Monthly Archives: June 2008

Foreclosure Time is Party Time

Kids sure do love abandoned houses, no matter what the reason for their abandonment. So here’s a word to the wise: if you’re forced to foreclose on your mansion and move outta town, be warned that a “presumably ‘raging’” party could soon occupy every available inch of your freshly vacated digs. It seems bad news for the U.S. economy is amazing news for the reckless debauchery of the teen party scene. Watch out, Ed McMahon, an impromptu teen star search is coming to your own backyard this Saturday night.

With a wanton lack of sympathy for the mortgage meltdown and ensuing credit crisis, teenagers in one California community are using abandoned foreclosed homes as venues for unchaperoned—and presumably “raging”—drinking parties.

From NBC 4 in Burbank, Calif.:

“With the increasing number of homes being foreclosed upon, what we’re finding is people vacate these homes, other people are coming in and using these homes, often times for parties and gatherings,” said David Keith of the Oxnard Police Department.

Police said the parties can involve alcohol, drugs, and sometimes more, KNBC’s Gordon Tokumatsu reported.

Sadly, the only teenagers able to grasp the economic significance of widespread home foreclosures are not nearly cool enough to be invited to one of these parties.

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NowPublic Roundup: Glastonbury 2008

As NowPublic member Zichi reported on Thursday, the Glastonbury Festival has undergone some significant changes in its 36 years of existence.

The 2008 edition of the UK’s monster music fest featured blistering performances by huge headliners like Jay-Z, The Verve, and Amy Winehouse— and hipster-hot acts including: Vampire Weekend, Crystal Castles, MGMT, Editors, Santogold and Lightspeed Champion.

Glastonbury was held this past weekend on June 27, 28 and 29th.

NowPublic is looking to include your photos, videos, and stories to our coverage. If you attended the festival this year please post to this story.

JAY-Z ROCKS ‘WONDERWALL’ (no really, he actually covered Oasis)

Jay-Z hit back at Noel Gallagher’s criticism of his headlining Glastonbury slot by playing his own version of ‘Wonderwall’ on Saturday.

The Oasis guitarist had criticised the decision to allow Jay-Z to headline the event, saying it should stick to its traditional indie music roots.

The rapper responded by opening with an acoustic version of ‘Wonderwall’ with Gallagher’s “Hip-hop at Glastonbury is just wrong” comments dubbed over the top.

He told the crowd: “So they say you guys didn’t want me to be here tonight. They said you guys weren’t into hip-hop. Thanks for all the love here tonight.

“This is a beautiful moment, I’m glad to share it with each and every one of you.”

Jay-Z then performed a set that included ‘Big Pimpin’’, ’99 Problems’ and ‘Hard Knock Life’, as well as covers of Rihanna’s ‘Umbrella’, Estelle’s ‘American Boy’ and Amy Winehouse’s ‘Rehab’.

AMY WINEHOUSE THROWIN’ BO’S

A man who was allegedly elbowed in the head by Amy Winehouse at Glastonbury Festival has handed his digital camera footage of the incident to the BBC.

James Gostelow, 25, from London, said the singer caught him on the forehead after someone in the crowd behind him threw a hat at her.

Winehouse, 24, was seen apparently lashing out at the audience during her Pyramid Stage performance on Saturday.

But police said they had received no complaints of assault.

Broadcast footage on the night appeared to show Winehouse elbow one fan after being hit on the head by a hat, then throw a series of punches into the crowd.

Mr Gostelow said the incident was a case of mistaken identity.

“I saw a hat being thrown from behind me and it hit Amy’s beehive. She looked down, saw me looking up, and her elbow went for me.

“She caught my forehead, then someone may have shouted something from the back, which is when she went in again.”

Winehouse, who performed in front of an estimated 75,000 people, jumped off the stage and into the security pit for the last two songs of her set.

THE VERVE CLOSES THE WEEKEND

The Verve have brought Glastonbury 2008 to a close, headlining the Pyramid Stage tonight (June 29).

Topping the bill on the last night of the three day festival, the reunited band served up a mix of anthems and previewed their new album ‘Forth’ due out in August.

Kicking off with ‘This Is Music’, frontman Richard Ashcroft shouted out the refrain of the next song ‘Sonnet’ – “there’s love if you want it!”- urging the swelling crowd on and they duly obliged with a loud sing-a-long.

“Thank you, you’re sounding good tonight declared Ashcroft afterwards. “A shout out for Jay-Z for putting in a good performance but tonight is rock n roll!”

CRYSTAL CASTLES

Fans of the huge Toronto duo Crystal Castles love singer Alice Glass’ extreme on-stage antics. But last night, it seems that the security guards at Glastonbury didn’t feel quite the same way.

Wearing red tights and a skirt, as well as a black leather jacket, Glass tore around the stage and repeatedly dove into the photo pit. But when she climbed to the stop of a speaker stack during the first few notes of “Alice Practice,” the lights and music were suddenly shut down, leaving Glass on top of the speakers, not sure what to do next.

Eventually she climbed back down, saying, “They’re shutting us off! Who’s in charge?”

But the shut-down was short-lived. The crowd booed until the music came back on and Crystal Castles were allowed to resume their high-octane show – as long as they stayed low to the ground.

PREVIOUSLY | June 27thVAMPIRE WEEKEND

Vampire Weekend played to a packed crowd on Glastonbury‘s Other Stage this afternoon (June 27).

The New York band were one of the first acts rumoured to be playing at the 2008 festival after playing the London new talent night Holy Cow, run by some of the festival’s organisers.

“I can’t believe how many people we’re looking at,” declared frontman Erza Koenig. “It’s such a beautiful site, we’re really honoured to be back in your country.”

