So today in history is a trifecta of some bad shit. Disease, war, and the creation of a political party that started said war. Let's begin!
-According to French scholars at the University of Paris, the Black Death was 'created' on this day from "a triple conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Mars in the 40th degree of Aquarius, occurring on the 20th of March, 1345." Killing over 25 million people across three continents, the Black Death was actually carried by fleas that lived on rats, and then jumped on bodies once the rats died. According to historical documents, people tried to cure themselves all sorts of ways, bathing in urine or blood, prayer, and good-ol' fashioned scapegoating by burning gypsies and Jewish people. Thanks a lot, douche bags!
-On this day in 1854 in Wisconsin, the Republican Party was created as a response to the death of the Whig party and President Jackson's inability to deal with the problem of slavery. Essentially Republicans were anti-slavery good guys, (including one President Abraham Lincoln) whose Republican-dominated Senate passed the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendment, and remained in political power until the election of FDR in the '30s. Kinda makes you wonder where it all went downhill...
-And on this day six years ago on Baghdad time, Operation Iraqi Freedom (a.k.a. the Iraq War) began. President Bush goes on to say that "campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict...but we will prevail." Still waiting over here George; still waiting.
Apparently they've become so over-populated that they're throwing these beasts at the mercy of any Tom, Dick, and Harry who wants the ultimate souvenir. Or amputated limb; whichever comes first.
I wonder if Ed got that harpoon gun yet...shit, might have to borrow the trident instead.
Laura Ling, an amazing, vanguard journalist for Current TV, has been taken into custody while on assignment in North Korea. Not many details have surfaced yet, but we certainly hope her and her coworker Euna Lee are safe and returned home immediately. You can check out some of Laura's work here. Her latest pieces on the Mexican drug wars are great and waaaay better than any bullshit you'll see on CNN, MSNBC, FOX or any of that other shit.
The new ish is going down at Happy Ending (as evidenced by Diana Ross getting down above!). Modern day renaissance man Ojay Morgan is hosting his new party, "Basement", with music supplied by DJ's Dirty Finger, Ryder Ripps, Michael Pope and ZebraKatz. AND! There will be a special performance by House of Ladosha. The theme for the first party is MIAMI, so roll up those blazer sleeves, put on those sea foam pastels and usher in the first night of Spring proper!
Despite the relative silence on the passing of Prop 8, the invitation to Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inauguration and the general belief that one dick + one pussy = sacred marriage, President Obama plans to reverse Bush's UN policy towards 'mos and sign an international anti-discrimination "statement", specifically targeting Islamic countries that criminalize queer coupling. This is kind of like your buddy buying you a house plant when he's burning your house down. Whatever, I like plants.
I don't know what all the other ladies out there think about this, but sometimes I feel like every time I read a blog or pick up a magazine I see boobies or a half-naked hipster girl. Now I like a good pair of tits as much as the next person but hello people it's 2009, when am I going to start seeing some good dick to balance it out? With this in mind I was pretty psyched to hear Liger Beat, an adult version of Tiger Beat that should be out sometime this month. Perfect subway reading material for the gal on the go. Click here to read an article about it, or check out ligerbeat.com. ?
Crystal Stilts made a great record with Alight of Night, but every time that I've caught them, with the exception of a their record release at Less Artists More Condos a few months ago, they've been out-played by one of their opening acts. In the past, I've blamed the sound guy, but last night's set at Music Hall of Williamsburg nixed that excuse. Their music sounded good, but I think I've come to the conclusion that I'm not a fan of Brad Hargett's voice or delivery. At least not live. I'm probably through making attempts to see Crystal Stilts in concert, but I stand by their record.
Women, on the other hand, continually impress me with their live performances. After seeing them slay twice at CMJ '08, I anticipated that their months of touring--including a headlining swoop through Europe--would only make them tighter. It did.
After conducting a lively interview with Women (which you can read in the upcoming issue of Chief), in which the band extolled the benefits of touring in Europe, bashed on Bono, and outlined their dream to record an album in an empty meat locker (after British experimental music group This Heat), these charming boys from Calgary went on to play a rousing set that ended bloodily.
After injuring his hand in a pre-show accident, guitarist Patrick Flegel went on to play the show with a wad of white electrical tape around his right index finger. The makeshift bandage unraveled and became bloodier as the set progressed, prompting a good Samaritan in the crowd to hand him a hankie to wipe up the mess. Not that Women are the kind of group to glorify gore, but watching Fegel soldier through the back end of the band's set with his picking hand oozing blood was pretty metal.
(This here bloody hand photo courtesy of Mary Fraser. Other credits: top two by Andres Jauregui, third by Amanda Scigaj )