Archive for June 7th, 2011

June 7, 2011

Tecnocumbia

chancha via circuito

Tecnocumbia [tek-noh-koom-bee-uh] is a style of Cumbia (Latin American folk music) were there is a fusion between electronic sounds generated by electronic musical instruments and traditional instruments. The term ‘tecnocumbia’ was coined in Mexico to describe this type of music, but the style of music was developed throughout South America with different names given to it. In Mexico, it developed as a variant of the Mexican cumbia that started in the early 80s. The style added electronic instruments along with samplers to the Mexican cumbia music. One of the first musical groups with electrical 80’s sounds was Super Show de los Vazkez from Veracruz, formed in 1981. In the early 90s Selena the ‘Tex-mex queen’ had hits in U.S. and Mexico in the tecnocumbia style.

In South America, where the Colombian Cumbia most easily expanded in popularity, different ‘modern’ styles of the original Colombian rhythm were started mainly in the countries of Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. The Peruvian cumbia, developed in the early 60s, used electric guitars and synthesizers along with the other classical instruments of the Colombian cumbia in order to create a kind of tropical sound. Variations within the Peruvian cumbia added more tropical rhythms along with a more Andean flavor, which eventually resulted in the creation of the Andean cumbia (Commonly called ‘Chicha music’ in Peru).

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June 7, 2011

Cumbia

cumbia

Tecnocumbia

Cumbia [koom-bee-uh] is a Latin American music style that originated in Colombia’s Caribbean coastal region. Traditional cumbia and its associated dance is considered to be representative of Colombia, along with Vallenato, Bambuco and Pasillo. Cumbia originated in the Caribbean coast of eastern Colombia, but there are also folkloric variants in Panama.

During the mid-20th century, Colombian band leaders such as Pacho Galan and Lucho Bermudez orchestrated this Caribbean folklore and brought it to different parts of Latin America, where it gained particular popularity in Mexico, Argentina, and the Andean region. Cumbia began as a courtship dance practiced among the African slave population that was later mixed with European instruments and musical characteristics. Cumbia is very popular in the Andean region and the Southern Cone and was until the early 1980’s more popular in these regions than the salsa.

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June 7, 2011

Radiolab

radiolab

Radiolab is a radio program produced by WNYC, a public radio station in New York City. The show is nationally syndicated and is available as a podcast. Hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, the show focuses on topics of a scientific and philosophical nature. The show attempts to approach broad, difficult topics such as ‘time’ and ‘morality’ in an accessible and light-hearted manner and with a distinctive audio production style.

Each Radiolab episode is elaborately stylized. For instance, thematic—and often discordant—music accompanies much of the commentary. Abumrad explained the choice in music thusly: ‘I put a lot of jaggedy sounds, little plurps and things, strange staccato, percussive things.’ In addition, previously recorded interview segments are interspersed in the show’s live dialogue, adding a layered, call-and-response affect to the questions posed by the hosts. These recordings are often unedited and the interviewee’s asides appear in the final product. Abumrad said, ‘You’re trying to capture the rhythms and the movements, the messiness of the actual experience…It sounds like life.’ And unlike traditional journalism, in which the reader is given only access to the final article, not the interview, Abumrad added that Radiolab’s process is more transparent.

June 7, 2011

Early Adopter

gay cowboy

An early adopter (or lighthouse customer or trendsetter) is an early consumer of a given company, product, or technology; in politics, fashion, art, and other fields, this person would be referred to as a trendsetter. The term originates from communications scholar Everett M. Rogers’ 1962 sociology text, ‘Diffusion of Innovations.’ Early adopters often provide considerable and candid feedback to help vendors refine future product releases, as well as the associated means of distribution, service, and support.

The relationship is synergistic, with the customer having early (and sometimes unique, or at least uniquely early) access to a new product or technology, but also serving as a test subject. In exchange for being an early adopter, and thus being exposed to the problems, risks, and annoyances common to early-stage product testing and deployment, the lighthouse customer is sometimes given especially attentive vendor assistance and support, even to the point of having personnel at the customer’s work site to assist with implementation. The customer is sometimes given preferential pricing, terms, and conditions, although new technology is very often expensive.

June 7, 2011

Santigold

santigold

Santi White (b. 1976), better known by her stage name Santigold, is an American songwriter, producer, and singer. Her debut album Santogold was released in 2008. The artist got her pseudonym in the 1990s from a friend’s nickname for her. Santigold was the singer of the Philadelphia-based punk rock band Stiffed, whose 2003 album, ‘Sex Sells,’ and 2005 album, ‘Burned Again,’ were produced by Bad Brains bassist Darryl Jenifer. In February 2009, Santogold changed her stage name to Santigold, as a result of infomercial jeweller Santo Gold threatening legal action.

