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ARCHIVE: The 1976 David Bowie Playboy Interview

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

DAVID BOWIE_the-man-who-fell-to-earth-original

PLAYBOY: He was once a scruffy, honey-haired folk singer. Then an adamantly bisexual balladeer. Then a spacey, cropped-red-haired androgynous guitarist backed by a band called the Spiders from Mars. Then a soul singer. Then a movie actor … and finally, a smartly conservative, entertainer. David Bowie, it’s safe to say, would do anything to make it. And how that he has made it, he’ll do anything to stay there.

At 29, David Bowie is far more than another rock star. He is a self-designed media manipulator who knows neither tact nor intimidation. There is but one objective to his bizarrely eclectic rear-attention. Without it, he would surely wither and die. Before a crowd of paying customers, if possible.

In April 1975, Bowie splashily announced he had given up on rock. “I’ve rocked my roll,” is the way he put it. “It’s a boring dead end. There will be no more rock and roll records or tours from me. The last thing I want to be is some useless fucking rock singer.” That was the second time he’d made such a statement. He had first announced a rock retirement during his encore at a huge outdoor London concert in 1973, after which he went on to release “Diamond Dogs” and to book a three-month American tour.

This time, Bowie ate his words of farewell even more spectacularly. Last November, he arranged an interview by satellite from his Los Angeles home with England’s most popular talk-show host Russel Harty to explain that he had a new album of double-fisted rock and roll, Station To Station. What’s more, Bowie rambled on, he would soon embarking on a six-month worldwide concert blitz. The government of Spain, meanwhile, demanded emergency use of the satellite to tell the world that Generalissimo Franco had died, Bowie, always the bad boy, refused to give it up. MORE

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Anonymous Declares War On ISIS, Threatens Major Cyber Attacks; ISIS Calls Anonymous ‘Idiots’

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

NEWSWEEK: Anonymous’s two-minute video threatening ISIS has amassed more than five millions views since it launched on Saturday. “War is declared. Get prepared,” a masked figure warned the group in the video. “The French people are stronger than you and will come out of this atrocity even stronger,” the figure added. “Anonymous from all over the world will hunt you down. You should know that we will find you and we will not let you go.” The hacker said that the infamous group will use its cyber skills to “unite humanity” and said that terrorists should “expect massive cyber attacks.” Anonymous has targeted ISIS for a number of months following the attacks on the Paris offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and its hack of U.S. CENTCOM and Newsweek’s Twitter accounts. The group has uncovered the Twitter accounts of ISIS members and hacked a number of the group’s sites. The hacktivist group has dismantled at least 149 of ISIS’s affiliated websites, flagged approximately 101,000 Twitter accounts and nearly 6,000 propaganda videos, U.S. magazine Foreign Policy estimates. MORE

RELATED: The Islamic State militant group (ISIS) released a statement on Monday responding to Anonymous’s declaration of “total war,” calling the hacker group “idiots”  Anonymous_JUSTICE_IS_COMINGand offering guidance to pro-ISIS supporters to protect against cyber attacks. “The Anonymous hackers threatened in new video release that they will carry out a major hack operation on the Islamic State (idiots),” ISIS’s post read. “What they gonna hack…all they can do is hacking twitter accounts, emails etc…” The militant group then listed a series of steps that its supporters should follow online, including not opening suspicious links, changing their locations using workaround technology on their phones and computers, avoiding contact with unknown people on their phone and computers and to renaming their email addresses. The post says: “Do not talk to to people u don’t know on telegram and block them if u have to cause there are many glitches in telegram and they can hack you by it. Don’t talk to people on twitter DM cause they can hack u too. Do not make your email same as your username on twitter this mistake cost many Ansar (helpers) their accounts and the kuffar published their IP so be careful.” MORE

FOREIGN POLICY: For more than a year, a ragtag collection of casual volunteers, seasoned coders, and professional trolls has waged an online war against the Islamic State and its virtual supporters. Many in this anti-Islamic State army identify with the infamous hacking collective Anonymous. They are based around the world and hail from every walk of life. They have virtually nothing in common except a passion for computers and a feeling that, with its torrent of viral-engineered propaganda and concerted online recruiting, the Islamic State has trespassed in their domain. The hacktivists have vowed to fight back. The effort has ebbed and flowed, but the past nine months have seen a significant increase in both the frequency and visibility of online attacks against the Islamic State. To date, hacktivists claim to have dismantled some 149 Islamic State-linked websites and flagged roughly 101,000 Twitter accounts and 5,900 propaganda videos. At the same time, this casual association of volunteers has morphed into a new sort of organization, postured to combat the Islamic State in both the Twitter “town square” and the bowels of the deep web. MORE

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BEING THERE: Nobunny @ Johnny Brenda’s

