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Datarock’s Binary Numbers

‘Who knew music this shit-hot could come from a mountainous Norwegian town known as the "City of Rain"? Following in the footsteps of fellow townspeople Royksopp, Kings of Convenience and Sondre Lerche, Fredrik Saroea and Ketil Mosnes formed Datarock in 2000 while students in Bergen, Norway (where "there’s still lots of black metal"). Or, as Saroea once put it in an online interview, "We fell in love. He became pregnant and gave birth to a small Casio watch. As our love grew, the Casio watch grew to become a Casio keyboard. And that’s how we became Datarock."

‘They gigged around for a couple of years, released a few EPs and finished their full-length debut in 2005 on their own label, Young Aspiring Professionals. After signing with Canada’s Nettwerk Music Group this winter, Saroea (vocals, guitar) and Mosnes (backing vocals, bass) finally saw the stateside release of Datarock Datarock, an album of seriously silly and dweebishly sexy contradictions that’ll have you shouting from Bergen’s seven mountaintops, I have heard the future, and it

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It Is What It Is

‘The 45th New York Film Festival is something of a family affair here at the Village Voice. Two of our own, the estimable J. Hoberman and the indefatigable Scott Foundas, sit on the selection committee of this proudly selective, stubbornly steadfast institution. When it comes to NYFF 45: This time, it’s personal

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Van Halen Reunites

‘Eddie Van Halen’s son looks like Peppermint Patty. There’s no getting around it. I wish things could be different. As do, presumably, fans of Van Halen. This week, the long-beleaguered pop-metal behemoth disembalms original singer David Lee Roth for what is surely the Chinese Democracy of reunion tours, a long-threatened and oft-aborted rehash of those early-’80s glory years, before jovial, tequila-hawking asshat Sammy Hagar took over and turned the band into wusstastic chart-toppers. The Rothian diehards are (cautiously) elated. But the thorn on this particular rose lies in the absence of beloved bassist Michael Anthony, the bearlike dude with the Mickey Mouse watch collection and (lasciviously) angelic harmonies, kicked to the curb for I’m sure just totally rational reasons and replaced by . . . Eddie Van Halen’s son. His name is Wolfgang. He is 16 years old. And in fascinating rehearsal pics released last week, choogling merrily behind the pleasantly emaciated Roth and his own terrifyingly emaciated father, Wolfgang looks well-fed, looks content, looks beatific, looks like Peppermint Patty.… Read the rest

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Dan Rather Stands By His Story

‘Dan Rather’s complaint against CBS and Viacom, its parent company, filed in New York state court on Sept. 19 and seeking $70 million in damages for his wrongful dismissal as "CBS Evening News" anchor, has aroused hoots of derision from a host of commentators. They’ve said that the former anchor is "sad," "pathetic," "a loser," on an "ego" trip and engaged in a mad gesture "no sane person" would do, and that "no one in his right mind would keep insisting that those phony documents are real and that the Bush National Guard story is true."

‘If the court accepts his suit, however, launching the adjudication of legal issues such as breach of fiduciary duty and tortuous interference with contract, it will set in motion an inexorable mechanism that will grind out answers to other questions as well. Then Rather’s suit will become an extraordinary commission of inquiry into a major news organization’s intimidation, complicity and corruption under the Bush administration.… Read the rest

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American Sex Portrait

‘Kinsey’s pioneering work is still one-of-a-kind because in all the time since, only a handful of sex researchers have even tried to match his breadth, depth, and scale. For all our obsession with sex, we’re skittish about studying it. There’s one major exception: a large survey, conducted in the 1990s, that far outdid Kinsey in terms of statistical reliability. It’s the most authoritative sexual self-portrait the country has. But you’ve probably never heard of its author, because unlike Kinsey, he has worked hard to keep it that way.

‘As a pioneer in the field, Kinsey had methodological strengths. To begin with, he was a counter, to the core. He gathered his data by conducting detailed, face-to-face interviews, occasionally lasting six hours or longer, and then tabulating how many people said they did what. He was an innovator in this regard, zeroing in on behaviors (whether a person had a homosexual experience or response, for instance) rather than identities (whether a person described himself as gay).… Read the rest

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