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Archive for June, 2011

Wikileaks on MasterCard

 

Anonymous Goes After Orlando, Florida

Citing Homeless Law, Hackers Turn Sights on Orlando

New York Times

MIAMI — The hacker group Anonymous has declared a cyberwar against the City of Orlando, disabling Web sites for the city’s leading redevelopment organization, the local Fraternal Order of Police and the mayor’s re-election campaign.

This is a reaction to the arrests of Food Not Bombs personnel for feeding the homeless in the parks of Orlando. Food Not Bombs is quoted as not being entirely happy with being associated with this; Anonymous pretty much responds with “You don’t own this issue; our concerns are with the rights of the hungry and those who wish to feed them.”

Anonymous press release:

 

The Sorceror’s Sacagawea

$1 Billion That Nobody Wants

NPR

The gist of this story is that our country is busy minting and storing (and guarding fiercely) one dollar coins for which there is no demand. They are being returned by banks in increasing numbers.

Switching to the dollar coins won’t save citizens money, according to this article. They do profit the government, because it can sell them for more than it costs them to make, one dollar vs. thirty cents.

They can’t stop minting the Presidential series until they get through the whole list of Presidents. But Sacagawea could not be displaced in the process. Thus, there are lots of extra everybodies in storage.

Watch out for that Calvin Coolidge dollar coin! Could become very collectible. Ya never know.

 

Saturday Music Blogging

Music in shells

About twenty years ago, I was managing the Venice Ocean Park Cooperative Commonwealth, Inc., for a year or so. Little organic/health food store, on the edge of Oakwood, fronted up on Lincoln Boulevard, in what was technically Los Angeles, California.

VOP is gone now. The guy who was usually managing it moved to Vancouver (and good for him). I bailed from my temp manager gig for a variety of reasons. I wanted to get out of a city that would take one four hours to drive out of, should things go south. And I don’t drive.

Also, at the end of my my management career there, we got held up about every week for several months. That does get old.

There was a year or so, though, when I was in my glory, managing a cooperatively owned health food store, focusing on organically grown food, and ethical treatment of people and everything.

It was, I think, 1991.

I had to keep the staff short, and what that meant to me was; “okay, you’re going to have to deal with shitty pay – maybe $5 an hour, and no health insurance. We can’t do that.

But you’re gonna get a good discount on groceries, like 20%. And if you have problems, I’m here for you.”

And I was. I tried to be. They told me they couldn’t come in, I’d cover. I’d work it one way or another. They did crazy shit that hurt me?

Well, I’ve likely done crazy shit that hurt people too.

But these were my employees. The only one I ever kicked out was one who was ripping us off, and I had to be told this by several other of my loyal staff persons before I did anything about him.

Then I told him he had to leave. It was hard. I hate having to do that.

But I did it. And a few years later, he came back and apologized.

&&&&&&&&&

VOP is gone now. But I’m not done with the stories.

Back when I was managing, Kerry Fahey was running a record store just up the street, on Lincoln Boulevard. A really fine record store. This was when CD’s were still kinda suspect.

Kerry wasn’t John Fahey’s brother, but they grew up together. John wrote about Kerry in his book “How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life.” More on that later.

Revenant Records is perhaps the last important thing of all the important things John Fahey helped to make; in fact he founded it.

John’s dead now, but Revenant is still going.

This on their front page today, June 22, as I write this:

ALBERT AYLER RETURNS TO THE ESP CATALOGUE
Revenant Records and ESP-DISK’ to Jointly Market Grammy-Nominated Box Set

New York City, July 21st, 2007 – Revenant Records has granted ESP-DISK’ exclusive distribution rights to its Grammy nominated Albert Ayler 9-CD box set entitled Holy Ghost: Rare & Unissued Recordings (1962-70) (RVN 213). Ayler, an internationally recognized jazz saxophonist, and protege of John Coltrane, whose untimely death has been the subject of many conspiracy theories, returns to the ESP catalogue, for which he recorded four groundbreaking albums in the mid-60s. Commenting upon the alliance, Bernard Stollman, ESP’s founder said that “ESP provided an unique environment that helped incubate artistically ambitious projects. The Ayler material in the box set draws heavily on Ayler’s most productive period on ESP. Revenant’s empathetic treatment of the material, and our partnership with them has allowed for an exciting exchange of resources between two fiercely independent labels.”

