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Graduation season is well underway, with kindergartners, high schoolers, college seniors and graduate students alike donning caps and gowns to celebrate their achievement. With their diplomas, graduates also get words of wisdom from a commencement speakers and a good excuse to celebrate. -- Lloyd Young ( 31 photos total)
US Naval Academy graduates throw their hats at the conclusion of their commencement and commission ceremony, attended by President Barack Obama at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium on May 24 in Annapolis, Md. (Michael Reynolds/European Pressphoto Agency)     

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Today NPR is streaming the new Youth Lagoon album and tomorrow he does on tour, just going to keep it short, what a great record, enjoy.

TRACKLIST
Through Mind and Back
Mute
Attic Doctor
The Bath
Pelican Man
Dropla
Sleep Paralysis
Third Dystopia
Raspberry Cane
Daisyphobia

TOUR DATES
02-26 Missoula, MT – Badlander
02-27 Bozeman, MT – Filling Station
02-28 Salt Lake City, UT – Kilby Court
03-01 Denver, CO – Larimer Lounge
03-06 New York, NY – Bowery Ballroom
03-13-16 Austin, TX – SXSW
03-22 Boise, ID – Treefort Music Fest
04-12 Indio, CA – Coachella
04-19 Indio, CA – Coachella
04-21 Phoenix, AZ – Crescent Ballroom
04-22 Tucson, AZ – Club Congress
04-24 Austin, TX – Mohawk
04-25 Dallas, TX – The Loft
04-26 Houston, TX – Fitzgerald’s
04-27 New Orleans, LA – One Eyed Jacks
04-28 Birmingham, AL – The Bottletree
04-30 Orlando, FL – The Social
05-01 Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
05-02 Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
05-03 Asheville, NC – The Grey Eagle
05-04 Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle
05-07 Northampton, MA – Pearl St.
05-10 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
05-11 Columbia, MD – Sweet Life Festival
05-13 Toronto, Ontario – Great Hall
05-14 Columbus, OH – A&R Bar
05-15 Chicago, IL – Metro
05-16 Madison, WI – Majestic Theater
05-17 Minneapolis, MN – Fine Line
05-22 Portland, OR – Wonder Ballroom
05-23 Vancouver, British Columbia – Venue
05-24 Gorge, WA – Sasquatch! Fest
06-05 Brooklyn, NY – Barclays Center *
* with the National

Youth Lagoon’s second album, Wondrous Bughouse, is one of the most arresting headphone records you’ll hear this year. Trevor Powers, the band’s sole member, layers strange but alluring synth textures under quirky melodies and simple pop beats, in the process creating an expansive and endlessly engrossing world of sonic curiosities.

As with Youth Lagoon’s 2011 debut, The Year of Hibernation, the songs on Wondrous Bughouse are moody but not melancholy. Thematically, Powers finds himself in an existential spiral, as he asks grand questions about mortality, the spiritual world and his own mental state — which he describes as “hyperactive.” Weighty subjects ripe for pensive introspection, sure, but the music is uplifting, if a bit dysphoric, like an awkward hug for all that is light and beautiful.

Powers, who says he controls his busy mind with music, offers no illuminating epiphanies or profound discoveries on Wondrous Bughouse, out March 5; he says he hasn’t had any. But the songs allow him to assume the identity of Youth Lagoon and sort through all the emotional and mental baggage he, like so many, carries with him everywhere. The album opens a window into our odd little world, with the understanding that life is a baffling mystery, but also a wonderful ride.

via NPR

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Earlier this month, TIME sent contract photographer Marco Grob to the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) in Nashville to photograph comedian Jerry Lewis. Now 86 years old, Lewis, profiled by Richard Zoglin in this week’s issue of TIME, is filling his days directing a musical version of The Nutty Professor—adapted from the film he originally wrote and starred in back in 1963. The new stage version, in collaboration with the late composer Marvin Hamlisch and lyricist Rupert Holmes, is being performed at TPAC through the end of the weekend in a bid for a slot on Broadway.

