That’s Pretty Underground

’(…) I was too busy listening to Nothing’s greatest album.’

‘What’s it called?’

‘It’s called Blank Cassette. It’s 90 minutes of silence and they’ve only released it online.’

‘As an MP3?’

‘It’s a Word document.’

From Ronnie Johns Half Hour.

That’s Pretty Underground

‘(…) I was too busy listening to Nothing’s greatest album.’

‘What’s it called?’

‘It’s called Blank Cassette. It’s 90 minutes of silence and they’ve only released it online.’

‘As an MP3?’

‘It’s a Word document.’

From Ronnie Johns Half Hour.

Explorer Wade Davis on the Ethnosphere

If you can listen past his voice – trembling with excitement – National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis, here speaking at TED 2003, has some excellent insight to share from his travels. Here he discusses world cultures, dying languages and unique spiritual practices including tribal psychoactive rituals.

On a variant of DMT:

To have that powder blown up your nose is rather like being shot out of a rifle barrel lined with baroque paintings and landing in a sea of electricity.

… and on how one particular ethnic group distinguishes the subtle variants of a plant species they use to make Ayahuasca, a psychoactive tea:

You ask the Indians and they say the plants talk to us. Well what does that mean? This tribe, the Cofán, has 17 varieties of Ayahuasca, all of which they distinguish at great distance in the forest, all of which are referable to our eye as one species. And then you ask them how they establish their taxonomy. And they say, ‘I thought you knew something about plants, don’t you know anything?’ And I said ‘no’. Well it turns out you take each of the 17 varieties on the night of a full moon and it sings to you in a different key. Now that’s not going to get you a PhD at Harvard but it’s a lot more interesting than counting stamens.

The problem is that even those of us sympathetic with the plight of indigenous people view them as quaint and colorful but somehow reduced to the margins of history as the “real world”, meaning our world, moves on.

Wade has written several books including The Serpent and the Rainbow & Light at the Edge of the World.

Explorer Wade Davis on the Ethnosphere

If you can listen past his voice — trembling with excitement — National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Wade Davis, here speaking at TED 2003, has some excellent insight to share from his travels. Here he discusses world cultures, dying languages and unique spiritual practices including tribal psychoactive rituals.

On a variant of DMT:

To have that powder blown up your nose is rather like being shot out of a rifle barrel lined with baroque paintings and landing in a sea of electricity.

… and on how one particular ethnic group distinguishes the subtle variants of a plant species they use to make Ayahuasca, a psychoactive tea:

You ask the Indians and they say the plants talk to us. Well what does that mean? This tribe, the Cofán, has 17 varieties of Ayahuasca, all of which they distinguish at great distance in the forest, all of which are referable to our eye as one species. And then you ask them how they establish their taxonomy. And they say, ‘I thought you knew something about plants, don’t you know anything?’ And I said ‘no’. Well it turns out you take each of the 17 varieties on the night of a full moon and it sings to you in a different key. Now that’s not going to get you a PhD at Harvard but it’s a lot more interesting than counting stamens.

The problem is that even those of us sympathetic with the plight of indigenous people view them as quaint and colorful but somehow reduced to the margins of history as the “real world”, meaning our world, moves on.

Wade has written several books including The Serpent and the Rainbow & Light at the Edge of the World.

Something Knew

cover photography: Jerf Brazc

Somewhere cold, someplace swallowed,
something grew, somesay followed.

Genre: springtime; plants doin it, very maybe animals too. Extra stuff in the podcast: Steve Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint” (1st mvmt. sampled prominently in “The Proxy” by Rjd2); and three tunes that were aborted due to overpopulation – “Hoops” by the Chemical Brothers, “My Moon My Man” by Feist and “Summer in the City” by Regina Spektor. Peace and love from my iTunes and Apple Soundtrack.

