Sunday, June 25

Bob Dylan Plays First Live Performance of “Hurricane,” His Song Defending Rubin “Hurricane” Carter (RIP) in 1975


"This weekend, Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter passed away. He was 76. An American middleweight boxer, Carter was tried and convicted twice (once 1967, again in 1976) for homicides that took place in Paterson, New Jersey in 1966 -- despite the fact that there were no finger prints or eyewitnesses connecting him to the crime. (Both convictions were later overturned when courts found that the trials were tainted by prosecutorial misconduct.) ... He's backed by Scarlet Rivera on violin, Rob Stoner on bass, and Howie Wyeth on drums. It was apparently Dylan's first live performance of the eight minute song. ..."
Open Culture (Video)
W - “Hurricane”
NY Daily - ‘Hurricane’: For Bob Dylan, Rubin Carter fight was personal
“Hurricane” (Written by: Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy)

Stephen Shore


Bridge Street, Mexico, Maine, July 30, 1974
Wikipedia - "Stephen Shore (born October 8, 1947) is an American photographer known for his images of banal scenes and objects in the United States, and for his pioneering use of color in art photography. ...  He began to use a 35 mm camera three years later and made his first color photographs. At ten he received a copy of Walker Evans's book, American Photographs, which influenced him greatly. His career began at fourteen, when he presented his photographs to Edward Steichen, then curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Recognizing Shore's talent, Steichen bought three. At seventeen, Shore met Andy Warhol and began to frequent Warhol's studio, the Factory, photographing Warhol and the creative people that surrounded him. ..."
Wikipedia
Stephen Shore
Guardian - Shady character: how Stephen Shore taught America to see in living colour
Honestly WTF
SF MoMA - Stephen Shore: Taking photographs that “feel like seeing” (Video)

Sonar Senghor - Lost Africa (1957) / Rare African Swing Vol. 1


"Purely on historical grounds, this album from the 1950s is an interesting document, as it was one of the first recordings to expose the tribal music of Western Africa to a European and North American audience. Academic considerations aside, this collection of songs associated with ritualistic dances is worthwhile listening, consisting solely of the Sonar Senghor troupe's high-spirited vocals and chants, with no backup instrumentation save simple (yet varied) percussion. The stark production is, if anything, an asset. Music this direct and elemental doesn't need polish, and the songs can be heard not just as folkloric rituals, but as enjoyable performances in their own right."
allmusic
Anti-gravity
amazon
YouTube: Bonomiollo, Sougnou Mbtaye, Sindhio, Dianka Bi

"Rare African Swing Vol. 1 album for sale by Various Artists was released May 24, 2013 on the Mondotone label. Rare African Swing Vol. 1 CD music contains a single disc with 20 songs."
amazon, iTunes, Spotify
YouTube: Rare African Swing Vol. 1 20 songs · 51:04

Saturday, June 24

The Town and the City - Jack Kerouac (1950)


Wikipedia - "The Town and the City is a novel by Jack Kerouac, published by Harcourt Brace in 1950. This was the first major work published by Kerouac, who later became famous for his second novel On the Road (1957). Like all of Jack Kerouac's major works, The Town and the City is essentially an autobiographical novel, though less directly so than most of his other works. The Town and the City was written in a conventional manner over a period of years, and much more novelistic license was taken with this work than after Kerouac's adoption of quickly written 'spontaneous prose'. ..."
Wikipedia
Pseudo-Intellectual Reviews
NY Times: Of Growth and Decay (March 1950)
Retracing Jack Kerouac
amazon
YouTube: by Jack Kerouac recited by Allen Ginsberg, Coleman Hawkins, "Body and Soul" from Kerouac, 4) 'The Town And The City' - Jack Kerouac Jazz and Prose

2009 November: Another Side of Kerouac: The Dharma Bum as Sports Nut, 2010 July: Kerouac's Copies of Floating Bear, 2011 March: Jack Kerouac on The Steve Allen Show, 2013 September: On the Road - Jack Kerouac, 2014 May: “Walker Evans and Robert Frank – An Essay on Influence by Tod Papageorge” (1981), 2015 March: Pull My Daisy (1959), 2015 December: Hear All Three of Jack Kerouac’s Spoken, 2016 July: Mexico City Blues (1959), 2017 February: The Jack Kerouac Collection (1990), 2017 May: The Subterraneans (1958)

ARPANET


Wikipedia - "The Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) was an early packet switching network and the first network to implement the protocol suite TCP/IP. Both technologies became the technical foundation of the Internet. ARPANET was initially funded by the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) of the United States Department of Defense. The packet switching methodology employed in the ARPANET was based on concepts and designs by Americans Leonard Kleinrock, Paul Baran, Lawrence Roberts and British scientist Donald Davies. ..."
Wikipedia
Historical Maps of Computer Networks
Internet History 1962 to 1992
YouTube: A Visual History of Human Knowledge | Manuel Lima | TED Talks

During Prohibition, Harlem Night Clubs Kept the Party Going


"Prohibition may have put a damper on alcohol sales in much of the United States in the 1920s and early ’30s, but it didn’t stop the party up in Harlem. The map above, created in 1932, shows a thriving nightlife centered on New York jazz venues like the Cotton Club and the Savoy Ballroom. The map is filled with caricatures of famous musicians and dubious denizens of the nighttime scene, as well as helpful tips for partygoers. 'It’s pretty fantastic,' says Melissa Barton, curator of drama and prose for the Collection of American Literature at Yale University’s Beinecke Library. 'It’s just packed with details.' ..."
National Geographic
Gather Out of Star-Dust: The Harlem Renaissance & the Beinecke Library
A Journey Through the Harlem Renaissance in Maps, Manuscripts, and Art
Yale Books
YouTube: Earl "Snake Hips" Tucker

