Blogs

Que e Technobrega?

| Fri Oct. 19, 2007 6:15 PM EDT

mojo-photo-tecnobrega.jpgToday's New York Times features an article on the northern Brazilian "tecnobrega" scene, and while the focus is the "piracy" and decentralized distribution model, they don't really talk about the music itself, which makes it seem like it must be almost unfathomably exotic. Well, in fact, the opposite is true: the whole point of brega is the cheesy accessibility, and the "tecno" prefix is a little misleading, since this is no, uh, 808 State. Actually, it sounds a lot like reggaeton, and the loping rhythm will be familiar to anyone who turns on the radio in LA (a kind of "boom-chicka-booom-chick"). I found a couple videos to check out after the jump.

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Speeches of the Living Dead: Santorum, Blackwell, and Gingrich

| Fri Oct. 19, 2007 6:01 PM EDT

It's a real horror show here at FRC's WB. Former senator Rick Santorum came out to slam Hillary Clinton on abortion, former Ohio secretary of state Kenneth Blackwell came out to jabber about civilization or ideas or something, and former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich came out to talk about how Americans support certain things in massive majorities (prayer in schools, the pledge of allegiance, etc.) only be see their near-consensus on these issues overruled by the courts and the elites in Washington. Newt also selectively chose a bunch of historical facts to make it appear the Founders were strong supporters of faith in government. That's been debunked, fortunately.

Newt also thinks we're going to have a sea change in this country, because large swaths of the country can obviously see we're heading to hell in handbasket. I can't warn you about this conservative revolution because my brain is fried. Completely fried. I can hardly type.

And I still have Romney in two hours. Jesus.

Friday Implies It's Music News Day

| Fri Oct. 19, 2007 5:23 PM EDT

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  • Rapper T.I. may be in serious trouble after he was arrested in a sting trying to purchase machine guns and silencers. Police also found a half a pound (!) of marijuana in his car. A phalanx of supporters attended a court date in Atlanta today, including up-and-coming hip-hop star Young Jeezy, where T.I. pleaded "not guilty."

  • Former Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr was named a Visiting Professor at the University of Salford in Manchester, where he will deliver "a series of workshops and masterclasses to students on the BA Popular Music and Recording degree." Professor Marr, what do you do if your lead singer is lying about how much he's paying the drummer and the bassist?
  • The recording industry goes after Usenet for illegal music file-sharing. Usenet. Wasn't that what all the geeks in the computer lab at college were on back in like 1988? What next, oh record labels: going after on-hold music? Commodore 64 music composition programs? Home taping?
  • A dude in a gas mask freaked Annie Lennox out at a concert in Boulder, Colorado on Tuesday night. Lennox saw the man approaching and fled the stage, later apologizing to fans but defending her reaction, calling the guy "freakish and disturbing." The man was also wearing, uh, platform boots and a cape. Is this the hot look this season in Boulder?
  • Rudy Falls Off Ronald Reagan's Stool

    | Fri Oct. 19, 2007 3:31 PM EDT

    Anonymous flier being handed out here at the super-Christian Family Research Council's Washington Briefing:

    The American Stool
    Designed by Ronald Reagan
    INSTRUCTIONS
    Step 1. Attach stool leg labeled: "Strong Economy"
    Step 2. Attach stool leg labeled: "Strong Military"
    Step 3. Attach stool leg labeled: "Strong Family"
    DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!
    Someone make sure that Rudy gets a copy of this! He lost his!

    The back? Completely blank. No one wants to take credit. What is this, South Carolina?

    Only Three Shopping Days Left 'Til the War on Xmas

    | Fri Oct. 19, 2007 3:29 PM EDT
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    The phony war against the "War on Christmas" seems to come earlier every year. Via ThinkProgress, we learn that WorldNetDaily is already pushing its "Christmas-defense kit" to help "ward off the evil spirits of the ACLU grinches." Having just recovered from the War on Columbus Day, I figured I still had a few weeks before I should start dropping the H-bomb (Happy Holidays!). But while secular America sleeps, WND's been busy: It's even reclaimed Turkey Day too.

    LJ's Gabby Glaser Goes Solo

    | Fri Oct. 19, 2007 3:23 PM EDT
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    Gabby Glaser's first solo release, Gimme Splash, has all the great sounds that her 90s alternative band Luscious Jackson cranked out: 70s funk and hip-hop inspired drum beats, wah-wah guitar licks, minor-sounding chord progressions and sultry, un-forced vocals.

