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Hollis Brown Thornton

Hollis Brown Thornton is an artist working mostly with mixed media, primarily Moleskine pages and permanent marker. He does acrylics and pigment transfer to create absolutely stunning pieces that blend dated moments to the forefront of our memories with dream-like swirls, dots, scratches and highlights. Very wonderful.

In Case You’d Been Keeping Score

Here is the world’s most boring use of a high school marching band for self-indulgent “rock’n'roll” purposes.

Did You Know? -Booth, Lincoln Edition

Abraham Lincoln’s only surviving son, Robert Todd, fell on the train tracks in Jersey City in 1863.

He was pulled up to safety by John Wilkes Booth’s older brother, Edwin.

Edwin was known as one of the world’s greatest Shakespearean actors, and was the son of Junius Brutus Booth, another famous actor in his day (and an alcoholic). A statue is dedicated to him in Gramercy Park, NYC.

Robert Todd Lincoln was present at two other Presidential assassinations, but was asleep in bed the night his father was shot by John Wilkes Booth. He was present for Garfield’s assassination at the Sixth Street Train Station in Washington, D.C. by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881, at McKinley’s assassination at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York where the President was shot by Leon F. Czolgosz on September 6, 1901.

The night President Lincoln was murdered at Ford’s Theater, he and Mary Todd were accompanied by Henry Rathbone, a military officer, and his new fiancĂ©e, Clara Harris. When Booth shot Lincoln, Rathbone made an attempt to stop his fleeing, but failed. He was stabbed several times by Booth before he jumped from the box to the stage and made his escape, despite a broken leg.

For years, Rathbone was haunted by –and in some circles, blamed for– Booth’s escape and resulting two week attempt at hiding. He recovered from his wounds, married Harris, and they had three children. He never mentally recovered, though, and in 1883 murdered his wife, and attempted to murder his three children as well. He was institutionalized and died in 1911.

His son, Henry Riggs Rathbone, went on to become a Republican Congressman from Illinois, Lincoln’s home state.

This information is readily available via Wiki, etc. but I’ve just put it all together after reading Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation.

Kyle Bean’s Future of Books

Kyle Bean Portfolio

New Retread Sessions: Akron/Family

You can also view these in HD at our Vimeo page.


No. 7: Akron/Family “They Will Appear, Behold” from Retread Sessions on Vimeo.


No. 7: Akron/Family “I Know You Rider” from Retread Sessions on Vimeo.

Nick Lowe, Party of One

We went to see Nick Lowe on Friday night, happily paying the $22 door fee to gain entrance.

Lowe, in case you aren’t aware, recently re-released his classic Jesus of Cool, and is touring to support it, as well as his most recent release, At My Age. As a friend noted, if you’re out, with grey hair, supporting a record called At My Age, you might not be a sure bet for a Friday night rock-a-thon, but we were pleasantly surprised.

I wasn’t familiar with the new record, but I’ve listened to it since Friday and have to say … I can’t think of many guys Lowe’s age still touring and writing that sound so good. His voice has matured so well, and his occasional dips into soul, country and R&B really showcase his range and tone. His voice is really just a beautiful thing to listen to, and I’m not sure the earlier records ever really intimated that to me as clearly as his performance.

Obviously I’m a big fan of Jesus of Cool, but he reintroduced me to one that I hadn’t heard in a long while – Party of One. I revisited it this weekend and really wanted to share a couple tunes from it with you.

If he comes through your town, I highly recommend you paying the ticket price to go: the crowd will be kind of weird, but you’ll enjoy it. Here’s a sampling of some Lowe songs, from Jesus of Cool and Party of One, enjoy!

Nick Lowe “I Don’t Know Why You Keep My On”
Nick Lowe “Little Hitler”
Nick Lowe “So It Goes”
Nick Lowe “What’s Shakin’ On the Hill”

Nick Lowe @ Wikipedia
Nick Lowe Official

Apiary News

My friend Adam is counting down his Top 100 albums, go check it out!

Neurodiversity

As the parent of a diagnosed Asperger’s child, I try to do due diligence keeping up with research, trends and philosophies about treatment and education. Though my son is on the low end of the spectrum and diagnosed young, I sympathize greatly with people like Jonathan Mitchell, an adult living with autism. He’s a fantastic writer, by the way, his stories are quite moving (most revolved around themes of alienation, not surprisingly). What caught my eye on his site, however, was a piece he wrote against neurodiversity.

