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ON ASSIGNMENT: In The Lonesome Crowded West

Friday, February 20th, 2015

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Photo by PAT GRAHAM

Heading out to Portlandia to talk to this guy for these guys. Then up to Seattle to talk to these guys for these guys. It’s a lot of guys. And a LOT of running around the Pac Northwest. As such, the pace of our updates schedule will slow for the time being. I’ll be back in the office March 1. Behave.

RELATED: More than any other band, Modest Mouse represented the ascendency of indie rock at the turn of the millennium. True dyed-in-the-wool independent musicians, after years of touring and recording, in 2004, these indie darlings released the platinum-selling Good News for People Who Love Bad News, changingModest Mouse CVR the face of popular rock music and opening the door for a new wave of like-minded peers. Modest Mouse frontman Isaac Brock and photographer Pat Graham were housemates in 1992, in Washington, DC. In 1997 Modest Mouse embarked on their first U.S. tour, and Isaac asked Pat to come out and help with managing and driving, and most importantly to photograph the tour. What followed over the next 12 years were a continuing friendship and many tours across the USA, Europe, and Japan. Modest Mouse is Graham’s firsthand, intimate, visual history of a good friend and the band that he created. His photographs of Isaac Brock and Modest Mouse are a rare and privileged view. Onstage and 10,000 miles off of it, Graham’s remarkable photos record the broken down vans, overflowing merch tables, adoring fans, blown amps, couches turned into beds for weary tourmates, performance injuries, more filthy than average motel rooms, run-of-the-mill truck-stops, zen moments and breathtaking landscapes, and scores of other sights of almost a decade on the road, along with both compelling and candid portraits of the band members and their friends. Witness to all the highs and the lows of the road, Modest Mouse is a treasure for anyone interested in a backstage view and a deeper understanding of the glory, grit, and grime of rock and roll. MORE

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THE SONICS: Bad Betty

Friday, February 20th, 2015

The Sonics, Tacoma, WA garage-rock legends, will release their first studio album since 1967 on March 31st and will back it up with a proper tour. They play the TLA on April 12th (complete listing of tour dates after the jump). Recorded in “earth-shaking mono” by noted producer Jim Diamond of Ghetto Recorders at Soundhouse Studios in Seattle, “This Is The Sonics” reunites original members Jerry Roslie on keyboards and vocals, Larry Parypa on guitar and vocals and Rob Lind on sax, harmonica and vocals. They are backed by a powerhouse rhythm section, bassist Freddie Dennis (the Kingsmen, the Liverpool Five) and drummer Dusty Watson (Dick Dale, Agent Orange).

“This Is The Sonics” follows the legendary “Here Are the Sonics” (1965) and “Boom” (1966) LPs which rocketed the Tacoma garage rock band into music history with a gritty, sped-up, brutal rock & roll attack that sounded like nothing that had come sonicsbefore. The Sonics single-handedly defined the genre of garage rock with their debut single “The Witch” (1964) at a time when upbeat, positive ditties were still the standard rock fare. Instead, Roslie howled a primitive cri de coeur that took teenage desperation into far darker waters in the vein of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard, with ominous, drug-soaked, even Satanic themes, anticipating punk, heavy metal and grunge in its sonic force.
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What’s Funny About Police, Love & Understanding?

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

jeffdeeney

Illustration by ALEX FINE

JEFF DEENEY FOR THE MARSHALL PROJECT: As a social worker, I’ve always been conflicted about the fact that I work in a law enforcement setting. My desk is situated among probation officers (POs), typically in baby blue polo style shirts with “PROBATION” written across the back. Officers from the court system’s warrant squad come and go, dressed in black commando gear, pants tucked into their boots so they don’t trip when they run (they’re basically always running after people.) I see guns in the office, all the time. It’s a controlled environment; people are searched on their way in, communicate with administrative staff through Plexiglas before getting buzzed into a tiny locked room where they’re separated from their POs by a desktop barrier. Under the desk is a panic button a PO can hit if he Marshalling-the-Media-v4needs to call the warrant squad to come grip a dude up and take him into custody. There’s an ad hoc lab on the floor I work on, where every day gallons of urine are collected and sent out for drug testing.

