The Doctrine

History Of Spiritual Jazz: 1955-2012

In the final hours of Black History Month, I urge you to explore this marathon 12-hour Spiritual Jazz mix compiled by Black Classical. It’s a historical journey of Spiritual Jazz stretching from 1955-2012. This mix originally appeared on NTS Live, an online radio station based in London with studios in Los Angeles, Shanghai, and Manchester.

The catalog features recognized pioneers Sun Ra, John Coltrane, Gil Scott-Heron, Herbie Hancock, and Pharoah Sanders in addition to South African songstress Letta Mbulu and Brazilian percussion genius Airto. The cuts are deep and the mix is a crate diggers paradise.

Read More

Click To Enter

GifCities: Over 4.5 Million Searchable, Old-School, Animated Gifs

Click To Enter

In celebration of its 20th anniversary of archiving the web, the Internet Archive has released GifCities. It’s an animated GIF search engine that has indexed millions of animated GIFs from the obsolete GeoCities websites.

Geocities was an early web hosting service, started in 1994 and acquired by Yahoo in 1999, with which users could create their own custom websites. The platform hosted over 38 million user-built pages and was at one time the third most visited site on the web. In 2009, Yahoo announced it was closing down the service, at which point the Internet Archive attempted to archive as much of the content as possible.

Mining this collection, we extracted over 4,500,000 animated GIFs (1,600,000 unique images) and then used the filenames and directory path text to build a best-effort “full text” search engine. Each GIF also links back to the original Geocities page on which it was embedded (and some of these pages are even more awesome than the GIFs).

Head over there to relive a classic era of the World Wide Web. And please, go notify all your readers that your site is still under construction.

Chance The Rapper

A Collection Of Thousands Of Hip Hop Mixtapes

Chance The Rapper

Jason Scott has uploaded thousands and thousands of hip-hop mixtapes to the Internet Archive (almost 6,000 to date). He says he has access to over 17,000 tapes and somewhere close to that number might end up on the Archive over the next few months. There is obviously a ton of hip-hop culture to dig through here. Jason notes:

There’s a lot coded into the covers of these mixtapes (not to even mention the stuff coded into the lyrics themselves) – there’s stressing of riches, drug use, sexual drive, and oppression. I’m personally fascinated at the amount of reference to codeine and the purple color of “Purple Drank”, which, if you’ve missed that subject matter up to now… good for you.

If you’re new to the world of hip-hop mixtapes (as I am) the links below should get your discovery started

This is a great time to point out that the Internet Archive is an invaluable resource. In these times of link rot and the haphazard closing of essential web services (we miss you Google Reader) the Internet Archive is, well, archiving the web. The Wayback Machine now indexes over 435 billion webpages going back nearly 20 years.

The end goal here, like all the things I do in this realm, is simple: Providing free access to huge amounts of culture, so people can reference, contextualize, enjoy and delight over material in an easy-to-reach, linkable, usable manner. Apparently it’s already taken off, but here you go too.