2009 February: Harlem Renaissance, 2010 August: A Nightclub Map of Harlem, 2010 October: Apollo Theater, 2014 May: History of Harlem, 2014 November: A Harlem Throwback to the Era of Billie Holiday, 2015 February: A Nightclub Map of Harlem

Friday, June 23

Allen Ravenstine


Wikipedia - "Allen Ravenstine (born May 9, 1950) is an American keyboard player, most recognized for his work in the experimental rock group Pere Ubu. In 1991, he quit music to become a commercial airline pilot. Allen Ravenstine was born on May 9, 1950. ... He met visual artist Bob Bensick, who was experimenting with sending distortion into oscillators and out a stereo system. Eventually, they discovered a way to attach lights and have them work in conjunction with the sounds being produced and decided to stage art shows. The act was short lived as Ravenstine moved out of the area and lost contact with Bensick. Soon after, Ravenstine purchased his first synthesizer, an ElectroComp EML 200, and began associating with the garage band Rocket from the Tombs and recording their performances. ..."
Wikipedia
‘Terminal Drive’: Pere Ubu’s Allen Ravenstine’s legendary long lost electronic composition found (Video)
Furious: Allen Ravenstine 1, 2, 3, 4
Blue Jet Music
City Desk / Farm Report - Robert Wheeler & Allen Ravenstine
Allen Ravenstine "Terminal Drive" CD
Allen Ravenstine + Robert Wheeler On EML Modular Synthesizers (Video)
iTunes, Spotify, amazon
YouTube: City Desk - Farm Report

EML 101

2008 April: Pere Ubu, 2010 July: Pere Ubu - 1, 2012 November: David Thomas And The Pedestrians - Variations On A Theme, 2013 February: Dub Housing, 2014 September: Carnival of Souls (2014), 2015 June: Street Waves / My Dark Ages (1976), 2016 January: Live at the Longhorn: April 1, 1978, 2016 February: Cloudland (1989), 2016 April: Architecture of Language 1979-1982, 2016 November: The Modern Dance (1978), 2016 December: Don't Expect Art (1980), 2017 January: New Picnic Time (1979)

Marsden Hartley's Maine


Lobster Fishermen, (1940-41)
"This exhibition explores Marsden Hartley's complex, sometimes contradictory, and visually arresting relationship with his native state—from the lush Post-Impressionist inland landscapes with which he launched his career, to the later roughly rendered paintings of Maine's rugged coastal terrain, its hardy inhabitants, and the magisterial Mount Katahdin. Hartley's renowned abstract German series, New Mexico recollections, and Nova Scotia period have been celebrated in previous exhibitions, but Marsden Hartley's Maine illuminates Maine as a critical factor in understanding the artist's high place in American art history. Maine served as an essential slate upon which he pursued new ideas and theories. It was a lifelong source of inspiration intertwined with his personal history, cultural milieu, and desire to create a regional expression of American modernism. ..."
Metropolitan Museum of Art (Video)
NY Times: ‘Marsden Hartley’s Maine,’ His Muse, First and Last

Thursday, June 22

Did Gerard de Nerval walk his pet lobster through Paris?


"Legend has it that the 19th-century French Romantic poet Gérard de Nerval (1808-1855) had a pet lobster named Thibault that he took on walks in the Palais Royal gardens of Paris, using a blue silk ribbon as a leash. When asked why he did this, he replied: Why should a lobster be any more ridiculous than a dog? Or a cat, or a gazelle, or a lion, or any other animal that one chooses to take for a walk? I have a liking for lobsters. They are peaceful, serious creatures. ... In other words, the lobster that Nerval walked was a symbolic lobster, not a real one. Nerval, [Mark] Dery notes, was 'a fervent scholar of the occult,' and lobsters have special significance in some occult sources, such as Tarot cards. For instance, the Moon card shows a lobster crawling out of a pool onto dry land, up a path guarded by two dogs (or a dog and a wolf) toward the full moon. The lobster, in this setting, could be interpreted as a symbol of the animal self struggling toward enlightenment. ..."
Hoaxes
Harpers - Nerval: A Man and His Lobster
New Yorker: Lobsters and Lies
Nerval's Lobster By Mark Dery
Gérard de Nerval – the man who walked lobsters – fallen stars
The Man Who Loved Lobster

2007 December: Gerard De Nerval, 2010 March: Robin Blaser - Les Chimeres, 2016 June: Voyage to the Orient (1851), 2017 March: Selected Writings of Gerard De Nerval (1957)

Los Angeles - X (1980)


"By the late '70s, punk rock and hardcore were infiltrating the Los Angeles music scene. Such bands as Black Flag, the Germs, and, especially, X were the leaders of the pack, prompting an avalanche of copycat bands and eventually signing record contracts themselves. X's debut, Los Angeles, is considered by many to be one of punk's all-time finest recordings, and with good reason. Most punk bands used their musical inability to create their own style, but X actually consisted of some truly gifted musicians, including rockabilly guitarist Billy Zoom, bassist John Doe, and frontwoman Exene Cervenka, who, with Doe, penned poetic lyrics and perfected sweet yet biting vocal harmonies. ... Although they utilize elements of punk's frenzy and electricity, they also add country, ballads, and rockabilly to the mix."
allmusic
W - Los Angeles
amazon, iTumes
YouTube: Los Angeles (music video - Live), Your Phone's Off The Hook - Live 1980 Rare!
YouTube: Los Angeles (Full Album) 32:04

