The Ex-Mayor Of moe.down Recounts This Year’s Top moe.ments

first_imgSATURDAYmoe.’s day set has traditionally been all about the next generation. The Kids Tent All-Stars once again made an appearance, though now some of the children have grown up enough to take their place alongside the adults on actual, non-inflatable instruments. Check out the next generation of rockers as the proudly proclaim the “We are” Bleow:“Spine Of A Dog>Buster”“We Are”Directly after moe.’s day set, one of the best sights of the weekend wasn’t on any stage, it was on the mud slicked hills and foot path. A ton of hay was delivered to help solidify the grounds, and after a plea from moe. for volunteers to help spread it over, hundreds of fans swarmed the pile and quickly had the field on the path to recovery.Blackberry SmokeAtlanta, Georgia’s southern rock rising stars Blackberry Smoke are being talked about as the next big thing in a genre in need of fresh blood. Check out highlights from their stellar set below:Blackberry Smoke, “Ought To Know”Blackberry Smoke, “Six Ways to Sunday>Good One Comin’”Blackberry Smoke, “Sleeping Dogs Lie>Come Together>Sleeping Dogs Lie”moe. Night SetAnother night set saw another round of incredible visitors. Long time friends Fishbone came back out to help moe. get nice and funky, while Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr brought a southern rock swagger to an epic “Opium” before Otto Schrang from The Mike Dillon Band took “Recreation Chemistry” to new places with his stellar visit to Loughlin’s percussion, “Freddies Dead” With Fishbonemoe., “Opium” with Charlie Starrmoe., “Recreational Chemistry” with Otto Schrang SUNDAYThe last day featured some of the wildest variances in music, as the anarchic Mike Dillon was followed by the Americana stylings of Railroad Earth. Both acts have worked with moe. in the past and show the dynamic diversity the band is capable of. If you can comfortably go from punk rock lunacy to string salutes to mother earth, it is safe to say you can pretty much do anything musically.The Mike Dillon BandMike Dillon welcomed moe.’s Jim Loughlin for some intense mallet madness during his day opening set in the tent. Check out some of the furious percussion below:Mike Dillon Band, “Insanity” with Jim LoughlinTwiddleVermont’s beloved Twiddle won themselves new fans and delighted their faithful with one of the strongest sets of the weekend. Check out some of the love below:Twiddle, “Polluted Beauty”Twiddle, “Orlando’s”Twiddle, “The Fantastic Tale of Ricky Snickle”moe.When you have been doing the whole “traveling rock star” thing for 27 years, the chances your memoe.ry might get a little hazy are increased exponentially over the standard deterioration brought on by simple aging. That said, the brain freeze suffered by bassist Derhak during the tune “New York City” in the clip below is likely one of the most epic suffered on a stage this year. Anytime you are forced to Google your own lyrics during a track, you have to worry you may have a problem. I’m chalking this one up to an early morning Lacrosse pick up match he participated in with the fans though…those games can get kind of, “Crab Eyes>New York City”Before the band could return for their second set there was one vitally important task to be taken care of…the election of the next “mayor of moe.down.” As I mentioned earlier, for the last three years I have had the honor of serving as the vital link between the fans and the band. It’s one of the highest positions of power in the festival world, and I have striven to uphold this lofty audience. Though I was more than happy to finally relinquish the title, some sneaky soul snuck me onto the ballot at the last minute.I could go on and on about the reasons I spent so much time, energy and mental health seeking the office and serving, but in the end it was all about love. The love I feel, the energy I get from the band’s music, the smiles and blissful expressions of my fellow .rons, the hard work put in by the most dedicated crew in the business…it all comes from the same place. Whatever it is in the combination of the five members of moe., their instruments and gear, and a shit ton of electricity that makes my very soul smile, I know that it was easily the smartest thing I ever did, running for and winning my coveted title.The mayoral election is different than most,  as it is not limited to humans. Heck, I lost to persons, places and even things in my years pursing the office. After multiple rounds of voting, at long last a new mayor was crowned…bass player Derhak’s…uhm…”.bulge.” I want to congratulate the .bulge on running such a stiffly competitive race. I for one am proud to be followed by as impressive a candidate as the .bulge, though hopefully not to closely. Check out the fun of the election hi-jinks below:“Election”moe., “Mexico” with Mihali Savoulidis & Ryan DempseyThe weekend ended with a bang, thanks to the fireworks that marked the finale with a suitable element of finality. We had all