It is the time of year when the voice of Jona Lewie, a musician since school and a composer and performer across several genre for over half a century, becomes frequently heard in shops and on radio. Stop the Cavalry is a single from 1980 (live:   ); the arguably anti-war protest song was not originally intended to be a Christmas single, and was kept off the #1 UK chart spot by songs from the recently deceased John Lennon and the St Winifred's School Choir. The tune, often covered by brass bands, is more well-known in the USA through the cover by The Cory Band with The Gwalia Singers (also Gwalia Singers on own and background). However, Jona was successful before this... [more inside]
After a couple of teasers, the Avalanches have announced a new album on Twitter, entitled Wildflower. The first single is called "Frankie Sinatra" and has Danny Brown and MF Doom on it. [more inside]
Almost a quarter of the votes in the last US presidential election were cast by women without spouses, up three points from just four years earlier. They are almost 40% of the African-American population, close to 30% of the Latino population, and about a third of all young voters. The most powerful voter this year is The Single American Woman.
I am not Catholic, and yet I find myself drawn to the women saints. There is something about them that I admire. Maybe it is simply the lengths to which they went to avoid marrying.
Christmas will crush your soul, like that laid back rock n roll ... LCD Soundsystem has given the world one small perfect song this Christmas eve (via James Murphy). You can get it on vinyl (limited run) or iTunes and probably through other sources. But not radio. Never radio. Damn it. [more inside]
"Now all of us single people are pathetic, not just the straight ones. “Marriage responds to the universal fear that a lonely person might call out only to find no one there,” writes Justice Anthony M. Kennedy in the majority opinion of the Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges. ...Isn’t it enough to be denied the “constellation of benefits that the States have linked to marriage”? A constellation my coupled queer sisters and brethren now can hold dearly if they just make it official? Once again, being single is the dreary, awful, mournful alternative to marriage. A condition to be pitied, and quickly corrected by a sprint to City Hall." (Spinsters previously)
If you've encountered delicately uplifting chimes and bells or a singing saw, seen the contributions of a string quartet in a Sigur Rós video, heard the last recording by Lee Hazlewood and noticed the gentle singing and music, or listened to Yukihiro Takahashi consider words, then you've possibly encountered the Icelandic band amiina. [more inside]
Small Cool 2014, Apartment Therapy's 10th Annual Smallest Coolest Home Contest (previously), is in full swing. The first round of voting is now open and will continue until June 13th. Voting for the grand prize will take place June 17 - June 18. To be considered, homes must be under 1000 sq ft. Awards are given out in five categories:
- Teeny-Tiny (400 sq ft and under)
- Tiny (400-600 sq ft)
- Little (600 - 800 sq ft)
- Small (800-1000 sq ft)
- International (under 1000 sq ft).
"A sociologist at Johns Hopkins University, Edin is one of the nation's preeminent poverty researchers. She has spent much of the past several decades studying some of the country's most dangerous, impoverished neighborhoods. But unlike academics who draw conclusions about poverty from the ivory tower, Edin has gotten up close and personal with the people she studies—and in the process has shattered many myths about the poor, rocking sociology and public-policy circles. [more inside]
Singles' Day, or 光棍节, began as a joke holiday invented by some lonely Chinese college students, an anti-Valentine's Day on which singles could either revel in their singledom or double down on attempts to hook up. November 11th was chosen for the date because of a simple visual pun on the slang term for bachelor: a "bare stick," symbolized by the date 11/11. But in a few short years, this joke holiday has become the biggest retail sales day on Earth, surpassing Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined. So, what do all the 'bare sticks' do on Singles' Day? It varies. Aside from eating four stick-shaped foods to symbolize the date, you could try one of these 11 ideas from Beijinger. Or watch this bizarre condom ad, featuring a compilation of animals having air sex.
"In a sense, living alone represents the self let loose. In the absence of . . . “surveilling eyes,” the solo dweller is free to indulge his or her odder habits — what is sometimes referred to as Secret Single Behavior. Feel like standing naked in your kitchen at 2 a.m., eating peanut butter from the jar? Who’s to know? . . . What emerges over time, for those who live alone, is an at-home self that is markedly different — in ways big and small — from the self they present to the world. We all have private selves, of course, but people who live alone spend a good deal more time exploring them."
The music video for "Come and Go (featuring The KickDrums)" (vimeo, best viewed in widescreen) features "various buxom ladies in pink tank tops," and it's a little wider than average. That's because it was shot on a single-point capture 360° panoramic video camera. Directed by Alan Wilkis, who suggests we "think of it as ULTRA widescreen… as if you’re looking in all directions at once." Free downloads of the song (and three remixes) are available at Soundcloud. (Via) [more inside]
When you send people passwords and private links via email or chat, there are copies of that information stored in many places. If you use a one-time link instead, the information persists for a single viewing which means it can't be read by someone else later. This allows you to send sensitive information in a safe way knowing it's seen by one person only. Think of it like a self-destructing message, a One Time Secret.
All The Single Ladies - "In the cover story for the November issue of The Atlantic, which just came online, 39-year-old writer Kate Bolick explains why she hasn't gotten married and why many of her friends haven't either." (via The Hairpin: an email interview and a link to a video interview with the author)
In his project A More Perfect Union, artist R. Luke Dubois aggregated language used in the profiles of 19 million single Americans on 21 dating sites. He then organized the data to create "dozens of insanely detailed city and state maps which tell a wonderfully rich story about who we are, or at least, who we claim to be." A Video about the project. (R. Luke Dubois, previously on MeFi.)
Twenty-five years after hitting the airwaves, the Dire Straits hit "Money For Nothing" has been banned from Canadian radio. The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council decision is here.
Pulp's Common People - the great class-based song of the 90s?
Up against Take That's new single, the Royal British Legion are hoping that the recent support for all things Remembrance will translate into best-seller sales and funds to support serving and ex-service personnel. [more inside]
Designer James Gilpin has "started a project which turns the sugar-rich urine of elderly diabetics into a high-end single malt whisky."
First the Sub Pop Single of the week club brought us Nirvana, then the Moshi Moshi Singles Club, brought us Kate Nash; now more and more labels are having a go. What's more, the kids are buying seven inch singles again. Is this a backlash against digital downloads? Or just nostalgia for the 45?
British bachelors beware. Rachel Greenwald knows how to find a husband using the techniques of Harvard Business School, and she's bringing her methods to the UK. But it's not easy: she advocates careful 'packaging', putting 10 to 20% of total income into a separate 'find a husband' bank account, cancelling newspaper subscriptions so they can be read in public and getting a third party to contact unsuccessful dates for feedback. There's one change for the UK though: here it's aimed at over-30s instead of the over-35s. I always thought "the Rules" were too spontaneous.
Self destruct files to secure DVDs and CDs. Songs and movies will expire after a single play, unless you pay up.
Bush wants $100M to urge welfare moms to marry What will he want next $100M to urge Atheists to become Christians.
The new Belle and Sebastian single is out. If you have it, what do you think of it? Is it a return to pristine form, a limpid mess, or a bold move in an innovative new direction? (This link brought to you by MeFites for Introducing Other Mefites to Good Music they Might not Have Heard Otherwise.)