An Upper West Side Art Nouveau–like subway sign


"You don’t have to be a typeface nerd to appreciate loveliness the letters and numerals affixed to plaques and signs in the city’s earliest subway stations. My favorite is the '96' at the Broadway and 96th Street station. Opened in 1904 as part of the original IRT line, it looks like the numerals were created by hand, not a printing press. Thanks to the rosettes, green coloring, and what look like two tulips framing the numerals, this plaque across from the platform also looks like a rare examples of the naturalistic Art Nouveau design style—which swept Europe in the early 20th century but didn’t make much of an impression in New York, save for some building facades."
Ephemeral New York
W - 96th Street (IRT Lexington Avenue Line)

Wednesday, June 21

Olivier Assayas - Summer Hours (2009)


"In a literal, almost banal sense, Olivier Assayas’s 'Summer Hours' is a movie about an inheritance. Hélène Berthier (Edith Scob), a silver-haired matriarch enthroned among her children and grandchildren at the beginning of the film, leaves behind a charming country house and a cherished art collection, and her heirs, as is normal, must figure out what to do with it all after her death. Hélène’s eldest son, Frédéric (Charles Berling), wants to keep everything as it is, so that the next generation can gather at the old place and appreciate Grandma’s stuff. But Frédéric’s sister, Adrienne (Juliette Binoche), and their younger brother, Jérémie (Jérémie Renier), who live abroad (she in the United States, he in China with his wife and three children), would rather sell the house and most of what is in it, donating the best of the paintings, pieces of furniture and sundry knickknacks to the Musée d’Orsay. ..."
NY Times - Sorting Out an Inheritance: Three Siblings Dissect the Stuff of Life
Film Comment
Criterion (Video)
W - Summer Hours
NY Times: The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century. So Far.

Outdoor Miner / Practice Makes Perfect - Wire (1979)


Wikipedia - "'Outdoor Miner' is a song written by Colin Newman and Graham Lewis, and performed by the English post-punk band Wire. ... The song is based on Graham Lewis's fascination with the Serpentine leaf miner insect and details the life cycle of the insect. EMI recognised that the song could potentially be a hit single, but were concerned that it was too short, measuring only 1 minute 45 seconds. Unusually the label asked the band to make a longer version for the single. The band added an additional verse and chorus, and a piano solo played by producer Mike Thorne, pushing the length to 2 minutes 51 seconds. EMI were confident that the song could become a hit and commercial breakthrough for the band. ..."
Wikipedia
Perfect Pop | Outdoor Miner By Wire
YouTube: Outdoor Miner, Practice Makes Perfect

2009 January: Wire, 2012 January: On the Box 1979., 2013 September: Chairs Missing (1978), 2014 June: 154 (1979), 2014 July: Document And Eyewitness (1979-1980), 2015 April: The Ideal Copies: Graham Lewis Of Wire's Favourite Albums, 2015 July: Pink Flag (1977), 2015 December: The Peel Sessions Album (1989), “Dot Dash”, "Options R" (1978).

Portraits by Cézanne


Boy in a Red Waistcoat (1888-1890)
"Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) painted almost 200 portraits during his career, including 26 of himself and 29 of his wife, Hortense Fiquet. The exhibition will explore the special pictorial and thematic characteristics of Cézanne's portraiture, including his creation of complementary pairs and multiple versions of the same subject. The chronological development of Cézanne's portraiture will be considered, with an examination of the changes that occurred with respect to his style and method, and his understanding of resemblance and identity. The exhibition will also discuss the extent to which particular sitters inflected the characteristics and development of his practise. ..."
Musée d'Orsay (Video)
Musée d'Orsay: For a detailed presentation

2011 August: Paul Cézanne, 2014 November: Cézanne: Landscape into Art, 2015 March: Madame Cézanne

Tuesday, June 20

The Underside Of Power - Algiers (2017)


"We named Algiers a Band To Watch back in 2015 on the strength of their self-titled debut. The politically-minded gospel-punks, now a quartet following the addition of former Bloc Party drummer Matt Tong, are returning in June with a new album called The Underside Of Power, produced by Portishead’s Adrian Utley and Ali Chant, mixed by Randall Dunn of Sunn O))), and featuring post-production by the Men’s Ben Greenberg. Dunn and Greenberg both have cameos in the Henry Busby-directed video for the title track, which follows the band as they organize an anti-fascist resistance movement from their dimly-lit underground bunker. ..."
stereogum
NPR: Algiers Shows Us 'The Underside Of Power'
amazon
YouTube: The Underside of Power, Cleveland, Full Performance (Live on KEXP). Recorded June 19, 2015. 27:55

