Thursday, December 8

Eleven Spring: A Celebration of Street Art (2016)

"Street art has always been transgressive, with underground artists marrying beauty with the power of illegal actions--art that went hand in hand with the very real danger of arrest. Now street art and graffiti have transitioned into a mainstream genre, and art on walls is as likely to be an ad coopting that power as an actual guerilla artwork. Eleven Spring: A Celebration of Street Art, out this week, celebrates a pivotal moment in that change. It's the tenth anniversary of a massive, five-floor collaboration that brought together street artists from around the world to take over the building at the titular address in Soho. The contributors, including Shepard Fairey, Swoon, JR, Faile, and more, are a laundry list of the '00s era heavyweights--many of whom have gone on to have successful careers inside the traditional art world. ..."
ELBOW-TOE on Eleven Spring, Wooster Collective, Street Art and more

Babatunde Olatunji - Drums of Passion (1959)

"Having come to the U.S. from his native Nigeria to study medicine, percussionist Babatunde Olatunji eventually became one of the first African music stars in the States. He also soon counted jazz heavyweights like John Coltrane ('Tunji') and Dizzy Gillespie among his admirers (Gillespie had, a decade earlier, also courted many Cuban music stars via his trailblazing Latin jazz recordings). And, in spite of it being viewed by some as a symbol of African chic, Drums of Passion is still a substantial record thanks to Olatunji's complex and raw drumming. ... [The 2002 CD reissue on Columbia/Legacy adds the track 'Menu Di Ye Jewe (Who Is This?)', which was recorded at one of the 1959 sessions for the album, but was previously unissued in the US.]"
W - Drums of Passion
YouTube: Drums of Passion 39:19

Libra - Don DeLillo (1988)

Wikipedia - "Libra (1988) is a novel written by Don DeLillo. It focuses on the life of Lee Harvey Oswald and offers a speculative account of the events that shaped the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The book takes the reader from Oswald's early days as a child, to his adolescent stint in the US Marine Corps, through his brief defection to the USSR and subsequent marriage to a Russian girl, and finally his return to the US and his role in the assassination of Kennedy. In DeLillo's version of events, the assassination attempt on Kennedy is in fact intended to fail; the plot is instigated by disgruntled former CIA operatives who see it as the only way to guide the government to war on Cuba. ..."
Q&A: Don DeLillo - Exploring 'Libra' and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy
In Retrospect: Troy Jollimore on Don DeLillo’s “Libra”

2010 October: Pafko at the Wall, 2012 May: Underworld , 2012 July: The Body Artist, 2013 September: White Noise, 2013 November: The Art of Fiction No. 135, 2014 July: Don DeLillo: The Word, The Image, and The Gun, 2014 October: Falling Man (2007).

Wednesday, December 7

Fanzines from the 1970s

"I started buying music fanzines in the late 1970s, and although most of them subsequently got lost or thrown away over the years I still have a few good ones from the punk and immediate post-punk era. Fanzines about various subjects had existed before, but the new wave of zines that emerged alongside the punk rock explosion (and in parallel with independent record labels, shops and distribution channels), became a vibrant DIY subculture channelling punk’s 'anybody can do this' attitude into print. These fanzines captured the energy and excitement of punk rock as it was actually happening. ..."
W - Punk zine

2014 December: Paper Trail, 2016 May: Punk 1976-78

New Breed Workin' ~ Blues With A Rhythm

"The subtitle of Ace's fifth installment of New Breed R&B underscores the aesthetic behind their New Breed series: these collections focus on blues and hard R&B acts who cut singles infused by a distinctly grooving soul sensibility. Most of the 24 tracks featured on Blues with a Rhythm date from the '60s but there are a couple of cuts from the '50s -- Richard Berry's 'Big John' is from 1955, the same year as Little Walter's 'My Babe,' which also reworked 'This Train (Is Bound for Glory)' -- and everything is united by a deep, slinky groove. Even when the singers growl or the guitars crank out a 12-bar shuffle, this music feels like it was designed for dancefloors. The fact that some of this sensibility is no doubt accidental actually makes this more fun: it feels like this whole scene was tapped into a vibe so powerful that it could not be denied, it could only be expressed."
YouTube: New Breed Workin' ~ Blues With A Rhythm

Chomsky: Humanity Faces Real and Imminent Threats to Our Survival

"On Monday night, Democracy Now! celebrated its 20th anniversary at the historic Riverside Church in New York City. Among those who addressed more than 2,000 attendants was world-renowned linguistic Noam Chomsky, who spoke about the two most dangerous threats the human species faces today: the possibility of nuclear war and the accelerating destruction of human-fueled climate change. ..."
alternet (Video)
alternet: Noam Chomsky Unveils America's Deplorable History of Playing Footsie With Fascism (Video)

2011 January: Peak Oil and a Changing Climate, 2015 May: The Limits of Discourse As Demonstrated by Sam Harris and Noam Chomsky, 2015 October: Electing the President of an Empire, 2015 December: Noam Chomsky on Paris attacks

Tuesday, December 6

The Photography of Poet Arthur Rimbaud (1883)

