UrbanMix: Street + Gallery
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UrbanMix: street+gallery

UrbanMix looks at a wide range of culture and art found in photography, news media, video, music and science. Like an urban anthropology – the aim is to discover and illuminate the rich creativity present in a variety of cultural venues. Contributors include: Kathryn Spade, Pat McCoy, Kirk Hebert and John Noth. To submit comments or suggestions, send to: artfeature@gmail.com.


COLUMNS:
Word, Logo & Image
Eye on News
Urban Tour
Museums
Artist Spotlight

Apr 20, 2014 2:34pm

Fleetwood Mac – It’s A Beautiful Day, 1969


The 1960’s were not only a time of protest against the Viet Nam war by countless people in both Europe and the United States. It was also a vitally important time to become more aware about one’s self, other, and our shared environment. In so many ways these attitudes link up to 2014, and the belief in determining our own identities. Both respect for others, and freedom were prevalent themes. Freedom in human interactions implied that being with a partner is best understood as a free choice – not mandated convention. Both Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson set the pace through the example of their own lives, and their music. For many people, there are parallels to be seen {and heard} between then and our present time, as we fight to maintain our democracy. Here is one of the band’s most famous consciousness-raising songs, called White Bird.

LISTEN

White Bird

I don’t know why
You think that you could hold me
When you couldn’t get by by yourself
And I don’t know who
Would ever want to tear the seam of someone’s dream
Baby, it’s fine, you said that we should just be friends
Well, I came up with that line and I’m sure
That it’s for the best
If you ever change your mind, don’t hold your breath

'Cause you may not believe, mmm mmm mmm
That baby, I’m relieved, mmm
When you said goodbye, my whole world shined

Hey hey hey
It’s a beautiful day and I can’t stop myself from smiling
If we’re drinking, then I’m buying
And I know there’s no denying
It’s a beautiful day, the sun is up, the music’s playing
And even if it started raining
You won’t hear this boy complaining
'Cause I'm glad that you're the one who got away
It’s a beautiful day

It’s my turn to fly, so girls, get in line
'Cause I'm easy, no playing this guy like a fool
Now I’m alright
Might’ve had me caged before, but not tonight

And you may not believe, mmm mmm
That baby, I’m relieved
This fire inside, it burns too bright
I don’t want to say “so long,” I just want to say “goodbye”

It’s a beautiful day and I can’t stop myself from smiling
If we’re drinking, then I’m buying
And I know there’s no denying
It’s a beautiful day, the sun is up, the music’s playing
And even if it started raining
You won’t hear this boy complaining
'Cause I'm glad that you're the one who got away, mmm mmm

'Cause if you ever think I'll take up
My time with thinking of our break-up
Then you’ve got another thing coming your way
'Cause it's a beautiful day, mmm mmm
Beautiful day, oh, baby, any day that you’re gone away
It’s a beautiful day

Apr 20, 2014 2:33pm

Nicky Egan – Brooklyn Indie, Soul with Fusion Rock

Spent four years in Boston, MA at Berklee College of Music where I received my degree in Contemporary Writing and Production as a vocal principal. While there I met and befriended a bunch of insanely talented and inspiring people who have helped me in finding and continuing the musical journey I’m currently on. 

I released my debut album,’Good People,’ a 12 song LP, that I co-produced with my band-mate and dear friend, Johnny Simon Jr, on January 7, 2011 independently. There are a lot of really special people who both played and worked on the album with me and I’m pretty sure I won’t experience making another album quite like that one.

I’ve seen about 55% of the country touring and playing music, both with my band and bands I’ve played in. Between traveling from show to show and taking pictures on my iphone I’ve been fortunate to meet and/or share the stage with other soul/funk acts like, Charles Neville, Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed, Jesse Dee, The Funky Meters and Nigel Hall – playing in places like The Whisky a Go-Go, World Cafe Live, Brooklyn Bowl, Hotel Cafe, and Bear Creek Music Festival.
I hope to see the rest of the country and travel overseas, playing sweet soul tunes and traveling with people I love for a long time. 

