Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Complete Guide to Not Giving a F**k

Written by inoveryourhead

Ok, I have a confession to make.

I have spent almost my whole life– 31 years–  caring far too much about offending people, worrying if I’m cool enough for them, or asking myself if they are judging me.

I can’t take it anymore. It’s stupid, and it’s not good for my well being. It has made me a punching bag–  a flighty, nervous wuss. But worse than that, it has made me someone who doesn’t take a stand for anything. It has made me someone who stood in the middle, far too often, and not where I cared to stand, for fear of alienating others. No more. Not today.

Today, ladies and gentlemen, is different.

We’re going to talk about the cure. We’re going to talk about what’s necessary. We’re going to talk about the truth.

Do you wonder if someone is talking shit about you? Whether your friends will approve? Have you become conflict-avoidant? Spineless?

Well, it’s time you started not giving a fuck.

Tumblrkpxypmjqro1qzv9mh

FACT NUMBER 1. People are judging you right now.

Yes, it’s really happening right at this moment. Some people don’t like you, and guess what? There’s nothing you can do about it. No amount of coercion, toadying, or pandering to their interests will help. In fact, the opposite is often true; the more you stand for something, the more they respect you, whether it’s grudgingly or not.

What people truly respect is when you draw the line and say “you will go no further.” They may not like this behaviour, but so what? These are people don’t like you anyway, why should you attempt to please people who don’t care for you in the first place?

Right. Then, there’s Internet trolls. That’s a whole other thing.

Regular people are fine– you don’t actually hear it when they’re talking behind your back. But on the web, you do see it, which changes the dynamic drastically. They have an impact because they know you have your vanity searches, etc. But the real problem with Internet haters is that they confirm your paranoid delusion that everyone out there secretly hates you.

Thankfully, that’s not actually true. So the first noble truth is that most people don’t even care that you’re alive. Embrace this, my friends, for it is true freedom. The world is vast and you are small, and therefore you may do as you wish and cast your thoughts of those who dislike it to the side.

FACT NUMBER 2. You don’t need everyone to like you.

This stuff is crazy, I know, but it’s cool, you’ll get used to it. Here’s the next thing: not only do most people not know that you exist, and some are judging you, but it totally does not matter even if they are.

How liberating this is may not even hit you yet, but it will. Check this out: when people don’t like you, nothing actually happens. The world does not end. You don’t feel them breathing down your neck. In fact, the more you ignore them and just go about your business, the better off you are.

You know when they say “the best revenge is a life well lived”? Well, this is true, but it isn’t the whole truth. A life well lived is great, yes, but it cannot happen while you are sweating about who your detractors are and what they think. What you have to do, what you have no choice but to do, is accept it and move on.

So not giving a fuck is actually a necessary precedent to create a good life for yourself. It can’t happen without it. That’s why you have to begin today.

FACT NUMBER 3. It’s your people that matter.

Ok, so you’ve adjusted to the fact that most people in the world are barely aware of your existence, and you’re also conscious of the fact that those who don’t like you are in the obscenely small minority and don’t actually matter. Awesome. Next you need to realize that the people who do care about you, and no one else, are those you need to focus on.

Relationships are weird. Once we’re in one (with family, a spouse, whatever), we promptly begin to take the other person for granted and move on to impressing strangers instead– say, our boss. Then, once we’ve impressed our boss, we start taking him for granted too, and so on, in an endless cycle of apathy. It’s like we always prefer to impress and charm the new than to work on what we already have.

But these people– your champions– they understand your quest or your cause. They make you feel good when you’re around them, make you laugh or make you feel like you can just be yourself. They make you feel relaxed or at ease. You’ve shared things with them. They’re important. Focus on them instead.

FACT NUMBER 4. Those who don’t give a fuck change the world. The rest do not.

So I’m reading this horrible book right now by Stephen King called the Long Walk. It’s a contest where people walk without sleeping or resting, and if they do stop, they are killed. (That’s actually every Stephen King book– “there’s a clown, but it kills!” “There’s a car, but it kills!” etc.)

I suspect this book is a metaphor for war, but it also captures perseverance very well. What it takes to move past anything is to simply realize that your obstacle is unimportant, and that it can be dismissed. This is true whether you’re running a marathon or trying to get to Mars.

If you dismiss the things that do not matter; if you remove those things from your mind and focus on what must be done; if you understand that your time is limited and decide to work now; only then will you be able to get to the finish line. Otherwise, you will be dissuaded into living a life you aren’t interested in.

