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ALBUM REVIEW: Conor Oberst’s Salutations

March 16th, 2017

Salutations

 

Bored out of my mind growing up in the suburbs, girl-crazy to the nth degree, and sensitive to the point of Woody Allen neuroticism, I found Bright Eyes in seventh grade, and it was a match made in heaven. Anesthetized by the Levittown bubble I grew up in, my mind’s eye turned inwards and fixed its gaze on my own emotional turbulence. My whims and emotional tides were infinitely more real to me than the sea of housing developments and strip malls that surrounded me in every direction. Scribbling poems about how many feelings I felt in the dimly lit basement of my parents’ house, I started to notice a song that was playing on some random playlist I found online. Mesmerized, I followed the words like Alice followed the White Rabbit down the hole. The chorus was the first time I experienced the emotional quaver of Conor Oberst’s singing voice, ripe with the same angst that fueled my basement hermeticism. The words, though, are what sent me spiraling down into the heart of the demented, masochistic Wonderland of Conor Oberst’s Bright Eyes. “I want a lover I don’t have to love//I want a boy who’s so drunk he doesn’t talk//Where’s the kid with the chemicals//I got a hunger and I can’t seem to get full//I need some meaning I can memorize//The kind I have always seems to slip my mind.”

Don’t even get me started on Desapercidos’ 2002 Read Music/Speak Spanish, a vicious accusation of an album that focused on smashing the veneer of US consumer culture and exposing the rotting capitalist pathologies lurking beneath. In my tumultuous inner-life, as well as the chaos of the globalizing world, Conor Oberst was helping me make sense of it all.The tremor of urgency in Oberst’s music began to wane with the 2007 Bright Eyes release Cassadaga. I was afflicted with the heartache of growing apart from a best friend. I held on to hope that the 2008 release of Oberst’s first, self-titled album, would return the maniacal Oberst I knew and loved. The music that stared at the sun and reported back, in cathartic prose, the secrets of life. Alas, we continued to grow apart. Maybe he was growing up, and I felt left behind, but it sounded to me as if Oberst’s role as professional musician had usurped his identity as an artist. On his new album, Salutations, Oberst offers the ten tracks of his 2016 solo album, Ruminations, and seven additional songs with the accompaniment of folk rockers The Felice Brothers and legendary drummer Jim Keltner. With the accompaniments and additional tracks, Salutations feels like a synthesis of the hyperbolic, warbling wordsmith of Bright Eyes that captured my imagination, and the Oberst who has matured past his neurotic self-destruction and focused his energy on the craft of songwriting.

Having a full band fleshes out the skeletal tracks of Ruminations, and adds some Americana-Rock flare that’s been characteristic of Oberst’s music since Cassadaga.  “Napalm,” one of the tracks that wasn’t on Ruminations, embodies this flare with meandering electric guitar, screeching fiddle, and locomotive harmonica, with an energized Oberst singing out about a “quixotic quest on a hot summer’s night.” Overall, this album feels like a pivot for Oberst, reviving pet themes from his past like self-destruction and the difficulty of placing ourselves within our contemporary world in songs like “Gossamer Thin.” The album also has songs that express the connections that Oberst has made in his attempt to make sense of himself in his nods to cultural icons like Oliver Sacks and “poor Robin Williams” on “A Little Uncanny.” But really, the album cover says it all for Salutations. Oberst floating face down in a swimming pool. He played with the concept of drowning several times on the Bright Eyes’ Fevers and Mirrors. Now, on the title track for Salutations, Oberst addresses a near-death experience: nearly drowning in a neighbor’s pool. “You could have left me in the water//but you made me live again.” Having catapulted into the public eye at an early age for his music, Oberst admits several times to feeling burned out, and his acknowledgement of his personal struggles in this album is what gives it that familiar feel that his post-Cassadaga music lacked for me. I don’t want Oberst to be miserable, but I also can’t tolerate his music turning its back on the universal human struggle. When Oberst articulates his struggle, it electrifies his music. I feel this electricity in Salutations.  –DILLON ALEXANDER

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#RESIST: Replacing Obamacare With ‘Don’t Care’

