Saturday, July 4
"The 2015 Tour de France is the 102nd edition of the Tour de France. It started in Utrecht, Netherlands, on 4 July 2015, at 12:00 GMT. It is the eighteenth race of the 2015 UCI World Tour. It will be the sixth time the Tour de France starts in the Netherlands, after 1954 (Amsterdam), 1973 (Scheveningen), 1978 (Leiden), 1996 ('s-Hertogenbosch) and 2010 (Rotterdam). This is a record for a country that has no direct border with France.
W - 2015 Tour de France
"Every Tour route juggles economics, logistics, history and the need for enthralling racing. This year’s continues a recent trend: short mountain stages, mininal time trialling and more 'étapes pièges', 'pitfall stages' to catch the favourites napping"
Guardian: Tour de France 2015 Stage by stage
Guardian: Tour de France 2015: our team-by-team guide
BBC - Tour de France 2015: Geraint Thomas's stage-by-stage guide
Telegraph: Tour de France 2015: Stage-by-stage guide
NY Times: At the 2015 Tour de France, the Route Could Favor the Home Team
2008 July: Tour de France 2008, 2009 July: Tour de France 2009, 2010 July: Tour de France 2010, 2011 July: Tour de France 2011, 2012 July: 2012 Tour de France
"Doris Diether is a former journalist and longtime activist in New York who is often seen strolling through Washington Square Park chatting with just about everyone. Ricky Syers is a musician and marionetteer who encountered Diether the first week he arrived in the park with his marionettes several years ago and was struck by her outgoing nature. He immediately created a puppet in her image and the two have since become staples of the neighborhood who frequently appear in photographs and interviews together. Filmmaker David Friedman made this great documentary short for AARP detailing the roots of their friendship and how they first met."
Friday, July 3
"Usually, when we say 'American slavery' or the 'American slave trade,' we mean the American colonies or, later, the United States. But as we discussed in Episode 2 of Slate’s History of American Slavery Academy, relative to the entire slave trade, North America was a bit player. From the trade’s beginning in the 16th century to its conclusion in the 19th, slave merchants brought the vast majority of enslaved Africans to two places: the Caribbean and Brazil. Of the more than 10 million enslaved Africans to eventually reach the Western Hemisphere, just 388,747—less than 4 percent of the total—came to North America. This was dwarfed by the 1.3 million brought to Spanish Central America, the 4 million brought to British, French, Dutch, and Danish holdings in the Caribbean, and the 4.8 million brought to Brazil. This interactive, designed and built by Slate’s Andrew Kahn, gives you a sense of the scale of the trans-Atlantic slave trade across time, as well as the flow of transport and eventual destinations. ..."
The Enslaved - What They Endured
W - Slave ship
Aboard a Slave Ship, 1829
NY Times: Grim History Traced in Sunken Slave Ship Found Off South Africa
International Slavery Museum: Extracts from John Newton's journal
YouTube: Public Enemy - Can't Truss It
2012 April: Flash of the Spirit: African & Afro-American Art & Philosophy - Robert Farris Thompson, 2013 September: Slave Capitalism, 2014 April: 12 Years a Slave, 2015 March: The Life Of A Slave From Cradle To The Tomb.
"Last May, Robert Frank, the world’s pre-eminent living photographer, returned to Zurich, the orderly Swiss banking city, cosseted by lake and mountain, where he grew up. When an artist who made his reputation by leaving returns home, mixed feelings are inevitable, and that was especially true for Frank, whose iconic American pictures are notable for their deep understanding of human complication.‘I know this town, but I certainly feel like a stranger here,’ he said. As he walked through the immaculate Zurich city center, with its many statues, gilded shop signs and fountains, Frank was ‘just amazed how well organized everything is, how perfect everything is.’ The Swiss, he explained, do not throw coins into fountains, because ‘they have everything they need. They don’t believe in wishing wells. Only the poor have to hope.’ Deciding he wanted to ride a streetcar, Frank surveyed the different lines. ..."
2014 May: “Walker Evans and Robert Frank – An Essay on Influence by Tod Papageorge” (1981)
"During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Tubby was responsible for turning dub into an art form, the creative re-mixing he pioneered at a tiny front-room studio in the Waterhouse ghetto making a long-reaching impact. Like his friend and sometime rival, Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry, Tubby was one of a handful of Jamaican visionaries whose innovations not only changed the shaped of reggae in unprecedented ways, but which also formed a template for so much contemporary music production, be it in rap and hip-hop, jungle, garage and grime, or various forms of electronic dance music — especially dubstep, the British bastard offspring of Jamaican dub. ..."
A beginner’s guide to King Tubby, the producer who turned dub into an art form (Video)
Manwel T meets King Tubby & Marshall McLuhan – Dub Music in a virtual age
YouTube: Black Skin Dub, Teardrops Dub, Neville Blythe - Morning Train b/w King Tubby - Morning Dub, See Me Yah Dub
2009 December: Augustus Pablo, 2011 November: King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown - Augustus Pablo and King Tubby, 2011 May: East of the River Nile, 2013 January: King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown, 2015 April: Valley of Jehosaphat (1999)
Thursday, July 2
"Neuromancer is now more than 30 years old, a considerable time to remain a classic. Its publication in the Orwellian year will seem ironic and laden with symbolism only for those who think Orwell has remained a classic, or that he had anything to do with science fiction or reflected any serious political thought. But at least in one respect the juxtaposition is useful in showing how dystopia can swing around into the utopian without missing a beat, the way depression can without warning become euphoria. Indeed, I’ve suggested elsewhere that much of what is called cyberpunk (which begins with Neuromancer) is utopian and driven by the 'irrational exuberance' of the ’90s and a kind of romance of feudal commerce; but I had Bruce Sterling in mind rather than the more sober Gibson, whose postmodern overpopulation ('the sprawl') comes before us rather neutrally, even though its tone is radically different from the older Malthusian warnings of Harrison and Brunner. ..."