Neurodiversity: an idea that asserts that atypical (neurodivergent) neurological development is a normal human difference that is to be tolerated and respected as any other human difference. The concept of neurodiversity is embraced by some autistic individuals and people with related conditions, who believe that autism is not a disorder, but a part of their identity, so that curing autistic people would be the same as destroying their original personalities.

Mitchell has this to say:

The neurodiverse are not dissimilar to Christian Missionaries who go out and try to convert lost souls. They can often reach a vulnerable audience as many persons on the spectrum have been disaffected from society. They feel worthless and have low self-esteem and neurodiversity provides a tempting escape valve. The same is true for parents of sometimes severely autistic children who want to see their offspring as something other than deficient or broken. Some of these parents themselves end up deciding they themselves are on the spectrum out of the clear blue sky well into adulthood, though sometimes diagnosed by a clinician at least allegedly. The problem is, the autism is still there, the problems are still there.

Read all of Mitchell’s piece on neurodiversity here, and listen to a Studio 360 piece about autism which features Jonathan here.

Pop Matters by Nikolay Saveliev

“Vinyl record sleeves with 2-sided insert featuring faux-academic material on pop music and the state of the record industry, seeded with promotional material for indie radio stations. Sponsored by Brown Student Radio. Snuck onto used & new record store shelves. 140 Copies Total.”

Look at them below the cut. Visit NIKOLAY SAVELIEV’s PopMatters.

Read more…

You’re a Class Act, Boston

If you’re a Red Sox fan, you already know who Bill Buckner is. If you don’t, you probably heard about him if you ever asked a fan what the big deal about 1986 was. For those of us able to revisit the sad series as adults who know the game, it’s easy to get misty-eyed feeling sorry for the guy: to blame an entire season on one guy’s mistake is a reactionary, awful thing, and Buckner has lived with it since 1986. This year, however, the Red Sox showed real class, welcoming him home to throw out the first pitch, the fans presenting him with an incredibly emotional five minute standing ovation.

Read more here.

Newsreader Logic, Getting Things Done

I totally agree with this.

I subscribe to way more in my newsreader (Net News Wire Lite) than I could ever possible read, but I enjoy the little gems I stumble on because of it. When I first started using a reader years ago (probably 2003?), I kept a very 43Folders-friendly attitude about it, only subscribing to sites I felt I couldn’t live without. For some reason, I felt stress when I looked at my reader and it told me I had hundreds of unread posts. Why did I ever feel that obligation? Freeing myself of that, and learning to use the newsreader as an aggregator of items of possible interest instead of a chore list has made my down time and browsing time much more enjoyable.

Now, one area that I will evanglize for in terms of pruning and careful aggregation is the email inbox. There are several wonderful articles about the izero inbox strategy, which urges you to stop using your email inbox as a to-do list.

Clearly, the problem of email overload is taking a toll on all our time, productivity, and sanity, mainly because most of us lack a cohesive system for processing our messages and converting them into appropriate actions as quickly as possible.

Take action on your emails immediately, even if it’s just to assign them an action in iGTD, and keep the clutter out of your email – it reduces stress and supports a better workflow. Realizing that one of my biggest problems at work (and one of the most regular causes of stress) was a result of using my inbox as a to-do list was a total epiphany for me, but there is absolutely no reason to treat a newsreader with the same philosophy: we should subscribe to anything we find interesting, isn’t that the beauty of the vast web of intrigue on the web?

The New Year

I stumbled across some great news this morning catching up with Frank at Chromewaves. One of my favorite Touch & Go bands, The New Year (formerly, essentially Bedhead) have finished recording their new album.

According to their MySpace, it’s due sometime in September, and a tour will follow.

The brothers Kadane (Matt and Bubba) are going to tease us a little bit, though: they’re scheduled to play a handful of shows with Bottomless Pit (more on them from me here), which is essentially Silkworm. This is … huge.

Bedhead and Silkworm were both hugely influential to me as a young listener in the ’90s, and I am seriously considering finding a way to make it to one of these shows … it will require a plane ticket, though. No dates are set in Texas. If you live in the Midwest, go see them and let me know what I missed?

4×4

Yewknee pinged me for this, so hold on tight (should you be ready and willing to accept a few notes on my boring life)! 4 Things Extravaganza (hopefully to be followed soon by the iTunes meme).

