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April 2, 2012
The Wrecking Crew
Bands often don't seem to be able to play on stage the way they did on their album; and we accept that for a lot of reasons having to do with the conditions, the production facilities and the sheer number of takes that were probably involved. But for a whole generation of hit music, there was often a more basic reason: it wasn't them playing on the album in the first place.
For nearly a decade, if you were an L.A. producer and you wanted to record a hit single, you'd call in The Wrecking Crew. Members of The Byrds, The Beach Boys, and The Mamas and the Papas would step aside as The Wrecking Crew laid down the instrumental tracks. Then, the members of the main band would come back to add the vocals on top.
The above link goes to the OPB radio story I listened to this morning, with an embedded player. Official site for the book.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:57 PM PST - 64 comments

"By the way, it's not in the goddamed cat and it's not in Newt, either. I would never be that cruel."
James Cameron's responses to Aliens critics.
posted by Artw at 8:55 PM PST - 127 comments

Choosing the Road to Prosperity
One of the more conservative of the Fed's regional banks, the Dallas Federal Reserve, says "too-big-to-fail" banks must be broken up. Now. An interesting and important essay(pdf) from a most unlikely source.(via)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:48 PM PST - 13 comments

All The Time in the World
Eric Lowen, of Lowen and Navarro, passed away last week after battling ALS for 8 years. You've probably heard their songs, in one form or another, over the years. [more inside]
posted by gjc at 8:45 PM PST - 10 comments

"Suffering is a key essential to great writing. But there’s probably enough suffering in your life already—or suffering will come on its own."
There are so many reasons not to write. But few are any better than because you are going to get laid. That is a good reason. Everything else, all these other distractions are meaningless. Friends betray you. There will always be another party. I remember when John Updike blew off some big important New Yorker Party because he was writing. The only thing I ever liked from him was the story about the supermarket, but he lived in the town I lived in and I used to ride my bike past his house and wonder what he was up to, typing away in his house. Adultery stories mostly. But it must have been unbearable for John Updike to show up at parties anyway. Everyone bothering him for something. Everything in the world is trying to distract you from getting something on the page. Our own doubts about everything we do is crushing. Don’t let it crush you. No one has any idea what they’re doing.

posted by deathpanels at 8:42 PM PST - 51 comments

Supreme Court Gives Officers Unlimited Strip Search Power
In admitting that they have no expertise in running a corrections system, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that officers have unfettered authority to conduct full strip searches of any arrested individual, even for the most minor of offenses and in situations where officers lack any suspicion of contraband. The ruling comes days after the NY Times ran an analysis suggesting that the current supreme court is the most conservative court in modern history.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 8:36 PM PST - 84 comments

REAR WINDOW Time-lapse
A panoramic time-lapse of the courtyard from Rear Window. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 7:41 PM PST - 39 comments

a never ending rube goldberg
Watch the world's most extraordinary 'kinetic sculpture' "From a duck to a skeleton to a robot dinosaur: scientists created this fabulous kinetic sculpture, called On the Move, to demonstrate to children the concept of energy transfer. "
posted by dhruva at 7:15 PM PST - 21 comments

Do the Trash Compactor!
Dancing with Han Solo is a real thing that exists.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:33 PM PST - 99 comments

Keith Apicary's music video audition
Keith Apicary auditions for a Kimberly Cole music video.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 6:02 PM PST - 10 comments

I'm the One That's Cool
"These are wonderfully dorky and earnest people doing geeky things, and we love them for it." [more inside]
posted by restless_nomad at 4:47 PM PST - 64 comments