been scared that our beloved weekend getaway with moe. might not ever return, and now, at last, we were all experiencing the warm after glow of the return. The music moe. made over the weekend was exactly the reason why we had all been so saddened by the temporary hiatus. In fact, the incredible skill, dexterity, and passion moe. showed over the 7 sets they played, rain or shine, provided a perfect example of why we all fell in love with the band in the first place.Few bands manage to last as long as moe. has, and fewer still remain as vital and as relevant. The secret seems to be the band’s willingness to evolve and to never take themselves too seriously. Humor has always been a strong component in the band’s sound and it has been said that laughter is the best medicine. As long as there are sources of joy from the music of moe. in our lives, it is obvious that we can make it through any dark times until the sun shines once again.Oh, and if you enjoyed the melding of moe. and Twiddle then don’t forget the upcoming Colorado run that will feature three epic nights of music from the two bands at the Boulder Theater and Red Rocks! After a two year hiatus, the moe.down music festival returned with seven blistering sets from jam band icons moe. along with stellar support from Fishbone, Railroad Earth, Twiddle, Kung Fu, Mike Dillon and more. The mountainous back drop of the Snow Ridge Ski Resort was echoing with the sounds of soaring guitar jams, wild percussive freakouts, and most importantly, the heartfelt cheers of an elated fanbase. More than anything else, moe.down is about family, or….we’re a very punny bunch.When I write the word “We” in the context of moe. fans, or moe.rons as we are more generally known, I mean that in the most sincerely personal way. If you’re looking for an unbiased and journalistic review I’m afraid you are out of luck because I am probably the most biased reviewer this event could possibly have. I love moe.down so much I spent five years of my life trying to capture it’s highly coveted “Mayoral” office–and then spent the last three years doing my best to see it return. My name is Rex Thomson and I’m addicted to moe.Hear Ye, moe.rons: An Open Letter From The Mayor Of moe.down In The Twilight Of His Termmoe.down was founded on a fairly simple premise: a small festival dedicated to the band’s hardcore fans and their love of moe. and music in general. If music is emotionally-installed, then the music these moe.rons hear translates to pure joy in their hearts and minds. I know that when the guitar duo of Chuck Garvey and Al Schnier are weaving their slinky guitar lines, or Jim Loughlin and Vinnie Amico are twisting and turning the beats in on themselves, or Rob Derhak is slapping his bass with his trademark manic intensity, the rest of the world falls away and I am lost in a world of pure sonic bliss.Of course, after being forced to wait two extra years for our return to Turin, New York and the mayhem on the mountain, this year felt especially new. After such a long build up, thousands poured into the small ski resort, gleefully ignoring the rain showers that were forecast and were, indeed, falling intermittently already. The early arrivers showed the first sparks of what was to be a weekend-long parade of the cooperative community by helping cars get through the mud to get everyone in safely. Neighbors helped pound in tent stakes and stretch tarps to prepare for a wet and wild weekend with wide smiles and hearty laughs.FRIDAYThe approach to the main stage was slippery, and as fans slid their way in to watch sets in the tent from bands like Hayley Jane and the Primates and Kung Fu, it was easy to see who had started their party early by the amount of mud on their backsides. As moe. guitarist Schnier brought his side band Al & The TransAmericans to the main stage, most everyone had made it in and the front of the stage was full of emotional reunions and heartfelt hugs as people from far and wide came together again to bask in the music being made. Even the sun popped back out to give the audience a much needed chance to warm up for a long night to come.Al & The TransAmericans, “Everything Here”Al & The TransAmericans, “Guitar”Al & The TransAmericans, “Ain’t Wastin Time No More”moe.One of the best parts of any moe.down is the unique collaborations that come from it. moe. hand selects their lineup with purpose. The musicians they invite to share the stages are friends and people whose work they also enjoy, and the spirit that comes from that mutual admiration infects everything that goes on during, “The Chain” with Ryan Montbleau, Haley Jane & Kirk Juhasmoe., “San Bernadino” with Kung Fu’s Tim Palmieri, Beau Sasser and Robert Somerville moe., “Billy Goat”moe. returned to the stage for a special night one treat, a five song acoustic-tinged encore that featured a mix of covers and classics. Check out a couple of tunes from their final Friday moe.ments below:moe., “Raise A Glass”moe., “Blister In The Sun”last_img read more