March 15th, 2017

Indivisible

 

Bring the noise. Locate or register Indivisible groups, group meetings, or actions in your area. Come prepared to make plans for action and meet others who are working to resist Trump’s agenda. We’ll be planning next steps to encourage our Members of Congress in Senate and House to represent us, not Trump. If we stand together, indivisible, we will win. Welcome to the resistance! MORE

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LOST & FOUND: Never Before Seen Photos Of VU

March 15th, 2017

IMG_2942

 

NEW YORK TIMES: But on this night at the club — described in The New York Times then as “the temporary cinema-discotheque that Andy Warhol, the apostle of Pop Culture, has installed at 23 St. Marks Place” — it was all so new. Attendees, Marylin Bender wrote, could “grope their way to the dance floor in blackness that is broken only by hallucinatory flashes of multicolored lights in order to wriggle, writhe and tremble to the music of the Velvet Undergrounds, a four-piece band whose chanteuse is a fashion model answering only to the name of Nico.” The group was merely a detail in the story and getting its name right was not yet a priority. “Modeling is such a dull job,” Nico told The Times, while, the writer added, “tossing her flaxen mane.” The concert was part of Warhol’s traveling multimedia shows, known as the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, which mixed projected films, live music and dance. (The entry fee for the night: $2.) Gerard Malanga, a Warhol associate and Factory collaborator, can be seen shimmying onstage with the fresh-faced Velvets. “It was an ephemeral but everlasting experience,” he recalled in an interview this week. MORE

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WORTH REPEATING: Play Misty For Me

March 15th, 2017

FJM_TOUR POSTER

 

NEW YORK TIMES: To focus on the songs, Mr. Tillman, a merry libertine, gave up booze, drugs, cigarettes and meat. “I needed all my wits about me if I was going to take on these issues. Music is chaos. When I write songs, I’m opening the door to madness.” Judging from the tequila-and-soda in front of him and the pack of American Spirits in the pocket of his gray, slim-fit overcoat, he’s now abstaining from abstinence.

“I didn’t like it,” he said with a theatrical shrug. “Not for me. When the ledgers of history are drawn up, I’ll be on the side of the smokers and the masturbators. Those are my people.” After seeing me laugh in appreciation of the pithy quote, which, we both realize, summarizes his wit in a way that’s vivid but not too vulgar for print, he laughed, too. “I love the exhilaration of feeling a pull quote come out of your mouth,” he said. “The words just taste better.” […]

Mr. Tillman’s nearly apostolic enthusiasm for art and ideas — when he talked to me about “the isolation of late-era capitalism,” he wasn’t joking — is likely to be the residue of a late bloom. For instance, he didn’t hear the Beatles until he was 18. (When he did, “I was like, ‘This is [extremely] incredible.’”) His childhood in Rockville, Md., was dominated by religious instruction and fear. “Fourth through eighth grade, I was having demons cast out of me, speaking in tongues, and learning Zionist propaganda at a Pentecostal messianic Jewish cult school.” He said his parents and teachers instructed him to ignore the material world and focus on End Times, which were imminent; his sense of humor was proof that he was possessed by demons.

“I’ve been diagnosed with PTSD by three therapists,” he said. Mr. Tillman has such severe depression and anxiety, he can’t take vacations. In lieu of anti-depressants, he self-medicates with micro-doses of LSD. “Acid really helps,” he said. “I probably shouldn’t talk about this, because Jeff Sessions will come after me.” MORE

 

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TODAY IS PI DAY: Happy Birthday Albert Einstein!

March 14th, 2017

Einstein

 

Albert Einstein was born on this day in 1879.

TIME: He was the embodiment of pure intellect, the bumbling professor with the German accent, a comic cliche in a thousand films. Instantly recognizable, like Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp, Albert Einstein’s shaggy-haired visage was as familiar to ordinary people as to the matrons who fluttered about him in salons from Berlin to Hollywood. Yet he was unfathomably profound — the genius among geniuses who discovered, merely by thinking about it, that the universe was not as it seemed.