"Arthur Rimbaud, far-seeing prodigy, 'has been memorialized in song and story as few in history,' writes Wyatt Mason in an introduction to the poet’s complete works; 'the thumbnail of his legend has proved irresistible.' The poet, we often hear, ended his brief but brilliant literary career when he ran off to the Horn of Africa and became a gunrunner… or some other sort of adventurous outlaw character many miles removed, it seems, from the intense symbolist hero of Illuminations and A Season in Hell. ..."
Open Culture
Arthur Rimbaud, poet and photographer
gettyimages: Poet Arthur Rimbaud Pictures and Images
NY Times: Where Rimbaud Found Peace in Ethiopia

2008 May: Arthur Rimbaud, 2010 November: Arthur Rimbaud - 1, 2012 October: Patti Smith: Poem about Arthur Rimbaud (Subtitulado), 2012 December: Writers’ Houses Gives You a Virtual Tour of Famous Authors’ Homes, 2013 August: Arthur Rimbaud Documentary, 2013 November: julian peters comics - The Drunken Boat by Arthur Rimbaud, 2014 June: In Which We Begin To Roar With Laughter At Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud, 2015 May: Illuminations - Arthur Rimbaud (John Ashbery - 1875), 2016 March: Rimbaud in New York.

Gillian Welch - Boots No. 1: The Official Revival Bootleg (2016)

"'If any of y’all wanna give me shit about my twang, you can just do it,' Gillian Welch once told a chatty San Francisco crowd in 1994. It was two years before Welch would release her debut Revival, but the California-bred daughter of two entertainers was already anticipating the skepticism that would greet her when she rose to prominence in the mid-to-late ’90s singing about destitute coal miners and Depression-era whiskey runners with an unsettling familiarity for someone born in New York City, raised in Los Angeles, and who found their lifetime musical partner at a conservatory in Boston. In 1994, Welch’s repertoire consisted largely of a number of songs that would never find their way onto a record, a handful of traditional tunes, and some John Prine covers. ..."
NPR (Spotify)
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: Dry Town (Demo)

2009 February: Gillian Welch, 2011 March: Gillian Welch & Dave Rawlings NPRP, 2012 July: Harrow Harvest, 2012 September: By The Mark (2004), 2014 February: BBC FOUR Sessions: Gillian Welch.

Boston busing desegregation 1974-1988

1974 Boston Busing Crisis
Wikipedia - "The desegregation of Boston public schools (1974–1988) was a period in which the Boston Public Schools were under court control to desegregate through a system of busing students. The call for desegregation and the first years of its implementation led to a series of racial protests and riots that brought national attention, particularly from 1974 to 1976. In response to the Massachusetts legislature's enactment of the 1965 Racial Imbalance Act, which ordered the state's public schools to desegregate, W. Arthur Garrity Jr. of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts laid out a plan for compulsory busing of students between predominantly white and black areas of the city. ..."
The Atlantic: The Lasting Legacy of the Boston Busing Crisis
PBS: The Story of the Movement
'It Was Like A War Zone': Busing In Boston
Boston: The Boston busing crisis: 40 years later (Video)

Monday, December 5

The Old House at Home by Joseph Mitchell (April 1940)

John Sloan - "McSorley's Back Room", 1912. Etching.
"McSorley’s occupies the ground floor of a red brick tenement at 15 Seventh Street, just off Cooper Square, where the Bowery ends. It was opened in 1854 and is the oldest saloon in the city. In eighty-six years it has had four owners—an Irish immigrant, his son, a retired policeman, and his daughter —and all of them have been opposed to change. It is equipped with electricity, but the bar is stubbornly illuminated with a pair of gas lamps, which flicker fitfully and throw shadows on the low, cobwebby ceiling each time someone opens the street door. There is no cash register. Coins are dropped in soup bowls—one for nickels, one for dimes, one for quarters, and one for halves—and bills are kept in a rosewood cashbox...."
New Yorker
McSorley's Old Ale House: "Be Good Or Be Gone"

2009 August: John Sloan, 2011 November: American realism, 2012 December: Old New York, 2015 May: Spectator of Life, 2015 October: Metropolitan Lives: The Ashcan Artists and Their New York, 1897-1917, 2015 October: Tenderloin, 2015 October: McSorley's Bar - John Sloan (1912), 2015 December: "Red Kimono on the Roof," 1912, 2016 January: “The Hell Hole,” 1917, 2016 February: Gloucester Days, 2016 March: “Hanging Clothes,” 1920, 2016 May: "Roof, Summer Night," 1906, 2016 October: "Spring Rain," 1912, 2016 October: "The Lafayette" (1927)

Toyin Ojih Odutola

Michaelmas Term, 2016. Charcoal, pastel and pencil on paper.
"Toyin Ojih Odutola is a contemporary artist who focuses on identity and the sociopolitical concept of skin color through her pen and ink drawings. Her work explores her personal journey of having been born in Nigeria then moving and assimilating into American culture in conservative Alabama. 'I’m doing black on black on black, trying to make it as layered as possible in the deepness of the blackness to bring it out. I noticed the pen became this incredible tool. The black ballpoint [pen] ink on blackboard would become copper tone and I was like 'wow, this isn’t even black at all!' The black board was like this balancing platform for the ink to become something else.' ..."
Jack Shainman Gallery (Video)
Interview: Toyin Odutola and the Public Struggle
Toyin Ojih Odutola
W - Toyin Ojih Odutola
YouTube: Toyin Ojih Odutola

Antebellum - Gilles Mora

"Photographer, editor, artistic director and museum director Gilles Mora has just released a new monograph, Antebellum, published by Texas University Press that consists of impressionistic, rarely seen images of a disappearing Deep South. His grainy images capture ordinary southern life in all it’s glorious beauty. Gilles has had a lifelong connection to American photography through monographs he has written on iconic American photographers, but for Antebellum, he is behind the camera. For twenty years, Gilles photographed the South, discovering the nuances of a place that holds secrets and stories. ..."

