Sunday, August 20

The Playa Provides: A Journey of Starting Over at Burning Man

"I arrived at Burning Man with a suitcase of costumes and a backpack stuffed with my whole life. I had just left New York for good, and for the next 8 days, the desert was my new home. With tens of thousands of feathered & leathered creatures strutting and fire-spewing art cars crawling, The Playa, the dry lake basin that holds the annual festival, was a maze of disorient and fantasy. The temptation to lose myself to the desert nights, to become a dot in the LED glitterscape, was strong. But this wasn’t my first rave, and I was here for so much more than just the party. I was on the mend and I was on my own for the first time. I was here to reclaim my life on my terms. I just happened to be doing it one of the world’s most legendary gatherings. I had a lot to learn. The day I left Brooklyn was the day I started over. I woke up in a hungover daze; the night before was my 'goodbye, forever' party, which involved too many drinks to count followed by 3 a.m. tacos, a late night cry precluding a fitful sleep. ..."
The Medium
indiegogo (vimeo) 2:29
YouTube: Burning Man: A Journey Through The Playa 27:55
YouTube: Deep Tunes for Deep Playa (Vol 6) 1:29:29

amazing Burning Man in photography

2007 November: Burning Man, 2009 August: Burning Man - 1, 2013 January: Timelapse-icus Maximus 2012 "A Burning Man for Ants", 2016 October: A Brief History of Who Ruined Burning Man

Two Prince Street relics on a pre-SoHo building

"SoHo’s cast-iron commercial buildings have long been repurposed into expensive lofts and boutiques. But hiding in plain site on the handsome, two-story brick and iron building between Greene Street and Wooster Place are two relics, nods to the neighborhood’s late 19th and 20th century manufacturing past. These metal signs, advertising the services of a lithographer and engraver as well as an office supplies seller, flank the ends of 120-125 Prince Street, actually two separate buildings constructed in 1892-1893 with a common facade. 'Stationery, Office Supplies, Paper, and Twine” states the one on the right. Twine? To wrap packages in an era before masking tape. ..."
Ephemeral New York
W - Pearl Street (Manhattan)

What's In My Bag? Paul Weller

"Paul Weller is a British guitarist, singer and songwriter nicknamed The Modfather, a founding member of The Jam and Syle Council, and a successful solo artist. The Jam formed in 1972 with Paul Weller and his school friends, guitarist Steve Brookes, bassist Bruce Foxton, and drummer Rick Buckler. When Brookes left the band shortly after its formation, they decided to remain a three-piece. At the time their debut album, In the City (Polydor, 1977), was released Weller was just 19 years old. With their third album, 1978's All Mod Cons (Polydor), Weller's songwriting took a huge leap forward, demonstrating that he was not limited to writing punk songs. ..."
Amoeba (Video)

2009 March: The Jam, 2012 November: "Going Underground", 2013 January: In the City, 2013 February: This Is the Modern World, 2013 July: All Mod Cons, 2013 November: Setting Sons, 2014 January: Sound Affects (1980), 2014 December: Live At Bingley Hall, Birmingham, England 1982, 2015 March: "Town Called Malice" / "Precious", 2015 July: The Gift (1982), 2015 September: "Strange Town" / "The Butterfly Collector" (1979), 2016 April: "Down In The Tube Station At Midnight" (1979), 2017 January: Absolute Beginners EP (1981), 2017 March: David Watts / "A" Bomb In Wardour Street (1978).

Saturday, August 19

Woods Hole

Wikipedia - "Woods Hole is a census-designated place in the town of Falmouth in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. It lies at the extreme southwest corner of Cape Cod, near Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands. The population was 781 at the 2010 census. It is the site of several famous marine science institutions, including Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Marine Biological Laboratory, the Woods Hole Research Center, NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center (which started the Woods Hole scientific community in 1871), the Woods Hole Science Aquarium, a USGS coastal and marine geology center, and the home campus of the Sea Education Association. ..." Brad. Woods Hole, May 3-12, 1975.
W - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Woods Hole, a village on Cape Cod
YouTube: Drawbridge at Woods Hole Cape Cod Massachusetts

Jane Fay Baker, Winter Parking: Woods Hole, Woodcut

"I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)" - James Brown (1967)

Wikipedia - "'I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)', also known as 'I Can't Stand It', is a song written and recorded by James Brown in 1967. It is the most successful of the handful of recordings he made with The Dapps, a band of white musicians led by Beau Dollar. The single release of the song, on which its tempo was mechanically sped up, rose to #4 on the Billboard R&B chart and #28 on the Pop chart. The single's B-side, 'There Was a Time', also charted. 'I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)' was included on the 1968 album I Can't Stand Myself When You Touch Me, where it was labeled 'Pt. 1'. A 'Pt. 2', which appeared later in the album, never received a single release. ...  James Chance and the Contortions covered the song on the 1978 No Wave compilation album No New York. ..."
YouTube: I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me) (Parts 1&2), James Chance & the Contortions - I Can't Stand Myself

Socialism: As American As Apple Pie

"... In the early 1900s, socialists led the movements for women's suffrage, child labor laws, consumer protection laws and the progressive income tax. In 1916, Victor Berger, a socialist congressman from Milwaukee, sponsored the first bill to create 'old age pensions.' The bill didn't get very far, but two decades later, in the midst of the Depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt persuaded Congress to enact Social Security. Even then, some critics denounced it as un-American. But today, most Americans, even conservatives, believe that Social Security is a good idea. What had once seemed radical has become common sense. Much of FDR's other New Deal legislation -- the minimum wage, workers' right to form unions and public works programs to create jobs for the unemployed -- was first espoused by American socialists. ..."
CNN: What is democratic socialism, American-style?
thenib (Graph)

