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Archive for June, 2010

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I know that today’s post isn’t necessarily about arts and entertainment, but I find this far too important not to post for you to see. While roaming around facebook, a friend of mine sent me this video, which I found to be amazing. A few Southern farmers have worked out a very simple solution to help clean up some of the oil that is currently killing the gulf. Watch it for yourself:

Hay! This is absolutely ingenius! Just think about all the hay we’ve got all around the country. If we simply put more man power on doing this, who knows how much oil could be averted away from the marine creatures and the coast, too?

This idea is also better because it is completely green. The chemicals the government has been pumping into our ocean to ‘help’ clean up the oil may be doing more harm than good. With this simple solution, there are no added chemicals and less chance of hurting more animals.

Think about it.

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World Music News Wire

Rocky Dawuni walks the talk. Fist held high and dreadlocks flowing, the Ghanaian reggae artist is a rebel among rebels, tackling serious social issues with uplifting ballads and reggae rockers. All while working to challenge everything from infectious diseases to clean water to poverty across the rural communities of his homeland.

On Hymns for the Rebel Soul, Dawuni’s infectious, groove-driven music refuses to play by the rules. He sings about the struggles against corruption, war, and despair, drawing on his own experiences while melding bluesy Motown horn lines with Afro-beat grooves and Arabic percussion. Add highlife afro-pop guitar mingled with polyrhythms and Scandinavian melodies and Dawuni re-imagines a fearlessly global, one-love reggae with contemporary African ingenuity.

Let’s rewind a few decades to where Dawuni’s instinct to innovate emerged in the middle of an army camp under a military government. Under a dimly lit African sky, Bob Marley’s iconic “Uprising” album blares from P.A. speakers at an outdoor bar crowded with soldiers; a little boy takes note of the politically charged lyrics and a rebel is born.

As music entwined with his passion for speaking truth to questionable power, he “went pro,” he says, as a young psychology student at the University of Ghana. “My first band was an accident,” he laughs. “In my first year, I met these four guys who were students there and musicians. Everyone was saying, ‘Why are we in the University if we want to be musicians? Why don’t we form a band?’” And the seeds were planted.

In the late 1990s he took the plunge, and soon Dawuni found himself traveling the world – ultimately releasing multiple CDs and working with musicians like Bono and Stevie Wonder, as well as providing music for U.S. television shows including Weeds, ER and Dexter.

Continue reading the rest of this article here.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Just about every year, I head into New Jersey for Michael Arnone’s Crawfish Festival. It’s a festival that boasts delicious southern home cooking and music – mostly blues, zydeco, and funk. This year, the acts were good, but I’d have to say that one stood out more than the rest. It is here that I introduce you to Joanne Shaw Taylor, a blues guitarist from the UK.

Listening to her music, you’d think that she grew up down south or at least had a direct blood line to Stevie Ray Vaughan AND Jimi Hendrix. This girl can play. Flipping her hair around the stage, she drew me in with a cover of Manic Depression by Hendrix. Her solo was just about as good as Jimi’s easily.

She went into some of her own music and the audience she had gathered under the tent grew exceedingly by the time she was done with her set. But enough of me yabbering on about how good she was. See for yourself:

Taylor is currently undergoing an extensive international tour with performances in New York, Pennsylvania, Finland, and Sweden. It’s a lot of traveling, but the exposure will certainly help her sell her talent. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this girl go mainstream within a year.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

We all love to eat delicious summer foods when the weather takes a turn for the warmer. Picnics become more frequent, drinking cold fruity drinks on a daily basis becomes normal, and we’re always looking for some new food to spice up our lives. Well folks, I think I’ve found it.

Forget your store-bought salsas. Although Santa Barbara brand salsa is quite good (and my favorite store-bought brand), it can’t live up to the recipe I’ve just stumbled upon. Here’s the best home-made recipe for mango salsa I’ve ever tasted…

Ingredients:

  • 2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 (8 ounce) can of pineapple tidbits, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or however more you want to add to make it more spicy)

Add it all together, and you’ve got mango salsa! It is very important that you use fresh ingredients in this. It makes for a much better taste. While I admit that I did use a can of pineapple tidbits, everything else was fresh and the cilantro was from my garden. This salsa is great because it offers so many flavors…you bite into it and at first get the mango, then pineapple, then a burst of ginger, onion, and cilantro, and it leaves you with a spicy taste in your mouth.

Here’s a bit of what I was just munching on. It tastes great on a blue tortilla chip!

Oh, but one more thing…if you think you need to double the recipe to get enough to last you, you don’t! That’s what I did and now I have enough to feed a small army. Who wants some??

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I’ve found something extremely weird to share with you today — sculptures that aren’t really sculptures…because they don’t stand still. Instead, Dutch artist Theo Jansen has created sculptures that actually move with the power of the wind.

He calls his creations ‘strandbeest’ or beach animals. They act like a new kind of species he developed on his own through the power of art, physics, engineering, and creativity.

According to Oddity Central, Jansen’s strandbeest ‘can use the power of the elements to move, store this energy for later use, and protect themselves in case of danger…In their creator’s vision of the future, the strandbeest will, at one point, develop muscles and brains that will allow them to perform complex actions.’

At this point, they are mostly powered by wind. The fact that they actually store that power for future use is a green idea that our society has started to tap into more recently.

Showing you a picture of this creation is helpful, but you don’t really get the full effect unless you see a video of the strandbeest in action…

Jansen, who is a former physicist, has held nothing back in making his art. In fact, his work might lead us to believe that going mobile with the power of wind has some validity to it. The strandbeest has already been featured at several festivals, including Burning Man, an art and expression festival in the Nevada Desert.

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