Founded in 1964, ESP-DISK’s first musical release was Ayler’s Spiritual Unity (ESPDISK’ 1002), which The Penguin Guide to Jazz cited as “one of the essential recordings of the new jazz [that] should be in every serious collection.” Artists who made their debuts as leaders on ESP include Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Gato Barbieri, Bob James, Marion Brown, Roswell Rudd, Burton Greene, Patty Waters, Henry Grimes, Charles Tyler, Sunny Murray, Milford Graves, Sonny Simmons, Ronnie Boykins and Frank Wright.

Back to Kerry and his record store. I bought a lot of cassettes from him. Back them, CD’s were considered kinda questionable. We weren’t quite clear then as to whether they would fly.

I still have almost all of those cassette tapes I bought from Kerry, 20 years ago.

He turned me on to a lot of good music, including the Underthings. I still have a cassette they made, that he sold me, and I recently found a youtube video, quite cool! of one of the best songs on that album (remember when we called them albums?)

Waiting For The End Of The World

And here’s some John Fahey:

Poor Boys a Long Way From Home

The Yellow Princess

It was wonderful to get to know Kerry. He taught me things about music. He worked for Takoma for awhile at one point, too. That was John Fahey’s label, he founded that too.

Wikipedia, Takoma Records

Kerry’s store was total fail as a store, far as money went. But socially it was awesome. Kerry had a space in the middle where you could sit and hang out and listen to music. I would go over there in the afternoons, in the middle of my long days at the Co-op, that usually started early and ended late. Often there weren’t any visitors, and even more rarely customers; but when people did drop in, they tended to be pretty well worth getting to know. He was, for all practical purposes, running a salon.

Sometimes when things were slow, we’d take folding chairs out onto the sidewalk, and sit smoking, watching the cars go by on Lincoln Boulevard, and making harsh remarks about life, I suppose, although I cannot remember a thing about what we talked about.

Last time I saw Kerry, it was after he had to close down the store. He used to joke about the tax collectors, and about how he wouldn’t talk to them on the phone. About how he’d tell them that he made a habit of never opening mail from the government, and then would hang up on them.

I think he mortgaged and lost his house to keep that store going, even though he could see the writing on the wall.

That’s what I remember, anyway.

Last time I saw Kerry, he was working in a liquor store in L.A. I ran into him serendipitously.

He was behind the counter. It was good to see him.

I asked him what he was doing, how he was doing. He seemed all right, pretty upbeat. He said he’d been going out into the desert to watch the trains go by. He said doing this made him think of his father. He told me, one way or the other, that he had no regrets. The record store was worth it.

He seemed very peaceful. I liked that. I remembered that.

Drag City published a book by John Fahey in 2000, called “How Bluegrass Music Destroyed My Life.” It was out of print for awhile but they have it back available now. It’s a kind of surreal book, and I found reading it gave me a very different picture of Fahey than I did previously. But go get a copy yourself and see what you think; don’t let me spoil it for you.

Drag City also distributes Smog, aka Bill Callahan. Pandora fetched him to my account last year. Smog is a pretty minimalist guy, but he also comes off as pretty honest. He is not there to impress you with what a nice guy he is, though at the same time he manages to get across vulnerability at times. His style is overall kind of depressive, but that sets off the high notes well. When he writes about being happy, it’s a little scary, though – it just seems so dangerous and new to him.

“I Break Horses” is one of his darkest pieces, and one of his best, I think.

“Cold Blooded Old Times”

“Dress Sexy At My Funeral”

One more artist and then I’m done for now. Henry Flynt.

Again, thanks to Pandora.

 

What A Piece Of Work Is Man

 

Leonard Cohen, Chelsea Hotel

We’re ugly, but we have the music. A music. Any music.

 

Reason To Believe

I’ve always loved this song. This cover is better even than Rod Stewart’s version.

 

Dances With Sharks

 

Wild Horses on BLM Land, Recent Statistics

Wild horses: BLM facts and figures

Seattle Times/ AP, today

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management manages more than 245 million acres of federal land in 12 western states with about 30 million acres currently designated as horse management areas in 10 of those states under the authority of the Wild and Free-Roaming Horses and Burro Act of 1971 signed into law by President Nixon. BLM reports the following as of May 27: (see link)

Article has statistics for this year.

BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Program: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/prog/wild-horse-and-burro.html

 

Shiver Me Timbers, Tom Waits

 
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