Tuesday, May 26

D.J. Rich Medina

"Please welcome Rich Medina, a D.J. , a poet, music producer and an amazing music collector. Q: What was your first record album? How did you get it? At what age? Can you describe that feeling and do you still have it in your collection? A: Believe it or not, the first record I bought with 'my own money' was a copy of the KISS 'Alive' Concert LP. I bought it at Crazy Eddie’s in Eatontown NJ, after making some chore money. It was 1980, and I was growing more and more into rock and roll, aside from actively participating in the complete spectrum of hip-hop culture. ... Q: Why vinyl? A: Vinyl is the origin of my personal love for music, aside from 8 track tape, my grandparent’s church, piano lessons, and 70’s radio. I was simply born during a time where these were the primary consumer mediums for music, so I really don’t know any better. I am not so much of a purist that I have bad thoughts or words for other mediums though. ..."
Dust and Grooves (Video)
D.J. Rich Medina (Video)
vimeo: Art of Turntables - Rich Medina Set Snippet II, All Rights Reserved
YouTube: D.J. Rich Medina, Rich Medina - Too Much feat. Martin Luther

How Things Break

"Sonny Liston landed on canvas below Muhammad Ali’s feet on May 25, 1965, and Neil Leifer snapped a photo. Afterward, several events unspooled. The photo languished unlauded—before it was (much later) recognized as one of the greatest sports photos of all time; Ali became the most hated figure in American sports—before he was (much later) named 'The Sportsman of the Century'; and Liston was subjected to intense scrutiny—before (not much later) he fizzled into a mostly forgotten footnote. Like many sports fans, I’d glimpsed this picture for years—in random Ali articles, atop 'best of' listseven on T-shirts—but it wasn’t until doing my own research, excavating layers, that I discovered its most astounding attribute. Everything you’d initially imagine about the image is wrong. ..."
Slate (Video)
NY Times: The Night the Ali-Liston Fight Came to Lewiston (Video)

Louis (Blues Boy) Jones

"Louis Prince Jones, Jr. (April 28, 1931 – June 27, 1984), credited as Louis Jones or Louis (Blues Boy) Jones, was an American R&B singer, songwriter and musician who recorded in the 1950s and 1960s. He was born in Galveston, Texas, the son of Rebecca Prince Jackson and Louis Jones, Sr. He began singing with his mother in their church choir, and learned to play piano and drums. After attending Central High School in Galveston, he served as a medic with the US Army during the Korean war under the name Louis Prince, and worked as a longshoreman and shipyard worker. In the early 1950s he moved to Houston to live with his brother, and soon began singing backing vocals on recordings produced by Don Robey at Peacock Records. ..."
YouTube: I Cried, I'll Be Your Fool, Come On Home, That's Cuz I Love You, Rock n' Roll Bells, I believe to my soul, All over, goodbye

Monday, May 25

Mapping the New York That Once Was

"Beneath the present-day surface that every city shows to the world, there are shadows of the city as it was in previous eras. In some places—Rome is a good example—that ghost city of the past lives side by side with the current one. In others, such as New York, it is more efficiently hidden, although it can show itself in surprising places. A newly launched website, OldNYC, reveals the New York City that once was. It’s the work of software engineer Dan Vanderkam, who has mapped some 40,000 photos from the collection of the New York Public Library, making it possible for you to click on a random street corner and see what once was there. ..."
City Lab

Bread and Puppet Cheap Art Posters

Dreaming winged horse poster
"Graphic images- chiseled into masonite, printed and painted on cloth, and paper- have been an integral part of Bread & Puppet Theater's shows since the very beginning in the early sixties. Peter Schumann, Bread & Puppet's founder, director and artist, created and continues to create, the contents- both pictures and texts- of nearly all our publications and posters. After moving to a farm in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom, in 1974, we sold posters, banners and chap books, in our Museum Barn and at Bread & Puppet events. By the late eighties, Bread & Puppet Press was established, with an annual calendar and mail-order catalog, and in 2000, its own print shop building. (Until then, we had printed and painted, helter-skelter, in the Museum, chicken coops, and rehearsal and meeting spaces.) There, under Lila Winstead's able management, she and local volunteers, make all the hand-printed and -painted items for sale, including letterpress broadsides and handmade books. The Print Shop also produces the banners, flags, curtains and costumes, as needed, for specific shows and events."
Bread & Puppet
Bread & Puppet: Posters
Bread & Puppet: Postcards
Mythological Quarter (Video)
Left Matrix

2009 October: The Bread and Puppet Theater, 2013 September: Peter Schumann on 50 years of the Bread and Puppet Theater

Popol Vuh - Agape-Agape (1983)

"Two years after the issue of Sei Still, Wisse ICH BIN, Agape-Agape (Love-Love) offers a deeper view of the same animal. Still utilizing a choir for Gregorian chant-like ethereal intensity -- though they sing in Byzantine scales -- pianist Florian Fricke, guitarist/percussionist Daniel Fichelscher, guitarist Conny Veit (who came back to the fold after a prolonged absence), and vocalist Renate Knaup delve deeply into the drone world of Fricke's sacred music muse. There are eight pieces on this set, the longest of which is the final one, 'Why Do I Fall Asleep.' But they are all of a single theme, even Fichelscher's 'They Danced, They Laughed, As of Old,' which is an extended retreatment of 'Kleiner Kreiger' from the Einsjäger & Siebenjäger album. Fricke only comes to the fore on the title track with his shimmering, insistent mantra-piano, but the twin guitars of Fichelscher and Veit more than compensate elsewhere as they entwine and slip through and around one another. Once again, though the music might seem formulaic, it is in the subtleties and dynamics that Fricke's compositional growth is revealed, and Agape-Agape is a worthy, devastatingly beautiful outing."
W - Agape-Agape
The Essential… Popol Vuh
YouTube: Why Do I Still Sleep?
YouTube: Agape-Agape Love-Love (1983) FULL ALBUM 37:33

2008 August: Popol Vuh, 2010 December: Aguirre, the Wrath of God, 2011 May: Abschied (1972), 2013 May: Fitzcarraldo - Werner Herzog, 2913 September: Hosianna Mantra (1972), 2014 April: Revisited & Remixed 1970-1999 (2011), 2014 August: Letzte Tage-Letzte Nächte (1976).

