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Bleeding Into The Mainstream

‘Last December at Ultimate Fighting Championship 66, in the first round of a many-holds-barred, mixed martial arts grudge match between the evenly weighted gladiators Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, the former floored the latter with a gloved right hook that had been fully sanctioned by the Nevada Athletic Commission. Bleeding from a gash over his eye, his back pressed into the ring

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Time To Panic?

‘Barack Obama is improving rapidly as a presidential candidate. His showing at the Service Employees International Union’s spring health-care forum was so bad, an Obama adviser labeled it a "searing experience." But he was dazzling at an SEIU forum on Monday, putting to rest any concern that Obama is too cool and abstract to talk to regular folks. His Tuesday speech unveiling a middle-class tax-cut proposal demonstrated that Obama has moved past the uplifting, but vague, rhetoric of his early campaign and toward concrete policy ideas.

‘This is good news for Obama and his fans, but is it enough good news? While he’s been improving, Hillary Clinton has been improving faster. He was once the Democratic Party phenomenon, but she’s the one with the momentum in the polls. She now leads the national polls by 20 points. In the crucial states of New Hampshire and South Carolina, she’s way ahead, too.… Read the rest

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When Free Radicals Become Free Agents

‘Two decades and 17 Sonic Youth records later, Moore is only now releasing his second solo album of proper songs, Trees Outside the Academy. (He released the ragtag punk-rock masterpiece Psychic Hearts in 1995, and has dabbled in various free-jazz side projects along the way.) The big surprise? It’s folky. And it kind of sounds like a Fahey record. Tracks like "Frozen Gtr" and "The Shape Is in a Trance" feature delicately strummed, alternately tuned acoustic guitars and beautiful, swirling violin arrangements. So what gives? Why abandon the full-throttle, no-wave guitar suicide that Moore pioneered for a roots-rock style perfected decades ago? "Because coming out of the New York punk-rock scene, it’s the last thing people would expect you to do," says Moore. In other words, folk is the new punk.

‘A lot has changed for the 49-year-old. For one thing, he and his wife, Sonic Youth bassist and singer Kim Gordon, left downtown New York in 1999 for the leafy suburbs of Northampton, Massachusetts, where they bought a Georgian-style brick house with a nice yard.… Read the rest

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MoveOn Unmoved By Furor Over Ad Targeting Petraeus

‘A few weeks before Army Gen. David H. Petraeus’s much-anticipated testimony on Iraq, the leadership of MoveOn.org, the Internet-based liberal group that has rallied its 3 million members around the country to oppose the war, decided on a change in strategy.

‘Rather than making another appeal to moderate Republicans to join Senate Democrats in passing an antiwar resolution, they would take on the credibility of Petraeus himself. Their weapon, they decided in conjunction with Fenton Communications, its Washington-based public relations firm, would be an ad in the New York Times that provocatively played off his name with this question in large letters: "General Petraeus or General Betray Us?"’ (Washington Post article).

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The Futurist

‘Spotted earlier in the week, lying on the desk of a lead designer at a prestigious advertising design firm: An issue of equally prestigious I.D. (International Design) Magazine, with a cover blurb announcing it as the "3rd Annual Design and Business Issue". On the cover are three sleek rectangular cellular phones in muted shades of slick plastic

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Phil Noir Bulletin: Deadlock

‘"The jury believes they are hung."


The air suddenly went out of Department 106 when Judge Larry Paul Fidler told the courtroom Tuesday afternoon that the Phil Spector trial jury was deadlocked. Apprehension had been building with each passing day that the nine men and three woman were at an impasse. Then, about 11 a.m. this morning, court media and spectators were jolted by two buzzes from the jury room

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