W - Neuromancer
2010 September: Cyberpunk, 2010 October: Bruce Sterling, 2011 July: William Gibson, 2015 May: Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology - edited by Bruce Sterling (1986)
Wikipedia - "Anna Pavord (*20 September 1940 Abergavenny) is the gardening correspondent for The Independent and the author of a number of books on plants and gardening. She is an associate editor of Gardens Illustrated magazine, has written for The Observer for some twenty years, and contributed to Country Life, Country Living and Elle Decoration. Besides gardening her interests include sailing, black and white films, Evelyn Waugh and the rainforests of Central America. ... 'The Rectory', her rural garden in Dorset, has been both a healing influence and source of inspiration for more than thirty years. She took up writing about gardening in order to finance the revamping of the building and garden. The one and a half acres of garden of this 300-year old estate in Dorset was used as a nursery for her ideas on horticulture. In the beginning the garden was overgrown and the building dilapidated. It was here that she first planted tulips, and intrigued by their beauty, planted many thousands more."
Independent: Anna Pavord
amazon: Books by Anna Pavord
YouTube: Talking to Anna Pavord
NOWNESS: The Writer’s Garden: Sunnyside Farm (Video)
Wikipedia - "A prepared guitar is a guitar that has had its timbre altered by placing various objects on or between the instrument's strings, including other extended techniques. This practice is sometimes called tabletop guitar, because many prepared guitarists do not hold the instrument in the usual manner, but instead place the guitar on a table to manipulate it. The idea of altering an instrument's timbre through the use of external objects has been applied to other instruments as well, most notably John Cage's prepared piano, which preceded the prepared guitar. ..."
13 great Prepared Guitar Videos (Video)
2011 May: Keith Rowe, 2012 August: Derek Bailey, 2014 June: Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza.
Wednesday, July 1
"In March 1968, Gordon Parks published a portrait of an African-American child with disheveled clothes in Life magazine. His lips were swollen and cracked from eating plaster, in a futile attempt to ward off hunger. His eyes were plaintive and haunting. Richard Fontenelle was too young to understand, but he and his family became the faces of urban poverty for millions of Americans. The photo essay Mr. Parks produced — 'A Harlem Family,' which is now on exhibit at the Studio Museum in Harlem — changed Mr. Fontenelle’s life, and the lives of every member of his family, forever. It sparked in him a desire to succeed, and a lifelong friendship with Mr. Parks. ..."
Gordon Parks: "A Harlem Family," Life Magazine, 1968
NY Photo Review
2015 January: Gordon Parks, 2015 May: Segregation Story
"Berlin-based Spanish sculptor and street artist / public artist Isaac Cordal has just completed another poignant installation that speaks volumes to viewers, if they look up from their phones as they walk past. His sad little men are customarily detached from a sense of hope, now stranded out on verandas that are attached to a bland, beige stucco wall. Many are mounted together at once, yet the effect is one of isolation, individuals banished to a vast disconnect. 'SĄSIEDZI' means 'neighbors' in Polish, a name he chose for this installation for the, Łódź 4 Culture Festival in June. ..."
Brooklyn Street Art
Isolation in the City, by Isaac Cordal
“SĄSIEDZI”, Trauguta 10. Lodz, Poland. June 2015.
Wikipedia - "Cafe Wha? is a club in Greenwich Village in Manhattan, New York City that has been home to various musicians and comedians. Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, The Velvet Underground, Cat Mother & the All Night Newsboys, Kool and the Gang, Peter, Paul & Mary, Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, Joan Rivers, Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor and many others all began their careers at the Wha? Although Cafe Wha? was sold by its owner, Manny Roth, in 1968, the club remains at its original location, 115 MacDougal Street, between Bleecker and West 3rd Streets. Roth is the uncle of David Lee Roth. The original Cafe Wha? opened in 1959 and closed in the late 1960s, when the room was taken over by Menachem Dworman, who ran the Cafe Feenjon in the location until 1987. The Feenjon featured Israeli and Middle Eastern music."
NY Times: Manny Roth, 94, Impresario of Cafe Wha?, Is Dead
Tuesday, June 30
Wikipedia - "New York Dolls is the debut studio album by American hard rock band the New York Dolls, released on July 27, 1973, by Mercury Records. The band formed in 1971 and developed a following while playing regularly in lower Manhattan. However, they were unappealing to record companies because of their onstage cross-dressing and vulgarity, while most record producers were reluctant to work with them. For shock value, the band was photographed in exaggerated drag on the album cover. ... The album features carefree rock and roll and Brill Building pop influences in its hard rock songs. Their lyrics were written by lead singer David Johansen and touch on themes such as urban youth, teen alienation, adolescent romance, and authenticity. ..."
