Beach Slang announce US headlining tour

Photo by Lior Phillips

Beach Slang played to crowds across North America earlier this year when they hit the road alongside Jimmy Eat World. The Philly punk rockers are set to revisit a number of those same cities on a new fall US tour they’ve just announced today.

Set to commence October 22nd and run through early December, the trek includes stops in Nashville, Salt Lake City, Seattle, San Francisco, Austin, Pittsburgh, and New York. Dates feature supporting acts such as Pet Symmetry and Dave Hause & The Mermaid.

(Read: 20 Must See Artists At EMERGE Music and Impact Conference 2017)

Fans who pre-order tickets beginning July 25th will have the chance to purchase a limited-edition 7-inch which features two previously unreleased tracks: a cover of the Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind” (recorded live at Atlanta’s The Masquerade) and a demo recording of the 2015 The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us track “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas”. For more info, head here.

Find the full itinerary below. Beach Slang’s last full-length came with 2016’s excellent A Loud Bash of Teenage Feelings. They also recently covered Green Day and The Jesus and Mary Chain.

Beach Slang 2017 Tour Dates:
08/02 – Albany, NY @ The Hollow
08/03 – Ithaca, NY @ The Haunt
08/04 – South Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground
08/05 – Montreal, QC @ Osheaga Festival
08/06 – Kingston, NY @ BSP Kingston
08/27 – Scranton, PA @ ALTitude
09/02-03 – Philadelphia, PA @ Made in America Festival
09/04 – Harrisonburg, VA @ The Golden Pony *
09/05 – Morgantown, WV @ 123 Pleasant St. *
09/06 – Asheville, NC @ The Mothlight *
09/08 – Memphis, TN @ Growlers *
09/09 – Kansas City, MO @ Buzz Beach Ball Festival
09/11 – Columbus, OH @ Rumba Cafe *
09/12 – Grand Rapids @ The Pyramid Scheme *
09/13 – Detroit, MI @ Shelter *
09/14 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace *
09/15 – Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room *
09/16 – Akron, OH @ Musica *
09/17 – Chicago, IL @ Riot Fest
10/22 – Durham, NC @ Motorco Music Hall #!
10/23 – West Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern #!
10/24 – Atlanta, GA @ The Masquerade #!
10/25-26 – Tampa, FL @ Pre-Fest
10/27-29 – Gainesville, FL @ The Fest
10/30 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn $#
10/31 – Nashville, TN @ The Basement East $#
11/01 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar $#
11/02 – Newport, KY @ The Southgate House Revival $#
11/04 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club $^
11/07 – Denver, CO @ Marquis Theatre $^
11/08 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge $^
11/10 – Boise, ID @ Neurolux $^
11/11 – Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey $^
11/12 – Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre $^
11/14 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall $^
11/16-18 – Las Vegas, NV @ EMERGE Music and Impact Conference
11/16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Echoplex $^
11/18 – Phoenix, AZ @ The Rebel Lounge $@
11/20 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda $@
11/21 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall $@
11/22 – Dallas, TX @ Curtain Club $@
11/24 – St. Louis, MO @ The Ready Room $@
11/27 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Cattivo $+
11/28 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat $+
11/29 – New York, NY @ Irving Plaza $+
11/30 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair $+
12/02 – Philadelphia, PA @ Theatre of the Living Arts $+

* = w/ Repeat Repeat
# = w/ Pet Symmetry
^ = w/ Hannah Racecar
@ = w/ See Through Dresses
+ = w/ Homeless Gospel Choir
! = w/ Positive No
$ = w/ Dave Hause & The Mermaid

Revisit Teenage Feelings highlight “Future Mixtape for the Art Kids”:

from Consequence of Sound

Tears For Fears postpone remainder of US tour

Photo by Heather Kaplan

Tears for Fears have postponed the remainder of their US tour, including a trio of co-headlining shows with Halls & Oates. In a statement, the band cited “a family emergency” as the reason for postponement. “All dates will be rescheduled with details to follow shortly,” the statement adds.

Tears for Fears are currently working on their follow-up to 2004’s Everybody Loves a Happy Ending with an expected release this year.

