In this case, the outputs of infectious disease models might be compared to how well their projections match data on infection, hospitalization, and mortality trends from past epidemics.
Of course, certain parameters such as the basic reproduction number and attack rates will have to be adjusted to take into account the differences between, say, influenza viruses and the novel coronavirus.
It turns out that most infectious disease epidemiological models have not been validated by comparing their outputs to empirical data. A comprehensive review article in the journal Epidemic of 78 global disease spread models found that model validation is uncommon.
Most likely, the researchers suggest, because there is a lack of suitable validation data due to the fact that pandemics are relatively rare events.
Until then, their limitations should be made explicit and estimates used cautiously. Since models are at best hazy guides to the future, can parsing real-time data from the early stages of this pandemic provide better insights on how it might unfold over the coming months? For example, it would be extremely helpful to know the percentage of infected people who eventually die of the disease.
One often-heard statistic is the "case-fatality rate," that is, the percentage of people diagnosed with the disease who will die of it.
This afternoon that figure stands at 2. The contributions could still be anonymized by account name, but at least Wikipedia could then limit the scope of the user's editing rights on the back end and have a greater degree of quality control and assurance.
Let me just respond to a few of the points here. Maybe other professors have shared their class usernames but according to our Freedom of Information and Privacy Protection law in Ontario, I just can't do that and yes I have double checked. Despite the warnings I could give students posting their usernames might lead to their identification, and especially when the goal of providing student names is so clearly to track down mistakes, I am sure no ethics committee would allow them to be shared publicly.
Perhaps the other professors's schools have different privacy protection laws or perhaps they just haven't looked into the issue deeply and, once they do, they might see the potential problem. That said, Philippe and I have discussed ways in which some people at Wikimedia might have access to usernames as long as our Ethics committee recognizes them as an "honest broker". I'm looking into this now. If their privacy can be protected I have no problem with their edits being looked at en mass, or even being randomly sampled to assess accuracy an appropriate method.
I do have a problem with editors intent on finding problems tracking down usernames one by one with the clear goal of finding individual problematic edits rather than looking at group trends.
This is the witch hunt process that feels so offensive. Let me also say that I didn't just decide to do a Wikipedia assignment on a whim. I was invited to a summit sponsored by Wikimedia wherein they were encouraging these kinds of assignments, and I even asked one high ranking member point blank whether it would be a problem to try small edits with my huge class.
He encouraged me to "go for it". Never was the capacity issue mentioned, and never was it even suggested that specific editors would be overburdened. To those that were I do indeed apologize I had no idea this would cause the stress it did.
This "get students editing" message was echoed by the APS Wikipedia Initiative, again without any warning about capacity limits or stressing editors. To the uninitiated, the whole crowd-sourcing thing does seem a little magical. There is certainly a vibe of "get people editing and good things just happen", a message that is fueled largely by the success of Wikipedia.
To me, the message was "Wikipedia wants students editing, APS wants students working on Psych related articles, I see all the great educational benefits of doing this Yes I was "warned" of a problem last year, but the warning was phrased in the same tones as Colin is using here, tones that make it hard for anyone to comply with. Note that, it was never made clear to me that so few editors were be so heavily taxed by my classes' work Instead, as was the case here,everything was completely focused on how bad my students' edits were.
I have great students for the most part, and I know the vast majority care about their work. And I'm sure every new Wikipedia editor makes mistakes as they learn, why pick on my class? Doesn't that process cause one to find a high level of problems? So pardon me if I took the claims of the magnitude of the problem as massively overblown, and if I thought the mere occurrence of problems was a natural first step of crowd-sourcing knowledge.
But, despite the tone I did indeed heed the call to try to improve edits. So yes I tried to improve quality, and more can be done there I just wish the real problem had been more clearly presented. So the real question for me now is this. Assuming we myself, my student and individuals from WikiMedia could come up with some process wherein they help us to further ramp up training, wherein they have oversight with respect to the edits, and wherein I agree to cease and desist if they deemed the edits a problem Colin seems to want me and my class and my city?
Colin, come to Toronto, we're nice people! Philippe and some others here seem interested in the notion of using my class as a test-ground for the proper introduction of new editors and new training methods. Now that I better understand the situation it sounds to me like a new group of Wikipedia editors with expertise in areas like Psychology might be exactly what Wikipedia needs But I thrive on working "with" people.
Working "against" people is not my idea of a conducive environment for solving problems and coming to innovative solutions. So, in the immortal words of The Clash, should I stay or should I go? Let Philippe know what you think. I'll communicate directly with him from this point forward.
For what it's worth though Buffalo Springfield , I think it would be great if we could all work together on this. Looie pointed out student edits going on at two articles. Guerillero has semi-protected those two. Are there any others we've identified? The list is far from complete and just a start really.
Anyone wants to help me list and analyse the edits, drop me a message on my talk page or email. I've done a few so far and glanced at the others. If this was one editor they'd have been banned long ago. Look at the article histories. Our articles are under attack from this class. I can fully see why LovaFalk is on wikibreak. Her watchlist must be on fire.
So far I've located about students editing 75 articles. But the interative process of detection continues to find more students and articles. I reckon there are several hundred.
Clearly we aren't going to analyse all their edits. In fact, nobody is, especially not Joordens. What is clear is that the accounts last for minutes though some are picked up again in a few months if they repeat the assignment. I see no reason so far to assume the dire statistics from aren't repeated. It does look like the most of the edits stopped around the 23rd March. I hope this is the end of this semester's assignment, and not just a pause for breath.
There is no way this can be allowed to happen again. We will create new policy to prevent it if necessary. There is a thread for this on the admin noticeboard. User:Philippe WMF states in that thread that he has contacted the professor and the department chair. I propose that the issue of how to immediately respond to the problem described in this thread be closed on this noticeboard as that responsibility has been taken up elsewhere.
It is my opinion that there is no outstanding request for action in this thread. In the admin noticeboard thread someone mentions that this is discussed on Hacker News and on Reddit.
I think that the talks on those external discussion forums give insight into the non-Wikipedians' thoughts on Wikipedia and could be used to guide policy to prevent future misunderstandings about the education program.
How does the Wikipedia:Education Board react to this comment? What lessons, facts, or perspective, etc. Biosthmors talk , 26 March UTC. We do not support or condone his activities on Wikipedia.
We are big proponents of testing, and in the fall term of , we worked with him to see if large courses would work with our program. Overwhelmingly, the results showed that large courses like Professor Joordens' would not, and we asked Professor Joordens to cease his students' work on Wikipedia.
We have reiterated this to Professor Joordens repeatedly, and asked him to not conduct Wikipedia assignments with this large of course. We support any action the Wikipedia community deems necessary to handle the situation. Rdunican22 talk , 3 April UTC. It is clear from discussions on this page that Wikipedia lacks the necessary policy to deal with student assignments that go wrong, to discourage the kind of assignments that tend to fail and to clearly indicate the sort of assignment that Wikipedia wants.
The Wikipedia:Assignments for student editors essay is a great resource and I encourage its development into a guideline. But I think Wikipedia needs a new policy to handle assignments. The relationship between the community and those involved in setting and performing the assignment is completely different to the one we are used to with volunteer editors. We simply can't handle the case where students create accounts and make a handful of edits over the space of minutes and then log off again never to return.
There is no policy at present to deal with that. I've made a start: Wikipedia:Assignments. The nutshell is "If you give someone an assignment to do on Wikipedia, you are responsible for their actions. It is obviously very draft at present. What do people here think? Would such a policy help? I think it would clearly prevent the sort of assignment where the prof makes no effort whatsoever to review and fix the edits. It forces class sizes down to the level that can be managed in-house rather than using us Wikipedians as classroom assistants.
If this proposed policy looks worth pursuing, then I'll move it out of user space and let the community work on it. X infractions? Blocking a professor who doesn't edit anyway won't stop the disruption, but blocking anyone identified as one of their students would. A fluffernutter is a sandwich! Sorry for the confusion the link provided was to the editor that added the plagarism before this student edited. I have added the appropriate link. I have reviewed 4 editors so far. Gabriel - we could probably find out more about the sociology class directly.
