was much to talk about.
Some of our extended conversation has ended up at Salon, while the rest of it is reprinted below. Some of it is set aside for my first book, Terror and Terraformation, due shortly before the enviropocalypse. Read on, trip up, turn out.
Please Continue Reading: Terror and Terraformation: Alan Moore
Image: NASA. Typhoon Haiyan, intensified by global warming, downplayed by sellouts.
[This callout has been syndicated here on HuffPo.]
After America’s Veteran’s Day militarism hangover, I scanned what few trustworthy journalism outlets are left but still couldn’t avoid the headhunters. They were looking to scalp CBS supermodel Lara Logan and Washington Post fossil Richard Cohen for fucking up the low-hanging fruitcake of Benghazi and interracial marriage.
Which is a serious problem: Too many credible journalists and outlets are caught up in the mundane routine of pointing and grunting at obvious tools like Cohen and Logan. Rather than, say, reporting as vigorously about the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference, or harrumphing just as gleefully and loudly for the jobs of sellout journos and scientists nakedly dissembling on global warming.
Please Continue Reading: Bring Us the Jobs of Enviro Sellouts!
Image: NASA/SDO/AIA/Goddard Space Flight Center. August prominence from our Sun, another reminder that our light bulb in the sky will daily gift us with necessary and abundant solar power for another few billion years — before it annihilates us from 93 million miles away.
As I turned my back last year on writing about cultural, environmental, political, economic and other lofty concerns for money — because it wasn’t really paying any — I decided to plot another devious experiment. Which was: Unplugging anything and everything, if possible, that my nuclear and extended family and friends had invested in our apocalyptic dystopia and instead route it toward funding, building and analyzing our renewable future.
I made more money during that experiment’s first year than I ever made while writing, for anyone.
Please Continue Reading: Here Comes the Sun Journo!
[This article has been syndicated here on HuffPo.]
In our hypermediated millennium, it’s often (way) too easy to watch rather than make. The Squirrel King wants you to do both.
To achieve the merge, it’s turning to Kickstarter to crowdfund a cross-demographic dive into a surreal handcrafted web series of lovers, aliens, catburglars and more — including squirrels you can make at home with your own hands, and kids.
“I wanted to do something I could involve my kids in,” explained The Squirrel King‘s rock-climbing mastermind Rufus Williams, who’s writing, directing and co-producing the series with lead actor Justus Zimmerman.”The important underpinning idea for our aesthetic is to see the artists’ hand in the visual tableau. So simultaneous with building and shooting the series, we’ve been developing craft kits, and the squirrels are the first that we’re bringing to market.”
“It’s funny, because we don’t have a background in product design: I’m an erstwhile mathematician, and Justus once wrangled bears as a ranger in Yosemite,” Williams added. “But what we have created is pretty outstanding on the toy side.”
Please Continue Reading: The Squirrel King Aims For All-Ages Transmedia Artcraft
[This article has been syndicated here on HuffPo.]
Two decades ago, our tight-knit but too-small Pixies fandom was crushed when our generation’s best-kept secret burnt out after the flames of Trompe Le Monde‘s distorted glory. An apt title: After five stunners in five years, including the towering Surfer Rosa and Doolittle, the also aptly named Pixies appeared and vanished as if to simply “trick the world.”
Yet that heart-wrenching disappearing act was anticipated by “Death to the Pixies!” — an early band poster. Its self-conscious art featured prolific founder Black Francis buck naked on his knees, giving his own band the police verso. Life for the Pixies, as the century closed, was not to be.
Please Continue Reading: Life To The Pixies!