Sunday, December 4

Delancey Street

Wikipedia - "Delancey Street is one of the main thoroughfares of New York City's Lower East Side in Manhattan, running from the street's western terminus at the Bowery to its eastern end at FDR Drive, connecting to the Williamsburg Bridge and Brooklyn at Clinton Street. It is an eight-lane, median-divided street west of Clinton Street, and a service road for the Williamsburg Bridge east of Clinton Street. West of Bowery, Delancey Street becomes Kenmare Street, which continues as a four-lane, undivided street to Lafayette Street. Delancey Street is named after James De Lancey, Sr., whose farm was located in what is now the Lower East Side. Businesses range from delis to check-cashing stores to bars.
New York Songlines: Delancey Street
RK Chin: Delancey
YouTube: MuniNYC - Bowery Street & Delancey Street, Video Tour of the Lower East Side of Manhattan

John Coltrane - Dakar (1957)

"Often cited as saxophonist John Coltrane's first album as leader, Dakar—recorded on April 20, 1957—is a usurper. Originally credited to the Prestige All Stars (and released as part of a short-lived experiment with 16-rpm discs), it was only credited to Coltrane on its re-release in 1963, when the saxophonist's star was firmly in the ascendant. The Dakar session was one of several Coltrane appeared on as a sideman that week—on the 16th with pianist Thelonious Monk, on the 18th with the Prestige All Stars, and on the 19th with pianist Mal Waldron. He gets no more solo time than either of the other saxophonists, baritone players Cecil Payne and Pepper Adams. Another day, another dollar. ..."
All About Jazz
W - Dakar
allmusic (Video)
YouTube: Dakar FULL ALBUM

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), 2015 May: An Animated John Coltrane Explains His True Reason for Being: “I Want to Be a Force for Real Good”, 2015 July: Afro Blue Impressions (2013), 2015 September: Impressions of Coltrane, 2015 December: Giant Steps (1960), 2016 January: Crescent (1964), 2016 April: The Church of Saint John Coltrane, 2016 July: Soultrane (1958).

Police Violence Against Native Americans Goes Far Beyond Standing Rock

"On Nov. 28, a legal collective representing Native Americans opposing the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline filed a lawsuit against two North Dakota counties and their sheriffs, and the city of Mandan, North Dakota, and its police chief. Eight days before, the suit alleges, law enforcement officers from those places had used excessive force against a group of peaceful protesters, injuring more than 200. The allegations in the case are striking — the lawsuit describes officers using water cannons on protesters despite freezing temperatures, shooting people in the head with non-lethal plastic rounds, and shooting a woman in the genitals with a flash-bang grenade. ..."
NY Times: The Conflicts Along 1,172 Miles of the Dakota Access Pipeline
NY Times: Federal Officials to Explore Different Route for Dakota Pipeline
***Jacobin: Guns, Grenades, and Facebook

2011 July: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - Dee Brown, 2012 September: The Ghost Dance, 2016 September: A History and Future of Resistance, 2016 November: Dakota Access Pipeline protests

Saturday, December 3

Robert Quine & Fred Maher - Basic (1984)

"Ah yes, the intangible, enduring allure of the 2nd hand record shop! Before I found a copy of Basic in the stuffed racks of this musty emporium last week I'd not previously heard of it. Now, of course, I'm semi-outraged as to why it's been unobtainable for so long - the cursory CD reissue appears to be rarer than the original LP, for God's sake! An instrumental collaboration between Robert Quine & Fred Maher (Material, Scritti Politti), Basic was recorded at Quine's home studio in N.Y.C. in early '84, while both of them were still fresh from their brief tenure as fellow Voidoids (on 1982's Destiny Street) & in Lou Reed's last great live band (during his Blue Mask / Legendary Hearts period, alongside bassist Fernando Saunders). For whatever reason, Quine never got 'round to releasing a bona fide solo album, but Basic comes pretty close - Maher's unobtrusive bass & electronic percussion providing a stripped back, metronomic anchor for Quine's thoughtful, serpentine Fender wrangling. ..."
I Love Total Destruction
W - Basic
YouTube: '65, Stray, Fala, Bluffer, Village, Summer Storm, Despair, Bluffer, Bandage Bait, Pickup, Dark Place

2012 October: Ikue Mori, 2015 June: Capitol Theatre Passaic, NJ 9/25/1984, 2015 October: The Blue Mask (1982), 2016 March: New Sensations - Lou Reed (1984), 2016 March:Film Works 1986-1990 - John Zorn, 2016 October: Ikue Mori (with Robert Quine and Marc Ribot) - Painted Desert (1997)

