Elvis Perkins in Dearland…and abandoned zoos…

Another gem found on Current TV (hey, I’ve been snowed in, okay!?), Elvis Perkins in Dearland. There is some serious folk-y goodness going on here. Along with your standard guitar, bass, and drums, you get saxophones, clarinets, organs, harmoniums, and trombones!

This guy also has an incredibly interesting history. Being the son of Anthony Perkins (Norman Bates in Psycho) and Berry Berenson, the youngest daughter of an American shipping executive, who died on September 11, 2001 on American Airlines flight 11, this guy is a musical journalist’s dream. Sometimes the truth really is better than fiction.

Anyway, he’s awesome. I love the whole band actually. Check ’em out over at their site.

Elvis Perkins in Dearland on Current TV’s Embedded:


Honeycut – The Day I Turned To Glass

Excuse me, I love them. And once again, I love Current TV for telling me about them. Three pieces with a full sound are a serious weak point for me. Also, Honeycut’s got it. What is “it” you ask? Well, it is THE FUNK.

Part of Quannum Projects, the San Franciscans are intertwined with such awesome people including Blackalicious, Chief XCel, and DJ Shadow. Unfortunately, since their first album, The Day I Turned To Glass was released in 2006, they haven’t released a full length album.


This album has a lot of the elements I wanted to hear in the new Sade album, Soldier of Love. It’s got some groovalicious tracks to make sweet love down by the fire to, total chill out, to tracks like “The Day I Turned to Glass”, very Blackalicious mixed with Gorillaz. Then, there’s “Aluminum City”. CANNOT get enough of this track! Or the strings in this track. Luscious! This album is downright sexy. It’s what Jamiroquai would be making now, had he not gone all creepy on us. It’s amazing how versatile this album is. The downtempo tracks are so chill and the upbeat tracks are so catchy and there’s just such a nice blend between the two.

From what I remember from that show on Current, they came together on a connection to soul and you can really tell. They go straight up bossa nova a few times. It makes me sad that more people don’t know who they are. Like Go Periscope, these guys are gonna be HUUUUGE. Make more music, Honeycut. Please. A!

Check them out over on their site.

“Aluminum City”

“Exodus Honey”

YOU! Can Help Stop Violence Against Female Journalists

Lois Lane
Lois Lane gets it right!

In light of the recent imprisonment and release of Euna Lee and Laura Ling, now is the time to stop violence against female journalists around the world.

These women who fight every day to have stories told are constantly berated and threatened just to get this information to you. It’s easy to think that this sort of thing happens only in developing countries, but it happens here, too! A recent survey found that a staggering 82% of female reporters worldwide have been threatened or attacked because of their work.

Everyday they write articles knowing that it can ultimately lead to their persecution, but they do it anyway to release the truth to the masses. It’s time to stop the silencing of female journalists.

Here’s what you can do to help:

– Ask your senators to support the Daniel Pearl Act, which helps monitor violations of press freedoms.

– Join The Committee to Protect Journalists, which helps reporters working within authoritarian governments get their voices heard.

– Visit imwf.org to petition for already imprisoned journalists.

Most importantly, remember our rights for a free press. We are all entitled to that. Whenever a reporter is silenced, so are we!

American Reporters Freed From North Korea /slash/ Current TV

As I’m sure you all know, American reporters Laura Ling and Euna Lee have been released from captivity in North Korea and have returned home. From BBC News:

US journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee told their families they had no intention of entering North Korea when they went to the border with China to report on the plight of North Korean refugees.

Laura Ling (R) and Euna Lee (R) at Pyongyang airport - 5 August 2009

Laura Ling (L) and Euna Lee (R) looked very relieved to be leaving Pyongyang

But on 17 March they were seized by North Korean border guards and accused of illegally entering the country to carry out “hostile acts”.

After more than four months in captivity, a high-level visit from former US President Bill Clinton secured their release.

Euna Lee and Laura Ling are journalists with San Francisco-based Current TV, a media venture co-founded by former US Vice-President Al Gore.

Ms Ling, a 32-year-old California native, has experience covering the conflict in Sri Lanka, Brazilian slave labour and Iran’s underground youth culture.

Ms Lee, a 36-year-old South Korean-born US citizen, is an editor with Current TV.

From the time they were captured, the two women’s families urged the authorities in Pyongyang to release them, saying they were worried about the “mental state and wellbeing” of the pair.

In a joint statement, the families said Ms Ling suffered from an ulcer and that Ms Lee had a four-year-old daughter who was “displaying signs of anguish”.

“We believe that the three months they have already spent under arrest with little communication with their families is long enough,” the statement said.

While I am trying to remain hopeful, each day becomes harder and harder to bear. I am so lonely and scared
Laura Ling, in a letter home

Ms Ling’s husband, Iain Clayton, appeared on US TV networks and read out a letter she had written from captivity: “While I am trying to remain hopeful, each day becomes harder and harder to bear. I am so lonely and scared.”

Their hopes appeared dashed in early June when a quick trial saw them convicted and sentenced to 12 years of “reform through labour”.

‘Smear campaign’

Initially, there were denials from the American side that they had gone into North Korea – and both South Korean media and diplomatic sources said the North’s guards had crossed into Chinese territory to arrest them.

But a few days after their trial, the North’s state media said the two had admitted entering the North and accepted their sentences.

Official news agency KCNA also said they had admitted getting footage for a “smear campaign” about North Korea’s human rights.

Their sentences could potentially have seen the two women working in a prison labour camp in North Korea’s notoriously brutal penal system.

It seems, however, that the two were well-treated and kept in a Pyongyang guest house, with access to consular services provided by Sweden’s embassy in North Korea and allowed to make several phone calls to their families in the US.

Sino-Korea Friendship Bridge over the Yanu River in Dandong

North Korea and China share an 880 mile (1,400 km) border

It was during these phone calls that the pair said Pyongyang had suggested that a visit by Mr Clinton could secure their freedom, US officials have said.

Analysts say they were probably being kept as bargaining chips to wrest concessions or direct talks with the United States.

But the US has said Mr Clinton did not discuss any other issues other than the women’s freedom during his trip to Pyongyang.

The reporters’ families, and officials in Washington, had urged that Pyongyang keep this case separate from the nuclear issue bedevilling relations between North Korea and the US.

Washington insists it will only hold bilateral talks on the nuclear stalemate with Pyongyang under the auspices of the stalled six-party negotiations – which also include South Korea, Japan, China and Russia.

Tensions in the region have soared in recent months, as North Korea has conducted a nuclear test and fired a long-range missile, drawing widespread international condemnation.

Out of all of this, what totally blows my mind? Al Gore is the chairman of Current TV!? I fucking love Current. Not that I dislike Al Gore (except for the saving the polar bears part. Seriously, fuck polar bears), but now I just feel weird. How did I not know this before? Well, I guess they’re not going to cut into a show and just be like, “HEY! Al Gore owns us”!

Current is still freaking awesome though. In case you’ve missed the boat on that one, Current TV is an alternative news channel with a great deal of viewer created content. Everything from news to podcasts to commercials…they do it all.

Check it out sometime. It’s a nice change of pace from the regular news.

Current TV
BBC News Story