Group Sounds

Group Sounds begin their residency Tuesday June 14th at Sin-e. If you haven’t heard them yet, be sure to check them out. They recently opened for The Kills and offer up fun, unpretentious pop that’s a welcome break from the derivative post-punk that’s monopolizing New York clubs these days.
Business before pleasure | Things fall apart
Live Dates:
June 14th, 21st, 28th @ Sin-e
August 3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st @ Pianos

Jim Wallis – The Christian Left

I may not agree with everything Jim Wallis has to say (he mumbles about being pro-life and “pro-family” under his breath) but this progressive evangelical Christian leader is more vocal in his dislike of Bush than most of us Godless sinners. Check out his book, “God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It,” an enlightening and important read that details what I believe to be the future of evangelicaldom. Wallis has jump-started a movement with young evangelicals that is spreading, see the recent Bush protest at Calvin College. We just got this in our inbox from his magazine, Sojourners:

Guantanamo and human rights: Practicing what we preach
Guantanamo Bay has become not only a symbol of the U.S. government’s hypocrisy and dishonesty – or “disassembling,” as President Bush might put it – around the war on terror. The prison camp has become one of the more egregious examples of the cost of unaccountable power.
Human rights groups have long documented the abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo, including desecration of the Quran. (The International Committee of the Red Cross issued credible reports in 2002 and 2003 on mistreatment of the Islamic holy book, which last week even the Pentagon admitted.)
The 540 prisoners at the facility have been held incommunicado, denied access to legal counsel, and, in fact, denied the most basic aspects of legal process. The Bush administration has given mutually contradictory rationalizations for its treatment of prisoners there, claiming on the one hand that those incarcerated are effectively prisoners of war and in other circumstances that they are terrorist criminals. Yet the administration has refused to honor either the Geneva Conventions for treatment of POWs or the rights granted the accused under U.S. criminal law.
Defenders of Guantanamo and the policies it represents are quick to point out that our treatment of prisoners is far better than that meted out by the U.S.’s terrorist enemies – or the “gulag” of the former Soviet Union, for that matter. Fair enough. But if the U.S. is to continue to claim a place as a world leader for human rights, our standards must be infinitely higher and conform to or surpass international norms. We must not be satisfied with merely being “better” than al Qaeda or Stalin.
Former President Jimmy Carter has joined human rights groups, led by Amnesty International and others, in calling for the closing of Guantanamo Bay. “The U.S. continues to suffer terrible embarrassment and a blow to our reputation…because of reports concerning abuses of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Guantanamo,” Carter said, according to an A.P. report. President Bush refused to rule out the closing of the facility, saying the administration was “exploring all alternatives” for detaining the prisoners.
Guantanamo should be closed. But simply closing the facility – and either moving the detainees to another location or returning them to their country of origin – is not enough. If the United States is to regain any credibility as an advocate of human rights around the world, it must begin to practice what it preaches in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Guantanamo, and everywhere else. The erosion of respect for human rights by U.S. personnel didn’t begin at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay, and the responsibility for it goes all the way to the top.

To do this weekend: Miyazaki and Sweet Action

On Friday:
It’s hot, muggy and rainy. A perfect night to see the new Miyazaki film Howl’s Moving Castle. If you’ve never seen Miyazaki film before, don’t miss seeing this on the big screen. He’s a genious. And you don’t even have to like anime. He’s that good. Click for tix.
On Saturday
Don’t miss the Sweet Action Magazine Party
at the Tainted lady Lounge:
318 Grand St @ Havemeyer (7pm)
10 bucks includes:
— A free copy of Sweet Action #3!
— A Sixpoint Sweet Action Beer!
— Dick Readings by Madame Micole ($5 a head)
— Lots of raffle prizes!
Plus the people who run and operate Sweet Action are super cool. The upcoming mag features backpaker Beans nude.
Then on Sunday at 6pm
see the film Half-Cocked (1995) – because we love the Make-Up
Ocularis at Galapagos Art Space (70 N 6th St, Wburg)
6 bucks

from flavorpill
Half-Cocked is best known for its soundtrack, featuring ’90s lo-fi band the Grifters and riot grrrl math rockers Ruby Falls. The film chronicles the naissance of Truckstop, a band born of Gen-X boredom and timeless rock star aspirations. After jacking a van laden with another band’s equipment, a group of friends bluff their way into playing a local club. Because the band has no material, and none of its members play instruments, their musical signature quickly becomes volume and distortion. Don’t miss this rare chance to see Ian Svenonious (Nation of Ulysses, the Make-Up, Weird War, et al) and Tara Jane O’Neil lead the cast down the glorious road of rock ‘n roll destitution.