Sunday, May 24

Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker by Thomas Kunkel

"In his salad days as an uncommonly dapper reporter for The New York Herald Tribune and The World-Telegram, Joseph Mitchell wrote about celebrities, crimes and the quotidian disasters of city life during the Depression: He covered the Lindbergh kidnapping trial ('a mess'), witnessed the electrocution of six men, and watched a woman who had been stabbed in the neck bleed to death while he tried to make her lie still. ... The advice helped transform Mitchell from a competent beat reporter with a graceful prose style into, arguably, our greatest literary journalist — a man who wrote about freaks, barkeeps, street preachers, grandiose hobos and other singular specimens of humanity with compassion and deep, hard-earned understanding, and above all with a novelist’s eyes and ears. ..."
NY Times
NYBooks: The Master Writer of the City - Janet Malcolm
WSJ: Writing the City, Block by Block
New Yorker: The People You Meet
New Republic: Why Joseph Mitchell Stopped Writing

2014 August: Joseph Mitchell


"Fabio Lopez aka DOURONE was born in Madrid and raised in the countryside, soaking up the 'art and affection' provided by his family. In 1999, he began displaying his creations in the streets under the name DOURONE that he retains today. His self-taught style reflects on his experiences in the world, which captures real-life moments that stand out for their beauty. His works are often defined as figurative illustration, classical, and surreal. He draws nspiration from artists like MC Escher, Mohlitz Philippe, Jean Giraud (Moebius), Giovanni Battista Piranesi. ..."
Brooklyn Street NYC: BSA Film Friday: 05.22.15, 1. Rap Quotes ATL: Dirty South Edition 2. Narcelio Grud – Cinetic Graffiti 3. DourOne in South Park LA by Phil Sanchez 4. Haeler Keeping Detroit Alive (Video)

The Story of Funk - One Nation under a Groove (2014)

"In the 1970s, America was one nation under a groove as an irresistible new style of music took hold of the country - funk. The music burst out of the black community at a time of self-discovery, struggle and social change. Funk reflected all of that. It has produced some of the most famous, eccentric and best-loved acts in the world - James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, George Clinton's Funkadelic and Parliament, Kool & the Gang and Earth, Wind & Fire. During the 1970s this fun, futuristic and freaky music changed the streets of America with its outrageous fashion, space-age vision and streetwise slang. But more than that, funk was a celebration of being black, providing a platform for a new philosophy, belief system and lifestyle that was able to unite young black Americans into taking pride in who they were."
YouTube: The Story of Funk - One Nation under a Groove 59:04

Saturday, May 23

Van Gogh and Nature

Iris, 1889
"From his earliest letters to his last great works of art, Vincent van Gogh showed an extraordinary fascination with the natural world. Youthful studies of trees, flowers, and heath-land were accompanied by verbal descriptions of the changing seasons, while increasingly ambitious pictures showed the Dutch landscape in all its aspects. His travels to England, Belgium, and France brought new encounters with nature and a shift from biblical perspectives to modern attitudes influenced by contemporary literature and science. In Arles and Saint-Rémy, most notably, Van Gogh painted elemental landscapes in snow, wind, rain, and sunshine, while making incisive images of insects, leaves, and rocks that reflect his knowledge of illustrated natural history publications. Van Gogh and Nature will be the first exhibition to explore this subject in depth. Some forty oil paintings and ten drawings will survey the artist’s developing relationship with his natural surroundings. ..."
The Clark
Van Gogh Museum
NY Times: Van Gogh in Pastoral Mode, at the Clark Art Institute

2010 March: Van Gogh Museum, 2010 May: Why preserve Van Gogh's palette?, 2012 April: Van Gogh Up Close.

40 Ways The World Makes Awesome Hot Dogs

"It’s not just a sausage in a bun; it’s a beautiful blank canvas. It’s a hot dog, which is a foodstuff eaten worldwide. Here are 40 distinctive varieties from around the globe — from iconic NYC 'dirty water dogs' to fully loaded South American street-cart dogs to Japanese octo-dogs. There is a tubesteak out there for every craving that ever was."
Food Republic

Talking Heads - And She Was (1985)

Wikipedia - "'And She Was' is a rock song written by David Byrne for the 1985 Talking Heads album Little Creatures. 'I used to know a blissed-out hippie-chick in Baltimore,' recalled Byrne in the liner notes of Once in a Lifetime: The Best of Talking Heads. 'She once told me that she used to do acid (the drug, not music) and lay down on the field by the Yoo-hoo chocolate soda factory. Flying out of her body, etc etc. It seemed like such a tacky kind of transcendence… but it was real! A new kind of religion being born out of heaps of rusted cars and fast food joints. And this girl was flying above it all, but in it too.' The song is musically notable for its unusual use of modulation, interspersing the key of E major between verse one ('and she was lying in the grass') and the chorus ('the world was moving') with the key of F major for verse two ('see the lights of a neighbour's house'). ..."
YouTube: Talking Heads - And She Was

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).

Friday, May 22

Days of Rage: America's Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence

"In 1965 Carl Oglesby was elected president of Students for a Democratic Society, the principal campus-based organization of the 1960s New Left. S.D.S. then had some 10,000 members; over the next few years, thanks to swelling opposition to the Vietnam War among young Americans, it expanded tenfold. Oglesby, a thoughtful opponent of the war, made an important contribution to S.D.S.’s success, but by 1969 he found himself on the sidelines. A more radically inclined leadership cadre, collectively known as Weatherman, was in the process of dismantling S.D.S. as a mass organization, determined to convert it (in the rhetoric of the time) into a 'revolutionary youth movement.' A worried Oglesby wrote an essay for the pacifist magazine Liberation, cautioning his successors on the perils of their course: 'We are not now free to fight the Revolution except in fantasy. . . . If S.D.S. continues the past year’s vanguarditis, then it . . . will have precious little future at all. For what this movement needs is a swelling base, not a vanguard.' ...”
NY Times
You Say You Want a Revolution (Feb. 18, 2009)
Washington Post: Bryan Burrough recounts the havoc caused by several domestic terror group
Vanity Fair: Meet The Weather Underground’s Bomb Guru
Bowery Boys History: ‘Days of Rage’ and Nights of Terror
NPR: How Young People Went Underground During The '70s 'Days Of Rage' (Video)
amazon: Days of Rage: America's Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence

