June 18, 2009
Remember that Canadian tour the White Stripes did a couple years back? They made it into a documentary, and it’s coming out this fall. It also finally has a title: The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights. I’m looking forward to footage from all those impromptu, intimate/acoustic shows they did. Via PFK.
Last summer a new band straight out of high school called The Turf burst onto the local music scene. These kids instantly caught the attention of several Scene critics and local music fans with their catchy brand of dance-rock. I remember seeing them at Mercy Lounge once and was impressed by how tight they sounded at such a young age. They disappeared just as quickly as they appeared, though, and several members went in various directions to pursue college. This summer they’re back, and they’ve got a brand new album called Fascination of a Sort. While the dance-rock wave may have crested a few years ago (at least from a commercial marketability perspective), that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t love them. I haven’t yet heard if they have any shows booked this summer, but keep checking their Myspace page for updates. Here are a couple of tracks they were kind enough to send my way for posting:
I came across some truly unique and gorgeous landscape photography today. Tim Simmons has a slightly different take on landscapes than most. He uses artificial light along with what appears to be HDR imaging to accentuate certain aspects of the natural beauty of his surroundings. You can’t go wrong with any of the galleries, but the snow gallery was especially intriguing to me. I’m still not exactly sure how he lit some of those scenes…. Via Joshua Blankenship blog.
Scientists in Isreal have created an artificial black hole. Not the kind that sucks in everything, just the kind that sucks in sound waves. They used Bose-Einstein condensates, which are clouds of atoms that have been cooled to almost absolute-zero. Using two of these, they created a tiny area of extreme low density which allows the atoms between the clouds to flow at nearly 4 times the speed of sound. As with most amazing scientific discoveries of this nature, the event was incredibly small and lasted only 8 milliseconds, but it’s still pretty cool because this is essentially a small-scale analog to “real” black holes in space. Via Discovery News.
I came across this intriguing blog called Movies in Frames via Kottke.org today. It has a plethora of various movies that the contributors have summed up (or at least attempted to sum up) in 4 frames. Some are not very effective, but some are. More visually-oriented films such as Heima, Little Miss Sunshine, and Darjeeling Limited work well. The one you see above is Stand By Me, which reminds me that I need to see this movie agian.
Tonight is the night! The Camera Obscura show is finally happening. To my knowledge, they’ve never played Nashville before, and it’s LOOOONG overdue. I can’t wait. If you like melancholy yet catchy twee pop… or if you like Scottish accents… by all means come to this show! You won’t regret it. Their show a couple years ago at the 40 Watt in Athens was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. Mercy is no 40 Watt (sorry Drew/Bruton), but this is probably the best venue for them to play in town. They’ve also been tweeting about Nashville since they arrived yesterday. Follow them.
The Opryland Hotel started a new summer weekly event last year Friday nights called “Poolapalooza” featuring local bands, the Cascades pool, and a good bar. It went over pretty well from what I’ve heard (I never attended one), and I certainly hope Megan & I can make it out to one this summer. Check Nashvillest or the Gaylord Website for the full lineup/dates. Each event is free, 21+ all-ages (thx to Morgan for catching my error), and starts at 7pm. That means you can get wet, drink some margaritas, hear some rock, and be done in time to hit up another show later in the evening!
Nashville Cream reports that 3 local fashion designers are finalists to be on the show Project Runway. As with most posts on there, there’s plenty of bickering in the comments. But it just wouldn’t be the Cream without them. I know Shea and Amanda, but I don’t know Shannon at all. What I do know is that everyone I’ve met involved with Local Honey and the local fashion scene is super-nice and very down-to-earth. I sincerely hope to see one of them on the show soon!
Oh yeah… Meg White married Jackson Smith and “little” Jack Lawrence married Jo McCaughey in a double-wedding in Jack White’s backyard on Friday. Obviously Jack & Jo didn’t immediately embark on their honeymoon because we saw him at Fido on Monday.
My only science-y bit today is to tell you to go sign the petition on the website for Space Exploration Day. This is an attempt to get the government to recognize July 20th as National Space Exploration Day. This July 20th will mark the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. I whole-heartedly agree that this should be an officially-recognized holiday. Supposedly it will be on same level as Flag Day.
