A fascinating look into how Zappa was thinking about getting his music to his audience.
Zappa’s pitch addressed all of these concerns by proposing to store the best of the labels’ catalogs “in a central processing location, and hav[ing] them accessible by phone or cable TV, directly patchable into the user’s home taping appliances.” Yep: Prior even to home computers, Zappa envisioned a server full of music ready to move down your phone or television cable.
He even envisioned both the subscription model (royalty payments and consumer billing were “built into the software of the system”) and a very Pandora-like option of “special interest categories.”
Read the whole thing, you’ll laugh and smile!
LGF reader “Slap” informed me of a link to the text of Zappa’s proposal. Click here for the text.
The powers-that-be in Orange Beach, AL have worked themselves into a tizzy over a single concert taking place on the Friday before Memorial Day at their large music venue The Wharf. The band? Road warrior southern rock band Widespread Panic.
At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Mayor Pro Tem Jeff Silvers laid into Wharf General Manager Jim Bibby over the booking. Silvers said the band’s fanbase has pushed the city’s fire and police services to the limit, calling a past three-day stint “pure mayhem.”
Despite an email sent about two weeks ago by Mayor Tony Kennon to [promoter] Red Mountain [Entertainment] and Art Favre, owner of Wharf Retail Properties LLC, expressing the city’s concerns about a possible concert, Silvers said “apparently the message didn’t get out.”
“We’re still not happy that this has been announced,” Silvers said. “The maximizing that it puts on our resources, our police and our fire department on a busy weekend — Memorial Day weekend, Jim — we can’t have that. We don’t promote that style of living and floppiness that’s happened, that they will bring. And they will be here, living in vacant garages, living in the streets, showering down at the beach. Jim, we can’t have it. We can’t put up with it. So please whoever didn’t get that message needs to hear from all of us up here.”
…Kennon said he was under the impression that the city had an agreement with Wharf officials that acts like Widespread Panic were not welcome in Orange Beach.
“I think people know that I’m a very vocal opponent of the music festival in Gulf Shores,” Kennon said. “I don’t believe for a minute that it’s who we are. It’s not our brand. It’s not what we’re trying to sell as a family-friendly destination. That is who we are and the minute we start prostituting that because of money or whatever reason then the next weekend can be prostituted and the next weekend and then it ends up we’re Panama City. And that’s not who we are if I can help it.”
Kennon said he hoped the booking was “an oversight” by management.
In Alabama Widespread Panic has had issues with fans and law enforcement in the past, with over a hundred arrests at shows not uncommon. What gets me is that this band has played more sold out shows at Red Rocks in Colorado (of which a few I’ve attended) than any other band and you never read about hundreds of arrests or animosity between the performers and the community when they’re in town. Then again, Colorado is not Alabama.
As far as the Mayor Pro Tem saying that Widespread Panic fans are every negative hippy stereotype, he needs to get out more. Most (if not all) of the Spreadheads I know are professionals and/or have kids and/or tend to spend a lot of money on their Widespread Panic experiences. They aren’t staying in vacant garages and living in the streets. They’re staying in nice hotels, eating out every night, etc.
To me this whole thing sounds like the powers-that-be in Orange Beach, AL trying to impose their values on the community. Widespread Panic doesn’t fit their values, and they’re letting that be known.
The propagandists at the Discovery Institute hate astrobiologists.
Ridiculing astrobiologists is a favorite sport at the Discovery Institute, which complains on its news site that “hardly a month goes by lately when the science media fail to breathlessly report the discovery of a new planet, in some star’s ‘habitable zone,’ that might hypothetically be capable of supporting life.” The institute attributes the coverage in part to hype purposefully generated by “organized science” to shake down the government for grant money.
But the creationists also see a more sinister agenda than naked greed. They place astrobiologists among the ranks of the “Darwin Brigades” who have always been “eager to undermine human exceptionalism,” since “the alleged ordinariness of the human race was vital in establishing common ancestry as a plausible theory.” Astrobiology, they argue, expands this line of thought, since it holds to the Darwinist belief that life started by accident and that—under the right conditions—it can emerge anywhere with a liquid solvent (preferably water), energy, and organic compounds. This delusion, the Discovery Institute adds, undermines human exceptionalism on a cosmic scale by proclaiming that the Earth is not particularly special, just one among billions of potentially life-bearing planets.
The Discovery Institute claims instead that, the more data we gather about the Earth and other solar systems, the more clear it becomes that the cosmos was designed specifically with us in mind: “Someone decided that life should exist in this universe and made sure that Earth received all the proper protection and environmental benefits it needed to become the home of humankind.” And, of course, scripture is always available to provide supporting evidence. “The Earth’s uniqueness brings to mind what the prophet Isaiah recorded thousands of years ago: ‘For thus says the Lord—Who created the heavens, God Himself, Who formed the Earth and made it, Who established it and did not create it to be a worthless waste; He formed it to be inhabited—I am the Lord, and there is no one else.’”