YouTube: Personality Crisis, Looking for a kiss, Trash, Jet Boy, (There's Gonna Be A) Showdown, Bad Girl, Stranded in the Jungle
YouTube: New York Dolls (Full Album)
YouTube: All Dolled Up: A New York Dolls Story - Found Tapes 1:38:03
2012 January: The David Johansen Group Live
"Patrick Goddard (b.1984/UK) is an artist working in East London, completing an MFA at Goldsmiths University in 2011. Recent works have taken the form of video, publication, performance, and installation, exploring politically loaded issues whilst attempting to avoid the platitudes of didactic simplification. Saturated with a sense of pathos, narratives undermine themselves with a self-defeating humor, playfully calling into question the authority of the narrator and through this, the artist."
Wikipedia - "'White Lines (Don't Don't Do It)' is a hip-hop-funk song by Melle Mel, released as a 12" in 1983 on Sugar Hill Records. The song, which warns against the dangers of cocaine, addiction, and drug smuggling, is one of Melle Mel's signature tracks. The bassline is sampled from a performance of the Sugar Hill house band (featuring bassist Doug Wimbish) covering 'Cavern', a single by post-punk band Liquid Liquid. ... The song was co-written by Melle Mel and Sylvia Robinson. Originally, it was intended to be an ironic celebration of a cocaine-fueled party lifestyle, but it was abridged with the 'don't do it' message as an anti-cocaine song as a concession to commercial considerations. ..."
YouTube: Grandmaster & Melle Mel - White Lines (Don't Don't Do It), Grandmaster Melle Mel-White Lines Live, Duran Duran / Grandmaster Flash - White Lines (X-Mix), duran duran - white lines (don't don't do it) (remix)
Monday, June 29
"With 12 paintings never before seen in the UK, this exhibition introduces visitors to the American artist George Bellows and his artist friends, the Ashcan Painters: William Glackens, George Luks, John Sloan and their teacher Robert Henri. The Ashcan School was formed at the beginning of the 20th century. American painters, principally in New York City and Philadelphia, began to develop a uniquely American view on the beauty, violence and velocity of the modern world."
An American Experiment: George Bellows and the Ashcan Painters, National Gallery, London
An American Experiment: George Bellows and the Ashcan Painters, National Gallery
"Full Concert Setlist: 0:00:00 - Sweet Jane 0:04:05 - I'm Waiting For My Man 0:08:15 - Martial Law 0:12:57 - Down At The Arcade 0:17:22 - Legendary Hearts 0:20:48 - There She Goes Again 0:24:48 - Turn Out the Light 0:29:58 - My Red Joystick 0:35:19 - Average Guy 0:38:50 - Street Hassle 0:44:24 - Sally Can't Dance 0:50:10 - Walk On The Wild Side 0:56:09 - Satellite Of Love 1:03:21 - New Sensation 1:11:08 - A Gift 1:14:56 - Doin' The Things That We Want To 1:19:12 - Waves Of Fear 1:22:27 - I Love You Suzanne 1:25:35 - White Light / White Heat 1:29:54 - Turn To Me 1:34:40 - Kill Your Sons 1:40:19 - Coney Island Baby 1:45:46 - Maybe - The Chantels 1:49:35 - He's Gone 1:53:18 - People Who Died - Jim Carroll 1:58:47 - Rock 'N' Roll Personnel: Lou Reed - Vocals, Guitar Robert Quine - Guitar Fernando Saunders - Bass, Vocals Peter Wood - Keyboards Lenny Ferarri - Drums"
YouTube: Full Concert - 09/25/84 - Capitol Theatre (OFFICIAL)
2010 August: Heroin, 2011 June: All Tomorrow's Parties - The Velvet Underground, 2011 June: The Velvet Underground, 2012 November: Songs for Drella - Lou Reed and John Cale, 2013 October: Lou Reed (1942 - 2013), 2014 June: The Bells (1979), 2014 August: New York (1989).
"If you follow David Lynch into the woods he will not hold your hand. He cannot guarantee you will find your way home. He truly hopes that you’ll emerge unscathed. The director, painter and transcendental meditation disciple has never been one to explain his work and, on the occasion of the release of the Twin Peaks: The Entire Mystery box set, no measure of nostalgia will sway him. He’s sitting on a chaise longue in a hotel suite not far from his Los Angeles home when we meet, exuding charisma and an egoless confidence. At 68, Lynch looks vital, present. He’s dressed in his usual uniform: dark jacket, white shirt buttoned up, a blaze of rockabilly hair atop his weatherbeaten face." 24 July 2014
2008 September: Twin Peaks, 2010 March: Twin Peaks: How Laura Palmer's death marked the rebirth of TV drama, 2011 October: Twin Peaks: The Last Days, 2014 October: Welcome to Twin Peaks.
Sunday, June 28
Analogue detail. 1998–2007
"This exhibition presents Zoe Leonard’s Analogue—a landmark photographic project conceived over the course of a decade—which documents, in 412 color and black-and-white photographs, the eclipsed texture of 20th-century urban life as seen in little bodegas, mom-and-pop stores with decaying facades and quirky handwritten signs, and shop windows displaying a mixed assortment of products. Shooting with a vintage 1940s Rolleiflex camera, a tool 'left over from the mechanical age,' as Leonard puts it, the artist took her own neighborhood of New York’s Lower East Side as a point of departure. She then followed the global trade of recycled merchandise—used T-shirts, old-fashioned shoes, discarded Coke advertisements, the old technology of Kodak camera shops—to far-flung places in Eastern Europe, Africa, Cuba, and Mexico...."