The Clash - Audio Ammunition Documentary / LIVE - Paris 1980

"In this exclusive documentary featuring never-before-seen footage of the late, great Joe Strummer, all four members of 'the only band that matters' walk us through the making of each of their classic albums. In Part 1 the band explains how finding drummer Topper Headon made them a force that could transcend punk."
YouTube: Part 1 "The Clash" (1977), Part 2 "Give 'Em Enough Rope", Part 3 "London Calling", Part 4 - Sandinista, Part 5 "Combat Rock"
YouTube: LIVE - Paris 1980 (1/3), (2/3), (3/3)
"Le Palace was an old music hall, a famous parisian venue near the Grands Boulevards, opened in 1923 but closed finally in 1996. Between 1978 and 1983 it was a popular nightclub." 1) JIMMY JAZZ 2) LONDON CALLING 3) PROTEX BLUE 4) TRAIN IN VAIN 5) KOKA KOLA 6) I FOUGHT THE LAW 7) SPANISH BOMS 8) WRONG 'EM BOYO 9) STAY FREE 10) JANIE JONES 11) COMPLETE CONTROL 12) GARAGELAND 13) TOMMY GUN

Thursday, May 21

Mr. Turner (2014)

Wikipedia - "Mr. Turner is a 2014 British, French and German biographical drama film, written and directed by Mike Leigh, and starring Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Paul Jesson, Marion Bailey, Lesley Manville and Martin Savage. The film concerns the life and career of British artist J. M. W. Turner (1775–1851), who is played by Spall. ... The film was critically acclaimed, and received four nominations each at the 87th Academy Awards and 68th British Academy Film Awards. Describing Turner as 'a great artist: a radical, revolutionary painter', writer/director Leigh explained, 'I felt there was scope for a film examining the tension between this very mortal, flawed individual, and the epic work, the spiritual way he had of distilling the world'."
NY Times: The Painter Was a Piece of Work, Too (Video)
Guardian: Mike Leigh shines a brilliant new light on the great master (Video)
YouTube: Mr. Turner - Official Trailer, Cannes Film Festival (2014) - Mr. Turner

November 2007: J. M. W. Turner, 2009 April: Turner & Italy, 2011 June: J. M. W. Turner - 1, 2014 June: In Which We Find His Theory Of Color Implausible, 2014 September: The EY Exhibition: Late Turner – Painting Set Free.

Building the Moroccan Court

"In its earliest decades, the Met's mission was centered on the idea that exposure to great works of art could elevate both the public's aesthetic sensibilities and what America, as an emerging manufacturing power, actually produced. I cannot help but think about this 140-year-old sentiment today as I watch fourteen Moroccan craftsmen in our galleries building a courtyard to accompany the magnificent works of art in our Islamic collection. What an extraordinary challenge to create something both historic and new, steeped in the traditions of the past, but crafted in fresh and modern circumstances: the gentle arabesque of hand-carving shown under LED lights. These craftsmen—the upholders of rare artisanal methods that stretch back centuries—arrived at the Museum from Fez in December and began their monumental task. Their project was to create a medieval Islamic courtyard within the Met's new Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia, opening on November 1 2011. ..."
Building History: The Making of the Met's New Moroccan Court
NY Times: History’s Hands
YouTube: Building the Moroccan Court

Crosscut Saw

Wikipedia - "'Crosscut Saw', or 'Cross Cut Saw Blues' as it was first called, is a bawdy blues song 'that must have belonged to the general repertoire of the Delta blues'. The song was first released in 1941 by Mississippi bluesman Tommy McClennan and has since been interpreted by many blues artists. 'Crosscut Saw' became an early R&B chart hit for Albert King, 'who made it one of the necessary pieces of modern blues'. Tommy McClennan's 'Cross Cut Saw Blues' is a Delta-style blues, which McClennan sings and plays acoustic guitar with an unknown player providing imitation bass accompaniment. The lyrics are rife with double-entendre:
Now, I'm a cross cut saw, drag me 'cross yo' log
I'm a cross cut saw, and drag me across yo' log
Babe, I'll cut yo' wood so easy, you can't help say 'hot dog'
The song follows the classic twelve-bar blues progression, contrary to Big Bill Broonzy's characterization of McClennan's timing as 'change from E to A to B when you feel like changing. Any time will do. Just close your eyes.'"
YouTube: "Cross Cut Saw Blues" - Tommy McClennan, Albert King - Crosscut Saw

Wednesday, May 20

Uproot Andy “Barrioteca EP”

"Que Bajo records is back with a new selection of dancefloor heaters. This time Uproot Andy introduces the concept of Barrioteca, and provides a blueprint for a sound him and Geko Jones have been nurturing with their musically diverse Latin-oriented parties. Judging from the line up of their first Barrioteca rave this weekend for Red Bull Music Academy’s 2015 New York festival, this is sure to be an exciting series!"
Brooklyn Radio (Video)
Soundcloud (Video)
Thump (Video)

Natalie Czech

“A Small Bouquet by Frank O’Hara,” 2011.
"I first encountered the Berlin-based artist Natalie Czech’s work in 2012 at Ludlow 38 in New York. Her solo exhibition, I have nothing to say. Only to show. urged me to set aside any notion of passive viewership, and while the show’s title seemed to suggest that her photographs were merely to be looked at, they did in fact say something. The images felt like words to be looked at, but also carefully read, in pieces and over time, returned to like one returns to a poem, picks it up, and reads it over again. Opening up the connections between photography and writing in such a way as to eventually obscure their distinction, Czech’s work plays the visual qualities of text off the textual elements in the photographs, activating and crystallizing a mode of perception that both undoes and reconstitutes reading and seeing. ..."
Bomb — Artists in Conversation
Natalie Czech
Natalie Czech’s “I Cannot Repeat What I Hear”
Natalie Czech’s visual poetry of repetition

