Photo by Brook Bobbins

A-Trak and his Fool’s Gold Records team seem to have taken a page from the Jack White play book and opened their very own record store/swag store in Brooklyn, NY. I shouldn’t have to say that I’m a huge fan of just about everything Fool’s Gold and/or A-Trak does, and this just makes it even better. You can bet I will be paying them a visit next I’m in the Big Apple. One thing is pretty clear here- the similarities between what Jack White has done with his Third Man Records here in Nashville and what A-Trak is doing with his Fool’s Gold Records in NYC. I feel like A-Trak is headed for a similar status in the hip hop/dance/DJ realm as Jack White has built in the rock realm. They both have opened storefronts in their respective cities with an exquisitely curated style and vision, but also their respective labels consist of top-notch talent and everything about both of their brands has a sense of organic, home-grown quality to it. Next in line: Mac McCaughn and a Merge Records store in Chapel Hill, NC?

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Eating lunch with the Darlins in the Bronx.

So I’m back! It was a blast and I’d do it all again in heartbeat. I don’t have time to give a full rundown, but quite possibly the most memorable moment was realizing that a tornado was hitting Brooklyn while Those Darlins were soundchecking in Bowery Ballroom. Here’s the official weather report from the NWS. Needless to say, tornadoes are pretty rare in NYC. Thankfully we were in Manhattan while all this was happening. Those Darlins have some great new songs on their new record, and their setlist for this tour is mostly those new songs, peppered with the favs from their debut, and the free single “Nightjogger” which you can download at the Nashville Cream. Basically they’ve taken on a bit more of a pure rock & roll character, and drummer “Sheriff” Linwood Regansburg has taken on a much more prominent role in the songwriting, and even sings on one of the new songs, though they’re not yet playing that song live. Stay tuned for more on them and more on the results of my photo documentary project.

Meanwhile, here are some awesome things I came across while catching up on all my RSS feeds:

Vaccines absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, do NOT cause autism. A new study explored every possible way that thimerosal containing vaccines (TCVs) could be linked to autism and there was none. Absolutely no connection whatsoever; the same findings as the many other studies that have been done to investigate the claims of the anti-vax crowd. In fact, the result hinted that the administration of TCVs between birth and 7 months may actually reduce the risk of autism. It’s very simple, get your kids vaccinated! If you don’t, you are a threat to public health. Vaccines are one of mankind’s greatest scientific breakthroughs and have saved countless lives. There will always be a miniscule (and utterly negligible) risk of a bizarre allergic reaction or other complication, as there is with any medication or vaccine, but that risk is far, far, FAR outweighed by the benefits. And those risks have now been proven once and for all NOT to include autism.

A pair of astronomers have made an official prediction that the discovery of the first truly earth-like exoplanet will happen in less than a year- May of 2011. They used a well-known methodology called Scientometrics to make this prediction. I’d venture to say that to me, nothing in the field of astronomy, or even science in general, is more exciting than the very likely possibility of life on other planets. The discovery of the first true earth twin is a major step in that path. I really hope this prediction comes true.

Five awesome facts about NASA’s next robotic mission to Mars, the Mars Science Laboratory (a.k.a. Curiosity) which will launch in late 2011.

23 amazing photographs from the 1940s and 50s of nuclear bomb tests conducted by the US Military. This New York Times photos series is utterly fascinating, mainly because of images 5 through 7. Most of us have seen plenty of images of the mushroom clouds created by nuclear blasts, but those 3 images are unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. They were taken with a super high-speed camera and literally captured the blast at the very instant the explosion began. If I saw this image out of context I would probably think it was a microscope image of some sort of virus. The amazing irony here is that both a virus and an atomic bomb are incredibly destructive, yet in such completely different ways.

