Monday, September 22nd, 2014
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Prince, "FUNKNROLL"

Prince is releasing two full albums before 2015, both of which will be granted, by default, rigorous consideration by people who have at any point prior cared about Prince. But what on Earth does a teenager make of this? Will the youngest listeners hear this song and think, oh, Prince, dad, whatever? Or will they wonder, who is Prince, I've heard of him somewhere, and then maybe Google him? Does he just get to reappear, no questions asked, his legacy venerated unquestionably, his singles made hits in whatever order planned? Or does Prince have to plead a new case? Anyway: a pretty fun song.

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Incongruity Noted

What happens if you strip away most of the connective tissue in this New York Times article about sexual assault in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn?

1. By day, the handsome block of Irving Place that runs between Gates and Putnam Avenues in Brooklyn projects a vibrant wholesomeness. Women push strollers past the red-brick Mount Zion Tabernacle Church; young couples tote Trader Joe’s bags past a photo gallery; and watchful neighbors walk dogs in front of Public School 56.

2. It might seem incongruous, then, that this area would be the setting of two violent crimes: A 31-year-old woman told the police that she had been sexually assaulted twice on [...]

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Media Owned

"Marketers talk about 'paid media' (advertising they have to buy), 'earned media' (from press coverage to word-of-mouth buzz) and a growing category called “owned media” (their websites, blogs and social media feeds). The attraction of 'owned media', by definition, is that brands neither have to pay a media outlet for it nor earn it by convincing a reporter that the story is worth covering."

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Market Assessed Honestly

"The channel's new name is intended to suggest something that pops, or stands out from the rest. 'It’s something that rises above the noise … a one-of-a-kind maverick,' Schwartz told The Times. 'We’re going for a new audience that we are calling ‘the modern grown-up’ … people in their mid-to-late 30s that have pushed off emotional maturity.'" TV Guide, the channel that was always there, will become Pop, a channel that is still there.

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2

The Content at the End of the World

Photographer QT Luong on shooting the Yosemite fires, which are still burning: I heard of the fire on Twitter and saw a few dramatic photos on Monday morning. Some very extensive forest fires had been burning at the periphery of the park over the past couple years, but this time it happened in scenic the heart of the park, next to Yosemite’s icon, Half-Dome. After picking up my kids from school on Monday, I drove to Yosemite…

Watching the destruction of some of the forests where I had backpacked brought some sadness, although I knew that nature would eventually recover. Although I missed the most spectacular night, I [...]

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Flying Lotus, "Coronus, The Terminator"

Another unusually approachable track, after the excellent "Never Catch Me" with Kendrick Lamar, from an artist who has otherwise never really worried about alienating people. The vocals, unattributed for now, are at the forefront; Ellison's distinctive production reveals itself slowly and carefully.

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Star Born

New ISIS Video Stars British Hostage http://t.co/SH0SFIlLXi

— New York Times World (@nytimesworld) September 18, 2014

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Trailer Misleading

"The Islamic State was already well known for its sophisticated filmmaking, and many of the scenes depicted in the video appear to be a 'gamification' of previous Islamic State propaganda footage, including their hour-long “Clanging of the Swords” film released earlier this year. Though the new video appears to constitute a trailer, there’s no indication yet that a real, playable game is in the offing anytime soon."

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Ólöf Arnalds, "Half Steady"

From the forthcoming Palme, a characteristically weird (and friendly!) track, freshly unpacked, from Iceland.

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Facebook Reveals the Future of All Media

Facebook! People use it a lot; therefore, publishers want to be a part of it. Everyone wants to know: How can our publication succeed in this strange new media landscape? How can we get Facebook users to come to our site, instead of all the other sites? Today, in a post called "How to Drive Referrals to your Digital Properties"—wait, no, it's just called "Drive Referrals to your Digital Properties"—Facebook posted some advice:

First, the basics:

1. Post frequently 2. Share links, photos, and a variety of content

Then, go native. Be social!

3. Upload videos to Facebook with a call to action 4. Create content with [...]

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Small Decorative Plant To Be Watered No Matter What Happens

"And so our watch is all but over. Who knows what comes tomorrow but at least and at last the final reckoning is upon us. It is choosing time and there’s no escape," writes Alex Massie, a Scottish person, in the Spectator, referring to the upcoming vote on his nation's independence in a genuine and not-at-all strained tone. "There will be a deep sadness in many places if Scotland votes Yes and, in other parts, some raging disbelief if she votes No," he continues, establishing his high vantage point on this complicated and emotional situation. "This may be a wee country but the matter of Scotland is nothing small," he [...]

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Has Your City Been Marked For Death Yet?

Lately, “new Berlin” has become shorthand for an under-visited European city that is cheap, fun, and up-and-coming. Ever since creeping gentrification and a massive rise in tourism have thrown into question the German capital’s status of the world’s “coolest” city, people have been racing to determine its successor. Candidates besides Leipzig include Krakow (Poland), Vilnius (Lithuania), Belgrade (Serbia), Tallinn (Estonia), and Warsaw (Poland). They share, to varying degrees, many of the elements that made Berlin famous in the 1990s: affordability, empty buildings that can be repurposed and a sizeable arts scene. But unlike Berlin, they won’t have the opportunity to develop their cool reputation slowly—and are just as likely [...]

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Raury, "Seven Suns"

You can listen to Raury's debut here, in its entirety. It's the work of someone who is, by any traditional indication, about to explode—he's signed, rumored to be working with Kanye West—and it's shot with surprises. Raury is also 18, which is impossible not to think about as this strange and astonishing album weaves and wobbles through folk, pop, R&B and collage without breaking step.

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Privilege Supreme

"David Albouy, an economics professor at the University of Illinois, has created a metric, the sacrifice measure, which essentially charts how poor a person is willing to be in order to live in a particular city. Portland, he discovered, is near the top of the list."

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Brink Year

Which cascading threat are you afraid of, personally, as the end of the year crests the horizon? Cascading disease? In a worst-case hypothetical scenario, should the outbreak continue with recent trends, the case burden could gain an additional 77,181 to 277,124 cases by the end of 2014.

Cascading militancy? Turkey’s failure thus far to help choke off the oil trade symbolizes the magnitude of the challenges facing the administration both in assembling a coalition to counter the Sunni militant group and in starving its lifeblood. ISIS’ access to cash is critical to its ability to recruit members, meet its growing payroll of fighters, expand its reach and operate [...]

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Grouper, "Call Across Rooms"

There is depressive music that tightens the girdle of neuroses around your brain and then depressive music that loosens it. Music that forces you to stare at the ceiling and music that lets you close your eyes for a minute. Music to breath in, music to breath out. A whole rich taxonomy, probably, with fans too lethargic to write it.

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A New York Times Lifehack

"In the war between a sensitive nose and the city streets, the streets have the upper hand, assailing the nose with the odors of urine, decomposing garbage and clammy armpits. Mouth breathing is not only acceptable, but often necessary."

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Truls, "TRVLS"

Soaring, almost presumptuously confident pop music. Pristine production, accompanied by a victory-lap tour video with huge, adoring crowds. But then: "Truls?" The answer to any questions you might have here is Norway. (Thanks, Jenna.)

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42 Crosby Street, New York City

November 26, 1873:

May 15, 1887:

March 1897:

August 3, 1898:

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Deers, "Castigadas En El Granero"

"Ugh, where are we all moving next?" asks everyone, everywhere, all the time. "Madrid seems pretty nice," says someone who just heard this song.

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