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____simple_html_dom__voku__html_wrapper____>Since 1987, the Swedish band Meshuggah has been inducting their listeners into some of the most intense, surreal and brash soundscapes to be concocted from a standard five-piece-band line-up. Their new album Obzen is no exception to the attributes that diehard fans have come to admire in this prestigious band.Drummer Thomas Haake said he wanted this album to be a return to the band’s roots, which means heavier, faster, louder and somewhat more straightforward than their previous album Catch Thirty Three. But don’t worry; the distinctive polyrhythms and intense syncopations are still here.A return to Meshuggah’s past can be found in the song “Bleed.” It’s reminiscent of a lot of speed metal and thrash metal. The chug-a-lug guitars and double-bass drumming are in sync for the majority of the song, making this one of the most intense Meshuggah songs to date.The album’s opener “Combustion” sounds like a track off the band’s 1998 album Chaosphere. “Combustion” proceeds in a straightforward fashion, as far as Meshuggah tunes go, and the meter of the entire song is in four.“Pravus” sounds a little like what Dillinger Escape Plan would sound like if you slowed them down to half-speed. Actually, it’s similar to what instrumental band Behold...The Arctopus would sound like with a lead singer. Don’t try deciphering this song, though. Side effects would include head-splitting migraines, bleeding ears and feelings of musical incompetence.The coup de grace “Dancers to a Discordant System” is a 10-minute-long epic with all the confections of a typical Meshuggah song. The intro begins with a moaning guitar and is eventually overtaken by a spastic, machine-like riff which becomes a main theme throughout the entire piece.The title of this album and the concept behind it sum up exactly what Meshuggah seems to aim for with their music. Haake said that the title comes from “mankind finding calm and inner peace and peace of mind through the obscene.”
The oft-overlooked morbid and intensely beautiful angst-rock weirdos Xiu Xiu (pronounced shoo shoo) have created yet another album worth adding to your record collection. "Women as Lovers" offers up a piping-hot plate of tunes sure to take you on a taboo roller-coaster ride of utter despair and empowerment.\nFirst off, you need to know that this album includes a fairly reverent cover of the David Bowie/Queen collaboration "Under pressure," which definitely pays homage to the Starman and Mr. Mercury.\nWomen as Lovers could have been cut in half, though; only about half the songs on it are really worth listening to. "Child at arms" sounds like it took about 10 minutes to write. "The leash" just feels rhythmically awkward because the vocals are not quite aligned with the music. \nOn the positive end of the spectrum, Xiu Xiu has created some solid songs.\nThe opening track "I do what I want, when I want" sounds a lot like what Tortoise might sound like if the addition of vocals were ever made. The marimba in this song along with the strange synth lines and freak-out sax solos take Xiu Xiu into new territory.\nThe dynamics of "In lust you can hear the axe fall" are great. The band added a string section to this song that helps propel it to epic levels. Lyrics with overtones of angst and sexual taboos -- the standard Xiu Xiu fare -- are still to be found here.\n"You are pregnant you, you are dead" is filled with the overdriven drums and guitar, with surprisingly mild lyrics for this band. It might be going too far to say this, but the lyrics sound almost like something on a folk-rock album -- not that folk-rock suits Xiu Xiu poorly.\nThis album would serve well as a good introduction to Xiu Xiu's music or as just another addition to a Xiu Xiu collection. The band has touched on some new territory but hasn't strayed too far from what we expect.