Fighting for the Immigrants of Little Pakistan


"Tahira Khan was helping her son get ready for school, in Midwood, Brooklyn, when she heard a knock on the door. She opened it to find two immigration agents, who held up a photograph of her husband, Shahid Ali Khan, and asked where he was. Khan, who worked as a day laborer, was on his way to a construction site. The officers told Tahira to call him, and then one of them got on the phone and ordered him to come home. Outside the building, several other officers were waiting with a van. When Khan arrived, they handcuffed him, locked a chain around his waist, and pressed him into the back seat. They took him to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office at 26 Federal Plaza, in downtown Manhattan. That evening, immigration agents left him at a detention center in Elizabeth, New Jersey, where he was given an inmate uniform and placed in a dormitory with dozens of other men. ..."
New Yorker
New Yorker: Rebuilding Little Pakistan (Video)

Sussan Deyhim & Richard Horowitz - Desert Equations (1986)


"Electro-Persian excursion by ethno-techno duo consisting of Iranian vocalist Sussan Deyhim and US electronic music composer Richard Horowitz. A groundbreaking album, dominated by Sussan Deyhim’s sublime voice surging from behind virtual dunes and electronic oases, which prompted writer Paul Bowles to wonder: 'Was this composed under the influence of Majoun ?'... and which convinced filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci to entrust most of the soundtrack music for his 'Sheltering Sky' movie to Richard Horowitz. Since 'Desert Equations', Sussan Deyhim has worked with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Bill Laswell, Jah Wobble, Bobby McFerrin, Adrian Sherwood and Ornette Coleman. She has released the acclaimed 'Madman Of God' (Crammed, 2000) an album based on classic Persian Sufi poetry."
Crammed
YouTube: Sussan Deyhim & Richard Horowitz - Desert Equations 8 videos

Monday, June 19

Neil Young - "River Of Pride" / "White Line" (1975)


"... After years of rumors, reports of the elusive Chrome Dreams acetate surfacing were finally confirmed in the early 90s. Not surprisingly, two bootleg CDs soon followed, one sporting the complete acetate (plus, oddly enough, some uncredited, unrelated live 1977 tracks) and another featuring the unreleased CD tracks intermingled with live versions of the songs that were the same as the released versions (the big news with this second boot was the inclusion of a previously uncirculated studio outtake from the same era: 'River of Pride,' an early version of 'White Line,' a song that showed up in a few 75/76 setlists and was eventually released on Freedom 12 years later). ..."
sixty to zero
YouTube: River Of Pride (Outtake 1977), White Line (Acoustic, Live: 1976), Neil Young & Crazy Horse - White Line(Live 1975)

2008 February: Neil Young, 2010 April: Neil Young - 1, 2010 April: Neil Young - 2, 2010 May: Neil Young - 3, 2010 October: Neil Young's Sound, 2012 January: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History, 2012 June: Like A Hurricane, 2012 July: Greendale, 2013 April: Thoughts On An Artist / Three Compilations, 2013 August: Heart of Gold, 2014 March: Dead Man (1995), 2014 August: Ragged Glory - Neil Young + Crazy Horse (1990), 2014 November: Broken Arrow (1996), 2015 January: Rust Never Sleeps (1979), 2015 January: Neil Young the Ultimate Guide, 2015 March: Old Black, 2015 September: Zuma (1975), 2016 January: On the Beach (1973), 2016 April: Sleeps with Angels (1994), 2016 November: Eldorado (EP - 1989), Long May You Run - The Stills-Young Band (1976).

Bird Sounds


"Different species of birds make different sounds. However, the sounds are so quick and compressed that it can be tough to pick out what is what. So Kyle McDonald, Manny Tan, and Yotam Mann created a 'fingerprint' for each bird song and used machine learning to classify. Through the visual browser, you can play sounds and search for bird types. Similar sounds are closer to each other."
Visual collection of bird sounds
A.I. Experiments: Bird Sounds (Audio)
Bird Sounds (Audio)
YouTube: Nightingale & Canary - Bird sounds visualized by Andy Thomas, Bird Sounds Visualised HD

In Which When James Agee Woke He Was Almost Home


"from Memoir by ROBERT FITZGERALD. Under one strain and another James Agee’s marriage was now breaking up. I remember the summer day in 1937 when at his suggestion we met in Central Park for lunch and the new young woman in her summer dress appeared. It seems to me that there were months of indecisions and revisions and colloquies over the parting with Via, which was yet not to be a parting, etc., which at length would be accomplished as cruelly required by the laws of New York. Laceration could not have been more prolonged. In the torments of liberty all of Jim’s friends took part. At Old Field Point on the north shore of Long Island, where the Wilder Hobsons had somehow rented a bishop’s boathouse that summers, a number of us attained liberation from the pudor of mixed bathing without bathing suits: a mixed pleasure, to tell the truth. ..."
this recording

2011 June: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, 2013 June: Cotton Tenants: Three Families

Sunday, June 18

Rhythm & Power: Salsa in New York


"The story of New York salsa—an up-tempo performance of percussive Latin music and Afro-Caribbean-infused dance—is one of cultural fusion, artistry, and skilled marketing. Rhythm & Power: Salsa in New York illuminates salsa as a social movement from the 1960s to the present, exploring how immigrant and migrant communities in New York City—most notably from Cuba and Puerto Rico—nurtured and developed salsa, growing it from a local movement playing out in the city’s streets and clubs into a global phenomenon. The exhibition also looks at the role of record companies and stores in supporting and promoting the movement, and salsa’s often-overlooked ties to activism in the city. Rhythm & Power features dance costumes and musical instruments from some of salsa’s leading figures, as well as audio and video that bring the sounds and movement of salsa to life."
Museum of the City of New York: Illuminating salsa as a social movement from the 1960s to today.
A Visual History of Salsa in New York
NY Times - ‘Rhythm & Power’: A Little Bling, a Little Politics, a Lot of Salsa
NY Post: How New Yorkers’ obsession with Cuba gave rise to salsa

2011 December: The History of Salsa From Africa to New York, 2012 April: Flash of the Spirit: African & Afro-American Art & Philosophy - Robert Farris Thompson, 2014 October: Fania at Fifty, 2016 April: History of Salsa Dancing!