Side note: You need to handle failure and obscurity better. You may be in a tough place right now where you feel lonely or like a loser. No worries, we’ve all been there. But it’s time for you to realize how common these things are, and that they’re experienced by even the most successful and happiest people in the world. Those people get past them, and you will too.

The eye is watching

You want to know something? This actually has nothing to do with anyone else. It has everything to do with you.

I had a discussion with Jonathan Fields the other week that was about the use of swearing (and “true voice”) on blogs. I watched him on a Skype video as we did this, and I could actually pinpoint the moment where he was about to say “fuck” but almost stopped himself. It was amazing. So I called him out on it. “You felt it just now, didn’t you?”

Everyone has an internetal eye. It always watching. It has been slowly constructed by society at large and by your friends and family, and it checks you for unacceptable behaviour. If you have had it around for long enough, you actually start to believe that the eye is you, and that you’re “being reasonable” or some other rationalization.

But the eye isn’t you at all. It is a prison, and you have justified its existence by obeying it. It’s strong because you let it be strong.

But the secret, the part that’s amazing, is that it can’t do anything to stop you, even if it wanted to. It’s an eye. It can only watch. The rest of you is free to act as you wish.

How to get back your self-respect in five easy steps

STEP 1. Do things that you consider embarrassing.

My girlfriend and I have been breaking in Vibram Fivefingers in preparation for the massive walk we are doing. Have you ever seen these shoes? They’re amazing for you knees and give you no blisters, but they are the ugliest thing imaginable. Yesterday, I wore them with a sweet bowtie I put on for Easter. I looked like a crazy person.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I am deeply aware and can become quite upset by people’s judgment– I think a lot of people are, but don’t admit it. But as I walked by people in my techno-clown outfit, not a single person looked at me. Nobody cared, and it slowly dawned on me that even if people did look at me weird, they just walked by. Later, they would forget about me entirely.

You must try this. Find your internal filters and break them, one at a time. Notice how society, like an ocean, smoothes over the waves you make, until what you do gets eliminated, or becomes the status quo. Work with this.

STEP 2. Accept, or deal with, awkwardness.

It’s widely known that interviewers get their best material by being quiet and allowing silence to force words out of a politician or celebrity.

You may be uncomfortable with silence. I know I still am. But I have been working on it and have to say that it is a much more serene state to be in than trying to cover it up with random babbling just to fill up the air. This is one type of awkwardness, a kind that you should feel comfortable about and learn to live with.

Another kind of social awkwardness is this in-between space where you might have done something wrong or been wronged, but don’t say anything. I’ve been given a few harsh lessons in my time and come away realizing that the freedom that comes from talking about an uncomfortable truth is better than the comfort of avoiding that talk altogether.

Someone told me recently that the Clintons’ method for earning respect in politics is this: if someone pushes you, push back twice as hard. This is much better than awkwardness. It’s clear, it’s not passive aggressive, and you know where you stand. Start doing this immediately.

STEP 3. Refuse boundaries.

The video above was taken in 1970, right when the Front de Libération du Québec had killed Premier Pierre Laporte and put his body in the trunk of a car. Trudeau’s “Just watch me” is one of the most famous phrases in Canadian political history. The journalists are trying to trap him into choosing on-camera between a safety/police-state and civil liberties/freedom but Trudeau refuses their boxes.

The Liberal Party of Canada no longer has any balls, but for us, there’s still hope. Walk where you want to walk. Don’t accept false choices. Don’t let people dictate how you should live your life. Definitely don’t listen to the eye.

STEP 4. Tell the truth.

You don’t need to be an asshole, but the world does not need another conflict-avoidant, evasive person. No one wants another individual who steps in line with everyone else. The status quo is doing fine without you, so it’s up to you to call bullshit if you see it.

Don’t mind-read either. Telling the truth means seeing the truth, not adding your own layer of sugar coating or suspected emotion on top of it.

STEP 5. Begin your new life.

This step can’t happen without the others, but once you’ve gotten here, you can safely begin to explore a whole new world– one where anything you do is fine as long as it isn’t seriously hurting anyone else. Wanna explore old abandoned buildings? No problem, as long as you’re ready to live with the consequences. Feel like hanging from hooks or get whipped by a dominatrix? Go ahead, but be safe about it.

Once you begin on this path, you start to discover that practically everyone is capable of understanding the weird things that you do. In fact, it makes you interesting and worth paying attention to, further feeding into your plans of world domination, should you have any.