Monday, November 16th, 2015



According to a recent unscientific survey I conducted out of sheer boredom while waiting for the show to begin, there were 85% more people rocking denim jackets, punk rock pins and Doc Martens at Johnny Brenda’s last night than then there usually are. Why? Best I can tell it was because Nobunny — a super-catchy, freaky-but-loveable Tuscon collective of garage-rockers who perform in thrift store bunny costumes — was headlining. You see, Nobunny mainman Justin Champlin is known to rock the denim-jacket-with-punk-rock-pins-and-no-pants look. It probably would have bothered me less if the only person from the crowd who I had a remotely friendly interaction with wasn’t some denim-jacket wearing dude sitting at the bar who asked if I was sure that I didn’t want him to buy me a drink. I was sure. I was there to sit in silence and mourn the loss of the garland of tiny skeletons that once hung from the bar lights, not to get boozy and talk about our favorite Philly punk bands. We obviously didn’t share an understanding of the circumstances. Mercifully, Nobunny and his band took the stage at about that point. While each member wore some rendition of a garbage-picked rabbit costume, Nobunny opted for a black pair of briefs, a leather jacket and a white tee that barely covered his pot belly. A bundle of fresh carrots was tied to each microphone, seemingly the only thing onstage that seemed to have been in the vicinity of soap and water in the recent past. Nobunny hooked the collective lip of the eager crowd with an acapella version of “Your Mouth,” conducting their singing with a carrot, and reeled them in tightly by cueing the band to pick up the pace. With freshly-painted ruby red fingernails, Nobunny began to strum his electric and hop around the stage, as rabbits are wont to do, and the crowd went ballistic. Throwing each other towards the stage to catch the nibbled on carrots band members tossed into the crowd, they bounced around like a bunch of happily flopping fish. At one point, I took a seat on the side of the stage when I noticed a fallen carrot next to me. I passed it to a guy in the crowd, which was sort of like feeding animals at a petting zoo. Less afraid of ingesting E. coli than I was, he took a mean bite out of the carrot like it was the peak of badassery in his life. As you might have guessed, he was wearing a denim jacket. Sweaty and pants-free, as per usual,  Champlin kept the audience moving, kicking his legs up and throwing himself down on the stage while unleashing a torrent of shrill, bucktoothed vocals. The crowd was clearly familiar with Nobunny’s back catalog, singing along to every word, not just on the mega-hits, but the deep cuts, too. At one point, Nobunny’s drummer lit a cymbal on his kit on fire, which was almost certainly in violation of the fire code, but no one seemed to care. – MARY LYNN DOMINGUEZ

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JOHN OLIVER WATCH: The House Always Wins

Monday, November 16th, 2015

“The most addictive thing you can do on your phone except perhaps cocaine,” said John Oliver by way of introducing last night’s target du jour: bazillion-dollar fantasy sports betting sites like Fan Duel and Draft Kings that prey on gullible woulbe jock couch potatoes. You know, those sites with the ever-present commercials chock-full of sports-lovin’, nacho-pounding high-fivin’ white guys (and one token black guy) bragging about the insane winnings they pocketed betting for or against their favorite athletes. According to WIRED, Fan Duel and Draft Kings combined outspent the ENTIRE BEER INDUSTRY ad spend for a month. For the three week run up to the NFL season, Fan Duel and Draft Kings had a commercial on national television every 90 seconds. Who’s getting in on all this action? An alphabet soup of greed and exploitation: ESPN, MSNBC, FOX, CNN, NFL, MLB, NBA.

Recently, daily fantasy sports sites have come under fire for their uncanny similarities to illegal gambling sites. In 2006, Congress passed the “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act”, which was intended to crack down on illegal Internet gambling. However, this legislation did not explicitly say that fantasy sports games were illegal, a surely-not-accidental loophole that set the stage for the birth and explosive growth of Fan Duel and Draft Kings. Additionally, these fantasy sports sites skirt the law by insisting they are skill-based, not games of chance, i.e. the nice word for gambling.

So how skilled do you have to be? Unlike, say, actual sports, which rewards the strongest and the fastest, fantasy sports rewards the smartest — people that can crunch big data into probability. Some players spend hours and hours poring over homemade algorithms so specific, that factor in everything from injuries to weather forecasts. One data cruncher earned $200,000 last year betting on fantasy sports. Still, Fan Duel and Draft Kings clearly is not for the casual player, 91% of the profits are made by 1.3% of the players a study showed. That adds up to 85% of users being empty-pocket losers. Like casinos, fantasy sports sites make bazillions of dollars fomenting the illusion that everyone can win big, while in reality 99% of players lose big. – MEGAN MATUZAK

BONUS CUT: John Oliver had some choice NSFW words for the cowardly assclowns that shot up Paris.