Behold! A Comics Round Up For June


Gabrielle Bell - Everything Is Flammable
"This column is somewhat overdue. Can I blame the voluminous nature of the books reviewed here? Not entirely, perhaps, but there has been some exceptional work released recently, and frequently in the form of thick graphic novels, adding substantially to reading time. The sheer quality of the books I’ve seen recently is encouraging, as are the production values, making these a pleasure to hold as well as read. The comics festival season is underway once again, and ELCAF starting today and running this weekend (June 16 - 18) looks set to be this month's highlight with great talent from the UK and worldwide at the Round Chapel in Hackney. ..."
The Quietus

Billy "Red" Love


"There is not a whole lot of tangible information to convey about pianist Billy 'Red' Love, who signed to record for fledgling producer Sam Phillips in 1951. Phillips passed off an early Love performance, 'Juiced,' to Chess as the latest effort by Jackie Brenston (then red-hot as a result of 'Rocket 88'). Love's own debut record, 'Drop Top,' came out on Chess and reportedly did fairly well regionally, but after a 1952 Chess encore, 'My Teddy Bear Baby,' Chess dropped him. He stuck around Sun through 1954, working sessions behind Rufus Thomas and Willie Nix and recording a wealth of unissued sides of his own. ..."
allmusic
Black Cat Rockabilly
YouTube: Gee I Wish, Juiced, Drop Top, Harts Bread Boogie, BLUES LEAVE ME ALONE, A Dream, You're Gonna Cry, The Sun Years



Saturday, June 17

Brakhage: When Light Meets Life


Pages from Jane’s scrapbook including a photograph of the Brakhage children, 1958-1967.
"To describe the thinking behind his films, Stan Brakhage often quoted a saying attributed to the ninth-century Irish theologian John Scotus Erigena: 'All things that are, are light.' He got the line from Ezra Pound, and his attachment to it was one of the few constant principles connecting the hundreds of experimental films he made between 1952 and 2003. Brakhage’s movies could last anywhere from eight seconds (1967’s Eye Myth) to more than four hours (1965’s The Art of Vision, a longer version of his early Dog Star Man); they could be intimate records of his family life or abstractions made by painting, scratching, or collaging directly onto the film stock itself. ..."
NYBooks
Voices from the Beinecke Library: Brakhage Scrapbooks

Jane Wodening Brakhage, Eighteen Pages from her Scrapbooks, (1958-1967)

2009 April:Stan Brakhage, 2011 December: Burial Path/The Process/The Machine of Eden, 2012 August: The Dante Quartet (1987) - Stan Brakhage, 2016 July: Gnir Rednow (1960) - Joseph Cornell / Stan Brakhage.

Frantz - François Ozon (2016)


"Can carefully constructed lies heal the emotional wounds of war? That unsettling question goes to the heart of 'Frantz,' François Ozon’s sleek, somber adaptation of Ernst Lubitsch’s 1932 antiwar film, 'Broken Lullaby,' set in Germany and France in the aftermath of World War I. I won’t reveal the lie that propels the story except to say that it’s a whopper: a big one invented to comfort the aggrieved at a moment when the Great War seemed to have undermined the sanity of a world thrown into chaos by mass slaughter. For an antiwar film, 'Frantz' is low-key. It doesn’t rub your face in gore or stir your adrenaline; there are no battle scenes, and only fleeting images of ruined cities and wounded soldiers; and a mood of bitterness, despair and exhaustion prevails. The movie even goes out of its way to evoke the cultural similarity of two warring nations, geographical neighbors, who appreciated the same music and art. ..."
NY Times
W - Frantz
Telegraph - Frantz review: François Ozon's gripping homage to Hitchcock
YouTube: FRANTZ Trailer | Festival 2016

Talking Heads - Performance (1979)


"This 1979 Talking Heads tour, promoting the release of their Fear Of Music album, would be the last to feature the stripped down quartet lineup and the first to gain them significantly more exposure in America. They had established themselves in Europe, but outside of college radio or the New England and California regions, America was just catching on to what an intriguing and captivating live band they were. These excerpts are from their appearance at Boston's prestigious Berklee School of Music, which was one of the wildest and most memorable performances on this breakthrough tour. ... The new songs had increasingly funny, yet even more thought-provoking lyrics. The overt awkwardness that frontman David Byrne often displayed onstage was just beginning to be perceived as the uninhibited expression that it really was, with many now dancing to it. His unusual vocal affectations were engaging and the music was clearly beginning to resonate more deeply, particularly in a live context. ..."
spin
Discogs
YouTube: Performance 1:10:29

2008 September: Talking Heads, 2011 June: Talking Heads: 77, 2011 August: More Songs About Buildings and Food, 2011 October: Fear of Music, 2012 January: Remain in Light, 2012 April: Speaking in Tongues, 2012 June: Live in Rome 1980, 2014 December: "Road To Nowhere" (1985), 2015 May: And She Was (1985), 2011 August: David Byrne: How Architecture Helped Music Evolve, 2012 January: The Knee Plays, 2015 October: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts - Brian Eno / David Byrne (1981), 2016 August: Fear Of Music: Amazing Early Talking Heads Doc From 1979.