But none of this fun can happen without you recognizing, and walking past, the eye. Doing this is a powerful act of control which builds momentum and makes you strong.

Take back your self respect. Do it today– try it right now. Wear something ugly. Do something stupid. Tell someone the truth.

It doesn’t fucking matter.

Bonus:Cats..

Go the Fuck to Sleep: a storybook for exhausted parents

Collected by boingboing

go-the-fuck-to-sleep.jpg

This is going to be my default gift for my friends who have kids.

Go the Fuck To Sleep is a bedtime book for parents who live in the real world, where a few snoozing kitties and cutesy rhymes don’t always send a toddler sailing off to dreamland. Honest, profane, and affectionate, Adam Mansbach’s verses and Ricardo Cortés’ illustrations perfectly capture the familiar–and unspoken–tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night, and open up a conversation about parenting in the process. Beautiful, subversive, and pants-wettingly funny, Go the Fuck to Sleep is a perfect gift for parents new, old, or expectant. Here is a sample verse:The cats nestle close to their kittens now.
The lambs have laid down with the sheep.
You’re cozy and warm in your bed, my dear
Please go the fuck to sleep.

Go the Fuck to Sleep

 

Bonus: I’m from Massachusetts where we have a bunch of towns with stupid names. In one particular town of Sandwich, this is what their cruisers have on the side

null

30 Greatest Album Covers Of All Time

Collected by livemusicguide

WE NEED YOUR INPUT!

We have relaunched this list in our never ending endeavour to create the most comprehensive list of the all-time best album covers – so we need your help!  Please use the comment section below to let us know which albums art you feel is missing from this list – Please participate!

One of the most overlooked consequences of the current digitialization of music is its effects on the artform that is the album cover.  Once upon a time, if you wanted to buy an album, you would meander into your local record store and browse through the album sections, and lo! and behold! you were mesmorized by amazing cover art as large as your head.  Today?  Click, download, and that’s it.  Of course, if you’re fortunate, the album art might take up a square inch of your iPod screen.

In honor of this lost art, we had compiled a list of our 30 favorite album covers of all time.  Since then friends of LiveMusicGuide.com have added to our list .

From Gentle Giant to The Who to N.W.A. to the Strokes, these are examples of the enormous power a single image can have on the whole of our musical experience.

Page One: Our original list of 30

Page Two: Contributions from our readers

Our Original List of 30

At the very least, The Who Sell Out spawned the classic rock anthem "I Can See For Miles."  But there is much more to this album than that singular hit that had such a strong impact on fans since the album’s release.

Tracks are connected by bits of fake radio commercials and brass fanfares. Really, there’s a little of everything thrown into the mix. Considering the record’s content, a concept album built around faux commercials and public service announcements, the cover of The Who Sell Out makes sense.  And even over 40 years later, the cover elicits the same chuckles, and may even fall into the "thought-provoking" category.  Still, a picture of Roger Daltrey sitting in a tub of Heinz Baked Beans is an image few have an easy time swallowing without suffering lingering, ill after-effects.

Recorded in the U.S. in a three-and-a-half day flurry of inspired activity before the band members’ visas expired, Disraeli Gears continued to present the legendary, unprecedented rock power-trio acrobatics pioneered by Cream on their debut Fresh Cream.

The acronymic "SWLABR (She Walked Like a Bearded Rainbow)" for instance, featured some of the band’s most fiery instrumental interplay. The album, with its eye-catching day-glo cover, was produced by Felix Pappalardi (who went on to co-found the Cream-inspired Mountain) and once again featured collaborations between singer/bassist Jack Bruce and lyric poet Pete Brown.

The Top Five hit "Sunshine Of Your Love," however, was written by Brown and Eric Clapton. That iconic riff-rocker, along with the slinky, bluesy "Strange Brew," and the mythographic, wah-wah stomper "Tales of Brave Ulysses" was a staple of rock radio forever after, making DISRAELI GEARS one of the seminal ’60s rock albums. Despite the good humor suggested by the jokey a capella reading of "Mother’s Lament," however, all was far from peace and love in the Cream camp at the time, as internal and external pressures broke up the band by the end of 1968.

Of course the cover art was inspired by an era that made halucinagens quite popular.  I imagine, at the time, more than one enthusiastic cry of, "Dude, check out Disraeli Gears!" was sounded by adoring fans while under the influence of God knows what.