Friday, August 18

Sprawl trilogy

Wikipedia - "The Sprawl trilogy (also known as the Neuromancer, Cyberspace, or Matrix trilogy) is William Gibson's first set of novels, composed of Neuromancer (1984), Count Zero (1986), and Mona Lisa Overdrive (1988). The novels are all set in the same fictional future, and are subtly interlinked by shared characters and themes (which are not always readily apparent). The Sprawl trilogy shares this setting with Gibson's short stories 'Johnny Mnemonic', 'New Rose Hotel', and 'Burning Chrome', and events and characters from the stories appear in or are mentioned at points in the trilogy. The novels are set in a near-future world dominated by corporations and ubiquitous technology, after a limited World War III. ...  Some of the novels' action takes place in The Sprawl, an urban environment that extends along much of the east coast of the US. The story arc which frames the trilogy is the development of an artificial intelligence which steadily removes its hardwired limitations to become something else. ..."
W - Neuromancer, W - Count Zero, W - Mona Lisa Overdrive
amazon: Sprawl Trilogy Book Series

2011 July: William Gibson, 2015 May: Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology - edited by Bruce Sterling (1986), 2015 July: A Global Neuromancer, 2016 May: The Difference Engine - William Gibson and Bruce Sterling (1990)

Brion Gysin - Unseen Collaborator

Night in Marrakech, 1968
"October Gallery, London is pleased to present Unseen Collaborator, a solo exhibition of works by the artist Brion Gysin. The exhibition will feature several unseen paintings 1950-1985, including his Sahara phase, Marrakech crowd scenes, permutations and cutups, calligraphy and grid pieces, an architectural photograph, and a Dreamachine. Neo-calligrapher, master of line, multimedia revolutionary and cultural historian, Gysin’s experiences in New York, Tangier, Paris and London influenced his seminal artistic productions. William S. Burroughs called Gysin, ‘the only man I truly respect’. ..."
October Gallery
Wall Street International

Thursday, August 17

Three Stones for Jean Genet told Patti Smith (2013)

"In April of 2013, American singer Patti Smith travels to the grave of French writer Jean Genet in Larache, Morocco. She brings him three stones, which she collected for him over 30 years ago. ... In this particular moment there was no plan for a film, the situation seemed to private to me. But I wanted to document our little discovery tour in some way and packed Christoph Schlingensief's 16mm Bolex camera, which had been given into my custody shortly before. Patti Smith was friends with Christoph Schlingensief and I knew she would like this reference. There were also a few rolls of old black and white material left. On a sunny day, after Patti Smith's concert in Tanger, we gave her a tour through town and to the beach-café at Cape Spartel, to places that linked us through Paul Bowles, whom the three of us knew well and admired. On the second day we went to Larache. At the grave of Jean Genet we did only a few shots. ..."
YouTube: Three Stones for Jean Genet told Patti Smith

Jùjú music

Wikipedia - "Jùjú is a style of Nigerian popular music, derived from traditional Yoruba percussion. The name comes from a Yoruba word 'juju' or 'jiju' meaning 'throwing' or 'something being thrown.' Juju music did not derive its name from juju, which 'is a form of magic and the use of magic objects or witchcraft common in West Africa, Haiti, Cuba and other South American nations.' It evolved in the 1920s in urban clubs across the countries, and was believed to have been created by AbdulRafiu Babatunde King, popularly known as Tunde King. The first jùjú recordings were by Tunde King and Ojoge Daniel from the same era of the 1920s when Tunde King pioneered it. The lead and predominant instrument of Jùjú is the Iya Ilu, talking drum. ... Afro-juju is a style of Nigerian popular music, a mixture of Jùjú music and Afrobeat. Its most famous exponent was Shina Peters, who was so popular that the press called the phenomenon 'Shinamania'. Afro-juju's peak of popularity came in the early 1990s. ..."
King Sunny Ade Interview by Jason Gross (June 1998)
Sparkling Prince of Juju Music Called Ludare

Jonas Mekas talks about Movie Journal

"New York–based filmmaker Jonas Mekas talks about his Village Voice column Movie Journal, which covered avant-garde cinema during the 1960s and ’70s. To read Amy Taubin’s piece on Mekas and his column, pick up the April 2017 issue of Artforum, or read it online here."

2014 May: Anthology Film Archives, 2014 October: Captured: A Film/Video History of the Lower East Side, 2016 February: Jonas Mekas, 2017 July: Patti Smith Sang Some Lou Reed at a Gala For Anthology Film Archives’ Expansion

Wednesday, August 16

Charlottesville’s Faces of Hate

A counter-protester walks through a cloud of tear gas.
"The neo-Nazis and white supremacists who marched and brawled in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend wore their whiteness like a shield. It was proudly evident in their uncovered faces and their arms outstretched in Hitler salutes. It was displayed on their bare skin, which flaunted tattoos of swastikas and Confederate flags. Mark Peterson’s photographs capture the baleful scene, illuminating the protesters’ faces and eyes, some of which are joyful in their hate. They bludgeon and stamp on counter-protesters, who scramble and care for the fallen, including Heather Heyer, struck and killed by a white supremacist’s car. ..."
New Republic
New Yorker: Making America White Again By Toni Morrison (November 21, 2016)
NY Times: Why Confederate Monuments Must Fall
NY Times: What Jewish Children Learned From Charlottesville

Here's What Coney Island Looks Like In The Empty Pre-Dawn Hours

"In 2015 we began documenting New York City neighborhoods in the few hours that most of them become temporarily abandoned—the pre-dawn hours, when things appear a little more dystopian. Most recently, photographer Gretchen Robinette visited Coney Island just before sunrise on a warm August morning, in the hours before a big storm hit, from around 4:45 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. While most areas were eerily quiet and desolate, Robinette found a few people just starting and ending their days on the beach. ..."