The Democratic Party Has Failed—We Need a Radical Vision to Defeat Trumpism

"'Why aren’t I 50 points ahead?' Hillary Clinton asked a group of labor organizers in late September, when she and Trump were neck and neck in national polls. It seemed like a fair question. Throughout his entire campaign, Donald Trump utterly humiliated and disqualified himself in new ways almost every day. Tapes of him bragging about sexual assault dominated the final weeks of the campaign. ... For 40 years their wages have been stagnant even as productivity grows. For some groups, even life expectancy is now declining. Many who are living through this have been yearning for some sort of political revolution for years. ... A vote for Trump symbolized burning it all down. ..."
In These Times
New Yorker: Seven Electors Against Trump
In These Times - A Message to Trump: We’re Not Going Back in the Shadows
Jacobin: The Workers Versus Trump

2016 January: Donald Trump and the Joys of Toy Fascism, 2016 January: Sanders Is Not Trump, 2016 January: Donald Trump’s Twitter Insults: The Complete List (So Far), 2016 April: Lost in TRUMPLANDIA, 2016 November: Scenes From Anti-Trump Protests, 2016 November: Rust Belt, 2016 November: Autocracy: Rules for Survival, 2016 November: Rally in Brooklyn Park Condemns Swastikas and ‘Go Trump’ Graffiti

Sparrows - Black Sparrow Press

"These three attractive essays by Robert Creeley presented as Sparrows 6 (March, 1973), 14 (November 1973), and 40 (January 1976) by John Martin's Black Sparrow Press (1966-2002) were among the stacks at Powell's. 'SPARROW will appear monthly. It will print poetry, fiction, essays, criticism, commentaries, & reviews. Each issue will present the work of a single author. The poet is prophet.' Or profit? Among the small presses of that era, Martin had one of the most successful business models. ..."
[PDF] Creeley – Inside Out
Oak Knoll

Friday, December 2

Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016

"Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905–2016 focuses on the ways in which artists have dismantled and reassembled the conventions of cinema—screen, projection, darkness—to create new experiences of the moving image. The exhibition will fill the Museum’s 18,000-square-foot fifth-floor Neil Bluhm Family Galleries, and will include a film series in the third-floor Susan and John Hess Family Theater. The exhibition’s title refers to the science fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft’s alternate fictional dimension, whose terrain of cities, forests, mountains, and an underworld can be visited only through dreams. Similarly, the spaces in Dreamlands will connect different historical moments of cinematic experimentation, creating a story that unfolds across a series of immersive spaces. ..."
Whitney (Video)
Whitney: Dreamlands - Screenings and programs (Video)
[PDF] Whitney
NY Times: A Retort to Shrinking Screens, in an Ultra-Immersive Show at the Whitney
NY Times: Diving Into Movie Palaces of the Mind at the Whitney

Striking Portraits of Lonely Cars in 1970s New York

White Tower car, Buick LeSabre, Meatpacking District, 1976.
"On a snowy night in 1976, a Buick LeSabre was parked outside a White Tower hamburger restaurant in New York’s Meatpacking District. For photographer Langdon Clay, armed with a Leica and some Kodachrome film, it was an arresting moment. In Clay’s photograph of the scene, the empty car looks almost forlorn under the neon strip lighting. Around it, the street is empty. The only signs of life are the blurred figures inside the diner, presumably the car’s owners ordering food. This photograph is just one of many Clay shot between 1974 and 1976. ..."
Atlas Obscura
New Yorker - When Cars Ruled the Night: New York City, 1974-1976
Cars – New York City, 1974–1976 - Langdon Clay

Lori McKenna - Bittertown (2004)

"Steeped in a kettle of Americana or alt country, Lori McKenna should rank up there with quality performers such as Lucinda Williams, Julie Miller, Kathleen Edwards, and Mary Alice Wood. 'Bible Song,' which sports a guest appearance by Buddy Miller, gives a perfect example of the singer knowing what she wants and getting it right: hints of twang, mandolin touches, and a melody that is just as uplifting as it is dreary and pragmatic. ... Wrapping up another quality and stellar piece of work, the boogie ramble on 'One Kiss Goodnight' recalls Natalie Merchant if she grew up in the heart of the South. The album is rarely bitter but incredibly sweet."
Lori McKenna: Bittertown by George Graham
YouTube: Monday Afternoon, Stealing Kisses, Mr. Sunshine, One Man, Bible Song, One Kiss Goodnight

Thursday, December 1

Light in August - William Faulkner (1932)

Wikipedia - "Light in August is a 1932 novel by the Southern American author William Faulkner. It belongs to the Southern gothic and modernist literary genres. Set in the author's present day, the interwar period, the novel centers on two strangers who arrive at different times in Jefferson, Yoknapatawpha County, Mississippi, a fictional county based on Faulkner's home, Lafayette County, Mississippi. ... In a loose, unstructured modernist narrative style that draws from Christian allegory and oral storytelling, Faulkner explores themes of race, sex, class and religion in the American South. By focusing on characters that are misfits, outcasts, or are otherwise marginalized in their community, he portrays the clash of alienated individuals against a Puritanical, prejudiced rural society. ..."
New Essays on Light in August - Michael Millgate
[PDF] Light in August