Tears For Fears 2017 Tour Dates:
07/25 – San Jose, CA @ SAP Center ^
07/26 – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl
07/28 – Los Angeles, CA @ STAPLES Center ^
07/29 – Los Angeles, CA @ STAPLES Center ^
09/22 – Rio de Janerio, BR @ Rock in Rio

^ = w/ Hall & Oates

from Consequence of Sound

Toronto International Film Festival unveils preliminary 2017 lineup

The Toronto International Film Festival is promising a “refreshed, more tightly curated” festival this time around, saying that it has “a renewed commitment to bold, director, driven programming, continued support of female filmmakers, and enough star power to fuel 400,000 festival-goers.” They’re not kidding, either, as their announcement of this year’s initial lineup proves.

The Gala films feature a number of established and rising female filmmakers. Among the selections are Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Kings, Dee Rees’ Sundance standout Mudbound, Susanna White’s Woman Walks Ahead, and a documentary about the The Tragically Hip‘s farewell tour from Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. Also of note is Mary Shelley, which was helmed by Haifaa Al Mansour, the first female Saudi director. We’re also excited for David Gordon Green’s Stronger and Andy Serkis’ directorial debut, Breathe.

The festival’s slate of Special Presentation features includes Alexander Payne’s Downsizing, Valerie Faris’ Battle of the Sexes, Darren Aronofsky’s Mother!, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, Martin McDonagh’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Wim Wenders’ Submergence. A few Hollywood bigwigs will also debut films—Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father is on hand, as is George Clooney’s Suburbiconwhich was written by the Coen Brothers.

Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird will open the festivities, which kick off on September 8th and run through the 17th. Stay tuned for more films as they’re announced and look forward to our full coverage of the event.

from Consequence of Sound

Hypoluxo have a hard time getting out of bed on new song “Sometimes”: Stream

Adulting is hard. The world throws so much responsibility at us as we get older that it seems increasingly impossible to just relax — let alone have fun. With all that reality facing you, sometimes it just seems easier to stay in bed with the blinds drawn. And I’m literally writing this from under the covers, so you can trust I know what I’m talking about.

Hypoluxo know a thing or two about this sort of procrastination, too, as they demonstrate on their new song “Sometimes”. The track perfectly captures that feeling of trying to find pleasure by not doing a goddamn thing. Guitars skip and bounce carefully and comfortably, like gently kicking your bedsheets to fall in just the right way. Outside, there’s the business of the world (a steady rhythm, a breezing synth), but inside your room, there’s just the sturdy baritone of frontman Sam Cogen: “Sometimes I get/ Sometimes I get over this.”

“‘Sometimes’ is about never wanting to do the things in life we actually have to do,” Cogen explains to Consequence of Sound. “I just always want to stay in bed, so why not write a song about just wanting to stay in bed? We all have so many things going on in our lives that sometimes it’s nice to forget about it all and pretend like there isn’t anything else in the world but a nice pillow and blanket.”

Pull the blanket up and fluff that pillow, then press play below.

“Somtimes” comes from Hypoluxo’s forthcoming EP, Taste Buds. The effort is out August 4th, and you can pre-order it here.

from Consequence of Sound

Converge release new 7-inch EP, share music video for “I Can Tell You About Pain” — watch*

Photo by Reid Haithcock

Converge released one of the best albums of their career in 2012 with All the Love I Leave Behindand now the metalcore legends are back with their first new material since that landmark release. A 7-inch EP via Epitaph and Deathwish just dropped featuring two new songs, “I Can Tell You About Pain” and “Eve”.

The band released a new music video for the vicious, energetic “I Can Tell You About Pain” through NPR. Directed by Tony Wolski, the short, dramatic clip combines visceral, nightmare-like images that deftly complement the serrated melodies clashing against Jacob Bannon’s punishing vocals. Watch it above.

“Eve” serves as a contrast to “I Can Tell You About Pain”, as its seven-plus minutes incorporate group chants and menacing synths into its crashing guitars and pummeling percussion, giving the song an eerie epicness. Stream the entire EP via Spotify below.

Perhaps most exciting, however, is the tease that a new Converge album is slated for release later this year via Epitaph and Deathwish. Consider these two tracks an appetizer for what’s to come.

Converge has also announced a leg of European tour dates with Havok, Gorguts, and Revocation. View their full summer tour itinerary below.