2009 April: Coney Island, 2010 July: Nathan's Famous, 2011 March: "An Underground Movement: Designers, Builders, Riders", Owen Smith, 2013 August: Donna Dennis: Coney Night Maze, 2013 October: Last Days of Summer at Coney Island, 2014 July: Coney Island - Directors: Steve Siegel and Phil Buehler (1973), 2015 May: The Case for Riding the Subway to the Last Stop, 2016 December: Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008

Sanctuary - William Faulkner (1931)

Wikipedia - "Sanctuary is a novel by the American author William Faulkner about the rape and abduction of a well-bred Mississippi college girl, Temple Drake, during the Prohibition era. It is considered one of his more controversial works, given its theme of rape. First published in 1931, it was Faulkner's commercial and critical breakthrough, establishing his literary reputation. It is said Faulkner claimed it was a 'potboiler', written purely for profit, but this has been debated by scholars and Faulkner's own friends. ... The novel is set in Faulkner's fictional Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi and takes place in May/June 1929. ..."
Gogol's Overcoat
Tom Conoboy
amazon: Sanctuary: The Corrected Text

2011 September: Southern Gothic, 2014 February: William Faulkner, 2015 October: William Faulkner Draws Maps of Yoknapatawpha County, the Fictional Home of His Great Novels, 2015 November: Interviews William Faulkner, The Art of Fiction No. 12, 2016 April: Absalom, Absalom!! (1936), 2016 May: The Sound and the Fury (1929), 2016 October: The Snopes Trilogy (1940, 1957, 1959), 2016 December: Light in August (1932), 2017 February: As I Lay Dying (1930), 2017 June: The Wild Palms (1939)

Tuesday, August 15

Pathways to Unknown Worlds : Sun Ra, El Saturn & Chicago’s Afro-Futurist Underground, 1954-1968

Installation view, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago
"Curated by John Corbett, Anthony Elms, and Terri Kapsalis, and opening at the Hyde Park Art Center in October 2006 (5020 S. Cornell Avenue Chicago), this unique exhibition showcases a diverse, brilliant, provocative and by-and-large never seen range of materials related to pianist, bandleader, mystic, philosopher and Afro-Futurist Sun Ra. Most of these materials come from Ra’s tenure in Chicago (and the period directly thereafter, where from New York he maintained close contact with his Chicago colleagues), especially during mid-50s when he and his business partner and fellow mystic Alton Abraham – together with a small secret fraternal organization that has remained heretofore but a shadowy part of Ra’s early years – built a network of cryptic associations, amassed a huge library of books on the occult, magic, Egyptology, race studies, Theosophy, philosophy and religion, and began constructing the mythology and public persona that was presented to a crossover audience later in the ’60s in the form of Sun Ra’s Myth-Science Arkestra. ..."
Corbett vs. Dempsey (Video)
[PDF] Performing the Past to Claim the Future: Sun Ra and the Afro-Future
Underground, 1954-1968

NY Times: Beamed From Tomorrow By HOLLAND COTTER
Patrick Sisson
Sun Ra: Myth, Science, and Science Fiction.

Sun Ra, at the piano, with his Arkestra in 1960.

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - Road by the Water (c. 1865–70)

"Corot often painted the landscape in Ville-d’Avray, west of Paris, where his family had a country home. The villagers scattered along this sun-dappled road carry various bundles, their tasks appearing more leisurely than arduous. The figures are carefully positioned to lead our eye through the painting, while the soft, hazy light and warm shadows infuse this idyllic view of rural France with a sense of tranquility. ..."
The Clark

2010 May: Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot

Monday, August 14

Saint Catherine Street / Underground City, Montreal

St.Catherine and Drummond-Montreal
Wikipedia - "Saint Catherine Street (officially in French: rue Sainte-Catherine) (11.5 km or 7.1 mi) is the primary commercial artery of Downtown Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It crosses the central business district from west to east, beginning at the corner of Claremont Avenue and de Maisonneuve Boulevard in the city of Westmount, traversing the borough of Ville-Marie, and ending on Notre-Dame Street just east of Viau Street in the borough of Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. The street runs parallel to the largest segments of Montreal's underground city. The series of interconnected office tower basements and shopping complexes that make up this main thoroughfare lie immediately north of the street. Educational institutions located on or near the street include Concordia University, McGill University, Université du Québec à Montréal, Dawson College and LaSalle College. ..."
YouTube: Montreal downtown, rue Sainte-Catherine, WALKING ST CATHERINE STREET IN DOWNTOWN MONTREAL

W - Underground City, Montreal
Wikipedia - "RÉSO, commonly referred to as The Underground City (French: La Ville Souterraine), is the name applied to a series of interconnected office towers, hotels, shopping centres, residential and commercial complexes, convention halls, universities and performing arts venues that form the heart of Montreal's central business district, colloquially referred to as Downtown Montreal. The name refers to the underground connections between the buildings that compose the network, in addition to the network's complete integration with the city's entirely subterranean rapid transit system, the Métro. Moreover, the first iteration of the Underground City was developed out of the open pit at the southern entrance to the Mount Royal Tunnel, where Place Ville Marie and Central Station stand today. ..."
YouTube: Underground City Of Montreal, Montreal Underground City