2011 September: Southern Gothic, 2014 February: William Faulkner, 2015 October: William Faulkner Draws Maps of Yoknapatawpha County, the Fictional Home of His Great Novels, 2015 November: Interviews William Faulkner, The Art of Fiction No. 12, 2016 April: Absalom, Absalom!! (1936), 2016 May: The Sound and the Fury (1929), 2016 October: The Snopes Trilogy (1940, 1957, 1959)

Junior Byles - Fade Away (1975)

"... Although the remnants of Glen's vocals are not as intrusive as Junior's, he's still in there all the way through. You can also discount I Roy's Rootsman (Love 7") that has what sounds like the same Junior B-side as the Jama release. And here's another couple to stay clear of (I know negative responses don't help much, but they might stop you getting excited for no reason if you spot these on the Net!). Jahmali - Long Long Time - A killer updated vocal of the tune in its own right. But despite having 'Fade Away' written on the B-side, it's a completely unconnected rhythm. Horace Andy - 'Fade Away' - despite claiming to have Prince Jazzbo on the flip, this one is a genuine dub! Unfortunately it's not the one you want but an updated digi-version. Never mind, I'll carry on thinking and searching... - Dubac"
Blood and Fire
YouTube: Junior Byles-Fade Away, The Upsetters-Version, I Roy-Rootsman Time

Singles Collection: The London Years - Rolling Stones (1989)

"The three-disc box set Singles Collection: The London Years contains every single the Rolling Stones released during the '60s, including both the A- and B-sides. It is the first Stones compilation that tries to be comprehensive and logical -- for all their attributes, the two Hot Rocks sets and the two Big Hits collections didn't present the singles in chronological order. ... Casual fans might want to stick with the Hot Rocks sets, since they just have the hits, but for those that want a little bit more, the Singles Collection is absolutely essential."
allmusic (Video)
Guide to British Music of the 1960s
W - Singles Collection: The London Years
iTunes, amazon
YouTube: I Want To Be Loved, I Wanna Be Your Man, Stoned, Good Times, Bad Times, Play With Fire (Mono Version), Tell Me, The Spider And The Fly, You Can't Always Get What You Want, Jumpin' Jack Flash, In Another Land (Original Single Mono Version), Honky Tonk Women (Mono Version), Wild Horses

2015 August: Exile on Main Street (1972), 2015 October: "Let's Spend the Night Together" / "Ruby Tuesday" (1967), 2015 December: Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan at Joujouka (1971), 2016 January: Some Girls (1978), 2016 January: The Rolling Stones (EP), 2016 March: Five by Five (EP - 1964), 2016 May: "The Rolling Stones: Charlie Is My Darling — Ireland 1965"

Wednesday, November 30

The Untold History of the United States - Oliver Stone (2012)

Wikipedia - "The Untold History of the United States (also known as Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States) is a 2012 documentary series directed, produced, and narrated by Oliver Stone. The documentary miniseries for Showtime had a working title Oliver Stone's Secret History of America. It covers 'the reasons behind the Cold War with the Soviet Union, U.S. President Harry Truman's decision to drop the atomic bomb on Japan, and changes in America's global role since the fall of Communism.' Stone is the director and narrator of all ten episodes. The series is a reexamination of some of the underreported and darkest parts of American modern history, using little-known documents and newly uncovered archival material...."
The Untold History of the United States (Video)
NY Times: Oliver Stone Rewrites History — Again
Guardian - Oliver Stone: 'America always wins'

2015 September: South of the Border (2009)

Cometbus #57

"The comics scene is thriving in New York, and comics play an oversized role in the city’s myth. But why? In this special issue of Cometbus we go door-to-door, uptown to downtown, asking the questions that other rags are either too informed or too polite to pose. We visit cartoonists like Gary Panter, Julia Wertz, Ben Katchor, Adrian Tomine, and Gabrielle Bell, but also comics scholars, publishers, shopkeepers, and librarians. Featuring beautiful illustrations by March artist Nate Powell and an unusual Al Jaffee interview that ties it all together in the end."
The Comics Journal

Armory Show 1913

1913 “International Exhibition of Modern Art”
Wikipedia - "Many exhibitions have been held in the vast spaces of U.S. National Guard armories, but the Armory Show refers to the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art that was organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors, the first large exhibition of modern art in America. The three-city exhibition started in New York City's 69th Regiment Armory, on Lexington Avenue between 25th and 26th Streets, from February 17 until March 15, 1913. ..."
Culture Night Los Angeles
1913 Armory Show
Walt Kuhn scrapbook of press clippings documenting the Armory Show, vol. 1, 1913
NPR: In 1913, A New York Armory Filled With Art Stunned The Nation (Video)

Tuesday, November 29

Watch Come Together, Wes Anderson’s New Short Film/Commercial Starring Adrien Brody

"Why does the holiday season no longer feel complete without a Wes Anderson movie? Several of his features have opened in late fall or early winter, surely the most Andersonian time of year. Some have come out right around Christmas (The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou on the day itself), and some, most notably The Royal Tenenbaums, take place partially in the season. While it looks as if we’ll have to do without a full-length Anderson production this Christmas, since the past year has reportedly seen him in pre-production on an as yet untitled stop-motion animated movie, the auteur of poignant and funny anachronism has nevertheless found time to direct Come Together, a brand new not-quite-commercial for 'fast fashion' retailer H&M. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

2013 November: Wes Anderson Honors Fellini in a Delightful New Short Film, 2013 November: Rushmore (1998), 2013 Decemher: Hotel Chevalier (2007), 2014 March: Wes Anderson Collection, 2014 April: The Perfect Symmetry of Wes Anderson’s Movies, 2014 July: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), 2014 August: Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009), 2014 December: Welcome to Union Glacier (2013), 2015 January: Inhabiting Wes Anderson’s Universe, 2015 July: Books in the Films of Wes Anderson: A Supercut for Bibliophiles, 2015 November: Moonrise Kingdom (2012), 2015 December: Chapter 8: "The Grand Budapest Hotel", 2016 June: Here's pretty much every song used in a Wes Anderson film.

Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven

"From 18 February, Mu.ZEE presents a solo exhibition of the Belgian artist Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven (b.1951). In addition to being a painter, draughtsman and a performer, she is also an artist who has assembled a substantial oeuvre of multimedia work over the past thirty years. Mistress of the Horizon is a co-production between the Renaissance Society in Chicago and Mu.ZEE. Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven takes four new bodies of works as the main departure point for this solo exhibition. Video animation, computer generated prints and a large number of drawings are complemented with representative works from her extensive oeuvre. ..."
Contemporary Art Daily
W - Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven
Anne-Mie Van Kerckhoven (Video)
Zeno X Gallery

Sun Ra & His Arkestra Live at Montreux (1976)

"From 1955, when Sun Ra began recording his Arkestra, one hears not only complex, irregular structures and model improvisation but miscellaneous percussion, odd meters and polyrhythms, electronic keyboards and the use of two keyboards at once. By the end of the 50s Sun Ra and his band were into the whole area of noise elements and collective sonic exploration, while his elaborate stage shows and vocal interludes paved the way for the currently popular Parliament/Funkadelic. A Sun Ra concert is truly something else more than music and more than musical theater, it is a self-created and self-contained mythic universe. Two dozen men and women, dressed in outrageous space garb, carry on for hours without pause, spanning all of jazz history from staples of the original Duke Ellington or Fletcher Henderson books to ethereal child-like tunes and the outraged caterwaulings of the entire horn section."
Inner City Jazz
W - Sun Ra & His Arkestra Live at Montreux
YouTube: Take The A Train, Arkestra, Is A Sound Of Joy, Outer Space Employment Agency (Live), Of The Other Tomorrow

Monday, November 28

Wheat Fields - Van Gogh series

Wheat Field, June 1888
Wikipedia - "The Wheat Fields is a series of dozens of paintings by Vincent van Gogh, borne out of his religious studies and sermons, connection to nature, appreciation of manual laborers and desire to provide a means of offering comfort to others. The wheat field works demonstrate his progression as an artist from the drab Wheat Sheaves made in 1885 in the Netherlands to the colorful, dramatic paintings from Arles, Saint-Rémy and Auvers-sur-Oise of rural France. ..."
W - The Wheat Field

2010 March: Van Gogh Museum, 2010 May: Why preserve Van Gogh's palette?, 2012 April: Van Gogh Up Close, 2015 May: Van Gogh and Nature, 2016 January: Van Gogh's Bedrooms.

AD Presents: A Woody Guthrie Companion (A Mixtape)

"In addition to his website American Standard Time, Greg Vandy is the host of the long-running roots radio program The Roadhouse, on KEXP. Based in Seattle, Vandy spent the better part of two years researching Woody Guthrie’s tenure in 1941 with Oregon’s Bonneville Power Administration. In short, Guthrie was employed to promote the benefits of cheap hydroelectric power, irrigation, and the Grand Coulee Dam. While under their hire he penned 26 songs in 30 days. The fruits Vandy’s labor were published earlier this year via Sasquatch Books as 26 Songs In 30 Days: Columbia River Songs and the Planned Promised Land in the Pacific Northwest. ..."
Aquarium Drunkard (Video)

2008 January: Woody Guthrie, 2009 May: To Hear Your Banjo Play - 1947, 2010 June: Dust Bowl Ballads, 2012 July: Woody Guthrie at 100: Celebrate His Amazing Life with a BBC Film, 2013 September: Buffalo Skinners, 2014 September: "The Ranger's Command", "To Hear Your Banjo Play", "Greenback Dollar", "John Henry", 2016 October: Don't Mourn-Organize!: Songs of Labor Songwriter Joe Hill,

Haunted House by Pierre Reverdy, Translated by John Ashbery (2007)

"Pierre Reverdy's short story 'Haunted House,' originally published in 1930 in a collection of prose tales called Risques et Perils, is very different than his typically oblique, allusive and dreamlike poetry. Rife with mock rhetorical grandeur and ironic asides, 'Haunted House' was lauded and included in Andre Breton's list of ten books he would take to a desert island. French poet Pierre Reverdy was born in Narbonne in 1889. In 1910 he came to Paris, where he knew no one, but he soon met Guillaume Apollinaire and Max Jacob, as well as Picasso, Matisse, Braque, and Juan Gris, who later illustrated his books...."
Mary Ann Caws on Pierre Reverdy

2008 January: Pierre Reverdy 1889-1960, 2010 May: Eight Poems by Pierre Reverdy, 2014 October: Pierre Reverdy

Sunday, November 27

Fidel Castro (1926–2016)