2014 June: Available Light
"It’s no secret that 'Seinfeld,' arguably the most 'New York' comedy in recent television history, was actually filmed in Los Angeles. But that hasn’t stopped tourists from flocking to the Upper West Side of Manhattan to see if they really can order a 'big salad' from the 'Seinfeld restaurant.' With the show making its streaming television debut on Hulu this month, New York food spots like Tom’s Restaurant that have become synonymous with “Seinfeld” could see an increase in business from nostalgic fans. Just don’t try to get a bagel from H & H, Kramer’s one-time place of employment. The Kenny Rogers Roasters and its blinding red neon chicken is also long gone, as is the Royale Pastry Shop (called Royal Bakery and Schnitzers on the show), the bakery responsible for a marble rye worth mugging an old lady for and a black-and-white cookie that could bridge racial divides."
2011 August: Seinfeld
"The trail is barely visible, unless you know it’s there. I step off the dirt road and into the woods. The ground receives me with the familiar caress of home. I float down the trail—my feet intimately familiar with each little dip and rise, each stray root protruding from the ground. The trail is worn smooth. But on both sides the powder-light glacial soil is blanketed with a thin layer of moss and lichen, low-bush cranberry, and Labrador tea. For one week each spring, the color and perfume of wild roses fill these woods. There are paper birches and spruce, both black and white. But the predominant tree here is populus tremuloides—quaking aspen. ..."
New Yorker (Video)
YouTube: Echoes of Inhabitance - John Luther Adams, A Sonic Geography Of Alaska
Saturday, June 27
Continental Iron Works
"A bright, light, sunshiney day, in Today’s Post. Recently, the Federal NOAA agency placed a plaque at Bushwick Inlet’s U.S.S. Monitor Museum site, signifying the launch site of the United States’ first ironclad war ship from the spot in Greenpoint. One made it a point to arrive early, there was an event planned which involved dignitaries speaking and children singing, and take a bit of time to get 'artsy – fartsy' with the camera and grab some shots. The one above is a stitched panorama, representing around 200 degrees of view. Just to the right of center are some of the big condo buildings in Williamsburg, and at far right are the tanks of Bayside Fuel. That’s Franklin Street on the other side of the fence, btw, behind an overgrown fence line which one didn’t explore except with a zoom lens. ..."
The Newtown Pentacle
"From the Italian avant-garde reissue specialists Alga Marghen comes this early experimental recording from American composer David Behrman, all of which was previously unreleased. A collection of works recorded between 1959 and 1968 with members of his Sonic Arts Union performing on many of the tracks, big names in avant-garde -- Gordon Mumma, Robert Ashley, and Alvin Lucier -- all contribute to the realization of these astonishing early electronic works. Renowned pianist David Tudor and new-music percussion extraordinaire Cristoph Caskel appear on the 1959 recording 'Canons,' an exquisite short piece that begs the question why this material was never available earlier. A 12-page color booklet accompanies the CD with photographs of the performers and instruments that created this futuristic wonder-world of electronic compositions. An important archival discovery from the American avant-garde."
Smithsonian: If Clouds Could Make Music, What Would it Sound Like?
vimeo: Grove, Cloud Music (excerpts)
YouTube: Installation of "Cloud Music"
2010 October: Roulette TV: David Behrman, 2012 January: The Siren Orchestra, 2014 May: On the Other Ocean/Figure in a Clearing (1977).
Alex Katz, “Shining Leaves” (1969)
"I met the legendary poet and critic Bill Berkson as a bratty 19-year-old art student in his final class at the San Francisco Art Institute, where he is professor emeritus after teaching writing and art history for 25 years. Around that time I interviewed him about taste for a zine I made with my then boyfriend—one of the first in a format that has become a major part in my intellectual life. Shortly after, the artist Isabelle Sorrell and I began to compile a book as an homage to him. All these years later, the new volume For Bill, ANYTHING: Images and Text for Bill Berkson has just been published by Pressed Wafer, bringing together new and archival writing and art works by 75 contributors, covering aspects of Berkson’s work and life, including collaborations with friends like Joe Brainard, Philip Guston, Jim Carroll, and many others. ..."
W - Bill Berkson
PBS: Be like poet Bill Berkson and start kissing anyone you can find (Video)
amazon: Bill Berkson
Friday, June 26
"If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: One man’s lazy embedding of YouTube videos is another man’s history of Uncle Tupelo. Consider it a documentary, minus all the boring interviews, montages, and the Ken Burns move where a voice intones dramatically as a camera slowly pans across a black and white photo, and a lonesome banjo picks underneath. Here all you’re getting are videos and my liner notes. Don’t act like you don’t love it. ..."
adios lounge (Video)
YouTube: St Louis, Mo 1994 05 01 [Full Gig]
2011 July: Uncle Tupelo, 2012 December: No Depression, 2013 August: March 16–20, 1992, 2014 January: Still Feel Gone (1991).