It’s not only not a place conducive to therapeutic interaction, it’s a gloomy, misery-inducing dump absolutely nobody enjoys coming to, POs or probationers. The building is old, falling apart, filled with bugs and mice. The equipment POs work on is almost comically outdated (POs got new computers recently – bringing them up to date from 2004, when the last batch of office PCs had been bought). Just riding the failing elevators is a dice roll, because they frequently stick between floors, or the doors won’t open.

There’s a plan for the office to eventually move into a new, upgraded space, but not because anyone feels the department deserves better digs. In recent years our corner has undergone significant redevelopment, with a rework of the convention center across the street and a luxury hotel with a French name moving into the building next door. One gets the sense that the relocation is less about improving the probation venue than relocating the long line of often heavily tattooed black men that stretches down the block every morning, so tourists won’t have to walk by them on the way to breakfast.

The physical condition of the probation office is critical to understanding what thousands of drug users and sellers experience once they’ve entered the criminal justice system. Marshalling-the-Media-v4It’s a space that amplifies hostility. Probationers continually complain about what they feel are probation officers who are abusive, disrespectful, racist or petty power trippers out to wreck your life just to show you they can. Conversely, POs feel underpaid, underappreciated and under constant assault by criminals who would just as soon stab them in the back if they thought they could get away with it. So POs are frequently rigid and stand-offish as they seek to impose control, and probationers are often the same as they seek to resist it. Authority and the anti-authoritarian become locked in a bitter embrace that, based on what I’ve seen over the years, is mutually destructive. MORE

RELATED: The Marshall Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization founded on two simple ideas:

1) There is a pressing national need for high-quality journalism about the American criminal justice system. The U.S. incarcerates more people than any country in the world. Spiraling costs, inhumane prison conditions, controversial drug laws, and concerns about systemic racial bias have contributed to a growing bipartisan consensus that our criminal justice system is in desperate need of reform.

The recent disruption in traditional media means that fewer institutions have the resources to take on complex issues such as criminal justice. The Marshall Project stands out against this landscape by investing in journalism on all aspects of our justice system. Our work will be shaped by accuracy, fairness, independence, and impartiality, with an emphasis on stories that have been underreported or misunderstood. We will partner with a broad array of media organizations to magnify our message, and our innovative website will serve as a dynamic hub for the most significant news and comment from the world of criminal justice.Marshalling-the-Media-v4

2) With the growing awareness of the system’s failings, now is an opportune moment to amplify the national conversation about criminal justice. We believe that storytelling can be a powerful agent of social change. Our mission is to raise public awareness around issues of criminal justice and the possibility for reform. But while we are nonpartisan, we are not neutral. Our hope is that by bringing transparency to the systemic problems that plague our courts and prisons, we can help stimulate a national conversation about how best to reform our system of crime and punishment. MORE

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NPR 4 THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When U Can’t

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

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FRESH AIR

listen

When David Remnick took the job as editor of The New Yorker in 1998, he learned quickly to make firm decisions about contentious stories. Just a few months into the position, Remnick called Si Newhouse, the magazine’s owner, to tell him about a piece he was running that was accusing “all kinds of high-level chicanery.” “I knew that there was this thing at the Washington Post called ‘the no surprises rule,’ which was that [editor] Ben [Bradlee] knew that he should call [publisher] Katharine Graham when there was something really major so she wasn’t surprised when she picked up the paper the next morning,” Remnick tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross. So Remnick says he called Newhouse and told him the story had been a-newyorker“lawyered and checked” and that he felt confident about it. Newhouse replied, in almost a whisper: “That sounds very interesting, I look forward to reading it.” “The message there, to me, was clear: This is your job. You’re in charge of this, that’s why I made you the editor,” Remnick says. “Unspoken was: Don’t screw it up or then you won’t be the editor. I never called him again.” This week, The New Yorker magazine is celebrating its 90th anniversary with a special edition. The magazine is running nine covers by its most celebrated artists (which you can see in the slideshow above). Under his tenure, Remnick has guided the magazine — known for its long-form investigative pieces, reviews, cartoons, humor pieces and fiction — through national crises, including Sept. 11 and the war in Iraq. And, as major shifts in media have resulted in the demise of other publications, Remnick has moved The New Yorker into the digital sphere. Remnick started his career at the Washington Post, where he became Moscow correspondent. His book Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire won a Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction. He joined The New Yorker as a staff writer in 1992. Since he became editor in 1998, The New Yorker has won 37 National Magazine Awards. MORE