Friday, June 16

Dakota pipeline protesters won a small victory in court. We must fight on


Flags fly at the Oceti Sakowin Camp in 2016, near Cannonball, North Dakota.
"The fight against Energy Transfer Partners’ Dakota Access pipeline was supposed to be consigned to the annals of history by now – at least if Donald Trump, oil oligarchs and law enforcement had their way. Just days after his inauguration, the president signed a memorandum that reversed an Obama administration decision ordering a thorough environmental impact statement for the $3.8bn pipeline, and instead expedited permits for the project. A month later, in February, police cleared the remaining protest camps erected in the path of the pipeline just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Even before Dakota Access became operational, it leaked in three separate incidents in March and April, vindicating protesters, who had warned that the pipeline posed a major threat to water, public health and the climate. ..."
Guardian
In Victory for Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Court Finds That Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline Violated the Law

2011 July: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - Dee Brown, 2012 September: The Ghost Dance, 2016 September: A History and Future of Resistance, 2016 November: Dakota Access Pipeline protests, 2016 December: Police Violence Against Native Americans Goes Far Beyond Standing Rock, 2016 December: Dakota Protesters Say Belle Fourche Oil Spill 'Validates Struggle', 2017 January: A Murky Legal Mess at Standing Rock, 2017 January: Trump's Move On Keystone XL, Dakota Access Outrages Activists, 2017 February: Army veterans return to Standing Rock to form a human shield against police, 2017 February: Standing Rock is burning – but our resistance isn't over, 2017 March: Dakota Access pipeline could open next week after activists face final court loss, 2017 April: The Conflicts Along 1,172 Miles of the Dakota Access Pipeline, 2017 May: 'Those are our Eiffel Towers, our pyramids': Why Standing Rock is about much more than oil

The Rise and Fall of the High-Top Sneaker


"For decades, basketball sneakers weren't like other sneakers. Take Reebok's 'The Question,' Allen Iverson's signature shoe: truly ridiculous, enormous moon-boot type high-tops with a whopping four visible bubbles of Reebok's 'Hexalite' shock absorption technology in each shoe. That look—elaborate, bulky high-tops—has quietly begun its exit from the upper echelons of the basketball world, and the reason why reveals a lot not just about sneaker culture but about the changing way professional basketball is played, and how the dramatic move away from the late '90s, early '00s culture of maximalism affects even the bombastic world of professional sports. For the first time, a generation of players is playing in low-tops. The signature shoes of many of the NBA's superstars—James Harden, Damian Lillard, Kevin Durant—are minimalist low-tops. ..."
Esquire

2011 June: American Basketball Association, 2012 July: Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC, 2012 November: Your Guide to the Brooklyn Nets, 2013 March: March Madness 2013, 2013 October: Rucker Park, 2014 January: History of the high five, 2015 February: Dean Smith (February 28, 1931 – February 7, 2015), 2015 June: Basketball’s Obtuse Triangle, 2015 September: Joint Ventures: How sneakers became high fashion and big business, 2015 October: Loose Balls - Terry Pluto (2007), 2015 November: The Sounds of Memphis, 2015 December: Welcome to Smarter Basketball, 2015 December: New York, New York: Julius Erving, the Nets-Knicks Feud, and America’s Bicentennial, 2016 January: The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams (1994), 2016 January: A Long Hardwood Journey, 2016 March: American Hustle - Alexandra Starr, 2017 March: N.C.A.A. Bracket Predictions: Who the Tournament Experts Pick

Sun Ra And His Myth Science Solar Arkestra* ‎– Nidhamu + Dark Myth Equation Visitation (1971)


"In 1971, in Denmark, at the end of a tour, Sun Ra suddenly decided to take his whole band to Egypt. They had no concerts and no contacts there but Ra sold some recording rights to Black Lion to pay for the tickets and they flew out. They were stopped at customs and their instruments were temporarily impounded but they were let through as tourists. Then they booked into a hotel facing the pyramid at Giza. Word got to Hartmut Geerken, then working at the Goethe institute, and he quickly threw a concert together at his house in Heliopolis, for which Brigadier Salah Ragab borrowed army instruments for the Arkestra to play (he was later disciplined for it). ..."
Forced Exposure
amazon, iTubes
YouTube: To Nature's God, Why Go to the Moon, Space Loneliness #2, Discipline #15, The Light Thereof, Cosmo-Darkness

Thursday, June 15

In a Lonely Place - Nicholas Ray (1950)


"Not unlike Albert Camus’s The Stranger, Nicholas Ray’s remarkable In a Lonely Place represents the purest of existentialist primers. Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart), a washed-up Hollywood screenwriter under pressure to produce a good screenplay, has been given the simple task of writing a cut-and-dry adaptation of a novel when he meets a hatcheck girl named Mildred Atkinson (Martha Stewart), who he invites to his home in order to discuss the adaptation. An hour later Mildred is found dead on the side of a road and Dixon becomes prime suspect in her murder. Dixon’s history of abusing women seasons his material but it certainly doesn’t help his credibility factor. What unravels—or, rather, how Dixon begins to unravel—becomes a brilliant extrapolation of what Camus called 'philosophical suicide.' ..."
Slant
W - In a Lonely Place
Roger Ebert
Criterion (Video)
YouTube: In a Lonely Place

