TO PIMP A BUTTERFLY by Kendrick Lamar. Album of the year.
DEDICATED TO THE MUSIC & LIFE OF DAVID BOWIE 1947 – 2016
BUY MUSIC! Buy a whole album instead of a few tracks. Go to a show and pick up some merch while you’re there. Just spend money! But if you buy music (downloads or physical) and merch online, try to buy from the artist’s website, or the label if it’s a small one.
Cool? Cool. So here we go. Here’s all the stuff that moved me this year. This is my most expansive attempt to celebrate a year in music so far. There’s the inevitable TOP TEN list, and then TOP FIVE lists broken up by genre further down. If you use the evil Spotify there’s eight genre-specific playlists as well, and one “year-in-review” playlist, so keep scrolling down, whatever you’re in to, it’s represented (except for blues and country – I kind of dropped the ball on that this year). I hope this helps you discover something you’ve never heard before.
A Peshmerga soldier awaits deployment. December 17, 2014, in the Kurdistan region of North-Western Iraq, within sight of the Syrian border. It wasn’t until forty-eight hours later that we learned a major operation to take the city of Sinjar had begun that morning. All photos by me, Joshua Dysart.
First things first. The World Food Program operates under the four principles of humanitarian response. Humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. Before we get to the meat of this post I must stress that at no point can the WFP, or I, as a temporary contractor in their service, take sides in hostilities or engage in political, racial, religious or ideological conflicts or conversations. It is imperative that the WFP be able to work with any organization or political power at any time to gain access to populations in need. The photographs I am posting here represent neither condemnation nor celebration of the military forces of Iraqi Kurdistan, known as the Peshmerga. The WFP communications team I was traveling with was only on this military base to track displaced Yazidis as they were being airlifted off of Sinjar Mountain and brought to this compound, behind stable Iraqi Kurdistan lines in Duhok Province. We were not there to report on military movements or conditions. Our mission was solely to document and interview IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) who would be receiving WFP assistance. In so doing we unknowingly turned out to be on the cusp of a notable moment in the struggle between the Peshmerga and ISIS. I’m sharing these photos solely for their relevance to current events. No future posts concerning my trip to Iraq will focus on military subject matter, they will solely be concerned with the refugee and IDP crises and the civilian face of war. If any bias creeps into this post it is solely my own and has no reflection on the WFP.
Director/Writer: Ana Lily Amirpour Staring: Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Marshall Manesh Cinematography: Lyle Vincent
Here’s how this film got me into the theater. It sported gorgeous black and white photography, was filmed in Farsi, and was a vampire art-house flick. Behind it was the apparently unstoppable hype machine powered by Vice Films (and Kino Lorber, usually a distributor worth watching) who promoted the picture beyond its actual appeal, in part with a dishonestly paced trailer. The ingredients sounded amazing. It was the perfect bait.
But there’s simply no there there. The marketed hallmarks that made it seem different turn out to mean nothing. Read more