Cast your memory back...what were you doing when you were 9 years old? Kicking a football around? Getting lost in a book? Riding a bike? Worrying about the bully at school picking on you? Getting up to mischief?
I'll take a guess that you weren't commuting at night (without an adult) and sleeping rough with thousands of other children in order to stay safe. Or that you were being abducted from your home, after possibly witnessing members of your family murdered; and then forced into an existence as a solider. Being forced to pick up a machete and rifle to kill and maim others. At the age of 9.Where if you try to escape you will either be killed or severely mutilated.
In Northern Uganda, this is a daily reality. To date circa 30,000 children have been abducted and forced into a life of bloodshed and violence. For over 20 years a rebel group called the Lords Resistance Army (LRA) have waged war against the government of Uganda. They are a guerrilla group who are attempting to gain political control and they are responsible for Africa's longest running war.
The LRA are led by a man named Joseph Kony . Using a horrific campaign of violence and bloodshed, the LRA has gained a reputation for extreme brutality against the people of northern Uganda; and in particular the children of the region. Kony's name is enough to inspire absolute terror in Ugandans. Peace Talks have stalled on several occasions due to Kony’s refusal to sign a peace agreement. He is the world’s first individual indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. Some of the images in the following footage are heartbreaking but they need to be watched. I had a physical ache in my chest watching this. Ignorance and silence about the situation will only allow the LRA to continue.
On April 25th in over 100 cities worldwide thousands of people will stand together and speak out. The international community will unite to deliver the innocent from Kony's reign and ensure he is finally brought to justice. Participants will gather in 100 cities across the world to "abduct" themselves and to raise awareness of the situation, which is one of the most neglected humanitarian emergencies in the world today..
There is information on the site about events worldwide and how you can participate. If you can't then spread the word and let others know about it. There are events happening in over 100 cities worldwide: Dublin, Ireland and Vancouver, Canada included. I will be taking part in Vancouver and hope that some of you will participate wherever you may be.
Starfucker is an American indie electronica band that emerged from Portland, Oregon in 2007. Their self-titled debut came out in September 2008 via the Badman Recording Company. Drummer Keli Mitchell has also joined the line up of Josh Hodges, Ryan Biornstad and Shawn Glassford.
After hearing their music in January I was hooked on the fun and slightly tongue in cheek vibe. It's an upbeat and addictive mix of sparkling beats, hypnotic loops and samples that fuse together to create some damn catchy music. The new mini album 'Jupiter' consists of eight infectious songs pasted side by side. It also includes a magical cover of Cyndi Lauper's 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun'.
Jupiter Track list: 1 Medicine 2 Boy Toy 3 Dance Face 2000 4 Bed-Stuy (Super Cop) 5 Biggie Smalls 6 Girls Just Want to Have Fun 7 Jupiter 8 Rawnald Gregory Erickson the Second (Strategy Remix) 9 Boy Toy (Fake Drugs Remix)* 10 Medicine (Copy Remix)*
*Only on the vinyl edition of the album
Shawn Glassford took some time out of a hectic tour schedule to answer questions via email recently:
Green Of Eye: You played SXSW 09 in late march. Can you tell me a bit about that experience?
Shawn Glassford: It was really fun! we saw 69 bands and stayed at a house with really nice people with an amazing dog named Paddington. I bought new shoes and got blisters walking around all day, then lost one somewhere in Austin. It was really overwhelming and tiring, we played a lot but it was worth it. The girls also had a wizard bong and a crystal wolf statue that talked in the night.
GOE: I guess you've been asked this loads but I’m curious as to where the name of the band came from? It's the sort of name that can conjures different images; and each person may have a different take on what it means.
SG: It’s not from the Nine Inch Nails song or the Rolling Stones song. To us it’s just a hilarious concept, sleeping with famous people to gain power or credit.
GOE: The Portland music scene is thriving at the moment and producing some great music. Some of you were in other bands prior to Starfucker, how did you all meet?
SG: We met applying for food stamps.
GOE: What inspired you to make music together and has your music evolved since you first began playing music together? What’s your song writing process as the group?
SG: It started off as a solo project. Now there are four of us and the live show has evolved with that. The sound is the same. Wizard bong - we burn sage and channel the wizard.
GOE: Starfucker are building a strong reputation when it comes to live shows and your music really seems to engage the audience.
SG: We like to have as much fun as possible, even if people don't like the music they can still dance and get down.
GOE: You seem to have a fairly busy/complex set up when playing live, is it a loop station that you use?
Shawn: A loop station, lots of keyboards, pedals, turntable, and the standard set up with drums and guitars.