Eulogy for a pretty swell guy
Young Edd Gould always enjoyed drawing comics of himself and his friends. Growing up in the internet age, his doodles evolved into Flash animations of increasing complexity, and in time Edd and pals Tom Ridgewell and Matt Hargreaves teamed up to produce an "Eddsworld" series of online webtoons and comics. At first crude and halting, the group's "eddisodes" progressed from surreal shorts and one-shots into full-fledged productions that pushed the boundaries of amateur web animation, with expressive characters, full soundtracks, complex effects, and a fast-paced, off-kilter sense of humor: MovieMakers - Spares - WTFuture - Rock Bottom - Hammer & Fail (2). At its height, the college co-op was producing shorts for Mitchell & Webb and the UN Climate Change Conference, fielding offers from Paramount and Cartoon Network, and racking up millions of hits on YouTube. Work slowed, however, when Gould was diagnosed with leukemia -- a relatively survivable form, though, and Gould carried on working gamely through his hospital stays. So it came as a shock last week when Matt and Tom announced that Edd had passed away, prompting an outpouring of grief and gratitude from all the fans he'd entertained and inspired in his short 23 years.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:41 PM PST - 5 comments

The How Not To Kill Your Baby Official Growth Chart Of Doom
The How Not To Kill Your Baby Official Growth Chart Of Doom [via mefi projects]
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:51 PM PST - 28 comments

David Lynch's All-American Spring Break.
"Crazy Clown Time" is the new music video by filmmaker and musician David Lynch. It's kinda not safe for work, or life.
posted by The Whelk at 2:10 PM PST - 124 comments

Panoramic Photographer
Will Pearson is a London-based professional panoramic photographer. His work comprises cityscapes, landscape panoramas and 360 virtual tours. There is an emphasis on capturing images at a massive resolution. This one of Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai is my favorite. Will takes time for fun too with The Rain Project.
posted by netbros at 2:05 PM PST - 2 comments

Xkcd: Umwelt
xkcd 1037: Umwelt [more inside]
posted by memebake at 1:49 PM PST - 83 comments

The outrage was from the Germans
To celebrate the 20th anniversary of his first novel, Fatherland, writer Robert Harris spoke to John Mullan at The Guardian Book Club (Highlights, The interview in full (autoplay)) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:41 PM PST - 20 comments

Law and Order: Yellowstone Style
A Death in Yellowstone: On the Trail of a Grizzly Bear. a gripping story and a well written article in Slate, by Jessica Grose. Includes a similarly remarkable photo feature. [more inside]
posted by spitbull at 12:36 PM PST - 51 comments

Is Procreation Immoral?
Elizabeth Kolbert explores the case against kids. Drawing from the work of philosophy professors David Benatar, Christine Overall and economist Bryan Caplan, Kolbert examines the justifications for reproducing.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 12:30 PM PST - 131 comments

It’s not like it is in the movies, Sarah.
Absolute Beginners. Lena Dunham, Liz Phair, Bethany Cosentino, Sarah Silverman, Miranda July, Shannon Woodward, Krista, and Pamela Des Barres on the first time they had sex (with a couple of first-kiss stories for good measure).
posted by shakespeherian at 12:00 PM PST - 15 comments

The Mixtape Lost at Antikythera
The Mixtape Lost at Antikythera.
posted by homunculus at 11:54 AM PST - 6 comments

25 Years of IBM’s OS/2!
25 years ago today, IBM released it's next-generation operating system OS/2. It never took the world by storm as planned, but it also never really went away.

A look at OS/2: Beginnings - OS/2 1.0 - OS/2 1.1 - OS/2 1.2-1.3 (screenshots) - OS/2 2.0 (screenshots) - OS/2 Warp - OS/2 Warp 4 (screenshots) - eComstation
posted by dunkadunc at 11:41 AM PST - 112 comments

The Best Political Snark Award Goes To . . .
A Quantum Theory of Mitt Romney Does what it says on the package. With diagrams. (SLNYT)
posted by bearwife at 11:25 AM PST - 31 comments

"Science fiction is, after all, the art of extrapolation." ~ Michael Dirda
Daily Science Fiction: Original Science Fiction and Fantasy every weekday. Welcome to Daily Science Fiction, an online magazine of science fiction short stories. We publish "science fiction" in the broad sense of the word: This includes sci-fi, fantasy, slipstream—whatever you'd likely find in the science fiction section of your local bookstore. Our stories are mostly short short fiction each Monday through Thursday, hopefully the right length to read on a coffee break, over lunch, or as a bedtime tale. Friday's weekend stories are longer.
posted by Fizz at 10:31 AM PST - 18 comments