Citizen spies, spied-on citizens

first_img Prague 1984 Exhibition material quoting official documents: “Photographic documentation must give us a clear and precise picture of actualities which have a causal relationship to the subject …” Prague 1977 These never-before-seen photographs and films of “subjects of interest” were taken secretly during the “normalization” era of hard-line socialist entrenchment after the 1968 Soviet-led occupation of Czechoslovakia, according to the exhibition notes. The photos are unsettling, depicting years of humdrum, everyday life framed through the lenses of unendingly suspicious watchdogs.“Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police,” at Harvard through Dec. 21, is an exhibit of spooky images from the 1970s and 1980s. They depict the “normalization” period in Czechoslovakia, an intensely repressive interval between the Soviet-led crackdown in 1968 and the collapse of Communist rule in 1989.The exhibit, at the Center for Government and International Studies, consists mostly of banner-size photos and text cards translated from Czech.There are also six minutes of looped video. In one scene, filmed with a hidden camera, a man simply eats an apple. “From now on, when I eat an apple, I’m going to be watchful,” said Mark Kramer, a fellow and director of the Harvard Project on Cold War Studies, part of the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.The Czech secret police went to great lengths to keep track of people “who were perfectly innocuous,” he said. “These weren’t terrorists. They weren’t dangers to the state.”The images, grainy and haunting, capture the dreary period known as “dumpling socialism,” a term of ironic nostalgia for Czech Communists. “The Prague we see,” reads the exhibit catalog, “is full of scaffolding, peeling facades, and socialist-era cars with two-stroke engines.”The exhibit is from the Institute of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague, where a related Security Services Archive opened last year. The show’s first U.S. stop was the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C. Its second is Harvard.Kramer has worked extensively in the Czech police archive. Stored end to end in file cabinets, he estimates, are more than 30 miles of documents. Czech authorities say it will take a decade to digitize all of that paper, microfiche, film, and photography.Similar archives are open to the public in most former nations of the Soviet-controlled Eastern Bloc. But the Czech archive, established by law, is the freest and most accessible, said Jiri Ellinger, first secretary and head of the political section at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C. At Harvard, he spoke at an opening reception Nov. 15 to a crowd of about 150. Prague 1977 “Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police” introduces the visual products of the activities of a special unit of the Communist secret police (Státní bezpečnost, or StB) – the Surveillance Directorate of the Interior Ministry – which carried out surveillance of Czechs, Slovaks, and foreigners whom the Communist regime deemed hostile or suspicious in any way. Prague 1978 One of the exhibition’s aims is to show those who never experienced life in a Communist dictatorship what the secret police actually did at the behest of Czechoslovakia’s Communist regime. Prague 1978 The secret shadowing of designated people was carried out by about 200 policemen. Photos courtesy of the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Prague Prague 1985 Camouflaging a Nikon camera was difficult. Servicemen installed the Nikon next to the radiator of a car and devised a vent for picture taking on the front grille. The driver controlled the camera, notes the book “Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police.” Prague 1985 The camera was hidden under a coat, in a suitcase, or in a handbag. The Communist secret police would release the shutter at moments when they felt the subject was in front of the hidden lens. Prague 1985 The officers’ most commonly used exposure time was 1/125 of a second and often even 1/60 of a second. ‘Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police’ Prague 1984 A one-of-a-kind exhibition of photographs and films taken by the surveillance unit of the Czechoslovak secret police in the 1970s and 1980s, “Prague Through the Lens of the Secret Police,” is on display at Harvard’s Center for Government and International Studies through Dec. 21. This is the second stop in the exhibition’s U.S. tour. This is not an art exhibit, though the photos have “a peculiar charm,” said Ellinger. “Rather than enjoy it, I would ask you to think about it.”The people in the pictures could not speak, read, or gather freely, he said. And the people taking the pictures thought of citizen surveillance as normal.Still, the black-and-white photos, tilted and blurry, carry the unmistakable, if accidental, imprint of art. “An important work of art,” admits the catalog, “can also sometimes be created by people of whom it would not have been expected.”The exhibit begs the questions: Who were these unintentional artists, whose photos can move onlookers years later? Who were these secret-police officials, whose naïve pictures — taken without aid of the human eye from satchels and pockets — evoke so vividly the drab Prague of the Communist era?In 1948, when Czechoslovakia became a Communist state, there were 14 men in a special police unit who were spying on citizens. They had only one camera. By 1989, just before the Velvet Revolution transformed the Czech Socialist Republic into a democracy, 795 men and women were in the Surveillance Directorate of the State Security Service.These domestic spies embraced a James Bond modernity. They used many cameras — concealed in tobacco pouches, purses, briefcases, transistor radios, lighters, and on engine blocks (for mobile surveillance). They mounted Sony television cameras in parked cars and in a baby carriage wheeled around by operatives posing as married couples. They ran up tabs for meals and beer. All was carefully archived, including deadpan written reports that read like postmodern fiction.One began: “ALI was caught at the train station hall while perusing the arrival board. ALI was bareheaded, dressed in a white-striped outfit and white shoes. She was carrying a white plastic bag and a brown purse. Afterwards …”Haviland Smith, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s station chief in Prague from 1958 to 1960, attended the opening. He called surveillance “an expression of the regime’s desire to stay in power — nothing more, nothing less.”Surveillance was often layered, professional, and constant.It could be comical too. Shortly after arriving at a Prague hotel, Smith’s wife complained how there was only one towel in their room. “Within two minutes,” he said, “there was a knock on the door, and the maid stood there with an armful of towels.”By 1989, police spies had amassed more than 7,000 files on civilians. They gave their operations code names with novelistic resonance, including Rome, Tennis Player, Bula, and Condor. They nicknamed their surveillance subjects with similar verve: Alice 83, Smoke, Typist, and Aloe, for instance.Producer 1, tailed from 1982 to 1989, was filmmaker Milos Forman. Doctor A — bespectacled, bearded, and on crutches in the exhibit photos — was Zdenek Pinc, a Prague professor of ancient philosophy.“He was dangerous to the regime,” as were his beloved philosophers from 2,000 years ago, said Ellinger, because “he wanted to study and think freely.”The Czech archive is important for more than Cold War scholarship, and “has immense value on the personal level,” said Ellinger, who was 15 at the time of the Velvet Revolution in 1989. “To know exactly what happened is the first step toward healing.”last_img read more