Converge 2017 Tour Dates:
07/28 – Chicago, IL @ Thalia Hall *
07/29 – Detroit, MI @ St. Andrews Hall *
07/30 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Rex Theatre *
07/31 – Buffalo, NY @ Waiting Room #
08/01 – Montreal, QC @ Metropolis *
08/02 – Toronto, QC @ Danforth Music Hall *
08/03 – New Haven, CT @ College St. Music Hall *
08/04 – Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw *
08/06 – Boston, MA @ Royale *
08/07 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer *
08/18 – Bristol, UK @ ArcTanGent
08/19 — Eisleben, DE @ Destruction Derby Festival
08/20 – Warsaw, PL @ Zaklęte Rewiry $
08/21 – Bratislava, SK @ Majestic Music Club $
08/22 – Vienna, AT @ Vienna Arena $
08/23 – Munich DE @ Backstage $
08/24 – Aarau, CH @ Backstage $
08/25 – Paris, FR @ Le Trabendo $
08/26 – Tilburg, NL @ 013 $

* = w/ Neurosis and Amenra
# = w/ Amenra
$ = w/ Havok, Gorguts, and Revocation

from Consequence of Sound

Hiss Golden Messenger announces new album Hallelujah Anyhow

Photo by Andy Tennille

Last October, North Carolina folk artist M.C. Taylor released his latest album as Hiss Golden MessengerHeart Like a Levee. Now, less than 12 months later, the indie folk songwriter is back with the follow-up. It’s titled Hallelujah Anyhow and due out September 22nd through Merge Records.

The forthcoming studio effort collects 10 new tracks with titles such as “Jenny of the Roses”, “Lost Out in the Darkness”, “Harder Rain”, and “When the Wall Comes Down”. All were penned by Taylor and recorded with the help of Brad Cook, Phil Cook, Chris Boerner, Josh Kaufman, Darren Jessee, Michael Lewis, and Scott Hirsch. Vocal harmonies were contributed by Alexandra Sauser-Monnig, Tift Merritt, Skylar Gudasz, Tamisha Waden, Mac McCaughan, and John Paul White.

As its title and vivid artwork (seen below) suggest, Hallelujah Anyhow is built on themes of an uplifting, encouraging nature. “I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope,” Taylor writes in a lengthy press statement.

“That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.”

Check out the artwork and full tracklist below.

Hallelujah Anyhow Artwork:

10 700 700 605 hiss hallelujah 900 Hiss Golden Messenger announces new album Hallelujah Anyhow

Hallelujah Anyhow Tracklist:
01. Jenny of the Roses
02. Lost Out in the Darkness
03. Jaw
04. Harder Rain
05. I Am the Song
06. Gulfport You’ve Been on My Mind
07. John the Gun
08. Domino (Time Will Tell)
09. Caledonia, My Love
10. When the Wall Comes Down

Taylor will hit the road for a North American tour the next few months, including dates alongside Mumford & Sons.

Hiss Golden Messenger 2017 Tour Dates:
07/26 – Portland, ME @ One Longfellow Square ^
08/05-06 – Happy Valley, OR @ Pickathon
08/12-13 – Edmonton, AB @ Edmonton Folk Festival
08/26 – Arrington, VA @ Lockn’ Music Festival
09/14 – Nashville, TN @ Americanafest
09/15-17 – Bristol, VA @ Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion
09/19 – Miami, FL @ American Airlines Arena #
09/20 – Tampa, FL @ Amalie Arena #
09/21 – Orlando, FL @ Amway Center #
10/20 – Asheville, NC @ The Orange Peel
10/21 – Louisville, KY @ Zanzabar
10/22 – Indianapolis, IN @ The Hi-Fi
10/23 – St. Louis, MO @ Old Rock House
10/24 – Chicago, IL @ Lincoln Hall
10/26 – St. Paul, MN @ Turf Club
10/29 – Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room
10/30 – Denver, CO @ The Bluebird Theater
11/02 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern
11/03 – Vancouver, BC @ The Biltmore Cabaret
11/04 – Bellingham, WA @ The Shakedown
11/05 – Portland, OR @ Aladdin Theater
11/07 – San Francisco, CA @ Great American Music Hall
11/08 – Los Angeles, CA @ Troubadour
11/10 – Phoenix, AZ @ Valley Bar
11/11 – Tucson, AZ @ Club Congress
11/14 – Austin, TX @ Barracuda
11/15 – Dallas, TX @ Club Dada
11/16 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall
11/17 – New Orleans, LA @ Tipitina’s
11/18 – Birmingham, AL @ Saturn
11/19 – Decatur, GA @ Eddie’s Attic
12/06 – Boston, MA @ The Sinclair
12/07 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
12/08 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom
12/09 – Philadelphia, PA @ World Cafe Live