Nicolas Jaar Soundtracks Short Film About Police Brutality and #BlackLivesMatter

"Nicolas Jaar has created the soundtrack to Eleven Times, a powerful short film that pays tribute to Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and other victims of police brutality. Jaar composed the soundtrack with longtime Gil Scott-Heron collaborator Brian Jackson, and based it off Scott-Heron's 'Winter in America.' In light of yesterday's shooting of an unarmed man on LA's Skid Row, as well as fierce debates surrounding fatal police encounters in recent months, Nicolas Jaar's latest project holds immense relevance. The film's title is a reference to the number of times Garner said 'I can't breathe' while a police officer put him in a deadly chokehold. The killings of unarmed African-Americans such as Garner have sparked protests across the country, turning the manta 'Black Lives Matter' into an international movement. ..."
thump (Video)

2013 September: Nicolas Jaar, 2014 January: Other People

Tuesday, May 19

The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry: An Anthology

"A cornucopia of pleasures, some that come with a sapient sting, FSG’s new bilingual anthology of Latin American poetry provides something for everyone in its great variety and generous, ecumenical selection. Conceived by Ilan Stavans, a noted translator, scholar, and professor at Amherst, this collection invites readers to experience and savor a huge gamut of expressivity, from local pain and colonial resentment, to far-flung fantasy by turns erotic and nationalistic, to an intangible joy in the universe. In chronological order, 84 poets from 13 Latin American countries are represented, as well as nine different languages, some related, but all fascinatingly distinct: Portuguese, Spanish, Nahuatl, Mapuche, Quechua, Mazatec, Apotec, Ladino, and Spanglish. The book also features Latin American poets who experiment in French and English, alongside others who write in Afrikaans, Cantonese, and Yiddish. ..."
Brooklyn Rail
amazon: The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry: An Anthology
YouTube: Literature Book Review: The FSG Book of Twentieth-Century Latin American Poetry

The Limits of Discourse As Demonstrated by Sam Harris and Noam Chomsky

"For decades, Noam Chomsky has been one of the most prominent critics of U.S. foreign policy, and the further left one travels along the political spectrum, the more one feels his influence. Although I agree with much of what Chomsky has said about the misuses of state power, I have long maintained that his political views, where the threat of global jihadism is concerned, produce dangerous delusions. In response, I have been much criticized by those who believe that I haven’t given the great man his due. Last week, I did my best to engineer a public conversation with Chomsky about the ethics of war, terrorism, state surveillance, and related topics. As readers of the following email exchange will discover, I failed. I’ve decided to publish this private correspondence, with Chomsky’s permission, as a cautionary tale. Clearly, he and I have drawn different lessons from what was, unfortunately, an unpleasant and fruitless encounter. I will let readers draw lessons of their own. –SH"
Sam Harris
Open Culture: Read Noam Chomsky & Sam Harris’ “Unpleasant” Email Exchange (Video)

Monday, May 18

Life After Don Draper

"The final strains of AMC’s 'Mad Men' have scarcely faded and already panic has set in: after seven seasons of being held rapt by the machinations of Sterling Cooper & Partners, how will you fill the void? Whatever your reason for watching — the allure of the 1960s, the art of the pitch, the prickly gender relations, the boozy bad behavior or simply the panache of a man in a bespoke suit — we’ve got some ideas for feeding your fix. ..."
NY Times
NY Times: Shifting From ‘Mad Men’ to Strong Women in a Series Finale
AMC: Mad Men (Video)
NY Times: ‘Mad Men’ Series Finale Recap: The Door Closes, The Light Goes Off
'Mad Men': THR's Full Coverage
NYPL: The "Mad Men" Reading List (Video)
Having a Coke with Don Draper and Frank O’Hara (Video)
The Finale of Mad Men and Frank O’Hara: A Theory

2013 January: Mad Men, 2013 September: ‘Mad Men’s’ Split Season 7: You’re Killing Me, AMC

Lindsay Cooper - Music For Other Occasions (1986)

"... Lindsay Cooper is an outstanding composer and musician. Her style is a subtle, none-the-less impressive example of contemporary feminist music. She is a former member of Henry Cow, David Thomas and the Pedestrians, the Feminist Improvising Group, the Mike Westbrook Orchestra etc."
YouTube: The assasination waltz, 1. The Colony Comes a Cropper, 2. Marivaux, The Number 8 Bus

December 2009: Lindsay Cooper, 2010 February: Art Bears, 2011 April: Rags (1980)/The Golddiggers (1983), 2012 July: The Art Box - Art Bears, 2012 November: David Thomas And The Pedestrians - Variations On A Theme, 2012 November: News from Babel, 2013 March: The Last Nightingale, 2013 October: Art Bears Songbook - 2010-09-19 - Rock In Opposition Festival, 2014 April: Lindsay Cooper, 1951-2013, 2015 February: Oh Moscow (1991), 2015 April: Rarities Volumes 1 & 2 (2014).

Russia by Train. (Kind of.)

"Everyone’s got a hobby (especially those reading this). Chances are pretty good, though, that within your hobby, you’re not trying to account for an entire country’s biological diversity. And even if you were, chances are even better that your country wasn’t Russia — the largest in the world, covering more than one-eighth of the planet’s habitable land. Which is why you’re not Sergey Morozov, whose dream of creating a model railroad in a scale version of Russia has reached an epic scale. ..."
Lionel (Video)
YouTube: Russia in miniature - Documentary film on TV channel Russia Today