I spent four years in Boston, MA at Berklee College of Music where I received my degree in Contemporary Writing and Production, as a vocal principal. While there I met and befriended a bunch of insanely talented and inspiring people who have helped me in finding and continuing the musical journey I’m currently on. 

I released my debut album,’Good People,’ a 12 song LP, that I co-produced with my band-mate and dear friend, Johnny Simon Jr, on January 7, 2011 independently. There are a lot of really special people who both played and worked on the album with me and I’m pretty sure I won’t experience making another album quite like that one.

I’ve seen about 55% of the country touring and playing music, both with my band and bands I’ve played in. Between traveling from show to show and taking pictures on my iphone I’ve been fortunate to meet and/or share the stage with other soul/funk acts like, Charles Neville, Eli ‘Paperboy’ Reed, Jesse Dee, The Funky Meters and Nigel Hall – playing in places like The Whisky a Go-Go, World Cafe Live, Brooklyn Bowl, Hotel Cafe, and Bear Creek Music Festival.
I hope to see the rest of the country and travel overseas, playing sweet soul tunes and traveling with people I love for a long time. 

PEOPLE WHO’VE INSPIRED ME…

Artists Candi Staton, Janis Joplin, Sarah Vaughn, Etta James, Otis Redding, Norah Jones, Bonnie Raitt, Joni Mitchell, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and Dan Auerbach.

Apr 20, 2014 2:29pm

SPIRIT – Nature’s Way, 1970

One of Spirit’s best-known songs, “Nature’s Way” provided the band with their last Top 40 hit single. It takes aim at the fact Northern California was certainly not immune to ecological nightmares. The song is driven by a positively gorgeous folk-jazz melody; its bittersweet  beauty is easily apparent upon first listen.

Spirit was an American jazz/hard rock/progressive rock/psychedelic band founded in 1967, based in Los Angeles, California. Their most commercially successful single in the US was “I Got A Line On You”, but they were at least as well known for their other albums such as, “The Family That Plays Together,” “Clear,” and “Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus.”



The group’s first album, Spirit, was released in 1968. “Mechanical World” was put out as a  single (it lists the playing time merely as “very long”). The album was a hit, reaching No. 31 on The Billboard 200 and staying on the charts for over eight months. The album displayed some jazz influences, as well as elaborate string arrangements (not found on subsequent recordings). It is the most overtly psychedelic of their albums.

They capitalized on the success of their first album with another single, “I Got A Line On You,” released in November 1968, a month before their second album, “The Family That Plays Together.” It became their biggest hit single, reaching No. 25 on the charts (#28 in Canada). They also went on tour that year with Led Zeppelin, who were heavily influenced by Spirit. It is now widely accepted that Page lifted the descending guitar figure from Spirit’s instrumental “Taurus” for Led Zeppelin’s signature tune “Stairway To Heaven”.

LISTEN

NATURE’S WAY
It’s nature’s way of telling you something’s wrong
It’s nature’s way of telling you in a song
It’s nature’s way of receiving you
It’s nature’s way of retrieving you
It’s nature’s way of telling you
Something’s wrong
It’s nature’s way of telling you, summer breeze
It’s nature’s way of telling you, dying trees
It’s nature’s way of receiving you
It’s nature’s way of retrieving you
It’s nature’s way of telling you
Something’s wrong
It’s nature’s way, it’s nature’s way
It’s nature’s way, it’s nature’s way
It’s nature’s way of telling you
Something’s wrong
It’s nature’s way of telling you
In a song, oh-h
It’s nature’s way of receiving you
It’s nature’s way
It’s nature’s way of retrieving you
It’s nature’s way
It’s nature’s way of telling you
Something’s wrong, something’s wrong, something’s wrong.
 

    Apr 20, 2014 2:27pm

    Elephant Wrecking Ball – Brooklyn Experimental Trio


    Elephant Wrecking Ball (EWB) does not fit the stereotype of a typical jazz trio. They spin an amalgamation of funky grooves, ambient dub, and their own otherworldly sounds putting this group in a category of its own. With Dan Africano on bass, Fro! on drums, and Scott Flynn on trombone – what the listener gets are some accoustical sounds that takes the listener into new sonic territory. Their tightly disciplined drum and bass combo provides a solid foundation on which a special effects-laden trombone creates layers of ethereal reverb, inviting the audience to enter the realm of an imagined landscape. Their sound is unique, as well as musically masterful. In fact, you won’t find a more cutting edge trio on the scene today. Like a new cuisine, after the first taste you know there is nothing else quite like it. You’ll want to come back for another serving of their rich, instrumental sound. 