Although he’s photographed subjects as diverse as Hillary Clinton and Lady Gaga, Grob still felt nervous as he waited for Lewis to arrive for his portrait shoot. Experience photographing other comedians led Grob to expect Lewis to be a handful—a worry that proved to be completely unfounded when the legendary funny man showed up.

During the ten-minute shoot, Grob learned that Lewis shared a passion for photography. ”He carries a camera with him everywhere he goes,” says Grob. “It’s pretty much the same equipment we use to film. He’s very professional.”

Grob was also excited to photograph a man he had grown up watching on television. “He’s a legend in Europe,” says the Swiss-born Grob. “It’s always fascinating to meet people who were around all my lifespan, especially someone with as crazy a career as Jerry.”

Marco Grob is a contract photographer for TIME. View more of his work for TIME here or on his website.

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Brin-blues

Google Co-Founder Sergey Brin has expressed interest in retiring “in a year or so” to take up the intense study of blues guitar, sources inside Google say. The decision places the company at a crossroads in terms of management succession and a replacement is already being groomed.

Brin has been learning blues guitar from a number of major players including Eric Clapton (who was given $40,000 for a series of three lessons in a Palo Alto park), Keith Richards, and Ralph Macchio.

Those closest to Brin noticed a change in the billionaire as he began toting his electric guitar, a Fender Stratocaster he called “Beulah,” to many staff meetings along with a portable Pignose amp he had attached to his belt. He traded a number of riffs with VP Marissa Mayer at a recent off-site all-hands meeting that Brin called in order to show off how he learned to play Cocaine. Mayer is an accomplished slide player and plays at Mountain View clubs under the stage name “Lady M&M.”

Brin’s decision is an open secret at the company. “He has a little belt clip for the amp. It’s one of those small ones that runs on batteries. It’s on his waist most of the day. That’s where he used to carry his Blackberry,” said one Google exec who asked to remain anonymous. Brin has been known to grab his guitar during meetings and wail out a long, expressive series of notes evoking the concepts of hard-travelin’, women who done him wrong, and the green light being Brin’s baby and the red light being his mind.

He has led a joint Google/NASA project to identify Robert Johnson’s crossroads and has hooked up small, sensitive microphones to Google Self-Driving Cars that prowl the Southern states in order to pick up snippets of “real” music played at fish frys, juke joints, and honky-tonks.

In a leaked memo, Brin explained that the pressures of Google have become too much and that “don’t be evil” doesn’t mean “don’t be soulful.” Brin plants to quit by 2015 and “maybe go down to Baja” to listen to real “people’s music” and then move to Nashville where he will open a small recording studio focused on roots acts.

“I’m going down the road feeling bad,” wrote Brin in the email. “And I ain’t gonna be treated this way.”

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Johnny Cash didn’t live lightly.

From picking cotton to help his impoverished, Depression-wracked family; to his exhausting tour schedule; to struggling with a serious drug addiction; to his songs about guns, murder, revenge, punishment and repentance—Johnny Cash was a troubled man who sought redemption through his music.

To commemorate what would be the county-music master’s 80th birthday on Feb. 26, several celebrations, projects and events are scheduled throughout the year. Cash’s boyhood home in Dyess, Ark. is being restored. Columbia/Legacy will release a series of archived recordings, starting with a collection of his gospel and spiritual songs from 1970s and ’80s called Bootleg IV: The Soul of Truth, which will be available in April. A Johnny Cash Museum is scheduled to open this summer in Nashville.

And here on LightBox we have rare and unpublished photos of the Man in Black from the Sony Music Archive. Many of these images were taken by Don Hunstein, a prolific music photographer at Columbia records for 30 years, and date from the late ’50s to the early ’70s; they include pictures of Cash and his wife June right after she gave birth to their only son, John Carter Cash, in 1970, as well as the musician at home in California or fishing on his farm in San Antonio.

