Browsing articles from "October, 2017"

The Call-In: Workplace Sexual Harassment

Oct 22, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on The Call-In: Workplace Sexual Harassment

This week on The Call-In, we’re talking about sexual harassment in the workplace. We hear from Chai Feldblum, commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Author Recognizes Ordinary Africans Fighting Extremism

Oct 22, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Author Recognizes Ordinary Africans Fighting Extremism

NPR’s Melissa Block talks to Alexis Okeowo author of A Moonless, Starless Sky. Among the stories, a Somali girl defies al-Shabab and plays basketball, and a Mauritanian man campaigns against slavery.

Blending Techno And Tradition: You Should Be Dancing … With Sake

Oct 22, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Blending Techno And Tradition: You Should Be Dancing … With Sake

Electronic musician Richie Hawtin’s travels to Japan made a deep impression on him: “I found a country filled with beautiful contrasts which balanced high technology and deep cultural traditions.”

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Electronic musician Richie Hawtin’s travels to Japan made a deep impression on him: “I found a country filled with beautiful contrasts which balanced high technology and deep cultural traditions.”

Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for Coachella

If techno makes you think of pulsating music and mood-altering illegal drugs in sweaty nightclubs, and if sake conjures up notions of scalding hot liquor in tiny cups that are impossible to hold, then international DJ and electronic music artist Richie Hawtin would like to change those perceptions. It’s not that either is incorrect, it’s just that he believes electronic music and sake have far more in common than you might think — and may even enhance the experience of one another.

“I first traveled to Japan in 1994 and, upon landing, the culture immediately made a deep impression on me,” says Hawtin. “I found a country filled with beautiful contrasts which balanced high technology and deep cultural traditions.”

It’s a correlation — that marriage of past and present — that would be naturally intriguing to the British-born Hawtin, who recorded for many years under the name Plastikman and is considered a pioneer of minimalist electronic music characterized by alternating quantities of moodiness, melody and monotony, and combining classical concepts with modern technology.

An Underground Supper Club Where Music Moves The Menu

Growing up primarily in Windsor, Ontario, Hawtin learned about electronica from his dad, a fan of German techno bands like Tangerine Dream and Kraftwerk, then cut his teeth across the river as a DJ in the Detroit club scene in the late 1980s, mixing techno and house music. Hawtin continued to hone his craft in clubs and studios around the world, but it was that early visit to Japan that inspired him to take a deep dive into sake. Initially, the locals laughed at him when he ordered the rice wine, calling it an “old man’s drink” as they ordered beer. Soon enough, however, they became interested in teaching Hawtin about sake’s subtleties.

“I started to learn more of the old customs of pouring for one another,” he recalls, “and with each bottle, I realized how beautifully social sake was in these communal types of experiences.”

Sake is made by a process of brewing rice that has been polished; all rice is brown, but removing 40 percent or more of the husk, bran and germ yields the white interior. The ratios of polishing can allow the brewer to achieve different flavor profiles, from dry to acidic to floral. According to sake expert John Gautner, milling (or polishing) the rice helps to remove unwanted fat, protein and amino acids before fermentation: “This leads to cleaner, more elegant and more refined sake. It also allows more lively aromatics to come about.”

To some, sake might seem somewhat like a beer-wine hybrid: the rice is brewed with yeast, like a beer, but is not carbonated. And like wine, it is aged to allow the flavors to develop. While making sake is a centuries-old craft, new techniques and inventions — like modern rice polishing equipment that can accurately remove certain percentages of a single grain of rice — have allowed for a renaissance in high-quality sake.

Hawtin started to get serious about sake in 2008, when he took a class with Gautner, visiting Japanese breweries to learn about production and participating in extensive tastings of sake’s six different categories: Junmai, Honjozo, Junmai Ginjo, Ginjo, Junmai Daiginjo and Daiginjo. Since then, Hawtin says, “I just followed my own taste and let it take me on countless adventures.”

As his knowledge expanded, Hawtin began to think about how sake connects to music. “Enjoying sake at dinner before a long night out or before one of my sets, I found that sake had the perfect balance of alcohol with little to no additives — which gives a completely different experience and feeling from other drinks,” he says.

Later, taking his obsession to a new level, Hawtin opened a sake bar in Ibiza, Spain, a hotspot for electronic music and international clubbers more associated with copious amounts of vodka than fermented rice beverages. After that sake bar closed in 2015, he launched the Enter.Sake project, in which Hawtin works with traditional brewers to create a signature line of sake, with a goal to help bring more premium sakes into the Western consciousness.

