SXSW mp3s

by John Holbo on March 26, 2011

Perhaps it’s worth pointing out that it took me, like, 1.5 minutes to find approximately 1.5 gigs of free downloads of SXSW related mp3s. Hardly scratched the surface, I have. Lots of new bands, great stuff, live stuff, lots of mediocre stuff. Amazon has free samplers (here and here and here). Or check here. So far I’ve discovered that I like The Rural Alberta Advantage. Also, the Amazon ‘don’t mess with Texas’ sampler is strong. And Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers are great, but I didn’t learn that by getting them for free. Belle bought the album. They are at SXSW, I gather.

Tell me of your SXSW-related musical discoveries, for better or worse. But especially for better.

Diana Wynne-Jones has died

by Henry Farrell on March 26, 2011

More “here”: In an ideal world, she would have had the recognition that J.K. Rowling has gotten and more; still, she did quite well, and wrote books that were adored by many, many children, and by adults (such as myself) who bought them purportedly to read aloud for their offspring. Her _Tough Guide to Fantasyland_, in its original and updated edition, is a very funny and accurate guide to the cliches of the genre.

Canada and coalitions

by John Q on March 26, 2011

So, the conservative government in Canada has been defeated in a vote of no-confidence. But how, in a Parliament where (what look like to me to be) left-of-centre parties have had a majority since the last election can this have taken it so long? And how can there be a prospect that this situation will be reproduced after the next election?

The answer apparently is a Canadian aversion to coalition governments. In a system where there have long been more than two parties, this makes no sense to me, but my knowledge of the political background is virtually non-existent. Can anyone explain this, or point to some useful resources?