Some of the larger classes make a point of having TAs act as on-wiki reviewers. I think this could even be done by a subset of the students themselves. I am starting a new section because I think this point needs emphasis.
If education projects are going to happen at all and clearly they are , then our response to problems needs to be focused on minimizing drama. Harsh actions taken toward people who cause problems are likely to generate repercussions that will reflect badly on Wikipedia as a whole. We can't allow our important articles to deteriorate, but in my view we should look for the quietest and least dramatic approach that maintains their quality.
Looie talk , 28 March UTC. So everyone's aware, this is now a national news story: Toronto professor learns not all editors are welcome on Wikipedia , National Post.
Comments are interesting reading, although many are about Wikipedia in general rather than this situation. Nikkimaria talk , 8 April UTC. Per evidence building here  and here  and previous evidence here  we need to do something about the situation in question.
This appears to be a repeat of the India Education Program issues with fairly high rates of "copy and paste" . In this case it is occurring in the areas of psychology that is poorly watched.
I have spent two days analysing the edits in question. Background: We have a psych prof who is having his students edit Wikipedia's psychology content. There is little to no review coming from the class itself. When concerns were brought to the profs attention a year ago he went "underground" making a community review more difficult.
There is further discussion above. I've posted a note to Joordens' talk page asking him to stop his students on the basis of the analysis done so far; at my last count, 16 of 19 students for whom we could make a definite determination had plagiarized their source.
In much of the remainder, the attempt to put text into the student's own words has failed to some degree. Either the text is incomprehensible, or it has significant errors. Some editors wrote very little a short phrase. Exceptionally, editors wrote something original and useful and well sourced with a proper citation.
This is on top of all the other problems we are seeing that would be an issue even if the added text was original, coherent and accurate. I've counted over students editing articles but that is likely to be a significant under-estimate based on the analysis of edit patterns and the limitations of our method of detecting students.
The real numbers could be double that. Joordens has been running this assignment since , though I think this year's could be the biggest. All told, these assignments could well have involved a thousands students editing and a similar number of articles. Instead he decided to "fly under the radar". Do these comments mirror what we're seeing here and earlier here? Is Wikipedia going to just accept that level of damage to our articles?
Per Wikipedia:Plagiarism and Wikipedia:Close paraphrasing such content isn't acceptable. What to do? Is Joordens or the University of Toronto responsible? Or each individual student? Or just our open editing policy? Do we shrug our shoulders or demand something be done? A soon-to-be-published paper on psychology students working on Wikipedia said:. It is interesting to consider that this "class of 1," has perhaps achieved the opposite.
They may well have taken pages of their class psychology textbook and scattered little bits of it largely unchanged all across Wikipedia.
Unfortunate real-world events have taken me away from Wikipedia related things for the past few weeks, which are likely to continue for at least a bit longer unfortunately. I have not been able to read the full set of events and look over diffs yet, but: holy shit. This looks like the exact type of nightmare situation I had been hoping would not come out of the USEP.
As someone who has spoken vigorously in defense of the program here previously, I just want to say that from what I have seen of this situation so far, I fully support the most vigorous action necessary to stop the disruption, even if it involves temporarily hardblocking the campus.
This is the kind of situation that absolutely no one involved in the education program wants or is okay with. I have some serious RL events going on right now, but will make an active effort to be on-wiki to help deal with the cleanup of this. I also agree that press appeals are actively bad, and contacting a department chair potentially actively good. Colin set up an assessment page to assess the work of what we think are Joordens' students.
If we want to persuade others, particularly people outside the community, that the effect of Joordens' class was very negative, the more data we have, the better. Please consider evaluating a half-dozen or so students. The format is fairly easy to follow; take a look at the section I'm working on to get an idea, and grab a few from the section after that.
If you do assess a few edits, please make sure to a check edits from this semester only some students edited last semester too ; b check every edit this semester for most students there are only 2 or 3 edits; c try to check for plagiarism from the source -- and note whether you found plagiarism, or determined that the student had acceptably rephrased the material from the source, or that you couldn't tell whether the student plagiarized or not; and d note if the student added anything useful i.
Revert the student yourself if necessary. If everyone would do a dozen or so, we'd have a lot more data. I will try to do a few more myself over the next few days. It seems to me key issues are 1 finding a way to correct bad mental models of "what helps Wikipedia", and 2 finding a way to ask project-groups clean up after themselves.
Stuartyeates talk , 20 April UTC. It seems to be a recurring class, given the user reg dates. Just figured since Mike Cline commented on my talk page I would ask some better questions here:. I decided to put my money where my mouth is, with respect to my having said a bunch of times that it's OK to revert student edits, and I've decided to show here what I did, and invite reaction. Animal ethics is on my watchlist, although it's not a very high priority for me to spend a lot of time on.
There was a student project there this semester, from Ball State University. I saw student edits, and saw some problems, although there was also a considerable expansion of the page with sourced material.
I didn't revert anything, but I tagged the page:  , and explained hopefully in a very non-BITEy way on the talk page: . Someone from the class replied:  , and I replied in turn to them: . Up to this point, I'm pretty sure everything would be considered to be by-the-book and noncontroversial. But the issues I raised really didn't get fixed. So today, just after giving a somewhat opinionated reply to Colin just above on this noticeboard, I decided to go back to that page.
I reverted all of the student edits:  , and again explained in talk: . Please feel free to say so, as I've created this discussion to invite you to do that. But I personally don't feel bad about it at all, and I hope that this discussion will help other editors deal with after-student clean-up without feeling bad either. For me, the key point is that I began by trying to be helpful to the students, and I think that I unquestionably did that — but after not seeing things get fixed, I neither felt obligated to fix them myself nor felt obligated to ignore it.
I think there should be a way to do this for normal editors, but is there a method to check the edits of any individual course at Special:Courses , anytime one would please? It seems one has to sign up as an online ambassador just to check the edits of one class. I am interested in following up with a class, but I see no way to do this yet. Biosthmors talk , 21 April UTC. I thought I would let the people affected by this know. As shown, when I go to Special:MyCourses I see the activity of a class only from the last 44 hours, with no option to see below this.
Is there a time cut-off? Also, the list creates white space on the right of the page by wrapping the text. Maybe the time could be placed on the right of the page so that it doesn't bunch on the right of the page? Is this error for the Marquette page reproducible for others? Biosthmors talk , 6 April UTC. With the fix for this, there's a new bug you may see: student articles listed on course pages that are not linked T The reason is that course pages track the id of an article rather than the title of it.
Previously, a mismatch between an article id and title which could change because of page moves and deletions, or because the student added the article before it existed and so there was no id was causing the course pages to break. Now it just causes the article to not be linked. This happens most commonly if a student added the article via the course page before creating it.
The workaround is for the student to remove the article and re-add it. It's currently no longer possible to add an article that does not exist, but we're working to re-enable that--without the missing links issue. In the meantime, if you find a student or instructor confused by articles that aren't linked, let them know they can fix the issue by removing and re-adding their articles. He posted: 11 days.
The Lees survived our RV trip. What a blessing it was to visit all these places again with my family in tow and make memories together!
Tiffany Lee is secluding herself in an effort to wrap up her first book. The artist who goes by the stage name Plumb posted this week: I'm spending a few nights at a hotel close to home to be alone to finish my book. Josh Wilson has figured out a good way to stay in shape while still being a good father. He posted a picture giving his young son a ride and added: Today's shoulder workout. Announcing a new album from Third Day. The band posted this week: Revival, coming August 4th!
New music from Matt Maher is now available. Check out the lyric video for "Your Love Defends Me" by clicking on the link at christianartistnews. Josh Wilson has spent the past week driving around the country in an RV with the group Christian Music Broadcasters visiting radio stations.
Now he's out with a short tribute to Christian broadcasters on Instagram. Comedian Bob Smiley posted this week: I'm going to eat super healthy on the road. Let's see what my options are. Earlier this month Mandisa announced a fall tour with Danny Gokey. I suppose it's better than Mandokey! Hawk Nelson's Jon Steingard may want to re-evaluate his on-stage antics. He posted: My first stage dive in many years - and man it feels different in your 30s.