Monty Python - Galaxy Song
Available to buy now from iTunes - po.st
Enjoy our latest video for our new single, “Stephen Hawking Sings Monty Python… Galaxy Song” which is available as a digital download from 13 April, and on limited edition 7” vinyl on Record Store Day 2015.
The song, which is the title track to “Monty Python - The Meaning of Live”, was originally written for the 1983 film, “Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life”. It has been re-recorded with the lyrics sung by Professor Stephen Hawking.
Written by Eric Idle and John Du Prez, the song is an intricate and informative lecture on the enormity of the Universe fashioned into a bewitching and, above all, highly amusing pop song.
“Galaxy Song” was previously included on the 1989 album “Monty Python Sings”, and included in the 2014 reissue of the album, “Monty Python Sings (again)”, in its original form - sung by Eric Idle - to coincide with Monty Python’s record breaking “Monty Python Live (mostly) - One Down Five to Go” run of 10 live shows at The O2, London. On film during the live shows, Professor Brian Cox berated the scientific inaccuracy of the “Galaxy Song” lyrics before Professor Stephen Hawking knocked him to the ground. Hawking then began reciting the “Galaxy Song” lyrics as he lifted off to journey through outer space. It is this unique rendition of “Galaxy Song” which is now available as a single.
Subscribe to the Official Monty Python Channel here - smarturl.it
Visit the NEW Monty Python iTunes store - smarturl.it
I’ve heard plenty of horror stories from skiers in California about the lack of snow in recent years. These pictures of Yosemite Valley - taken by a webcam operated by the Yosemite Conservancy - took my breath away. It’s the most startling evidence of what the U.S. Drought Monitor calls “Exceptional Drought.” Start the collection of tweets from the bottom.
Yosemite National Park, in snowier times.
The conversation Nixon and H.R. Haldeman had on 2 November 1971 about television - especially cable television - struck me as wholly prescient.
In the final episode of Harry Shearer’s “Nixon’s The One,” we delve into Nixon’s relationship with the medium that saved his Vice Presidential ticket and also where he announced that he would leave the office of the Presidency.
Oh, and his conversation with Billy Graham in this episode was horrifyingly antisemitic. Yikes!
Television saved him, it almost destroyed him. He never quite figured it out. Why wouldn’t he resent something that powerful?
Watch more episodes from Harry Shearer’s ‘Nixon’s the One’ here: bit.ly
I found it darkly funny that Nixon was so quick to equate the “elites” to pop culture. He clearly despised any culture that didn’t resemble “How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?”
Elites. Eastern, privileged, Ivy League-educated: Nixon’s least favorite people….
Watch more episodes from Harry Shearer’s ‘Nixon’s the One’ here: bit.ly
A quarter-century ago today, Nirvana played a small but momentous show at Portland’s Satyricon. The concert at the popular nightclub is notable because the Melvins’ Dale Crover was playing drums, and because it’s when Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love met for the very first time. And now, for the first time since that fateful night, you can listen to the grunge legends’ show. A YouTube user uploaded a video today that’s allegedly a bootleg of the whole show.
Nirvana set list, Satyricon (January 12, 1990)
2. “Floyd The Barber”
3. “Love Buzz”
6. “Big Cheese”
7. “Spank Thru”
10. “Molly’s Lips”
12. “Been A Son”
14. “Negative Creep”
Audio quality is poor. But it is a genuine piece of rock ‘n’ roll history.
The overwhelming consensus among climate scientists is that human-caused climate change is happening. Yet a fringe minority of our populace clings to an irrational rejection of well-established science. This virulent strain of anti-science infects the halls of Congress, the pages of leading newspapers and what we see on TV, leading to the appearance of a debate where none should exist.
In fact, there is broad agreement among climate scientists not only that climate change is real (a survey and a review of the scientific literature published say about 97 percent agree), but that we must respond to the dangers of a warming planet. If one is looking for real differences among mainstream scientists, they can be found on two fronts: the precise implications of those higher temperatures, and which technologies and policies offer the best solution to reducing, on a global scale, the emission of greenhouse gases.
For example, should we go full-bore on nuclear power? Invest in and deploy renewable energy — wind, solar and geothermal — on a huge scale? Price carbon emissions through cap-and-trade legislation or by imposing a carbon tax? Until the public fully understands the danger of our present trajectory, those debates are likely to continue to founder.
This is where scientists come in. In my view, it is no longer acceptable for scientists to remain on the sidelines.