Friday, April 20, 2012

Sailing the Seas of Cheese - In a sea of the mundane: music worth your time...

Below are some of my recent findings and, being a nice guy, I'm here to pass this information along to you.  Nowadays, more than ever, to me, music has by and large become completely boring; you have "mainstream" (ie. what is put forth by the RIAA which tends to not favor artistic capacity), dime-a-dozen generic rock bands, too-many-to-count ambient and "post"-rock acts that apply the same formula that the RIAA plays - meaning they are using a recipe versus creating their own "thing" (this is questionably even more boring than what you might find on your radio dial because of a slow build to paint drying).  As with anything, a little digging and effort on our part yields that there is some quality music being made... 


All three of the bands featured below offer their material for download via Bandcamp at a small price (or free) that includes your choice of format (including lossless).  I have actually paid for all of their material (well, the bands that did charge a cheap $5 fee that is).  The little guys like this are the ones to support (not that bands on major labels get much money per record sold - they tour to make their money).


Minutes - Self-Titled LP

The following is taken from their Facebook page:

Minutes began playing music in the summer of 2008. Composed of Chafe Hensley, Mark Larmee, Ryan Nelson, and Isaac Turner, all of whom are solidly "in their 30's", the band was started as an outlet for songs written by all members of the band. The modus operandi from day one was to enjoy the act of making music, create songs that are natural to their cumulative experiences, and to "serve the song." Each member can play, with varying degrees of dexterity, numerous instruments, which creates a palette of opportunities from which to choose.

The sound of the music, if you don't have access to the online presence of the band, is something akin to the music of Mission of Burma, Wire, Superchunk, Fugazi, Neil Young, or other guitar-based bands of the last forty years. 


Whales - March Twenty-Twelve EP

The following is borrowed from their Facebook page:

Chicago rock band Whales experiment with noise, dynamics, and melody. Their music is firmly rooted in basement rock, and branches towards sculpted towers of spaced-out sonics that wrap themselves around indelible melodies. Whales is busy writing material for their sophmore release titled Plate Tectonics, to be released in late 2012. Serve the song. Noisy heaven-rock. Est. 2009. 

[Now, I will let you know that they do have a full-length available, and it's quite good... the only reason I chose to use this rather than that is due to how I absolutely love the track 'Adrift'.  So do yourself a favor and dig deeper...]


Making - EP

Making appears to be a 3 piece from Sydney, Australia.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Japan sends radiation to the United States and Canada...

So, Japan's solution to the hot radioactive mess left by the March 2011 quake and tsunami is, get this... to BURN (meaning incinerate) as much as they possibly can.  Researchers have found radioactive elements in southern California rain water (also here).  We all know nuclear power, even when properly functioning, spews out radioactive waste... no matter how you cut it nuclear power is a liability that poses extreme consequences for any living things on this planet (it's not a question of if, more of when... as in when do we realize we can't sweep shit under a rug decade after decade).

As I type this it is raining here in Orange County, CA... and I thought it appropriate to thank both the Japanese government for increasing our exposure here (more than was necessary), and to my own government and EPA, whose solution to fallout from Fukushima was only to raise the "safe" levels of radiation (levels which possibly for some may cause cancer - you and I don't know).  Yes, they really do have our best interest at heart don't they?

Basically, we have all been coddled and lied to... the Japanese officials are most to blame... while the U.S. EPA is simply downright negligent (but that's to be expected, as the EPA, as with all U.S. gov't agencies, is permeated by the industries it should be regulating).  Here, in southern California, there was an issue with our nuclear plant located at San Onofre; many believe there to have occurred a leak - which of course was downplayed (seem familiar?)... but here's the thing - radiation is invisible and none of us can detect it, they can say whatever they like.  Further, news, details, and coverage regarding the San Onofre incident are scarce at best.

And if you think Alex is full of shit... I give you:
Hey, the Edison guy said "small amounts", "no danger to the public"... LOL, sure, and like Edison would willingly admit anything it would be RESPONSIBLE for?  I've heard they really were pushing the output there as well prior.

I tell you this now; the clock is ticking.  As I stated before, the absolute best-case scenario with nuclear power is we just bury tons upon tons of waste that will maybe outlast humanity (you just better hope they never do near you or they don't do so near where your water is sourced)... but hey, why not just keep plowing ahead... after all, isn't that what we human beings do best - out-of-sight/out-of-mind... it isn't a problem because we can't see the ugly side?  Buying what an energy corporation employee/spokesperson says (especially the likes of Edison) is the equivalent of believing a convicted thief telling you they've never stolen; it is in their interest to protect their liability and operation.  After all, just look at how forthcoming the Japanese officials have been... we are still learning the gravity of the situation over a year later... and it will continue to be so.

 The following is borrowed from here:

Gundersen says that radioactivity from the burnt debris will end up not only in neighboring prefectures, but in Hawaii, British Columbia, Oregon, Washington and California. Gundersen said that burning radioactive debris is basically re-creating the Fukushima disaster all over again, as it is releasing a huge amount of radioactivity which had settled on the ground back into the air.
Steven Starr – Senior Scientist, Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Director of the Clinical Laboratory Science Program at the University of Missouri-Columbia, who has advised numerous countries on issues of nuclear non-proliferation – writes:
Burning radioactive debris will only serve to further randomly spread radiation across Japan, as well as the rest of the world. Not only will this lead to more morbidity and mortality within Japan, but it will further complicate epidemiological studies of the Fukushima disaster. Raising “acceptable” levels of radioactive fallout is a false solution to a serious problem. It is possible for the government authorities to do this because radiation is invisible to us, and at lower doses, the consequences of exposure do not manifest themselves for some time . . . thus it is a poison that is easy to hide and ignore. Sadly, the children of Japan will be those most seriously affected by this man-made environmental catastrophe.

Nice to know some Japanese are pissed off.