“So many people have had bad experiences with sake,” Hawtin says. “Older, lower-grade sake that found its way out of Japan was presented to us as warmed-up, hot alcohol — which I like to refer to as rocket fuel.” Hawtin’s project focuses on craft sakes, some of which are produced at breweries that date back to the 18th century.

But how does sake relate to electronic music? For Hawtin, it’s the interplay between layers of flavors and music, and how small adjustments — polishing small percentages of a grain of rice or zeroing in on a single beat — can affect the balance of the result.

“I firmly believe that sake resonates at its own unique frequency in a similar way to the electronic music I produce and play,” he says. “Combining these two ingredients is a recipe for a beautifully hypnotic experience.”

Interested in the marriage of techno and sake? Here’s a curated list by Hawtin that brings the two together:

Ben Klock, “Twenty” with Junmai Daiginjo:

Subtle hypnotic repetition in the music complements this top-of-the-line style of sake requiring that at least 50 percent of rice grains are milled, resulting in a sake that is typically soft, fruity and fragrant.

Dubfire, “Ribcage (Adrian Sherwood remix)” with Junmai Nama Genshu:

A mind-altering buildup that pairs with this sake’s earthy, bold flavors and higher alcohol content.

Charlotte de Witte, “Control (Original Mix)” with Honjozo:

Focused intensity that brings out the inherent fragrance found in this drier sake. Honjozo is characterized by the small amount of distilled ethyl alcohol, or “brewer’s alcohol,” which is added during the final stages of production.

Etapp Kyle, “Essay” with Junmai Ginjo:

Melodic intervention sets the tone for this track, making its rhythmic precision play well with the full-bodied Junmai Ginjo, a crowd-pleasing sake.

Kristen Hartke is a D.C.-based food and beverage writer.

Mainland Colleges Offer In-State Tuition To Students Affected By Hurricane Maria

Oct 22, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Mainland Colleges Offer In-State Tuition To Students Affected By Hurricane Maria

mainland education

mainland education

Some universities on the U.S. mainland are offering assistance to students in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean affected by Hurricane Maria. Several schools have gone as far as waiving tuition, others have offered reduced tuition by granting in-state status.

Eighteen-year-old Mariela Serrano arrived in Miami to attend Florida International University a month before Hurricane Maria devastated her home in Puerto Rico. Then, FIU announced it would give students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in-state tuition, extending the offer to current students like Serrano.

After the category four hurricane hit Puerto Rico, Serrano says it took weeks before she could hear her mother’s voice. All the while, having to keep up with school work and exams.

“I couldn’t concentrate. I couldn’t sleep,” she says. “The only thing I could think of was my family’s well being.”

Serrano was relieved when she finally heard from her mother, but because she hasn’t had electricity or water, her business has been devastated — she’s a dentist.

“I have no family here,” Serrano says. “I am [financially] dependent on my mother.”

With FIU’s refund, she says she was able to send about $4,000 back home and she also began working at FIU strong, a hotline for students in the Caribbean affected by the hurricane.

About 200 students have already registered for a fall semester at FIU, says Maydel Santana, a university spokesperson. Santana says the university decided to extend in-state tuition to current students, too, because of hardships at home.

“It’s important that these students don’t stall and that they continue their education,” she says.

In New Orleans, the University of Tulane announced last week it would offer one free semester for Puerto Rican students as a way of “paying it forward,” after Tulane’s students were taken in at other schools after Hurricane Katrina. Tulane will accept applications for the spring semester until Nov. 1. After the first semester, though, tuition and fees for one academic year are around $53,000.

Other schools offering tuition assistance are: 64 campuses of the State University of New York, 17 Connecticut State Colleges Universities, five state and six community colleges in Florida and also the University of Arkansas.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo requested SUNY and City University of New York allow students from Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to continue their college education at the in-state tuition rate.

“This action will alleviate a huge burden for these families as they try to repair and rebuild their lives,” Gov. Cuomo said in a statement, adding “New York will continue to ensure the bright light of opportunity shines on everyone.”

SUNY announced it would follow the governor’s request and CUNY board members will vote Monday on a resolution to allow those students to receive in-state tuition for the 2017-2018 academic year.

Governor of Florida, Rick Scott, asked the same of his state.

State colleges in Florida offering in-state tuition include the University of Florida, University of South Florida, Florida State University, University of Central Florida and Florida International University. Community Colleges in the state have also jumped on board, including: Miami Dade College, Broward College, St. Petersburg College, Valencia College and Seminole State College.