^ = solo performance
# = w/ Mumford & Sons

Taylor’s full statement on the new album:

“I’m from nowhere. That’s the way I feel about it now, right at this moment. Music took me and made me and gave me a purpose and I built my world with it, and now my geography is a musical one, forever. And when I break, when I think about running as far as I can, I remember that there is nothing that does me like music, and I might as well be a poor man in a world of my own devising. Hallelujah anyhow.

Rhythm? I learned it over twenty years in the back of rented vans, in attics and back rooms—hard places to get to, harder places to get out of. And now rhythm is my clock and I live by it. We all do. But it’ll kill you if you’re not careful. It might kill you even if you are. Hallelujah anyhow.

I see the dark clouds. I was designed to see them. They’re the same clouds of fear and destruction that have darkened the world since Revelations, just different actors. But this music is for hope. That’s the only thing I want to say about it. Love is the only way out. I’ve never been afraid of the darkness; it’s just a different kind of light. And if some days that belief comes harder than others, hallelujah anyhow.

Whatcha gonna do when the wall comes down?
When the wall comes down?
What you ought to do is let it lie—let it lie
And in the gathering darkness vow to never go back
It was built by man and you can tear it down
Tear it down, tear it down
Step back, Jack, from the darkness

I’ve seen darker things than night. Hallelujah anyhow.”

Revisit Heart Like a Levee single “Biloxi”:

from Consequence of Sound

The 50 Most Outrageous Album Covers

screen shot 2013 08 29 at 2 14 03 pm The 50 Most Outrageous Album Covers

The word “outrageous” has many definitions, some positive and some negative. “Exceeding the limits of what is usual.” “Deficient in propriety or good taste.” “Something that doesn’t make any goddamn sense.” Alright, so we made up one of those, but you get the idea. So what makes a truly outrageous album cover? For our list, we simplified the criteria: It should be something that makes you scratch your head and say, “Huh?”

In fact, one of these records does that exact thing if you just say what’s printed on the front. Make no mistake; none of this is a question of good or bad (although some of these certainly fall into the latter category). Otherwise, we would have included plenty more albums from the ’80s. It’s more a question of the bizarre. The strange. The unexplainable.

Confused? Read on. Not that you’ll be any less confused when you finish. But hopefully you’ll be entertained. And, as always, list anything you think we missed in the comments section.

–Dan Caffrey
Senior Staff Writer


from Consequence of Sound

5 Non-Dietary Factors That Influence Your Microbiome

Inline_5_Non-Dietary_Factors_MicrobiomeThe microorganisms that reside in, on, and around our bodies influence almost every facet of our well-being. Part of maintaining microbiome health is maintaining homeostasis. Another is supporting diversity.

Our goal, then, is to improve our microbiological real estate in the many areas of the body that commensal and symbiotic bacterial like to put down roots—the gut, mouth, lungs, skin, reproductive organs, and so on. The average Primal enthusiast is well-versed with the role of food choices and smart supplementation (although research is always uncovering new wrinkles—more on this to come). 

I thought I’d give a little attention to some of the other basic practices that can influence microbial diversity and homeostasis. There are more answers and nuances than I can cover today, but let’s start with some of the fundamentals.


Over the past decade, there’s been the odd study examining the link between exercise frequency, duration, and type and the microbial response to such in the body.

Studies in mice have shown considerable responses to exercise in the lab. A 2016 study placed mice on an “obesity-causing” diet and 6 weeks of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). The mice placed on the HIIT program had markedly increased microbial diversity within the distal gut, along with an increased Bacteroidetes/Firmicutes ratio. Perhaps even more importantly, the microbiome of the HIIT mice appeared to resist the typical adverse changes to the gut microbiota that occur with onset of obesity. In short, exercise stopped the poorer diet from degrading their gut microbiome.

An older 2013 paper showed that mice with free access to exercise experienced a significant increase in the number of Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium and B. coccoides-E. rectale. Other studies have demonstrated the microbiological effects of exercise on diabetic mice and mice subjected to PCBs. But that’s just in mice.