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NY TIMES: How One Stupid Tweet F*cked My Life

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

dead birdTwitter

 

NEW YORK TIMES: As she made the long journey from New York to South Africa, to visit family during the holidays in 2013, Justine Sacco, 30 years old and the senior director of corporate communications at IAC, began tweeting acerbic little jokes about the indignities of travel. There was one about a fellow passenger on the flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport:

“ ‘Weird German Dude: You’re in First Class. It’s 2014. Get some deodorant.’ — Inner monologue as I inhale BO. Thank God for pharmaceuticals.”

Then, during her layover at Heathrow:

“Chilly — cucumber sandwiches — bad teeth. Back in London!”

And on Dec. 20, before the final leg of her trip to Cape Town:

“Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!”

She chuckled to herself as she pressed send on this last one, then wandered around Heathrow’s international terminal for half an hour, sporadically checking her phone. No one replied, which didn’t surprise her. She had only 170 Twitter followers.

Sacco boarded the plane. It was an 11-hour flight, so she slept. When the plane landed in Cape Town and was taxiing on the runway, she turned on her phone. Right away, she got a text from someone she hadn’t spoken to since high school: “I’m so sorry to see what’s happening.” Sacco looked at it, baffled.

Then another text: “You need to call me immediately.” It was from her best friend, Hannah. Then her phone exploded with more texts and alerts. And then it rang. It was Hannah. “You’re the No. 1 worldwide trend on Twitter right now,” she said. MORE

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ARIEL PINK: Picture Me Gone

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Deeply weird and Kubrick-ian. Directed by Grant Singer. Why are we not surprised that he’s got a screenshot from The Shining on his Twitter page. As for the song, it is easily the best thing the Magnetic Fields have ever done.

RELATED: Last Tuesday, Ariel Pink, the Los Angeles musician known for pop songs that are catchy and inscrutable in equal measure, jumped into an S.U.V. outside his Williamsburg hotel and plugged in his iPhone as he headed to Staten Island for a gig. He directed his attention to Twitter, where he had become a sudden target of vitriol. An Australian Web site had just published an interview in which Pink said that Madonna’s label had asked him to write songs for her new album, which Pink thought was smart, given the “downward slide” of her career. This assessment did not sit well with Madonna—the Queen of Pop “has no interest in working with mermaids,” her manager said—or her fans. “Keep yourself in your irrelevant world, u’re nobody,” one tweeted. “All right, MySpace has chimed in,” Pink said, reading a tweet from the social network’s official account. “ ‘Ariel Pink is indie rock’s most hated man right now.’ Yes!” Pink, who is thirty-six and has shoulder-length blond hair, has been an indie darling for the better part of a decade: Pitchfork, the Millennials’ Rolling Stone, named “Round and Round” the best song of 2010, and Entertainment Weekly declared a recent concert, during which Pink crowd-surfed with a beer, to be the singer’s “coronation as some sort of hipster king.” “I’ve been the next big thing for, like, ten years now,” Pink said. He wore an unbuttoned plaid shirt over a plunging V-neck, with splotches of red nail polish on both thumbs. “I feel really old.” MORE

ARIEL PINK  & JACK NAME PLAY UNION TRANSFER  ON TUESDAY FEBRUARY 24TH

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EXCERPT: The Gospel According To Father John

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

Father John Misty

Photo by EMMA TILLMAN

EDITOR’s NOTE: To mark the release of Father John Misty’s I Love You Honey Bear we are reprinting my 2013 FJM MAGNET cover story and, for the first time, a link to download a PDF of the complete story

