De La Soul’s First New Album In 12 Years Is Brilliant And Eclectic [Stream/Review]

first_img“Your music means everything to you. Are you concerned about the status of your playlist and precious collection? We feel you, and we’re here to help. Have no fear, De La Soul is here…”On August 26th, quintessential Long Island hip-hop trio De La Soul released and the Anonymous Nobody, their first full album in twelve long years. The album’s cover art depicts an angry mob closing in, with a man running away, screaming that “nobody can control them,” while one man stands bravely in their path, proclaiming “I am nobody.” The defiant hero in this clever cartoon is a powerful symbol of the group’s collaborative vision for this release, and the scores of “anonymous nobodies” that made it possible. The album was the culmination of a project first introduced to fans last year, when De La launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a new release. The campaign quickly met its $110,000 goal and went on to pull in over $600,000 in total. With the overwhelming support of their fans–as well as over 200 hours of recorded original jam sessions with various artists to sample from–Dave, Maseo, and Posdnuos were free from the bonds of labels and other stakeholders, free to create whatever they wanted.De La Soul Discusses First Album In 11 Years, ‘and the Anonymous Nobody’The resulting project, and the Anonymous Nobody, is a sprawlingly diverse set of songs that takes full advantage of the creative freedom afforded to them by their DIY, collaborative approach with fans and artists alike. After the opening mission statement of “Genesis”–a poem delivered by Jill Scott–“Royalty Capes” kicks things off in earnest with a trumpet salute fit for a king, before dropping into De La’s signature spaced-out flow over sorrowful strings and bass drum rolls. “Pain” is classic De La Soul, its upbeat, funky flow lending itself perfectly to a featured verse from Snoop Dogg.The robotic overdubs and computerized ad-libs of “Property of Spitkicker.com” give the tune a metallic timbre, laid over a simple snare beat with ethereal tones floating across the mix. “Memory of…(US)” is a beautiful lament floated by Pete Rock‘s legendary production and Estelle‘s wistful vocals.“Lord Intended”, by far the longest song on the record, is a rap-punk hybrid the likes of Jay Z‘s “D.O.A.” or “99 Problems”. While the song’s “fuck everyone, burn everything” refrain may seem a little forced, it’s hard to hate anything that features Justin Hawkins, singer and guitarist for well-loved but long-defunct English rockers The Darkness.Even in the 8 seconds of “Snoopies” before he starts to sing, you can tell that this track has Talking Heads visionary David Byrne’s hands all over it. As the drums and bass hit, the De La portion of the collab becomes clear, building to a peak before stripping down and moving on to a chugging old school groove for the verse. The track alternates between these two musical themes throughout—the verses: card-carrying De La Soul, the choruses: weird, peppy Byrne. It plays more like a mash-up of two songs than a single cohesive collab, but somehow it works—better than it seemingly should.Perhaps the most radio-friendly track on the album, “Greyhounds” is a soft-spoken story of escaping the doldrums on a bus to the greener pastures of NYC’s grey concrete. While Usher‘s hook doesn’t add much substance, the bus-station sound effects at the end evoke a surprisingly sincere emotional response.Our heroine from “Greyhounds” steps off the bus with her pumps clicking on the sidewalk for “Sexy Bitch”, a quick number whose bouncing bassline reminds of classics like “Itsoweezee (Hot)”.  The quick skit features some sagely advice from an old-timer to a desperate youngin’ – “Don’t’ even look, don’t waste your time, baby.” “Trainwreck”, which follows, expounds on the advice to steer clear of trouble with fast women (“Don’t turn your back, when she’s on that track”).“Drawn” (which features Little Dragon) heavily features the whooshing synth swells that are common in much of today’s dance floor fare, but the vocals on the intro inevitably entrance you (“Wont you stay, babe”). The song gets tripped-out quickly, reaching toward different textured frequencies while remaining anchored by the always-on-point backing drums. The only real verse on the song doesn’t start until nearly 5 minutes in, but Posdnuos uses the short stretch impressively, with one of the albums most elegant turns of phrase about the artist-fan relationship and its effect on the music’s longevity: “Two words, ‘I’m mortal. But the fans lift ’em both together and remove the apostrophe.”“Whoodeeni” is the album’s token banger–complete with a Daft Punk-style robotic hook, but features a surprisingly substantive verse from 2 Chainz.“Nosed Up”, one of the album’s standout tracks, boasts the funkiest bass line on a release rich in dope bass lines, and includes a swinging doo-wop style outro.On “Here In After”, the stylistic influence of collaborator Damon Albarn (Gorillaz, Blur) is clearly apparent. Indie-pop De La Soul may not be what you’re used to, but by this point in the album, after listening to them traverse countless genres, it doesn’t seem all that shocking. Instead, it offers a positive message, a triumphant victory lap on the journey that was and the Anonymous Nobody– (“Cus we’re still here now.”)One of things that makes this album work so well is how sincere each collaboration is. Every pairing—and they are, undeniably, a varied bunch—effortlessly showcases the mutual artistic respect between De La Soul and the featured artist in question. Each one is a gourmet, well-seasoned combination of De La’s tried-and-true laid back groove and the collaborating artist’s individual style, making for a diverse and attention-grabbing album. Even in 2016, nearly 30 years after the release of their acclaimed debut 3 Feet High And Rising, the trio has succeeded in making a unique, modern-feeling record that, with their faithfully infectious flow, has the feel of classic De La Soul.“Exodus” rounds out a stellar album with an appropriately emotional send-off, that kind of track that gives you tingles, makes you think happy, makes you wax poetic about life, makes you appreciate the role you play in this world, however small.  (“Saviors, heroes? Nah. Just common contributors hopin’ that what we created inspires you to selflessly challenge and contribute. Sincerely, anonymously, nobody.”). It makes you feel grateful. And with a stellar new De La Soul album that feels both happily nostalgic and effortlessly current, we have a lot to be grateful for.last_img read more