Broward College in Miami and Hillsborough Community College in Tampa have also extended in-state tuition to students affected by Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

Florida State University’s law school has offered a visiting status for 18 law students from Puerto Rico. The status allows the students to pay FSU Law school the amount they would have paid at their home institutions.

“This scholarship is also offered to citizens from other Caribbean countries that were severely impacted, including the Dominican Republic, St. Maarten and Bermuda,” says FSU spokesperson Susan Hansen.

University of Florida is also giving 1,000 students access to online courses for the next two semesters at no charge, says UF spokesperson Steve Orlando.

Once those semesters are completed, those students can decide to transfer to UF’s campus and continue to pay UF’s Online tuition.

The application date to apply for UF has also been extended to Nov. 15 because much of the island still has no power, making it difficult for students to send in applications and transcripts.

Miami Dade College is also delaying transcript requirements for students, says spokesperson Juan Mendieta.

“The important thing is that they enroll,” he says. “We’re gonna continue this program for Puerto Rican students until the island is back on its feet.”

Students can also obtain in-state status through families, says Valencia College spokesperson Linda Beaty. She says the community college is being flexible in delayed transcripts. “It may be impossible to expect them to come up with an official transcript in a month or two,” she says.

“We’re anticipating the bulk of them starting in Spring,” Beaty says, talking about perspective students. “In the summer, we will be able to determine if there is an ongoing need that the college can continue to support by extending the in-state tuition offer.”

Additional Help

Miami Dade College asks that students from Puerto Rico who were displaced by Hurricane Maria to call 305-237-8888.

Florida International University has created a help line for students, 305-348-3481, and a website to help answer questions.

To apply for UF Online courses and for more information, go to https://registrar.ufl.edu/displaced-students

Close Encounters With Congress?

Oct 21, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Close Encounters With Congress?

The Apollo 11 space module floating above the Moon.

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The Apollo 11 space module floating above the Moon.

Keystone/Getty Images

A congressional candidate in Florida drew a little ridicule this week.

Bettina Rodriguez Aguilera, who is one of three Republicans and eight Democrats running in Florida’s 27th congressional district, has said that she was taken aboard a spaceship when she was seven years old.

She does not mean at Disney World.

“I went in,” she says in a 2009 Spanish language interview that appeared on YouTube this week. “There were some round seats that were there, and some quartz rocks that controlled the ship, not like airplanes.

No indeed. On airplanes these days, you have to pay extra for quartz rocks.

Ms. Aguilera says she met three beings aboard the ship, two women and a man, all blond and tall, which sounds a little like the Swedish pop group ABBA. She says their arms were outstretched, like the Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks Rio, and that the beings have communicated with her ever since, telepathically.

Well, that way you avoid roaming charges.

When the Miami Herald called the candidate for a statement, Ms. Aguilera replied that a couple of former presidents have claimed to see UFOs and, “I join the majority of Americans who believe that there must be intelligent life in the billions of planets and galaxies in the universe.”

In fact, a 2012 poll by National Geographic and Kelton Research says 36% of Americans believe UFOs exist. 11% say they’ve seen a UFO.

Of course, Ms. Aguilera says she’s been aboard a UFO and bantered with the crew, which is a little more involved than just say you once saw something unidentifiable glow in the sky.

I’m actually impressed that a candidate would acknowledge her contacts with extraterrestrial beings.

Many voters say they want candidates from outside the Washington D.C. bubble. You don’t get more outside of that bubble than another planet.

A candidate who declares extraterrestrial connections is only being transparent, to use a buzzword of our times. Voters have a right to know: Do the extraterrestrial beings have Political Action Committees? Are there extraterrestrial lobbyists? Do they play golf at a Trump National Golf Club? Are they interested in a free trade agreement with Earth, or do they believe in Alpha Centauri First policies?

I’m also concerned the candidate says aliens visited Earth when she was seven, but haven’t been back. Does that mean they came to earth in search of intelligent life, but said, “Maybe we better just keep looking?”

California Wildfires Have Disrupted School For A Quarter Of A Million Students

Oct 21, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on California Wildfires Have Disrupted School For A Quarter Of A Million Students

Aerial image of homes that were destroyed by a wildfire next to a playground in Santa Rosa. Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017.

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Aerial image of homes that were destroyed by a wildfire next to a playground in Santa Rosa. Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017.

Nick Giblin/AP

The wildfires in Northern California cut across a wide swath of the state — including dozens of school districts, hundreds of schools and hundreds of thousands of students. At one point, classes were cancelled for 260,000 students in 600 schools.