Even now scientists marvel at the daring of general relativity (“I still can’t see how he thought of it,”TIMEPersonOfTheCentury said the late Richard Feynman, no slouch himself). But the great physicist was also engagingly simple, trading ties and socks for mothy sweaters and sweatshirts. He tossed off pithy aphorisms (“Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it”) and playful doggerel as easily as equations. Viewing the hoopla over him with humorous detachment, he variously referred to himself as the Jewish saint or artist’s model. He was a cartoonist’s dream come true.

Much to his surprise, his ideas, like Darwin’s, reverberated beyond science, influencing modern culture from painting to poetry. At first even many scientists didn’t really grasp relativity, prompting Arthur Eddington’s celebrated wisecrack (asked if it was true that only three people understood relativity, the witty British astrophysicist paused, then said, “I am trying to think who the third person is”). To the world at large, relativity seemed to pull the rug out from under perceived reality. And for many advanced thinkers of the 1920s, from Dadaists to Cubists to Freudians, that was a fitting credo, reflecting what science historian David Cassidy calls “the incomprehensiveness of the contemporary scene–the fall of monarchies, the upheaval of the social order, indeed, all the turbulence of the 20th century.” MORE

ALBERT EINSTEIN: The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor—not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. In this respect, it is important to realize that the means of production—that is to say, the entire productive capacity that is needed for producing consumer goods as well as additional capital goods—may legally be, and for the most part are, the private property of individuals.

For the sake of simplicity, in the discussion that follows I shall call “workers” all those who do not Einstein_Quote_socialism—280share in the ownership of the means of production—although this does not quite correspond to the customary use of the term. The owner of the means of production is in a position to purchase the labor power of the worker. By using the means of production, the worker produces new goods which become the property of the capitalist. The essential point about this process is the relation between what the worker produces and what he is paid, both measured in terms of real value. Insofar as the labor contract is “free,” what the worker receives is determined not by the real value of the goods he produces, but by his minimum needs and by the capitalists’ requirements for labor power in relation to the number of workers competing for jobs. It is important to understand that even in theory the payment of the worker is not determined by the value of his product.

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights. MORE<

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Q&A: Talking Velvet Underground With John Cale

March 13th, 2017

velvet_underground_and_nico_by_jects
Artwork by JECTS

EDITOR’S NOTE: To mark the 50th anniversary of the release of The Velvet Underground & Nico, we are excerpting the Velvet Underground passage of the career-spanning Q&A I did with John Cale for VICE/NOISEY last year. DISCUSSED: His opiated childhood; his abuse at the hands of a church organist; discovering Fluxus at the University of London; being taught the deafening power of silence by John Cage; exploring the infinite cosmic possibilities of drone and the raw power of an amplified viola with The Theater Of Eternal Music; inventing the Velvet Underground with Lou Reed; thriving amidst the mind-bending velocity of life inside Andy Warhol’s Factory; performing “Heroin” for Walter Cronkite; pissng off Cher; the real reason why he left the Velvet Underground; working with Nick Drake on Bryter Layter; the connection, or lack thereof, between creativity and recreational drug use; the time he cut the head off a live chicken onstage; and what he thinks of Wacka Flocka rapping over “Venus In Furs.” You can read read the whole thing HERE.

NOISEY: You met Lou Reed when you were hired to be a member of The Primitives, a band invented by Pickwick Records, a Long Island label and Brill-style songwriting factory that specialized in cheap knock-offs of the radio hits of the day. Lou had written and recorded a song called “The Ostrich” under the name of an imaginary band called The Primitives, in the hopes it would become the latest dance craze, like “The Twist.” And Pickwick sent you guys out to play high school dances in the tri-state area. How do you come into the picture?hqde2fault

JOHN CALE: Tony and I were discovered by Pickwick when we were at a party, they thought we looked like we were in a band. We got invited to Pickwick Records, and I went along and ran into Lou. All of a sudden, it became a discussion of literature, and who are the greatest writers in modern literature, and so on.