Wikipedia - "The Punk Singer is a 2013 documentary film directed by filmmaker Sini Anderson and produced by Anderson and Tamra Davis. The film is about feminist singer Kathleen Hanna who fronted the bands Bikini Kill and Le Tigre, and who was a central figure in the riot grrrl movement. The title of the film is taken from Julie Ruin song 'The Punk Singer', from Hanna's 1998 solo effort. Using a combination of interviews and archival footage including live band performances, the film traces the life and career of Hanna from her troubled upbringing and her start in spoken word performance poetry, through her riot grrrl zines, her prominent punk and dance-punk bands, her coining of the phrase 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' for Kurt Cobain, her solo career as Julie Ruin, her feminist activism, her marriage to Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz, and ending with Hanna's 2010 diagnosis of late-stage Lyme disease and the severe treatments she endures to combat it. ..."
NPR: Silent For Years, A Riot Grrrl Steps Back To The Mic
YouTube: Documentary - THE PUNK SINGER - TRAILER, Bikini Kill, Girls to the Front, Kathleen Hanna is....The Punk Singer, a documentary
"... What is perhaps most notable about 'Jah Will Provide' is the performance, both lyrically and vocally, that Augustus Pablo coaxes out of a 16 year old Mundell, who brings the word, sound, and power of an old soul to the session. It is clearly evident that this song and performance are divinely inspired because it does not seem possible that such an inspired recording could come solely from the mind, heart, and soul of a 16 year old youth. But hey, that’s Pablo’s gift, right? Bringing inspired music out of talented, yet unexperienced youths. Just look what he was able to do with Jacob Miller, another young man who wrote and performed on a higher plane."
Midnigh Traver Blog (Video)
YouTube: Jah Will Provide + Hungry (Dub Version)
2010 September: Hugh Mundell, 2009 December: Augustus Pablo, 2011 November: King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown - Augustus Pablo and King Tubby, 2011 May: East of the River Nile, 2013 January: King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown, 2015 April: Valley of Jehosaphat (1999).
Thursday, June 25
Western Motel, Edward Hopper, 1957
"There was a period in my life when I spent a lot of time in hotel rooms. It was normal to skit from Shanghai to Dublin via Vilnius and Rome in a month, and then begin the loop all over again: Athens, Novosibirsk, Kuala Lumpur. I travelled alone to these cities and when I got there I was required to stand on stages, sit on panels and talk endlessly. ... I lived in a hotel in Moscow called the Cricket for a month. In European countries, I stayed in compact three-star rooms, while in the Middle East it was always big chains: the Sheraton, the Radisson or the Hilton Nile. Here and there, depending on local deals and the nature of my stay, I’d take a room in one of the iconic, colonial-style hotels from the novels of Graham Greene or Agatha Christie: the American Colony in Jerusalem, the Pera Palace in Istanbul or the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. I travelled like this from my mid-20s for a decade. Sometimes I was single, other times in a relationship, and the eternal transience suited me at the start. It was fun, for a few years, until suddenly it wasn’t."
"The emergence of new music in New York City was 'followed closely by Tom Johnson in his weekly columns in the Village Voice. In some cases, especially in the early 70's when the music was still largely unknown, his articles were the only published reports of events and premiers that are now of historical importance.' This music's 'evolution in New York lofts was more complicated, and involved far more people, than is generally understood today.' These articles put the whole story back together. Johnson was a long-time admirer of his teacher, Morton Feldman, and of John Cage, who might be considered the patron saints of the movement, but he focussed his critical attention on the new forms of music evolving among composers of his own generation such as Philip Corner, Alvin Lucier, Charlie Morrow, Phill Niblock, Pauline Oliveros, Charlemagne Palestine, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, and many others. And sometimes his style of writing was as innovative as the music. - Theseus"
The Voice of New Music: New York City 1972–1982
[PDF] The Voice of New Music - Editions 75
Soundcloud: The Voice of New Music by Tom Johnson (for Matt Hinkley)
2011 February: Tom Johnson, 2012 May: Rational Melodies, 2013 March: Tom Johnson In Los Angeles, 2013 May: An Hour for Piano (1985).
"New Steps is one of several albums done with this basic lineup in January of 1978. This album is billed to the Sun Ra Quartet, but it sounds like there's a bass player present on at least some of the cuts (it could be Ra, but he'd need three hands). There are two standards amongst a program of Ra originals, and things get started with a stellar version of 'My Favorite Things.' ... In fact, the remainder of the album is on the mellow side ('When There Is No Sun' is the only track with vocals), and features some great statements by John Gilmore and Ra. Michael Ray is in fine form as well, if somewhat less exuberant than usual. With such a small group, solo space is ample, and Luqman Ali's understated drumming really holds things together nicely. New Steps is another fabulous release from Sun Ra, but all the Horo albums can be difficult to find."
W - New Steps
YouTube: My Favorite Things, Moon People, Sun Steps, etc.
Wednesday, June 24
Dance at Bougival, 1883
"The open-air cafés of suburban Bougival, on the Seine outside Paris, were popular recreation spots for city dwellers, including the Impressionist painters. Renoir, who was primarily a figure painter, uses intense color and lush brushwork to heighten the sense of pleasure conveyed by the whirling couple who dominate the composition. The woman’s face, framed by her red bonnet, is the focus of attention, both ours and her companion’s."