Sunday, May 17

Lola Alvarez Bravo and the Photography of an Era

Anarquía arquitectónica de la Ciudad de México, ca. 1953
"Lola Alvarez Bravo and the Photography of an Era sheds new light on one of Mexico’s most important photographers. Originally organized by the Diego Rivera Studio Museum in Mexico City, this traveling exhibition presents a selection of fine prints from the González Rendón Archive, a recently discovered body of materials that encompass the long arc of Lola’s career. For its installation at the Center for Creative Photography, guest curators Rachael Arauz and Adriana Zavala have also chosen a group of works from the CCP’s own archive of Lola Alvarez Bravo photographs. Featuring both iconic and lesser-known images, as well as photographs by her former husband Manuel Alvarez Bravo, and by her students, the joint presentation of these two archives will inspire fresh insights into this fascinating photographer’s rich contributions to modern art."
Creative Photography
NY Times: A Mexican Photographer, Overshadowed but Not Outdone (18 Photo)
W - Lola Alvarez Bravo
Center for Creative Photography, Part of The University of Arizona
YouTube: Manuel e Lola Álvarez Bravo Photographers Plaza Santa MariaJuan

Dear Chris Rock, Here's How You Can Get More Black People to Watch Baseball

"On April 21 Bryant Gumbel aired a monologue by Chris Rock on his HBO show Real Sports. The comedian's topic was the deteriorating relationship between baseball and African Americans. Rock played it for laughs, but it was clear he was serious about the subject. Describing himself as 'an endangered species — a black baseball fan,' Rock argued that the game of baseball has stubbornly alienated African Americans: 'Every team is building a bullshit, fake-antique stadium that's supposed to remind you of the good old days — you know, the good old days with Ruth, DiMaggio, Emmett Till.' Even as the world has sped up, he contends that the sport has slowed down, operating under an outdated unwritten code that discourages the kind of flamboyance exhibited in professional basketball and football, sports that are more popular among blacks. And blacks are staying away in droves, on the field and in the stands. ..."

2015 April: Chris Rock explains how Major League Baseball got so old and white

Plans Are Doomed to Fail - The Battle of Galicia I Week 6

"While the Germans are very close to reaching Paris, the Eastern Front proves to become a disastrous fail for the Austro-Hungarian forces. Conrad von Hötzendorf overestimated his skills and the strength of his troops. And after his too complicated plan in Galicia failed, the town of Lemberg falls into the hands of the Russians. Meanwhile, the war starts spreading into Asia, as Japan is besieging Tsingtao and New Zealand conquering German Samoa. In our last episode, Indy explains how the Germans left a trail of misery while marching through Belgium."
YouTube: Plans Are Doomed to Fail - The Battle of Galicia - Week 6

2014 December: The Great War: WWI Starts - How Europe Spiraled Into the Great War - Week 1, Europe Prior to WWI: Allies and Enemies I PRELUDE TO WW1 - Part 1/3, Tinderbox Europe - From Balkan Troubles to WWI I PRELUDE TO WW1 - Part 2/3, A Shot that Changed the World - The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand I PRELUDE TO WW1 - Part 3/3, 2015 January: Germany in Two-Front War and the Schlieffen-Plan I - Week 2, 2015 March: To Arms! Deployment of Troops - Week 3, 2015 March:A New War With Old Generals – Carnage on the Western Front - Week 4, 2015 April: The Rape of Belgium – War Crimes in the Summer of 1914 - Week 5.

Saturday, May 16

Barcelona: Berta Marsé, Ricardo Feriche, Javier Velasco

"Throughout its complex past, Barcelona has managed to maintain its unique features: its famed architecture, monuments, style and spirit. Barcelona offers a visual chronological journey through the city with its stimulating mosaic of iconic images, many never before published, from past and present. The book begins in 1870, moving from the Expo to the crazy nights of 60s intellectuals to the energy of 1992. Finally comes a portrait of Barcelona through the lens of multiple generations: the images of local photographers such as Catala-Roca, Colita, Pomés and Masats, but also international greats such as Cartier-Bresson, Erwitt, Avedon, Koudelka, Newton and Parr, are accompanied by text that contextualizes them historically. Famed Barcelona figures, of course, make appearances as well: Picasso, Miró, Dalí, Ava Gardner, García Márquez, Cortázar and others are here captured in this beautiful tribute to a city and its cultural history."
Barcelona - The Eye of Photography
Pictures of Barcelona, the great book of the city.

Sun Ra - Sunrise in Different Dimensions (1981)

"This double LP features a live concert by Sun Ra & the Arkestra in Switzerland. The only fault to the set is that the two drummers (Chris Henderson and Eric Walker) fail to swing and often sound wooden on the vintage standards, which might be due to the lack of a bassist. However, the nonet (which also includes Ra on piano and organ, tenor great John Gilmore, altoist Marshall Allen, baritonist Danny Thompson, the reeds of Kenneth Williams and Noel Scott, and trumpeter Michael Ray), despite its slightly odd instrumentation, is heard throughout in excellent form. In addition to eight diverse and generally adventurous untitled originals by Ra, the ensemble performs ragged and eccentric versions of such 1930s pieces as 'Big John's Special,' 'Yeah Man,' 'Queer Notions,' 'Limehouse Blues,' and 'King Porter Stomp.' For the remainder of his life, Sun Ra would alternate between reinventions of swing tunes and his outer space originals; despite the drummers, this was one of the better examples of his late-period band."
W - Sunrise in Different Dimensions
YouTube: Sunrise in Different Dimensions (1981)

Home - Procol Harum (1970)

Wikipedia - "Home is Procol Harum's fourth album, released in 1970. With the departure of organist Matthew Fisher and bassist David Knights and the addition of the remaining musicians' (Gary Brooker, B.J. Wilson and Robin Trower) former bandmate bassist/organist Chris Copping from The Paramounts, Procol Harum was, for all intents and purposes, The Paramounts again in all but name. The purpose of bringing in Copping was to return some of the R&B sound to the band that they had with their previous incarnation. The initial sessions were performed in London at Trident Studios under the supervision of former organist Matthew Fisher who had also produced the band's previous album. ..."
YouTube: Home [Full album, 1970] 38:49

2009 July: Procol Harum, 2011 July: A Salty Dog, 2011 December: Broken Barricades, 2013 April: "Homburg", 2013 June: Procol Harum (1967).