    LISTEN

    Mar 25, 2014 7:49pm

    Sea anemone is genetically half animal, half plant


    A team led by the evolutionary and developmental biologist Ulrich Technau at the University of Vienna has discovered that sea anemones display a genomic landscape with a complexity of regulatory elements similar to that of fruit flies or other animal model systems. This suggests that this principle of gene regulation is already 600 million years old and dates back to the common ancestor of human, fly and sea anemone. On the other hand, sea anemones are more similar to plants rather than vertebrates, or insects, in their regulation of gene expression by short regulatory RNAs called microRNAs. These surprising evolutionary findings are published in two articles in the journal Genome Research.

    Our appearance, the shape we have and how our body works is, in addition to environmental influences, largely the result of the action of our genes. However, genes are rarely single players, they rather act in concert and regulate each other’s activity and expression in gene regulatory networks.

    Simple organism with complex gene content

    In the last decades the sequencing of the human and many animal genomes showed that anatomically simple organisms such as sea anemones depict a surprisingly complex gene repertoire like higher model organisms. This implies, that the difference in morphological complexity cannot be easily explained by the presence or absence of individual genes. Some researchers hypothesized that not the individual genes code for more complex body plans, but how they are wired and linked between each other. Accordingly, researchers expected that these gene networks are less complex in simple organisms than in human or “higher” animals.

    A measurement of the complexity of gene regulation may be the distribution and density of regulatory sequences in the genome. These motifs on the DNA – called enhancers and promoters – can bind transcription factors, and often regulate the expression of target genes in spatio-temporal patterns. “Finding these short motifs in the ocean of nucleotides is far from trivial,” explains Ulrich Technau, professor at the Department for Molecular Evolution and Development.

    While the genes constitute, in a sense, the words in the language of genetics, enhancer and promoters serve as the grammar. These regulatory elements all correlate with certain biochemical epigenetic modifications of the histones, proteins intertwined with the DNA, constituting the chromatin. Using a molecular approach called chromatin immunoprecipitation, Michaela Schwaiger, a member of Technau’s team, was able to identify promoters and enhancers on a genome-wide level in the sea anemone, enabling a comparison of the data to regulatory landscapes of the more complex, and higher model organisms.

    READ MORE

    Mar 22, 2014 3:50pm

    Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables: Spring!


    Look for the following Spring fruits and vegetables at the market for the best flavor (and also value) when in season. Note that specific crops and harvest dates depend on the climate of your region (see regional and state-specific seasonality guides for details).

    Eating locally means eating seasonally. The seasonal recipes below will help you to get started using all the great local and regional products you find at farmers markets, farm stands, and co-ops. More than just ways to use Spring produce, the recipes are designed to use other produce that are seasonally available. Cooking locally means not having to add a lot of ‘bells and whistles’ to food – it already tastes great because it’s fresh and at its best. Scroll down to find the best Spring produce to start shopping for. Moreover, these simple seasonal recipes make the most of local foods.

    READ MORE

    Mar 20, 2014 1:31am

    U.S. women unfamiliar with most stroke warning signs


    Many U.S. women don’t know most of the warning signs of a stroke, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2014 Scientific Sessions. The study is also published in the American Heart Association journal, Stroke.

    In a phone survey of 1,205 U.S. women:

    • More than half (51 percent) of the women identified sudden weakness or numbness on one side of the face, arms or legs as a warning sign of a stroke.
    • Less than half (44 percent) identified difficulty speaking or garbled speech as a warning sign.

    Less than a fourth identified other signs of a stroke, including:

    • sudden severe headache (23 percent);
    • unexplained dizziness (20 percent); and
    • sudden vision loss (18 percent).

    Hispanic women were less likely than others to know most of the warning signs of a stroke — 25 percent did not know any, compared to 18 percent for whites and 19 percent for blacks. .