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JAIL BREAK: 2 Circus Zebras Escape The Circus, Lead Police On Two Mile Chase Through West Philly

Monday, November 16th, 2015


NBC10: Two zebras escaped from a circus in West Philadelphia on Sunday, leading police on a wild chase for miles through the city. The zebras, according to witness accounts, somehow got loose from the UniverSoul Circus outside the Mann Center for the Performing Arts, near 52nd Street and Parkside Avenue in Fairmount Park and ran out of the front gate. Police Radio confirmed about 2 p.m. that zebras were loose in West Philadelphia and officers were trying to catch them. MORE

PETA: Yet again, animals have escaped a circus and been chased through a city they never should have been taken to in the first place. UniverSoul needs to retire its animal acts immediately, and all kind families should refuse to buy a ticket to any circus that exploits animals. PETA is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate immediately to ensure that the animals are receiving veterinary care and have safe and proper enclosures. MORE

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ABOUT LAST NIGHT: Advantage Hillary

Sunday, November 15th, 2015



Ben LehmanBY BEN LEHMAN After a summer plagued by an email scandal and declining favorability, Hillary Clinton has lately been surging in the polls and reestablishing herself as the Democratic frontrunner for the nomination. Her strong performance in the first debate and a successful Benghazi hearing combined to form a powerful resurgence, thus putting pressure on her opponents to defeat her in Saturday’s debate in Iowa. However, Clinton once again demonstrated her formidable political skills and emerged from the debate unscathed.

Topics of the debate ranged from the minimum wage to gun control to healthcare. However, because of the tragic events in Paris Friday night, a significant portion of the debate was dedicated to foreign policy issues and combating terrorism. Clinton used this shift to her advantage, showcasing her experiences as Secretary of State and her vast foreign policy knowledge. Hillary successfully distinguished herself from rivals Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley, both of whom severely lack experience in the international arena. The former Secretary emphasized traditional threats such as China and Russia, along with the ever-growing threat of ISIS. Her opponents, however, took the opportunity to point out failures such as the intervention in Libya that occurred during her time in office.

While Hillary managed to take shots of her own, many directed at Republicans, criticizing her seemed to be the major theme of the debate as both Senator Sanders and Governor O’Malley launched aggressive attacks. However, the former Secretary of State remained composed and brushed off criticisms directed at her, often earning applause from the audience for her responses. Clinton’s cool demeanor was a marked contrast to Sanders, who at times became visibly red-faced and agitated, and it showed that she’s ready to handle Republican attacks in the general election.


Saturday, November 14th, 2015

Live @ Le Bataclan, Paris 1972. #JeSuisParis

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CINEMA: In The Name Of The Father

Friday, November 13th, 2015


SPOTLIGHT (2015, directed by Tom McCarthy, 128 minutes, U.S.)

Buskirk AvatarBY DAN BUSKIRK FILM CRITIC Since 2003, writer/director Tom McCarthy has directed a steady handful of compact little character-driven indie features (The Station Agent, The Visitor, Win/Win) that have been among the most resonant U.S. films of our era. With Spotlight, his sprawling look at the Boston Globe‘s investigation of the Catholic clergy’s sex crimes, McCarthy gives the impression of a talent in full bloom. In his largest scale film yet, Spotlight takes us down the wormhole of abuse, lies and church power without losing us in the labyrinth or forgetting the human tragedy at the story’s center.

At the center of the film is Michael Keaton in his first performance since his triumphant Birdman comeback and once again he delivers a very lean, absorbing performance. Keaton plays Walter “Robby” Robinson, part of an investigative team put into action by the Globe‘s new editor Marty Baron (Liev Schreiber) to write an in-depth expose on the Catholic church’s role in shielding priests facing sexual assault charges. And this is Boston, a city in which the Catholic church is deeply entwined with politics, education and the everyday lives of its parishioners. Mark Ruffalo, (bearing a bunch of odd ticks and mannerisms I’ve never seen from him before) Rachel McAdams and Mad Men‘s John Slattery play a trio of Globe reporters in on the hunt and as you might expect, things get darker and creepier as the team gets closer to the truth.

Besides being a love letter to the disappearing world of in-depth, well-funded investigative reporting, Spotlight evolves into a great detective story. And like all great detective films, Spotlight uses the fact-collecting as a perfect excuse to introduce a string of curious character actors for a series of revealing vignettes. This plays right into McCarthy’s strengths, and each character we meet gives us a little something about themselves that makes the world McCarthy has created appear to organically exist outside of the film’s plot mechanizations. It’s easy to imagine Stanley Tucci’s portrayal of dogged lawyer Mitchell Garabedian carrying his own film, as he labors with a Sisyphean tenacity through his own paranoia and cynicism, feeling like he may never find justice for his abuse victim clients. Neal Huff is heartbreaking as one of those survivors, needing to convince others of his abuse while the experience’s toll has left him on the verge of madness.

