It’s heartening to see a real democratic movement in action in Burma. Maybe we could learn something.

I’ve been keeping track of what’s been happening via the aggregating-link posts of The Atlantic’s Andrew Sullivan. ( If you don’t read him, start. He’s the author of The Conservative Soul: How We Lost It, How To Get It Back. He’s a genuine conservative intellectual, and as such has real problems with the current adminstration….but I digress.)

Anyway — his most recent posts, gathering links from all over the world:

Military Split? — about rumors that some military units have turned their weapons against other government troops, and are now protecting the protesters.

Burmese Haze — General news leaking out of the country, despite the junta’s best efforts.

Mutiny? — breaking news about the possible split in the military — a rumor that General Maung Aye has staged a coup against Than Shwe, and that his troops are now guarding dissident Aung San Suu Kyi’s home.

Friday Music

Another big week — Here we go:

First off, a couple of tracks for my brother, who specifically requested two artists: Echo & The Bunnymen, and The (English) Beat. More than happy to oblige, so I chose my favorite song from both. This first one, featuring one of the best guitar hooks in all of “college rock” (in other words, “alternative” from the 80s before the label was coined), I discovered on Songs To Learn And Sing — the US major-label debut that was essentially a “best of” collection of their UK releases: Echo & The Bunnymen – “Rescue.”

Second, the opening track of Special Beat Service, my introduction to the band, given to me as a dubbed cassette copy in the early 80s by my Uncle Dennis. As it was the first song I heard, it became my favorite. The (English) Beat – “I Confess.”

While on the subject of “alternative” songs I listened to heavily in High School, here’s one from my senior year — a solo effort from Pato Banton, who appeared on the above-mentioned Special Beat Service in a track with Ranking Roger called “Pato and Roger a-Go Talk.” This track features his unique narration on the virtues of marijuana over cocaine: Pato Banton – “Don’t Sniff Coke.”

Gotta stick with the 80s for one more track, because sometimes you just desperately need some over-the-top cock-rock in your day. (Alright — a confession: I loved this guy at the time, and still do. I’m weak.) Billy Squier – “Everybody Wants You.” (Ugh — I feel so dirty.)

Moving on to some new stuff– Here’s a track from Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. Not their newest stuff, but rather a track that featured on their “Thou Shalt Always Kill” E.P. They take the beat from UK rapper Dizzee Rascal’s big hit “Fix Up Look Sharp” (which was, itself, a sample of a Billy Squier track — see? A smooth seque…), and use it to lambast those who would use hip-hop for commercialism rather than art: Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip – “Fixed.”

A track from Iron & Wine, the stage and recording name for Florida-based folk rock singer-songwriter Sam Beam. Iron & Wine – “Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car.”

This is the B-side from the new single from Bloc Party. Not only is it nifty-cool, but it also references the English Civil War, making it double nifty-cool. Bloc Party – “Cavaliers & Roundheads.”EDIT:Now hosted on my server, so if you couldn’t get to it before, you can now.

Another great Mashup from DJ Lobsterdust — this one featuring a core of Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney’s “Say, Say, Say”, with Rhianna’s “Umbrella”, plus Nelly Furtado, NIN, Mary J Blige, Diana Ross, Rick James, and The Temptations. Holy Crap. DJ Lobsterdust – “SaySayism Allstar Jam.”