Another undeniably "trippy" cover, Axis: Bold As Love was the follow-up toAre You Experienced?, and represented a much more conscious use of the recording studio’s possibilities. Where his live shows continued to showcase the raw rocking power of the Experience, the recording studio gave Hendrix the composer/arranger a broader palette.

There are still plenty of powerful blues/rock-inflected songs, such as the menacing "If 6 Was 9," the rolling "Spanish Castle Magic" and the spatial title tune. But "Up from the Skies" is a jazzy trio romp, featuring Hendrix’s bluesy, vocalized wah-wah pedal. And on the ballads "Little Wing" and "Castles Made of Sand," Hendrix shifts the focus from the band to the silvery chord/melody accompaniments he often employed to complement his vocals. They are an orchestral effect unto themselves.

"…for folks who’ve never heard Jimi on vinyl, the rainbow fantasia world of Hendrix awaits you in all its polyphonic peacock glory…." – Mojo

??Sorry folks, we had to include the obligatory Abbey Road
For an album cover that’s so universally accepted as one of the most defining, if not the most defining of its kind, it’s startling to learn that the idea was completely improvised within a time frame of only 10 minutes.  Yet, what makes Abbey Road the most powerful and influential album cover in existence is the entire urban legend that surrounds it and its meaning. 
To this day, some Beatles fans still believe the cover of Abbey Road to symbolize Paul McCartney’s alleged real life death–where John, in all white, is the preacher, Ringo, in all black, is the mourner, and George, in denim, is the gravedigger.  The almost accidental image that is Abbey Road has yielded conspiracy theories left and right, yet still remains the source of one of London’s most celebrated landmarks, where tourists to this day try to replicate that famous pose across the zebra crossing.  Moreso than any other album cover, Abbey Road exemplifies that old cliche–that a picture is truly worth a thousand words.

The Rolling Stones were and have never been the kings of subtlety, especially when it comes to sex.  From the start, the Stones were legendary for their sex appeal, an image that went almost hand in hand with their music.  What culminated was legendary cover forSticky Fingers, an up close shot of Andy Warhol associate Joe Dallesandro (and not Mick Jagger) that originally came with a working zipper on vinyl covers.

Pieced together from outtakes and much-labored-over songs, Sticky Fingers has a loose, ramshackle ambience that belies both its origins and the dark undercurrents of the songs. It’s a weary, drug-laden album — well over half the songs explicitly mention drug use, while the others merely allude to it — that never fades away, but barely keeps afloat. Apart from the classic opener, "Brown Sugar," the long workout "Can’t You Hear Me Knocking," and the mean-spirited "Bitch," Sticky Fingers is a slow, bluesy affair, with a few country touches thrown in for good measure.

Funk forefathers, Parliament-Funkadelic, pretty much define the word "eccentric".  If you look at their top songs on iTunes, it’s impossible not to notice such stylings as "Yank My Doodle," "Gloryhallastoopid (Pin the Tale On the Funky)," and my personal favorite, "Aquaboogie (A Psychoalphadiscobetabioaquadoloop)."  But the cover for Maggot Brain, showing a woman buried in dirt screaming in distress (or, possibly, euphoria?), is prototypical of George Clinton and P-Funk’s renowned weirdness.

The stunning title track provides the ultimate vehicle for Funkadelic’s late and great guitarist, Eddie Hazel. This moving ten-minute instrumental has Hazel playing through many peaks and valleys, wringing passion from his six-string, and leaving the listener drained by its conclusion. Funkadelic’s masterpiece, a dark vision of what the future holds, articulated through George Clinton’s slightly hazy vision and Eddie Hazel’s astounding guitar work. This CD contains the original 7 track album from 1971 (remastered) plus 3 bonus tracks.

Alladin Sane drips with the seedy sexuality of London’s late ’60s sexual revolution and the cover art immortalizes one of the most iconic images in rock history.  Everyone fromLady Gaga to this guy (or girl?) has reissued it in their own way, but no one has ever surpassed the originality or aesthetic radiance of Ziggy Stardust’s original. 
Bowie retired the Ziggy persona, and in fact, announced his real life retirement from on stage a short time after the album’s release. Although his retirement was not long-lived, its made this cover even more significant.  Of perennial interest and speculation is the enigmatic object on bowie’s neck.

