Steel Pulse on the River

Steel Pulse is one of the UK’s best, certainly the most popular, reggae bands and one of my favorite groups of all time. “Handsworth Revolution” is regarded by many critics (including me) as the a high point of British reggae and 1986’s “Babylon the Bandit” won the Grammy for Best Reggae Album. Their style is very accessible to both reggae purists and mainstream “Bob” listeners of the genre. I’m a big fan of their classics “Ku Klux Klan”, “Macka Spliff”, “Soldiers”, and “Roller Skates” but there’s not a bad track to listen to from any album or live set.

This Wed, I went with friends Russ, Trudi, Mike and Anna to the River to River concert at Rockefeller Park (Battery Park City). We threw out the blankets, popped the coolers and took in a great evening of free SP reggae. Much respect to the organizers, the residents and props to Steel Pulse for a great show. Forward the bass!

One of my Favorite tracks by SP – a must jam to:

Short Cell phone clip of them live… MUCH better to just check them out when you can…

Russian partiers blinded by rave lasers

photo by loupiote (Old Skool) on Flikr I’ve seen many a laser show in my day and have even booked the guys at UV99 for one of our last blow outs but this news is crazy and unique to the idiots running the lasers at this out door festival in Russia – revelers were subjected to intense laser burns when they were refracted down to eye level.

MOSCOW (Reuters story here) – Dozens of partygoers at an outdoor rave near Moscow last week have lost partial vision after a laser light show burned their retinas, Russian health officials said on Monday.

Moscow city health department officials confirmed 12 cases of laser-blindness at the Central Ophthalmological Clinic, and daily newspaper Kommersant said another 17 were registered at City Hospital 32 in the centre of the capital.

Attendees at the July 5 Aquamarine Open Air Festival in Kirzhach, 80 km (50 miles) northeast of Moscow, began seeking medical help days after the show, complaining of eye and vision problems, health officials told Reuters.

“They all have retinal burns, scarring is visible on them. Loss of vision in individual cases is as high as 80 percent, and regaining it is already impossible,” Kommersant quoted a treating ophthalmologist as saying.

Attendees said heavy rains forced organisers to erect massive tents for the all-night dance party, and lasers that normally illuminate upwards into the sky were instead partially refracted into the ravers’ eyes.

“I immediately had a spot like when you stare into the sun,” rave-attendee Dmitry told Kommersant.

“After three days I decided to go to the hospital. They examined me, asked if I had been at Open Air, and then put me straight in the hospital. I didn’t even get to go home and get my stuff,” he said

More at Reuters

A water sommelier?

Now this is getting ridiculous. The absurdity is far reaching including, diluting desalinated seawater from Hawaii (at $33.50 for a two-ounce bottle, what type of cheap water do they add to dilute it) and Bling H2O is marketing a “luxury” brand of water that costs over a million dollars of what you get from the tap ($40 for 750 milliliters, with special-edition bottles going for $480). Read the rest of Shankar Vedantam’s report in the Washington Post.

I’ll stick to New Yorks finest for now…