New Yorker: Renoir at The Frick: Go See “Dance at Bougival”
Renoir's Paintings Dance Together Again (Video)
Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Paintings, Biography, and Quotes
"The sacred text arrived at dusk on a Thursday in November. I opened the package and found a 216-page, red hardbound book with worn buckram corners that brought to mind something used to teach high school geometry 50 years ago. The previous owner had inscribed his name on the flyleaf and made sufficient notations in the margins throughout that I recalled a story about an old N.B.A. player whose teammate asked him why he underlined every sentence in the books he took on road trips. 'That’s so I know I’ve read them,' he said. The University of Kansas’ union bookstore had stamped the book 'USED' and then penciled in a secondhand price, $5.50. Yet my Amazon third-party seller had charged me more than $160. ..."
NY Times: Three Sides to This Story (Oct. 27, 2014)
W - Tex Winter
Tex Winter and the pursuit of perfection (Video)
"'Fever' is a song written by Eddie Cooley and Otis Blackwell, who used the pseudonym John Davenport. It was originally recorded by American R&B singer Little Willie John in 1956 and released as a single in April of the same year. ... Little Willie John reportedly disliked the song, but was persuaded to record it, on March 1, 1956, by King Records owner Syd Nathan and arranger and producer Henry Glover. 'Fever' is a soul and rhythm and blues minor key opus with an arrangement consisting of low saxophones played by Ray Felder and Rufus 'Nose' Gore and a jazz guitar by Bill Jennings. The vocal style of Willie John is similar to moaning and he is backed by finger snaps."
Re-Viewing influences: Little Willie John, Albert Ayler, late 'Trane
YouTube: "Fever" (1956), "Fever"
Tuesday, June 23
"In the eighteen years since his death, the music of composer Conlon Nancarrow has steadily grown in influence and infamy. Viewed as a fascinating anomaly during much of his lifetime, Nancarrow created staggeringly complex pieces with rhythmical structures—borrowed from boogie-woogie and the atonal avant-garde, and, eventually, formed in his own unique language—that he achieved through highly unusual means. After fighting in the Spanish Civil War against Franco’s fascist regime, Nancarrow returned to the United States but was refused a passport renewal on the basis of his political beliefs. He responded by relocating in 1940 to Mexico City, where he lived for the remainder of his life. Working in near isolation, Nancarrow ceased writing music for live performers and instead turned to the only means of realizing his musical vision in the precomputer era: composing for the player piano. ..."
Conlon Nancarrow’s Math-Mad Music (Video)
W - Conlon Nancarrow
Conlon Nancarrow: A Chronology By Kyle Gann
YouTube: Study for Player Piano No. 37, Study for Player Piano No. 21 (Canon X), 3rd Study for Player Piano 'Boogie Woogie Suite' Audio + Sheet Music, Studies 2B, 3a, 3e and 5 for Player Piano
YouTube: A Sense of Place: The Life and Work of Conlon Nancarrow (Documentary) 28:48
"Almost 20 years after the release of Coldcut's 70 Minutes Of Madness mix album, Joe Clay recently spoke to the members of Coldcut's about the mix's production and legacy - you can read the interview here. Now, a large selection of tQ contributors have come forth to offer up their favourite DJ mixes for your perusal, accompanied by their thoughts on each choice. It's a wide-reaching list taking in a vast array of officially released mix albums, mixtapes and free-to-download online mixes across a number of genres, so keep reading and you could possibly discover a mix or two you're yet to uncover. So here, in no particular order, are tQ writers' favourite mixes. ..."
The Quietus (Video)
Monday, June 22
"Thousands of people descended on Stonehenge to mark this year’s summer solstice. Police said around 23,000 were at the neolithic site in Wiltshire on Sunday, down on the estimated 36,000 who attended last year and the 30,000 expected. Other revellers – including hippies and pagans – visited the nearby Avebury stone circle to witness the sun rising on the longest day of the year. Despite cloud in the area, visitors were able to get a glimpse of the sun after it came over the horizon at 4.52am. People beat their drums and pointed their cameras at Stonehenge just as the sun appeared. Some visitors said this year’s solstice sunrise was one of the best they had seen. ..."
BBC: Stonehenge summer solstice celebrations see thousands gather
W - Stonehenge
Smithsonian: New Light on Stonehenge
History: Who Built Stonehenge? (Video)
"... An outstanding recounting of the fierce gang culture born of despair and 'white flight' that blighted New York City, Rubble Kings helps put in perspective the evolution of a people being pushed out of the American Dream grabbing it by the balls and reclaiming it as their own, remaking it in their image. That may be the overly romantic view of an unjust and needlessly brutal time full of violence and murder, with innocent everyday people caught in the middle as victims. And certainly as oppressed as these former gang members were, the thought may cross your mind that the heroic roles depicted in this story are reserved for one gender almost exclusively. That said, props to the director Shan Nicholson that Rubble Kings presents a meaningful and compelling context for the unwinding of the social, political, institutional constructs that shook folks to the bone; an economic violence that decimated neighborhoods and communities. ..."
Brooklyn Street Art (Video)
Sunday, June 21
Shibboleth - Form of a 167-metre-long crack in the floor of the gallery.
"This major retrospective will survey the searing, deeply poetic work of Doris Salcedo (b. 1958, Bogotá, Colombia). Over the past three decades, Salcedo's practice has addressed the traumatic history of modern-day Colombia, as well as wider legacies of suffering stemming from colonialism, racism, and other forms of social injustice. Originating in lengthy research processes during which the artist solicits testimonies from the victims of violent oppression, her sculptures and installations eschew the direct representation of atrocities in favor of open-ended confluences of forms that are fashioned from evocative materials and intensely laborious techniques. ..."