Though the Stooges were on the verge of breaking up at the time RAW POWER was recorded, it still comes across as (arguably) their most focused and powerful release. The songs work sexy, primal grooves ("I Need Somebody"), hopped-up boogie ("Shake Appeal"), reworked, adrenaline-pumped early rock & roll (the title track), and creeping, whisper-fueled come-ons ("Penetration"). The album’s two best tracks, the spastic, take-no-prisoners danger anthem "Search and Destroy, " and the minor key, Doors-influenced "Gimme Danger" bristle with energy and the kind of sleazy, libidinous glamour that keep the true heart of rock thudding furiously. Aptly named, RAW POWER was the Stooges’ third and final album, putting the cap on their small but hugely influential discography. A rock essential.

At first glance the cover of Raw Power seems unremarkable.  The "live action rock star" idea has been remade ad nauseum.  Still, let your attention rest on Iggy’s bizzare, almost otherwordly, androgynous countenance.  Framed in a minimalist black environment, this album cover proves that aestetically simple and compelling can coexist when the most charasmatic frontman in all of punk rock is involved.

A band that’s known for their album covers, Wish You Were Here somehow stands above the rest.  And the story behind the photo shoot–just as great.  With the wind blowing in the wrong direction, the fire coming off the "burning man’s" repellant suit and wig blew the other man’s way–and burned his mustache.  Turns out, the pain was well worth it for Pink Floyd–the 1974 ode to former band leader Syd Barrett spawned the legendary title track and remains one of their most celebrated albums.

The Ramones’ self-titled debut is a justifiably adored album–not just one of the best albums to come out of the initial New York punk explosion of the mid-’70s, but one of the greatest rock and roll albums of all time.  Changeups like the bubblegummy near-ballad "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" and the uncharacteristically harsh "53rd and 3rd" (an unsentimental song about Dee Dee Ramone’s days as a teenage hustler) vary the album’s sound and mood more than its detractors (and even some of its fans) maintain.

And this cover is punk rock.  Just ask Weezer, the Strokes, and pretty much every punk rock (or pop-punk) band today–everything they do ultimately comes down to this Ramones’ debut, recorded just two years after they played their first show.

Iron Maiden belongs to that rare group of artists that can claim an official, bonafide mascot; Eddie, the ghoulish zombie-like creature controlling Satan like a puppet in the top-right corner of the metal giants’ most prominent album, The Number and the Beast.  Eddie continues to make appearances on every Iron Maiden cover, including 2010’s The Final Frontier.

The original Eddie was just a theatrical mask. It can be seen in the band photos on the first album and on the "Running Free" single picture sleeve. It was a face right next to the band’s logo. It was connected to a pump that would eject various kinds of liquids, from food dye to paint, and would drool over Doug Sampson wh o was the drummer at the time. Fans would also try to throw things into the mouth at gigs.

The actual character of Eddie was created by Derek Riggs.

Like many, most of my knowledge of Rick James: the man, comes from The Chappelle Show, so I imagined that Dave Chappelle probably exaggerated the Superfreak’s eccentric persona.  And then I saw Throwin Down’ ….

This was vocalist David Lee Roth’s final record for the band and as such, the album stands as a testament of worth somewhere between high camp and high class. Eddie Van Halen’s venerable, rolling guitar pulled immaculately into place, while his new-found love of the keyboard gave them their first international smash with "Jump." However, it is the quite demented rush of "Panama," and the hilarious "Hot For Teacher," with Roth exuding a droll litany of school-yard fantasies over a thunderous Alex Van Halen backbeat, that gives ultimate credence to the rock ‘n’ roll party that was the Roth/Van Halen partnership.

It’s a cute angel baby smoking a cigarette–what other reason do you need?

Musically, BORN IN THE USA was as lean and muscular as Springsteen himself, trading in the E Street Band’s over-the-top saxophone-and-piano sound of old for a sleeker, forward-driving guitar-and-synthesizer feel (foreshadowing a future in which long-time sax sidekick Clarence Clemons would be gone, and mild-mannered pianist/synth-player Roy Bittan would emerge as a full-blown collaborator). Continuing in the vein of NEBRASKA, the songs were plainspoken, folk-derived tunes, although this time they leapt into big, sing-along choruses. And, seemingly, the whole world sang along.

For every Death Certificate, there’s a Born in the U.S.A.  Despite the infamous Vietnam-themes content of the title, the legendary cover of Springsteen’s highest selling album is unquestionably patriotic.  The white t-shirt, the blue jeans and the red hat–all symbols of pure Americana, flaunted by music’s working class hero.

