Monthly Archives: March 2015

Arthur Russell

Day 2 of 5 of the song challenge from John Cline

Arthur Russell is a cellist from Oskaloosa, IA who ended up in New York in the late 70s and early 80s making avant garde dance music at the very beginning of the disco era and experimental music like this album, the World of Echo. I lived from ages 0-5 in Oskaloosa and played the cello for two short years (but was so terrible that at my last concert I literally mimed playing, moving my bow back and forth just above the strings so I wouldn’t ruin the pieces … even that effort was not totally successful) so I feel connected.

More than anything, Russell represents my favorite New York: the downtown New York of the late 70s and 80s. Russell played folk songs in Iowa, was a classically trained cellist, got with Phillip Glass and other avant garde composers, loved early punk music like Jonathan Richman, and was active in the emerging black/latino/gay disco scene and put out some great early dance records. There were so many different scenes he was a part of — something that seemed more possible back in that New York. Russell recorded new songs almost every day and left an enormous body of work, with all of these influences and scenes snowballing together into a sound that only he could make and he created his own world through constant practice — even though no one really cared or knew what he was doing, and I don’t think he was even releasing stuff for years, he kept making music anyway. Much of his work recently got re-discovered and re-issued starting in the mid-2000s

This is the first Arthur Russell album I listened to, an elegy he recorded after he was diagnosed with AIDS, and the sound seemed to come out of nowhere, but given his life, it makes sense and could only come from him.
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Them Two Am I a Good Man (1967)

Day 1 of 5 of the Song Challenge from John Cline.

I suppose I can break up the unending stream of police brutality and worker exploitation that is my newsfeed to reciprocate John tagging me in this effort. After all 95% of my music comes from him (I actually wore out the CD burner on his computer in college from copying so much of his music (and yes, I not only copied his music, I also copied his music on HIS computer until it broke)).

This is a song by Them Two from the Deep City label, part of the Eccentric Soul series put out by the Numero Group. The Numero Group collected the best from all these regional soul labels from the 60s and 70s when there were local markets and local stars … all of these mini Motowns and Staxes, in Ohio, Chicago, Mississippi … it’s pretty incredible. The Deep City label was based in Miami and the whole thing is incredible.

Tagged: Josie Helen, Avi Zevin, Naomi Biale
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Movement to Increase McDonald’s Minimum Wage Broadens Its Tactics

Wow! Fight for $15 the top story on the NYTimes website!
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A web of lawyers play different roles in different courts : News

Can someone studying for the MPRE please explain to me how this is okay?

Judges in one municipality like Ferguson also moonlight as defense attorneys in neighboring jurisdictions and prosecutors in others. “If you’re in front of a judge or you’re talking to the prosecutor and you know two days later you’re going to be the judge and that person is going to be in front of you as a defense attorney, that knowledge impacts the negotiations … several lawyers who have knowledge of the inner workings describe the ultimate good old boys club. Favors are traded behind the scenes between lawyers who frequently appear before one another. The same lawyers are simultaneously charging clients to get the same types of deals.”

“Donnell Smith hold[s] nine different taxpayer-funded positions— prosecutor in Berkeley and Moline Acres, judge in Greendale and Dellwood, and city attorney in Beverly Hills, Berkeley, Moline Acres, Pine Lawn and Velda Village Hills — all while holding down a municipal law and criminal defense practice.”

cc: Marbre Stahly-Butts, Josie Helen, Karl Kumodzi, Adam Pash
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The Spy Who Fired Me | Center for Popular Democracy

This month’s Harper’s Magazine features the #FairWorkweek Initiative and the workers organizing for just scheduling.
Allison Santana, a mother of four and Starbucks worker, thought she’d scrape by on the 20 hours of work promised to her. But through new scheduling software, her shifts were shaved and her availability was exploited to boost the bottom line of the company.
Inhumane schedule practices aren’t fair. Workers like Allison deserve stable hours they can depend on to support their families.
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@porkbunlover’s stereo. The button does nothing.

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Tell Starbucks: Commit to fixing your own racism!

The #RaceTogether stickers might be gone, but Starbucks’ race problem is still here. Sign this petition calling on them to do the responsible thing and fix their own racism first!
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