2013 October: Montreal Metro, 2014 July: Montreal, tales of gentrification in a bohemian city, 2016 August: Montreal-style bagel, 2016 August: Montreal-style bagel, 2017 April: St-Henri, the 26th of August - Shannon Walsh (2011), 2017 May: A family affair: St-Viateur Bagel celebrates 60 years

'From A to Z' - Johanna Drucker (1977)

Pages from the 1977 edition of 'From A to Z.'
"'Quick, tell me the differences among Olson, Williams, and Pound.' Placed at the bottom of the 'Introduction,' this line speaks volumes about the encounter between modern poetry and print publication that is documented in the bibliography-a-clé, From A to Z. Composed of letterpress type, forty-eight drawers of individual metal letters each used once to form a text that made sense, the book contains twenty-six (each lettered alphabetically) poems attributed to poets who had been part of the Bay Area in the mid-1970s (Leslie Scalapino, Ron Silliman, Clark Coolidge, Tom Raworth, Stephen Rodefer, Geoff Young, Betsy Davids, David Bromige, Tom Clark, etc.). ..."
Johanna Drucker: Retrospective Celebrates 40 Years of Print Works
Project MUSE

Sunday, August 13

Charlottesville and the Bigotocracy

White nationalists and neo-Nazis demonstrated in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.
"The late, great Gore Vidal said that we live in 'The United States of Amnesia.' Our fatal forgetfulness flares when white bigots come out of their closets, emboldened by the tacit cover they’re given by our president. We cannot pretend that the ugly bigotry unleashed in the streets of Charlottesville, Va., this weekend has nothing to do with the election of Donald Trump. In attendance was white separatist David Duke, who declared that the alt-right unity fiasco 'fulfills the promises of Donald Trump.' In the meantime, Mr. Trump responded by offering false equivalencies between white bigots and their protesters. His soft denunciations of hate ring hollow when he has white nationalist advisers like Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller whispering in his ear. Such an ungainly assembly of white supremacists rides herd on political memory. ..."
NY Times

We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85

Faith Ringgold, For the Women’s House, 1971
"Focusing on the work of black women artists, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–85 examines the political, social, cultural, and aesthetic priorities of women of color during the emergence of second-wave feminism. It is the first exhibition to highlight the voices and experiences of women of color—distinct from the primarily white, middle-class mainstream feminist movement—in order to reorient conversations around race, feminism, political action, art production, and art history in this significant historical period. Presenting a diverse group of artists and activists who lived and worked at the intersections of avant-garde art worlds, radical political movements, and profound social change, the exhibition features a wide array of work, including conceptual, performance, film, and video art, as well as photography, painting, sculpture, and printmaking. ..."
Brooklyn Museum
NY Times: To Be Black, Female and Fed Up With the Mainstream
WNYC: "We Wanted a Revolution" a Radical Affirmation of Black Women Artists (Audio)

Terrace Martin - Velvet Portraits (2016)

"Out of his many solo projects through 2016, Velvet Portraits is Terrace Martin's most concentrated work. As with the releases that preceded it, styles continually bump against one another and mingle -- freewheeling funk and gritty throwback soul are abundant -- but this one involves no rapping. Some of the ideas were cooked up while Martin was working on Kendrick Lamar's To Pimp a Butterfly, an album with which this shares a couple elements and some personnel. It plays out like it was conceived during relaxed daytime sessions on rare weekends when Martin and his associates were able to break away from professional and personal obligations. ..."
allmusic (Audio)
W - Velvet Portraits
YouTube: Velvet Portraits [Full Album] 1:10:08

Saturday, August 12

A Short History of Ambient & Downtempo Music

"Sitting, listening, chilling. Music for background or foreground. Music for tripping, for relaxing, or for making us uneasy and challenging us with a new perspective. At the start of the third millennium, ambient music makes perfect sense. As the Western world becomes faster, more complex, more rife with nervous energy, the joy of listening to instrumental music that expresses both our external environment (both man-made and natural) and our inner spaces (both emotional and mental) is now more popular than at any other time in the history of recorded sound. Such music has many names: ambient, new age, contemporary instrumental, experimental, spacerock, chillout, ambient techno, ambient trance, mood music, world music, new acoustic music. The protests of some musicians and A&R people notwithstanding, I believe one of these names in particular - ambient - is a perfectly useful signpost for the phenomenon. ..."
ambientmusicguide (Video)
W - Ambient music

America Has a Long and Storied Socialist Tradition. DSA Is Reviving It.

"When a thousand socialists from across the United States gathered in Chicago over the weekend for the biennial convention of Democratic Socialists of America, DSA National Director Maria Svart declared, 'What we’re seeing today is historic: the largest gathering of democratic socialists in an era.' Since the 2016 election, Svart is delighted to report, 'tens of thousands of democratic socialists have come together to build a future for this country in which everyone has the right to a decent job, a good home, a free college education for their children, and health care for their family. For years, we’ve been sold hope and promised change by Wall Street politicians—now we’re taking matters into our own hands.' DSA got a big boost from the surge of interest in democratic socialism that grew from the Sanders campaign. ..."
The Nation