Tomorrow expect "after" pictures of the bruises that are likely to develop. They didn't so much drop me as much as catch me with heads and elbows and teeth. Jonny Diaz checked in as he headed for home this week. He posted: What a crazy but awesome weekend.
The tour that will also include Love and the Outcome and Jasmine Murray will be in 32 locations from late September through mid November. Check out concert sites and begin ordering tickets by clicking on the link at christianartistnews.
In essence, the Supreme Court found that government cannot deny a church or other faith-based organization participation in a secular government program simply because of its religious identity.
The members of Phillips, Craig and Dean have a suggestion on bringing Godly peace to our cities and it comes straight from God's word.
The members of the band posted 3 ways to combat prejudice and hatred, taken from Leviticus Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. Suggestions range from closing curtains on the sunny side of the house to planting trees. Check out the complete list by clicking on the link at christianartistnews. The Supreme Court has decided no. According to Break Point, this week the Supreme Court gave religious freedom advocates a major victory.
In the case, Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, which operates a licensed pre-school and day-care facility, applied for a grant, seemingly meeting the qualifications. Roger Weaver of Bibles for China says many Christians are still surprised at how open China is to ministry. Six Christians taking children to a Vacation Bible School camp in Madhya Pradesh state, India, remain in custody after police detained them last month on charges of kidnapping and forcible conversion, sources said.
Also detained was a year-old boy who was held in a juvenile detention center for nearly a month before he was released on Tuesday. A Christian preschool in Sweden has been prohibited from saying grace during mealtimes and teaching Bible lessons.
According to a recent Pew Research Center study, Americans in general support same-sex marriage nearly two-to-one. All religious denominations have also seen increased support for same-sex marriage. Catholic support has risen to 67 percent and mainstream Protestant support has risen to 68 percent. Evangelical support has also increased, but this group stands out because the majority still oppose gay marriage.
Fifty-nine percent of white evangelicals oppose it. A new poll found that about half of all Americans pray over their food at least a few times a week. The poll showed that people from all those groups prayed before meals to at least some degree. Even some Americans who do not believe in organized religion still say grace, the study found. The Supreme Court agreed Monday June 26 to reopen the national debate over same-sex marriage.
The court will hear a challenge from a Colorado baker who had lost lower court battles over his refusal to create a wedding cake for a gay couple. Like a New Mexico photographer three years ago, the baker cited his religious beliefs. A retiring Williamsville middle school principal said goodbye to students and staff and endorsed his successor while lip-synching Stevie Wonder in a video posted on YouTube. Fran McGreevy went out from Casey Middle School wearing sunglasses and sitting behind a piano in a music video with teachers and staff dancing to "Faith," a song from the soundtrack of the animated film "Sing.
This Kentucky town has gone to the dogs. Meet Brynneth Pawltrow, a rescue pit bull that is making strides in Rabbit Hash as their latest town mayor. The pup, nicknamed Brynn, was rescued by owner Jordie Bamfort when she was just a puppy, and beat out a cat, a chicken and a donkey during the election. An Irish family are "absolutely delighted" to have recovered a painting and family heirloom that was stolen from their home in mysterious circumstances close to a decade ago.
After four years of negotiations, the painting has now been returned to Northern Ireland. The Henry Ford Cancer Institute is the first in Michigan — and first in the world — to offer patients an advanced radiation therapy that uses an FDA-approved real-time magnetic resonance imaging and linear accelerator delivery for more precise and accurate radiation treatment.
You know just from using a laptop that computers give off a lot of excess heat. The setup is simple enough: you pay Nerdalize to install a server in your home; it heats your house for free; and Nerdalize makes money by selling the server space to other companies. Back in , the company unveiled its first product — a standalone wall heater powered by a single server that was used in a year-long pilot in five households. Two orphaned sisters separated decades ago in South Korea have been reunited after being hired at the same hospital in Florida.
The women, now both in their 40s, were stunned to learn that they were related, having not seen each other since the early s. Both women had suffered tragic losses and spent time at orphanages in South Korea before being adopted by American families. A free meal and a friendly smile aren't easy to come by. But a pair of middle eastern immigrants changed that for some in Montreal with a sign in their restaurant window.
Motivated by their own experiences with hunger in Iraq and Iran, they offer a free meal to anyone in their adopted community who needs it -- no questions asked. Enter, the FrogLog. The invention is made up of an inflatable platform with a mesh skirt and ramp attached. You attach it to the edge of your pool using a weighted pouch that keeps the platform in place.
Now, any little critters that make their way into your pool, have an easy way to escape just by swimming over to the life-raft and using the ramp to climb out. It was the brother's movie that inspired Lindsey this weekend to walk miles and raise funds to end trafficking. She recently posted: Last October, for my 14th birthday, my mom took me to see the movie "Priceless" which brought to light the issue of human trafficking.
Immediately I wanted to do something to stop it. After praying about it, God gave me the idea to walk a long distance as a way to raise awareness about this issue. I have decided to walk from my hometown in Arthur, Illinois, to Nashville, Tennessee where Hope for Justice is located. Natalie Grant was walking with a 14 year old named Lindsey Yoder over the weekend. She posted: Yesterday I told you about 14 year old Lindsey Yoder, who decided to walk miles to raise money for Hope for Justice International.
Well, today I surprised her on the final stretch and walked the last mile with her. Find out more about Lindsey's walk at walk4freedom. Newsboys drummer Duncan Phillips says he was deeply challenged through a recent visit to Nigeria. He posted: The sense of desperation and hopelessness was real, but the change was instantly apparent with the Childfund Live sponsored children and families! It's amazing what a little hope can do! As a human being on this earth I was deeply challenged at the level of inhumanity that I witnessed!
This just ain't right, but together we CAN make a change! Sidewalk Prophets Dave Frey was cheering on his wife over the weekend. He posted: My wife is the greatest. She knew I love mochi, and she knew it was really messy to make, but to surprise her love, she did it anyway.
Then cleaned up the aftermath! A reminder from the members of Selah. They posted over the weekend: Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Attached was a picture of Asia Bibi, who has been in prison for 8 years for her faith in Christ. Third Day front man Mac Powell has found his twin. Even Jeremy Camp's dog is into music.
Jeremy posted a picture of family dog, Elliot, complete with headphones and a leather jacket. He said his kids have named him DJ Ruff. A victory for Kerrie Roberts over the weekend. Is the little things that are the big things!! Mark Schultz is on the other side of the world. He posted a picture of he and his wife over the weekend with the Great Wall of China in the background. A reminder from Rend Collective: There is good news in the sorrow. There is good news when the tears fall.
We have a God who cares about the intimate, painful details of our lives and who promises to walk with us through the valleys. He weeps with us. Matthew West on the real reason that he leaves his family behind and travels around the country throughout the year: So thankful for every opportunity God gives me to sing and speak.
Tonight many people raised their hands to say yes to Jesus, and that's the real reason we flew across the country. Not to simply entertain or put on a good show. My band and I know that if that's all we accomplish, we will have missed the point. Every night we pray for something bigger than us to happen. And I have learned that is a prayer God answers faithfully. New music from Casting Crowns is underway. The band posted a picture from the studio and added: New tunes in the making!
It's been a quarter of a century in the making. Phillips, Craig and Dean announced this week: our first book, 25 for 25, has arrived. Journey beyond the songs and read stories from Randy, Dan and Shawn about 25 years of music ministry. Jeremy Camp shared the story behind his new song Word of Life over the weekend. Check out the story behind the song by clicking on the links at christianartistnews.
Rend Collective was getting real over the weekend. They released their latest vlog, titled Hot Pink Male Rompers. The question is: do you want the real Rend Collective of the fake Rend Collective. Check out more by clicking on the link at christianartistnews.
Over the weekend Kutless hosted Converge The free outreach event took place in southern Oregon. Approximately 6, people attended the event in person, with about 45, people watching online as they streamed the concert live. However, if you missed out, you can still see the show online.