Early in 1977, harpist Eleanor Caulfield sat in her Vanderbilt Hotel apartment in New York City, staring out the window, trying to think of a good name for her and her husband Lee's new business.\n"I saw this stone wall -- a flying buttress -- and written across the buttress was the word Vanderbilt," Eleanor Caulfield said. "There was a pigeon sitting on top of the wall, and I thought, 'Pigeon Music?' No."\nShe did settle on Vanderbilt, though, and with that the United States had its second harp-string supplier - Vanderbilt Music Co. \nEleanor and Lee Caulfield began their business simply. Eleanor Caulfield sat down with an Olivetti typewriter and went through the directory of the American Harp Society. She wrote a letter to each member and included a free string sample. \nTwo weeks later, the couple received their first order -- $77 in strings from an Indiana harpist. By the end of the month, there were eight orders totaling $407.\nVanderbilt has since moved from New York to Bloomington, where Eleanor Caulfield grew up, and has more than 30,000 customers worldwide. The business totals about $1.5 million in revenue each year.\nThe largest portion of that revenue comes from harp sales, even though that is the smallest aspect of their business, said Company President Lee Caulfield. On average, Vanderbilt sells two to three pedal harps and three to four lever harps each month. \nIn harp stores that focus on instrument sales only, like W&W Musical Instruments in Chicago, 12 to 16 harps are sold each month. In both cases, however, the majority of harps are made-to-order and cost anywhere from $10,000 to $48,000. \nVanderbilt does not construct its own harps -- the company is a retailer of Lyon & Healy models, which are built in Chicago and considered to be one of the top brands in the world. In fact, Eleanor Caulfield cited Vanderbilt's lack of construction or reconstruction specialists as one of the company's weaknesses. They can do "tune-ups," but not actually take the harps apart. Otherwise, the company has all the bases covered.\n"There may be a few little things (we don't carry) ... we don't have harp napkins," Eleanor Caulfield said.\nSo Vanderbilt's niche has been in specializing in all things harp. When it comes to professional and concert harpists, that is. They carry a complete repertoire of harp music, a wide range of strings, accessories, recordings and books. There are possibilities of expanding into folk and Celtic lap-harps, or providing customers with more types of strings and adding more music to the already expansive library.\n"Once you start a business, it's like the boom of the universe," Eleanor Caulfield said. \nVanderbilt's comprehensive approach to the harp business is quite unique -- in the United States there are only four other such stores. Part of the reason is the small customer-base.\n"There's no area -- except New York or Los Angeles -- where there're enough harpists to support a store," Lee Caulfield said. "There's not a critical mass of harpists in Montana."\nEven with the world's largest harp department (with 24 undergraduate students) at the IU School of Music, Vanderbilt could not support itself on area harpists alone. There is not enough walk-in business to "buy lunch" on, Lee Caulfield said. Most of the company's business is mail-order. Russia and Japan are both big customers.\nStill, the local business is important, too. The Caulfields and their staff know all of their regular customers. \nThe majority of the staff are students -- all musicians, and all but three are harpists. Eleanor Caulfield said they opt to hire students, rather than a full-time, more permanent staff because "they have the knowledge, they have the know-how."\nBut with a unique, self-run company, there is always the question of what happens when the owners are unable to maintain the business any longer.\n"In five years, I'll be pretty old," Lee Caulfield said. "At some point we have to smell the flowers."\nIt would be heart-breaking for both Lee and Eleanor Caulfield to sell the business. The store ledgers, the original is kept in a safe in the store itself, are a story of the Caulfield's life together. Eleanor Caulfield went through the entries, pointing out changes in handwriting at major life events: when she became pregnant with her son, when her mother-in-law came for an extended visit.\n"The business is like another child to us," she said. "Our son grew up with the company."\nBut even with that history, their son does not want to take over the store. \nWhatever the future brings for Vanderbilt Music Co., both Caulfields are happy with the path they have chosen.\n"We've been able to make a living," Eleanor Caulfield said. "We were lucky that we got into a niche."\n-- Contact staff writer Laura Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fort Wayne has an undeserved reputation when it comes to big-city life. Granted, it is located in the wasteland of corn stalks and soybean fields known as Northeast Indiana, which is enough to bias almost any opinion. However, Indiana's second-largest city features a more than ample range of activities that makes any college student's visit worthwhile.\nApproximately a three-hour drive from Bloomington, Fort Wayne is an easy weekend vacation spot -- or even a good place to check out for a day's worth of serious shopping. Unknown to many Hoosiers, Indiana's largest mall isn't located in Indianapolis; Fort Wayne's Glenbrook Square easily wins that title. Boasting four department stores and more than 160 specialty shops, Glenbrook Square effortlessly turns into a day-long shopping adventure. The multi-level mall holds stores ranging from d.e.m.o. to Structure to Charlotte Russe to GUESS, easily suiting most consumer tastes. \nIn the slight chance that you can't find that awesome shirt you've been looking for at Glenbrook Square, you also can search for a new wardrobe at Jefferson Pointe. The newest shopping center to come to Fort Wayne, contemporary and original shops constantly are moving into this open-air mall. With architecture that echoes that of Mediterranean buildings, Jefferson Pointe gives a decidedly unique meaning to "spending a day at the mall." And if you get tired, you always can grab a bite to eat at one of the 22 restaurants and eateries, then head to the central outdoor fountain to enjoy lunch on the square.