Monthly Archives: October 2007

M.I.A. schedules a show vaguely near Boston!

Plagarizing myself, via OTD.

Lollapalooza flick by Carina Mastrocola

In addition to OTD’s Friday, Halloween spirited MPFreeee goodness, here’s another pre-weekend treat: Checking our e-mail this morning and we had a happy message from the folks over at Tourfilter (how do they always know about this shit first?) – M.I.A. will play the Palladium on November 28! It’s not up on M.I.A.’s MySpace, or horrible, neon flashing website yet (we can’t handle the clashing/flashing imagery pre-coffee on a Friday morning), but a quick trip to MassConcerts confirms it – the goddess of dark, daring, chirping, grunting, bumping, Pixies and “Rump Shaker”-thieving awesomeness (pre-In Rainbows, “Paper Planes” was on repeat on our iTunes for, oh, three months or so) will grab Worcester by the balls for a night, with the Illinois-based hip hop duo The Cool Kids. Holy Cross may never be the same. Tickets are on sale like NOW, so get on it!

DOWNLOAD: M.I.A. “Paper Planes” (via The shiny new Hype Machine)
VIDEO: M.I.A. “Bird Flu”

Big Black Hole.

Call it a sneak preview, courtesy of the infamous Noel of Hooray for Earth.

Crank that, techie.

MIT examines the science behind the dance craze.

BONUS! Watch awesomely awesome Phoenix video footage here.

How to get an education, a family, and happiness

Courtesy of 

From the Phlog:

My favorite blog of the moment, Feministing, reports today on the Bush administration’s national abstinence campaign, which is apparently in full swing, despite heaps of evidence proving that abstinence-only education doesn’t work. From a related entry on ThinkProgress:

“…this ‘information’ is not grounded in science. A recent federal report concluded that abstinence-only programs have had ‘no impacts on rates of sexual abstinence.’ Yet the latest public service announcement by ‘encourages parents to talk with their kids about waiting to have sex.'”

Watch this video and try to resist the wide-eyed youngsters, pleading: “Tell me what you want from me – an education, a family, happiness,” because apparently those things are only available for the abstinent. Personally, my only proof that abstinence-only teachings don’t work is anecdotal: I attended a strict, all-girls Catholic high school in Baltimore, where they literally tested us on this stuff, i.e. “Sexual intercourse is for (fill in the blank).” The blank, as you might guess, was something along the lines of “a woman and a man who are married.” These tests were administered in religion classes, which nearly every student passed, most with A’s or B’s, and yet none of my friends were abstinent. And, on average from freshman year to senior year, at least two members of my 125-student class became pregnant per year.

This week’s This American Life takes a different approach. With the theme “How to Talk to Kids,” host Ira Glass talks to students who write and edit a publication and website called Sex Etc. (with the warning that he’s not going to be sexually explicit, but he is going to acknowledge that kids have sex), a place for teens to find information about safe sex, consult sexual health experts anonymously, find out where to get tested for STD’s, or where to turn in a crisis. Visit the website here (on TAL the students were quick to warn that it’s – other standard URL endings lead to pornography). Download the TAL podcast here, and listen through to the end – there’s a fun little segment by Dan Savage, and it’s (surprisingly) NOT about sex.

Radiohead fans (or semi-fans, or fans before all the In Rainbows ballyhoo) unite

There we were, just sitting around the office on a rainy Monday, debating the In Rainbows controversy (here’s the backstory… also here, and here), and arguing over whether London is 5 hours or 6 hours ahead, when it dawned on us – why not organize a kick-ass Radiohead listening party tomorrow, to coincide with the official Radiohead-sanctioned leak day and time? A few e-mails later, and it was all set up – Great Scott, tomorrow night, 7 pm sharp. Come listen and have a PBR or two – but don’t bring any Chatty Cathys. Or Thom Yorke haters. Read more about it here or here.

That whole Shriiimp thing

Photo courtesy of

A few things I’d like to point out, in light of some recent comments disapproving of this piece. First, the misspelling of “Juxtapoz” was a miscommunication between myself and my editor, and for that I’m sorry. I’m not sorry, however, for reporting the story to the best of my abilities. I am not a publicist, and I was not writing a press release to hype up Shriiimp. One of the ground rules for journalism is that a story should never be one-sided; a variety of points-of-view are always necessary. I interviewed a plethora of sources for this story, from a large group of Shriiimp-involved people, to art experts, graf experts, artists, and other people with strong opinions about the site. I reported back a variety of opinions, both for and against Shriiimp’s concept – i.e., those who take it quite seriously as art, those who find it to be misogynistic, and those who think it shouldn’t be taken so seriously.

I have no problem with people posting comments on the story. No journalistic career is free of personal criticism, not even for Deborah Solomon. If anything, I’m glad that it was something that got people talking. It’s a good thing when people are talking about art, or journalism about art, and obviously the anonymity of the Phoenix’s commenting system allows people who would never have the courage to e-mail or call me personally, and express their opinion to make biting and immature comments, with no risk of exposing who they are, or having to elaborate their opinions further. Having someone refer to my writing as “insanely horrible,” and a “steaming pile of shit” is not exactly pleasant but, as a co-worker put it to me today, “internet backlash is the first sign you’ve made it.”