    Despite not knowing the warning signs, 84 percent of the women knew the importance of calling 9-1-1 if they thought they were having a stroke.

    READ MORE

    Mar 20, 2014 1:08am

    Fossils show earliest animal trails


    Trails found in rocks dating back 565 million years are thought to be the earliest evidence of animal locomotion ever found.

    The newly-discovered fossils, from rocks in Newfoundland in Canada, were analysed by an international team led by Oxford University scientists. They identified over 70 fossilised trails indicating that some ancient creatures moved, in a similar way to modern sea anemones, across the seafloors of the Ediacaran Period. The team publish a report of their research in the February edition of the journal Geology.

    'The markings we've found clearly indicate that these organisms could exert some sort of muscular control during locomotion,' said Alex Liu of Oxford University's Department of Earth Sciences, an author of the paper. 'This is exciting because it is the first evidence that creatures from this early period of Earth's history had muscles to allow them to move around — enabling them to hunt for food or escape adverse local conditions and, importantly, indicating that they were probably animals.'

    Scientists compared the trails to those left by the modern sea anemone Urticina, and found many similarities suggesting that the animals that made them were anemone-like — perhaps using a muscular disc-shaped ‘foot’ to get around as anemones do today. Evidence for animal movement from before the Cambrian Period (542-488 million years ago) is rare, which has led many palaeontologists to suggest that earlier organisms were stationary and perhaps resembled modern fungi rather than animals.

    READ MORE

    Mar 20, 2014 12:59am

    Guidelines deem 13 million more Americans eligible for statins


    New guidelines for using statins to treat high cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease are projected to result in 12.8 million more U.S. adults taking the drugs, according to a research team led by Duke Medicine scientists.

    The findings for the first time quantify the impact of the American Heart Association’s new guidelines, which were issued in November and generated both controversy and speculation about who should be given a prescription for statins. In an analysis of health data published online March 19, 2014, in the New England Journal of Medicine, a team led by researchers at Duke Clinical Research Institute found that most of the additional statin users under the new guidelines would be people older than age 60.

    "We sought to do a principled, scientific study to try to answer how the new guidelines might affect statin use, particularly as they focused eligibility on patients with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease," said lead author Michael J. Pencina, Ph.D., professor of biostatistics at DCRI. "By our estimate, there might be an uptake in usage as a result of the guidelines, from 43.2 million people to 56 million, which is nearly half of the U.S. population between the ages of 40 and 75."

    Pencina and colleagues from McGill University and Boston University used the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) for their analysis, focusing on 3,773 participants between the ages of 40-75 who had provided detailed medical information, including fasting cholesterol levels from blood tests.

    The new guidelines expand the criteria for statin use to include people whose 10-year risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including stroke, is elevated based on upon a medical risk-assessment score.

    READ MORE

    Mar 20, 2014 12:43am

    Eat More, Die Young: Why Eating a Diet Very Low in Nutrients Can Extend Lifespan


    A new evolutionary theory in BioEssays claims that consuming a diet very low in nutrients can extend lifespan in laboratory animals, a finding which could hold clues     to promoting healthier ageing in humans. Scientists have known for decades that severely restricted food intake reduces the incidence of diseases of old age, such as cancer, and increases lifespan.

    "This effect has been demonstrated in laboratories around the world, in species ranging from yeast to flies to mice. There is also some evidence that it occurs in primates," says lead author, Dr Margo Adler, an evolutionary biologist at UNSW Australia. The most widely accepted theory is that this effect evolved to improve survival during times of famine. "But we think that lifespan extension from dietary restriction is more likely to be a laboratory artefact," says Dr Adler.

    Lifespan extension is unlikely to occur in the wild, because dietary restriction compromises the immune system’s ability to fight off disease and reduces the muscle strength necessary to flee a predator. “Unlike in the benign conditions of the lab, most animals in the wild are killed young by parasites or predators,” says Dr Adler.

    "Since dietary restriction appears to extend lifespan in the lab by reducing old-age diseases, it is unlikely to have the same effect on wild animals, which generally don’t live long enough to be affected by cancer and other late-life pathologies."

    READ MORE

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