The world as sacred

first_img“Divine Space and Sacred Territories” sounds like something you find in church. But this felicitous phrase was the name of the inaugural conference of Harvard’s African and Diasporic Religious Studies Association, the only such group in North America.About 20 scholarly presenters and 150 listeners gathered Friday at Boylston Hall to discuss this modern scattering of ancient religious traditions. The teachings are “always blending and cosmopolitan,” said association director and Harvard doctoral student Funlayo E. Wood, and are “formidable forces in world region. They heal what is broken, balance what is askew.”What has this religious diaspora done to influence modern spiritual practice? A lot, the scholars said, including providing a sense of the Earth as sacred and healing. And what can such religious influences — most of them from a preliterate era — offer current spiritual practice? Again, much, say the experts, including a sense that the divine may reside in everyday objects, in movement, and in the body itself.Funlayo E. Wood, association director and Harvard doctoral student, introduced the inaugural conference.Through the day, the conference scholars from New England, New York, Georgia, Florida, and Nigeria touched on Yorùbá, its Caribbean cousin Vodou, and other practices from humankind’s genetic ancestral home. (“We are all Africans,” said keynote speaker Baba John Mason.)“It’s not tired old things that have been repeated,” said Francis X. Clooney S.J. of the conference’s fresh perspective on modern spirituality. “You’re bringing new things.” (Clooney, who offered a few words to the audience early on, is director of the Harvard Divinity School’s Center for the Study of World Religions, a major conference sponsor.)Such practices offer timely lessons. For one, they bring to bear those natural entities deserving honor and protection, including the Earth itself. “Destroying the land equates to human genocide,” said presenter Yoknyam Dabale, a Nigerian-born blogger who is a master’s degree student at Boston College.The conference began with a libation based on the sacredness of Earth itself by Ifa and Orisa practitioner Awo Oluwole Ifakunle Adetutu Alagbede, chief priest of the Ile Omo Ope shrine in Harlem. “Christians look toward the sky,” he said of his water blessing. “We look toward the ground.”Dabale added that female spirits are custodians of the land. It was a reminder of another lesson from Africa’s religious diaspora: the spiritual power of the feminine. Within Christianity, at least, that note remains muted. Dabale said that both modern Africa and the Americas are in need of the balancing, life-giving spiritual power of the feminine.Also deserving of honor and protection, according to these diasporic traditions, are ancestors, who represent the wisdom of the past; elders, who represent the wisdom of the present; and communities, which represent the wisdom of cooperation. That well-ordered life is embodied in the termite mound, said Mason. The shape of these towering cylindrical mounds is echoed in sacred mud structures seen throughout the Yorùbá homeland of northwest Africa.Historian Suzanne Preston Blier, whose reflections on African sacred beliefs opened the conference, remarked on the same ubiquity of these architectural features, these “hollow residences of spirits,” she said, that attract protection and good will. Blier, who is the Allen Whitehill Clowes Chair of Fine Arts and professor of African and African American Studies, also talked about mapping sacred space using modern geographic information systems (GIS) and computer technologies. An interactive project is already under way, she said, in the Africa section of Harvard’s WorldMap.Also deserving of care are our own bodies. “Your body is a temple — ritual space that you design,” said Mason, a Yorùbá priest and founder of the Brooklyn-based Yorùbá Theological Archministry.The body is in special need of protection these days, said therapist, interfaith minister, and Yorùbá priestess DeShannon Bowens, especially for “cultural groups with a history of violent oppression, (where) traumas on the body go back to the time of their enslavement.” A sexual assault takes place every 2.5 minutes in the United States alone, she said, adding that one in every three or four girls (and one in six boys) will be sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.