DAVID BOWIE: Blackstar

Friday, November 13th, 2015

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ELECTRIC POWOW: Q&A With Neon Indian

Thursday, November 12th, 2015



Dylan_LongBY DYLAN LONG Alan Palomo, AKA Neon Indian, has spent the last six years making music that sounds like an ’80s dance party taking place inside of a lava lamp, so it’s no wonder why the Flaming Lips collaborated with him for 2011’s The Flaming Lips With Neon Indian EP. VEGA INTL. Night School, his latest LP, is a kaleidoscopic blend of gooey synths and funky rhythms backed by Palomo’s ’80s-esque high-octave vocals. The Monterrey, Mexico-born 27-year-old is currently in the midst of tour in support of Night School which stops at Union Transfer on Sunday. Last week we got Palomo on the horn to discuss all things Neon and Indian. DISCUSSED: WTF is a Neon Indian, exactly; LSD; his old college band Ghost Hustler; MySpace; VEGA; Hall & Oates and his father the Mexican pop star.

PHAWKER: Tell me how the band name came to be. What does it mean and why did you choose it? I read that an old GF came up with the name, the same person that “I Should Have Taken Acid With You” was written for. Please explain the circumstances behind that song and the name of the band.

ALAN PALOMO: What you read up on is pretty much it, at the time I was working on my other older project VEGA and essentially the name came about when I was with my first band right at the beginning of college called Ghost Hustler. In mock  Neon-Indian--Vega-Intl-Night-School-1400pixels_800retaliation, my girlfriend said “Well if you’re gonna have a band I’m gonna have a band and it’s gonna be called Neon Indian.” Her and her friends didn’t play any instruments so the MySpace page kinda just sat there blank for a few years, and sometime later when I wrote the first song that would later become a project, given so much of the subject matter was about her and just in general at that time in my life, it made perfect sense to name the project after this make believe project from high school that didn’t quite materialize.

PHAWKER: Lastly do you feel that psychedelics has expanded your consciousness in ways that have been useful to you as an artist or a creative person? Or is it just a party drug for you?

ALAN PALOMO: Well you know, I do psychedelics very very little, over the years there’s been a perception built up around me like “Whoa that guy probably does a lot of acid.” I don’t use it in the studio, in fact I think in general any kind of stimulant or psychotropic tends to diminish my ability to determine if the ideas are worth exploring or not, ‘cause it makes kinda everything interesting, it puts a lens over the general idea of songwriting. However early on when you’re a teenager and you’re filling your brain with all these chemicals unbeknownst you’re getting all these permanent side effects and it does a lot to your brain chemistry, I think that to some extent has perhaps changed my worldview, but whether or not it’s powered me as an artist I’m too close to the material to call it.

PHAWKER: So overall more of a recreational use?

ALAN PALOMO: Not even that, recreational would imply that I just do it to get fucked up. There’s something to gain from it but I don’t necessarily use it when I’m getting ready for work.

BEING THERE: Odesza @ Union Transfer

Thursday, November 12th, 2015



Odesza is the Seattle-based duo of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight, who make lush, downtempo EDM. They are also wildly popular, selling out not just one but two shows at Union Transfer last night, where they appeared in support of their latest release, In Return Deluxe, an extended version of 2014’s In Return that includes three live tracks and a new song called “Light (feat. Little Dragon).” After East Coast cats Louis Futon and Jai Wolf warmed up the crowd with stellar beats infused with futuristic synths, wild tempo fluctuations and even some recent hits like Drake’s “Hotline Bling,” it was time for Odesza to grace the UT stage. Accompanied by a horn section, live drums, synth pads, and sample-stuffed laptops, Odesza spent the next 90 minutes spinning a dreamy aural web of luscious synth textures, glitched modulations of beautiful vocal samples calibrated to their signature slow, sedated tempo. Heads were passionately bobbing all night long as the duo fired on every cylinder, playing out all their hits, including “Say My Name,” “How Did I Get Here,” and their remix of Pretty Lights’ “One Day They’ll Know.” Walking out of the Union Transfer, Odesza’s blissful guitar melodies and vocal samples echoed in my mind, leaving me with no questions as to why these two gentleman have come to represent the pinnacle of EDM circa 2015 – DYLAN LONG

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THE BEATLES: Revolution

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Just do it.

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SIDEWALKING: Full Metal Jacket

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Johnny Cash Uniform

Johnny Cash Museum, Nashville, yesterday @ 11:34 pm by PETE TROSHAK

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Via BuzzFeed

Cost of the War in Iraq
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