The New Arcade Fire mp3

Arcade Fire
You know you want it.
Thanks Daily Refill…. click here to get it.

This is almost as good as the Siren Festival (maybe better actually)

Miighty Flashlight

This event is a couple of weeks away, but we’re excited about the line-up.
saturday, june 25th. 2-6pm
East River Music Project presents

grizzly bear
– soft circle
miighty flashlight
(download mp3: 1 | 2)
(download mp3)

(East River Park Amphitheatre NYC just south of the Williamsburg Bridge on the Manhattan side)

Then at 7:30 as part of Prospect Park’s Celebrate Brooklyn:

click here for info.

Dubya Inc. manipulates climate documents

click for full size
This is bad, even for Dubya. I suppose its tough for him to care about the environment, since the Rapture is on its way:

From NY Times
A White House official who once led the oil industry’s fight against limits on greenhouse gases has repeatedly edited government climate reports in ways that play down links between such emissions and global warming, according to internal documents.
In handwritten notes on drafts of several reports issued in 2002 and 2003, the official, Philip A. Cooney, removed or adjusted descriptions of climate research that government scientists and their supervisors, including some senior Bush administration officials, had already approved. In many cases, the changes appeared in the final reports.
The dozens of changes, while sometimes as subtle as the insertion of the phrase “significant and fundamental” before the word “uncertainties,” tend to produce an air of doubt about findings that most climate experts say are robust.

[Read more…]

Teen Gets Life Sentence For Helping Girlfriend End Pregnancy

Disturbing story/verdict aside – this sounds like a terrifying precedent:

From AP
A 19-year-old East Texas man faces a life prison sentence for causing his teenage girlfriend to miscarry twins, even though she wanted to end the pregnancy.
Gerardo Flores was accused of causing the miscarriage by stepping on his girlfriend’s stomach. He was prosecuted under the state’s new fetal protection law.
Erica Basoria acknowledged asking Flores to help end her pregnancy. But the 17-year-old can’t be prosecuted because of her legal right to abortion.
The defense contended that Basoria punched herself while Flores was stepping on her, making it impossible to tell who killed the twins.
The jury reached a verdict after deliberating four hours. Because prosecutors declined to seek the death penalty in the case, Flores received the automatic life sentence.

Bookmark Now: NYC Reading & Release Party

Tuesday, June 7 at 7:00pm
at Galapagos Artspace (70 North 6th Street in Williamsburg)
No cover. Free book give-aways. And yours truly (Robert Lanham) will be reading.

On Tuesday, June 7, editor Kevin Smokler and New York-based contributors to Bookmark Now will read from their contributions to the book, which features young writers on the state of the art—and the art of the hustle—in the age of information overload.
Bookmark Now contains 25 original essays written by authors who came of age professionally in the last decade. Raised by television, video games, and the internet, they still decided to become writers and readers, producers and consumers of literature at the most media-saturated time in history, a time when books have more competition from flashier distractions than ever before. How? Why? What does this say about the place of books in our hypermedia world? BOOKMARK NOW attempts to answer these questions. As book lovers, we are familiar with the gloom and doom attitude of these “Unreaderly Times.” But, there are still smart people everywhere who love books and are excited for the possibilities the future will bring for connecting books and readers. BOOKMARK NOW argues and celebrates that that future is already here.
Smokler will introduce readings by Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Robert Lanham, Benjamin Nugent, and Elizabeth Spiers of Gawker/Media Bistro fame. Sponsored by, the event also features audience giveaways of Bookmark Now and Lanham’s Food Court Druids, Cherohonkees, and Other Creatures Unique to the Republic, both of which will be raffled off in-between readers.