Play For Change

A little intro:
This cover of Stand By Me was recorded by completely unknown artists in a street virtual studio all around the world. It all started with a base track—vocals and guitar—recorded on the streets of Santa Monica, California, by a street musician called Roger Ridley. The base track was then taken to New Orleans, Louisiana, where Grandpa Elliott—a blind singer from the French Quarter—added vocals and harmonica while listening to Ridley's base track on headphones. In the same city, Washboard Chaz's added some metal percussion to it.
And from there, it just gets rock 'n' rolling bananas: The producers took the resulting mix all through Europe, Africa, and South America, adding new tracks with multiple instruments and vocals that were assembled in the final version you are seeing in this video. All done with a simple laptop and some microphones.

Check out Playing for Change.


Critical Consumption

Brett brings this to light:
Mark Tomasky: Did an Obama judicial nominee really express a preference for Allah over Jesus?
Naturally, it's all a lie, but as I said, even I was shocked at how rancidly despicable a lie it was.

Read the post; it's worth at least skimming or keeping in mind if someone comes to you with such a story. My general rules of thumb for judging any story that sounds absolutely infuriating:

1) If it sounds absolutely ridiculous that such a thing could happen, a relatively (and often absolutely) small amount of research will usually debunk the claim or weaken it significantly.

2) Rule 1 applies 100 times over if it comes from fringe groups and people who need attention in order to maintain their lifestyle. This includes for practical purposes all explicitly political Christian groups (unfortunately), Fox News, leftist groups (Democracy Now, CODEPINK, and the like), and professional non-elected political personalities (Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Michael Moore, Naomi Klein, Ralph Nader, etc.).

3) If it is in a chain-email, it is a lie 95% of the time.

4) These rules (especially the first two) don't hold a tragic proportion of the time to claims about the Bush administration. You should still be skeptical though.

I would expand on rule number 3 to say that if it's in a chain-email, it should be disregarded, even if there is any truth to it. Chain e-mail should never be trusted, unless you know everybody who it was sent to for at least three generations.



Haha. Last Monday I got a chance to have some fun in the studio at Ron Hill Imagery (yeah, I know the site's under construction) with a few colleagues of mine. We were shooting a music video for a new band (I don't even know their name!) that another guy I know started.
Anyway, we had an awesome time, and I think the final product will look fantabulous, but you'll have to wait until autumn to see the end result due to heavy post production.
However, I learned a lot about the studio experience, and we used RED One cams--my first time and I fell in love with it. So, now I just need about $150k to start getting equipment for my place...

Mistaking Tyranny for Losing

Thanks Brett!
It's absolutely fanatically CRAZY how the GOPs mouthpieces are reacting. Seriously, if they want a chance come 2010, they'll have to drastically change their approach.
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