Carolina Chocolate Drops will defy, and redefine, your presumptions regarding the pure power of the kazoo.
The trio, comprised of Rhiannon Giddens, Dom Flemons and Justin Robinson, met in 2005 at the Black Banjo Gathering in Boone, North Carolina. The event was dedicated to those who wished to better understand the banjo's roots in African and African American music and history. Their music is an eclectic and lively mix of fiddle, banjo, kazoo, jug, beat boxing and (literally) the bones. String music finds its American roots in a white Appalachian tradition, and grew from the seeds of slavery for the most part. And yet Carolina Chocolate Drops have taken this seemingly tenuous foundation for an all-black band and made the music distinctly, powerfully their own.
Confession time: I love me a good low budget fantasy series. If it's on a second rate cable network, and it features magic, medieval times, and roaming adventures, I'm in. I lived for Xena: Warrior Princess and all its chakram throwing, ululating battle crying, lesbian subtext possessing glory.
Later, I started watching Hercules - hell, I even gave Sinbad a try. But for the past few years, it appeared that the glory days of historic revisionism were over.
Here's a reality check the next time someone wants to tell you about clean coal: They're still cleaning up the biggest fly ash spill in U.S. history that occurred in December 2008, which occurred at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Kingston Fossil Plant. A dam holding back tons of slurry burst in the middle of the night, dumping more than a billion gallons of coal ash slurry into Tennessee River tributaries. The sludge leveled entire communities with a four-foot-deep layer of coal ash slurry and killed off an unbelievable number of fish living in the rivers. The spill has been said to be one hundred times as large as the Exxon Valdez oil spill of 1989.
Slate's DoubleXX recently hosted a discussion entitled 'That Not So Fresh Feeling: Marketing Embarrassing Products To Women' in which they analyzed adverts for tampons and sanitary towels, and the profiteering exploits of the feminine hygiene industry. Target Women writer and performer Sarah Haskins commented, 'Ever since we were borne of Adam's rib we have been flawed, and the only things that will fix us will be sold to us as we watch Project Runway.' I recently argued in a post that hormonal contraceptives are the new tampons - the logical progression from hiding periods away, to getting rid of them altogether. It's no wonder, then, that these contraceptives are marketed to us using the same tried and true lady-vertising tactics as their feminine hygiene predecessors.
Natural disasters are gendered, with women facing aid discrepancies at every step of the recovery process. Particularly in areas that are already impoverished, there are simply fewer opportunities to rebuild after a disaster. If women are already largely shut out of the more lucrative jobs, this continues the cycle of poverty. Women are often the ones overburdened with domestic responsibilities and largely responsible for caring for children and the elderly, which is also exacerbated by catastrophe. Often overlooked are reports of sexual violence following a disaster, but much like rape and sexual torture are weapons of war, they are also employed in the aftermath of disasters, connected with looting and other violent crime that rises during such unrest.