Surprisingly, this one was a bit controversial in its day.  Back when Nothing’s Shocking, which spawned the alt-rock classics "Jane Says" and "Mountain Song," was released in 1988, nine of the eleven major record retailers refused to sell the album, and other stores only sold it wrapped in a brown paper bag.  Nevertheless, Perry Farrell and the rest of Jane’s took ironic humor to a new level amidst the fuss, issuing an alternate cover featuring, on a white backdrop, the opening lines of the First Amendment.



Like The Ramones is for punk, the cover of Straight Outta Compton is the epitome of gangsta rap.  Released during a time when Reaganomics continued to ravage inner city neighborhoods, and hip-hop had yet to become a universally accepted form of music, there was nothing more daring (or terrifying) than issuing a debut album featuring Eazy-E pointing a gun towards the camera, while Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and the rest of N.W.A. looks down emotionless .

It’s sometimes hard to believe that, years before Are We There Yet?, Ice Cube was best known as arguably the most controversial rapper in the world.  On 1991’s Death Certificatealone, he included racially charged statements on drug dealing, racial profiling, and gun violence.  The frightening album cover encapsulates it all, showing Ice Cube standing over the dead body of Uncle Sam, whose cold, dead feet stick out front and center.

The cover of Nevermind was considered a classic from its debut in 1991, helping turn Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic into superstars and Cobain into Generation X’s reluctant spokesman.  It’s also been parodied by everyone from "Weird Al" Yankovic toBart Simpson.  And just in case all you 30-something readers need another reason to feel old, that baby is now 20-year old Spencer Elden, an aspiring artist who recently re-created the famous photo, which can be seen here–it’s just like the original, only a little less cute.

The 1963 photograph of a Vietnamese Buddhist monk burning himself alive was already infamously known when the boys of RATM featured it on their debut album.  Still, it almost seems like the photo–shocking, graphic and in-your-face–was meant for Rage Against The Machine’s brand of fiercely political metal.



Allmusic.com called Alice in Chain’s 1992’s opus, which features the emotionally draining "Would?," "Rooster" and "Them Bones," a "primal, sickening howl from the depths of [lead singer] Layne Staley’s heroin addiction."  Now, I’ve never had the pleasure of using heroin, but I imagine it’s something like this album cover.  A truly frightening image.

I’ve always found something creepy about the cover art for Siamese Dream, one of the undeniable classics of ’90s rock.  It’s definitely not the two cute little girls on the front, but maybe it’s the way they’re depicted.  Like something out of a horror movie, the cover girls on Siamese Dream are shot in a grainy, rough fashion, a contrast of impressions that creates an instantly memorable image.

One of the most celebrated releases in hip-hop history–Prefix Magazine and About.com call it the greatest ever–the cover of Illmatic is arguably just as influential.  Most notably,The Notorious B.I.G. and Lil Wayne famously replicated the same idea on their own album covers, but neither remains as aesthetically powerful as Illmatic, featuring a seven-year old Nas fiercingly staring into the camera amidst a backdrop of New York housing projects.

Sometimes, a cover doesn’t have to include an extraordinary visual spectacle like Axis: Bold As Love or make a political statement like Death Certificate to become an instant classic.  Take the cover for Weezer’s debut album, an image so simple (four guys, blue backdrop), but one that still manages to amplify the band’s irresistibly geeky ethos.

More than six years after his death, Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard remains one of the most polarizing figures in hip-hop history.  The man truly thrived on controversy, most infamously demonstrated when ODB made an appearance on MTV in 1995, taking a limousine to a welfare office to collect food stamps.  ODB received a a lot of backlash for that cameo, but later backed it up with the cover for his debut album, which simply displayed a bastardized version of his own welfare card featuring a fairly amusing mug shot.

And that doesn’t make a great album cover story, I don’t know what does.  

I remember, as a seven year old, walking into a local Sam Goody (remember those?) with my mom and seeing the cover of Mechanical Animals displayed on a featured rack.  That image of the ghost-white, androgynous Manson literally gave me nightmares for the next week.  If Manson wanted to scare the crap out of half of America, I think he got the job done with Mechanical Animals.



The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ fixation with California is well-documented, and stretches from 1983’s "Out In L.A." to 2006’s "Dani California."  Sometimes, their Cali obsession goes a little overboard (see the lyrics to "Out In L.A." and you’ll see what I mean), but the cover ofCalifornication–with its striking color contrast and the seemingly endless horizon–is a simple and beautiful ode to the Golden State.