NOISEY: The Primitives were pretty much over before they began. But you and Lou start working on your own music, which would eventually become The Velvet Underground. There’s a passage in Transformer, Victor Bockris’ Lou Reed bio, about your apartment on Ludlow Street, where a lot of the early Velvet Underground sound and songs were born. I wanted to read this passage back to you, and you tell me if he got it right:

“The whole place was sparsely furnished with mattresses on the floor, and orange crates that served as furniture and firewood. Bare light bulbs lit the dark rooms, paint and plaster chipped from the woodwork and walls. There was no heat or hot water and the landlord collected the $30 rent with a gun. When it got cold, they often sat hunched over instruments with carpets wrapped around their shoulders. When the toilet stopped up, they picked up the shit and threw it out the window. For sustenance, they cooked a big pot of porridge and made humongous vegetable pancakes, eating the glop day and night as if it were fuel.” That about right?

JOHN CALE: I don’t know about throwing shit out the window, but yeah, that’s pretty much it.

NOISEY: I don’t know what’s crazier about that story, that the landlord shows up with a gun to collect the rent, or that there was a time when you could rent an apartment in Manhattan for $30. There’s another passage from Transformer that I would like to read back to you about this period, where it talks about how the songs evolved, and how they were written:

“Lou could be the sweetest, most charming companion socially, but he was virtually always a motherfucker to work with. His biggest problem apart from demanding complete control, and having a Himalayan ego, was a matter of credit. Just as The Rolling Stones had done when creating their music, The Velvet Underground worked up almost all their songs collectively. Reed, who composed the simple inspirational chord structures, or sketchy lyrics, was under the impression, however, that he had single-handedly crafted masterpieces like “Heroin,” “Venus In Furs,” “I’m Waiting For The Man,” “Black Angel’s Death Song,” etc. In truth, although Reed undoubtedly supplied the brilliant lyrics and chord structures, the various and greater parts of the music — Cale’s viola, Sterling Morrison’s guitar, Angus MacLise’s drumming — were invented by each individually. In short, Reed should have shared the majority of the credits with the other members of the band.”

JOHN CALE: We all agreed that on the business side of things that we should really share the publishing. That is, everybody had a piece of the publishing of Lou’s songs, of all the songs we did for The Banana Album, the idea was that we all got a piece of the publishing as long as we were a band. That was the driving factor in Lou deciding not to go any further with it.

NOISEY: Not to go any further with what? Working with you?
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THE VELVET UNDERGROUND: Sunday Morning

March 13th, 2017

To mark the 50th anniversary of The Velvet Underground’s seminal debut, The Velvet Underground & Nico, visual artists James Eads and Chris McDaniel (aka The Glitch) have collaborated on this mesmerizing animation scored with the album’s opening track, the gorgeously somnambulant “Sunday Morning.” [H/T: Dangerous Minds] In related VU debut tribute news, Philly homeboy Mike “Slo-Mo” Brenner has arranged, performed and recorded this gorgeous recreation of the album from beginning to end on slide guitar. Here’s a taste, you can hear the whole album HERE. You can catch him performing select VU covers, along with his own material, ever Sunday at Old City Coffee, 221 Church St., from 3-4pm for free.

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BEING THERE: Pissed Jeans @ Boot & Saddle

March 11th, 2017

Pissed Jeans-2449!!

Photo by JOSH PELTA-HELLER

“Our drummer quit.”

Pissed Jeans drummer, Sean McGuiness, was running a little late last night. The other three members of the band, vocalist Matt Korvette, bassist Randy Huth, and guitarist Brad Fry, stood on stage at the Boot & Saddle, hands visoring the stage lights from their eyes as they peered deep into the sold out crowd, searching for some sign of their missing drummer. It wasn’t too long before McGuiness appeared and made his way up front, wading through the crowd. Once all the components were in place, Korvette produced a copy of HELP! by The Beatles on LP and proceeded to mangle it, declaring to the crowd, “We’re gonna release this Beatles album from its fucking misery!” The band then launched into “She is Science Fiction” from their 2009 album, King of Jeans, and bodies were suddenly in motion.

Celebrating the release of their new album, Why Love Now at Boot & Saddle, Pissed Jeans playing to an energized crowd willing to share in the band’s evident disdain for Beatles albums, shredding copies of Sgt. Pepper’s and Magical Mystery Tour after Korvette blew his nose with the former and wiped his ass on the latter.