MGMT

MGMT played to a rammed to the rafters John Peel Tent at Glastonbury tonight (June 27th).

The crowd was spilling way out of the tent by the time the boys took to the stage to huge cheers. ‘Weekend Wars’ immediately had people dancing in unison and the pace never let up.

‘Electric Feel’ caused a mass singalong, as crowd surfers made for the stage, but it was ‘Time to Pretend’ which really shook the tent. The duo – Andrew VanWyngardan and Ben Goldwasser – having been quiet between songs applauded the crowd’s reaction as they left the stage.

EDITORS

Editors have played one of their biggest festival sets to date, taking to Glastonbury‘s Pyramid Stage this evening (June 27).

Returning after a break while frontman Tom Smith became a father, the band used the set to test out new material.

SANTOGOLD

Santogold brought a touch of glamour to the Park Stage at Glastonbury festival this afternoon (June 27).

Belting out hits from her recently-released eponymous debut album, including ‘Creator’ and ‘LES Artistes’, the singer pulled in a big crowd.

Performing choreographed dance moves with her singers, Santogold, who was wearing a T-shirt featuring pictures of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X, joked with the crowd about the rain.

LIGHTSPEED CHAMPION

Lightspeed Champion performed two new songs during his set on the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury today (June 27).

However, Dev Hynes joked that fans should “go and get stocked up at the herbal highs tent” rather than listen to the new songs, titled ‘Marlene’ and ‘Kill Me Baby Won’t You Kill Me’.

Taking to the stage twirling around a cape, Hynes told the crowd to get ready for a “fat rave”, before playing a set consisting mostly of tracks from his debut album ‘Falling Off The Lavender Bridge’ – including ‘Galaxy Of The Lost’ and ‘Devil Tricks For A Bitch’.

See additional NowPublic coverage of this year’s festival here and here.

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Facebook Asks Users to Specify Gender

Facebook will soon ask its users to specify their gender as either male or female, so that the social networking site can specify members’ status and profile updates to be more grammatically correct. Fortunately, for members of the transgendered community and others, there will also be an option for users to remove a gender specification entirely from their profiles.

Users who haven’t specified their gender in their Facebook profiles will be asked to do so in the coming weeks.

That way, Facebook doesn’t have to default to “their” or the made-up word “themself,” as it had been doing.

While not knowing someone’s gender poses grammatical challenges in English, it has created even larger headaches as Facebook expands to other languages, where a gender-neutral option isn’t available in plural form.

“People who haven’t selected what sex they are frequently get defaulted to the wrong sex entirely,” Naomi Gleit, a Facebook product manager, wrote Friday in a company blog.

Transgendered people and other users who find the male-female distinction too limiting will still have the option of removing gender entirely from their profiles.

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MSNBC, MySpace Launch Citizen Journalism Contest

For many would-be journalists who just so happen to be citizens, gaining media accreditation to key events has become a great benchmark of success and a good indication of the legitimacy of independent media.

In the past several years, bloggers have moved from a position of relative obscurity, at the margins of mainstream press coverage, to being given the MSM’s rubber stamp of approval as both a vital and important part of the contemporary media landscape.

With that in mind, MSNBC and MySpace are hoping to capitalize on Joe Public’s desire to participate in the news, by offering members of MySpace the chance to win a job reporting on U.S. politics during the Democratric and Republican National Conventions later this summer.

I’m interested to see what kind of response the contest generates amongst members of the social network and what kind of content the winners will ultimately produce. Could a politico-Tila Tequila be the future face of “citizen journalism”?

Citizen journalists, MySpace and NBC News want you to help cover this summer’s political conventions.

MySpace, NBC News and MSNBC.com are running a contest among MySpace users for the job of covering the Democratic National Convention in Denver and the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. One winner will cover for MySpace’s IMPACT civic/social engagement channel the DNC in late August; the other will cover the RNC in early September.

The contest is open to anyone over the age 18 who submits a short video piece answering one of these questions: “Why do you vote?” “Why are you the best person for this job?” Or “How will you stand out in the crowd and get the scoop no one else can?” Submissions will be whittled down to five finalists by judges Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” as well as Tom Anderson and Lee Brenner of MySpace.

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Plans for World’s First Rotating Skyscraper Unveiled

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the world’s first rotating skyscraper will be built in the futuristic desert metropolis of Dubai. The second rotatoscraper, however, will be located in Moscow a city, apparently, in dire need of “dynamic architecture”. I have one immediate reaction: how do you earthquake proof a rotating building? No wonder this isn’t being built anywhere close to the San Andreas fault line.

Extravagant plans were unveiled yesterday for the world’s first swirling skyscrapers, with each floor rotating up to once an hour to form an ever-changing profile on the skyline.

The first two towers are to be built in Dubai and Moscow in what the architect describes as a new era of dynamic architecture. David Fisher, who admits never having designed a skyscraper before, said: “My buildings are unique because they are the first ones to rotate — to be dynamic — every second.”

The rotating floors will be made of prefabricated units that spin around a concrete core. Most of the floors will be controlled from the architect’s laptop, so that they are synchronised to make undulating architectural forms. Owners who buy an entire floor will be able to use voice activation controls to command it to rotate at will, so that they can pick their view.

Production of the prefabricated units is scheduled to begin in the next few weeks at a factory outside Bari, in Italy. Mr Fisher said that buyers should be able to move into the completed building in Dubai by the end of 2010. Details of the financing remain unclear because the developers are relying on pre-sales for at least part of the $700 million (£355 million) cost of building the 80-storey skyscraper.

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