“It violates our bodies as sacred space,” said Bowens of sexual trauma, which she tries to heal with both psychotherapy and traditional spiritualism. “These wounds go back thousands of years.”Bowens, founder of the Ilera counseling service (the word means triumph and health in Yorùbá), was among the many practitioners, artists, and scholars who said that African diasporic beliefs bring another lesson to the West and to Christian nations at large: The body and the spirit are not in opposition. They are not in a dueling, dual state, as Augustine held (and as Plato had argued much earlier). They complement one another, and interweave — as Vodou holds — like Earth and sky. Thinking that the body and spirit are opposed, like good and evil, said Bowens “is one of the hardest things to get over. You don’t even have to be a Christian.”In the conference’s four panels, and among its 14 presenters (12 of them women), the lesson of the body’s spiritual power was most evident. Scholars stood behind the podium, but they moved, shouted, sang, and danced, too. Maya James was among the last trio of presenters, all performers from the collective Lukumi Arts in New York. Her paper was a riff, sermon, shout, and a scholar’s interweaving of Aristotle and Shakespeare with the Pentecostal. Her work compared women sitting placidly in church to peaches in a jar. But before long, the peaches “shook loose,” said James, the preacher was leaping from the pulpit, and “it is holy bedlam in this space.”Holy bedlam provides a lesson for churches everywhere, she said. “Divinity can exist anywhere, even when it’s not invited.”The conference seemed to say: Bring the body back to spirituality. It also seemed to say: Bring back the portability of the sacred. In a gathering whose main theme was divine space, a lesson emerged from Africa’s spiritual diaspora: In a world of churches, temples, and mosques, the sacred does not require a building; it is present in everyday life.Blier talked about sacred groves, pathways littered with glittering mica, roots, stones, and trees with meaning. Clooney talked about sacred spaces in the world created by tragedy, like ground zero in New York, and about Harvard’s own “quasi-sacred spaces,” including Memorial Church, Memorial Hall, and the glittering toe on one foot of the John Harvard statute, a lucky touchstone for thousands of tourists ever year.Mason talked about the little shrines in the home of every Yorùbá believer, which provide living space for orisha, the traditional deities of wisdom, sexuality, healing, and other powers. “This is maybe the one strength that keeps us from being Catholic or being Protestant,” said Mason. “We did not put orishas in a separate place that we may visit. Rather, they are in my house. … My relations to God are always close at hand.”last_img read more

Baker’s Half Dozen — Episode 9

first_imgIf you’ve got questions about this episode, or a question you’d like Matt to answer in the next episode, comment below or tweet Matt using #BakersHalfDozen.Episode 9 Show Notes:Item 1: On Premise vs. On PremisesItem 2: Taking a picture of a black holeItem 3: Using CRISPR for molecular data storageItem 4: Satellite monitoring of lakesItem 5: Lawless dataItem 6: A.I. ApocalypseItem 6.5: Yoctosecondlast_img