As far as the human microbiome goes, there’s a lot more research needed regarding exercise. Much of what we have to go on ties back to experiments on the Irish international rugby team, 40 of whom were investigated in the days leading up to the last Rugby World Cup. Somehow, researchers managed to get their hands on 46 other healthy men of similar brutish size, analyzing both groups regarding their dietary and exercise habits.

They found that the rugby players all had significantly more diverse microbiomes than men in the comparison group, with notably higher proportions of Akkermansiaceae—a bacterial family commonly linked to lower rates of obesity and metabolic disorders. Interestingly, despite the rugby players having significantly higher levels of creatine kinase, an enzyme associated with muscle damage, they all had lower levels of inflammatory markers than the control group, along with a much better metabolic profile. Correlation or causation? It’s hard to tell.

The waters are muddied further when we examine the role of diet in hardcore athletes. The Irish rugby team unsurprisingly ate considerably more protein (22% versus 15-16% in the control group) but also ate a lot more fruit and vegetables and had fewer snacks than their non-athletic peers. A follow-up study last year reinforced these findings, but there’s a lot more to be revealed.

Was it the increased exercise (or type of exercise) that brought about the improved microbial diversity, or their improved diet? My thoughts are that it was both, but watch this space for more scientific enlightenment on the diet-exercise-microbiome paradigm.

Managing Your Stress (or Not) 

Of course you knew that stress would play a part in the health of your microbiome, but it certainly helps to have some research to back up the assumption. Currently, there’s an abundance of animal lab testing and a notable shortage of human studies. (Probably mostly on account of people not being keen to have their feet zapped or injected with carcinogenic compounds.)

An impressive study from January last year, however, took things one step further and examined the stress-induced changes to the microbiome of North American red squirrels in the wild. Using faecal glucocorticoid metabolites, an accurate marker of stress, researchers were able to confirm that increased stress in wild squirrels significantly lowered microbiological diversity.

This negative response, they postulated, was caused by a stress-induced activation of the immune system, increasing cytokine circulation, which in turn has a strong antimicrobial effect. The result, unfortunately, is an increase in host vulnerability to pathogenic invasion. Good one, stress.

Back in the lab, stress-induced microbial alterations continue to be the center of study. A 2011 study exposed mice to a social stressor called social disruption, designed to prime the innate immune system and increase circulating cytokines—much the same as the high-strung wild squirrels. The findings were textbook: “stressor exposure significantly changed the community structure of the microbiota, particularly when the microbiota were assessed immediately after stressor exposure.”

As far as species composition goes, the stressed mice showed a decreased abundance of bacteria in the genus Bacteroides and an increase in Clostridium. In simple terms, commensal-type bacteria were suppressed by stress and pathogenic-type bacteria were promoted.

Another mice vs. stress study elicited much the same results, with restraint stress causing a decline in microbial species richness and an overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria. Researchers then tested whether this decline in microbial diversity had set the stressed mice up for increased risk of pathogen colonization by orally introducing the murine pathogen Citrobacter rodentium. Funnily enough, those mice subjected to stress were far more likely to come down with a bad case of the C. rodentium than their more chilled out peers.

Using Medications

Regardless of their often necessary role in your life, many medications can exert a considerable influence over the health and diversity of your microbiome.

In a 2016 study, the influence of several NSAIDs over the gut microbiome was determined during the course of 30 days in 155 adults. Interestingly, it was the type of medication, rather than the amount of medication, that influenced the gut microbiome the most. Aspirin users have markedly different numbers of Prevotella, Bacteroides, Ruminococcaceae, and Barnesiella species, while both celecoxib and ibuprofen users had larger numbers of Acidaminococcaceae and Enterobacteriaceae. The list goes on. Suffice it to say that the bacterial diversity in the gut microbiome strongly reflected the combinations of medications that people ingested.

A year earlier, researchers were examining the same relationship between proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and the human microbiome. PPIs reduce the production of acid in the stomach in a bid to prevent formation of ulcers, and are among the top 10 most popular drugs in the world. Incidentally, they’ve also been associated with an increased risk of intestinal infection.

