The King of all Censors Steps Down

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell will resign from the agency he has led for four years, sources told CNN.
A senior government official says Powell, a member of the FCC since November 1998 and the chairman since early 2001, will announce his resignation later Friday. His term on the commission runs through 2007.
FCC spokesmen were not immediately available for comment, though one person in the press office said a new release is anticipated.
Powell has been a relatively high-profile chairman of what had generally been a quiet regulatory agency before his tenure. He has pushed for increased fines for obscenity and indecent content by the nation’s broadcasters and backed a change in media ownership rules that allowed for greater consolidation by the industry’s largest conglomerates.

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An Interview with James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem

James Murphy
At FREEwilliamsburg, we’re pretty open about our love for DFA and especially LCD Soundsystem. It started with “Losing My Edge” but really kicked into gear with the brilliant “Yeah” single, and we were looking forward to LCD’s debut full-length (due out next month) for most of last year. (It’s great and people will be talking about it very soon). So needless to say, we were pretty excited to do an email interview with DFA producer and LCD frontman James Murphy. Among other things, Murphy talks about tour plans, DFA’s relationship with EMI, his first concert, and “L train nonsense.” This interview is also available in its entirety at One Louder. Enjoy.
Q: We’re always curious to know people’s first concerts. What was yours?
A: It was the Ramones at City Gardens in Trenton, New Jersey. Not sure what year. Maybe ’83? It was fucking louuuuuuud. I saw Iggy the same week and thought my head was going to cave in. For some bizarre reason I think Fishbone also played both shows. In fact, I think Fishbone may have played every show in the 80’s ever. And sold that shirt, too.

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Michael Paulus – Skeletal Designs

From Artist Michael Paulus’ Website:
“A character study of 22 present and past cartoon characters.

Animation was the format of choice for children’s television in the 1960s, a decade in which children’s programming became almost entirely animated. Growing up in that period, I tended to take for granted the distortions and strange bodies of these entities.
I decided to take a select few of these popular characters and render their skeletal systems as I imagine they might resemble if one truly had eye sockets half the size of its head, or fingerless-hands, or feet comprising 60% of its body mass.
Each character resides on a translucent, hinged panel. When the panel is lifted the character’s skeletal structure is revealed giving each a certain validity and glimpse into its origins. Each panel is hand-drawn with archival ink and covered with an acrylic/acetate transparency.
The photos of Hello Kitty on the site give an accurate idea of what the actual, assembled pieces look like—with the hinged translucent cover both closed and open. The rest of the characters shown on the site are approximations of what the transparency overlay looks like since I don’t have actual photographs of all of them.”
see the full collection here

Williamsburg Gallery Crawl

Keane’s Blog-Friday Night in Williamsburg
Highest Score: 5 Greenbergs

The neighborhood isn’t dead. It’s just a little smaller this year. There certainly was a lot of energy Friday night in Williamsburg with a slew of openings from tiny Plus Ultra all the way down to Roebling Hall, who haven’t totally abandoned us for their Chelsea space. Anyway, I’ll dig some of the dirt off the coffin with two reviews of what I saw through a bourbon glaze. Those evil men at Plus Ultra were offering shots of Jack Daniels and a beer for 3 dollars. Well, they aren’t evil but I definitely left the gallery with a bit of vertigo, and it wasn’t caused by Thomas Lendvai’s space altering installation A Series of ‘nows’.

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Mastodon, "Leviathan"

“Dude, Neil Peart is totally fuckin sick.”
This sentiment was sure to have been offered by at least one member of Mastodon at an earlier stage in his life, likely within 10-20 feet of a 7/11. And though the geeky squelch of Rush has long ceased to interest many of my peers, I still put on All the World’s a Stage (Rush’s live album, recorded during their 2112 tour), and opine the same: Dude, Neil Peart is totally fuckin’ sick.
Brann Dailor is totally fuckin’ sick. Part Peart, part Philly Joe Jones, part your favorite double-kick drummer (Lars circa Master…?), Dailor is Mastodon’s none-too-secret weapon, dropping Jack DeJohnette-on-basement-crank fills and beats into most every tune on Mastodon’s massively metal kickassterpiece, Leviathan.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: jazz and/or prog-rock drumming in metal-sounds totally fuckin’ gay, dude. But Dailor’s drumming never takes center-stage, remaining content to fuck with us from the perimeter. Because if you’re a metal fan like I’m a metal fan, you know that metal’s best when there’s not too much getting in the way of the riffs. And-dude!-the riffs on Leviathan!

