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Friday, May 28, 2010

Plenty more reviews at

Books, records, comic books... Here's the link:

Latest entries include record reviews of Crooked Still (yay!) and Radar Brothers (meh), plus a number of fun novels. Check it out.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

No. No. No.

As someone who lived in Pakistan for 10 years, from 1998-2008, it pains me to see that nation acting in breathtakingly stupid ways that only serve to reinforce every negative image that my own country, the US, already has about it. The people of Pakistan deserve much, much better. The latest way in which their country is failing them is by the recent imposition of a ban on Internet sites such as Facebook, Youtube, and many others. Ostensibly this is because of insults to the prophet Mohommad, but really, it's an attempt to control information and people's access to it.

I have a message for the government of Pakistan: Hey guys, this attempt will fail. It always does. It may work for a while, but sooner or later, people will find a way to learn what you don't want them to know, and then, you know what? Your credibility will be shot. (Not that you have a great deal to begin with, but that's a conversation for another day.)

Here's an excellent blog posting by someone named Sabeen, a Karachi native, blogger and more eloquent human being than I am on this issue:

And some more mainstream press coverage of the issue:

Until now, Pakistan's Internet policy, and actually its media policy in general, has been fairly liberal (many international TV channels available, Fox News and al-Jazeera among them, plus many Indian channels that were banned for a short time, then reinstated, international music channels and so on), so this giant step backward into a grasping attempt at totalitarian-style idea control is higely disappointing. Hey guys, if you don't like what people are saying about the prophet... don't listen. Or, have a conversation in which you explain your point of view. Or, get mad and insult them back. Whatever. But you can't close your eyes and stop up your ears and pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist.

On second thought--yeah, you can do that. Just don't presume to force everyone else to do the same thing.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

An interesting (and long) article on the current state of the publishing industry...

...from an April issue of The New Yorker. Touches on Amazon's Kindle, the i-Pad, traditional publishers, the Macmillan/Amazon spat, and quite a bit more. Worth a look if you have the time and interest:

Monday, May 17, 2010

R.I.P., Ronnie James Dio

Dio! What can you say, other than, "Duuuude, that guy can holler?"

Okay, you could probably say other stuff, but still. He could holler.

He also supposedly invented the devil-horn hand symbol thing as the universal hand-rock signage, which is pretty cool, and will earn him forgiveness (from me at least) for using that dumb-ass synth line in "Rainbow in the Dark."

And just in case you have no clue who or what I'm talking about, here's this:

Uzee at HBMF

Here are a couple pics of Uzee reading and signing books in beautiful downtown Honolulu on Sunday, at the Hawaii Book and Music Festival. The crowds were smaller than last year, but the weather was great and a fine time was had by all.

Below: working her mojo on the crowd...

...And keepin' the customers satisfied:

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hawai'i Book and Music Festival!

The 2010 edition of The Hawai'i Book and Music Festival is taking place Saturday and Sunday, May 15 and 16 in downtown Honolulu. It should be fun. Here is the site for info:

Of special note is the lovely and talented Uzma Aslam Khan, who will be appearing at the Author's Pavilion on Sunday from noon to 1 p.m. to sign her books and generally hobnob. She will also be giving away killer bookmarks that were printed up special for the event. Barnes & Noble, who are sponsors of the pavilion, have assured her that copies of her books will be available. Anyone lingering around Honolulu should make plans to stop by this fun and worthwhile event, and say hi to Uzee. (I'll be skulking around nearby, most likely, but you can pretend you don't see me.)

The weather's supposed to be perfect, too. See you there...

Dave Maine, music reviewer

Yo. Check out the unlikely rave review I wrote for an even more unlikely compilation entitled Lagos Disco Inferno over on

...and while you're at it, here are a couple more book reviews from the same site:

All in all, it's a terrific site, well worth a visit and/or bookmarking. They cover movies, DVDs, comics, and all things poppy-cultural as well.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Shirin Neshat an Iranian photographer who takes interesting pictures. Here is my review of a big retrospective book of her work:

I Like her stuff.