Death Cab for Cutie release their new album, "Thank You For Today," on Friday and right now NPR is streaming the whole thing. It's a gorgeous, cohesive, and fresh collection of soulful songs brought to life with startling arrangements and dazzling production. I'm proud of my friends. Have a listen!
"First Listen: Death Cab For Cutie, 'Thank You For Today'" (NPR)
And in case you missed it, below is the video for the first single from the album, "Gold Rush," featuring a sample of Yoko Ono's "Mindtrain."
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Domestic workers -- overwhelming female, overwhelmingly racialized -- have historically been exempted from traditional labor protections, from the minimum wage to workplace safety to recourse for harassment and worse.
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Today my friends in Death Cab for Cutie released the first song and video from their forthcoming album, Thank You for Today. Featuring a sample from Yoko Ono's "Mindtrain," the tune is a fantastic, funky, soulful shuffle with Ben Gibbard singing about the Seattle neighborhood of Capitol Hill that he's called home for two decades but now feels increasingly foreign. Not necessarily better or worse. Just different.
"As I've gotten older," Ben told NPR, "I've become acutely aware of how I connect my memories to my geography and [how] the landscape of the city changes. I'll walk down Broadway and walk past a location that used to be a bar I'd frequent with friends, or somewhere where I had a beautifully intense conversation with somebody that I once loved very much. The song is not a complaint about how things were better or anything like that. It's an observation, but more about coming to terms with the passage of time and losing the people and the moments in my life all over again as I walk down a street that is now so unfamiliar."
Death Cab for Cutie's ninth album, Thank You for Today, will be released August 17.
As a bonus, here's the sample source, Yoko Ono's Mindtrain from the album Fly (1971):
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Want to know the stories behind finger hands, Handerpants (underpants for hands), and some of the other great novelty products from Seattle-based novelty giant Archie McPhee? I'm going to guess that you do. Let me point you to their new podcast Less Talk, More Monkey on iTunes and Google Play. It's hosted by my buddies-in-pop-culture Shana Danger, David Wahl, and Scott Heff.
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If you’ve been using or abusing an opioid, then your pee’s been full of opioids. When your opioid-laced pee gets flushed away, those opioids wind up in our water: our reservoirs, streams and oceans.
And that, friends, is why mussels are failing drug tests.
According to CBS News, scientists at Washington’s Department of Fish & Wildlife have found evidence that the dregs of the opioids we consume and then whiz out are now present enough in the waters around Seattle that mussels are testing positive for oxycodone. As mussels are filter feeders, they tend to soak up environmental contaminants into their tissues in large concentrations.
From CBS News:
Happily, mussels don't metabolize drugs like oxycodone and thus wouldn't necessarily be physically harmed by the presence of it in their tissues, studies show that fish are not so lucky. In fact, scientists at the University of Utah recently discovered that, if given the opportunity, zebrafish will willingly dose themselves with opioids. Scientists say salmon and other fish might have a similar response.
The Puget Sound Institute notes that the amounts of opioids detected were thousands of times smaller than a typical human dose. And none of the mussels tested are near any commercial shellfish beds.
So the shellfish are safe, but man are we screwed.
That the opioid levels in the mussels have become high enough to be detectable says a lot about the amount of painkillers that we, as a society, are using and abusing, let alone the environmental impact we as a species can have, simply by going to the bathroom. Read the rest
I met Seattle artist Marcia Wiley through my inbox zine a couple months ago. I had written about the idea of the "positive deviant," basically someone who strays from the norm but brings value rather than pain (akin to the "happy mutant"). The concept really resonated with me and I asked readers to send along names of positive deviants who they were aware of because I wanted to start a list. Marcia rightly offered up her own name, and, in our most recent communication, she shared a project of hers with me: "Miss Direction's Ride Service."
Since 2005, she has been bringing unexpected delight to strangers in a really fun way. Dressed in her alter ego "Miss Direction" driving outfit (below), she gives people waiting at bus stops a free ride to their destination in her Honda SUV. In exchange for the complimentary pickup, passengers share their story with her. It's been a great success.
Now she's looking to start "Miss Direction's Checker Cab Service." A 1967 Checker Cab has already surfaced for the job, but it needs some restoration work before she can take it to the streets. So, she's started a Kickstarter campaign to fund her dream of bringing "everyday magic" to Seattle, a place, she writes, "that is changing so rapidly that people often feel a loss of connection and have a sense that the city is losing its soul and becoming less unique."
This is her vow:
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I'm committed to having Miss Direction’s ’67 Marathon Checker Cab on the road by November 11, 2018.
Every year, the readers of Locus Magazine collaborate with its editorial board to nominate and vote on their favorite science fiction and fantasy works; this year's finalist list came out today, and I'm pleased to see my novel Walkaway among some very good company indeed.
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Five years after activists forced Seattle's mayor to return the city's surveillance drones to their manufacturer, the city has announced that it is terminating its warrantless mass-surveillance program altogether.
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Since January 2015, the high-def 360 panoramic webcam on top of the Space Needle has been consistently capturing images every ten minutes of Seattle. Ricardo Martin Brualla took that footage and made this super-groovy timelapse video.
He explains his process in depth on Hackernoon:
I started with two full panoramas a day for the last two years, more than 2000 panos. Then, the sequence was stabilized, as the camera shakes and moves over time, either by being knocked, or because of the wind and other forces of nature. The final step was to smooth temporally the sequence, to remove the variation due to weather and lighting conditions.
Also, he's created a bunch of GIFs that highlight some of the cooler parts of the video (like the one below). Be sure to check them out.
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The rise of the Information Age has put librarians in more demand than ever, according to this recent article in the Wall Street Journal.
It simply makes sense that a librarian action figure would pop into the market, tiny red cape and all. This one is particularly special because it's fashioned after a real hero, librarian Nancy Pearl of Seattle, Washington.
You can pick one up over at Archie McPhee for $9.95. Read the rest
The Stranger's David Lewis snuck into the Northwest Forum, a s00per s33kr1t Nazi gathering in Seattle, and attended the speeches, including the keynote by reclusive white supremacist leader Dr Greg Johnson. Read the rest
We had a fabulous time last night at Portland's Powell's City of Books and now I'm on the runway to fly up to Seattle for tonight's event at the Neptune Theater with Neal Stephenson (it's not too late to get tickets!) -- then tomorrow I'll be at Bellingham's Village Books before heading to the Vancouver Writers' Festival. Read the rest
Yesterday's Walkaway event at San Diego's Mysterious Galaxy was terrific (there was birthday cake) and now I'm flying to Portland for an event at Powell's City of Books tonight with Andy "Waxy" Baio before heading to Seattle for an event with Neal Stephenson at the Neptune Theater, then a stop in Bellingham's Village Books. Read the rest
The City of Seattle voted to allow Uber drivers to form a union, and Uber says that if its court challenge to the rule is unsuccessful, it might leave Seattle. Read the rest
The City of Seattle says it will let Uber drivers form a union, and Uber has retaliated by producing a series of anti-union audio programs that it is pushing to Uber drivers' apps, where the programs light up a non-dismissable alert asking the drivers to listen to the program. Read the rest