Today I leave you with this hilarious little cartoon found at dontstaylong’s tumblr.
April 15, 2009
NASA decided to name the newest and final American-made Space Station node “Tranquility,” after the touchdown site of Apollo 11 on the moon, as astronaut Sunita Williams announced on the Colbert Report last night. Even though “Colbert” technically won the online poll, I guess NASA just couldn’t justify putting the Colbert name on something so important, and instead went with historically significant name. However, in typical scientific acronym fashion they did decide to call the station’s new treadmill the “Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill,” or C.O.L.B.E.R.T. I’m just glad that NASA has a sense of humor. All in all, it was a big win for both parties involved. I’d say the biggest win was for NASA, though… this was great P.R. for them and in these times it’s crucial for NASA to stay popular in the public’s eye. Read the whole NASA press release here, and watch the clip from last night here.
Jack White’s new band The Dead Weather played their first public show last night at Bowery Ballroom in NYC. Brooklyn Vegan has photos and coverage. Also, the White Stripes are working on a movie to be released late this year, according to an interview with White on Self-Titled. Via Nashville Cream. P.S.- one Cream commenter says the film is a documentary of their 2007 Canadian tour.
Apparently the Kings of Leon needed extras for a video shoot, but we all missed it- the auditions were yesterday. Tear.
Ever wondered where the phrase “Murphy’s Law” comes from? Look no further. It comes from an engineer named Edward Murphy who worked at the government’s rocket sled test facility at Edwards Air Force Base. Click here for the full story.
LIFE has a new website that’s very photograph-centric, and features a ton of great photojournalistic work. Feast your eyes.
March 12, 2009
Jack White’s label Third Man Records has just opened its new office in downtown Nashville, Stereogum and Nashville Cream reports. Included in the new space is a custom designed recording studio. Damn… I’d love to see that. Apparently the opening party featured a performance from yet another JW supergroup side-project called The Dead Weather. This new band features Jack on drums, Raconteur Jack Lawrence on bass, Stonage Queen Dean Fertita on guitar, and the Kills’ Allison Mosshart on vocals. Not only is the space an office and studio, but it will (does?) house a record store and photo studio. Is the photo studio hiring? If so I’m first in line.
Blogging is Serious Business reports on the new Friday night series kicking off May 8th, and lasting all summer, called Noise to Nashville. It’s being put on by Ultimo & Disco and Beatport. “A fusion of indie, pop, electronica and nu disco, Noise will bring artists by the likes of A-Trak, Cut Copy, Chromeo, The Presets, Crookers, Diplo, Little Boots and the best local and regional residents.” Wow. If you had come up to me 5 years ago and said that such large national electronic artists/DJs would be hitting Nashville on a weekly basis in 2009, I’d have laughed in your face. It’s really amazing how far Leon Jackson, Justin Kase, Principal & Coach, Jensen Sportag, and the many others involved in our electronic scene have taken it.
David Friedman of Ironic Sans has a good idea for progressive food packaging. I may just do a little of my own progressive packaging next time I go to the grocery store…
Space Shuttle Discovery had its launch scrubbed yesterday due to a hydrogen leak in one of the fuel lines. Apparently this has nothing to do with the valve issues that caused the earlier delays. They have a tentative launch set for March 15th, this Sunday.
February 23, 2009
OK Matt Rowland, first you made an appearance on SNL last week posing as Joaquin Phoenix, now you’ve made it all the way to the Oscars? Does Richie know about this? How is your new found fame going to affect Ghostfinger? Please don’t forget about your friends back here in little ol’ Nashville…
Seriously though, I was pretty happy to see Sean Penn win best actor for his role in Milk. I still haven’t seen The Wrestler yet, though, so I can’t say for sure that I thought he deserved it over Micky Rourke, but ever since I saw Milk, I’ve been hoping Penn would win it. I guess I’ll form my opinion when I finally see Rourke’s job in The Wrestler. On that note, I need to add Slumdog Millionaire to my “must-see” list as well.
