Music: Mercy Brown’s “Fifteen Songs from Missing Children”

I’ve been meaning for a couple of weeks to write some kind of review of Mercy Brown‘s Fifteen Songs from Missing Children, but I am crap at describing music. I never even know what genre something is, let alone how to describe whatever I like about it (exception being musicals, which I have no difficulty reviewing). This is why when I do posts of song downloads, my descriptions and recommendations tend to be something like “This song is great. Listen to it, or else.”

This band is great. Listen to them, or else.

I think it I had to pick a genre description out of the air, I’d call it something like “melodic indie rock”. With a wide dark streak.

There’s always a risk, when buying a CD from someone you know, that you’ll think it’s a bit mediocre and will have to search for polite things to say, so I was glad I liked it from the first few bars of the first track. In fact the first few bars of quite a few of the songs already give me shivers. If I was any good at music reviews, I’d list various other artists whom I hear the influence of, but I’m not. Although I will say that they’re varied… One of the keyboard lines on “Secret Phrases” reminds me a bit of The Doors, other songs send me off into a trancy state, just closing my eyes and nodding along. A couple of the tracks have already been added to my “favourite songs” mix. Which means that if my Last.fm plugin and iTunes would actually work at the same time, they’d be shooting up the rankings on my chart.

Oh, and the lead singer has quite the sexy voice.

Mercy Brown’s Website

Mercy Brown on Last.fm

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US and freedom of press

Bush camp attacks newspaper ‘treason’

George Bush and Dick Cheney are calling The New York Times a disgrace, Republican congressmen say it is guilty of treason and demand the prosecution of the Editor, while a right-wing radio presenter suggests most of its readers must be ‘jihadists’. … Republicans in the House of Representatives prepared to table a motion yesterday condemning the newspaper.

You know what I find amusing? The Daily Telegraph, the UK’s most conservative non-tabloid newspaper, has some deal with The New York Times where they include a 4 page sampler issue of the NYT once a month – some news articles, and the opinion articles. To the thoroughly conservative Telegraph, the NYT’s shocking liberalism is apparently a lot less clear and obvious than it is to US readers.

Maybe it’s something to do with the fact that there are actually some genuinely vaguely liberal/left-wing newspapers in the UK, so we know how to tell the difference a bit better.

Claim the Earth game

Claim the Earth via Google Maps

Surprisingly addictive… it's a game where you can claim as many spots on the planet, zooming in to greater or lesser detail depending on the areas (I got in close enough to take Buckingham Palace in London). The value of your property rises depending how many people look at the area, and whether your property is one of the five closest to where they're looking. The idea is that if it gets popular enough, people might actually trade the locations for cash (as advertising space, for example), but for now it's just a fun way to improve your world geography.

See you by Stonehenge!

More on LiveJournal abuse

Popular Blogging Site Restricts Use of Breastfeeding Photos:LiveJournal cites images as 'inappropriate' and sends mothers to the virtual restroom.

Wednesday, May 31st, 2006 – Women on the popular blog site LiveJournal are calling foul at the company’s decision to brand images of breastfeeding as ‘inappropriate.’ Many users of the site have joined together to urge LiveJournal’s parent company SixApart to address their concerns and reevaluate the policy. [ More Info ]

From LJabuse.blogspot.com

Plus Nurse In and Protest.

And I'm still waiting for an answer to my question.

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Six Apart and LiveJournal abuse

Bloggers call on Six Apart to fix problems with LiveJournal's volunteer abuse team.

Exposing LJ Abuse details many of the problems with the unprofessional, unpredictable, and irrational behavior of the abuse team.

Petition and email campaign this weekend  Demand that Six Apart listen to their customers! 

Six Apart and LiveJournal Abuse

We call on Six Apart to recognize that there are serious problems with the LiveJournal Abuse team which extend beyond any one issue, and to stop dismissing users' feedback and concerns.

Significant and long-term problems have been described with the LJ Abuse team, from inconsistent and contradictory answers to rudeness and refusal to answer users' questions. LiveJournal's poor customer service has attracted attention on numerous blogs, but Six Apart continues to brush it off.

The signers of this petition ask that Six Apart genuinely listens to its customers' concerns and commits to address the issues. They cannot be brushed under the table, and must be dealt with fully and openly.

If I’m not doing anything wrong, then you have no cause to watch me

By Bruce Schneier over on Wired: The Eternal Value of Privacy

The most common retort against privacy advocates — by those in favor of ID checks, cameras, databases, data mining and other wholesale surveillance measures — is this line: "If you aren't doing anything wrong, what do you have to hide?"

Some clever answers: "If I'm not doing anything wrong, then you have no cause to watch me." "Because the government gets to define what's wrong, and they keep changing the definition." "Because you might do something wrong with my information." My problem with quips like these — as right as they are — is that they accept the premise that privacy is about hiding a wrong. It's not. Privacy is an inherent human right, and a requirement for maintaining the human condition with dignity and respect.

Additionally, did you know that Google keeps your deleted emails?

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The real cdaae!

Actually I got this blog because I needed the API key, but I may as well give it some links.

Peter Karrie updates blog

A Peter Karrie Fan Page

Exposing LJ Abuse

Masquerade Mask Arts icons