Using a cohort of 1815 individuals (211 of which were PPI users), researchers were able to demonstrate a significant decrease in microbial diversity in PPI users, along with changes in 20% of the bacterial taxa. Curiously, there was an increase in bacteria associated with the oral microbiome, and a big step up in potentially problematic bacteria like Enterococcus, Streptococcus, Staphylococcus and E. coli. Based on their findings, the study proponents didn’t have too much trouble explaining why PPI users were more prone to enteric infection.

The implications of these studies, and many more like them, reach far beyond mere infections and bacterial dysbiosis. When we consider that microbiomes like the gut play a critical role in the metabolism of most medications, the very way in which these drugs alter microbial compositions and lower diversity may reduce their efficacy or even render themselves toxic. It’s fair to say that plenty more work is needed on the interactions between medications and the microbiome.

Having Sex

I’ve actually already written about the considerable transfer of germs that takes place in just one bout of kissing, but science has since taken it one step further and suggested that our individual microbiomes may play an important role in that ever-elusive “chemistry” that draws people together.

How’s that? Well in this case, opposites very much attract. Studies show that we’re instinctually attracted to sexual partners whose microbiome is complementary to our own. And knowing what we know about the importance of microbial diversity, complementary means different. Thus, when two people with very different microbiomes engage in intimate relations, they diversify their respective microbiome.

This ties in to the concept that odor (a.k.a. pheromones) plays a role in sexual attraction, as our microbiome very much influences our smell. Neat, huh?

Getting down to business, there’s some serious microbiological changes taking place every time we have sex. A 2015 study published in Research in Microbiology found that there was a significant decrease in the abundance of Lactobacillus crispatus after sex, along with a certain bacterial homogeneity between seminal and vaginal samples.

The microbial picture isn’t just more is better. Another study of 52 women found that those who partook in unprotected sex had a temporary increase in bacterial species associated with bacterial vaginosis. Over time, it appeared that their vaginal microbiome retained a remarkably similar composition, but those temporary post-sex increases in G. vaginalis and L. iners have led some to believe that unprotected sex is “bad” for the health of the vaginal microbiome.

But the issue may be more novelty related. Each new partner means a new microbial influence—for both men and women. That likely involves a period of microbial imbalance. Aside from serious infection (e.g. STDs), adaptations to a partner’s profile over time, one would imagine, would confer the benefits of microbial diversity and allow a shift back toward relative homeostasis in most cases. It’s a complicated but fascinating topic—maybe worthy of its own post sometime.

Living with Animals

Moving on to lighter matters, there’s plenty of research that points towards pets as a positive influence on our microbiome…particularly the furry kinds. A study published late last year investigated the effects of early-life exposure to household pets on 746 infants from 2009 to 2012. Along with participating mothers being asked to fill out questionnaires regarding their pet situation during and after pregnancy, infant gut microbiota was sampled at around 3 months of age.

Those infants that had been exposed to at least one furry pet (more than half the group) were found to be more than twice as likely to have a high abundance of Oscillospira and/or Ruminococcus bacterial species—regardless of whether they had received prenatal or postnatal exposure to fur-bearing pets. These species, incidentally, have been associated with a lower risk of childhood atopy and obesity. What’s more, pet-exposed vaginally-birthed infants with maternal intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis exposure (say that ten times) had considerably lower abundances of Streptococcaceae than infants who hadn’t been exposed to furry pets.

These findings, and plenty more besides, tie in nicely with what we know about Strachan’s hygiene hypothesis, which implies that children growing up in overly hygienic environments are more likely to develop allergic disease. Interestingly, there appears to be a curious tendency for older siblings to dampen that microbial abundance effect. Equally of note, breastfeeding may work synergistically with that positive pet-effect.

For those of us not exposed to pets during our developmental years, I strongly suspect that there’s still hope for your microbiome. Exposing ourselves on a daily basis to potential sources of microorganisms, furry pets included, should help to encourage microbial diversity and help your body stay truly Primal.

That’s it for me, folks. The research keeps coming, so look for more on this topic soon. In the meantime, share your questions and thoughts on the topic below. Thanks for stopping by.


The post 5 Non-Dietary Factors That Influence Your Microbiome appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.

from Mark’s Daily Apple

This Powerful Ad Shows How Black Parents Talk About Racial Bias With Their Kids

My Black is Beautiful, a Proctor & Gamble owned brand has released an incredible ad touching on that most sensitive of topics. It highlights the first time Black children have to contend with their skin color being seen as problematic.