White’s style has been compared often to that of M.I.A. White said of the M.I.A. comparison that they are both ‘women who have similar influences and have worked with some of the same people,’ but that her music is different, adding ‘I can’t think of anybody who would be a better fit of somebody who I’m like… I think what’s accurate about that comparison is that she’s an artist who has loads of different influences… and is putting things together in a way that’s unexpected and genreless.’ Santigold and her friend Amanda Blank have been described as being part of ‘a new crop of young, multicultural, female acts in the wake of M.I.A.’ White also stated her liking for New Wave, stating that ‘My Superman’ is an interpolation of a Siouxsie and the Banshees’ song, ‘Red Light.’

June 7, 2011

Sylvester

do ya wanna funk

mighty real

Sylvester James (1947 – 1988), better known as Sylvester, was an American disco and soul singer, and a gay drag performer.

Sylvester was sometimes known as the ‘Queen of Disco,’ although this moniker has also been bestowed on some of the women of the disco era (i.e. Gloria Gaynor, Donna Summer). His most significant works are the songs ‘You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) in 1978 and ‘Do You Wanna Funk’ in 1982.

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June 7, 2011

Hibiscus

hibiscus by sabrina emami

Hibiscus (real name, George Harris, Jr.) (1949–1982) was one of the leaders of the psychedelic gay liberation theater collective group known as ‘The Cockettes’ in early 1970s San Francisco; in today’s theatrical parlance he would be considered to be a ‘Creative Director.’ George Harris was the young man in the turtleneck sweater in the famous picture of the anti-war protester putting flowers into the gun barrels of the MPs during the October 21, 1967 march on the Pentagon in order to ‘levitate’ it. Later as Hibiscus (whose full beard, vintage dresses, make-up and costume jewelry created a defiant look, even by today’s standards) embraced drag and drugs as paths to spiritual liberation, and attracted a group of like-minded hippies who loved show-tunes, dressing up, showing off and dropping acid, and became The Cockettes.

The Cockettes decked themselves out in drag outfits and glitter for a series of legendary midnight musicals at the Palace Theater in San Francisco’s California North Beach neighborhood. They quickly became a ‘must-see’ for San Francisco’s gay community, with their outlandishly decadent productions like ‘Journey to the Center of Uranus,’ ‘Tinsel Tarts in a Hot Coma,’ and ‘Gone with the Showboat to Oklahoma.’ Two notable Cockettes were the disco diva darling Sylvester and the ‘queen of B-movie filth’ Divine, who sang ‘If there’s a crab on Uranus you know you’ve been loved’ while dressed as a psychedelic crab queen. When the Cockettes wanted to start charging for their shows, Hibiscus left, believing all shows should be free, and formed the ‘Angels of Light.’ Hibiscus died of AIDS in 1982.

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June 7, 2011

Glittering Generality

miss wasilla

Glittering generalities are emotionally appealing words so closely associated with highly-valued concepts and beliefs that they carry conviction without supporting information or reason. Such highly-valued concepts attract general approval and acclaim. Their appeal is to emotions such as love of country and home, and desire for peace, freedom, glory, and honor. They ask for approval without examination of the reason. They are typically used by politicians and propagandists.

Words and phrases such as ‘common good,’ ‘reform,’ ‘courage,’ ‘democracy,’ ‘freedom,’ ‘hope,’ ‘patriotism,’ ‘strength,’ are terms with whom people all over the world have powerful associations, and they may have trouble disagreeing with them. However, these words are highly abstract and ambiguous, and meaningful differences exist regarding what they actually mean or should mean in the real world. George Orwell described such words at length in his essay ‘Politics and the English Language’

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June 7, 2011

Seasoned Pan

cast iron

A seasoned pan has a stick-resistant coating of polymerized fat and oil on the surface (a polymer is a molecule, made from joining together many small molecules called monomers). Seasoning is desirable on cast-iron cookware and carbon steel cookware, because otherwise they are very sticky to foods and rust-prone. For other pans (e.g., stainless, aluminum, enamelled), the same chemical phenomenon can occur, but seasoning may not be desired for cosmetic reasons (it makes a pan look splotchy), or the pan may already be stick-resistant (e.g., at medium heat, a clean stainless pan with oil is very stick resistant to many foods).

The process of heating a pan to cause the oil to oxidize is analogous to the hardening of drying oil used in oil paints, or to varnish a painting. When oils or fats are heated in a pan, multiple degradation reactions occur, including: autoxidation, thermal oxidation, polymerization, cyclization and fission.

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