MAGNET: Father John Misty lives in a red-clay adobe pueblo on top of a low mountain in Echo Park. Good luck trying to find it without GPS and a helicopter. Down below the cloud line, the hazy glittering grid of Greater Los Angeles recedes into the infinite. From the vantage point of this fairly Olympian perch, Los Angeles looks like flecks of diamond embedded in a filthy sidewalk. Like most wise men atop mountains, Father John Misty’s possessions are few: his beard, his acoustic guitar, his vinyl copy of On The Beach and a mason jar filled to the brim with psyilocybin mushroom caps. There is no internet access, cellular service is intermittent at best, and in Father John Misty’s world there is no such thing as TV—just Richard Brautigan novels. There is a black 1972 Cadillac Hearse parked out front that he literally bought for a song. His sole companion, besides his thoughts and psychoactive fungi, is Emma, his gorgeous twentysomething gal pal, currently a grad student at UCLA film school, and last seen in the “Nancy From Now On” video in a black bustier and garter belt, slapping Tillman around and forcibly shaving off his beard, Delilah-like, in a room at the Chateau Marmont. She makes a helluva kale smoothie.

FJM-MAGNET-COVER-ARTFather John Misty is the nom de soft rock of one Joshua Tillman, a.k.a. J. Tillman, ex-drummer for Fleet Foxes and author of eight largely ignored and invariably joyless solo albums of pious folk rectitude. These were the songs of innocence, the whispery bedroom folk he made on the sly between globe-trotting tours wherein the Fleet Foxes charmed the pants off the world, but could barely stand the sight of each other. Those albums remain a well-kept secret. And then one day in 2010, he blew up his life. Killed off J. Tillman, quit the Fleet Foxes, let his raging id off the short leash it had been kept on since his tormented childhood spent trapped in a fundamentalist Christian house of pain. Instead of muting his wicked sense of humor and bottomless appetite for the absurd, he turned it up to 11. He changed his stage name to Father John Misty. Threw his guitar and a family-size sack of magic mushrooms into the van, and set the controls for the heart of Babylon.

Look out Hollywood, here I come.

Fear Fun (Sub Pop), Father John Misty’s debut, came out a year ago, and after 12 months of trippin’-balls touring, four cinematic high-concept videos (in his latest, he dances to “Fun Times In Babylon” amid the ruins of a 747 crashed into a suburban subdivision, a set piece left over from Steven Spielberg’s War Of The Worlds), inclusion on innumerable year-end best-of lists and a lot of swooning word of mouth on social media, the album has become the sleeper hit of the year. This despite a very public gloves-off Twitter war with Pitchfork. But more than any of those things, the reason Fear Fun has legs is because it’s front-loaded with earworms dressed up in stoned-in-the-Canyon harmonies, scuffed-denim twang, and acid-witted Nilsson-ian soft-rock pastiches. And, most importantly, The Voice. Dude sings like an angel wrapped in velvet and smothered in honey. His voice is characterized by something extremely rare in modern music: the unstrained quality of mercy. To quote the Bard, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven. Or, as Tillman puts it, he can sing like a motherfucker.

It is shortly after 10 a.m. on yet another glorious, sun-kissed day in Babylon when I show up at Tillman’s compound high atop Misty Mountain. His publicist assured me via text when I deplaned that he was awake and eagerly awaiting my arrival, but he seems surprised and unprepared when I get to his front door. For one thing, he is completely naked. “Sorry,” he says sheepishly after pulling on some pants. “I’m sure you’ve seen worse.” I tell him it will make for a colorful opening scene for the story. MORE

PDF: THE COMPLETE FATHER JOHN MISTY MAGNET COVER STORY [PDF]

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BECKYONCE: Single Loser (Put A Beck On It)

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

This is pretty great.

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RIP: Lesley Gore, Proto-Feminist Queen Of Teen ’63

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

NEW YORK TIMES: Lesley Gore, who was a teenager in the 1960s when she recorded hit songs about heartbreak and resilience that went on to become feminist touchstones, died on Monday in Manhattan. She was 68. Lois Sasson, her partner of 33 years, said Ms. Gore died of lung cancer at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. With songs like “It’s My Party,” “Judy’s Turn to Cry” and the indelibly defiant 1964 single “You Don’t Own Me” — all recorded before she was 18 — Ms. Gore made herself the voice of teenage girls aggrieved by fickle boyfriends, moving quickly from tearful self-pity to fierce self-assertion. “You Don’t Own Me,” written by John Madara and David White, originally reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It has been repeatedly rerecorded and revived by performers including Dusty Springfield, Joan Jett and the cast of the 1996 movie “The First Wives Club.” “When I heard it for the first time, I thought it had an important humanist quality,” Ms. Gore told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune in 2010. “As I got older, feminism became more a part of my life and more a part of our whole awareness, and I could see why people would use it as a feminist anthem. I don’t care what age you are — whether you’re 16 or 116 — there’s nothing more wonderful than standing on the stage and shaking your finger and singing, ‘Don’t tell me what to do.’ ” MORE