Container Gardens

first_imgContainer gardening is great for beginning gardeners. But remember, all plants need good soil and nutrients, whether they grow in a container or in the ground. Buying a commercial potting soil ensures the soil is clean and free of any plant disease-causing pathogens. Also, most potting soil sold at garden centers is designed to have good drainage and aeration. Store-bought soil isn’t just soilStore-bought potting soils are sometimes called “soilless mixtures” because they don’t contain soil. They are a combination of peat moss, vermiculite, perlite and finely ground pine bark. Perlite and pine bark help with drainage and aeration. Peat moss and vermiculite help retain water and nutrients. Combined properly, this mixture results is an environment that is moist and well-drained – ideal conditions for plant root growth. Many popular potting soils contain fertilizers, but these nutrients only last a short time. Do not fertilize container plants the first two to three weeks after planting if the potting soil label indicates it was amended with fertilizer. Nutrient levels usually drop after a few weeks because plants use them quickly and nutrients leach from the soil each time plants are watered. Container grown plants dry out faster than plants grown in gardens and require more frequent watering.The big threeMost commercial fertilizers contain the “big three” nutrients – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These are required for plant growth in larger amounts than other nutrients. Most backyard gardens just need these three nutrients, since native soils usually have sufficient amounts of other minor nutrients. Potting mixtures don’t contain real soil so they often lack minor nutrients like calcium, magnesium, sulfur and iron. This can cause container-grown plants to turn yellow from lack of iron, magnesium or sulfur. Many container plants also get blossom end rot on the bottom of the fruit. This is a classic symptom of a calcium deficiency. Plants may appear stunted because their growth will be limited by the lack of nutrients.The solution is simple—fertilize container-grown vegetables. Select a premium grade fertilizer that contains both major and minor nutrients. You can also add dolomitic lime to the potting mixture at planting as it contains both calcium and magnesium. Some gardeners use Epsom salt to add magnesium to their soil. Don’t use both. Apply one-half tablespoon of lime per gallon of mixture. Follow fertilizer directionsIf you use dry fertilizer, apply it every three to four weeks. One-half teaspoon of fertilizer per gallon of soil mixture spread evenly on the soil surface is usually adequate for each application. If you use liquid-soluble fertilizer solution, follow the labeled application rates. Do not apply too much or too frequently as this can lead to excess nitrogen. Too much nitrogen can cause vigorous leaf and shoot growth, but few blooms or fruit. For more information, see the UGA Extension factsheet “Gardening in Containers” at http://t.uga.edu/hY.last_img read more

Planter Adjustments

first_imgAdjusting planting equipment from one field to the next can make the difference between a healthy crop stand and a poor stand, according to University of Georgia Cooperative Extension precision agriculture and irrigation specialist Wes Porter.Porter believes Georgia growers who take the time to make necessary changes to their planter from field to field will benefit this planting season. Planter depth; planter downforce, the pressure applied to the row unit by a mechanism in front of the row unit; soil texture; and soil moisture are all components that factor in the planting operation and successful stand establishment.Porter’s goal for some of his research on the UGA Tifton campus is to show which of these factors has the highest influence on stand establishment.“The planter is the most important piece of equipment we have on the farm when we’re trying to establish the crop. We need it to perform at its best,” Porter said.Most producers set a depth and downforce for a crop and plant at those settings for the rest of the season, and farmers may not look at the other components on the planter. Porter says that farmers should adjust the planter to cater to different soil types, especially if fields have different soil moisture levels. “Right now, I think there’s little to no adjustment that happens from field to field and environment to environment among most planters. With our research, we’re trying to show that it pays to spend a little time tweaking your planter setup when you move from field to field,” Porter said. “We’ve seen that the difference in one-half-inch depth change in cotton is the difference between having a really good stand and having little to no crop emerge.”Porter is studying the effect of the relationship between downforce and stand establishment in different soil types. This information will help to develop a prescription map for downforce.“Consider the relationship between soil type and downforce: If the soil is very dry and hard, it’s harder to create a furrow in the soil. You have to apply more downforce to the planter row units to keep it in the ground at the appropriate depth. If you’re in a wet, softer soil, the planter does not need as much downforce to maintain the appropriate depth,” he said.If farmers make adjustments beforehand, they won’t spend extra time and money replanting the crop.“That’s why we are researching planter settings. If we can maximize our emergence the first time by having our planter set up to match the current field conditions, we shouldn’t have to replant as often,” Porter said.last_img read more