Berger to Congress: Merchants’ EMV ploy is smoke and mirrors

first_img 5SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger told congressional leaders Thursday that merchants and other retailer groups are intentionally detracting from important data security issues by asking for a delay in the EMV liability shift as they wage a “smoke-and-mirrors campaign on ‘chip and PIN.’”The Food Marketing Institute is asking major credit card networks for a delay in the EMV liability shift, now set for October, due to “significant investments of both time and money” and the increased time it will take consumers to move through checkout lines with this new technology. Berger said such arguments by FMI and other merchant and retailer groups just distract from the issues at hand, “including stringent data safekeeping.” Berger wrote to leaders of the House and Senate.FMI’s request is “remarkable,” he wrote, given the growing number of merchant data breaches and lawmakers’ and regulators’ intense interest in this issue. He also reiterated findings of a NAFCU Economic & CU Monitor survey showing credit unions spent, on average, $226,000 and 1,600 hours last year on debit and credit card fraud issues arising from retailer data breaches.The conversation about EMV is important, Berger said, and merchants and retailers need to do their part. “Congress must act to ensure technology standards are accompanied by strong data safekeeping standards for merchants and retailers akin to what credit unions comply with under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA),” he urged. continue reading »last_img read more

WI unchanged for pivotal Oval clash

first_imgBRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – West Indies selectors have retained faith in the same 13-man squad for the second Test against Pakistan starting here tomorrow, despite their drubbing in the opening match in Kingston.The Caribbean side under-performed with the bat to plunge to a seven-wicket defeat, 20 minutes after lunch on last Monday’s final day at Sabina Park.West Indies entered the contest with a greenhorn batting line-up which included Vishal Singh and Shimron Hetmyer on debut but selectors have opted against changes and will enter the critical game at Kensington Oval with the same squad.Vishal and Hetmyer failed in both innings along with Shai Hope and usually dependable opener Kraigg Brathwaite but rookies Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich both managed half-centuries.Another defeat for West Indies in the upcoming match will hand Pakistan their first-ever Test series win in the Caribbean.West Indies arrived here late Wednesday and trained on Thursday and yesterday, as head coach Stuart Law brushed up on final preparations for the game.The hosts won their last Test at the venue two years ago when they defeated England by five wickets inside three days.SQUAD – Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Vishal Singh, Shane Dowrich, Shai Hope, Jermaine Blackwood, Shannon Gabriel, Devendra Bishoo, Alzarri Joseph, Miguel Cummins.last_img read more