Friday, May 15

Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology - edited by Bruce Sterling (1986)

"Preface to Mirrorshades By Bruce Sterling. This book showcases writers who have come to prominence within this decade. Their allegiance to Eighties culture has marked them as a group as a new movement in science fiction. This movement was quickly recognized and given many labels: Radical Hard SF, the Outlaw Technologists, the Eighties Wave, the Neuromantics, the Mirrorshades Group. But of all the labels pasted on and peeled throughout the early Eighties, one has stuck: cyberpunk. Scarcely any writer is happy about labels - especially one with the peculiar ring of 'cyberpunk.' Literary tags carry an odd kind of double obnoxiousness: those with a label feel pigeonholed; those without feel neglected. And, somehow, group labels never quite fit the individual, giving rise to an abiding itchiness. It follows, then, that the 'typical cyberpunk writer' does not exist; this person is only a Platonic fiction. For the rest of us, our label is an uneasy bed of Procrustes, where fiendish critics wait to lop and stretch us to fit. ..."
Preface to Mirrorshades - The Cyberpunk Project
Best SF
W - Mirrorshades

2010 September: Cyberpunk, 2010 October: Bruce Sterling, 2011 July: William Gibson

Looking at paintings

La Promenade, Renoir
"Discover the elements of art seen in such masterpieces as The Dream of Pope Sergius by van der Weyden, La Promenade by Renoir, River Landscape by Koninck, Still Life with Apples by Cézanne, The Entombment by Rubens, Christ Crowned with Thorns by von Honthorst, Vase of Flowers by van Huysum, and Irises by van Gogh. Love art?"
Khan Academy (Video)

The Case for Riding the Subway to the Last Stop

The Coney Island boardwalk.
"There are plenty of reasons to trek out to the last stop on a subway line—and not just because you dozed off and didn’t wake up until the train jerked to a halt. (For instance, you could pull a Hannah Horvath and eat some cake in the shadow of the Wonder Wheel.) In well-traversed cities, it’s hard to find anything that’s truly off the beaten path—but that doesn’t stop people from wanting to look. Sharing terrain with thousands—or millions—of other people can foster a desire for something a little unfamiliar. One way to find it: Explore the far reaches of the public transit system. CityLab chatted with Amy Plitt, co-author of the new book Subway Adventure Guide: New York City—To the End of the Line, about why it’s worth exploring the end of the route. ..."
amazon: Subway Adventure Guide: New York City: To the End of the LineLost in NYC: A Subway Adventure: A TOON Graphic

Thursday, May 14

John Ashbery Created Spaces: A Dream Of This Room

Chelsea: A collection of early 19th-century French puzzle-plates represent tension between the language of image and the language of words. Living room.
"When Micaela Morrisette first mentioned the idea of a Created Spaces symposium on John Ashbery’s domestic environments, I was elated. I had recently composed a verbo-visual presentation concerning the untitled poem by Ashbery that graces a magnificent, Siah Armajani-designed bridge at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (a presentation I have been privileged to give in several cities around the country, and to publish in a slightly abridged textual form in the fine literary magazine jubilat). Working on this talk gave me the welcome excuse to re-read John Ashbery’s amazing body of work, and to discover in it a finely-tuned exaltation of spatiality I hadn’t quite noticed before—an important, self-regulating corrective to the temptation some readers may have to view the work as too 'abstract.' ..."
rain taxi: Publisher's Preface By Eric Lorberer
raintaxi - John Ashbery Created Spaces: A Dream Of This Room
Wayfinding John Ashbery: Remarks from an Evening with AshLab
[PDF] The ream Songs of John Ashbery - Marjorie Perloff
PBS: Ashbery Discusses Lifetime of Poetic Achievement (Video)

An Animated John Coltrane Explains His True Reason for Being: “I Want to Be a Force for Real Good”

"Last week, we posted an interview with the late, great Ray Bradbury that was brilliantly animated by the folks over at Blank on Blank. This week, they unveil a new piece featuring John Coltrane. You can watch it above. Coltrane is, of course, one of the true giants of 20th century music. He first got attention playing with the Miles Davis Quintet in the mid-1950s on albums like Relaxin, Cookin’ and Steamin’ before he released his seminal solo album Blue Train. But his career quickly faltered. He was hooked on heroin and Davis, a former junkie himself, fired him from the Quintet. When he cleaned himself up, Coltrane found he was a changed man."
Open Culture (Video)

2011 November: John Coltrane Quartet, Live at Jazz Casual, 1963, 2012 March: John Coltrane 1960 - 1965, 2012 September: "Naima" (1959), 2012 October: Blue Train (1957), 2013 April: The World According to John Coltrane, 2013 November: A Love Supreme (1965), 2014 July: New Photos of John Coltrane Rediscovered 50 Years After They Were Shot, 2014 November: Coltrane’s Free Jazz Wasn’t Just “A Lot of Noise”, 2015 February: Lush Life (1958).

Wednesday, May 13

Little Brazil, Manhattan

Wikipedia - "Little Brazil, Manhattan refers to a small neighborhood in Manhattan, New York City that is centered on the single block of West 46th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues. The area consists mostly of Brazilian commercial enterprises and Brazilian restaurants. It is demarcated by signs between Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue, along 46th Street, and several vendors display the green and yellow colors of the Brazilian flag. Little Brazil is famous for hosting New York City's annual Brazilian Day which features live music and food stands from the various restaurants on the street."
Description and pictures of Little Brazil, New York
Where In The World Is Little Brazil?
NY Times = Little Brazil: Buyer Beware
YouTube: Little Brazil - Manhattan New York, Brazilian Day in New York 2013 ( Little Brazil Street W 46st ), Manhattan Samba @ Little Brazil St. New York City

Fashion to Die For: Did an Addiction to Fads Lead Marie Antoinette to the Guillotine?

