At last! A new music video from John Boswell of Symphony of Science, and it’s one of his catchier tunes:
More Symphony of Science videos here.
The clips of Michio Kaku are taken from his video for The Floating University, which offers free online lectures by leading scholars and thinkers on a wide range of subjects — from astrophysics to political philosophy, from finance to population studies, from linguistics to the psychology of sex. It’s a wonderful online resource and I highly recommend checking it out.
Here’s Kaku’s full lecture:
More Floating University videos on YouTube (via BigThink) here.
I’m a new fan gobsmacked by the utterly compelling, blistering, devastating music of Trixie Whitley. Goddamn:
With bare-bones guitarwork and that demolishing voice (erupting into full force at 2:54), “Need Your Love” is like… what?…like a winter tree bursting into flame:
And if “Strong Blood” doesn’t slowly and relentlessly destroy you, I doubt you have a soul worth moving:
Thank you, NPR.
Here’s Tim Minchin’s newest version of his utterly lovely humanist carol “White Wine in the Sun.” I seem to be making a tradition out of posting this song at Christmastime; so be it. Enjoy:
I’ve wanted, but failed, to write about so much over the past few weeks — including about the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, where so many of the family gatherings that Minchin celebrates will be terribly incomplete this year. And there has been a death in my own extended family as well. But we keep gathering, and consoling, and loving, because we are human, and that’s what humans do.
Merry Christmas. See you in the new year.
Documentary filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady capture a moment of hate — and love — in a city big enough to contain both:
I love this town.
(via The New York Times)
Oh, no! After just one Grammy-winning album and the promise of so much more, my favorite band The Civil Wars have decided, at least for now, to call it quits — citing “internal discord” and “irreconcilable differences of ambition.” A civil war within The Civil Wars: it seems, ironically, that they chose their name well.
I hesitate to ask, but: coming so soon after the election, could the split be due to political differences? Could the self-described “California girl” and “Alabama boy” have fallen out over the Dream Act and the merits of Obamacare? I jest — not too offensively, I hope — because this truly saddens me; Joy Williams and John Paul White have crafted some of the most exquisite music I’ve heard in a long time, and I was SO looking forward to seeing them perform live someday. Their sound is a gift. And whenever personal differences — or any of the other demands and compromises of “real life” — silence that kind of music, it’s a great loss for the world.
If you haven’t heard of them, check out this concert, which showcases what they’ve done so astonishingly well: luminous, heart-piercing songs fashioned with love, joy, and the most ethereal harmonies this side of Simon and Garfunkel.
Thanks, Joy and John Paul. Best wishes on whatever roads you travel. May they someday lead you back to each other and to your music, with which you’ve won so very many hearts.
A song for Election Day. And every day.
Know the history of the vote, and be part of it.
Decisions are made by those who show up.
Find your polling place here.
Swing state or not, your voice matters. Make it heard.
Nina Paley, creator of the sublime Sita Sings the Blues, offers a primer on the history of conflict in the Middle East:
A guide to the various quarreling entities here.
“This Land is Mine” is the first completed segment of Paley’s “potential-possible-maybe” feature-length film Seder-Masochism (whose first phase has been successfully funded via Kickstarter). I can’t wait for the rest.
(via The Dish)
A song for New York, from Lucy Kaplansky:
It’s been eleven years, and songs like this — and the memories of that day — still bring tears to my eyes. I don’t think I’ll ever be over it.
My daughter is eleven now. She was just four months old on 9/11 and has no memory of that day, only the stories her parents have told her — it’s history for her, just another thing that happened in the world before she became aware of the world. Maybe that’s the way it should be. I wouldn’t wish this quiet grief to haunt her for the rest of her days. Let her acknowledge that day and move on with her life, in sunlight and in joy.
They’re teaching her in middle school to accept — “not just tolerate” — all cultures. I temper it a bit, telling her that all people deserve respect, but not all ideas do. Where cultures have wrong ideas — honor killings, female genital mutilation, the belief in the supremacy of one religion or another — people must speak out against them.
But perhaps the middle school teachers are right to emphasize respect and acceptance first: if respect is the foundation, perhaps it will help kids grow up to remember that whoever they disagree with is a human being too. In the end, after all the many important issues to disagree about, there’s nothing more important than that.
More thoughts on 9/11 here.
Alex Chadwick blazes through a hundred iconic guitar riffs in a 12-minute survey of rock n’ roll. Goddamn: