Saturday, March 15, 2008

sxsw - day three

Lykke Li

She & Him


Billy Bragg

The Homosexuals

Friday, March 14, 2008

sxsw - day two


The Big Sleep

The Raveonettes

Thursday, March 13, 2008

sxsw - day one

Chris Bathgate

Modey Lemon

Frightend Rabbit

Ugly Beats

Paul Collins Beat

The Wedding Present

Black Diamond Heavies

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

half japanese

Happy Happy Joy Joy
Half Japanese at SXSW 2008

How to Play Guitar
by David Fair

I taught myself to play guitar. It's incredibly easy when you understand the science of it. The skinny strings play the high sounds, and the fat strings play the low sounds. If you put your finger on the string farther out by the tuning end it makes a lower sound. If you want to play fast, move your hand fast and if you want to play slower move your hand slower. That's all there is to it. You can learn the names of notes and how to make chords that other people use, but that's pretty limiting. Even if you took a few years and learned all the chords you'd still have a limited number of options. If you ignore the chords your options are infinite and you can master guitar playing in one day.

Traditionally, guitars have a fat string on the top and they get skinnier and skinnier as they go down. But the thing to remember is it's your guitar and you can put whatever you want on it. I like to put six different sized strings on it because that gives the most variety, but my brother used to put all of the same thickness on so he wouldn't have so much to worry about. What ever string he hit had to be the right one because they were all the same.
Tuning the guitar is kind of a ridiculous notion. If you have to wind the tuning pegs to just a certain place, that implies that every other place would be wrong. But that's absurd. How could it be wrong? It's your guitar and you're the one playing it. It's completely up to you to decide how it should sound. In fact I don't tune by the sound at all. I wind the strings until they're all about the same tightness. I highly recommend electric guitars for a couple of reasons. First of all they don't depend on body resonating for the sound so it doesn't matter if you paint them. As also, if you put all the knobs on your amplifier on 10 you can get a much higher reaction to effort ratio with an electric guitar than you can with an acoustic. Just a tiny tap on the strings can rattle your windows, and when you slam the strings, with your amp on 10, you can strip the paint off the walls.

The first guitar I bought was a Silvertone. Later I bought a Fender Telecaster, but it really doesn't matter what kind you buy as long as the tuning pegs are on the end of the neck where they belong. A few years back someone came out with a guitar that tunes at the other end. I've never tried one. I guess they sound alright but they look ridiculous and I imagine you'd feel pretty foolish holding one. That would affect your playing. The idea isn't to feel foolish. The idea is to put a pick in one hand and a guitar in the other and with a tiny movement rule the world.

Tangled Up in Blue
1/2 Gentlemen / Not Beasts - 1980

2 Hearts = 1
Loud - 1981

Double Trouble
Sing No Evil - 1984

Day and Night
Charmed Life - 1988

tuesday reads

Massive suicide bombs ripped through a seven-story police headquarters and a house in Lahore on Tuesday, killing at least 20 people and wounding more than 150, deepening Pakistan's security crisis as a wave of Islamic militancy sweeps the country.

Insurgents killed eight US soldiers in two separate attacks in 24 hours in Iraq and nine more people died on Tuesday in clashes in the north.

The House Judiciary Committee sued former White House Counsel Harriet Miers and White House chief of staff Joshua Bolten on Monday, setting up a constitutional clash over the Bush administration's refusal to provide testimony and documents about the firing of U.S. attorneys.

A class of chemicals that includes nerve agents, pesticides and an anti-nerve gas drug may be causing the chronic fatigue, severe muscle pain, memory loss and other illnesses that about 250,000 Persian Gulf War veterans are experiencing, a San Diego researcher reported Monday.

Rising food prices hurting low-income people and food banks. (Austin American-Statesman)

AlterNet brings you special coverage of the 2008 Winter Soldiers' Investigation.

Hundreds of guestworkers from India, lured by false promises of permanent U.S. residency, paid tens of thousands of dollars each to obtain temporary jobs at Gulf Coast shipyards only to find themselves forced into involuntary servitude and living in overcrowded, guarded labor camps, according to a class action lawsuit filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Scott Horton, Jane Hamsher, Glenn Greenwald and Lambert on Elliot Spitzer.

Blondie - Call Me [en EspaƱol]

Sunday, March 09, 2008

sunday reads

The United States has spent more than $100 billion on contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan in the last five years. In that time, the Justice Department has uncovered at least $14 million in bribes from rebuilding projects in those two nations alone. (h/t DownWithTyranny!)

The Narco State of Guinea-Bissau

Dozens of U.S. troops in Iraq fell sick at bases using "unmonitored and potentially unsafe" water supplied by the military and a contractor once owned by Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, the Pentagon's internal watchdog says.

A US missile strike in Somalia, aimed at a man described by the Pentagon as a "known al-Qa'ida terrorist", succeeded only in hurting six civilians and killing three cows and a calf, the IoS has learned.

BLDGBOLG points us to the Chronicle of Higher Education's Back-of-the-Envelope Design Contest for the bu$h Preznitial Lieberry.

7 Fake Startups Compete for 'Worst Website Ever'