Download the New August Trail Mix Now

first_imgIt’s cool in the Appalachian Mountains this week.Lower than normal temperatures have it feeling more like an October morning than the advent of August; typically, the humidity would be up and I would be dashing for the shade or a favorite swimming hole in order to beat the heat. Instead, I am grabbing a fleece for my evenings outside with the kids or long sleeves when I hit the road on my bike.Something else that is quite cool this month is our August Trail Mix. As usual, Trail Mix has amassed quite a collection of tunes just for you; 26 of the best artists from the world of Americana (and beyond), all queued up and ready for your ears.So, as you set out for a bike ride or hike along your favorite mountain, grab Trail Mix and enjoy.We kick off this month’s list with a brand new tune from long time country stalwart Billy Joe Shaver. Approaching his 75th birthday this month, Shaver releases Long In The Tooth on August 5th. This new collection of tunes from country music’s original outlaw is everything country music is supposed to be. Shaver’s voice is as clear as ever and his songwriting hasn’t skipped a beat; evident in these new tunes are the wit and nuance that made Shaver such a favored songwriter amongst country luminaries like Kris Kristofferson, Johnny Cash, Tom T. Hall, and Waylon Jennings. Though a bit long in the tooth himself, Shaver is still very much a player in the world of country music. It’s nice to see the outlaw hang on this long.Also featured this month is a brand new tune from Cowboy Mouth, New Orleans’ favorite garage rockers. On the opening track from the new record, Go!, drummer and lead singer Fred LeBlanc can be heard announcing, “We’re back!!” And back they are. The band is as tight and raucous as the first time I heard them back during my college days in the early 90s.There are so many great artists to check out this month. Take a listen to new tunes from The Posies, The Carmonas, Ruthie Foster, Israel Nash Gripka, The Locust Honey String Band, Malcolm Holcombe, Casey Jack, J.P. Parsons & The American Bandwagon, The Weight, Jason Tyler Burton, The Hawks (of Holy Rosary), and many more.As always, please spread the link for Trail Mix around. Toss it in a tweet or post it in your next status update. Let folks know about these great artists that have given us their music to give to you. And, of course, get out and buy some of this music. Go catch these bands live when they come through your town. Give back them to since they give so freely to us.last_img read more

Build awareness for future growth

first_img 23SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Credit unions have much to celebrate, as their total memberships now top the 103 million mark. But that group still represents just one in three American adults, according to CUNA’s 2015-2016 National Member & Nonmember Survey.But millions more are ripe candidates. In a recent BancVue survey of 1,000 adults:• Two-thirds say they prefer to use a credit union or community bank, instead of a big national bank.• But only 23% of big bank customers actually looked into what it would take to make that switch.Why won’t more switch? They give two chief reasons: They lack awareness of these local financial institutions, and they believe they can’t receive products they need.“Such perceptions remain huge challenges for credit union membership growth,” Haller says. “Credit unions need to continue to find creative ways to tell their story, particularly to young adults who are vital to the movement’s future sustainability.” continue reading »last_img read more

Habitat for Humanity holds scrap metal fundraiser

first_imgENDICOTT (WBNG) — Broome County Habitat for Humanity held a scrap metal drive Saturday, recycling the old in order to help build the new. “We provide education, training and opportunities to be able to purchase a home at a mortgage that is affordable for their income guidelines and give them that dream of an American home ownership,” she said. The organization is currently working on two projects, one on the south side of Binghamton and one in Port Dickinson. She explained the drive will enable the organization to continue fulfilling their mission despite the challenges of the pandemic. center_img The goal of the drive was to raise money to fund construction projects at a time when several of the organization’s fundraisers have been cancelled due to the coronavirus. Executive Director Amy Winans said the metal will be exchanged for funds that will be used for several of the organization’s upcoming projects. last_img read more