    But Gimme Splash lacks the soft-touch keyboards of Luscious Jackson. Gone are the higher pitched vocal melodies of Luscious Jackson's lead singer Jill Cunnif. Glaser's 11 songs rock harder, and have her signature lower-register vocal range and fuzz-pedal guitar sounds. After listening to this CD a couple of times, I could definitely pull out my old Luscious Jackson albums and pinpoint exactly which tunes Glaser wrote.

    This is a solid first album that is as sexy as it is tough.

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    Duncan Hunter is a Scary Man

    | Fri Oct. 19, 2007 3:15 PM EDT

    dhunter.jpeg I'll just say this about Duncan Hunter— the man could not more be hawkish. At one point in his speech here at FRC's Washington Briefing, he promised more preemptive wars without even bothering to explain why or with whom, saying only that they might be necessary. And almost completely out of the blue, he said, "That little country, that little postage stamp called Israel, has stood by the United States on every major security issue in the Middle East. They should not give back an inch of their land." The room absolutely erupted in cheers—one woman literally jumped up and down. I guess I was unaware of how important Israel is to this community. I wonder why no other candidate has mentioned it.

    China's CO2 Output Fueled By Us

    | Fri Oct. 19, 2007 2:00 PM EDT

    5293336_4e517670cf_m.jpg I've wondered about this for a while, as it becomes all too easy to blame China and do nothing ourselves. Now we learn that one quarter of China's greenhouse gas emissions are produced making goods exported to the West. The report by the UK's Tyndall Centre worked with 2004 data, the latest available. The percentage may well be higher now. The authors concluded: "The extent of 'exported carbon' from China should lead to some rethinking by government negotiators as they work towards a new climate change agreement."

    Julia Whitty is Mother Jones' environmental correspondent. You can read from her new book, The Fragile Edge, and other writings, here.

    Tort Reform Brings More Doctors to Texas, But Only for Rich People

    | Fri Oct. 19, 2007 1:44 PM EDT

    In 2003, Texas voters approved a ballot initiative known as Proposition 12 that helped radically restrict state residents' ability to sue doctors or nursing homes that killed or injured them. Insurance company lobbyists had claimed doctors were fleeing the state because of lawsuits and high malpractice insurance premiums, threatening access to care. Proposition 12 was supposed to fix all that. Not only would doctors rush to Texas for its friendly legal climate, but, supporters claimed, obstetricians would move en masse to the 152 poor, rural Texas counties that had no ob/gyn to deliver local babies.

    The New York Times recently declared Prop 12 a huge success because doctors (ob/gyns in particular) are supposedly flocking to Texas now that they don't have to worry about getting sued. One thing the Times didn't point out, though, was that the number of those new ob/gyns who've moved to rural, underserved Texas is exactly zero.
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    The Texas Observer this month crunched the numbers, and came to the not-so-startling conclusion that while there may be more doctors in Texas thanks to tort reform, virtually all of them moved into the state's richest suburbs, which were already well-stocked with highly paid specialists. As it turns out, doctors don't shun the Texas sticks because of lawsuits but because they'd just rather live closer to Starbucks and their golfing buddies.

    Thompson Speaks With Substance. What?

    | Fri Oct. 19, 2007 12:56 PM EDT

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    In the speech he just gave to the assembled Christian politicos, Fred Thompson bucked the trend by actually laying out some positions and issue ideas. Revolutionary idea for a presidential candidate...

    Mixed with a certain degree of pablum (Examples: "We live in the greatest country in the history of the world. Our obligation is to do everything we can to keep it that way." "We must pass good laws. We must stop bad laws."), Thompson took strong positions on the following issues: (1) Unborn babies. (2) Courts. (3) Gays. (4) National debt. (5) "Global conflict with radical Islam."

    Those positions were: (1) Save 'em. When Fred Thompson saw the sonogram of his youngest daughter, he knew he could never be anything but pro-life.

    (2) Stop 'em. "Too often, it is our judicial branch of government that violates our approved law." (I thought that was called a check and/or balance?) Courts make our social and cultural rules, Thompson argues, and that's just wrong. We need more judges like Chief Justice John Roberts.

    (3) Don't let 'em marry. No elaboration needed.

    (4) Fight it. We're leaving near-fatal levels of national debt to future generations, who are too young to have a seat at the table during this discussion.

    (5) Win it. Duh.

    I'll add three things. Because I like numbering, apparently.