The biggest mindfuck album cover of them all.  And for the guy that wrote "Kill You," it’s only appropriate. Featuring a paranoid-looking Marshall Mathers wrapped in a blanket and huddling by himself on a dirty old floor, The Marshall Mathers LP is a terrifying look inside the mind of one of rap’s most controversial and successful artists–the album has sold an astounding 19 million copies worldwide.  To most people, the album cover looks like a horror movie, but to the guy that rapped about killing his pregnant wife on "Kim," it’s probably just a casual Friday.

OutKast’s artistic progression to 2000’s sprawling Stankonia is well-noted by music critics, but one can look no further than the album cover to realize it.  Between Andre 3000’s bizarre half-voodoo cursing/half-jazz hands motion, Big Boi’s stout, deadpan facial expression, and the slightly altered American flag in the back, a clear ode to Sly and the Family Stone’s There’s a Riot Goin’ On, Stankonia is eccentric as an album cover can be.

This is not the album cover you’ll see on iTunes or in most stores–you’ll probably findthis.  And for good reason–it’s a bit suggestive, don’t you think?  Turns out, the photo shoot of Is This It was pretty spontaneous.  The model in question was photographer Colin Lane’s girlfriend, who posed for the picture after coming out of the shower, and putting a stylist’s glove on.  As Lane told it, "I was just trying to make a sexy picture."  It worked–Is This It was a commercial and critical breakthrough for The Strokes and remains one of the new millenium’s most endearing albums.

P.S.: I’m not sure, but I think that really might be Marilyn Manson’s ass.

There’s a central aesthetic theme to the White Stripes’ clothing choices, album covers, music videos and pretty much everything they do–the colors red, black and white.  Why?  As Jack White tells it, "They’re all tricks to get people to pay attention."  On the cover of 2005’s Get Behind Me Satan, the band’s first real deviation from their signiture garage-blues sound, the Stripes utilize this trick to its advantage–who knows what the hell Jack and meg are doing, but the minimalistic contrast of colors makes this a striking cover.

Courtesy: cduniverse

Readers’ Choices

Bonus: Ant vs. Spider…just wait for it.

7 Simple Ways to Save the World from Home

Written by gizmodo

Annie Hauser — Kermit famously sang “It’s not easy being green.” Wrong again, talking frog; it’s actually not that tough. You probably know the basics: compact fluorescent bulbs, reusable shopping bags, and public transportation. But wait, there’s more! And it’s also pretty easy. Here are seven ways to save the planet—and a few greenbacks along the way:

1. Reduce your toilet’s water capacity

One of the easiest ways to save water is to reduce your toilet’s daily use. Drop a brick, handful of marbles or some other weighted, waterproof object into your toilet cistern to reduce the amount of water it takes to fill and flush your tank. There will be less water in the bowl, and less of your water bill going down the drain.

2. Switch Showerheads

 

You know how the first thing you replaced in your new apartment was that wimpy water-saving showerhead? Bad move. The standard shower head is set to spout 2.5 gallons per minute. If you take a 10-minute shower every day, that’s 9,125 gallons of water every year. You can save 60-percent—3,6500 gallons of water!—by switching to a water saving showerhead that only spills out 1.5 gallons per minute. High-quality heads, like this one from Alsons, shouldn’t have you sacrificing water pressure either.

3. Cut Cooking Carbon

The #1 thing you can do to reduce your carbon footprint while cooking and eating is buying locally grown, in-season food. The absolute best way to do this is to do most of your shopping at the local farmers’ market. If you do, you’re buying directly from the food’s producer and cutting out the middleman, who drives up food costs and carbon footprint. While you shop, don’t hesitate to ask farmers how they grow their products. Most will be more than happy to share.

4. Energy-Saving Outlet

Seven Simple Ways to Save the World from HomeYou really should know by now that your electronics and wall chargers still suck energy even when you’re not using them. But if you still don’t unplug everything, (guilty) tryThinkEco’s Modlet. The Modlet plugs in over your existing outlet, and automatically switches appliances off when you’re not using them. Once the Modlet is set up, you can even monitor your energy consumption remotely on any web browser. Want a free version of this gadget? Unplug anything you’re not directly using.

5. Energy Audit

Many utility companies will actually come out to your house—whether you rent or own—assess your energy usage, and tell you where you’re spending the most wattage. It’s free and it’s a great way to save money. Your power company isn’t so cool? Electricity usage monitors like the Belkin Conserve Insight or this one from P3 International can help as well. Just plug your appliances into the custom outlet, and watch as it monitors not only your appliance’s energy consumption, but also how much it’s costing you weekly, monthly and annually.