Pennsylvania House will vote to override Governor Wolf’s veto of school sports bill

first_imgGovernor Wolf said the bill restricts state and local official’s ability to respond if there is an outbreak of COVID-19 cases. Local school districts already have the say if they want to participate in sports or not. TOWANDA, Pa. (WBNG) — The Pennsylvania House of Representatives will vote on whether to override Governor Tom Wolf’s veto of House Bill 2787, next week. Tina Pickett, a Pennsylvania State Representative, said she has received calls from family members about who should make the decision to limit spectators. “I heard loud and clear from folks,” Pickett says. “This is what they want. They want the local school district to be able to determine what’s a safe number to be a spectator in those sports.” Governor Wolf also called the bill unnecessary and said the legislature should be focused on bills that protect the health and safety of students in schools. This bill allows Pennsylvania school districts to decided on the number of spectators allowed at sporting events. Currently, only 250 spectators are allowed for outside events and 25 for inside events. Yesterday, Governor Wolf announced he vetoed House Bill 2787. last_img read more

UHPA on a working visit to Požega-Slavonia County

first_imgThis week, the Tourist Board of Požega-Slavonia County hosted the Association of Croatian Travel Agencies (UHPA), whose members held a meeting of the Board and a joint meeting with representatives of receptive agencies, tourist boards of municipalities and cities, tourist guides and other tourist entities from the county. .”We are pleased to have hosted members of UHPA to whom we presented the possibilities of organized arrival of tourists in Požega-Slavonia County. This possibility of connecting and establishing further cooperation and expanding our market through a network of travel agencies is extremely important to us. The arrival of 15 leading travel agents in our county is a great opportunity to promote the destination, the presentation of our tourism entities and opens the door for future cooperation. pointed out Maja Jakobović Vukušić, director of the Požega-Slavonia County Tourist Board.Thus, local tourist boards and receptive tourist agencies of Požega-Slavonia County had a direct opportunity to present all tourist programs, contents and autochthonous stories. Slavonia does not need help, but strategic development, and it is in tourism that great potential lies. The first step is to get to know and experience Slavonia, and to bring tourists in order, so that Slavonia can be sold as a tourist destination with the aim of generating tourist arrivals and overnight stays, and creating tourist consumption that is the basis for better and better tourism development. And travel agencies have an important role in selling and branding destinations. In addition to 198 regular members who provide services of travel agencies and tour operators, UHPA brings together 107 associate members from the hotel industry, transportation, vocational education and other institutions and associations related to tourism. In total, the UHPA logo, as a sign of trust and quality, is found at 456 member outlets.Photo: UHPAAfter visiting only one part of the county, UHPA President Tomislav Fain pointed out that he will definitely have to return to Požega-Slavonia County to be able to see the entire offer. “After these two working days of the visit, all seen, I hope that we will include a part of your offer in the offers of our agencies, try to sell it to our fellow citizens and guests coming from European countries. It’s nice to see it moving forward. The Association of Croatian Travel Agencies works closely with the Ministry of Tourism and the Croatian National Tourist Board. I believe that we, through this joint cooperation, can contribute to the tourism development and promotion of your county. ”  said UHPA President Tomislav Fain.By the way, UHPA has publicly supported the initiative to hold the Days of Croatian Tourism in Slavonia, and announced that the Days of UHPA in 2019 will be held in Slavonia. Also, UHPA President Tomislav Fain promised to hold B2B workshops with travel agencies before the Croatian Tourism Day in Slavonia so that travel agencies can get to know and experience the destination of Slavonia, and the first step has just been made in Požega-Slavonia County.My deep bow and floor-length hat for UHPA. Promised – fulfilled.Related news:TOMISLAV FAIN, UHPA: WE SUPPORT THE INITIATIVE TO HELD TOURISM DAYS IN SLAVONIA AND I ANNOUNCE UHPA DAY 2019 IN SLAVONIAID RIVA TOURS BRINGS THE FIRST GROUP OF GERMAN PEOPLE TO SLAVONIA AND BARANJSANDRA GOBIN, UNILINE: BEFORE SLAVONIA AS A DESTINATION IS A BEAUTIFUL FUTURElast_img read more