"Fast fashion might seem like a modern invention, but in the turbulent world of 18th-century France, when Marie Antoinette was calling the shots, fashion moved at light speed: In an era when several artisans would be called upon to labor over a single garment, styles shifted by the hour, rendering fashion magazines, which were printed every 10 days, outdated before their ink was even dry. Not unlike today, the streets of Paris in the 18th century were filled with people wearing flashy outfits referencing politics and pop culture. Trendy hats, hairstyles, and other accessories signaled that you were in the know. During the 1780s, the aristocracy of Europe’s most powerful country even started slumming it with simpler, peasant-inspired looks. ..."
amazon: Fashion Victims: Dress at the Court of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette
W - Reign of Terror
W - Ancien Régime
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Eighteenth-Century European Dress
Rose Bertin, the creator of fashion at the court of Marie-Antoinette
W - Louise Marie Adélaïde de Bourbon-Penthièvre, Duchess of Orléans

Sven Augustijnen

L'Histoire Belge, 2007. A series of 10 offset prints on paper.
"Sven Augustijnen (°1970) lives and works in Brussels. His films, publications and installations on political, historical and social themes constantly challenge the genre of the documentary, reflecting a wider interest in historiography and a predilection for the nature of storytelling: 'Historiography is by no means a natural phenomenon. The way we use stories, images and fiction to construct reality and history fascinates me.' He had solo-shows at the Kunsthalle Bern; Wiels, Centre for Contemporary Art, Brussels; de Appel, arts centre, Amsterdam; Malmö Konsthall; Vox, Centre pour l'Image contemporaine, Montréal; CCS Bard, Annandale-on-Hudson. Recent group-shows include The Unfinshed Conversation, The Power Plant, Toronto and Ce qui ne sert pas s'oublie, CAPC, Bordeaux. Sven Augustijnen is represented by Jan Mot, Brussels/Mexico City and is a founding member of Auguste Orts, Brussels."
Auguste Orts
e-flux - Sven Augustijnen: Summer Thoughts
The Incomplete Truth Spectres by Sven Augustijnen

Tuesday, May 12

#TBT The Rub – Going Back to Cali

"Almost exactly a decade ago, The Rub did a Summer West Coast tour to flex their muscles (aka DJ skills) and commemorated this journey with their very appropriately titled mix, Going Back to Cali. In what’s a very timely #TBT for this week, this mix showcased a wide variety of tunes with an obvious homage to a number of artists who have been instrumental in putting the West on the map and continuing that tradition of excellence. The beauty of this mix to me though it never stays in one place stylistically or regionally, and the flow of sample drops in between their modern era flips is all too slick. Just take a listen below and see if this doesn’t make you want to hit Cali for a summer getaway."
The Rub (Video)

Zakaria: How ISIS shook the world

"It's easy to be anxious about the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. After all, this is a brutal organization that not only kills but seems to revel in doing so in ways designed to shock the world -- from the beheadings of journalists to burning a Jordanian pilot alive. Such moves are part of this murky group's propaganda and its deliberate efforts to manipulate information. So what can and should we make of the organization? I explore the issue in depth in a special airing Monday night. And although it's important to start with the caveat that ISIS is indeed trying to scare and confuse us, I took away some tentative lessons from speaking with the people who have traveled inside the minds of ISIS. ..."
YouTube: Blindsided: How ISIS Shook The World (2015) 42:09

2014 August: The Islamic State, 2014 September: How ISIS Works, 2015 February: The Political Scene: The Evolution of Islamic Extremism.

LISTEN: New Cave And Ellis Soundtrack

"With a healthy catalogue of soundtrack work already under their belt, Nick Cave and Warren Ellis have once again come together, this time to accompany David Olehoffen’s Loin Des Hommes (Far From Men). Set to be released through Goliath Enterprises a week today (May 18), you can now treat yourself to an exclusive pre-release stream of the soundtrack, in full, above. Loin Des Hommes marks Cave & Ellis’ fifth full soundtrack release, while the film itself was a triple prizewinner at 2014’s Venice film festival. The soundtrack provides a sprawling accompaniment to Olehoffen’s chronicle of Algeria’s war of independence, adapted from a short story by Albert Camus. You can watch the film’s trailer, featuring a small part of Cave & Ellis’ soundtrack, below."
The Quietus (Video)

2008 August: Nick Cave, 2010 November: Henry Lee - Nick Cave & PJ Harvey, 2011 March: The Boatman's Call, 2011 December: B-Sides & Rarities, 2012 January: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - White Lunar, 2013 January: "We No Who U R", 2013 April: No More Shall We Part, 2013 June: The Secret Life Of The Love Song/The Flesh Made Word (1999), 2013 October: The Abattoir Blues Tour (2007), 2014 March: Push the Sky Away (2013), 2014 May: Live from KCRW (2013), 2014 July: I Am the Real Nick Cave, 2015 April: God Is In The House (2001).

Monday, May 11

BSA Film Friday: 05.08.15

EL MAC on the US/Mexico border on BSA Film
"... El Paso X Juarez: Border Murals by El Mac. These sister cities that straddle the line between Texas and Chihuahua continue to highlight the tumult that exists along the southern border of the United States – a heady mix of commerce, severe economic disparity, xenophobia, racism, family love, dreams, violence, the drug trade, aspiration, honesty, hope, and corruption. In this first part of a series of videos highlighting the street artist / muralist El Mac, you get a taste of the the caustic militarized state of this zona and what it may feel like to live in it or pass through it." 1. Shepard Fairey: OBEY This Film 2. El Paso X Juarez: Border Murals by El Mac 3. Paint PHX 2015 4. DULK in Rome
Brooklyn Street NYC

Culture - Two Sevens Clash: The 30th Anniversary Edition (1977/2007)

"For all its Biblical heft-- the title was taken from a Marcus Garvey prophecy about chaos erupting on 7/7/77-- Culture's reggae classic Two Sevens Clash, like Funkadelic or gospel, took suffering as a means for uplift. Re-sequenced from its original running order, this 30th Anniversary Edition opens with 'I'm Alone in the Wilderness', which singer Joseph Hill does appear to be, for about 20 seconds. The minor key screws up to major, and the second time Hill claims solitude, he's joined by Albert Walker and Kenneth Dayes; Robbie Shakespeare's guitar nods in repose with the rootsiness of a Band record; wet organs drone in the background; an electric piano punctuates Hill's exultations; Sly Dunbar clacks along on drums like their bejeweled rickshaw. The goal here-- not to lose sight of what already feels like heaven on earth-- was deliverance: 'I'm alone with Jah almighty'. ..."
YouTube: Two Sevens Clash: The 30th Anniversary Edition
YouTube: Two Sevens Clash b/w Version