Tracklist

  • 0:00 Be Your Own – One Self
  • 4:39 Facing East – Thievery Corporation
  • 8:14 Third World Lover – Kalyanji & Anandji feat. Kid Koala & Dynomite D
  • 13:42 Me & Mr. Jones – Amy Winehouse
  • 16:09 Mr. Johnnie Walker – Tiombe Lockhart
  • 20:01 Put Your Records On (acoustic) – Corinne Bailey Rae
  • 23:28 Gatekeeper (full mix) – Feist
  • 26:05 Music Box – Regina Spektor
  • 28:07 The Beekeper – Chris Thile
  • 31:54 Stomping Grounds – Béla Fleck & The Flecktones
  • 37:07 Harvest Time – Mike Marshall & Chris Thile
  • 40:22 Just Briefly – Daedelus
  • 43:33 Everything’s Just Wonderful – Lily Allen
  • 46:41 The Proxy – Rjd2
  • 48:45 A Little Soul – Pete Rock
  • 53:40 The Weight of My Words (Four Tet Remix) – Kings of Convenience
  • 58:23 4 – Aphex Twin
  • 1:01:42 Jumbo (Edit) – Underworld
  • 1:05:43 Pioneer Skies – The Chemical Brothers
  • 1:09:40 Little Walter Rides Again – Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood

Previously: More Often Than Not / Amy Winehouse / Regina Spektor / Mr. Invisible + One Self / Chris Thile: How to Grow a Woman from the Ground / Feist Redux / Corinne Bailey Rae

Something Knew

cover photography: Jerf Brazc

Somewhere cold, someplace swallowed,
something grew, somesay followed.

Genre: springtime; plants doin it, very maybe animals too. Extra stuff in the podcast: Steve Reich’s “Electric Counterpoint” (1st mvmt. sampled prominently in “The Proxy” by Rjd2); and three tunes that were aborted due to overpopulation — “Hoops” by the Chemical Brothers, “My Moon My Man” by Feist and “Summer in the City” by Regina Spektor. Peace and love from my iTunes and Apple Soundtrack.

Tracklist

  • 0:00 Be Your Own – One Self
  • 4:39 Facing East – Thievery Corporation
  • 8:14 Third World Lover – Kalyanji & Anandji feat. Kid Koala & Dynomite D
  • 13:42 Me & Mr. Jones – Amy Winehouse
  • 16:09 Mr. Johnnie Walker – Tiombe Lockhart
  • 20:01 Put Your Records On (acoustic) – Corinne Bailey Rae
  • 23:28 Gatekeeper (full mix) – Feist
  • 26:05 Music Box – Regina Spektor
  • 28:07 The Beekeper – Chris Thile
  • 31:54 Stomping Grounds – Béla Fleck & The Flecktones
  • 37:07 Harvest Time – Mike Marshall & Chris Thile
  • 40:22 Just Briefly – Daedelus
  • 43:33 Everything’s Just Wonderful – Lily Allen
  • 46:41 The Proxy – Rjd2
  • 48:45 A Little Soul – Pete Rock
  • 53:40 The Weight of My Words (Four Tet Remix) – Kings of Convenience
  • 58:23 4 – Aphex Twin
  • 1:01:42 Jumbo (Edit) – Underworld
  • 1:05:43 Pioneer Skies – The Chemical Brothers
  • 1:09:40 Little Walter Rides Again – Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood

Previously: More Often Than Not / Amy Winehouse / Regina Spektor / Mr. Invisible + One Self / Chris Thile: How to Grow a Woman from the Ground / Feist Redux / Corinne Bailey Rae

Picnik

Just want to quickly say thank God for Picnik, a sweet flash/web-based image editor (think iPhoto functionality minus library management plus built-in Flickr, et al integration). Ever since my admittedly pirated copy of Photoshop became self-aware a couple weeks ago Picnik has taken over as my blog-post-image editor mainstay, at least while I pass the time (and save the money) until the end of April when Adobe CS3 hits the stores. Kudos to the Picnik team for reals.

P.S. the above image of Picnik editing a photo was edited in Picnik. Blow your mind.

Picnik

Just want to quickly say thank God for Picnik, a sweet flash/web-based image editor (think iPhoto functionality minus library management plus built-in Flickr, et al integration). Ever since my admittedly pirated copy of Photoshop became self-aware a couple weeks ago Picnik has taken over as my blog-post-image editor mainstay, at least while I pass the time (and save the money) until the end of April when Adobe CS3 hits the stores. Kudos to the Picnik team for reals.

P.S. the above image of Picnik editing a photo was edited in Picnik. Blow your mind.