9/11 Retrospect: Jumpers

•September 12, 2013 • 2 Comments

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Tributes come in many forms. Watching the news yesterday, I came across several. Most of them are heartbreaking and occasion a delicate kind of retrospect; one that’s easily broken by anger and cynicism, but warm with deep sorrow and despair at its core. Aside from that, for reasons I’d rather not try to explain;  I have a fascination for putting myself before the horrific details of September 11, usually in the form of video. I can watch raw footage for hours and all of it is intensely emotional and compelling when I think of the heroism that took place that day; but nothing is more gripping than watching videos of the people who were forced to jump from the windows of the towers. Either because they were ‘blown out’ by the surfacing smoke and flames; forced by fear of being burned alive to fall to their death; or if in the face of certain, agonizing doom chose to grip a fleeting, and perhaps delusional, sense of control and willingly jump to their end rather than dangle in uncertainty.

The details in the train of thought that may have led to that decision is what I think about most. It wouldn’t be fair to call them suicides; officially none of the deaths other than those of the hijackers were ruled out as suicides. It doesn’t take much to realize that what happened with the jumpers is different. I’m not alone in this, thousands of images and videos are available on YouTube in the form of short documentaries; tributes for the jumpers. News coverage snippets and magazine clippings compiled into eerie mash ups; some set to the tune of some sepulchral piano melody or a voice over, perhaps the video’s creator giving a personal account or an informal eulogy of sorts to adorn their tribute.

And like I said, tributes come in many forms and as much as I am beginning to loathe them I’ve come to equate these horrible video binges with the videos on YouTube. So in a way submitting to a couple of hours being crouched over my laptop while I churn with cynicism and despair, constantly on the verge of shedding tears; I too have formulated my own dedication to the people who died that day, my own tribute.

Lorn

•September 6, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I was first introduced to Lorn in 2010 on a podcast from a Los Angeles based outfit of DJs that hosted a weekly show titled Low End Theory. The event was often paired with an Itunes podcast of the same name and a few weeks later Lorn released his debut album Nothing Else on Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder imprint, a label that at the time was known for housing the releases of heady J Dilla-praising beat makers, many of them regulars if not residents at Low End Theory’s weekly party. In my mind a lot of the music in that scene exhumed a particular atmosphere that Lorn didn’t seem to fit into. Lorn was present in the scene but still detached and alone: the word Lorn literally means lonely and abandoned, an apt name even now. His latest EP Debris [ZEN10362] is a twisting and churning retrospect of his last album Ask The Dust, an incredible album i’m still absorbing today more than a year after its release. Debris is certainly within the same vein as Ask The Dust but the darkness is tattered, a bit further from being beyond repair and even more further from anything in electronic music. If you overlapped the modern electronic music landscape over a reminiscence of relevant music from the past according to emotive response, much of modern electronic music would be situated next to 90′s mainstream dance-pop artist and 80′s synth bands like Erasure. Lorn would be in the smoking section with Trent Reznor and Leonard Cohen.

JJ DOOM – Banished [Beck Remix]

•August 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

BANISHED (Beck Remix)

Stones Throw Podcast 81: Jonwayne Daytime Naps

•August 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Rapper Jonwayne’s Contribution to Stones Throw Records Podcast:

Jonwayne has created an ambient, 67-minute mixtape called Daytime Naps, his first mix in the Stones Throw Podcast series. 

He explains it: “For a couple of years I have started to embrace daytime napping again.  Back in the day it was just something we did, but I feel that if you have a schedule that allows it you shouldn’t feel out of touch with the act of passing out on a couch or going back to bed altogether.  It leaves more time in the night for creation and contemplation, which I feel we all need.  I don’t know if this should be a soundtrack to your afternoon conks, but I’m positive it’s mine.”

This mix is long enough so that you can nap in the middle and still catch the beginning and end of the mix, but we recommend hearing the entire mix also while awake.

For other daytime nap music, we recommend checking out the works of ambient music originator, Brian Eno, starting with his album Ambient 1: Music for Airports, and also the work “9 Beet Stretch” by Leif Inge, which stretches Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with no pitch distortions into a 24-hour, 7-days a week webcast at expandedfield.net

The Stones Throw Podcast is free.Direct zip download 320kbps MP3: Daytime Naps

The James Webb Telescope

•August 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is the single most advanced telescope ever made. NASA lead fourteen countries in the construction of JWST which spanned over two decades.  The telescope was built to allow astronomers the ability to see past clouds of dust and gas in order to study what is known as the infrared portion of the electromagnetic spectrum and, according to NASA, give astronomers a window to star formations taking place only between 100 and 250 million years after the Big Bang. JWST’s mission is predicted to last somewhere between 5 and 10 years and is expected to unlock fundamental uncertainties about the origin of the cosmos and life in the Universe.

JWST will hold an L2 orbit around the sun, not earth and remain within earth’s shadow for the duration of its mission. The reason for this is to eliminate all heat and light sources from hitting JWST’s primary mirror which is made up of 18 hexagonal segments. The intense jargon is all in this helpful FAQ from NASA.

Adult Swim Singles 2013

•August 30, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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Vintage NASA Posters in Heritage Auction

•April 9, 2013 • Leave a Comment

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If satellites falling out of the sky isn’t a sign that NASA is broke, they’re having a garage sale. NASA has unloaded a stockpile of memorabilia onto the Heritage Collectibles auction block that would make any nerd weep. The auction includes a veritable fun bag of goodies including Buzz Aldrin’s toothbrush and US Flags that have been to the moon. While some of the things up for bid are rather unusual there is a small batch of items that are a part of NASA’s 1960′s promotional campaign and they really are awesome. Above are some of the scans they provided although I didn’t bother to check what the starting bid for these are as it would only infuriate me. Feel free to see for yourself though, auction day is April 18th.

 
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