And while schools are slowly coming back on line, there remain many schools that may not resume classes for days or even weeks.

It’s the latest in a series of crises around the country — including hurricanes in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico — that have left millions of children, teachers and parents scrambling both to resume teaching and learning and to confront the emotion and trauma disasters like these can leave in the minds of children.

Puerto Rican Students Head To The Mainland For School

In California, the fires have created a unique set of challenges for schools. In addition to the disruption and trauma, there is the potential health risks of smoke and air quality and damage to school structures. Before children can return, many schools face a costly and lengthy process of “remediation” to ensure that the buildings are safe and the air is clean.

Sonoma County was hit particularly hard. There, flames leveled almost 7,000 structures – mostly homes. In the county seat, Santa Rosa, one school and one educational farm site were completely destroyed.

About a dozen other schools were in the burn zone and suffered major damage. Steve Herrington, the Sonoma County superintendent, said about 180 schools were closed between Oct. 9 and Oct. 13. Most have since reopened.

About 400 students and 200 staff members have reported losing their homes, he added. The number is almost certainly higher, he explained, because the full extent of the damage won’t be known until all schools are up and running.

A School For Kids With Autism Copes With Fire's Physical And Emotional Damage

As the school year resumes, “there will be a real need to address the trauma and long-term displacement that so many of our students, their families and their teachers have experienced,” Herrington said.

Around the affected region, schools and communities are working to ensure that students have the things they need to come back to school – clothing, backpacks, school supplies, hygiene kits, bicycles and, crucially, access to trauma-informed care and counseling.

Even where the fires were suppressed relatively quickly, fears about their lingering effects remain. In Lake County, 2,207 acres burned. And while the fires are mostly contained and evacuation orders have been lifted, educators are working to help students with the healing process.

Two school districts in the county were shut down last week, but most are now reopened without major structural damage.

Montanans Pitch In To Bring Clean Air To Smoky Classrooms

“One of our main concerns is the poor air quality,” said Jill Ruzicka, communications director at the Lake County Office of Education. And that makes sense, considering that the smoke from the wildfires is equivalent to the pollution created by all of the state’s cars in a year.

In Mendocino County, just north of Sonoma, there was no direct fire damage in any school and every school has reopened. But there’s still a lot of work to be done, says Assistant Superintendent Becky Jeffries.

Almost 100 students lost their homes and several staff members did, too. “This is a disaster that will impact our county for more than two weeks,” she said. “Rebuilding will take years.”

Fresh Air Weekend: Novelist Amy Tan; ‘Death In The Air’; Director Noah Baumbach

Oct 21, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Fresh Air Weekend: Novelist Amy Tan; ‘Death In The Air’; Director Noah Baumbach

A 3-year-old Amy Tan appears with her brother Peter in this 1955 family photo. Peter died in 1967 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Courtesy of Amy Tan


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A 3-year-old Amy Tan appears with her brother Peter in this 1955 family photo. Peter died in 1967 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Courtesy of Amy Tan

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

‘I Am Full Of Contradictions’: Novelist Amy Tan On Fate And Family: In Where the Past Begins, Tan connects her experience with spirituality to that of her parents and grandmother. “I don’t consider myself any religion,” she says. ” … I have an amalgam of beliefs.”

‘Death In The Air’ Revisits 5 Days When London Was Choked By Poisonous Smog: Kate Winkler Dawson’s new book chronicles The Great Smog of 1952, when moist air from the Gulf Stream stalled for days over London, mixing with poisonous gases and causing more than 12,000 deaths.

Noah Baumbach Explores Love, Resentment And Anger In ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’: Baumbach’s new film mixes comedy with deep emotional pain. It revolves around three adult siblings whose father is a self-absorbed sculptor. Baumbach’s previous films include The Squid and the Whale.

You can listen to the original interviews here:

‘I Am Full Of Contradictions’: Novelist Amy Tan On Fate And Family

‘Death In The Air’ Revisits 5 Days When London Was Choked By Poisonous Smog

Noah Baumbach Explores Love, Resentment And Anger In ‘The Meyerowitz Stories’

In Florida, Felons Want Their Voting Rights Restored Automatically

Oct 21, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on In Florida, Felons Want Their Voting Rights Restored Automatically

Florida law permanently strips felons of the right to vote and other civil rights, including serving on a jury, running for public office and sitting for the state bar exam.

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Florida law permanently strips felons of the right to vote and other civil rights, including serving on a jury, running for public office and sitting for the state bar exam.