Russian to get back down
Guy climbs star of Kotelnicheskaya Embankment free-handed Because no good Monday shouldn't begin without a jolting dose of vertigo!
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 9:44 AM PST - 58 comments

Origin Story
The Evolution of the Moon: a cool, short video made with information from NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.
posted by quin at 9:32 AM PST - 21 comments

From Days of Long Ago...
"From days of long ago... from uncharted regions of the universe, comes a legend: the legend of Voltron, Defender of the Universe!" [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:22 AM PST - 30 comments

You might want to have your surprised face handy.
Curveball comes clean: "My main purpose was to topple the tyrant in Iraq because the longer this dictator remains in power, the more the Iraqi people will suffer from this regime's oppression." ... When it is put to him "we went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie", he simply replies: "Yes."
posted by unSane at 9:04 AM PST - 83 comments

A Live Oak Afterlife
On September 13, 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall at Galveston, Texas - which had previously endured one of the most devastating natural disasters in US history: The 1900 Storm. The waters receded and life went on for most of the island's residents. The same was not true for the approximately 40,000 live oak trees which were killed in the area by the saltwater stormsurge, many of which were planted just after the hurricane that devastated the island in 1900. One by one, the trees died and had to be removed. Some residents refused to accept this, and instead hired artists to carve the now-dead trees into works of art. Some became sea birds. Some became angels. The trees outside the fire department became a dalmatian staring longingly at an uncapped fire hydrant. Others became frogs and dogs and squirrels. Mermaids and dolphins suddenly jumped out of asphalt and cement. Someone even decided that the town really needed a Tin Woodsman. Another person decided to have a geisha carved on their front lawn. I can only imagine that a very small art critic demanded that Spongebob Squarepants be carved on the side of his or her house. They range in size from 2' tall hoptoads to 20' tall eruptions of seabirds. And they're all on display for you to enjoy! See a list of sculptures here. And a suggested walking map to view the sculptures here. And a slideshow with many pictures of the sculptures here.
posted by jph at 9:00 AM PST - 18 comments

I can see my Grandma from here
The U.S. National Archives today released the returns from the 1940 national census, providing an invaluable resource to historians and genealogists. At the moment, you'll need to know the particular address you want to see--the records are not yet searchable by name. A companion project seeks to fix that by enlisting your help in a crowdsourced project to index the census data. However, if you're looking for a New York address, you can use this clever site from the New York Public Library to look someone up in the 1940 phone book. (FYI, the site seems to be running a bit sluggishly under first-day load, so you may need to be patient.)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:51 AM PST - 31 comments

The symbols of the periodic table, set to music.
Periodic table symbols in order song. SLYT.
posted by stebulus at 8:39 AM PST - 15 comments

Chris "Daddy" Dave
"Chris Dave (video/sound autoplay) is probably the most dangerous drummer alive. He is totally reinventing just what you can do with drums." – ?uestlove [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee at 7:59 AM PST - 40 comments

Tolstoy needs to get over himself
Tasteful Nudes, a music video for a book by Dave Hill. (SLYT)(NSFW)(via)
posted by holdkris99 at 7:54 AM PST - 13 comments

An Interview with Yanis Varoufakis
The New Priesthood - "The hapless economist uses the same tools as acclaimed physicists and astronomers. She has trained for years to speak precisely the same language as them, to understand the same advanced mathematics, to deploy most complex statistical methods which are an essential part of the scientific toolbox. It is, understandably, incredibly difficult to accept that her work is a form of higher order superstition; a religion couched in the language of mathematics and statistics. Tragically, this is precisely what it is." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:20 AM PST - 169 comments

"...and then there was silence"
"It was at that point that I noticed a smell. It was faint at first, but soon got stronger. I thought it might be the residual smell of an airbag or of hot rubber from skidding tyres. It wasn’t." A short blog post by a UK policeman responding to a car accident.
posted by d. z. wang at 1:02 AM PST - 116 comments