Check out Kutless live by clicking on the link at christianartistnews. The band showed up and played a surprise set at the show in Michigan on Friday. Jonny Diaz shared his "I might not make it to my concert in time" face on Instagram over the weekend. His American Airlines flight was delayed by 7 hours, causing him to nearly miss that evening show. Steven Curtis Chapmen had a special guest on stage over the weekend. He invited Danny Gokey to join him on stage during his set at the Worship in the Adirondacks festival.
Severe weather forced Stars Go Dim to cancel their set over the weekend. The band was scheduled to play at the Celebrate Freedom festival but posted: We are so sorry to announce our set has been cancelled today due rain and lightning. Stars go Dim front man Chris was teaching during his first concert back after surgery for appendicitis.
He posted: Such a pleasure to lead the the National Worship Leader's conference tonight! Thank you for being gracious to me on my first night back singing since the surgery! It was an honor to worship with you all! For King and Country was one man down while in Virginia over the weekend. Joel says his brother Luke was taking some time off. He posted: pray for Luke and Courtney's baby, which could potentially be born quite soon! Girls whose fathers provide warmth and control achieve greater academic success.
Girls who are close to their fathers exhibit less anxiety and withdrawal behaviors. Parental connectedness is the number one factor in preventing girls from engaging in premarital sex and indulging in drugs and alcohol. Daughters who believe that their fathers care about them have significantly fewer suicide attempts and fewer instances of body dissatisfaction, depression, low self- esteem, substance abuse, and unhealthy weight.
Girls with involved fathers are twice as likely to stay in school. Girls with fathers or father figures feel more protected, are more likely to attempt college, and are less likely to drop out of college. Girls whose parents divorce or separate before they turn twenty-one tend to have shorter life spans by four years.
Girls with good fathers are less likely to seek male attention by flaunting themselves. Girls who live with their mothers and fathers as opposed to mothers only have significantly fewer growth and developmental delays, and fewer learning disorders, emotional disabilities, and behavioral problems.
Girls who live with their mothers only have significantly less ability to control impulses and delay gratification, and have a weaker sense of conscience about right and wrong. Girls do better academically if their fathers establish rules and exhibit affection. A website expected to hold the largest digitized collection on the internet of writings by famed British pastor Charles H. Spurgeon is now available. The Spurgeon site will consist of accessible sermons, writings, links, and a number of other Spurgeon-related documents.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr recently signed a 5 year, million dollar contract extension, making him the highest paid player in NFL history. Following the announcement, Carr was asked if he plans to get anything special with the new funds. His response: "nothing will change". Carr said he will continue to pay his tithe and his wife will continue to clip coupons.
The Raiders quarterback added: it's going to continue to help people, not only in this country, but in a lot of countries around the world A federal appeals court upheld Mississippi's Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act on Thursday that is considered one of the broadest religious objections measures enacted by any state.
The measure ensures Christians and those who object to same-sex "marriage" will not be forced to violate their sincerely held beliefs. The U. Supreme Court could again be asked to decide the constitutionality of opening government meetings with an invocation. Rulings by the high court in and affirm the practice, according to attorneys with First Liberty who are defending two government agencies in two states.
The cast in question is Bormuth v. The iftar dinner occurs at sunset at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islam lunar calendar and a time of prayer, reflection and fasting.
Instead of holding the dinner, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson issued a statement for the White house late Saturday evening "During this holiday, we are reminded of the importance of mercy, compassion, and goodwill. With Muslims around the world, the United States renews our commitment to honor these values.
A Christian school in Indiana is under fire for standing up for Biblical marriage. However, critics believe those vouchers should be taken away because the school condemns sexual sins like fornication and homosexuality.
Florida lawmakers passed a bill that protects religious students, parents, and faculty from being punished by the school system for their religious beliefs.
Dennis Baxley, who sponsored the bill, says "Part of what we're protecting is those basic rights for religious expression — which are protected free speech — and we're letting people know it doesn't stop at the property line of the school site. A federal judge has temporarily blocked a group of Iraqis living in Detroit from deportation.
The Guardian reports most of these Iraqis are Chaldean Christians, but had been subject to deportation orders for pending criminal charges or overstaying visas. But attorneys challenged the deportation orders, arguing that the group would be persecuted or face death if returned to Iraq. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation June 15 that protects faith-based foster and adoption care agencies from lawsuits challenging their Biblically based operational standards.
Facing the threat of ruinous lawsuits for refusing to work with gay couples or provide abortions for children in their care, agency directors said they would have been forced to close their doors without the protections. Several Christian organizations that advocate for traditional marriage have been labeled hate groups on the charity research site GuideStar. Christianity Today reports that the hate group label was assigned to the organizations by the Southern Poverty Law Center SPLC , and then picked up by the charity research site, displayed in a banner at the top of the page.
That's according to Michael Brown, host of the Line of Fire radio program. A Nebraska mother is facing potential charges for child neglect after calling the police to help free her daughter who was accidentally locked inside a car. In a column for The Federalist, Mary Katharine Ham writes that the toddler in question had been visiting the pool with her aunt. Police broke the window to free the toddler, and ticketed the mother on suspicion of child neglect. Paul Williams, a pastor and former president of conservative church planting organization Orchard Group, has publicly come out as a transgender woman.
His legal name is now Paula Stone Williams. Christian Today reports Williams served as the president of Orchard from from until He decided to live his life as a transgender woman in December , but only just went public with the decision. New Mexico State Police believe a body found in the state is that of a pastor who went missing while searching for treasure in the Rocky Mountains.
Medical investigators have not released the identity of the body, but State Police Lt. Family reported Wallace missing last week. He had been searching for treasure hidden by multimillionaire Forrest Fenn. The acre theme park includes an ark built to the measurements God gave Noah in the biblical flood account. Some media outlets believe Lysa Terkeurst, the founder of women's ministry Proverbs 31 Ministries, should step down after announcing the end of her marriage.
Terkeurst announced the end of her year marriage a few weeks ago. She claims her husband, Art, abused substances, committed infidelity and strayed from the truth. Since then, the prominent women's leader has remained largely silent, allowing her blog post to speak for her. She told followers she would take a season off from Proverbs 31, but was not leaving. Having an American flag waving in your front yard is a great way to show your patriotism — but there is certain protocol you have to follow.
With the 4th of July just around the corner, Woman's Day magazine is out with a quick refresher, the dos and don'ts to displaying the flag.
Check them out by clicking on the link at christianartistnews. The Smashing Pumpkins ' new album, Teargarden by Kaleidyscope , is a huge undertaking.
They're releasing 44 songs, one at a time, for free online via SmashingPumpkins. An EP will be available for purchase after every 4 songs 11 EPs total , and a box set will be available after the entire project is completed. We were originally promised one song per month starting on October 31st of last year. At this rate, the project will be finished in just over 7 years equal to the span of time between Gish and Adore. Let's hope Billy speeds up the process.
The EP comes in a silk-screened wooden box, and will include a hand-carved leopard stone obelisk. The four songs available online will be in CD format, with previously unheard instrumental intros for each song. The box will also have a bonus 7", containing a previously unheard b-side. And you thought that Mellon Collie price tag was hefty. To say there is a band making music in Chicago with solid alt-country undertones is not really saying much.
For a city that has embraced bands like Wilco and more recently Van Ghost, an alt-country band may not come across as all that original or urgent.
However, the debut album from Tacoma Narrows presents a new take on this now commonplace genre. The band has managed to add strong and swirling psychedelic textures to their traditional sound. It makes sense that this band would have more of a blended sound when look at the various bands Kik Pratt, Donny Mahlmeister, Jack McLarnan and Ryan Juravic have played in the last ten years.
Bands like Azita, A Tundra, and Collections of Colonies of Bees, have turned this group into something refreshingly unique while allowing them to remain rooted in a more classic sound. The bands self-titled debut album was released physically last month and is available on the bands website. You can also stream the album right now on their website. The digital distribution is being handled by the local label Staticstation , and should be available on itunes and emusic this month.