Hands Up! - Edward Dorn (1964)



"In the previous post, Tom Raworth discussed printing Edward Dorn’s From Gloucester Out on a small platen letterpress in 1964 just after Hands Up! appeared from Totem Press in cooperation with Cornith Books out of the Eighth Street Bookshop. ... As Raworth mentioned, letterpress wasn’t particularly artsy or extravagant in those times, and domestic offset presses made it possible to produce larger editions at a low cost with relatively little technical skill. Download a searchable PDF of Edward Dorn’s early book, HANDS UP!"
[PDF] Hands Up!
Guardian: Edward Dorn
amazon

2007 December: Edward Dorn, 1929-1999, 2014 September: Tom Clark - Edward Dorn (1929-1999), 2015 November: The Collected Poems 1956 - 1974, 2015 December: Recollections of Gran Apachería (1974), 2016 April: By the Sound (1965), 2016 July: Gunslinger, 2016 November: The North Atlantic Turbine (1967).

Eighty Years of New York City, Then and Now


"A split-screen tour of the same streets in New York City, from the nineteen-thirties and today."
NewYorker (Video)

Wednesday, June 14

Marcel Duchamp - Rebel Ready-Made (1966)


"A film, made by Tristram Powell in 1966, marking the first retrospective exhibition in Europe of the works of Marcel Duchamp at the Tate Gallery, London. The film includes an interview with Duchamp and unique behind the scenes footage from the Tate. The film also features interviews with the show's curator, Richard Hamilton, the artist Robert Rauschenberg and composer John Cage. 'Marcel Duchamp , painter, Dadaist, philosopher, joker, talks about his life and his works, which are currently on exhibition at the Tate Gallery.' Radio Times, 23 June 1966."
UbuWeb (Video)

2009 May: Marcel Duchamp, 2009 September: Marcel Duchamp: The Art of Chess, 2009 November: Étant donnés, 2016 April: A Marcel Duchamp Collection

Alif - Aynama-Rtama (2014)


"Alif is the collective sound of five musicians at the forefront of independent music in the Arab world. ... Their self-produced debut, Aynama-Rtama (Arabic - translated as Wherever It Falls) is a reflection of its time and environment. Recorded between Beirut in Cairo in 2014, it is a shape-shifting album that twists and turns when you least expect it. Innovative instrumentation, poignant words from avant-garde poets such as Sargon Boulos and Mahmoud Darwish, and the abstract worlds penned by the band’s vocalist Tamer Abu Ghazaleh coalesce to create an intense labyrinth of sounds and emotions. ..."
Alif Music (Audio)
A thrilling debut of contemporary Arabic music
Soundcloud: Holako (Hulagu)
YouTube: Holako (Hulagu), Al-Juththa (The Corpse) Live, Intadhirha (Wait for Her) Live

Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me - Richard Fariña (1966)


Wikipedia - "Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me is a novel by Richard Fariña. First published in the United States in 1966 the novel, based largely on Fariña's college experiences and travels, is a comic picaresque story that is set in the Western United States, in Cuba during the Cuban Revolution, and at an upstate New York university. The name of the protagonist is Gnossos Pappadopoulis, a modern Odysseus. The book has become something of a cult classic among those who study 1960s or counterculture literature. ... Gnossos is a gleeful anarchist, heaving creche statuary off a bridge into one of Ithaca's famed gorges, smoking dope at fraternity parties, poking fun at the pompous, self-righteous and well-to-do, swilling Red Cap ale, retsina and martinis, while pursuing the coed in the green knee-socks and seeking karma. ..."
Wikipedia
PURSUIT OF THE Real, and escape from Reality.
amazon

Tuesday, June 13

Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad - Jeanine Michna-Bales


"They left in the middle of the night often carrying little more than the knowledge to follow the North Star. Between 1830 and the end of the Civil War in 1865, an estimated one hundred thousand slaves became passengers on the Underground Railroad, a journey of untold hardship, in search of freedom. In Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad, Jeanine Michna-Bales presents a remarkable series of images following a route from the cotton plantations of central Louisiana, through the cypress swamps of Mississippi and the plains of Indiana, north to the Canadian border a path of nearly fourteen hundred miles. ..."
Princeton Architectural Press
NY Times - From Slavery to Freedom: Revealing the Underground Railroad
Jeanine Michna-Bales
amazon

Eddie Palmieri - Unfinished Masterpiece (1976)


"Bacoso's been posting some great Eddie Palmieri over at OIR which has encouraged me to drag out my latin albums again .... Eddie's a genius and a revolutionary giant. Latin had never seen harmonies like this before - Palmieri pushed at both the latin boundaries and the jazz boundaries at the same time without letting them wash each other out. ... And all the way through there's Eddie himself, always unexpected and exploratory in his piano progressions, and writing incendiary brass parts like no-one else can. He was apparently never fully satisfied with getting this album finished, but Coco Records put it out anyway - thus the title. He won his second Grammy award with this one. WAV and 320 MP3 versions of 'Unfinished Masterpiece' are at the bottom of the post, also a bonus of the aforementioned track 'Un Dia Bonita' from 'The Sun Of Latin Music'. ..."
never enough rhodes
Essential Eddie Palmieri
amazon, iTubes
YouTube: Unfinished Masterpiece 38:49

