Smiles are sure to abound for North American audiences of Playing for Change as the musical extravaganza goes on tour this week. The multimedia, artist-driven effort is working to promote peace and music education through collaboration and live performances of World music. San Franciscans can take in the tunes, including a rather irresistible rendition of “Stand By Me” at Slim‘s today. Other upcoming shows include Seattle’s Showbox and New York’s High Line Ballroom. Should you miss the opportunity to see Grandpa Elliott, Mohammed Alidu, Jason Tamba of Afro Fiesta, and their counterparts performing together live for the first time, the film looks to be a promising second best (after showing at Tribeca, it won best song at the Roxbury Film Festival — no surprise there).
For all of the store bought umbrellas that buckle under the slightest breeze, you’d be better served investing some extra coin in the Davek Golf Umbrella, which was designed to keep the rain from putting a damper on your outdoor experience even during extreme conditions. Tested in winds of up to 60 mph at M.I.T. (ooh, scientific) its 190 thread dual canopy system works to ensure each test is a dry run. It also comes with an anchor spike should you face some drizzle on the back. Davek’s unconditional lifetime guarantee also assures this is the last umbrella you’ll ever buy. Until you leave it on the subway.
Maybe you got outbid on yesterday’s DEVO art bike and you’d like to use your current bike to make your own art. For that you need the Contrail, a tool that attaches to your bike’s seat tube and leaves a colorful chalk line behind you as you ride. Brooklyn’s Studio Gelardi says they created it to build biker community. The Contrail holds 200 grams of chalk — enough for about 20 miles of riding — all the while leaving a faint line that reminds fellow cyclists where it’s safe to ride. As bikers follow, the chalk lines grow brighter “reclaiming the crucial shared space.” The Contrail was a finalist in Design 21′s Pedal To The Medal competition and is not in yet in production.
The standard set by Operation Doomsday is met once again. MF Doom has dropped the MF and kept the raw sample beats and rough recordings. Born Like This is a feat put forth by the last intelligent MC with clout. While we’re all still waiting for the rumored second Madvillain and the impossible to reach Ghostface collaboration, there’s nothing better than an LP from the most recognized persona of Daniel Dumile. This one features Raekwon, Ghostface, and Kurious. The bulk of production is by Doom himself, Madlib, Jake One, and as per tradition, a couple of J Dilla beats including “Lightworks” (off Donuts), killed by Doom..
If you listen to In Rainbows and Pablo Honey back-to-back, it’s obvious that this band broke out almost 20 years ago and kept redefining themselves, honing in on a perfect balance of live production and studio process. Now, the first three albums — the ones that display Radiohead’s largest stylistic leaps and bounds — are available in a special collectors editions, packaged with loads of videos, demos, live shows, and tons of other bonus material.