"Fidel Castro was, by any standards, a towering figure. In his frail late years his presence still resonated across Latin America, even among generations that did not experience the exhilarating shock of the 1959 Cuban Revolution. Before the revolution, Cuba symbolized colonialism at its most pernicious. Its war of liberation from Spain was appropriated by the United States, whose government claimed that victory as its own and rewrote the newly independent country’s constitution to ensure its dominance. ..."
NY Times: Fidel Castro, Cuban Revolutionary Who Defied U.S., Dies at 90 (Video)
NY Times: Castro’s Revolution, Illustrated
W - Cuban Revolution
W - Fidel Castro
Jacobin: Cuba Before the Revolution
History: Fidel Castro (Video)

Deep South Blues (1999)

"Those who believe that the newer, cruder recording of Mississippi bluesmen playing distorted electric guitars is some newly recorded phenomenon should grab this collection and get straight. In it, they'll find 15 superb homemade performances, all of them put down for posterity in the early '80s, proof that the scene was being documented early and excellently. Kicking off with two dynamite sides from Junior Kimbrough, the set moves on with riveting performances from Jessie Mae Hemphill, R.L. Burnside and the Sound Machine, Hezekiah and the Houserockers, Raymond Hill, Hammie Nixon, Waynell Jones, and Ranie Burnette. This is riveting stuff -- not for the casual blues fan."
allmusic (Video)
Deep South Blues CD
YouTube: Tomorrow Night · Junior Kimbrough and the Soul Blues Boys, I Feel Good, Little Girl · Junior Kimbrough and the Soul Blues Boys, Going Down · Raymond Hill, The Chicken Song · Waynell Jones, Jaybird Boogie · Waynell Jones, Hungry Spell · Ranie Burnette, Coal Black Mattie · Ranie Burnette, Roll Me, Baby · Hezekiah and The House Rockers, Bottle up and Go · Hammie Nixon

William Merritt Chase: A Modern Master

The Open Air Breakfast (c. 1888)
"William Merritt Chase (1849–1916) was a brilliant observer, an innovative painter, and a leader in international art circles at the turn of the last century. Rediscover this important and overlooked master, praised for his artistic skill in both oil and pastel, as well as for the variety of his subjects: sympathetic images of women, jewel-like landscapes, views of urban parks, and scenes of children at play. The first complete examination of the artist in more than three decades, 'William Merritt Chase' brings together 80 of the painter’s finest works in both oil and pastel, drawn from public and private collections across the US. ..."
MFA (Video)
Arts Journal
W - William Merritt Chase
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Saturday, November 26

Dakota Access Pipeline protests

Wikipedia - "The Dakota Access Pipeline protests, also known by hashtags such as #NoDAPL, are a grassroots movement that began in the spring of 2016 in reaction to the proposed construction of Energy Transfer Partners' Dakota Access Pipeline. The proposed pipeline would run from the Bakken oil fields in western North Dakota to southern Illinois, crossing beneath the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, as well as part of Lake Oahe near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. In April, LaDonna Brave Bull Allard, a Standing Rock Sioux elder, established a camp as a center for cultural preservation and spiritual resistance to the pipeline. Over the summer the camp grew to thousands of people. ..."
NY Times: Officials to Close Standing Rock Protest Campsite
'From Plymouth Rock To Standing Rock': Mass. Activists Stand Against Dakota Access Pipeline (Video)
The media’s Standing Rock problem looks a lot like its Black Lives Matter problem
VOGUE: Standing Rock Rising (Video)

2016 September: A History and Future of Resistance

1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die (2005)

"Published in 2005 by Cassell Illustrated. Selected & written by 90 leading international critics, general editor Robert Dimery. In chronological order 1955-2005. Year of release only given here, when considered absolutely necessary. Where there were differences in UK & US (or other) releases for artists, such as the Beatles & the Rolling Stones, the original country of release edition can be taken to be the one listed, unless indicated otherwise. (ie: for the Rolling Stones’ Aftermath & The Beatles’ A Hard Day’s Night, the UK editions are the ones listed). No compilations were allowed, though, the odd one (The Hives’ Your New Favourite Band, for example) did creep in! ..."
Rock List
Discogs (Video)
W - 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die

Liege & Lief - Fairport Convention (1969)

Wikipedia - "Liege & Lief is the fourth album by the English rock band Fairport Convention. It is the third and final album the group released in the UK in 1969, all of which prominently feature Sandy Denny as lead female vocalist. (Denny does not appear on the group’s debut album from 1968.) It is also the very first Fairport album on which all songs have either been adapted (freely) from traditional British and Celtic folk material (e.g., Matty Groves, Tam Lin), or else are original compositions (e.g., Come All Ye, Crazy Man Michael) written and performed in a similar style. By introducing songs of this genre into the group’s repertoire, Denny, who had previously sung and recorded traditional folk songs as a solo artist, was instrumental in this transformation."
Features: The Liege & Lief Story
Guardian: 'There was a manic feeling in the air'
BBC: Review
YouTube: Fairport Convention - Liege and Lief 1969 [FULL ALBUM]

2011 April: Fairport Convention - Maidstone 1970, 2012 August: F is for Fairport Convention, 2013 January: A Sailor’s Life, 2014 April: What We Did on Our Holidays (1969).

