News 10.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets


News 10.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 10.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets
News 10.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

Along with brother Alex on drums, Michael Anthony on bass and lead vocalist David Lee Roth, the group Van Halen pumps out hard-rockin’ music that was born in the basement, fused in the bars, and explodes on stage.

Describing himself as a kid “living his rock-and-roll dreams,” Eddie Van Halen has been heading there since the fourth grade. He was born in Amsterdam, Holland, where his father, a professional musician, got both brothers to the piano at an early age.

His musical knowhow was born in the classics, but his spirit was in rock-and-roll. “Who wants to sit at the piano!” he exclaimed. “I want to go crazy. Everybody turned me on. I grew up on a lot of early Beatles, DC5, Cream, Clapton, Page, Beck and Hendrix.”

He was 10 when the family moved to Los Angeles, “land of opportunity.” After the high school dances and diploma, he graduated to the bars and the start of the band that bears his name.

“We were all in various bands in the L.A. area, and when we got to the college age everyone started flaking off; wanting to be doctors. We got stuck with each other. There was nobody left that was into it.”

They played all the bars and all the oldies, including a version of the Kinks’ You Really Got Me, which Eddie calls “a hot tune we turned into a jet plane.” The crowds got bigger and Van Halen were able to draw 3,000 people to a gig they threw themselves.

Kiss’s Gene Simmons paid for their original demo sessions, and Mo Ostin, chairman of the board at Warner, and Ted Templemen, V.P. of A&R, caught their act at the Starwood Club. They were signed the next day.

Read the rest of this article at: Guitar World

News 10.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 10.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

The term “self-storage” was coined by analogy with “self-service,” but the analogy is flawed. You can pump your own gas at the station, wash your own clothes at the laundromat, scan your own groceries at the supermarket; but, as those who cannot resist the gag have pointed out, you cannot store yourself. (Some combination of municipal code, state law, and company policy will always forbid it.)

We rent a storage unit in a building three blocks from our apartment, in Brooklyn, near the East River. The building is surrounded on three sides by an electrical substation, and there is nothing else on that street, which is the last street before the water and is only a single block long. By late March, the staff is uncertain whether the facility will remain open as an essential business under emergency public-health orders. So a few hours before those take effect, we go to the unit to collect any items that could prove desirable or useful over however many months the building might be closed.

Read the rest of this article at: Harpers

The sky was a slate of electric indigo. We were sitting in the bath, my year-and-a-half-old son and I. My wife popped her head in the door. He looked at her, giving her a smile I will never get, and then pointed to the painting of a magenta fish on the wall.

“Sheesh,” he said.

“Fish?” She said.

“Sheesh!” He said.

It was, perhaps, his eleventh word. He had dog and ball and duck and bubble and mama and (mysteriously in our lesbian household) dada and nana (for banana) and vroom vroom (for cars) and hah-hah (for hot) and (the root of so many of our evils) what’s dat? What’s dat? What’s dat?

And then, there it was: fish.

It should have been a tragic moment for me. I, of all people, should have sensed the danger in it. I had just spent the last ten years of my life working on a book called Why Fish Don’t Exist, arguing that the word “fish” is symptomatic of our human inability to see the world as expansively as it is. In short, scientists recently discovered that many of the creatures we typically think of as “fish” are in fact more closely related to us than to each other. And when you accept this fact you will see that the category of “fish” is a bum category—an act of gerrymandering we perform over nature to make it line up with our intuition. But it’s a lie, this category of “fish,” a mistake, a meaningless group that hides incredible nuance and complexity.

Read the rest of this article at: the Paris Review

News 10.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

News 10.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

I. Something Grabs a Hold of Me Tightly

Vanilla Ice was discovered on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. It was the winter of 1987-88 in South Dallas, or maybe it was the following summer. All exact dates have dissolved into a haze of liquor, hair spray, and the tinnitus caused by long-gone 808 claps. The only thing anyone can agree on is that at the height of hip-hop’s first Golden Age, all the action in the Triple D went down at a club called City Lights.

The property had already weathered several boom-and-bust cycles. Originally a segregated postwar movie palace christened the Forest Theater, it was alternately transformed into a jazz cellar, a recording studio, and the stage for legendary seances by B.B. King, Wilson Pickett, and Prince. By the end of Reagan’s second term, a local entrepreneur named Tommy Quon had resurrected it as the hip-hop epicenter of North Texas. From Thursday night until the break of dawn Sunday morning, the dance floor rumbled with a thousand rowdy but chic revelers. They freaked and hit pop locks, the Roger Rabbit, and the wop. The walls shook from Whodini, LL Cool J, Too Short, N.W.A, and the DFW’s own Fila Fresh Crew. Late at night, when you could feel the bass deep in your sternum, the spot would erupt to the seismic shake of Nemesis’s regional anthem “Oak Cliff.”

The ballers, hustlers, and dope dealers of South Dallas coexisted in uneasy communion. B-boys and D-boys intermingled with models and around-the-way girls. No evidence exists that Roy Tarpley was ever in attendance, but I’d bet on it. This was the heart of South Dallas, the trenches. Tussles were frequent, and being Texas, half the club came strapped. It was no place for the meek, but without risk, there is no reward. In the DJ booth was the surgical turntablist Floyd “Earthquake” Brown, who spotted something out of the ordinary one Saturday evening.

Read the rest of this article at: The Ringer

News 10.07.20 : Today’s Articles of Interest from Around the Internets

It began with an email. On an especially cold day in Evanston, Illinois, in February 2019, Robin Rue Simmons, 43 years old and two years into her first term as alderman for the city’s historically Black 5th ward, sent an email whose effects would eventually make US history. The message to the nine-member equity and empowerment commission of the Evanston city council started with a disarmingly matter-of-fact heading: “Because ‘reparations’ makes people uncomfortable.”

She continued:

Hello Equity Commission,

Thank you for the work you are doing. You have the most difficult work of all the commissions because the goal seems impossible … I realize that no 1 policy or proclamation can repair the damage done to Black families in this 400th year of African American resilience. I’d like to pursue policy and actions as radical as the radical policies that got us to this point.

Simmons went on to invite the equity commission to join her in exploring “best actions” and pursuing “the light at the end of the tunnel”. The email, five paragraphs and 350 words long, was a spark. By November 2019, Robin Rue Simmons had successfully inaugurated the US’s – and the world’s – first ever government-funded slavery reparations programme.

Evanston is a majority-white university town about 13 miles north of Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan. From the turn of the 20th century, Black families began arriving in Evanston in large numbers. Around 1915, the process grew into the great migration, one of the greatest internal population movements in modern American history. Over a period of decades, some 6 million Black people left the post-plantation south to fill the growing labour vacuum across the industrial north, and to escape intensifying white supremacist campaigns for retribution and racial rule. These campaigns and policies, collectively called “Jim Crow”, included voter suppression, police brutality and mass incarceration, segregation and the terror of lynching.

Yet the shadow of Jim Crow followed Black families northward, westward and eastward as they migrated. “The negro population of north shore towns [is] steadily increasing, and in Evanston the newcomers are deemed especially objectionable,” reported an article from the Chicago Daily Tribune in 1904. “As a solution of the problem, Evanston citizens are reviving the old scheme of a town for negroes.”

Read the rest of this article at: The Guardian

P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

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