Preceded by the AmRep-style commotion of Body Spray and self-generated electronic ensemble of M Ax Noi Mach, Pissed Jean’s vitriolic response to monotony resonated with those us in attendance. A stead flow of crowd surfers and general flailing-gone-viral ensured not a single person would be still throughout the performance. “Save your applause for a band that needs it,” Korvette sneered at one point in between songs, followed by punishing renditions of older songs like “False Jesii Part II” and “Half Idiot” that served as primer for new-album offerings like “The Bar is Low” and “Have You Ever Been Furniture.” Our appreciation never wavered.

As their set neared its close, Korvette acknowledged there was still time left. “You wanna play all night? We’re gonna take you all the way to 11PM!!!” he declaimed, gently mocking the venue’s neighbor-enforced curfew. Their finisher was “Romanticize Me,” one final onslaught before calling it a night. We all headed promptly toward the merch table, our collective path littered with the torn and shredded remnants of The Beatles’ best work. – SEAN CALDWELL

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

March 10th, 2017

Jeff sessions

Illustration by SEAN MCCABE

Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 2.11.02 AMFRESH AIR: If you want to understand the far-reaching domestic goals of the Trump presidency, you have to understand the working relationship between Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist, and Jeff Sessions, the former Alabama senator and new attorney general. That’s according to my guest, Emily Bazelon, a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine whose latest article is about how Bannon and Sessions have long shared a vision for remaking America. Now, she says, the nation’s top law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice headed by Sessions, can serve as a tool for enacting that vision. Bazelon is also the Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School.

GROSS: In 2015, Jeff Sessions wrote a 23-page memo to his colleagues saying that the party had to show working class voters how lax immigration policies have stolen their jobs and erased their prospects for moving up the social ladder. What do you know about that memo?

BAZELON: Well, opposing immigration was absolutely the signature issue for Jeff Sessions when he was in the Senate. It was the thing he was known for. Sessions here is hitting the kind of economic rationale for limiting immigration. And in public and certainly on the Senate floor, this is something he talked about a lot, this idea that immigrants are stealing jobs from native-born Americans.

And Sessions is someone who always emphasizes the costs of immigration as opposed to the benefits. Immigrants also make the economy bigger. They are consumers. They buy stuff. They take jobs sometimes that native-born Americans aren’t as interested in. But for Sessions, it’s always about the cost that immigrants are imposing.

GROSS: So how did Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions meet? And this was during the period when Bannon was the head of Screen Shot 2017-03-10 at 1.49.16 AMBreitbart News and Sessions was a senator from Alabama.

BAZELON: That’s right. So around 2013, Congress started debating a bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform. And this was the bill that was going to put more money into keeping the border secure but would also provide a path to citizenship for some undocumented people. Sessions was adamantly opposed to this bill. He was the most right wing senator on this immigration issue. And he spent a lot of time on the Senate floor opposing this legislation. Breitbart started giving Sessions very flattering, supportive coverage, really highlighting the role he was playing.

And this is a time in which Sessions and Bannon were talking a lot about messaging, sometimes with each other and also with Stephen Miller, who at the time was a top aide of Jeff Sessions and then went and joined the Trump campaign and now works in the White House with Stephen Bannon. So you can see Miller as a kind of actual embodiment of this close tie between Sessions and Bannon.

GROSS: So what was Breitbart News writing about immigration at that time?

BAZELON: Breitbart News covers immigration and immigrants in a very harsh and demonizing way. So you see lots of headlines about illegal aliens committing crimes, a real emphasis on that even though we know statistically that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than other people. In Breitbart, immigrants are always, you know, murderers and rapists and causing trouble. And often, you see pictures of immigrants – criminal immigrants, their mug shots. They’re usually people of color. So there is a real negative racially-tinged association that Breitbart is making over and over again between criminal misconduct and immigration. MORE

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Q&A: Connor Barwin, The Hippest Guy In The NFL

March 9th, 2017

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This short but sweet-natured 2014 Q&A with then-Eagle defensive end Connor Barwin ran in advance of one of his indie-rock fundraisers to fix up long-neglected playgrounds in depleted neighborhoods in North and West Philly. To mark the sad occasion of Barwin being released by the Eagles we present this reprise edition. Godspeed, Mr. Barwin. We will, on multiple levels, be poorer for your absence.