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THE ATLANTIC: ISIS Is Not ‘Un-Islamic’

Monday, February 16th, 2015

Anti ISIL Poster

 

THE ATLANTIC: Many mainstream Muslim organizations have gone so far as to say the Islamic State is, in fact, un-Islamic. It is, of course, reassuring to know that the vast majority of Muslims have zero interest in replacing Hollywood movies with public executions as evening entertainment. But Muslims who call the Islamic State un-Islamic are typically, as the Princeton scholar Bernard Haykel, the leading expert on the group’s theology, told me, “embarrassed and politically correct, with a cotton-candy view of their own religion” that neglects “what their religion has historically and legally required.” Many denials of the Islamic State’s religious nature, he said, are rooted in an “interfaith-Christian-nonsense tradition.”

Every academic I asked about the Islamic State’s ideology sent me to Haykel. Of partial Lebanese descent, Haykel grew up in Lebanon and the United States, and when he talks through his Mephistophelian goatee, there is a hint of an unplaceable foreign accent. According to Haykel, the ranks of the Islamic State are deeply infused with religious vigor. Koranic quotations are ubiquitous. “Even the foot soldiers spout this stuff constantly,” Haykel said. “They mug for their cameras and repeat their basic doctrines in formulaic fashion, and they do it all the time.” He regards the claim that the Islamic State has distorted the texts of Islam as preposterous, sustainable only through willful ignorance. “People want to absolve Islam,” he said. “It’s this ‘Islam is a religion of peace’ mantra. As if there is such a thing as ‘Islam’! It’s what Muslims do, and how they interpret their texts.” Those texts are shared by all Sunni Muslims, not just the Islamic State. “And these guys have just as much legitimacy as anyone else.”

All Muslims acknowledge that Muhammad’s earliest conquests were not tidy affairs, and that the laws of war passed down in the Koran and in the narrations of the Prophet’s rule were calibrated to fit a turbulent and violent time. In Haykel’s estimation, the fighters of the Islamic State are authentic throwbacks to early Islam and are faithfully reproducing its norms of war. This behavior includes a number of practices that modern Muslims tend to prefer not to acknowledge as integral to their sacred texts. “Slavery, crucifixion, and beheadings are not something that freakish [jihadists] are cherry-picking from the medieval tradition,” Haykel said. Islamic State fighters “are smack in the middle of the medieval tradition and are bringing it wholesale into the present day.” The Koran specifies crucifixion as one of the only punishments permitted for enemies of Islam. MORE

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COMMENTARY: Bibi’s Got A Boehner

Monday, February 16th, 2015

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Illustration by DONKEY HOTEY

Theodore-RooseveltBY WILLIAM C. HENRY Having accepted “Rabbi” John Boehner’s invitation, Benjamin Netanyahu (the Israeli “state’s” senior Representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, né Prime Minister of Israel) has decided to stand by his scheduled address to the huddled faithful on March 3rd. So, aside from the fact that said speech is opposed by many top-level Israelis both here and in Israel as well as by the President of the United States, what’s really wrong with his giving it? Allow me to count the ways: 1) John Boehner isn’t tasked with initiating or carrying out the foreign policy of the United States, the President is; 2) it isn’t, nor has it ever been, nor will it ever be, the Speaker’s position to determine which Israeli political party should be favored, supported or endorsed by the United States government (we might want to get involved, but without exception it will always be none of our goddamn business); 3) criticizing and undermining the President in the foreign policy realm are two entirely different matters, and if ANYONE should know the difference, the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Prime Minister of Israel damn well should! Need more? Imagine we had a Democrat Speaker of the House and a Republican President. Now imagine a similar scenario playing out. I rest my case.
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RIP: Goodnight Mr. Carr Wherever You Are

Friday, February 13th, 2015

NYTCREDIT: Earl Wilson/The New York Times5-15-2012

 

DAVID CARR: “I now inhabit a life I don’t deserve, but we all walk this earth feeling we are frauds. The trick is to be grateful and hope the caper doesn’t end any time soon.”