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On most days from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Mary Grimes can be found pacing along a crowded street in Orlando, Fla., with clipboards in both hands.

“Can I have five minutes of your time?” the 58-year-old says to a parade of passers-by. Those who are in a rush, she quickly wishes well; the others, Grimes directs to a blue and yellow form, reciting her spiel and soliciting a signature from each.

For several months, she has made her living this way. She transforms public parking lots, city parks and sidewalks into a home office from which she urges registered voters to endorse proposed constitutional amendments.

Ex-Felons Fight To Restore Their Right To Vote

But for her, this is more than a way to pay rent.

“This is what I’m really praying for,” she says pointing to a stack of yellow petitions inside her bag one afternoon outside Orlando’s downtown public library.

Thousands of petitions like these are circulating across Florida in an unprecedented grass-roots campaign to restore voting rights to the state’s more than 1.6 million felons who have completed their sentences. This includes Grimes. At 17, she was sent to prison for a burglary. Although she has served her time, Florida law has barred her from participating in municipal and presidential elections for the past 41 years.

According to The Sentencing Project, a voting rights advocacy group, disenfranchisement laws have kept 6.1 million Americans from voting, and Florida is home to the largest concentration of them: 1.68 million, or 27 percent.

Virginia Governor Restores Voting Rights To Felons, Again

Florida’s law permanently strips felons of the right to vote and other civil rights, including serving on a jury, running for public office and sitting for the state bar exam. Similar laws are on the books in Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia. The law requires that felons who have served their time and want their rights restored petition a clemency board consisting of the governor, the attorney general and two Cabinet members in a convoluted and subjective process that could take years.

Florida’s law and its lengthy clemency process, born out of the Reconstruction era, have disproportionately kept African-Americans — many of whom have committed low-level offenses — disenfranchised for decades. Under Florida Gov. Rick Scott, 2,807 people have had their voting rights restored out of more than 29,611 cases the clemency board had reviewed as of Oct. 5.

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Those cases include Desmond Meade, who heads the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. He waited five years for a response from the clemency board and was denied on the grounds that he had petitioned too early.

“This is an issue that has consumed every part of my life,” says Meade, a law school graduate who is ineligible to practice because the law prohibits him from taking the state bar. “I thought that it is better for me to concentrate on changing these policies or finding a different way than to rely on this old policy that says basically that I’m not going to get an opportunity.”

Ten years ago, Meade launched Floridians For A Fair Democracy and the Say Yes to Second Chances campaign with the help of citizen-led initiatives and advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union and the Florida League of Women Voters. Their mission has been to put an end to Florida’s clemency process and automatically restore voting rights to felons who have served their time for nonviolent offenses.

In March, the campaign reached an unprecedented milestone when volunteers gathered the 68,314 signatures required to trigger a review of the proposed constitutional amendment by the Florida Supreme Court. The court unanimously approved the language that will ultimately appear on the ballot and, if voted in, will appear in the Florida Constitution.

Howard Simon, executive director of Florida’s American Civil Liberties Union, was part of the group that helped write the ballot language. The process took nearly a year and a half of researching and framing clear and concise language.

“I feel very good about the fact that even in a politically and ideologically divided Florida Supreme Court, they found the ballot language to be clear and consistent with constitutional principles, and they did so unanimously,” he said. “That, I think, is a big shot in the arm for this movement.”

The next step in the potential overhaul is to submit the required 766,200 signatures before Feb. 1 to be eligible to appear on the midterm election ballots. For the law to pass, 60 percent of voters have to support it. The sheer volume of petitions needed, coupled with the fact that state law prohibits felons from signing petitions, has led the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to solicit help from petition-gathering companies. This approach is similar to past efforts that have led to major overhauls of state law, including the medical marijuana amendment and fair districting.

In the past year, the effort has drawn the attention of celebrities such as musician John Legend, financial contributions from donors across partisan lines and $5 million toward mobilization from the American Civil Liberties Union. For Simon, it is the largest contribution he can remember in his career with the organization.

“This is the unfinished business of the civil rights movement here in Florida,” Simon says. “We are the world’s — not the nation’s — but the world’s epicenter for taking the vote away from people, and I think people have come to recognize more and more that it’s wrong.”

Ahead of the November 2016 presidential election, felons in Florida drew attention to their inability to participate in the process. Since then, support has grown exponentially into what Meade calls “a cornucopia of citizens” impacted by an issue that transcends partisan and racial lines, age and gender.