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A young girl opens the ad, clutching a blond doll while her mother does her hair. “Who said that??” her mother asks sharply “That is NOT a compliment”. Black women everywhere already know, just based on tone, that this child had heard something, said by someone, who was not black, that had made the girl feel less than.

It’s common in our world, as black women, to come across the same feelings this girl did, most times in our youth. We hear the micro aggressions, from friends, from co-workers, and most of the time, brush it off and keep it moving. We put on a face as we struggle to sort out our feelings about how your crush things “you’re pretty for a black girl.” the same backhanded compliment this young girl received. We laugh nervously, before retreating to our desks when we hear “I just don’t find black women attractive” around the water cooler.

In our society, there comes a time, where every black parent has to talk to their child about the fact that the color of your skin will make other people see and treat you differently. My Black is Beautiful & P&G do an incredible job of highlighting these difficult conversations, both showcasing the identity crises these children have, and the steel resolve of their parents as they guide their kids through the harsh realities of the world. This ad is stark in its raw honesty. It’s the kind of honesty black people don’t often discuss in public spaces.

The brand does a great job of introducing the topic of “The Talk” to mainstream audiences, in an effort to get the conversation started about why there needs to be a conversation in the first place.The ad ends with a phrase

“Let’s all talk about ‘The Talk'”

Six words flashed across the screen in the last seconds of the ad. It’s a simple enough invitation, but the implications of each word hold the weight of a society burdened by unfair judgment. Ours.

Their goal is simple. It’s the very next sentence.

“So we can end the need to have it.”

A hundred thousand kudos to My Black is Beautiful and P&G for this ad. It broke me down, all while building me up.

So ladies, let’s talk. Have you ever had the talk? Who sat you down? Or have you ever had to give “the talk” to someone else? a family member or friend? Tell us about it in the comments.
Alma Hill is a freelance journalist, actress, and mother living in Orlando, FL. A frequent contributor to online and print media publications, she believes that the words from our mouths will change the world. Born in Charlotte, NC, she’s a millennial with an old soul who appreciates a good meme as much as a Miles Davis album. Brave souls can follow her on Twitter @_mynameissoul,but you have been warned. 

from Natural Hair Care | Curly Nikki

ASAP Mob announce North American tour, featuring ASAP Rocky and ASAP Ferg

ASAP Mob, the New York City hip-hop collective led by ASAP Rocky and ASAP Ferg, are going on tour. The 20-date North American outing kicks off September 23rd in Lowell, Massachusetts and runs into early November. Along with the entire ASAP Mob collective (Rocky, Ferg, Twelvyy, Nast, and Ant), the tour will feature opening performances from the likes of Playboi Carti, Key!, and Cozy Boys. Check out the full itinerary below.

ASAP Mob 2017 Tour Dates:
09/23 – Lowell, MA @ Tsongas Center *&#
09/25 – New York, NY @ SummerStage *&#
09/26 – Philadelphia, PA @ Skyline Stage *&#
09/27 – Washington, DC @ Echostage &#
09/29 – Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple Theatre &#
10/12 – Milwaukee, WI @ Eagles Ballroom &#
10/14 – Minneapolis, MN @ Skyway Theatre *&#
10/16 – Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom *&#
10/18 – Dallas, TX @ The Bomb Factory &#
10/19 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall &#
10/21 – Mesa, AZ @ Mesa Amphitheatre *&#
10/22 – San Diego, CA @ Observatory North Park &#
10/24 – Los Angeles, CA @ Shrine Expo Hall *&#
10/25 – San Francisco, CA @ Bill Graham Civic Auditorium *&#
10/27 – Portland, OR @ Theater of the Clouds &#
10/28 – Vancouver, BC @ PNE Forum &#
10/30 – Seattle, WA @ WaMu Theater *&#
11/01 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Complex *&#
11/03 – Broomfield, CO @ 1stBank Center &#

* = w/ Playboi Carti
& = w/ Key!
# = w/ Cozy Boys

Yesterday, ASAP Mob release the video for their 2017 collaborative single, “RAF”, featuring ASAP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Migos’ Quavo, Lil Uzi Vert, and Frank Ocean.

from Consequence of Sound