The B-52s and a tour of their old Athens, GA haunts (1989)

In 1989, to promote their fifth studio album, Cosmic Thing, the B-52s took MTV viewers on a tour of the city where they formed: Athens, Georgia ((sadly, without guitarist Ricky Wilson who died of AIDS in 1985).

They began at the now-defunct Bluebird Cafe, formerly named the Eldorado, a vegetarian eatery where Fred Schneider used to wait tables.

From there, they continued their Athens excursion, first from the back of a convertible and then by walking the streets.

As the story goes, the band formed in October of 1976 after drinking many Flaming Volcanos at Hunan, one of the few Chinese restaurants in town. After drinks, they had their first of many jam sessions, according to this 1980 Rolling Stone article:

"So after the meal we went over to this friend's house," Kate [Pierson] continues. "And we just started playing these instruments."

The song they wrote that night was called "Killer Bees." "It's about a bus being chased by killer bees," Ricky [Wilson] explains. "It runs off into a river, and all the people get eaten by piranhas. And then the killer bees swarm into a theater, where these people are watching a movie, and they attack them. It's a true story."

The method of composition the band used that night — Ricky and Keith jamming on a musical idea and Fred, Kate and Cindy improvising lyrics — is the one the B-52's still employ. The jams, which often last several hours, are recorded on tape, and then Ricky arranges the material into a three- or four-minute song after studying the recorded havoc.

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Someone wiped a key server in Georgia right after voters filed a lawsuit over insecure voting-machines

Georgia's voting machines are among the worst, most hackable in the nation, and that's why a "diverse group of election reform advocates" including the Coalition for Good Governance sued the state to purge its hoard of 27,000 AccuVote voting machines, whose defects were not patched though the state was warned of them six months prior to the election. Accuvote machines do not keep any kind of paper audit-tape that can be used to compare the electronic total to a hardcopy. Read the rest

Georgia Sheriff and deputies indicted for repeatedly touching the junk of 900 students at local high-school

Worth County, GA Sheriff Jeff Hobby (+1-229-776-8211) had his deputies repeatedly subject all 900 students at Worth County High School in Sylvester to "highly intrusive" pat-downs that included touching genitals and breasts; they say they were looking for drugs but they never found any. Read the rest

Sanders-backed politicians are winning battle after battle in southern local elections

In June, Chokwe Lumumba, Jr. was elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi on a platform that promised to make it the "most radical city on the planet;" this week, Randall Woodfin creamed incumbent opponent William Bell in the mayoral race for Birmingham, Alabama, with a platform that promised free community college for Birmingham high-school grads, expanded pre-K, and more money for public transit and job training. Read the rest

What's worse than shitty, hacked voting machines? Unauditable, shitty voting machines

The news of attempts by Russian hackers to compromise US voting systems will forever throw into question the results of close US elections -- but that's not just because voting machines are security tire-fires, it's because they're security tire-fires whose vote-counts cannot be audited. Read the rest

Georgia police captain got his ex-wife jailed for her Facebook comment about him

According to a lawsuit, Corey King, a police captain in Washington County, Georgia, conspired with his friends magistrate Ralph O. Todd and Sheriff's Investigator Trey Burgamy to arrest King's ex-wife, Anne King, and her friend, Susan Hines, for a Facebook exchange in which they commiserated over Captain King's refusal to pick up medicine for his sick children. Read the rest

Georgia gas-station DVDs, like a scene from a racialized, porny Repo Man

Yes, they made the "Asian" porn yellow -- apparently this is a pretty common sight in Georgia gas-stations, though the proliferation of network connections in big rigs will surely cut into that market (and create some serious potential for mischief). Read the rest

Today is the 30th anniversary of REM's "Lifes Rich Pageant"

Thirty years ago today, REM released the magnificent "Lifes Rich Pageant," an iconic alternative rock album of the 1980s, and forever. The source of the title is the 1964 film A Shot in the Dark:

Inspector Clouseau opens car door and falls into a fountain. Maria: "You should get out of these clothes immediately. You'll catch your death of pneumonia, you will." Clouseau: "Yes, I probably will. But it's all part of life's rich pageant, you know?"

Above, one of Michael Stipe's favorite songs from the entire REM catalog, "Fall on Me," about oppression. Below, "Swan Swan H."

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Family: police high-fived after tasering our handcuffed relative to death

Chase Alan Sherman experienced a psychiatric episode after taking the drug spice, that prompted his family to call the police and an ambulance. When sheriff's deputies from Coweta County, GA arrived, they subdued him by kneeling on his chest and, according to the family, handcuffed him, and then two deputies repeated tasered him until he went into "medical distress" and died. Read the rest

Countersuit: Georgia can't copyright its laws

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "As many of you may remember, the State of Georgia filed charges against Public Resource complete with a scurrilous and unfounded charge that we engaged in a "strategy of terrorism." I am pleased to announce that we are represented pro bono by Alston and Bird, one of the leading law firms in Georgia. Our legal team filed an answer to the Georgia complaint and we counter-sued, denying their over-the-top characterization as 'bizarre, defamatory and gratuitous allegations.'" Read the rest

Two female meth heads kept a “special needs“ boy and his sister locked in cages

Meth. Not even once.

Georgia sues Carl Malamud, calls publishing state laws "terrorism"

The State of Georgia claims that its statutes are a copyrighted work, and that rogue archivist Carl Malamud and public.resource.org committed an act of piracy by making the laws of Georgia free for all to see and copy. Read the rest

Atlanta pays $20,000 to critic forced to post pro-cop message to Facebook

Atlanta police Lt. Jeffrey Cantin told Baton Bob, a street performer, that he wouldn't be released on Bond unless he posted complementary remarks about the Atlanta police department to his Facebook page. Read the rest

Judge convicted of planting meth on woman who reported him for harassment

Bryant Cochran was chief judge of Murray County Magistrate Court when a woman reported him for hitting on her while she entered his chambers to take out assault warrants following an attack on her. Read the rest

Georgia cops pay $100K for jailing woman who said "Fuck the police"

Amy Barnes was jailed and held in solitary in 2012 when she called out "fuck the police" as she bicycled past Cobb County cops who were questioning a suspect by the roadside. Read the rest

Video: girls singing Georgian polyphonic music

It's part of a huge series of the same girls performing some of the loveliest music you're likely to hear.

(via Reddit) Read the rest

Invited citizen journalist at GOP rally violently arrested for recording speakers

Nydia Tisdale, a citizen journalist, was invited to a GOP rally in Atlanta, but State Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens demanded that she (and not other, more friendly press) stop recording his speech; when she refused, he summoned a deputy who violently arrested her and then charged her with felony obstruction after she elbowed him while he was bending her over and pressing his groin into her buttocks. Read the rest

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