PBS: art21 (Video) 54:30
NY Times: From Doris Salcedo, Domestic Vessels of Trauma and Loss
SF MoMA: Doris Salcedo discusses her artistic identity
"SNUB TV – the creative partnership of Brenda Kelly and Peter Fowler – burst onto TV screens via Janet Street-Porter’s BBC 2 DEF II slot in 1989. It was not ‘youth TV’ but it had the attitude, confidence and style of the blossoming independent label scene of the late ‘80s. These were the days that saw the first indie stars begin to have crossover radio hits: The Smiths, New Order, Depeche Mode. But where could you hear this music outside John Peel’s R1 show? It wasn’t easy. TV and radio had no place for new music – even giants like New Order were ignored. MTV wanted glossy, high-end videos – a financial and aesthetic anathema to most left field music of the day. There was nothing represented the vibrancy, eclecticism and artiness of the music scene that was thriving out of the limelight. SNUB was going to change that. ..."
‘Do you remember ‘Night Flight’?’ (Video)
Sights Unheard: SNUB TV (Video)
YouTube: SNUB TV
"Steven said, 'Little Ted was dead'
I read in a letter today
The same for Monica's monkey he said
Quietly it passed away
Mister Coo Coo has fallen asleep
His eyes were black and his beak was brown
Mister Coo Coo has fallen asleep
But soon his home will be underground
The wind was cold and the world was old
When I went to my window today
The sky was dark as a hopeless heart
When I went to my window today"
YouTube: "My Window"
Saturday, June 20
"SANTIAGO, Chile — A haunting yellowish glow radiates from the tiny section of empty wooden benches and crumbling concrete behind the north goal at Estadio Nacional. All around this space there is noise: 47,000 soccer fans screaming and jumping in delight as Chile’s national team plays Ecuador in the opening game of the Copa América. But no one sits on those benches. They are reserved in perpetuity, a somber memorial to the thousands of people who were beaten and tortured here 42 years ago in the home of Chilean soccer. Estadio Nacional, the site of six games in this year’s Copa América, including the final on July 4, is perhaps the most infamous sports arena in the world. For nearly two months after the Sept. 11, 1973, military coup that overthrew Chile’s democratically elected Marxist president, the stadium served as a makeshift prison camp where as many as 20,000 men and women suffered at the hands of a military junta, led by the right-wing army chief, Gen. Augusto Pinochet, that had seized control of Chile. ..."
"This page shows the pictures on the gatefold sleeve of the vinyl release of 1966’s Blonde On Blonde that have not made it into the regular CD insert (the artwork for the gold CD is different as shown below). If you know who any of these people are, please contact me or make a posting to my Facebook page. The inside layout was revised in the USA from 1968 onwards to remove the picture of Claudia Cardinale, but printings outside the USA preserved the original layout. Both the 2002 re-release of the US mono mix of Blonde On Blonde by Sundazed and the 2010 re-release of the mono set by Columbia/Legacy/Sony Music use the 7-photo picture shown above, they have not managed to get permission to reproduce the original sleeve. For more details see International Mono Releases. ..."
Bob Dylan's Officially Released Rarities and Obscurities
Searching For A Gem
Missing Blonde on Blonde Photographs
Blonde on Blonde. The Record That Can't Be Set Straight. Part II - The Versions in Detail
Part II - The Versions in Detail
2010 August: Blonde on Blonde (1966), 2011 February: "I Want You", 2013 July: ‘Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands’ | Classic Tracks, 2015 April: "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" (1966).
Friday, June 19
John Ashbery, The Painter, 2014, collage, 15" x 20 1/2".
"The Tibor de Nagy Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of new collages by celebrated poet John Ashbery and acclaimed avant-garde filmmaker Guy Maddin. Each artist will be represented by a group of collages completed within the last year. This is the fourth gallery exhibition to focus on Ashbery’s collages since his solo debut in 2008. Maddin and Ashbery were mutual fans from a distance until they were introduced a few years ago. Soon they were collaborating. ... When talking about their shared love of collage-making, Maddin remarked '…I suppose this gluey and scissory medium is where the sensibilities of each other’s chosen fields come closest…where we unroll for the public the secret blueprints for the little visual collisions…'"
Tibor de Nagy Gallery
Paris Review: Gluey and Scissory
Paris Review: Eleven Collages - John Ashbery
'The Forbidden Room': Sundance Review
2011 July: John Ashbery - Postcard Collages, 2012 January: John Ashbery - Recent Collages
"New film about Philip Glass, Robert Wilson, Einstein on the Beach, and the connection between physics, opera, and human imagination. ... Iconic, groundbreaking, game changing, genre defying––these are just a few phrases used to describe Einstein on the Beach, a rarely performed avant-garde opera created by composer Philip Glass and director Robert Wilson. Called an 'opera' because no other term comes close, the four and a half hour work breaks all of the rules of conventional opera and abandons narrative and traditional orchestral arrangements. Through Einstein on the Beach, Glass and Wilson reshaped the old and classical form of opera into something completely new. Over the last 35 years, four productions of Einstein on the Beach have toured across the globe from New York and Tokyo to Paris and Melbourne. The work was revolutionary when it was first performed and is now considered one of the greatest artistic achievements of the 20th century. ..."
