Affleck in the Congo: WTF

Look, i get it, Ben Affleck. You're a serious guy, trying to understand a deathly, sad, serious issue. But, do you realize that those camera's following you around are there to follow you, not the crisis? I get that you're trying to raise awareness, and that your presence there may make someone learn about the crisis and spur some action. But, what's happening there is incredibly sad and somehow, seeing pictures of a doofy actor plodding around in a $300 rain jacket makes the pictures seem somehow less real. I worry that people will see a PR stunt, and not see the urgency of the crisis. 

On the other hand, the Boston Globe's Big Picture post on the crisis will devastate you if you take the time to look deeply at the pictures. It's another demonstration of the power of pictures over words. 

The DB’s – Not Quite a Hit, But no Flop

Anatomy of a Flop – Measure for Measure Blog – NYTimes.com.When i was 16, right after i got my drivers license, i would drive to downtown Green Bay, to the really, really rundown part, with my buddy Peter and he and i would go to a little store that rented out records. Can you believe that? Rented. Records. Good old vinyl for rent. With a wink and a nod, Stan (i can't believe i remember his name) would let me walk out the door with a clutch of discs and a smile to speed home, tape the things onto cassette, and then return the rental. Sometimes i'd round trip it in the same day and grab another record to tape. This was, very obviously – and even to a dumb-ass 16 year old – illegal. But, for the four or five months that it lasted, i got a bunch of good music.

This album by the DB's (Like This) is one of them that i loved the most. I don't remember all the songs anymore, but i bet i could sing most of them now, word for word. So, i was really glad to stumble across the link above, from the New York Times, written by Peter Holsapple. He may be better known to most of you as the trusty sideman for REM, but i'll always know him as the DB's guy.

(If you want a beautifully written, well performed, and incredibly well produced album, please do check out "Mavericks", by Holsapple and Chris Stamey. "She was the One" is the best song on there, "Angels" the hit. )

If you like this story from Holsapple, you should probably also check out Suzanne Vega's story about Tom's Diner and how she helped create the MP3 file format. Excellent writing…