Local husband and wife duo Tim Kelley and Christa Meyer better known as Puerto Muerto have been making intoxicatingly dark cabaret inspired music for almost ten years. They also toured in preforming live with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre for which they made a supplemental soundtrack to the film. They are an interesting band that are a secret gem to those who have been lucky enough to find them. The latest from the pair is their sixth full length release entitled Drumming For Pistols which is due out February 9th on Fire Records.
This album very much like their past work is filled with themes of deep loss and regrettable sadness woven all the way through. Even though this band has beautiful arrangements in their music, their medium for expression is equal parts storytelling. Very much in the spirit of two of their influences Nick Cave and Nina Simone, every song has a different character, a new way of feeling lonely and a new twist in it. Surprisingly just a duo, Gretta Rochelle and Jack Armondo have created a world that is dark, but always danceable.
Blending the best of Santigold and Lady GaGa with the style and attitude of Siouxsie Sioux, these two have really do have the strength of a thousand voices. Each track has it own sound, but the two that have the most energy are the lead single "Violet Eyes" and the second track "Circle Mass".
They are currently offering "Circle Mass" as a free download , and you can stream the entire ep at bandcamp as well. My Gold Mask is one of the more promising bands in the city as work to crave out a distinctive sound and follow it up with quality live performances. The new album from Indiana's Sam Vicari is a perfect example of how long someone can wait to see their dreams come true.
So what has a year of waiting and some skillful mastery at Joyride amounted to? Keep Careful is a throwback album of sorts to what music sounded like in this city 10 to 15 years ago. Maybe it's Sam's tenor tones or his aggressive guitar, but regardless his songwriting is what shines through. It's slacker rock with melodic lyrics that will have you singing along. Sam has been playing shows around the city for the last four years so it is only fitting the his record release show will be held here as well.
All net proceeds from the album will go to them. An accompanying video featuring a conversation between artist and activist Henry Rollins and Morello can be viewed in 4 parts below. It's hard to call a three track ep epic, but when you take in the full magnitude that the local trio Honest Engines radiate epic seems to fit. I mean we are not talking about the scope and sound of Arcade Fire, this band clearly has built sound that this full and lush and demands an audience.
Perhaps it is the atmospheric guitar work of Marcus Maloney or the thunderous but precise drumming of Matt Hennessey, but no matter the formula these three young musicians have found something special. It was clear on their self-released debut Don't Talk of California and now that Chicago's Tandem Shop has released this charming ep the band will only set their sights higher. If you missed their first release you should check out Mr.
Bear's These Machines and continue to support the local indie labels. The brain child if Sam McAllister, Tandem has an impressive and professional approach that will surely win you over. You can take a listen below. Hey Champ will be performing live at Lincoln Hall Dec. Tickets are still available for both shows. When you first listen to the debut solo ep from local musician Adam Ashbach the word traditional may come to mind.
True, Puzzle Pieces doesn't stray to far from the standard indie offerings, but it's Adam's journey that makes his music so intensely interesting. He spent seven years as part of Musical Outfits playing some of the city's biggest venues, he played Lollapalooza, was scouted by major labels and traveled to Greece, they also enjoyed heavy radio airplay and performed on a popular television show.
The journey, however, ended badly and Adam left with a broken jaw after a barroom fight with band mates. Adam left the music scene completely, but after two years away found it impossible to keep the melodies out his head.
It was that love of the melody and passion for songwriting that found him retreating to his home studio to put the pieces back together. He recruited old band mates Jason Angelilli and Joe Wagner, and has crafted an ep ripe with subtle ad confident pop gems.
Slightly disturbing and funky as hell, Charlie Deets has returned with the video for the first single from his forthcoming album, The Power of Suggestion. The album will be released via Paribus Records on February 14th. Just as Kid Sister is releasing her ode to the electro-glossy, fashionable side of hip-hop, another passionate individual has dropped an album in the same genre but one that moves in a completely different direction.
Radius ' latest opus, ETC For all the attention that Madlib, 9th Wonder, and other receive the talent and intelligence of Radius is often overlooked. Considered a mini-album, Gritty Goat has printed up only 50 copies of this Chicago gem, and each is hand made.
Pick up a copy, along with your copy of Ultraviolet Kid Sister and balance out your hip hop diet. Radius will be spinning tonight as part of Respect the DJ at Lava. Why You Runnin' is good, probably best when it's knee-slappin' indie-country, like in the single, "Little Lovin'," which kicks off the EP with delicate picking on an acoustic guitar and crescendos into greatness with the help of a tambourine and an electric guitar, among other things.
Then there is the melancholy country cover, "Wedding Bells," with heavily layered vocals, reminiscent of those of My Morning Jacket , and "Oh, Mississippi," the hymn-like tune that I could have sworn was Mississippi's state anthem, but it's not-- it's just a homesick tune Lissie wrote in London.
The EP ends with "Everywhere I Go," which is a little too sappy, and "Here Before," the poppy ballad in which her voice really shines; all twisty and soulful. Download info here. Tania Bowers has almost an overwhelming seductive quality to her music, and whether it is through the gentle beats or her hushed purr her latest album, Moon Sweat Moon , will seduce you. Earlier this year, Tania self-released a version of this, her second full-length album, but with her recent signing to The:Hours Records , this Fall the album will find its official release.
What is most enticing about the Via Tania's sound are the various levels and dimensions that these songs reach. From simple guitar folk melodies on "How Come" to the almost tropical sounds of "Light Years", Moon Sweat Moon slowly progresses through genres giving the listener an array of sounds to enjoy. The albums closer, "Home" perfectly sums up the range through its eight minutes of delicate electronics and plucked guitar.
Tania's blends perfectly through the album, but hauntingly echoes through out this track. The albums lead single, "Wonder Stranger", is the most pop-centric tune, but the entire album is very accessible. In fact, Moon Sweat Moon has the feel of album that could launch Via Tania into a more mainstream picture, and she has in fact already played shows on both coasts in support of the albums rerelease.
Pearl Jam 's new album, Backspacer , doesn't come out until next month September 20th to be exact , but right now you can watch a documentary on the making of the new record on MySpace Music. The ten minute short was directed by Danny Clinch and produced by Three on the Tree. You can preview the band's current single, "The Fixer," on MySpace as well. Also, don't forget they roll through town next week with two shows at the United Center on August 23 and Photo by Danny Clinch.
TheMDR recently visited Flashpoint Academy to produce the video for their single "foreign tongue" -- the video was staged, filmed and recorded by Flashpoint students working with the pros. Other than the aspect ratio being a little wonky on YouTube, it turned out pretty well:.
For all of the much deserved attention being paid to the new album from Wilco, the most popular song around the blogshere from Chicago has to "Be My Girl" by The Smith Westerns.
The track recently received an 8 from Pitchfork , it was featured by Fader , Gorilla vs. Bear , The Reader, and many more. My theory is if Wavves can find a large audience, Smith Westerns should not be far behind.
Classically trained pianist turned house music producer Kate Simko released her new ep " Take You There " on Ghostly International this week as a 12" and digital release. Kate's smooth beat and detail ear have produced another set of irresistible track that play as nicely on sun-drenched patios as they do in deep secluded basement. Kate is listing a show on July 25th at an undisclosed location on her myspace page, but does have a confirmed show scheduled at Sonotheque on August 22nd.
Love in October , who recorded and produced their own new self-titled EP, could be described as rock and power-pop. There is a young innocence in their sound, not surprising since two members are brothers originally from Sweden. Love in October has that Swedish pop feel, with a definite American 90's alternative influence--a hint of Weezer in the guitar on "Permutations" and Blink in the quick paced vocals on "Like Nothing Ever Happened. The Right Now and Jenny Gillespie will also play.
Show starts at 10pm. For your chance to win guest passes to the show, email your name and email address to management loveinoctober. Download a free mp3 of "Like Nothing Ever Happened" at their website.