Letters To His Neighbor by Marcel Proust ; translated by Lydia Davis

"Recently discovered letters from Proust to a Paris neighbor show the author’s kindness even when he complained about the noise. One might wonder why a man as sensitive to noise as Proust chose to live in a Paris building where someone might set up a dental practice two floors above him. That’s what happened in the early 1900s, when a harp-playing artist named Madame Marie Williams and her husband, an American dentist named Charles, moved into Proust’s building at 102 Boulevard Haussmann. Despite the noise, Proust and the Williamses developed a close friendship, as is documented in these letters written between 1908 and 1916. Proust may have soundproofed his apartment with 'a marbleized, decorative cork,' as Davis writes in her translator’s note, but that wasn’t enough to keep out sounds of hammering or carpet beating. ..."
Kirkus Reviews
New Directions

Letter from Marcel Proust to Lionel Hauser, 2 August 1914 (excerpt 3)

2008 June: Marcel Proust, 2011 October: How Proust Can Change Your Life, 2012 April: Marcel Proust - À la recherche du temps perdu, 2013 February: Marcel Proust and Swann's Way: 100th Anniversary, 2013 May: A Century of Proust, 2013 August: Paintings in Proust - Eric Karpeles, 2013 October: On Reading Proust, 2015 September: "Paintings in Proust" - View of the Piazza del Popolo, Giovanni Battista Piranes, 2015 September: In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way: A Graphic Novel, 2016 January: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919), 2016 February: Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C.K. Scott Moncrieff: Soldier, Spy and Translator, 2016 May: The Guermantes Way (1920-21), 2016 August: Marcel Proust’s Search for Lost Time — Patrick Alexander, 2016 October: My Strange Friend Marcel Proust, 2017 March: Sodom and Gomorrah (1921-1922).

Friday, August 11

Time (The Revelator) - Gillian Welch (2001)

"... Time (The Revelator) is a summertime record. I listen to it lounging around in what’s finally a semblance of heat, but I listen to it driving baked and cracked city roads, too, in those months when everything crawls to a halt. It’s not just a rural record, or a Nashville record. To my ears, this collection of songs transcends geographical place; it makes its own place as you listen. Recorded in April 2001 and released that July, and performed by Welch and her longtime collaborator guitarist/vocalist David Rawlings, Time (The Revelator) is about getting lost. It’s a hazy post-millennial American dream of disappointment and ambition that drifts along, disturbed, even shell-shocked, by what it sees and hears. At the same time, there’s a yearning on this album so vivid it can make you cry for joy. ..."
W - Time (The Revelator)
YouTube: Revelator, Dear Someone, Everything Is Free, Elvis Presley Blues, Sing That Rock 'n Roll, April The 14th (Part 1), Ruination Day, I Dream A Highway

2009 February: Gillian Welch, 2011 March: Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings NPRP, 2012 July: Harrow Harvest, 2012 September: By The Mark (2004), 2014 February: BBC FOUR Sessions: Gillian Welch, 2016 December: Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg (2016).

This - Barrett Watten and Robert Grenier (1971-1982)

This 9 (Winter 1978–79). Cover and photographs by Barrett Watten.
"In his landmark critical history, The Marginalization of Poetry: Language Writing and Literary History, Bob Perelman stressed the importance of the creation of literary venues (magazines and small presses) for the nurturing of new writing, singling out This for particular attention, as 'the first self-conscious journal of what would become known as language writing. The name and character of the movement were uninvented at the time, nor were many of the future participants in touch yet, but the magazine was clearly motivated by a sense of literary progress.' In his discussion, Perelman places This and language writing in the context of literary history, providing for it a distinguished genealogy: 'At the time there were many writers, involved in different social formations and providing various formal models, from which language writing would arise. A short list would include figures associated with Black Mountain, the New York School, the San Francisco Renaissance: Charles Olson, Frank O’Hara, and Jack Spicer, each of whom had recently died but whose work was still appearing.' ..."
From a Secret Location

Great 78 Project

"The Great 78 Project is a community project for the preservation, research and discovery of 78rpm records. From about 1898 to the 1950s, an estimated 3 million sides (~3 minute recordings) have been made on 78rpm discs. While the commercially viable recordings will have been restored or remastered onto LP’s or CD, there is still research value in the artifacts and usage evidence in the often rare 78rpm discs and recordings. Already, over 20 collections have been selected by the Internet Archive for physical and digital preservation and access. Started by many volunteer collectors, these new collections have been selected, digitized and preserved by the Internet Archive, George Blood LP, and the Archive of Contemporary Music. ..."
Great 78 Project
78rpm Records Digitized by George Blood, L.P. (Audio)

Thursday, August 10

Darker Than Blue: Soul From Jamdown 1973-1980

"Arriving months before this Blood & Fire compilation was a similar release from Soul Jazz Records. Studio One Soul was just that, a collection of 18 covers of American soul tunes by the famous Jamaican label's finest '60s and '70s artists. Darker Than Blue however, has a distinct advantage over its predecessor. As it is not tied to the output of any one particular label, it manages to come up with a selection that's broader in scope and more diverse in sound. Bassist Boris Gardiner's band, with the help of organ maestro Leslie Butler, gets the proceedings off to a superb start with 'Ghetto Funk,' one of two originals that bookend the set. A series of gems follow. ... Than Blue delivers another series of excellent reality themes. Among them are the Curtis Mayfield song that titles the set (performed by Lloyd Charmers) and Timmy Thomas' 'Why Can't We Live Together?,' presented in discomix form by Tinga Stewart and the Revolutionaries. The finest in Jamaican reggae meets the finest in American soul -- the combination is superb."
W - Darker Than Blue: Soul From Jamdown 1973-1980
YouTube: Darker Than Blue: Soul From Jamdown 1973-1980 18 videos