September 2009: Culture, 2011 April: Two Sevens Clash

The Slow Destruction Of Pete Reiser, The Greatest Player Who Never Was

"'Down in Los Angeles,' says Garry Schumacher, who was a New York baseball writer for 30 years and is now assistant to Horace Stoneham, president of the San Francisco Giants, 'they think Duke Snider is the best center fielder the Dodgers ever had. They forget Pete Reiser. The Yankees think Mickey Mantle is something new. They forget Reiser, too.' Maybe Pete Reiser was the purest ballplayer of all time. I don't know. There is no exact way of measuring such a thing, but when a man of incomparable skills, with full knowledge of what he is doing, destroys those skills and puts his life on the line in the pursuit of his endeavor as no other man in his game ever has, perhaps he is the truest of them all. 'Is Pete Reiser there?' I said on the phone. ..."
The Stacks

Sunday, May 10

Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty

"For over three decades Marilyn Minter has produced lush paintings, photographs, and videos that vividly manifest our culture’s complex and contradictory emotions around the feminine body and beauty. Her unique works—from the oversized paintings of makeup-laden lips and eyes to soiled designer shoes—bring into sharp, critical focus the power of desire. As an artist Minter has always made seductive visual statements that demand our attention while never shirking her equally crucial roles as provocateur, critic, and humorist. Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty features over 25 paintings made between 1976 and 2013, three video works, and several photographs that show Minter’s work in depth. The exhibition was co-organized by the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver."
YouTube: AI Interview, Photographer & Painter 1:01:19

Yoko Ono and MoMA, Together at Last

John Lennon and Yoko Ono's billboard in Times Square, New York City, 1969
"Yoko Ono was about to burn a painting. Standing alongside curators and conservators in an unused gallery at the Museum of Modern Art this spring, the 82-year-old superstar wanted to copy a cigarette hole that John Cage, the avant-garde composer, had burned into another blank canvas of hers half a century earlier. For the remake, she had asked for the French cigarettes that Cage would have used but ended up settling for one from Nat Sherman. Lighting up in a museum that had not smelled of tobacco for decades, she reached out and, with a sure artist’s touch, scorched a tidy round hole. Velazquez painting the Spanish king could not have been watched more closely than Ms. Ono was — though it was hard to know whether these courtiers were crowding around to witness creation or to prevent conflagration. 'Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971,' opening on May 17 in one of MoMA’s prestigious sixth-floor galleries, is a major event of the museum’s summer season."
NY Times
MoMA: Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960–1971
Rejoice! Her Majesty Yoko Ono Is Getting A MoMA Exhibition

2009 January: Yoko Ono, 2009 September: Toronto Rock and Roll Revival, 2011 April: Grapefruit, 2014 February: "Walking on Thin Ice" (1981).

Yes - Pet Shop Boys (2009)

"Some bands, as they age, turn into hacks, banging out songs that mean nothing to them; some lose it by becoming dilettantes, groping at modish styles they don't understand. But it takes a master ironist to fall into mediocrity by embracing sincerity and scoffing at dancefloor trends-- and Pet Shop Boys' frontman Neil Tennant has built his career out of being a master ironist. That, it turns out, is why the band's 10th studio album is such a disappointment. On its surface, Yes isn't a significant departure from the style of the PSBs' better records--the same highbrow witticisms ('Love etc' is probably the first U.K. chart single to namedrop artist Gerhard Richter), the same lavish arrangements, Tennant's soft little voice cutting through the beats. It allegedly features the duo's longtime collaborator Johnny Marr playing on a few tracks, although most of the guitar parts are bland as paste or all but inaudible or both."
W - Yes
YouTube: Yes (Full Album) [2009]

Thursday, May 7

Edith Schloss Burckhardt Archive

Print of the 1949 Rudy Burckhardt photomontage “Over the Roofs of Chelsea”
"Featuring: Rudy Burckhardt, Edwin Denby, Francesca Woodman, and Alvin Curran. Avant-garde composer and musician Alvin Curran has written about his meeting with artist, writer, and critic Edith Schloss Burckhardt during his first years in Rome: 'In that same settling-in period I met Edith Schloss, an Offenbach-born New York painter just divorced from photographer-painter Rudy Burckhardt. She arrived on a cloud of combustible materials which included the entire New York Abstract Expressionist movement, the Cedar Bar, Art News, MOMA, the Art Students League and Balanchine Stravinsky the Carters Edwin Denby de Kooning Twombly Feldman Cage Brown Rothko Cunningham Pollack her beloved Morandi and of course ‘Piero’ (della Francesca)...' "
Granary Books

2010 December: Edwin Denby, 2013 December: Rudy Burckhardt, 2014 July: Rudy Burckhardt Films: 1936-1999

Watermill Quintet: Robert Wilson Curates New Performances

"A collaborative work curated by Robert Wilson with five young emerging directors and choreographers. The work combines dance with performance art, theater, video, and music by the late composer Michael Galasso, a long time collaborator of Mr. Wilson's, and Brian Lawlor. It was created by artists Marianna Kavallieratos, Ryan Mitchell (of Implied Violence), Andrew Ondrejcak, Jason Akira Somma, and Carlos Soto, under Robert Wilson's mentorship during the summer of 2010 at the Watermill Center."
Guggenheim (Video)
Curating Currents: Robert Wilson at The Guggenheim

2008 April: Robert Wilson, 2010 January: Einstein on the Beach, 2010 July: The CIVIL warS, 2011 May: Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera , 2011 August: Stations (1982), 2012 February: Absolute Wilson, 2012 August: Einstein on the Blog: Christopher Knowles’ Typings, 2013 March: The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin, 2013 April: Death, Destruction and Detroit, 2013 October: crickets audio recording slowed way down, 2013 October: Beached, 2014 January: The Louvre invites Robert Wilson - Living Rooms, 2014 November: The Old Woman - Robert Wilson, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Willem Dafoe.