4 Jobs I’ve Had

  • Window girl at 1 hour photo processing stand. The stand was one of those small boxes in the middle of a parking lot, enabling people to drive through for one hour film developing. Though I started out at the drive through booth in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot in Arkansas, I quickly advanced to more behind the scenes jobs. Before long, I was at the “real” location, in an actual building, working in a darkroom. It was a good job for a 17 year old, and I learned quite a bit about old-school film processing. I really wish I’d stuck with that through college … there was a darkroom on campus but I never got around to using it. Being able to manually control the development of my photographs was probably the first thing I did that revealed any innate creative compulsion towards art in me.
  • Cashier, Disc Jockey. This job was in high school, before the photo store gig. The CD store was in the mall in Hot Springs, and I worked part time after school sophomore and junior year. Can you imagine that? Working in a mall CD store in Hot Springs in the early ’90s? We had the tall CD packaging back then (I tried to Google image search for an example, but apparently it’s so arcane no one even has photos of them), and the weird plastic handled tape cases. Yes, tapes. Cassette singles, even. My manager was a disgruntled gay man “stuck” in Hot Springs (more precise: stuck living in his parents’ basement). I only stole from there once, and most of the money was used to drive to Ft. Smith to see this vegan straight edge kid I was dating at the time.
  • Childcare provider/ babysitter During college, I followed up on some nanny experience I’d gained during a year off in Philadelphia to make extra money babysitting for one of my professors. His adopted daughter was high on the autism spectrum, and I learned a lot about the condition through her. She was amazing, and I continued to be her pen pal for years after I graduated. That job took on a lot of new and important significance for me after my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s last year.
  • Web Producer, public radio My current job is pretty awesome — I oversee web development, content, do all the editing and new media / design work at the NPR affiliate station’s site here in Austin. Love it.

4 TV Shows I’m Watching

  • Like Michael, I’m pretty much hooked on LOST & Breaking Bad. Both are great, but I think the writing on “Breaking Bad” is absolutely brilliant. You’ll never look at Malcolm (in the Middle’s) dad the same way again.
  • Almost anything on the History channel
  • Talk Soup. Joel McHale is hilarious. I don’t care.
  • I don’t really watch enough tv to pick four

4 Places I’ve Been

  • Mannheim, Germany. Lived there for a while, southern Germany is kind of depressing.
  • Portland, Oregon. I was born in Portland, moved to Texas as a kindergarten student.
  • Philadelphia, PA. As alluded to earlier, I took a year off between high school and college in Philly, fell out of love, got on a bus to go home, lost most of my record collection. All ended up well — he dated an old friend of mine after that, which was awesome. Not.
  • Boston, MA. I lived in Boston twice: once as a law student and once as a new mother. The new mother experience (in East Boston) was much more fun. My third week of law school included 9/11, a ridiculous job and a creepy landlord.

4 Music Artists I’m Listening to Right Now

Flashing Lights

I’ve been arguing that the music video is dead for a long time. I think party of my issue has been the way in which indie artists end up bound into these situations. We grew up on Mtv, huge rock bands, and even the decidedly rebellious acts of our youth (I’m thinking mostly of Fugazi) seemed like gigantic superstars. What’s the first thing you do after you make a record? Choose a single. What next? Make a video for the single. After that? Go on tour. It’s like a 12 sided die with built-in instructions. And since independent record labels don’t give a shit if you have a video or not, most bands pony up the money themselves, or split the cost with the label. Unless you have visionary friends, oodles of cash or a heart-stopping live act that’s been recorded by professionals, your video is probably going to be embarrassingly low budget, include some kind of lame joke or just plain self-indulgent and boring.

Hip hop videos might be self-indulgent, but they are typically fun. They might also be characterized as sexually obscene. That being said, it’s probably the case that I’ve been wrong about music videos, since the more I say that they’re dead, the more regularly I watch one that’s just plain good. Spike Jonze’s co-direction of Kanye West’s “Flashing Lights” is definitely one that is good, and I’d love to write about it, had several others not already taken on the effort, much better than I could. Do watch it.

The first article I read about it was over at clapclap, where Mike B. offered a short essay on the piece, which led me to No Trivia. Mike B.’s take on the “reveal” employed combined with Brandon’s exposition regarding women, body types, sexism, revenge and nightmares made me realize just how wrong I’ve been about video. There’s a lot left to be done in terms of style and design, and perhaps the best part about this video is that it is completely the centerpiece to the experience … the song exists in a plane with it, but isn’t overbearing or dominating. We’re allowed to listen and watch, and then quietly encouraged to watch again — but this time listen harder to understand what we’re being shown. It’s really brilliantly done, and mostly because it recognizes the distinction between the visual and aural, and stops trying to force one into the other, it just lets them breathe.

Hey Texas (& Ohio): Go Vote on Tuesday

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