\nWhile window shopping at Jefferson Pointe, be sure to check out Rave Motion Pictures. Located within the Jefferson Pointe complex, it houses 18 movies screens, leaving you with the impression of an airport. The two-story plate glass entrance, complete with spotlights and other movie-related paraphernalia, makes a night at the movies a truly memorable event.\nHowever, Fort Wayne seems to have infinite options for any given occasion. If sprawling multiplexes aren't what you are looking for, see that new movie at the Cinema Grill. Located close to Glenbrook Square, this small theater doubles as a restaurant. Instead of stadium-style seating, your group of friends will be sitting at a table or a bar. As the movie plays, waiters will come to you to refill your drinks and take your orders from the Cinema Grill's own menu -- from which you can order popcorn for the traditionalists.\nCraving something more social? Perhaps louder, as well? Try Piere's, Fort Wayne's most popular nightlife spot. The massive complex holds five different clubs and two banquet facilities under one roof. With a club this large, crowds up to 2,000 can see Powerman 5000, Sisqo and Snoop Dogg, just to name a few of the 65 national acts that Piere's plays host to each year. \nHowever, if you just want to get out to dance, don't wait for the night of a show. Piere's has multi-level dancing, suspended lit dance floors, and even an official Wild On E! dance cage that stands 15 feet tall. For all the club people, Piere's is definitely a hot spot of the Midwest.\nAfter dragging yourself back, completely exhausted from a night of dancing and entertainment, you might want to check out some of the more mellow attractions the city has to offer. From July 12 \nto July 20, the Three Rivers Festival will be taking place at Headwaters Park in downtown Fort Wayne. This 35-year-old festival brings in about 500,000 people over the course of nine days, making it the second largest festival in Indiana. With amusement park-like rides, vendors, beer tents, art shows and concerts -- this year Ted Nugent and David Lee Roth are headlining the festival -- it's an event that everyone in the Fort will be checking out.\nDowntown also holds attractions for the artistic type. The Three Rivers Festival takes place practically on the front lawn of the Fort Wayne Museum of Art. The modest museum has held exhibitions by internationally acclaimed artists, such as glass artist Dale Chihuly, and with a $3 admission fee, it's a cheap opportunity to pick up some culture.\nAfter you've got the artistic part of your brain warmed up, head further downtown to the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory. Here, you can appreciate the art of nature in three distinct climates. Consisting of three massive connected greenhouses, you can see a rainforest waterfall in the Tropical House as well as a giant Saguaro cactus in the Sonoran Desert House. The third greenhouse is a showcase that changes several times a year. Currently, the showcase greenhouse is housing many different species of butterfly for visitors to enjoy. \nOn your way out of town, your final stop could be the Fort Wayne Children's Zoo. Although it is geared toward younger children, the Children's Zoo holds interest for all ages. Check out the award-winning Indonesian rainforest and an African veldt, complete with tigers, orangutans and Komodo dragons -- but be cautious of the peacocks and other birds that freely wander the grounds!\nOffering the attractions found in most big cities, Fort Wayne holds undiscovered excitement well within driving distance of Bloomington. Full of nightlife, arts, entertainment and shopping, Fort Wayne is an easy summer getaway destination for that weekend when you're looking for something different.
Now that the United States has gained control over Iraq, neighboring countries such as Turkey are nervously awaiting the outcome of Iraqi governmental talks, and students and professors are starting to question Turkey's future role in the Middle East.\nTurkey has been the only major U.S. ally, besides Israel, in a region filled with anti-U.S. sentiment. Now that the U.S. has a large presence in Iraq, some professors believe Turkey will not be nearly as important.\n"It looks increasingly like Turkey is going to be marginalized in the region," said Christine Ogan, journalism professor and associate dean for the IU School of Informatics graduate studies. \nOgan said she travels to Turkey almost yearly and spent her sabbatical there in 1997. She will be traveling there again in a few days.\n"If the United States establishes bases in Iraq, which it looks like they're doing, they won't have a need for Turkey anymore," she said.\nA main concern for the country is the Kurds, a minority group who live mainly in the south-eastern region of the country. Turkey has dealt with Kurdish uprisings in the past, but those are now considered to be under control. Some fear the Iraqi rebuilding process could undermine that.\nDuring the war, the U.S. supported Kurdish militias in northern Iraq. Now that the rebuilding process has begun, many Kurds would like to form an independent country. Ogan said they are the largest minority group in the world to have never had their own state. \nTalks have recently begun regarding the formation of the future Iraqi government in Ankara, Turkey. Turkey has threatened to send troops into Iraq if there is consideration of an independent Kurdish state.\n"Kurdish leadership has been quite reasonable in not making demands for an independent state, but having autonomy within a federal Iraqi state," said Nazir Shahrani, chair of the department of near eastern studies.\nU.S. sources say Turkey has already been smuggling arms to Turks in northern Iraq. Those weapons, and the weapons of the Kurdish militias, are being collected by the United States to avert a conflict. \nProfessor Shahrani said the best solution for all would be to continue to have an autonomous Kurdish government within northern Iraq. He also said a good way for Turkey to solve its own conflicts with Kurdish resistance movements would to create a similar form of self-government within itself.\n"Turkey has to convince its own Kurdish citizens that they will not be treated as second-class citizens," Shahrani said.\nTurkish student Emir Kaya said he doesn't think the formation of an independent Kurdish state will happen, but he thinks there will probably be a federal system in Iraq. \n"The thing that should happen is democracy and freedom for the people in the region," Kaya said.