Archive for January 15th, 2012

January 15, 2012

Major Lazer

lazer

Major Lazer is a collaborative musical project from DJ/Producers Diplo and Switch. Made up of DJs Diplo and Switch, the two were introduced after working with M.I.A..

The duo’s first album ‘Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do’ was released in 2009, on Downtown Records. It was recorded in Jamaica at Tuff Gong Studios. Vocalists such as Santigold, Vybz Kartel, Ward 21, Busy Signal, Nina Sky, Amanda Blank, Mr. Vegas, Turbulence, Mapei, T.O.K, Prince Zimboo, Leftside and others contribute guest vocals to the album, as well as additional production from Afrojack and Crookers.

January 15, 2012

Ester Hernandez

sun mad

Ester Hernandez (b. 1944) is a Chicana visual artist known for her pastels, paintings and prints primarily depicting Chicanas/Latinas. Her artwork captures time, and makes sense of the complex world we live in. She aspires to create a visual dialogue for women’s role in this new multi-cultural millennium. Her work reflects the political, social, ecological, and spiritual themes born from community pride, a commitment to political action, and an abiding sense of humor.

As a solo artist and member of Las Mujeres Muralistas, an influential San Francisco Mission district Latina women mural group in the early seventies, her career has marked her as a pioneer in the Chicana/Chicano civil rights art movement.

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January 15, 2012

Plutocracy

plutocracy

Plutocracy [ploo-tok-ruh-see] is rule by the wealthy, or power provided by wealth. The combination of both plutocracy and oligarchy is called plutarchy. The word ‘plutocracy’ is derived from the Ancient Greek root ‘ploutos,’ meaning ‘wealth’ and ‘kratos,’ meaning ‘to rule’ or ‘to govern.’

The term is generally used to describe these two distinct concepts: one of a historical nature and one of a modern political nature. The former indicates the political control of the state by an oligarchy of the wealthy. Examples of such plutocracies include the Roman Republic, some city-states in Ancient Greece, the civilization of Carthage, the Italian city-states/merchant republics of Venice, Florence, Genoa, and pre-WWII Empire of Japan zaibatsus.

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January 15, 2012

Goomba

goomba

Goombas, known in Japan as Kuribo (‘Chestnut People’), are fictional species from Nintendo’s series of ‘Mario’ video games. They first appeared in the NES video game ‘Super Mario Bros.’ as the first enemy players encounter. They are usually brown and are most commonly seen walking around aimlessly, often as an obstacle, in video games. They were included late in the development of Super Mario Bros. in order to create a simple, easy-to-defeat enemy.

Goombas were the last enemy added to the game after play testers stated that the Koopa Troopa was too tricky an enemy. As a result, the designers introduce a basic enemy. When they decided to do this, however, they had very little space left in the game. They used a single image twice to convey the notion that the Goombas are walking, rotating it back and forth, causing it to look lopsided as it walks and giving the motion the appearance of a trot. The Goomba’s resemblance to the Super Mushroom forced designers to change the mechanics and appearance of the Super Mushroom. They used the Goomba’s ability to be jumped on and defeated to teach players how to deal with enemies and to not fear the Super Mushroom. The Goombas are designed after a shiitake mushroom.

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January 15, 2012

Sonic Weapon

sonic tank by steve cooley

Sonic and ultrasonic weapons (USW) are weapons of various types that use sound to injure, incapacitate, or kill an opponent. Some sonic weapons are currently in limited use or in research and development by military and police forces. Others exist only in the realm of science fiction.

Some of these weapons have been described as sonic bullets, sonic grenades, sonic mines, or sonic cannons. Some make a focused beam of sound or ultrasound; some make an area field of sound. Although many real sonic and ultrasonic weapons are described as ‘non-lethal,’ they can still kill under certain conditions.

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January 15, 2012

Hoodie

hoodie by doug hucker

A hoodie is a sweatshirt with a hood. They often include a muff sewn onto the lower front, and a drawstring to adjust the hood opening, and may have a vertical zipper down the center similar to a windbreaker style jacket.

The garment’s style and form can be traced back to Medieval Europe when the formal wear for monks included a long, decorative hood called cowl worn a tunic or robes. The modern clothing style was first produced by Champion in the 1930s and marketed to laborers who endured freezing temperatures in upstate New York.

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January 15, 2012

Hashish

kief

hash joint

Hashish [ha-sheesh] is a cannabis preparation composed of compressed stalked resin glands, called trichomes, collected from the unfertilized buds of the cannabis plant. It contains the same active ingredients but in higher concentrations than unsifted buds or leaves.