GOE: Do you find having Keil on drums brings a different energy to the songs?
SG: Keil is a robot and forces us to drink energy drinks! It’s much more hyped and we get to play more instruments to fill it all out.
GOE: I really like the imagery and cover for the new album ‘Jupiter’. Who created it?
SG: Sohale Kevin Darouian of 333 empire. He's rad and our favorite artist in Portland. He did both of our album covers.
GOE: What do you think about downloading music online?
SG: It’s fantastic, we do it all the time.
GOE: Do you find you’re asked the same questions repeatedly in interviews? What would you really like to talk about?
SG: The Muppets take Manhattan album, trashy hardcore, Prince, Cyndi Lauper, Madonna.
GOE: What do you do in your spare time?
SG: Basketball, skateboard, relax, Xbox 360, longmont potion castle, sleep and squat thrusts.
GOE: Who would you like to collaborate/work with musically?
SG: Three 6 Mafia, Recess Time, Guidance Counselor, Dykeritz, Lil Wayne.
GOE: Influences outside of music?
SG: Death, sex, technology
GOE: What does the next 12 months hold for Starfucker?
SG: Hopefully Europe, Japan and new songs.
The new mini album 'Jupiter' is due for release on May 5th. Currently touring with Guidance Counselor, Starfucker will be bringing the The Media Club, Vancouver on April 9th. For full details on the North American tour check out the following links.These guys deserve to be
"Have you ever lost yourself in a kiss? I mean pure psychedelic inebriation. Not just lustful petting but transcendental metamorphosis when you became aware that the greatness of this being was breathing into you. Licking the sides and corners of your mouth, like sealing a thousand fleshy envelopes filled with the essence of your passionate being and then opened by the same mouth and delivered back to you, over and over again - the first kiss of the rest of your life.
A kiss that confirms that the universe is aligned, that the world's greatest resource is love, and maybe even that God is a woman. With or without a belief in God, all kisses are metaphors decipherable by allocations of time, circumstance, and understanding"
L’inconnue de la seine is a story that captured my imagination. L’inconnue de la seine translates as “the unknown woman of the Seine”. A young woman was pulled from the Seine river, Paris in the late 1880’s. A suicide was suspected as her body showed no signs of trauma or violence. She was taken to the Paris morgue where unclaimed bodies were displayed for the public to view, in an attempt to establish their identity.
At that time it was located behind Notre-Dame and was a popular draw for people until it’s closure in 1907. It attracted thousands of visitors daily, despite being a slightly morbid form of entertainment. It is unknown if L’inconnue was publicly exhibited at the morgue.
An assistant at the morgue was struck by her beatific smile and graceful beauty, her appearance so peaceful and serene it was almost as if she were asleep. He decided to have a plaster cast death mask made of her face. Death masks were made of plaster or wax. They were common as mementoes of the dead or for use in the creation of portraits. Her face, with a smile that suggests that she died in a moment of bliss, became a popular mask in French and German bohemian homes .The mask which was a popular objet d’art inspired many works of art and literature. Camus called her ‘the drowned Mona Lisa’ and she was mentioned by Nabokov and Rilke amongst others.
Nowadays with modern techniques and science people argue that the story was fabricated and that the drowned woman never existed. A body taken from a river would not have had such clear and unbloated feature, and it was more likely that the mask was cast from the face of a young woman. According to other accounts, the mask was taken from the daughter of a mask manufacturer in Germany. The identity of the girl was never discovered.
The moulder who took the cast of the face was believed to be based at the Lorenzi family model-making firm. Claire Forestier, a member of the Lorenzi family, believes that the model was not dead when the cast was taken. She works in the family modelling workshop, and says that a dead body from a river would not have such clear features. She estimated the age of the model at no more than 16, given the firmness of the skin.
Regardless of what really happened her image inspired many and it has also saved the lives of countless others. Her face was used for the first CPR dummies 'Rescue Annie' and is perhaps the most kissed face of all time.
The Lives Of Others is a group blog project where anyone can post the stuff they can't discuss with family or friends or post on their own sites. Think Post Secret but with more words! "Many Voices,One Mouth". Featuring some absolutely moving, shocking and fascinating posts that cover an array of topics such as sexuality, relationships, alcohol and drug abuse, jobs etc. Reading some of the enteries has lead me to believe that reality is often stranger than fiction.
It allows participants to post freely and anonymously on the most intimate subjects in their lives. To submit fill in your post and it will appear the next time a batch is moderated (Nothing racist, sexist or defamatory folks!). The system is completely anonymous - All that can be seen is the title and the text of your post, everything else is untraceable.