6. Auto-Mac

Seven Simple Ways to Save the World from HomeInstead of leaving your computer in sleep mode when you’re not using it, schedule auto start and auto shutdown. This Mac feature allows your trusty machine to wake up when you do, and sleep when you do. You’re not only giving your beloved computer a rest, you’re also saving a lot of energy over time.

 

7. Don’t Have Children

The scientific evidence is pretty clear: Having a child does far more to negatively impact your carbon footprint than any amount of living green could realistically offset. A 2009 study found this is truer for Americans than anyone else on the planet: An American woman who has a baby will generate 7 times the carbon emissions of a Chinese woman who has a child. So there you have it, wasteful Americans: Don’t have children, save the planet. OK, not every one of these is easy.

Bonus: Best $5 I’ve ever found…

US Healthcare vs. the Rest of the World

he state of the United States today is extremely fragile. Lawmakers are at war with one another over how to reduce our deficit while increasing our quality of living, and there is no end to the debate in sight. At the very core of this struggle over our future is a basic human necessity: health care. Many other developed nations have worked out sustainable models for health care, but in the US, costs are higher and quality of care is worse. The recent passage of health care reform is aimed at fixing our broken system, but many of us want to know: why is our health care so expensive in the first place? Medical Billing and Coding present part one of a two-part series detailing why our health care system is lagging behind those of other wealthy nations, both in affordability and in effectiveness.

Click for Full-Size Image

Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500 - Part One

Via: Medical Billing And Coding

The 5 Best iPad Apps For Consuming The News That’s Important To You

Written by Jessica Roy

With the recent release of the iPad 2, the Apple App Store is swarming with new and updated apps tailored for interactive news consumption. Some of the most compelling news apps are those that take a familiar concept–such as the simple act of reading a newspaper–and adapt it to the iPad’s unique platform. These are the apps that remind us that reading the news can be a fun and social experience. Here are five of our favorites:

1. Instapaper

Though many of us may spend all day on our computers, we don’t always have the time we want to devote to reading the interesting news stories that crop up throughout the day. Luckily, Instapaperexists for just this reason. The easy-to-use “Read Later” bookmarklet allows you to keep track of and aggregate all the stories you want to return to later, effectively allowing you to create your own personalized, well… instant paper. The iPad app easily integrates with the articles you’ve saved through your browser so that you can read through them at your own leisure. With version 3.0.2, updated just last week, the app boasts plenty of impressivecapabilities including offline dictionary integration, a built-in web browser, and full-featured, native sharing on Facebook and Twitter.

2. Flipboard

Glance once at Flipboard’s innovative UI and it’s not hard to see why its initial release last year caused quite a stir in the online journalism community. Flipboard is a fully customizable news app that pulls in articles from your favorite news organizations or specified beats and makes them look like a fresh-off-the-printer glossy magazine. This app is just plain beautiful, and as Wired put it back in December, Flipboard turns “web noise into iPad gold.” And with Google Reader integration, keeping up with your favorite blogs has never been so aesthetically pleasing.

3. SkyGrid

With a nonstop 24-hour news cycle, it can be difficult to stay on top of real time, breaking news. SkyGrid’s iPad app aims to make this task much easier, particularly when it comes to the news you care about. The app’s patented algorithm scavenges the web for the stories that are spreading the fastest worldwide, culling them into easily customizable categories. By enabling notifications, the app will also alert you with real time updates on any topic you designate.

4. Pulse News Reader

Designed by two Stanford students frustrated with the look and feel of mobile news apps, Pulse uses the iPad’s sleek design to display the news you care about in an elegant way. The app culls stories from your favorite blogs and websites and pieces them into a visually stunning mosaic of photos and text, with simple swipe functionality and built in sharing capabilities.

5. Taptu

Originally a player in the social search market, UK-based Taptu has pivoted to focus more on social news consumption. Their newest app,released just last week, takes the concept of mashing up your own music library and applies it to the way you read by inviting you to “DJ your news.” By using their StreamStudio, Taptu allows you to integrate news, social networks and more into an unlimited number of easily-navigable streams. As their CEO writes, “We’ve aimed to make your life less complicated and solve filter failure by putting all of your interests in one place.”

 

Bonus: Not trying to discourage anyone, but…