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?

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…

I must take this opportunity to shamelessly self-promote for a moment. Tonight is Rock the Block at Exit/In, and this week I’m the host. I had a bit of a time getting the lineup together, but in the end I think it’s a pretty solid one. This is a FREE show, and it will kick off between 8:30-9pm. Please do get there early because every act on this lineup is definitely worth your time, and they’re only playing 20 minute sets (there are 6 of them afterall…). Also between the 2nd & 3rd and 4th & 5th acts Miss Jenn Ross will be doing bellydances to keep you entertained. I’ll use the same words We Own This Town used to promote their 8 off 8th last night: “There’s no reason to go to anything else tonight because this is where the goods are.” Also, Lost is on Hulu, so get your ass off the couch for once. I promise to have you home in time to get your beauty sleep because I have an early-ass day job just like you do.

Look what Nashville DJ just showed up on this flier for a Fool’s Gold-sponsored dance party in NYC, alongside the likes of Treasure Fingers:

My Morning Jacket @ Bonnaroo 2008 Credit: Steve Cross

My Morning Jacket @ Bonnaroo 2008 Credit: Steve Cross

It’s that time of year again in Tennessee. The hot days and humid nights have settled in for good, and that only means one thing: Bonnaroo is upon us. I’m covering it again for the Scene this year and I’m ready to make my 2nd experience even better than the 1st. I’ve been told that the Village Voice may be using some of my images for other blogs/papers under their umbrella. (For a list of their papers go here.) Normally I would never attend Bonnaroo. Don’t get me wrong- the bands are great, the outdoor setting is great, but the people are generally not so great. Having to constantly deal with mud-caked hippies who’ve done waaay too many drugs and smell like a combination of bad patchouli, port-a-john, and feet is not my idea of fun. Being a member of the press, however, alleviates that concern because you spend a minimal amount of time actually out in the crowds, and NO time in the camping/parking area. Press parking is right behind the stages, and there’s a nice air-conditioned tent with complimentary water, as well as media trailer with wi-fi. Look for my photos on Nashville Cream, and possibly those other papers’ blogs mentioned above. Speaking of Bonnaroo, Nashville’s own music blogger superstar Janet Timmons has been hard at work (along with some help from a few other local bloggers/writers) posting a preview for every artist playing Bonnaroo. Check it out. Will she make it in time?

The Tennessean/Metro Mix is hosting another edition of its annual Toast of Music City poll. Last year some of the top restaurants ended up being Olive Garden, Shoney’s, and Golden Corral. SERIOUSLY?!?!?! WTF?!?!? Get your ass over to the poll and make sure such a travesty doesn’t happen again. Thanks to Nashvillest for reminding me of this.

Improv Everywhere comes up with some of the best pranks/social experiments I’ve ever seen. Their latest was one of their best yet: they gave one lucky NYC couple getting married at the clerk’s office a surprise wedding reception in Foley Square. Check it out.

Speaking of couples, the first weightless wedding is being planned. Though not actually happening in space, it’s the next best thing: the famed “Vomit Comet.” Let’s hope they don’t end up puking on each other during their vows. “I do… BLEGGGHHH!”

Part of the problem with the public image of NASA and space exploration in general is that astronauts aren’t viewed in the same light now as they were back in the 60’s. Back then, media coverage of NASA and its missions was MUCH more extensive than it is now. Those astronauts were literally treated like movie stars. The public adored them and they helped to make people actually care about space exploration. Nowadays coverage of the shuttle launches barely gets onto the bottom of CNN.com. I found a tiny glimmer of hope this morning, though: this new Louis Vitton ad photo taken by Annie Leibovitz on i09. It’s astronauts Sally Ride, Buzz Aldrin, and Jim Lovell. For more info go here. This is totally awesome and I hope to see NASA start caring more about PR and creating a bigger, more positive public image for itself.

Photo by Annie Leibovitz

Photo by Annie Leibovitz

So I had monday off this week. Hence the lack of posting yesterday. But I must say the weekend of photobooth insanity was quite a blast. The most enjoyable one was definitely the Moustache May party Saturday night. We found this absolutely ridiculous/hideous sheet to use as a backdrop and it worked perfectly. The rest of the MM pics can be found at the Moustache May website. The Bike For Branches photobooth pics can be found at the Soundforest website, and to my knowledge Johnny Kingsbury hasn’t quite gotten the Happy Valley pics up yet. But keep checking his website. They should be up in a few days. I must say though, I was getting tired of taking pictures of drunk people by the end of it all.

Former Nashvillian and ex-Be Your Own Pet singer Jemina Pearl got some blog love on Stereogum. She’s got 3 new solo tracks on her myspace. It’s really catchy, I must say.

Billboard.com reports that the Elektra Records imprint has finally been ressurected under the Atlantic umbrella. Amongst their first signings- Justice, Cee-Lo, and Little Boots.

A once-in-a-lifetime occurrence is upon us. At five minutes and six seconds after 4am on July 8th of this year, the time and date will be 04:05:06 07/08/09. Via dontstaylong.

Ever wanted to see a Blue Whale up close? They’re biggest animals in the world afterall… Well you can do just that here. And take their message to heart while you’re at it, too.

This wed. night I’ll be making an appearance as DJ Burgers at Foobar. I’ll be joining my friends Spice-J, fats, and Action Replay for their weekly series Totally DJ’s. Come on out and dance. I just might have some special surprises up my sleeve. That’s right, east side, I’m talking to YOU.

Just a few science-y tidbits today:

Launch pad 39B at Kennedy Space Center is now officially in the hands of the Constellation program. The last shuttle mission (the one that serviced the Hubble Space Telescope) was the last time that both launch pads would ever need to be used for space shuttles. From now on, the shuttle program will only use pad 39A. There will never be a need to have 2 shuttles ready for launch simultaneously because the few remaining shuttle missions are all to the ISS, which can be used as a lifeboat if the shuttle is severely damaged, thus alleviating the need for a 2nd shuttle to be ready for a rescue mission. Pad 39B will now be “remodeled” for tests of the new Ares rocket system.

If you were in New York City this past weekend you got a real treat at sunset. On both May 30th and 31st the sun set in perfect alignment with NYC’s cross-streets, an event nicknamed “Mahattanhenge” by astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson who calculates the events every year. The phenomenon will happen again on July 11th and 12th this summer. Via Live Science.

A London company called Solar Botanic, Ltd. has a great new idea for solar power. They want to make realistic-looking trees that are actually solar panels. This a wonderful idea and I hope it one day becomes reality. Via EcoGeek.

New York pics

December 26, 2008

Just a quick post to link to my flickr pics from NYC this past weekend. Enjoy!

A few notables:

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