“We’ve had someone as old as 97 years old collecting petitions, and as young as 9 to 10 years old. We’ve had Latinos, We’ve had whites. We’ve had blacks. We have conservatives. We’ve had progressives. We’ve had independents. We’ve had people who may not even have a political preference but just believe that people should have their ability to vote restored. They’re just coming from all over.”

Block The Vote: A Journalist Discusses Voting Rights And Restrictions

The campaign will continue with days of action across the state, with more than 300 volunteers coming together at churches, in shopping plazas, and even house parties. Then, there are petitioners like Mary Grimes, who will endure the Florida heat in a bandanna and sunglasses and walk from sidewalk to sidewalk to ask passers-by for a minute of their time.

Many will ignore her and some will stop, and she’ll keep going.

“I’m not worried because somebody’s going to listen, you feel me?” she says.

Renata Sago (@RenataSago) is a general assignment reporter for Marketplace.

Chris Stapleton Returns — Already — With ‘Millionaire’

Oct 20, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Chris Stapleton Returns — Already — With ‘Millionaire’

Chris Stapleton’s new album, From A Room: Volume 2, comes out Dec. 1.

Andy Barron/Courtesy of the artist


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Chris Stapleton’s new album, From A Room: Volume 2, comes out Dec. 1.

Andy Barron/Courtesy of the artist

Back in May, Chris Stapleton released the year’s best-selling country album to date in From A Room: Volume 1, the warmly received sequel to his award-bedecked 2015 debut, Traveller. Traveller had already made Stapleton a star, and Volume 1 quickly set the stage for another huge year. Produced with Dave Cobb, the record refined and showcased Stapleton’s gift for making country music indistinguishable from folk, rock and, especially, soul.

It also, given its title, promised a sequel — and now a second Cobb-produced nine-song set, From A Room: Volume 2, will arrive Dec. 1. As you might expect, it’s a natural companion to and extension of its predecessor, with seven original compositions book-ended by a cover of “Friendship” (popularized by Pops Staples) and the album’s immensely ingratiating first single, on which the singer and collaborator/wife Morgane Stapleton cook up a slow-and-easy country-soul take on Kevin Welch’s 2001 song “Millionaire.”

From A Room: Volume 2 tracklist:

1. “Millionaire”
2. “Hard Livin'”
3. “Scarecrow In The Garden”
4. “Nobody’s Lonely Tonight”
5. “Tryin’ To Untangle My Mind”
6. “A Simple Song”
7. “Midnight Train To Memphis”
8. “Drunkard’s Prayer”
9. “Friendship”

William Eggleston’s Secret World Of ‘Musik’

Oct 20, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on William Eggleston’s Secret World Of ‘Musik’

In the art world, William Eggleston is a revered photographer. In the music world, he’s virtually unknown. But now the 78-year-old Memphis native, celebrated for legitimizing color photography in the 1970s, has just released his very first album, simply titled Musik.

The German spelling is an homage to J.S. Bach, one of Eggleston’s heros. And while the new album sounds very little like Bach, Eggleston often makes his 1990s-era Korg synthesizer sound like one of the master’s mighty church organs.

You can get a taste for the album in the short and sweet film by Rick Alverson, which follows Eggleston around his Memphis apartment while his music plays. The artist pads from bedroom to dining room where, hunched over a table laden with oscilloscopes and tube amplifiers, he noodles with his keyboard, creating a retro sound somewhere between Tomita and Tangerine Dream.

He appears to be the very essence of a southern gentleman as he sits on his sofa, lighting a cigarette. But Eggleston’s music reveals a more mischievous side. Like his photography, he locates the beauty in the quotidian. The chords and harmonies may sound mundane, but listen close and hear how some are stretched out of shape into unfamiliar territory.

The film closes with Eggleston at his piano. Like the untitled synthesizer improvisations on Musik, his style is off-the-cuff, with a homespun feel, somehow suggesting the rough-hewn music of Charles Ives.

William Eggleston’s photograph Nashville, Tennessee, from his collection The Democratic Forest.

William Eggleston


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William Eggleston

William Eggleston’s photograph Nashville, Tennessee, from his collection The Democratic Forest.

William Eggleston

In a languid voiceover, Eggleston tries to describe what he’s up to. “I wouldn’t pretend to understand what really makes music,” he states plainly. “It’s so fluid and formless, physically, that we just can’t grab part of it. When one starts to try to do that, one’s trying to speak about something that is not finite.”

He’s right. And for now, Eggleston’s new album will let the “Musik” do the talking.

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