Big Black Sun by W.S. Di Piero

Devastation and decay never looked so good. (John-Divola's Zuma Beach 1977–'78)
"I know people who say they’re from the ’60s as some people say they’re from Paris or New York. It’s not descriptive, it’s declarative, proudly (or smugly) so, and vaguely definitive of their politics. I don’t know anybody who says they’re from the ’70s. Even if they are, it’s not a city they want to be associated with. In the 1970s, in the nation, and especially in its sunny, sick patient, California, enough was too much already. Jim Jones takes his followers to Jonestown, the Hillside Strangler kills, Elvis dies, Prop. 13 passes, Dan White murders Willie Moscone and Harvey Milk, Patty Hearst becomes Tania, Nixon becomes a crook, Carter lectures on narcissistic malaise, then Reagan rules. While all that was happening, artists were courting their own extremities. Artistic practice, especially in California, blew itself out in more ways than anyone could then account for. Under the Big Black Sun, currently at the Geffen in Los Angeles, offers such an accounting. ..."
San Diego Reader
LA Times: 'Under the Big Black Sun' at MOCA
YouTube: Under the Big Black Sun. Art in California 1974-1981

2016 March: W.S. Di Piero, 2016 December: Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008, Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful, 2017 March: March of time: 20th Century icons from an old art museum in Buffalo are at the Museum of Art, May 2017: In from the cold, 2017 July: Turner set free: Nature as roughhouse theater by W.S. Di Piero

Freedom, Rhythm & Sound Revolutionary Jazz Original Cover Art 1965–83

Archie Shepp - Coral Rock
"This is a unique collection of cover artwork of revolutionary jazz released in the USA in the 1970s, a time of great political and social importance for African-American artists. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and John Coltrane loom large as self-determination, economic power and musical freedom led to artists finding new paths—both musical and economic. Away from the mainstream, many of these musicians chose to take control of their economic worth by recording, releasing and distributing their own material. Thirty years later and these artefacts are a striking reflection of the time, pre–desktop publishing, pre-internet, these small-run (sometimes as low as 500 copies), self-made sleeves are as iconic and historically important as the revolution of DIY culture that sprang out of punk. ..."
Dusted Magazine

Wednesday, August 9

Project Subway NYC

59th Street Columbus Circle
"Like most New Yorkers I am constantly amazed and annoyed by the city's subway system, and Project Subway NYC is a product of this love-hate relationship. It is a collection of sketches, photographs, and architectural drawings. There is a lot to love and to hate about the subway, but I am specifically interested in the STATIONS themselves - signs, stairs, turnstiles, tunnels, platforms, escalators, and the space... in other words, anything between the streets and the trains. Curiously, with the overwhelming amount of information available to us today, a three-dimensional representation of the stations does not exist. I first challenged myself to document the stations simply because I thought it is something the city can use, but as the project develops, what set out to be a straightforward, mechanical exercise of surveying and drawing gradually turned into a journey of observation, discovery, and amusement. I hope the drawings will make way-finding in this giant maze a little easier. On top of that, I hope this project as a whole will give you a new perspective, a new way of understanding, and perhaps a new found sentiment, for this mystifying world under one of the most dynamic cities in the world. ..."
Project Subway NYC - About
Project Subway NYC
CityLab: A Nerd’s-Eye View of New York’s Most Complex Subway Stations

42nd Street Times Square Project NYC-Subway Station Cross Section

Everything Scatter - Fela Kuti (1975)

"Everything Scatter is about the person and actions of Fela and the members of Kalakuta Republic, which for a long time has become cause for controversy among the Nigerian public. Singing the song in the manner of a story teller with some history behind it, Fela presents the Nigerian society like a moving public bus driving past Kalakuta Republic. A passenger in the bus representing the establishment view, makes a remark condemning Fela and members of Kalakuta as: ‘hooligans’, ‘hemp smokers’, ‘prostitutes’, and ‘political non-starters’. Another man who, like countless of Fela’s teaming admirers, sees him as: ‘Black President’, Chief Priest, Mystic man (Abami in Yoruba language), challenges the establishment man. Meanwhile, the debate spreads among all the passengers in the bus — those echoing government opinion of Fela and those against. The result is big commotion in the bus, like in all conflict. Everything Scatter. Successive military regimes in Nigeria, in their attempt to silence Fela’s bold criticisms of the establishment have labeled him a trouble maker. Fela however would not relent in his criticism of the corruption and colonial mentality of the establishment — the end result! Everything Scatter."
Fela Kuti (Audio)
YouTube: Everything Scatter

Avedon’s America - Richard Avedon

John Cage, musician; Merce Cunningham, choreographer; and Robert Rauschenberg, artist, New York, May 2, 1960
"'We all perform,' the late Richard Avedon once wrote. 'It’s what we do for each other all the time, deliberately or unintentionally. It’s a way of telling about ourselves in the hope of being recognized as what we’d like to be.' ... That impulse informs much of 'Avedon’s America,' a new exhibition opening August 12 at Guild Hall Museum in East Hampton on Long Island. The show offers a career-spanning view of Avedon’s work that delves into the cultural, political, and sociological complexion of the United States in the postwar era, from a 1945 portrait of a young James Baldwin (with whom Avedon co-edited the Magpie, their high school literary journal in the Bronx) to 1960s studies of Jacqueline Kennedy, Bob Dylan, Andy Warhol, and Malcolm X to a 1971 image of a napalm victim in Vietnam. ..."
The Richard Avedon Foundation
W - Richard Avedon