2011 May: Einstein on the Beach: The Changing Image of Opera (1985)
"... The show’s performance of 'Fine and Mellow' reunited Billie Holiday with her estranged long-time friend and stirring collaborator Lester Young for the final time. Jazz critic Nat Hentoff, who was involved in the show, recalled that during rehearsals, they kept to opposite sides of the room. Young was very weak, and Hentoff told him to skip the big band section of the show and that he could sit while performing in the group with Holiday. During the performance of 'Fine and Mellow', Webster played the first solo. 'Then', Hentoff remembered: Lester got up, and he played the purest blues I have ever heard, and [he and Holiday] were looking at each other, their eyes were sort of interlocked, and she was sort of nodding and half–smiling. It was as if they were both remembering what had been—whatever that was. And in the control room we were all crying. When the show was over, they went their separate ways. Within two years, both Young and Holiday had died."
Fine and Mellow » Billie Holiday
YouTube: Fine and mellow (1957)
2010 April: Billie Holiday, 2014 December: "Strange Fruit" (1939), 2015 February: The Hunting of Billie Holiday
Thursday, June 18
"For people in their 50's now, the summer of 1949 was the morning of life, when to be young (and a Yankee fan) was very heaven. That summer was supposed to belong to the Boston Red Sox, with Casey Stengel, thought to be a clown, newly installed as Yankee manager, and Joe DiMaggio out of the opening-day lineup with bone spurs in his foot. It was, as a broadcaster observes in this irresistible sports history, 'the last moment of innocence in American life.' The book's author, David Halberstam, adds that the pace of living would soon accelerate 'from the combination of endless technological breakthroughs and undreamed-of affluence in ordinary homes.' The opening game of the World Series that autumn would be the first baseball game televised to a mass audience, so the character of the game would soon change. ..."
ESPN: "Summer of '49" by David Halberstam
Wikipedia - "Leon Bridges is an American gospel and soul singer from Fort Worth, Texas. ... Bridges began writing and performing 1950s and '60s-style soul music that was described by Austin 360 as 'a transmission straight from the heart.' He began to attract followers and his break into the music industry has been attributed to a run-in he had at a bar with White Denim guitarist Austin Jenkins. The duo discussed clothing and a few weeks later Jenkins and his bandmate Joshua Block ran into Bridges during a performance in north Texas. It was Bridges's performance of 'Coming Home' that caught the attention of Block and Jenkins. Bridges worked on his first few tracks with Jenkins and Block as producers. They were recording an album with vintage equipment, using an artist with an authentic, old sound."
NPR: First Listen: Leon Bridges, 'Coming Home' (Video)
YouTube: Coming Home, Better Man, There She Goes, Chain Gang (Sam Cooke Cover), I Was Wrong / Smooth Sailing - Paris, Mai 2015, Flowers - The Depot, Lisa Sawyer, My Love Stays
Icy & Sot
"An annual mural tradition of non-pretense, New York hosted the 6th Annual Welling Court mural festival this weekend in a working class neighborhood in Queens, thanks to a grassroots couple who hustle to match artists with walls and opportunity. More than a hundred artists, whose styles span the graffiti-urban art-street art spectrum, participate every year in this community event that eschews the creeping fingers of commercial interests and the pontificating tongues of the art critics. That is not the point here. That’s not why you fell in love with Street Art and the unvarnished expression of the creative spirit. ..."
Brooklyn Street Art
Wednesday, June 17
PASSAGES Immigrants at Ellis Island awaiting a ferry to the city.
Wikipedia - "... In the 35 years before Ellis Island opened, over eight million immigrants arriving in New York City had been processed by New York State officials at Castle Garden Immigration Depot in Lower Manhattan, just across the bay. ... Artesian wells were dug, and landfill was hauled in from incoming ships' ballast and from construction of New York City's subway tunnels, which doubled the size of Ellis Island to over six acres. While the building was under construction, the Barge Office nearby at the Battery was used for immigrant processing. The first federal immigrant inspection station was an enormous three-story-tall structure, with outbuildings, built of Georgia pine, containing all of the amenities that were thought to be necessary. It opened with celebration on January 1, 1892. ..."
NPS: Ellis Island - History & Culture
Scholastic: Ellis Island Interactive Tour With Facts, Pictures, Video (Video)
NPR: For New Immigrants To The U.S., Ellis Island Still Means A Lot (Video)
Scholastic: Virtual Field Trip to Ellis Island
2011 August: Monk Meredith - "Ellis Island" (1981)
Tuesday, June 16
Thomas Edison Stencil Duplicator 1940: mimeograph
"We are pleased to offer for sale a captivating and important research collection of little magazines and other printed materials that represent, chronicle, and document the proliferation of avant-garde, underground small press publications from the forties to the seventies. The starting point for this collection, 'A Secret Location on the Lower East Side,' is the acclaimed New York Public Library exhibition and catalog from 1998, curated by Steve Clay and Rodney Phillips, which documented a period of intense innovation and experimentation in American writing and literary publishing by exploring the small press and mimeograph revolutions. ..."
2010 November: The Great Mimeograph Revolution
"Try to name as many websites as you can that are more than 20 years old. It's not that easy, right? As someone who was around for the arrival of the World Wide Web, even I have trouble remembering what was around in those early days. Google didn't start until 1997. Angelfire and Craigslist launched in 1996. Others, like Pets.com, didn't make it. But 20 years ago this week, in an office at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, gamma ray astronomers Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell created a simple website that still thrives today: the Astronomy Picture of the Day, or APOD."