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K-Tel Drug Mart

Remember K-Tel Records? They pumped out the hits during the Seventies and Eighties with classic collections like “Hot Nights, City Lights,” “Girls, Girls, Girls,” and “Disco Rocket.” Anyone raised in the Seventies had at least one K-Tel record in his/her collection. Ever wondered what happened to K-Tel? Times must be tough… now you can order all your pharmaceutical favorites at the K-Tel Drug Mart. Celebrex, Plavis, and Lipitor can all be purchased “[at] a savings of up to 70% or more. All drugs are shipped directly to your home from our licensed pharmacy in Canada, where drug prices are regulated by government review boards. What’s more, with the favorable exchange rate on the US dollar, the savings are even greater!”
The Apocalypse is surely near. What’s next? Is Tab now a malt liquor? Does Garanimals sell bondage gear? We feel dirty now.
It’s a virtual jukebox of Canadian drug import hits!
Visit them today.
See the full K-Tel collection here

"Mysterious" man named Boraq from Kazakhstan visits Roanoke

We love you Ali G.
From Roanoke Times:

No one knows for sure who he was, that Middle Eastern man in an American flag shirt and a cowboy hat who was supposed to sing the national anthem at a rodeo Friday night in the Salem Civic Center. But he sure shook up this town before leaving in a hurry.
Introduced as Boraq Sagdiyev from Kazakhstan, he was said to be an immigrant touring America. A film crew was with him, doing some sort of documentary. And he wanted to sing “The Star-Spangled Banner” to show his appreciation, the announcer told the crowd.
Speaking in broken English, the mysterious man first told the decidedly pro-American crowd – it was a rodeo, of all things, in Salem, of all places – that he supported the war on terrorism.
“I hope you kill every man, woman and child in Iraq, down to the lizards,” he said, according to Brett Sharp of Star Country WSLC, who was also on stage that night as a media sponsor of the rodeo.
An uneasy murmur ran through the crowd.
“And may George W. Bush drink the blood of every man, woman and child in Iraq,” he continued, according to Robynn Jaymes, who co-hosts a morning radio show with Sharp and was also among the stunned observers.
The crowd’s reaction was loud enough for John Saunders, the civic center’s assistant director, to hear from the front office. “It was a restless kind of booing,” Saunders said.

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Morgan Geist Interview

Morgan Geist is the coolest DJ in New York. He’s responsible for the amazingly popular remix of The Rapture’s “House of Jealous Lovers.” He’s the founder of his own label, Environ Records. He’s one half of the duo known as Metro Area who released our favorite electronic record of 2002. He regularly spins at Apt and other hip clubs where the “I’m not a hipster even though I look like one” crowd can be found. And he just released a new collection of Italo disco from the 70’s and 80’s called Unclassics.
Despite Geist’s inability to license all the tracks he’d originally intended to include, Unclassics effectively functions as a bizarro companion disk to any 70’s disco hits that features overplayed classics like “Y.M.C.A” and “Shake Your Groove Thing.” The dark underbelly of a K-Tel comp. Nevertheless, you will shake your groove thing when listening to Unclassics. The 32-year-old Geist was born in Jersey and currently lives in Brooklyn. He agreed to answer a few of my questions early in 2005 after I confessed to including Metro Area on my wedding mix.
1. What is Italo Disco and how did you get into it?
There are many definitions of “italo disco.” When I got into dance music, I thought it was Irma and DFC, “Ride On Time” and Soft House Company, “What You Need” and “A Little Piano.” Some will say that’s Italo house or Italo pop. Whatever. I guess the important thing is my personal area of interest, which spans from about ’77 to maybe ’85 or so. It starts with more organic sounds that copy US soul/disco and then I eject right around when digital technology starts taking over. That’s when the stuff took a nosedive, in my opinion.
2. Where do you find your music?
Used record shops. There are too many amazing unknown records to be found to get hung up with eBay or expensive dealers. I want to play records, not collect them.

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