The actual scale of the observable universe, from the smallest possible thing the largest possible thing, is utterly impossible for the human mind to comprehend. Mathematicians came up with the concept of “orders of magnitude” to help with this, but I say it’s still impossible for any human to really grasp. But this fun little interactive Flash animation is pretty cool way of displaying the concept. (Via Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Twitter)

Infinity Cat staples Heavy Cream and Jeff the Brotherhood both got some serious love yesterday on Brooklyn Vegan. They’re about to embark on a tour together, and will be invading NYC next weekend, though oddly they’re not actually on any of the NYC bills together. Coincidentally I’ll be in NYC visiting my girlfriend who is currently there for a month taking a class at SVA. We’ll probably drop by one of those shows and surprise them. It seems like NYC has had a bit of a crush on Nashville’s rock scene, especially since Be Your Own Pet exposed them to the Infinity Cat roster. Awesome.

If you’ve been under a rock, you may not have heard about Columbia, TN’s real-life spandex-clad superhero “The Viper,” but some national media outlets have taken notice. The most interesting place this story popped up is on the sci-fi/tv/nerd blog i09. The part I don’t really get is why the hell you can’t wear a mask in public in Columbia. Seriously? It seems like the local lawmakers got bored and decided to find an excuse to arrest everyone on Halloween…

This has to be one of the best posts in Hipster Runoff history…

More science posts coming soon, I promise…

You Ain’t No Picasso does a series of interviews called “My First Time With… (insert band name here).” His latest is with Murfreesboro/Nashville’s own Those Darlins. Check it out here. I was rather surprised to know that The Bang Up was Linwood’s first band… or that the first song he wrote was “Shoot that Girl”…. which was one of the best songs from his band the Turncoats. Actually there’s no way that’s the first song he wrote. Linwood, I’m callin’ bullshit on that one buddy. You don’t write a song that good your first time around. Besides, it’s not like this interview’s serious or anything….

Surprise surprise: The Black Lips got into a fight with WAVVES in Brooklyn. To be more specific, Jared Swilley was the one who actually got into it, but he denies the dude (Nathan) from WAVVES was even involved. I don’t understand why, but I’m eternally fascinated by the ridiculous situations those crazy Atlantans get themselves into…

For all the nerds out there, please check out this video of autotuned Carl Sagan clips/Stephen Hawking robot voices. I’m not sure if this is meant to be serious or not…

DeadWeather073008WarMem17First of all, please go check out the Nashville Cream review of last night’s Dead Weather show at War Memorial Auditorium. And look at my photos. I’m kinda proud of a few of them. Honestly, though, I did enjoy the show more than I thought I would. It was cool seeing 2/3 of Green Day walking around in the crowd. I may actually get the Dead Weather album now… I’d only heard “Treat Me Like Your Mother” up until the show. I think I just enjoyed the performance more than the songs though. Allison Mosshart is one of the best frontwomen I’ve ever seen and she really knows how to sell the show. Obviously she did a lot of limbo-ing when she was a kid, because she executed the steepest backbend of anyone I’ve ever seen. Go to the Cream review- they used the pic of her backbend to head up the post.

This is kind of old news now, but in case you’ve been away from the interwebs for a few days, Those Darlins are considered a “breaking band” by Rolling Stone. Way to go girls! If they keep going on their current track, they’ll be world-famous in another year or so.

Time Magazine is trying to define and pinpoint something that is undefinable and infinitely elusive: hipsterdom. When will people learn? (Via Brooklyn Vegan)

Local Honey owner Shea Steele has been kicking ass and doing all kinds of cool stuff lately, and she pretty much sums it all up in a blog post from yesterday. She and Amanda Valentine were both potential contestants on Project Runway, but they didn’t quite make the final cut to be on the show. Though when asked about it, they say they were just relieved to have the pressure off their chest. While it would have been really cool to see one or two Nashville local designers on the show, it would have probably consumed at least 6 months of their lives, and they have other things they’d probably rather be doing.