They're Bloodshot Records debut album, Buckle in the Bible Belt , was one of the most earnest, soulful, and rollicking tours through rock music that I've heard in a long time. We sat down a few months ago and chatted with lead singer Brian Roberts about their latest album, Novel Sounds of the Nouveau South , which is out tomorrow on Bloodshot Records. Tortoise's latest album, Beacons of Ancestorship , isn't out until June 22, but it's streaming on the band's website right now.
Preorders through Thrill Jockey will also receive a 17"x24" poster. But, then I heard Kevin Devine. Devine is an artist that can cross many different genres and put his stamp on each one. His new LP, Brother's Blood , is in a word, outstanding. He also has a talent for creating powerful swelling songs like "Carnival" and title track, "Brother's Blood.
There is "Fever Moon" -- a sexy Latin croon that you wouldn't expect, but it works. The album hits its peak at the middle with epic desperation in the nearly eight-minute "Brother's Blood" followed by the steamy "Fever Moon. Devine has worked and toured largely under the radar and was almost lost after his dismissal from Capital Records during their merger with Virgin, but he came out unscathed, and frankly, better off than he went in.
This fifth album, released on the Favorite Gentleman label, is a self proclaimed "sprawling, confident mission statement about conscience, culture, and personality. Kevin Devine and his Goddamn Band play tonight at Schubas, but if you miss him tonight, he'll be back in August as part of Lollapalooza's line-up.
Show starts at 9pm. Photo by Andreas Hornoff. Rock Proper was using grassroots funding site Kickstarter to produce an g vinyl record of the album.
Now, after news of his death over the weekend, the effort has taken on additional poignancy as a way to memorialize Jay. If you're interested in helping make the vinyl pressing happen, you can still contribute. There's no website for the store, but we can link to this excellent Newcity article on all the indie record stores in Chicago, where the writers say this about DEADWAX: "Owner Wilbur Sutphin offers the quintessential music collection at Deadwax and keeps it in immaculate order.
It's like going through your friend's cool dad's music collection that he would never let you touch, but here you finally can. Come hell or health problems, Mike Watt doggedly adheres to his age-old ethos of "jamming econo" and working the "thud" end of things. Arguably the punk movement's most technically adept and hardest-rocking bassist, Watt first came to prominence in the s with his work in the Minutemen and fIREHOSE.
And in the intervening years he's managed to stay indefatigably busy and prolific. Recently, he served as the bass player for the resurrected line-up of the Stooges, and he's also continued to record and tour with a dizzying number of bands and projects. One such current project is the ensemble Unknown Instructors , whose fourth album, Funland , drops via the Chicago-based Smog Veil label this month.
The group marks an all-star reunion of alumni from the SST stable of yore. This list, Kay says, is "the music that is making our clientele happy at this moment" and is "in order of them spilling from my brain. On top of listing these sellers, Wroblewski also mentioned that, unfortunately, Neil Young's new one "has not sold at all. This week's list of unofficial top sellers comes from Lance Barresi, owner of Permanent Records , W. Chicago Ave. Per the usual, Chicago artists are bolded.
Photo: Lacy Weathersbee. The word amicability can be defined as having a disposition characterized by warmth and friendliness wordreference. A few years back a band called The Knife released an album called "Silent Shout", and that phrase has always left a certain image in my mind. It's an image of wanting to scream, but not having an outlet, not fully releasing it.
Amicability is very much a gentle and refined scream, or perhaps it is that welling up just before the scream. The eight tracks build and wind through layer of jazz, ambience, and chopped up vocals while the listener drifts along. Moments are built and then drained as this trio melts all snow and allows the spring to full capture the spotlight.
It's that creeping warmth, that mounting scream, that release from a tortuous winter and a bursts of truly inventive musical exploration. This is the first musical release from the new nonprofit group Another New Calligraphy.
This is a project that helps musicians and writers establish and maintain an effective visual and tactile presence in an ever-increasingly virtual world, all while building an artistic community with a powerful, unifying identity. Their hope is that by making albums or manuscript visually recognizable, they can help art stand out in the American media overload.
Operating outside the realm of traditional record labels and publishing houses allows them to work under a new model based on the simple acts of creating and sharing. It is an ambitious mission, but they have chosen an exceptional album to launch the project. Amicability will be release on April 28th, but you can preorder now. Pontiak are the trio of brothers Van, Jennings, and Lain Carney, who -- after having scattered across the map to pursue various musical careers -- came together in Baltimore a few years ago to form their own band.
From there the brothers relocated to a house in the less populated Blue Ridge environs of Virginia, set up their own rehearsal and recording space, and got to work. For the most part, the brothers' third album Maker is as weighty and daunting as its title implies. The story has it that guitarist Van blew out two amps Mogwai style during the album's recording sessions, which wouldn't be surprising given the sound of the thing.
At first listen, much of Maker wafts along on heavy boulder-rolling buzzriffs and sludgey rhythms -- much of it amounting to a tub of stoned kozmic blues so thick you could stand a rowboat oar in it. Madison St.
The list isn't scientific but is based on what records managers have noticed are selling a lot. We're hoping to make this a regular feature by checking in with indie record stores across the Chicagoland. For our first segment, here's Jeff's list, which he titled "Reckless Records' un lucky top 13 sellers in alphabetical order. What attracted me to want to review Rob Mazurek's new Delmark release, sound is , was the all-star lineup of talent he had assembled.
John Herndon on drums Tortoise , the For Carnation , Matthew Lux on bass guitar Isotope , Iron and Wine Josh Abrams on acoustic bass Town and Country , Black Earth Ensemble and Jason Adasiewicz on vibes Loose Assembly, Rolldown is a pretty impressive lineup of guys doing some out-of-the-box music, and Mazurek's leadership had to me the makings of an album that, while avant-garde in ambition, would still appeal to those who wanted good music.
Some new ideas, some new compositions that are free to work or not, but musicians with mastery of their instruments and demonstrating a sense of free expression that simply can't be written very easily on musical notation paper. The problem with avant-garde, besides the real or imagined pretentiousness is the loftiness of purpose, as usually set up by breathy press releases.
When I read "Jazz cornetist Rob Mazurek consistently pushes beyond the expectations of his listeners, drawing together ideas out of sound, personalities out of space, and fusing color and light into the tones of his music". Perhaps because I simply can't suffer puffy writing, or because it's just so damned difficult to describe music that's, well, not pop, and makes no bones about accessibility or lack thereof.
A few of the compositions Mazurek puts forth don't work very well in my opinion for any number of reasons I find sonically distasteful; that is not to say anyone else will or will not like the same thing. For the most part, though, the album is a solid listen. Will anyone else like this album? I believe so, especially those like me who don't mind the lofty goals of avant-garde being met with an overall shine and polish of compositions which at least play lip service to melody, harmony, and rhythm and don't seem to punish you for "not getting it.
I know a lot of people from Flint, MI. I guess they all end up in Chicago, eventually. All I hear about the place is that it's a terrible place to live, but a great place to be from. Everybody seems to go on to become artists or actors or musicians; and they all seem to have a lot to say.
This leads me to Kinetic Stererokids ' new album, Kid Moves. On my first casual listen, I thought I was listening to an album by the Go! So, what about the musicianship? Well, there isn't much to talk about the improvements from the previous record. In fact, there is none. Phil has dropped his Halford-inlfluenced vocals he used in the previous records and now just seems to imitate Kyle Thomas.
While he is in my honest opinion rather better at what he's doing here than Thomas, I miss his falsetto-vocals from Cowboys a lot. Dimebag's lead work is still impressive, but the riffs have just been toned down dramatically. Yes, there is some groove in them, but there is something frustrating about hearing chugga-chugga riffs in the verse of almost every song, and every non-chugga riff sounds almost the same.
Vinnie Paul can't help but to do his best what he can by fitting into the toned down songwriting on this album. Rex Brown still swims below Dime's leads as always, and doesn't have any standout bass lines to offer.
It's a shame that Pantera have gone towards this kind of musical direction with VDOP, because while the music is enjoyable for the bigger part, you'd expect something more from them after releasing Power Metal and Cowboys from Hell.
