Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Return of the Berserker

Time for a return to standard postings here at comanche/soul:

In the news...
Surely everyone's been following the mess in Lebanon. I promised to hit on the subject a week ago but have finally gotten around to it. Nearly 400 people have died on both sides since July 12, and as the fighting continues, U.S. Secretary of State Condi Rice has announced a plan to place a force of 10,000 in southern Lebanon for the time being, to be later replaced by a standing international force of 30,000 to help the Lebanese government regain control of the country. The initial force would be supplied by Turkey and/or Egypt, and would be commanded by either NATO or the UN. Either way, it's a sticky situation that is, according to some, an indication of the polarization of the region into Iranian-Syrian-Hezbollah and Jordan-Saudis-Egypt camps. Slate offers a tabled breakdown of who-hates-who.

Sadly, it's not the only quickly escalating conflict in the region. Yesterday Ethiopian forces entered Somalia by request of the Somali government. The current regime, which occupies only a small portion of the country near the Ethiopian border, has no military or real power, with Islamic militias occupying the capital Mogadishu and the vast majority of the country. If you're looking for the next potential Afghanistan, look no further than Ethiopia, where a weak UN force has set up an even weaker government barely surviving against Islamist militia forces. A situation that will most likely cost a hell of a lot more lives than the Lebanon-Israel conflict, but one that, I'm guessing, will go virtually ignored by the US and EU leadership.

In music...
I realize it's been forever since I've blogged. I've even held up this post for a long time. But luckily some exciting tour announcements have been made. First off, the Hold Steady, in support of their October 3rd release Boys and Girls in America will hit the road. Luckily for the Beltway crowd, they'll be returning to the area, though this time making it to Baltimore's Ottobar on October 2.

Also, the hype machine rolls on as Minneapolis' Tapes n Tapes return to the DC area, this time to play the Black Cat. Led by fellow Carleton College alum Josh Grier, their steady stream of press has continued for the band. Loyal c/s reader Ross Mattson informs me that the Mpls Star-Tribune referred to their joint bill at legendary Twin Cities' venue First Avenue with the Plastic Constellations as the must-see show of the summer. Find out for yourself on Halloween here in DC.

Popmatters ran a nice review of a Futureheads' show recently. Stylus reviews their latest album (speaking of which, I can't find my copy anywhere).

Good news: The Tyde -- from, where else?, Southern California -- return with their third album. Following their debut Once, their sophomore release Twice, their calling this one Three's Company. It's been out in England for a while -- their label, Rough Trade, was undergoing some distro issues Stateside -- and I've heard lead single "Brock Landers" a number of times. I'm going to try to post it, but be patient with me, as this will be the first c/s venture into the realm of multimedia.
The Tyde - "Brock Landers"

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