2014 March: Harlem River Drive - Harlem River Drive (1971), 2014 October: Fania at Fifty

Trump and the True Meaning of ‘Idiot’


"In a recent Quinnipiac University poll, respondents were asked what word immediately came to mind when they thought of Donald Trump: The No. 1 response was 'idiot.' This was followed by 'incompetent,' 'liar,' 'leader,' 'unqualified,' and finally, in sixth place, 'president.' Superlatives like “great” and a few unprintable descriptives came further down on the list. But let us focus on the first. Contemporary uses of the word 'idiot' usually highlight a subject’s lack of intelligence, ignorance, foolishness or buffoonery. The word’s etymological roots, however, going back to ancient Greece, suggest that, in the case of the president, it may be even more apropos than it might first seem. ..."
NY Times

Monday, June 12

Kamasi Washington - "The Rhythm Changes"


"... Our love, our beauty, our genius
Our work, our triumph, our glory
Won't worry what happened before me
I'm here"
Genius
NOWNESS - Kamasi Washington: The Rhythm Changes (Video)
YouTube: "The Rhythm Changes" live in the KEXP studio. Recorded December 2, 2016.

2015 December: The Epic - Kamasi Washington (2015), 2016 December: Throttle Elevator Music featuring Kamasi Washington (2016), 2017 April: Harmony of Difference (EP - 2017)

Television - Little Johnny Jewel part 1 & 2 (1975)


"... The Television seed was planted in the very early 1970s, when Thomas Miller and Richard Meyers met at a boarding school in Hockessin, Delaware. Their shared love for poetry and music – as well as a growing relentlessness and displeasure regarding their educational environment – led them to make a run for it. ... From then on, the composition, tempo and rules stretch, shape-shifting from one movement into the other through crafty modulations. There is some darkness in the underbelly of this punkishly romantic beast, it is decorated with jaunty, twigly bits that morph into jazz (notably Ficca's terrific showcase of off the wall drumming extravaganza) until the dissonance takes on a very Latino, almost flamenco vibe with a resolutely electric tinge. They jump from stirring melodies to more opaque free-form, all the while the rhythm guitar soldiers on with a distortion-free hypnotic groove. Miles removed from your average gutsy punk, this is lead with artsy bravado and no economy of class. Thanks primarily to the great Lloyd, this A-side is pure joy to listen to, blissful and engaging, with sparing verses."
Dan's Rock Records
stealing all transmissions
YouTube: Little Johnny Jewel part 1 & 2, Little Johnny Jewel, Live '78 (from The Blow Up), Little Johnny Jewel - live, Little Johnny Jewel: Tom Verlaine and Jimmy Rip (2016)

2007 November: Tom Verlaine, 2010 March: Tom Verlaine - 1, 2011 October: Warm and Cool,  2012 December: Words from the Front, 2013 July: Flash Light, 2013 October: See No Evil, 2014 October: Dreamtime (1981), 2014 November: Marquee Moon (1977), January: Adventure (1978), 2015 October: Tom Verlaine (1979).

Oldest Fossils of Homo Sapiens Found in Morocco, Altering History of Our Species


An almost complete adult mandible discovered at the Jebel Irhoud site in Morocco.
"Fossils discovered in Morocco are the oldest known remains of Homo sapiens, scientists reported on Wednesday, a finding that rewrites the story of mankind’s origins and suggests that our species evolved in multiple locations across the African continent. ... Until now, the oldest known fossils of our species dated back just 195,000 years. The Moroccan fossils, by contrast, are roughly 300,000 years old. Remarkably, they indicate that early Homo sapiens had faces much like our own, although their brains differed in fundamental ways. ..."
NY Times

Sunday, June 11

Iris


Siberian Iris
Wikipedia - "Iris is a genus of about 260–300, species of flowering plants with showy flowers. It takes its name from the Greek word for a rainbow, which is also the name for the Greek goddess of the rainbow, Iris. Some authors state that the name refers to the wide variety of flower colors found among the many species. As well as being the scientific name, iris is also very widely used as a common name for all Iris species, as well as some belonging to other closely related genera. A common name for some species is 'flags', while the plants of the subgenus Scorpiris are widely known as 'junos', particularly in horticulture. It is a popular garden flower. ..."
Wikipedia

Irises, 1889, Vincent van Gogh

Art on the Front Lines


Vitaly Komar, New Yalta, 2017
"Ronald Feldman Gallery presents Art on the Front Lines, a sprawling exhibition of more than fifty artists in response to the dark realities of the recent election. The exhibition includes both established and emerging artists. Within the traditional relationship between the artist and institutional power often lies an inherent tension, but the present political climate ups the ante. In response, artists let loose, conceptualizing strategies in all media. The exhibition is not only about what is happening in America, but intersects with what artists are doing in other parts of the world. The works address hot button issues: war, feminism, race, climate change, refugees, inequality, technophobia, and most recently, abuse of power. As you would expect, the President appears many times – It's a "star" performance. Armageddon meets the absurd. Experienced in its entirety, the exhibition presents a dizzying cacophony of sounds, moving parts, weird sights, and protest signs that evokes a crazy funhouse. Capturing the present moment, the exhibition places the spectator on the front line."
Feldman Gallery
Artsy
YouTube: King Trump and Co. at the opening of the group exhibition, "Art on the Front Lines"