Hashish is often a paste-like substance with varying hardness and pliability, its color most commonly light to dark brown but varying toward green, yellow, black or red. Hashish is heated in a pipe, hookah, bong, bubbler, vaporizer, hot knife, smoked in joints mixed with cannabis buds or tobacco, or cooked in foods.

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January 15, 2012

Tenacious D

pick of destiny

Tenacious D is an American rock band that was formed in Los Angeles in 1994. Composed of lead vocalist and guitarist Jack Black and lead guitarist and vocalist Kyle Gass, the band has released two albums – ‘Tenacious D’ (2001) and ‘The Pick of Destiny’ (2006). The band’s studio releases and live performances feature a full band lineup, including such musicians as guitarist John Konesky, bassist John Spiker and Bad Religion drummer Brooks Wackerman.

The band originally performed as an acoustic duo, which gained popularity in 1999 when they starred in their eponymous television series and began to support large rock acts. Tenacious D’s music showcases Black’s theatrical vocal delivery and Gass’s acoustic guitar playing abilities. Critics have described their fusion of vulgar absurdist comedy with rock music as ‘mock rock.’ Their songs discuss the duo’s purported musical and sexual prowess, as well as their friendship and cannabis usage in a style that music critics have compared with the storyteller-style lyrics of rock opera.

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January 15, 2012

Burning Man

burning man

Burning Man is a week-long annual event held in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. The event starts on the Monday before Labor Day, and ends on the holiday itself. It takes its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy on Saturday evening. The event is described by many participants as an experiment in community, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.

Burning Man is organized by Black Rock City, LLC. In 2010, 51,515 people attended Burning Man. In 2011, attendance was capped at 50,000 participants. In 2011, Larry Harvey announced that the Org had begun the process of transitioning management of the festival over to a new non-profit called the ‘Burningman Project.’

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January 15, 2012

Preved

medved

Preved is a term used in Russian Internet slang (Padonkaffsky jargon); it is a meme which developed out of a heavily-circulated picture, and consists of choosing alternative spellings for words for comic effect. The picture, a modified version of John Lurie’s watercolor ‘Bear Surprise,’ features a man and a woman having sex in the clearing of a forest, being surprised by a bear calling ‘Surprise!’ with its paws raised. In later Russian adaptations, the bear shouts ‘Preved!’ (a deliberate misspelling of ‘privet,’ ‘hi!’).

The word and the bear image have found their way into the mainstream mass media, such as a poster for the Russian edition of ‘Newsweek.’ In 2006 at an online conference, Vladimir Putin was asked: ‘PREVED, Vladimir Vladimirovich! How do you regard MEDVED?’ No answer was given, but the Associated Press, informing on the questions collection process, reportedly interpreted it as a reference to then-vice-prime-minister Dmitry Medvedev. It was the most popular question asked at the conference (the third most popular question was ‘How does one patch KDE2 under FreeBSD?’).

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January 15, 2012

Kavinsky

Kavinsky

Kavinsky, real name Vincent Belorgey (b. 1977), is a French electro house artist, and has released three EPs on the Record Makers label: ‘Teddy Boy’ in 2006, ‘1986’ a year later, and ‘Nightcall’ in 2010. His work has been remixed by SebastiAn and others. In addition to his music career he has also appeared in several films including ‘Steak,’ directed by longtime friend Mr. Oizo. The SebastiAn remix of ‘Testarossa Autodrive’ off the ‘1986’ EP is featured in the video game ‘Grand Theft Auto IV.’

Kavinsky’s fellow producer Surkin once jokingly claimed in an interview that Kavinsky was his father. There has been a long running joke since. Kavinsky’s production style is very reminiscent of film soundtracks of the 1980s. He has also been compared to many similar French house artists including Daft Punk and Danger. Kavinsky’s single ‘Nightcall’ was featured in the opening credits of the film ‘Drive.’

January 15, 2012

Kode9

hyperdub

Kode9 (born Steve Goodman) is a London-based electronic music artist, DJ, and owner of the Hyperdub record label. MC, The Spaceape, is a frequent collaborator. Initially inspired by what he calls the ‘hardcore continuum,’ he also draws on dub reggae, and was one of the founding members of the early dubstep scene (which he views as a continuation of developments originally stemming from UK Hardcore).

He has released two full-length albums: ‘Memories of the Future’ and ‘Black Sun’ (both featuring the Spaceape). Kode9 has a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Warwick.  In 2009, MIT Press published his book, ‘Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear,’ exploring the uses of acoustic force and how sound can be deployed to set moods of dread and fear, how sound can be used as torture, as a weapon and as a threat.’