NEW YORK TIMES: Mr. Carr collapsed in the Times newsroom, where he was found shortly before 9 p.m. He was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. MORE

DAVID CARR ON BRIAN WILLIAMS: We want our anchors to be both good at reading the news and also pretending to be in the middle of it,” he wrote on Monday in the wake of revelations that the NBC anchor Brian Williams had lied about being in a helicopter under fire in Iraq in 2003. That’s why, when the forces of man or Mother Nature whip up chaos, both broadcast and cable news outlets are compelled to ship the whole heaving apparatus to far-flung parts of the globe, with an anchor as the flag bearer. We want our anchors to be everywhere, to be impossibly famous, globe-trotting, hilarious, down-to-earth, and above all, trustworthy. It’s a job description that no one can match. MORE

DAVE WEIGEL: I don’t have Carr’s facility with language, and I didn’t get to know him as well as the people who are going to mourn him right. All I want to say is: Fuck this. Life is short, but it shouldn’t be this short. Least of all for someone who understood so delicately and elementally how people lived. MORE

DAVID CARR: A lot of times, when you lift up the blankets on modern media brands, what you see is algorithms. I think media is about people making stuff with your own two dirty little hands.DavidCarrLife copy

VOX: “This is the bio he gave to students of his Boston University course:

‘Your professor is a terrible singer and a decent dancer. He is a movie crier but stone-faced in real life. He never laughs even when he is actually amused. He hates suck-ups, people who treat waitresses and cab drivers poorly, and anybody who thinks diversity is just an academic conceit. He is a big sucker for the hard worker and is rarely dazzled by brilliance. He has little patience for people who pretend to ask questions when all they really want to do is make a speech.’

Carr, who was 58, reportedly collapsed in the New York Times newsroom. The Times’ write-up is here. But the problem is the only write-up I want to read on this is Carr’s. Fuck.“ MORE

NEW YORK TIMES:  The question took Carr back to a harrowing moment. ‘In the hours after the attacks of Sept. 11,  he said, ‘I was at the corner of Church and Chambers. Building 7 was on fire and then fell. A wall of debris and smoke came rushing up the street, and I dove under a car. I found myself looking into the eyes of a pigeon there and having an interspecies moment. ‘Are we O.K.? Is the world ending? Are we, um, birds of a feather?’ When the moment and wall of crud passed and I collected myself, I noticed a copy of Strunk and White’s ‘The Elements of Style,’ the ur-text of our profession, under the car. It was marked in ink as a Port Authority copy, and I knew it had blown out of their offices at the World Trade Center. I observe none of its edicts — I am a turgid, digressive writer — but love its aspiration and clarity. I put it under glass still containing the dust of that day along with a copy of something I wrote for New York magazine that was the only decent thing I wrote out of all that confusion and mayhem. I treasure its presence in my home even as I leave its advice under glass.’ MORE

DAVID CARR, ADVICE FOR JOURNALISTS: Keep typing until it turns into writing.DavidCarrLife copy

JAKE TAPPER: Having him as an editor, a friend, and a mentor was a tremendous blessing. In those Washington City Paper offices on Champlain Street NW in the late 1990s, those of us who worked for David—Erik “Coach” Wemple, Michael Schaffer, Amanda Ripley, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jason Cherkis, Eddie Dean, Shawn Daly, Neil Drumming, Jandos Rothstein, Jelani Cobb, Brett Anderson, and on and on—knew when we did good and we knew when we made a mistake. This was not always a pleasant experience. It was always an important and meaningful one. Sometimes the mistake was in not bringing our best to the table. Our weekly pitch meetings could be brutal if the notebook dump produced nothing that piqued his interest. Items we had discovered that we thought were new were usually not, and he let us know that we were standing on a foundation of cliché.

“What else ya got?” he would ask.

