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Copyright Vanderbilt University

Copyright Vanderbilt University

The initial shortlist of artists playing at this year’s Rites of Spring festival at Vanderbilt has been released. The Flaming Lips will likely be headlining friday night, with another yet-to-be-announced headliner that will likely play saturday night. The friday/saturday thing is purely an educated guess on my part. Also announced: Okkervil River, N.E.R.D., Santigold (formerly Santogold), Q-tip, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears, and Grand Ole Party. Personally, aside from Flaming Lips, I’m looking forward most to Santigold and Okkervil River. Source: the Vanderbilt Hustler.

MGMT is apparently suing French President Nicolas Sarkozy because his campaign did not compensate them properly for usage of their song “Kids” as the Sarkozy campaign soundtrack.

Remember those literal music videos of “Head Over Heels” and “Take On Me?” Well they’re at it again, this time with Billy Idol’s “White Wedding.” I must say, it’s really hard to top “Take On Me.” I don’t think it’ll ever be done. It’s one of those things where the humor just is never the same after the first time.

The Explorer’s Club did a session on Daytrotter. These live takes are pretty good, but I must say that these songs need the polished production that’s present on their full-length album. It’s evident that some of the vocal harmony arrangements are VERY difficult and they guys hit some odd notes on these live recordings. But the fact that they’re even able to pull off any of those harmonies is utterly amazing, and these guys deserve major kudos for even being in the ballpark. I highly reccomend seeing this band live because they are a lot of fun, and you will thoroughly enjoy it.

In the science world, some good news for NASA comes from Obama’s first budget propsal which was released yesterday. Overall, NASA will (hopefully) see a $2 billion increase in funding in 2010. I’m quite pleased to see this, even in these tough times. Cutting-edge science and research is one area that should be way down on the list of things to get cut when facing tough economic times. Don’t get too excited though; this is not the final version. It was also evident that Obama plans to go ahead with the retirement of the Space Shuttle next year, and continue with Bush’s vision of returning to the Moon by 2020. (The only thing on which I actually agreed with Bush.) Source: Universe Today.

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Dont Jump!

Don't Jump!

While I’ve seen several images/web posts about this type of perspective-based street art before, this one is the biggest scale I’ve seen thus far. Edgar Muller lives and works in Germany, and even with several helpers, his projects take several days to complete. This one is called “Ice Age.” This type of art is all based on viewing from one very specific vantage point, creating an amazing 3D optical illusion. I’ve never seen one of these in real life before, but I’d like to. You’d think an artist this talented/successful would be able to afford a decent website design though…. ugh.

One of the few “new” bands that I’m really digging lately is the Morning Benders. They recently did a Daytrotter Session and the results are pretty cool. They did a spaced-out version of one of my favs Doctor, Doctor. If you’re into them, go grab the mp3’s for sure.

Remember when I posted about the new supergroup Tinted Windows comprised of James Iha, Taylor Hansen, Bun E. Carlos, and Adam Schlesinger? Well, they have an album coming out April 21st, and Billboard has the track “Kind of a Girl” posted for streaming. It’s pretty much exactly what you would expect from that lineup. But it sounds very generic and well… just listen for yourself. They’re also playing a showcase at SXSW this year.

Though it’s been in the news for several weeks now, I’ve not posting anything regarding the possible merger of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, which would result in virtual monopoly in the concert promotion and ticket business. I decided to change that today. Brooklynvegan posted a story about a hearing held yesterday on Capitol Hill regarding the merger. Thankfully it seems as though authorities are going to put this merger under a microscope. I don’t know that much about antitrust laws, but I can’t see how this merger would not be in violation of them. I mean, Ticketmaster is already enormous, and so is Live Nation in the promotion world… if this happens, concert go-ers are screwed because this one company will have the power to price-gouge all they want.

Now for some science-
Sky and Telescope posted a great guide to viewing newly discovered Comet Lulin. This week is the best for viewing, and even in light-polluted areas such as here in Nashville, you should be able to see it with a good pair of binoculars. You have to know exactly where to look, though. Check out the article for the deets and a good diagram. Via Universe Today.

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