On the books for this weekend:

Photographing Green Day at Sommet Center tonight. Kinda wish I got to stay for the whole thing, but they don’t usually let photogs back in after shooting the first 2-3 songs. After that we’ll probaby just watch Eureka and chill for the rest of the night.

Saturday night I’m taking photos at the Annual Davidson County Democratic Party Honors Dinner, and after that I have no idea what to do.

The most important thing is that Monday is my 3rd 8 off 8th, and you should come. As always, it’s FREE, 21+, and starts at 9pm SHARP.

I’m trying out a slightly different format today- I’m going to split up the posts roughly into two categories: the science-y/tech-y/nerd-y stuff, and the music/pop culture stuff. So essentially you’ll see two posts per day for the most part. LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK IN THE COMMENTS.

The most important thing I’m posting about today is tonight’s benefit for Planned Parenthood’s VOX programs. I’m incredibly honored to be DJing along with one of my all-time musical heroes, Matt Mahaffey. Also on the bill is DJ Busta Window (better known to many locals as Kelly Kerr). The event is at Mai, which is right across the street from 12th & Porter. This event has FREE admission, but 5% of the bar sales go toward VOX, so either drink a lot, or just buy a few expensive drinks knowing that your intoxication is benefiting a good cause. Just don’t drive thereafter. The real DJ action won’t kick off till 10:30 or so, and I’m 2nd in the lineup so please get there by 10:30 at the latest. Resident DJ Coach will takeover after Matt’s set and keep the party hoppin’ till last call. Go ahead and plan to call in sick tomorrow, cuz this shit is worth stayin’ out late on a Thursday! Thanks to Nashville Cream for the plug yesterday. If you have any curiosities as to what my DJing is like, checkout the DJ Burgers SUMMERMIXXXX09 here.

In other music news:

Brooklyn Vegan continues to blow their load over JEFF the Brotherhood. Awesome!

Also Brooklyn-related: the Wall Street Journal is about 4-5 years behind the curve on reporting the skinny jean trend as “new,” which makes this all the more entertaining to watch. (Via dontstaylong)

Like I said, let me know if you like the idea of splitting up the posts.

Image via Space.com

The Kepler spacecraft took its first few images earlier this week, and NASA has released them. The one shown here is zoomed in on a small cluster of stars about 13,000 light years from Earth. Kepler has a 95 megapixel camera to take these images. 95 megapixels. Fuck.

An awesome new concept is emerging in some of the world’s largest cities- green rooftops. It’s a concept that I sincerely hope catches on quickly. Typical building rooftops are dark and dry; they absorb and then release much more heat than a natural plant-covered surface would, and the result is what’s called the “heat-island effect.” This phenomenon is what causes some large cities to be a few degrees hotter than the surrounding areas, and it’s a growing problem. But if we cover most of the city rooftops with gardens and grass, this problem would be virtually eliminated. Please check out this National Geographic article on the subject… not only for the story but for the awesome photography.

Will humans ever be able to travel beyond our solar system? Or will we just resort to armchair astronomy and send an army of intelligent robots to other worlds to explore them for us? The question is tackled in this great article by Luke McKinney from the Daily Galaxy. It’s a short and entertaining read, as all of McKinney’s witty posts tend to be.

The new Harry Potter movie comes out July 15th, and the trailer has just hit the interwebs. I first saw it on this io9 post.

Carles of Hipster Runoff had an encounter with the now somewhat-famous hipster grifter, who brought her cancer/pregnant/sex fraud scheme from Salt Lake City to Brooklyn scammed quite a few hipsters out of a lot of money.

As I said yesterday, I’ll be photographing Rites of Spring this weekend, but there’s also a TON of other great stuff going down, most notably National Record Store Day on Saturday, for which Grimey’s is hosting their Big Ass Outdoor Sale. Be sure to stop by between 10am-8pm and check out the great record deals and live music out in the parking lot. A list of some other stuff happening can be found at Nashvillest. Have a great weekend!

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