Judging by those albums you can be sure that they are competitive musicians, but here, they seemed to have jumped on the bandwagon of commercializing their sound, something that lots of bands who were great in the 80's did in the 90's.
Despite the annoying production and weakened musicianship, the music on the album is actually mostly enjoyable and with an open mind you'll most likely be pleased with the album most of the time when putting it on a full spin. Though weak compared to what he was capable of, Anselmo's vocals have some sort of personality on this album, and it goes well with the album's groove-driven sound.
I personally loved the vocals on the latter a lot, in my point of view, they gave an already nice ballad even more depth. There's A LOT of groove here, mainly thanks to Dimebag's riffs and Anselmo's accompanying moody shouts, and the lead work is top notch as always.
Even though Dimebag likes to abuse them chugga riffs on this album a bit too much at times, there are several memorable riffs that you could recognize at any given point, like the legendary "Walk" riff, the main riff of "Mouth for War", the haunting main riff of "This Love" and some others. Despite being simplified in comparison to Dime's previous efforts, the riffs are still incredibly melodic and are definitely played with a soul.
Vinnie Paul fits into the songs with his drumming nicely, as always, though like the rest of the band, he also sacrificed some of his talent for the musical direction the band took. In the 80's albums he used to play a lot faster and did many nice fills, now, almost all of that magic has been lost. A shame, considering that in the old times Vinnie was basically as talented on his instrument as his brother was on the guitar. A strong point on this album is the diversity of songs, we start out with a fairly mid tempo-ed track which changes it's attitude to a more thrashy one towards the end, followed by a similar song with tempo changes, then to a slower, heavily riff-driven hit song "Walk", followed by a more hardcore-punkish quickie "Fucking Hostile", then a lengthy power ballad, then again a more thrashy song and so on.
Finally, the album closes with yet another power ballad, a rather more sad-toned one, and smartly does so, because those kind of songs always leave at least a decent impression after listening to the album on a full run.
And yet, even that song changes it's attitude to a more aggressive one towards the end. As far as the lyrical content goes, admittedly, there is a bit too much tough-guy bragging going on most of the songs, but there are some exceptions.
Lines like these: The truth in right and wrong The boundaries of the law You seem to miss the point Arresting for a joint? You seem to wonder why Hundreds of people die You're writing tickets man My mom got jumped -- they ran! So, in the end, what do we have?
Vulgar Display of Power, in short, is a good groove metal album with a stinky production. It may not blow you away, but it will leave a special place in your heart in one way or another.
I am pretty sure that this album holds a special place in the hearts of all metalheads, whether that's a good thing or not.
If you like groove, variety and nice lead work, this is an album you should listen to before you die. Pantera's "Vulgar Display Of Power" is one of the most controversial releases in the whole metal genre and recently got some fresh popularity with the release of the track "Piss" that didn't make it on the original album and was released twenty years later as a single years after the band split up.
This is an occasion to take a look on this famous record again as there will be a new edition coming out quite soon. This album has nothing to do with the band's early glam rock music or the thrash metal genre and is a rather straight record with some hardcore and groove metal influences.
The guitar riffs go in your face but sound one dimensional and the same patterns always come back and lack of surprises. The bass guitar sound is rather inoffensive but has a few good moments on this release at least. The drumming is fast and technically accurate but the sound is not professional at all and sometimes it feels as if you were listening to the table tennis finals in China or a broken drum computer instead of an actually gifted drummer that plays on a real kit.
The vocals are aggressive and dominated by angry shouts that bring the offensive lyrics to life but they lack of any other emotion than this. The final result sounds like a mixture of groove metal tracks, hardcore bashing passages and some grunge worship in a few calmer moments. The lyrics are simple and seem to be written by a bunch of angry kids that get mad about anything and felt like using as many swear words as they could find.
The most redundant example might be the infamous "Fucking Hostile" as you might have guessed from its title. A couple of tracks from this record rose to fame, for example "Walk". The track is still played in any hard rock discotheque or in a track list of any metal festival in the whole wide world during the shows of the different bands. The lyrics are very one dimensional and childish, the riff is boring and the track lacks of surprises. I don't get warm with this groove track at all but must admit that it has a catchy flow and won't easily get out of your mind once you've heard it.
It's the same thing for the shallow ballad "Hollow" that sounds rather like a grunge track than a metal anthem but even this failed epilogue has something addicting somehow and I must give the band some credit for get a maximum of success with a minimum of ideas. The only track I truly appreciate on this record is "This Love". The sudden changes between calm and psychedelic passages and the angry chorus is predictable but effective and the contrast works very well while the other tracks only focus on the aggressive or the psychedelic side.
This kind of music has a certain kind of vision and is a hint at the sound of modern alternative rock music around bands such as System Of A Down who would later base their sound on these kinds of contrasts. My second favourite track is indeed the new bonus song "Piss" that has some minimalistic but effective changes of style between slow groove passages, faster parts dominated by a catchy and melodic riff and a change of drum patterns even though the sound of these drums is still a disaster and hasn't been changed in twenty years.
Even the bass guitar is audible and the middle part adds another dose of energy to this catchy song that should have made it on the regular record without a doubt. Anybody who likes the original record will adore this new tracks as even those like me who didn't appreciate the original album much are able to recognize the hit potential of this solid effort. Apart from these two songs plus the shallow but catchy "Walk" and "Hollow", the record is though not quite spectacular and also fails to grow.
In the end, we have a quite consistent record that has a coherent flow with some catchy and emotional moments. On the other side, the music has been adapted to the trends of its time and remains a superficial mixture of hardcore, groove metal and grunge with some worn out thrash riffs. Anyway, people may still discuss about this album in the next twenty years to come and that's why it has such a special status that not many other records have.
This controversial energy is what makes this album so strong and this is what it's all about. From a subjective point of view, I might only give a forty percent rating but from a more objective point of view, this unforgettable record is easily worth eighty percent and I decided to choose the middle path of neutrality. Try this record out at your own risk but you should at least listen to this once to get an idea of what everybody's always talking about and what made Pantera so famous along side the record "Cowboys from Hell" that you might also check out while the rest of the band's discography is more or less forgettable.
Today, February 21, , is the 20th anniversary of one of the most divisive albums in metal history: Pantera's Vulgar Display of Power.
On the one hand, it's almost universally acclaimed as the band's greatest work, and one of the most influential albums in metal history.
Outside the core metal audience, that is. You can predict with near-certainty that any casual metalhead over 25 has a copy in his collection. But the more outspoken, critically-minded metalheads hate it with near-unanimity. Metalheads on the whole are pretty well divided. Much of the hatred toward the album is based on what it's not, rather than what it is. The band's prior record, Cowboys from Hell, is reasonably well-loved among metalheads. It's a good example of thrash, with hints of the band moving toward groove metal.
But Vulgar is clearly not a thrash metal album. Yet, you'll see many reviews call it a terrible thrash album. That's like ripping on a pickup truck because it doesn't get gas mileage like a compact.
It doesn't make any sense. Perhaps more prevalent is the hatred directed at Vulgar precisely because of its influence. The stripped-down, simplified, slowed-down approach hasn't been seen as bringing Sabbath back into metal which would be a perfectly legitimate opinion but instead as ushering in nu metal, and the bad groove metal of the late 90's.
The vocal style and mosh-readiness of the music is blamed for the tough-guy posturing of metalcore bands like Hatebreed or hard rock bands like Drowning Pool.
But plenty of great albums have led to terrible imitators. It doesn't make any sense to tear down Thergothon just because there are bad funeral doom bands out there. Taken on its own terms, Vulgar Display of Power is an adrenaline rush that will pump up your blood like few others.
Even the ballads, "Hollow" and "This Love", have crushingly heavy and aggressive parts. Yes, I said crushingly heavy, because at the time this was one of the heaviest records ever released. The songs are infectious, too. Who doesn't at least occasionally want to sing along to the "Don't fuck with this" in "Regular People Conceit "?
And how could you not get into "By Demons Be Driven", which has what is easily one of the greatest choruses in metal history? It's deceptively simple, like Sabbath.