BY JONATHAN VALANIA If Eagles defensive end Connor Barwin did OK Cupid, it would read something like this:

Chiseled 27-year-old 6’4 260 lb Fred Flinstone-type with Cosmo Kramer haircut and biceps the size of Easter hams seeks kind-hearted, like-minded female companion to attend Eagles games and Animal Collective concerts and we’ll see where it goes from there. Interests: Forced fumbles, snapping quarterbacks in half, digging indie-rock shows at First Unitarian Church, making a difference.

When not blitzing quarterbacks or shutting down draw plays at The Linc, Barwin is a fixture at kid-tested/Pitchfork-approved shows around town. Tonight, Barwin’s Make The World Better Foundation hosts a fundraising concert at Union Transfer featuring Kurt Vile & The Violators [PICTURED, BELOW RIGHT], Houston-based indie-rockers The Ton Tons [PICTURED, BELOW LEFT] and Lancaster County’s much-buzzed-about The Districts [PICTURED, BOTTOM RIGHT]. The event will raise funds for renovating Ralph Brooks Park in South Philly to provide neighborhood kids with a safe space to participate in sports or the arts, Barwin’s two great passions. Quoth The Bard: So shines a good deed in a weary world. Charles Barkley may not be a role model, but Connor Barwin sure as hell is. May the road rise with him.

PHAWKER: So, last year you signed a $38 million dollar contract to play linebacker for the Philadelphia Eagles, making you the only known professional athlete in this city to attend indie-rock shows at the First Unitarian Church. You have my vote for The Coolest Guy In Philadelphia.

CONNOR BARWIN Well, thank you.  I signed a $36 million dollar deal, not a $38 million deal, but I appreciate you adding a couple million on there on the end.

PHAWKER: I just wanted to make you seem more impressive — $36 million is a little underwhelming, to be quite honest.  Why don’t more Eagles go to rock shows in the basement of Unitarian Churches?

CONNOR BARWIN  Well, it’s just a start.  I’ve taken a couple to a few shows already and they loved it.  There will probably be about ten guys at the Union Transfer this Friday and I am sure they are going to enjoy it as well.

PHAWKER:  Awesome.  Can you tell me the names of other Eagles that have gone with you to indie-rock shows in Philly?
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TOM TOMORROW: President Baby Man

March 9th, 2017

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CIRCUS: Written By Tom Waits & Kathleen Brennan

March 9th, 2017

Written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, illustrated by Joe Cole and narrated by the inimitable Ken Nordine, Circus is part of a remarkable collaborative story book project called Stories For Ways And Means that includes Nick Cave, Frank Black, Jim James, Will Oldham, Devendra Banhart and more. All proceeds benefit non-profit community literacy groups like Room to Read, Pencils of Promise, and 826 National to name but a few. MORE

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

March 8th, 2017

BlitzedHitler

 

FRESH AIR: In 1944, World War II was dragging on and the Nazi forces seemed to be faltering. Yet, in military briefings, Adolf Hitler’s optimism did not wane. His generals wondered if he had a secret weapon up his sleeve, something that would change the war around in the last second. Author Norman Ohler tells Fresh Air’s Terry Gross that Hitler did have a secret, but it wasn’t a weapon. Instead, it was a mix of cocaine and opioids that he had become increasingly dependent upon. “Hitler needed those highs to substitute [for] his natural charisma, which … he had lost in the course of the war,” Ohler says. Ohler’s new book, Blitzed, which is based in part on the papers of Hitler’s private physician, describes the role of drugs within the Third Reich. He cites three different phases of the Fuhrer’s drug use. “The first one are the vitamins given in high doses intravenously. The second phase starts in the fall of 1941 with the first opiate, but especially with the first hormone injections,” Ohler says. “Then in ’43 the third phase starts, which is the heavy opiate phase.” MORE

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