He stood for excellence in journalism. That did not mean he thought our job was all about boring lectures; quite the contrary. He wanted our prose to pop and crackle (his edits made me appear a much better writer than I was). He wanted our stories to grab readers by the ears and drag them into our pages. He wanted journalism to engage and entertain, and mostly he wanted it to matter. He continued to be a compass of journalistic ethics after he left WCP and went to New York City, where he landed as one of the most important media columnists of the era. In addition to standing for what was right in journalism, he also stood for the need for humility. He publicly second-guessed himself, was nakedly open about his struggles with drug addiction, and was never above bringing his errors to light. It only made him of more value.  MORE

MEDIAGLUTBLOG: I spend a lot of my time thinking about media and journalism and how it’s changing and how to keep it alive – and I get worried and stressed and scared and excited and inspired and frequently don’t know what to do about it all. David Carr and his Media Equation column provided a small amount of clarity in this heaving industry, identifying trends and directions in an overwhelming storm of information. As much as I want to give up on journalism sometimes, seeing hope in his columns cemented my belief in the necessity and sustainability of quality media. I don’t know how to start navigating it without his insight. MORE

NEW YORK TIMESWhen David Carr Went To Neil Young’s House

WASHINGTON CITY PAPER: Carr was a passionate fan of music, too. I liked to drink in his stories of wild times with the Replacements, Soul Asylum and Husker Du in Minneapolis. MORE

GAWKER: It’s true that Judd Apatow didn’t decide to work with Dunham because of who her parents were. Instead, he chose to work with Dunham thanks to David Carr. In 2010, Dunham had a blind script deal for HBO. What she was missing was the imprimatur of a Hollywood heavyweight. Meanwhile, Apatow, who is friends with Carr, was asking the Times columnist if he knew of any promising up-and-comers. Carr did know one. Carr also knew, with his eye on the angles, that the director/writer/producer had a woman problem. Dunham was someone who could make Apatow’s then-checkered track record with female characters disappear. Carr told Apatow to get a look at Tiny Furniture asap. MORE

WASHINGTON CITY PAPER: He insisted I learn how to properly hold chopstick during an early review meal at a Vietnamese restaurant in Arlington. Later, we went to the Black Cat. The Make-Up was playing, if memory serves. MOREDavidCarrLife copy

DAVID CARR ON THE FIRING OF JILL ABRAMSON: I have witnessed some fraught moments at The New York Times. Jayson Blair was a friend of mine. I watched Howell Raines fly into a mountain from a very close distance. I saw the newspaper almost tip over when the print business plunged and the company had to borrow money at exorbitant rates from a Mexican billionaire. But none of that was as surreal as what happened last week. When The Times’s publisher, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., stood up at a hastily called meeting in the soaring open newsroom where we usually gather to celebrate the Pulitzers and said that Jill was out, we all just looked at one another. How did our workplace suddenly become a particularly bloody episode of “Game of Thrones”? It is one thing to gossip or complain about your boss, but quite another to watch her head get chopped off in the cold light of day. The lack of decorum was stunning.” MORE

GAWKER:  I left a voicemail for him at his office: Hi, I’m some kid, you don’t know me, Clara Jeffery said to call, I need a job, would you buy me lunch. I didn’t hear back—and please understand that this is just an unverified recollection, because there is no one left to verify it with—for a day or two, so I tried again and left another message. A day or two after that, he calls me back.

“I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I’m calling you from a hospital in Minneapolis. My mother is dying.”

“Oh Jesus I’m sorry, I’ll just circle back in a month or so.”

“Don’t be silly. She probably won’t last the week, in which case I’ll be back next week and we can maybe do Thursday. If she lasts longer than that, we’ll have to wait and see….”

“Mr. Carr, please, I don’t want to bother you at a time like this. I’m so sorry.”

“It is what it is. I’ll call you next week.”

She died, he called. He showed up for lunch wearing bermuda shorts, bunched-up socks, and a baggy, garish Hawaiian shirt. He didn’t have a job for me, but he asked me about my life, my work thus far, how I knew Clara. I asked him to tell me how he got where he is. I was anxious. I wanted to succeed, quickly. How do you get to be the editor of the City Paper? What does the career arc look like? Where are the handholds?

I don’t recall the particulars, but it went something like: “I started out in state politics, and wrote a little bit, then I was a crackhead for a few years…”

“Excuse me?”