But each and every song on it is loaded with dynamism. Riffs change often, and with little warning. Tempos and moods range from headbanging thrash to depressing ballad to mosh-ready hardcore, often within the same song. The questionably-legendary Dimebag Darrell also imbued each song with his own touches, the pinch harmonics, squeals, and some great solos.
Dynamism and great songwriting are what set it apart from its many imitators. But Vulgar isn't perfect, by any means.
But the great stuff here is really, really great. So, it's not what people expected. That's how you make your mark. Well, Pantera made their mark, and it will be remembered for a long time. It's one of the most influential metal albums of all time, with some of their followers good, but most of them bad. But most importantly, it's got plenty of adrenaline-pumping shout-along anthems for those moments when you need it. There are a handful of bands out there in the metal world that are particularly divisive; people tend to either love them or hate them.
Pantera is one of those bands. What exactly causes a band to gain such a rabid following and a merciless wake of naysayers? In Pantera's case, it was the attitude of the band members and the music they created, and the subsequent influence they would have on heavy metal music.
Vulgar Display is all about attitude. If you wanted to break down what the message and feel of it are at the roots, it's about saying "fuck you" and punching someone you hate in the face. To make it perfectly clear, this is depicted on the album's front cover. Really, the cover is perhaps the most simplistic way to sum up the album's contents. Vulgar Display is the soundtrack to punching someone in the face. But is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Really, it's all about your tastes. I, for one, think the cover is hilarious and love how it's so forthright about what is to be found on the disc contained inside. The music varies widely in tempo and composition. There are a few passages that are clearly meant to be slower and atmospheric. Much of the rest of the album is absolutely blistering.
The shift in Pantera's sound from their previous effort Cowboys from Hell is apparent from the very beginning. Cowboys was an eclectic but nonetheless catchy and overall heavy album.
Vulgar Display takes the sound from Cowboys and cuts out the remaining traces of glam influence, replacing them with ferocity. Many years after first hearing this album and perhaps one hundred times listening to it since then, there is one word that still sticks with me to describe it: fierce. In total seriousness, this album is ferocious.
The anger and frustration is absolutely palpable. Phil's vocals are very memorable, whether you like them or not. They're mostly shouted, as they would be on a thrash record, but they have a much stronger delivery than one would expect from a thrash group and they border on screams.
That's not to mention the several times that Phil actually does scream, all of which are executed quite well. The vocals are the source of much of the album's attitude, and in that vein they are a tremendous success. Dimebag's guitar work is thunderous and unrelenting throughout, but he never gives up his characteristic twang - perhaps the most obviously southern influence apparent in Pantera's music. In the rhythm section, the bass and drums really hold the album together.
There's nothing exceptional going on there, but the execution is nearly flawless. The production for the drums is probably my favorite out of all the instrumentation. It's very sharp, but in no way overshadows the rest of the group. As for the songs themselves, they deal largely with issues of frustration, anger, and hate, which certainly seems appropriate given how blunt the album's cover is.
The opening track, Mouth for War, is simply remarkable. Pantera wastes no time in getting directly to the point, within seconds of the album's start laying down the framework for what would become groove metal. The performance is sharp and strong, and the energy of it all is empowering. In particular, roughly the last fifty seconds of the song are absolutely pounding and drive with tremendous force. It closes with a bang, and one of my favorite riffs ever. A New Level is also fantastic, featuring a simple but effective main riff and generally outstanding guitar work.
Dimebag puts on a great show of technical work and a great solo, as he is well-known for. Live in a Hole, in particular, is one of the most memorable songs from the album because of how bizarre and non-conventional it is.
Regular People has a superb into section that I've found myself wanting to listen to again and again for years now. Furthermore, the lyrics are catchy and hilarious, featuring Phil seriously insulting the integrity of some unspecified nemesis, informing him that he doesn't have the balls and that his head is up his ass.
It may be considered immature, but maturity is not the point of this music. On the slower side, the album features two "ballads": This Love, in the middle of the album, and Hollow as the closing track. Both of them have sections of more atmospheric and aesthetic work, along with passages of clean vocals, which contrasts with the rest of the album. This Love is notable for the contrasting vocal sections and more so for the breakdown.
It's perhaps the most simple breakdown ever recorded, but it's heavy as hell and incredibly effective. Hollow is worthy of discussion because it's easily the most serious and mature song to be found here, the lyrical subject matter dealing with an emotionally shattered and distanced friend.
Once more, an outstanding vocal performance from Phil can be found here, but what I remember the most is how fierce the song's latter half sounds. It's unpleasant to the ear in the most strangely satisfying way, and the fade out at the end is almost what I would describe as eerie. It really sticks with me.
Fucking Hostile, along with Rise, are the song's most unrelenting and heavy tracks. The delivery is ferocious for both of them. The only reason the album loses any points from me is that those two tracks, along with the overrated Walk and the odd By Demons be Driven can get somewhat tiresome.
Outside of that, though, I really don't feel that the album has any flaws. Good, bad, or indifferent, it has had immense influence on the development of heavy metal in the past twenty years, and that cannot be denied. Don't hate it for what it spawned - love it for what it is. For some time now, I havn't felt overly compelled to pen any opinions about this album, or anything that Pantera did between Having heard the better side to this band's creative process on "Cowboys from Hell" and "The Great Southern Trendkill," and some extent their late 80's material, I knew what Pantera could do when they set their minds to it.
I decided to reverse my previous decision and pen some lines about this particular album. My views aren't firmly planted with either the usual Pantera bashing crowd nor the usual Pantera worshippers crowd. I don't really see "Vulgar Display of Power" as a monumental effort worthy of its classic status and recognition by the media, nor is it really the worst thing that metal has ever concieved, probably far from it.
Instead, I would agree that Pantera took a serious gamble in expanding their sound here. Some have said this expansion and change in songwriting style was a mad gamble for radio success, which might hold some ground. However, considering their varying changes over the course of the 90's and considering even their diehard fans reject "The Great Southern Trendkill" as their weakest album might put a heavier focus on merely a change in musical direction. A rather poorly planned and poorly executed change in direction, but an honest one nonetheless.
Second, Phil Anselmo's once majestic Rob Halford tribute vocals have now been changed drastically to that of a militaristic bark, or "tough guy" shouts as some prefer to call them. This leads to an obvious departure of both the power metal and thrash metal tendencies of the previous album, and replaces both will similiarities closer to that of a more metallic version of the early 90's hardcore scene. Since this album's track list has been analyzed numerous times by now, I won't go into a complete track by track breakdown.
There is a little speed metal influence tacked onto the end, but it doesn't really add much to the song as a whole. Unfortunately, there is a copious supply of throwaway tracks here that represent underdeveloped songs, which also became a characteristic of the bands who became influenced by Pantera. None of the other songs here are quite as offensive as those two, but none of them are really anything of interest, either.
Before I enter my concluding statements, I would like to address one reason for contempt that many have used.
Pantera discarded the speed and power metal elements in Alone Suffering And Screaming (4/11/1999) - Screening - Low End (CD majority of the songs here and this was truly their first official 90s album and their real entry as the mountain men of redneck heavy metal with the residual traces of 80s spandex and hairspray finally shed and forgotten. Students will be required to either improve existing entries or create new entries on the topical of gender and international affairs. A Nebraska mother is facing potential charges for child neglect after calling the police to help free her daughter who was accidentally locked inside a car. The Hood Internet made its name creating masterful mashups of hip hop and indie rock for a few years now, regularly releasing free mixtapes filled with their best tracks. The Kerala woman gave birth Album) a baby mid-air on Sunday. Before I continue, I honestly have to get this off my chest right now: I'm not really a proper Metallica fan or even a casual one at that, at least not anymore. I found myself playing "Frontier" on repeat just for those guitars, which got me thinking: When was the last time a guitar solo was the highlight of a new EP? Archived from the original on February 29, His range is practically gone, any attempt at high notes either has to be entirely sombre and quiet, Album), or is ditched completely, in the name of sounding tough and aggressive.
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