Johnny Cash was born to farmers in Kingsland, Ark. on Feb. 26, 1932. As the fourth of five children, he recalled in a 1969 TIME article that although his family was dirt poor, “I was never hungry a day in my life….at breakfast it was just fatback and biscuits—but that was plenty.” After high school, Cash worked at an auto plant in Pontiac, Mich. (where, as far as we know, he did not actually construct a car from stolen parts, as he later pretended to in his 1976 song “One Piece at a Time”). He joined the Air Force for a few years, and then in 1954 he married Vivian Liberto and the couple moved to Memphis.

Cash had always been musical—as a child he sang at the Dyess Central Baptist Church and he reportedly learned to play the guitar while in the Air Force —so when he moved to Memphis, he hooked up with two musicians, Luther Perkins and Marshall Grant, and auditioned for Sam Phillips at Sun Records. He recorded “Hey, Porter” and “Cry Cry Cry” for Phillips, the latter of which became his first hit, peaking at No. 14 on the Billboard’s Top 20 in 1955. He followed it up with “Folsom Prison Blues” and “I Walk the Line,” which shot up to No. 1 and stayed there for 43 weeks. It would sell over two million copies. (Cash’s stint at Sun Records was relatively shortlived; he switched to Columbia in 1958 because the Phillips wouldn’t let him record gospel music).

Cash then embarked the grueling journey that all newly-successful musicians must endure: days and weeks and months of endless touring. By 1957, he was giving more than 200 shows a year (by some accounts, he may have played closer to 300). His marriage was faltering. He drank too much. He became addicted to amphetamines. He accidentally started a forest fire in California. He was arrested for smuggling pills into the U.S. from Mexico. In 1966, his wife filed for divorce. And yet still he released hit song after hit song: “Ring of Fire,” “Don’t Take Your Guns to Town,” “I Got Stripes.” Johnny Cash was a troubled man, but not so troubled that he couldn’t turn his haunted words into song.

Cash toured with the Carter Family in the 1960s—and of course he would ultimately marry June Carter in 1968, after she helped him overcome his addiction and find his faith. The couple’s live recordings at Folsom Prison and San Quentin, in 1968 and 1969 respectively, are still two of the best concert albums ever released. They were married for 35 years, until her death in May 2003 from complications from heart surgery. Cash made it only four more months before joining her in September of the same year.

But this glossed over retelling of dates and events isn’t what’s important about Johnny Cash. The reason we remember him so fondly—and why we’re celebrating his birthday nine years after he passed—is the gift he had for music and the way he made us feel. Cash’s world-weary bass-baritone voice expressed a forlorn pain that, until we heard his songs, we didn’t even know we had. He gave a voice to the working man, the luckless, the outlaw, the convict—and to those of us who weren’t any of those things but who sometimes identified with them anyway.

“Well, we’re doing mighty fine, I do suppose / In our streak of lightnin’ cars and fancy clothes,” Cash once sang, “But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back / Up front there ought ‘a be a man in black.”

Thank you for being that man, Johnny Cash. Happy birthday.

Claire Suddath is a staff writer at TIME Magazine. You can follow her on Twitter at @clairesuddath or on Facebook.

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Bear Kirkpatrick, You Play Against A Sickness Past Your Cure, Portsmouth, NH

Nicole 'Coco' Chenot, Into the Light, Fort Collins, CO

Vicky Slater, Hector, Salisbury, England

Jennifer Loeber, Greenpoint, #9, 2011, Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Barbara Ciurej and Lindsay Lochman, Eye to Eye, Airtran between LGA and ORD

Kevin McCollister, Paloma, East Olympic Blvd, near Cenral Ave, Los Angeles, CA

Carol S. Dass, Mother, Missouri, MO

Tammy Cromer-Campbell, Porta-Potty Christmas 2, Longview, Texas

Laura Glabman, Untitled, December 2011, Lawrence, New York

Ellen Jantzen, Melancholia from Losing Reality; Reality of Loss, Rural Park in Missouri

Anthony Korotko Hatch, Landscape 9718, Los Angeles CA

Harvey Benge, Paris, November 2011, Paris

Mariya Ustymenko, Glemorgana (2011), Matrello Beach, Jaywick, Essex, United Kingdom