“Yeah, full-on crackhead. Welfare. Trailer park. Then I cleaned up and became the editor of a paper in Minneapolis….” MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: On August 5, 2008, Carr’s book, “The Night of the Gun,” came out on Simon and Schuster. The book is a memoir of addiction and recovery that used reporting to fact check the past. Much of the data he collected, including videos, documents and pictures, is available DavidCarrLife copyhere. (If you want to purchase the book, you can go here.) MORE

NEW YORK TIMES: As he chronicled in his 2008 memoir, “The Night of the Gun,” by the late 1980s he was addicted to crack cocaine and living with a woman who was both a drug dealer and the mother of his twin daughters. One night, shortly after the girls were born, he left them in a car while he went into a house to score some coke from a dealer named Kenny:

Kenny’s lip-licking coke rap was more ornate, somehow more satisfying, than that of most of the dealers I worked with,” Mr. Carr wrote. “His worldview was all black helicopters and white noise — the whispering, unseen others who would one day come for us. It kept me on my toes.

But tonight I had company. I certainly couldn’t bring the twins in. Even in the gang I ran with, coming through the doors of the dope house swinging two occupied baby buckets was not done. Sitting there in the gloom of the front seat, the car making settling noises against the chill, I decided that my teeny twin girls would be safe, that God would look after them while I did not.  MORE

NPR: David Carr On Fresh Air

VOX: In media circles these days, there is absolutely no shortage of doom and gloom predictions about the future of journalism. It’s common to hear wizened vets warning the young to steer clear of the profession altogether. This wasn’t Carr’s view, and he made it so beautifully clear in this column. Carr recognized that being a reporter is a ridiculously thrilling, exciting job to nab — one that was worth the chase. It’s these two paragraphs that capture so well much of the excitement I feel about journalism right now, at a moment when excitement isn’t a word that comes up too much. MORE

DAVID CARR: Somewhere down in the Flatiron, out in Brooklyn, over in Queens or up in Harlem, cabals of bright young things are watching all the disruption with more than an academic interest. Their tiny netbooks and iPhones, which serve as portals to the cloud, contain more informational firepower than entire newsrooms possessed just two decades ago. And they are ginning content from their audiences in the form of social media or finding ways of making ambient information more useful. They are jaded in the way youth requires, but have the confidence that is a gift of their age as well. For them, New York is not an island sinking, but one that is rising on a fresh, ferocious wave. MORE

MOTHER JONES: Over the past few years, Carr has had a bit of a haunted look about him. He’d lost weight. His health problems seemed to be dogging him more. I think everyone who knew him well recognized, at least subconsciously, that Carr was not going to be on this earth long enough to need a rocking chair. But I think we also had some collective denial about his mortality. To use a cliché he wouldn’t approve of, Carr genuinely was a force of nature. I think maybe we assumed he could go on like that forever, pulling the all nighters, smoking, drinking gallons of coffee, working like a fiend, and talking, talking and talking. But of course, he couldn’t. And so here we are, devastated, grieving, missing our irreplaceable friend. I think Jake Tapper spoke for a lot of us who knew and loved Carr when he wrote in an anguished tweet today, “What the hell are we going to do now?” MORE

NEW YORK TIMES ARCHIVES: All 1776 Stories Wrote For The New York TImes



Carr interviewing Snowden, Poitras & Greenwald just hours before his death

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INCOMING: Let The Wild Rumpus Begin!

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

Democratic-

 

CNN: Philadelphia will host the Democratic National Convention in July 2016, a source with knowledge of the selection process tells CNN. The Democratic National Committee confirmed Philadelphia’s selection Thursday morning, shortly after the news broke, using a Facebook video of chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz pulling a cheesesteak out of a refrigerator to announce the decision. New York and Columbus, Ohio, were the two other cities vying for the right to host the Democratic convention. The event is scheduled for the week of July 25, 2016. Democrats’ decision to nominate the party’s presidential nominee in Philadelphia is a major win for former Gov. Ed Rendell, who had been spearheading efforts to convince Democrats to choose the city he once led. Rendell served as Philadelphia mayor from 1992 to 2000. The Republican Party previously announced it would hold its presidential nominating convention the week of July 18, 2016, in Cleveland. The last time Philadelphia hosted a presidential convention was in 2000, when Republicans chose then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush as the party’s nominee. MORE

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