The other day I listened to “Wishful Thinking” the latest “dislike club” episode of Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything podcast. This series of episodes focuses on the current, sad, state of the Internet. How it’s turned from an amazing place where ideas, thoughts, and emotions are freely exchanged into a virtual gulag. A place where we slave away trading our personal information, endlessly liking things, to generate profits for big companies.
This last episode focuses on online harassment and it’s quite powerful. The Internet is probably one of the last places you can make someone’s life absolutely miserable and suffer zero consequences. Not surprisingly most of the victims here are women and it can get so bad that they must leave the Internet, dis-engage from public life, because of it. If the behavior most women face online happened in the workplace people lose their jobs and get prosecuted. When it happens online, nothing happens to the individual or group responsible. This kind of behavior has to stop.
Coincidentally, this week the people over at the Tor Project posted Solidarity Against Online Harassment. Read it. Sign your name, but more importantly, act. Fight this crap everyday. Defend those being harassed, condemn this behavior, and cast a critical eye at your own behavior.
The Internet is probably the greatest freedom machine ever built. My freedom has to stop where it might infringe on your freedom and your ability to express your ideas.
I do a lot of apple watching and over time I’ve whittled down the number of places I go for such information. Recently Neil Cybart (a former stock analyst) launched Above Avalon a throwback email newsletter that covers Apple from a finance angle. I normally would have unsubscribed by now, who needs more email, but Cybart has me hooked. Just today he introduced me to a few new companies with apps in a growing space aimed at the financial consumers: Robinhood, Affirm, and Oscar. (Robinhood sounds particularly interesting to me.) Short and to the point, I look forward to reading Above Avalon every weekday. I recommend it to anyone interested in news related to Apple as a business.
Dropping two tracks that had been on heavy rotation at the beach house this year. The first is a jam by the Swedish band Goat titled “Hide from the Sun”. I love the heavily fuzzed out guitar line about 2/3 in to this one. The second is “Dawn of Time” by the San Diego reggae band Tribal Seeds. I know San Diego isn’t normally the place I would go to seek out this kind of music but this track goes great with sand, surf, and sunshine.
June 20th was the 45th anniversary of the 1969 release of “Aoxomoxoa” by the Grateful Dead. It’s hard to pick just one track. It’s like picking your favorite son or daughter. Since I can’t post all eight original tracks I’ll pick “China Cat Sunflower” a classic Garcia/Hunter psychedelic collaboration.
I’ve been out at Apple’s World Wide Developer Conference all week in San Francisco drinking from the fire hose of new information related to all the goodness they released on Monday. Music always plays a big part at almost every Apple event from the music they play between sessions to the guest band that plays the wrap up “bash” at the end of the week. This year Bastille played a set. They weren’t bad. Not a band I would seek out but they have some quirks that intrigue me. The band is obsessed with the TV show Twin Peaks and are fond of doing covers. Last night they played TLC’s “No Scrubs” and just for fun they mash that up with the guitar riff and a verse or two from The XX’s “Angels”. Anyhoo, I couldn’t find that track on Spotify so I’m throwing in “Laura Palmer”. Not my typical pick but what the hell it’s catchy and it was fun to pogo too at the show.
About four years ago I was sitting in the All Star Sandwich Bar in Cambridge, MA eating an Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown and drinking a Harpoon Ale. I was alone so I picked up a local music trade paper and was leafing through it when I stumbled upon a review for the album “i” by MMOSS a psychedelic jam band from New Hampshire. I was intrigued. After finishing my meal I went out an bought the CD somewhere near Harvard Square and I’ve been a fan ever since.
I’m pretty sure they have only recently been available on Spotify and it looks like a re-issue of “i” is available. My pick for the week is “Hedge Creeper”. It’s a short fun jam full of late 60s AM radio tropes. I think Ron Burgundy is playing lead jazz flute on this one. Enjoy this track while driving with the top down.
Black Moth Super Rainbow member, Tobacco dropped a new album “Ultima II Massage” a few weeks ago and my pick for the week is “Eruption (Gonna Get My Hair Cut at the End of The Summer)”. I really like BMSR and Tobacco seems like he’s a major component of their sound. I especially dig some of the more throbbing-spacy-wavy tracks. The video for “Streaker”, directed by Eric Wareheim, is NSFW and pretty disturbing. Watch it with the lights on.