Russ Rowland, Mom (2011), New York City

Deb Peluso, Reflections on Red Hook, Red Hook, Brooklyn, NY

Christian Rivière, Beach, Gruissan, France

Yvette Meltzer, So Good to See You Again, Santa Monica Pier, California

David Newsom, Rylie comes home, Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, WA

Irene Imfeld, Night Shift (1824), Berkeley

Leora Ben-David, Urban Fishing, Berlin, Germany

Joel Butler, Take My Yoke, A Tribute To My Father, Las Vegas, NV

Russell Joslin, Winter Light, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Tom M Johnson, Place Saint Michel, Paris

Jennifer Georgescu, Sand, Stone, Dead Leaves & Bone, Nashville, TN, 2011

Jeff Phillips, Family at Overlook, Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2011

Ursula Sokolowska, Currency Exchange, Union Street, 2011, Chicago, IL

Cynthia Wood, Vintage Fashion Shoot with Madison, Lake Tahoe, CA

©Harvey Stein 2011, Protester, Occupy Wall Street, Zuccotti Park, NYC

Kathy Lovas, Still Life with Rocks, Santa Fe, NM

Daniel Grant, The Turn, San Francisco, CA

Stan Raucher, Linea 2 near Piazza Cavour, Naples

David Gardner, Larry and Dorothy, from Life on Wheels: The New American Nomads, Near Portland, OR

Qiana Mestrich, Bath, 2011, Brooklyn, NY

Doug Ness, Phone Book, Missoula, MT

Sylvia de Swaan, The Ticking Clock from Sub-Version Series, New York City and Utica, NY

Adrian Davis, Dogwood in Fog, Skyline Drive, Virginia, 2011

Suzanne Révy, Frog Pond, 2011, Carlisle, MA

Sandra L. Dyas, Katy, Queen of Her Garden, from Lost in the Midwest, Iowa City, Iowa 2011

Mimi Haddon, A Better Shade, Santa Monica,CA USA

Stéphane C., untitled (from the series "They never adopted the name for themselves"), Perpignan, France

Robert Schneider, Formerly, Arlington, MA

Laurie McCormick, Raisin, My home in Brentwood, CA

Dale Peart, Swirls in the Puddles #1, Ipswich, UK

Stephen Strom, South Desert, Cathedral Valley, Utah, 2011, from the portfolio: "Illusions of Intimacy", near Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

Aaron Boot, A Moment, Grand Rapids, MI

Christine Zona Foto (zona foto), Cable Car, Kiev, Ukraine

Adina Ionescu-Muscel, Iulia, Atlanta, February 2011

Rick Kopstein, We Will Not Be Silent, Occupy Wall Street, Zuccotti Park, NYC

Shawn Tamaribuchi, Physique I, West Oakland, CA

D Kelly, In the Clouds, Leonia, NJ

Angela Marklew, Alyena (excerpt from editorial titled “Valerie and her Week of Wonders”), Switzer Falls, Angeles National Forest, CA

Grace Weston, Happy Hour, my Portland, OR studio

J. M. Golding, Longing from A Geography of Connection and Loss, San Francisco Bay Area

Paul Giguere, Livio, Salvador, and Annie, East Boston

Ryan Schude & Dan Busta, At the Inn, Baker, California

Enrique Ahumada, "God hates signs" from the series Ménage à Trois, Los Angeles

Willson Cummer, Color Field, Fayetteville, NY

Tami Bone, Ouija, my back porch, Austin, TX

Jim Robertson, Service to the Suntower, Osaka, Japan March 2011

Sara Jane Boyers, Return to Pinehurst Family Home on my Birthday: the Beginning of DETROIT: DEFINITION, Detroit, Michigan 20 January 2011

Robbie Kaye, Grace, Monty Roberts,Solvang, CA

Ulf Fågelhammar aka Mr Urbano, October Ice, Stockholm

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As the year draws to a close, we asked some A List Apart readers to tell us what they learned about the web in 2011. Together their responses summarize the joys and challenges of this magical place we call the internet. We need to continue to iterate, to embrace change, and challenge complexity to keep shipping. Above all, we must continue to reach out to one another, to teach, to support, to help, and to build the community that sustains us.

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