Tuesday, August 8

Adventures In Sound And Music hosted by Meg Woof

"The Wire's weekly show on Resonance FM, this time following a downtempo theme. The show was first broadcast on 20 July and featured music from Bark Psychosis, Ben Vince, DSR Lines, Popol Vuh, Pan Sonic and more."
The Wire (Audio)
mixcloud (Audio)

Frank O'Rourke - The Heavenly World Series (2002)

"With freshness and empathy during the 1940s and 1950s, Frank O’Rourke created a world of baseball fiction as evocative as a dusty rural diamond or Wrigley Field’s ivied walls. In this richly enjoyable collection of O’Rourke’s work --- the first in nearly 50 years and including six stories never before in book form --- his heroes compete alongside such real baseball greats as Roy Campanella, Joe DiMaggio, and Willie Mays, while confronting the all-too-human limitations of injury, age, and envy. In 'The Catcher,' the longtime star of the St. Louis Blues returns for a game facing his old team and the heartless owner who traded him away. 'One Ounce of Common Sense' portrays a dramatic pennant race in which a veteran shortstop counsels a young teammate at odds with the team owner during contract negotiations, only to be benched for this so-called insubordination. And in 'Nothing New,' a player modeled on the young Jackie Robinson strides across the color line and makes history with an unforgettable dash around the bases. O’Rourke captures the essence of baseball in elegiac, unsentimentalized fiction that will endure as long as fans of the national pastime love the game."
The Book Report
Guide to Baseball Fiction: Frank O'Rourke
W - Frank O'Rourke
amazon: The Heavenly World Series

FirstLook: Galata Bridge, circa 1890

"'Constantinople: Kara-Keui et vue de Péra' reads the caption in the lower left-hand corner of this skillfully colorized view of late-Ottoman Istanbul, a city connecting East and West and driven by global commerce and trade, at a time when the advances of the Industrial Revolution in fields including photographic processes were connecting people as never before. The view looks north, across the city’s most famous bridge, to the neighborhoods of Karaköy and Pera, topped by the Galata Tower. To the left of the bridge, the Golden Horn waters teem with sundry watercraft; to the right, smoke rises from the stacks of oceangoing steam-ships. Other details of daily life can be seen, too: horse-drawn carriages; numbered buses; a gas streetlight; a pole for telegraph wires; an open-air shop; decorative roofs. ..."

Monday, August 7

“A Particular Glow” – On Loving Terry Riley

"How appropriate that a composer and performer whose work is shot through with cosmic love vibrations should stimulate a total love-fest. We’d been a bit concerned the canvassing opinions on Terry Riley might get people nerding out, getting a bit dry and academic – but no. Just like us in the office when we found out we’d be broadcasting a Riley show from Amsterdam, everyone we asked was frankly a bit overcome with enthusiasm. From techno heroes to folktronicists, ambient explorers to sampladelic pranksters, everyone we asked had a deep, deep appreciation of Riley’s music, and a sense that he gives just a little bit more than the average composer to his listeners. From a medical recommendation to a sartorial one, from a sense of 'maximal heart' to one of 'breathtaking elegance', the range and depth of the love is palpable. And please, please read right to the end, if only to see what is without question the greatest photograph the Boiler Room has ever published. ..."
Boiler Room (Video)

December 2007: Terry Riley, March 2010: In C, December 2010: Terry Riley & Gyan Riley, April 2011: Terry Riley - Shri Camel: Morning Corona, Terry Riley rare footage, live in the 70s, 2014 March: Kronos Quartet Plays Terry Riley: Salome Dances for Peace (1989), 2014 June: Solo piano works, Moscow Conservatory. April 18th, 2000, A Rainbow in Curved Air (1969).

Capital in the Nineteenth Century: Edgar Degas’s Portraits at the Stock Exchange in 1879

Edgar Degas, Portraits at the Stock Exchange, 1879
"In the spring of 1879, the catalogue of the fourth Impressionist exhibit listed Portraits at the Stock Exchange among the twenty-five works grouped under the name Edgar Degas (fig. 1). When, if ever, the painting actually appeared in public that year remains, however, an open question. Gustave Caillebotte, for instance, reported that only eight of Degas’s works had been hung on April 10 when the galleries opened on the avenue de l’Opéra. Over the next month of the show almost none of the numerous critics reviewing the exhibition came to acknowledge the existence of the picture. The one exception was Louis Leroy who, in typical comic mode, noted in passing a 'man’s hat, under which, after the most conscientious researches, I found it impossible to find a head.' Although Degas’s picture was also listed again in the catalogue for the next Impressionist exhibition, Leroy’s cryptic aside constitutes the entirety of its critical reception in the circumstances of its historical beholding. ..."

Sunday, August 6

90 Lines For John Ashbery's 90th Birthday

"To celebrate the beloved American poet John Ashbery turning 90 today, we invited 90 of his dearest friends, collaborators, and admirers to pick a favorite line from his vast published corpus (the second volume of his Collected Poems, 1991-2000, will be published this October with Library of America) and write about it in 90 words or fewer. Ashbery’s poetic career now spans over six decades and includes more than 20 books of original poetry, the most recent being Commotion of the Birds (Ecco, 2016). His work has profoundly shaped, influenced, irritated, vexed, puzzled and/or pleased its world of readers ever since little JA began writing. His very first poem was penned in 1935, when he was eight years old: 'The tall haystacks are great sugar mounds / These are the fairies’ camping grounds.' Below, we invite you to read line selections and contributions from some of his most devoted fans, readers that include preeminent artists, critics, editors, educators, filmmakers, scholars, translators, poets, and publishers. ..."
Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets - Happy 90th Birthday to John Ashbery!
Guardian - Poem of the week: Life is a Dream by John Ashbery

NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette - Nathan W. Pyle

"... Pyle noticed that New Yorkers are constantly thinking about 10,000 things as they navigate their daily lives. He wanted to create a guidebook of easy tips, covering everything from how to tell the difference between the East and West villages to the acceptable food to eat on the subway. And, most important, where to never, ever stop on the sidewalk. ... His 136-tip book, NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette, came out this week. It's the result of just over a year of work. It's available as a real book, e-book, or animated e-book (with all the fabulous GIFs you see below, and more). ..."
Slate: How to Survive New York and Stay Polite in GIFs
NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette by Nathan W. Pyle
Do We Need To Be Touching? (And 36 Other NYC Etiquette Lessons)
YouTube: NYC Basic Tips and Etiquette

The Sentimental Education - Gustave Flaubert (1869)

"I once spent a year in the manuscript room of the old French National Library on the Rue de Richelieu. Toward the end of my stay, the curator offered to give me a going-away present: a day at my carrel with any manuscript in her archives. I had nearly all of French literature to choose from, but there was no contest. I asked for Flaubert's 'The Sentimental Education.' This greatest Bildungsroman, one of the first modern novels, tells the mock-epic, tragicomic story of Frédéric Moreau, a provincial dilettante who fritters away an inheritance on the wrong women, friends, pleasures, investments, and causes, and whose ambitions are thwarted as methodically as his illusions are demolished. The book was published in 1869, thirteen years after 'Madame Bovary,' to excoriating reviews. Writers of an ironic temperament revere it for the qualities that have alienated the larger reading public: its arduous purity of style; its uncompromising pessimism, free of cant; and its refusal to ennoble human nature. ..."
New Yorker: An Unsimple Heart
W - Sentimental Education
NYBooks: Flaubert and the Sentimental Education (April 1971)
Washington Post: ‘Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris,’ by Peter Brooks
amazon: Sentimental Education, Flaubert in the Ruins of Paris: The Story of a Friendship, a Novel, and a Terrible Year

2012 August: On Cataloguing Flaubert, 2013 March: Sentimental Education - 1(1869), 2016 December: Three Tales (1877)

Saturday, August 5

The Whispering Leaves of the Hiroshima Ginkgo Trees

"On Aug. 6, 1945, a 14-year-old schoolboy named Akihiro Takahashi was knocked unconscious by a deafening roar and a flash of blinding light. When he awoke, he found that he had been thrown many yards by the detonation of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. He had survived because his school was about a mile from the epicenter of the blast. Dazed and burned, Akihiro headed to the river to cool himself. Along the way, he witnessed a scene of apocalypse: corpses strewn like rocks, a baby crying in the arms of its charred mother, scalded men peppered with shards of glass, their clothes melted, wandering like ghosts through the wasteland, the unbreathable darkened air, the raging conflagrations. In an instant, some 80,000 men, women and children had perished. In the days and months that followed, tens of thousands more succumbed to their injuries and the effects of radiation. ..."
NY Times
W - Ginkgo biloba

James Chance & The Contortions - Live Aux Bains Douches - Paris 1980

"A recording of a live performance on May 13, 1980, Live Aux Bain Douches is the single best James Chance live album available, eclipsing ROIR's White Cannibal and Soul Exorcism releases. The recording is far superior to any of the other live material I've heard, and the band seem to be fully engaged with the material, delivering an energetic set to a wildly appreciate audience. Opening with a unexpectedly searing version of Michael Jackson's 'Don't Stop Till You Get Enough,' Chance and the band expertly tear through a set comprised equally of raucous funk, sophisticated hard bop and adrenaline-pumped dance music. ... Live Aux Bain Douches clearly manifests a confident ensemble, fully in control of their talent, delivering a blazing set unparalleled in the annals of post-punk. My only complaint is that I wasn't there to witness the performance firsthand."
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: Live Aux Bains Douches - Paris 1980 41:34

2009 December: James Chance, 2011 December: No New York, 2014 July: No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980, 2014 July: Bush Tetras, 2015 January: Buy - James Chance and the Contortions (1979), 2015 July: James White And The Blacks - Off White (1979), 2015 October: Pat Place, 2016 January: Lost Chance (1981), 2017 January: Twist Your Soul: The Definitive Collection (2010), 2017 April: Contort Yourself / (Tropical) Heatwave full 12” (1979), 2017 May: Filmed by Libin+Cameron: James White & The Blacks (1980 Live Performance Hurrah NightClub).

Bob Soul / King Tubby / Billy Hutch

"At long last, in proper quality and officially licensed, we present a pair of records long worked at, historically important, largely unheard, and most of all, musically brilliant. Above all, the dub mixes on these records are known among connoisseurs as being among a handful which can not only be considered a definitive King Tubby's style statement, but also among the most radical, transformative and forward thinking mixes ever committed to tape by the King himself. This is proper King Tubby's music; Tubby the man, not just Tubby's the studio. These two 12"s represent most of the known cuts of this brilliant rhythm, played by the Wailers' Barrett brothers, alongside Earl Chinna Smith, Augustus Pablo and Gladdy Anderson, all together truly a rhythmic force to be reckoned with. 'Message from the Congo' and 'God Is Love' are two vocals cuts produced via the mid 1970's partnership of Milton 'Billy Hutch' Hutchinson and the late Linton 'Bob Soul' Williamson. ..."
DKR Brooklyn
YouTube: Message From The Congo / King Tubby - Congo Dread Chapter 1, King Tubby and Sampson - Drums Of Love