(Roughly) Daily

I dream of genre…


Used to be, a listener had pretty simple choices; record stores and radio stations were organized into a just a few genres:  pop, rock, country, jazz, classical…  Now, of course, new musical styles and movements emerge seemingly daily.  Glenn McDonald is here to help the poor fan navigate the confusion.  His interactive “map” of music (a small section of which, above), Hear Every Noise, lets one move through genres– clustered in ways explained here— hear examples of each, then click through to the artists playing under each banner…  hours of listening pleasure (and an education in the metastasizing music scene).


As we tap our toes, we might recall that it was on this date in 1859 that an American settler on San Juan Island, near Seattle, shot the pig of a (British) Hudson’s Bay Company employee and ignited The Pig War, a dispute rooted in the confusion over the boundary between the U.S. and Canada (specifically, the status of a group of islands in the Strait of Juan de Fuca).  Militaries from both sides were invoked and the situation escalated so that, by August 461 Americans with 14 cannon stood opposed by five British warships mounting 70 guns and carrying 2,140 men.

The governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island ordered British Rear Admiral Robert L. Baynes to land marines on San Juan Island and engage the American soldiers there under the command of Brigadier-General Harney.  Baynes refused, declaring that “two great nations in a war over a squabble about a pig” was foolish.  Harney had given his men essentially the same orders: defend yourselves, but do not fire the first shot.  For several days, the British and U.S. soldiers exchanged insults, each side attempting to goad the other into firing the first shot; but discipline held.  Ultimately the powers-that-be in Washington and London reached a compromise…  and the Pig War was resolved with only a single casualty– the pig.

The red line represents Britain’s pre-war boundary claim; the blue line, that of the U.S. The green line is the compromise reached.



Written by (Roughly) Daily

June 15, 2013 at 1:01 am

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