So by saturday afternoon half of Nashville had found out about the alleged “Pavement reunion” that was taking place at the 5 Spot that night. Well, you probably know this by now, dear reader, but it didn’t happen. 4 of the 5 members of the band were onstage at the same time, however, and Malkmus sang 2 covers, so that made me happy. Read the full account, and see my photos from the event over on the Nashville Cream post. Oh, and Pitchfork picked up the story and linked to us, as well. Go us!
More local music happenings: I was pleased to find news in my inbox this morning of the Carter Administration’s upcoming releases. The 10-year Nashville rock veterans are releasing a retrospective collection of older songs that they weren’t quite happy with the first time around called Bomb-Ass Singles, 1998-2008. AND they’re taking a cue from How I Became the Bomb and releasing an album of new material 2 songs at a time, for free, via download. The first installment is called Victory Girls b/w Bitchery and Abomination, and is available starting today at their amiestreet.com page. Go get the songs! I’m listening right now and it’s good stuff. These dudes just seem to get better with time.
The Boston Globe’s Big Picture series has unleashed another great collection of photographs. This one is called “At Work,” and features some great imagery of everyday people doing a variety of interesting jobs. The Big Picture never disappoints.
You Ain’t No Picasso posted this video footage of the White Stripes on the last episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien. I agree it’s a somewhat awkward rendition of the song… and the rhythm and speed is changed up a bit, but Jack & Meg can practically do no wrong in my eyes.
February 12, 2009
Like, TOTES OMG!
I think Hipster Runoff is my favorite new thing. I’ve linked to them a lot lately but it’s really worth it. Today they make fun of people obsessed with myspace, or “myspacers.” And who do they choose to pick on? None other than TRACE CYRUS. Let me explain why this is exceptionally hilarious for me. While in college I had a great friend named Blake Healy. We even lived together for a year. After graduation in the spring of 04, he moved to LA. A couple of years later, he joined this new band called Metro Station with, you guessed it, Trace Cyrus (and his friend Mason Musso). Now they’re getting pretty big. So yes, this is exceptionally funny because one of my best friends is in this guy’s band. They are becoming quite the synthpop tweenage sensation, and Trace is totally playing into that crowd with emo hair, tatoos, and being a “myspacer,” so I can’t really blame them. They know how to make make a lot of money and have fun and get famous while doing it. Wouldn’t we all love to be able to do that? Maybe not the famous part, but the money+fun.. hell yes!
More from the music world:
Ryan Adams is engaged to Mandy Moore. I didn’t even know they were dating. Shows you how much I care about Ryan Adams.
So we all know Conan is heading to LA to take over Jay Leno’s place on the Tonight Show. Pitchfork reports that he’s tapped his red & white buddies The White Stripes to play on his last edition of Late Night. Check the article, as they have a lot of good links to old WS performances on Conan.
I’m proud to announce the launch of my new photography website! The extremely talented Michael Eades (aka Yewknee) put it together for me. He also posted a blurb about it on his blog so make sure to head over and check that out, in addition to my website! www.stevecrossphotography.com
From the department of WTF?!? in the science world, apparently a breed of cattle exists in Belgium which has a mutation of the gene associated with Myostatin, a protein that limits muscle growth in some mammals, resulting in this:
Researchers are attempting to use this protein to treat muscular dystrophy. Via Kottke.org.
A U.S. communications satellite collided with a dead Russian military satellite yesterday, creating a huge debris field, further cluttering up the already dangerously crowded low-earth orbit sector of space. Scientists say that it shouldn’t pose a major threat to the International Space Station, and that the ISS can always execute evasive maneuvers to avoid a deadly impact. The military has sophisticated radar techniques that can track almost every little piece of space junk, so if the ISS or Space Shuttle is on a collision course with an object, they can let them know and the ship can avoid the object. You wouldn’t think tiny pieces of junk floating around would pose a major threat, but you have to remember that in order to be in orbit, that piece of debris has to be traveling at around 17,000 mph. That’s many, many times the speed of sound, and when even a piece of dust hits you at those speeds, it can cause serious damage. Thanks to Matt Sullivan for the tip.