Friday, November 25

We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service - A Tribe Called Quest (2016)

Wikipedia - "We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service is the sixth studio album by American hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest. It was released on November 11, 2016, on Epic Records. The album features guest appearances from André 3000, Kendrick Lamar, Jack White, Elton John, Kanye West, Anderson Paak, Talib Kweli, and the group's most frequent collaborators Consequence and Busta Rhymes. The album features contributions from member Phife Dawg, who died several months prior to the album's release. After The Love Movement, A Tribe Called Quest split up due to relationship issues between group members, effectively rendering The Love Movement as the supposed final album. ..."
NY Times: Loss Haunts A Tribe Called Quest’s First Album in 18 Years
iTunes, amazon
YouTube: We The People...., We The People....(Live on SNL)
YouTube: We Got It From Here... Thank You 4 Your Service [Full Album Preview]

2011 May: A Tribe Called Quest, 2014 October: The Low End Theory (1991), 2015 June: Midnight Marauders (1993), 2016 June: People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (1990)

Irish pub

Temple Bar - Dublin
Wikipedia - "An Irish pub is an establishment licensed to serve alcoholic drinks for consumption on the premises. They are characterised by a unique culture centred around a casual and friendly atmosphere, hearty food and drink, Irish sports, and traditional Irish music. Their widespread appeal has led to the Irish pub theme spreading around the world. Irish pubs have existed for roughly a millennium, with the title "oldest pub in Ireland" held by Sean's Bar in Athlone, County Westmeath which was established in the 10th century. ..."
YouTube: Dublin Pubs, Dublin pubs of the past

Africafunk: Return To The Original Sound Of 1970s Funky Africa

"The second Africa funk compilation is similar to the first, in appearance, sounds as well as artists. If there is a difference it is that the most R&B-influenced numbers have left place for purer funk. But that is just a little shift, and an artist like Fela Kuti of course plays Afro-beat and nothing else. As a dance record, this is more solid than the former collection, but doesn't reach the same ecstatic heights. And in a way that makes it a little less interesting, and the distance to American '70s funk a little shorter. The question is probably if you want to discover how modern African '70s music was, and how close to its counterparts across the seas, or if you want to discover unique African sounds. This album is a little more geared at the first."
YouTube: Africa Funk - The Original Sound of 70´s ( Full Album )
01-The Rwenzori's - Handsome Boy (E Wara) (Pts. 1 & 2) 02-Buari - Ku Ka Maria 03-Matata - I Feel Funky 04-Ice - Time Will Tell 05-Kongas - Anikana-O 06-Vecchio - Nsambei 07-Wisdom - Nefertiti 08-Fela Kuti - Roforofo Fight 09-Tony Allen - N.E.P.A. (Never Expect Power Always) 10-Manu Dibango - Big Blow 11-Antibalas with Jojo Quo - Uprising (Pts. 1 & 2)

Thursday, November 24

John Cage: Lecture on the Weather (1975)

Lecture on the Weather, 1975
"In the lead-up to America’s presidential election, Frith Street Gallery and the John Cage Trust join to present a unique iteration of a still prescient work by the seminal American composer, artist, and writer, John Cage. Lecture on the Weather (1975) was originally conceived as a work for either radio or the stage, as a commission from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to mark the Bicentennial of the USA. It will be presented at Frith Street Gallery in a new installation based on materials captured at an important 2007 performance at Bard College in upstate New York, featuring an extraordinary cast, including Merce Cunningham, Jasper Johns, Leon Botstein, John Ralston Saul, and others. ..."
Frith Street Gallery
YouTube: "Lecture on the Weather" 1976, by John Cage (excerpt)

Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction

"Francis Picabia: Our Heads Are Round so Our Thoughts Can Change Direction is a comprehensive survey of Picabia’s audacious, irreverent, and profoundly influential work across mediums. This will be the first exhibition in the United States to chart his entire career. Among the great modern artists of the past century, Francis Picabia (French, 1879–1953) also remains one of the most elusive. He vigorously avoided any singular style, and his work encompassed painting, poetry, publishing, performance and film. Though he is best known as one of the leaders of the Dada movement, his career ranged widely—and wildly—from Impressionism to radical abstraction, from Dadaist provocation to pseudo-classicism, and from photo-based realism to art informel. ..."
MoMA (Video)
WSJ: Francis Picabia at MoMA Review

Wednesday, November 23

Frozen in Time - Gino’s Italian ices

"Every autumn, Italian ice shops like Ralph’s and Uncle Louie G’s close their storefronts. The freezer carts in which Marino’s ices are kept disappear from pizzerias. And local Italian ice factories, like Gino’s in Sunset Park, close for winter hibernation. The last licks of Italian ices mark the end of New York summer and have for over half a century. But every year, tracking down these Italian ices becomes more difficult. Glossy all-glass storefronts replace grungy pizzerias, and white Gino’s signs, with their iconic orange piping around the perimeter, disappear from store windows. Along with the ices, a certain romantic notion of summertime in Brooklyn is disintegrating as well. ..."
W - Italian ices

Patti Smith - Twelve (2007)

"According to her brief liner notes, Patti Smith indulged the idea of a covers album, considering songs as far back as 1978 on the back pages of Jean Genet's Thief's Journal when she was still assembling her groundbreaking early catalog; it's evident she feels that covers have been part and parcel of her recording experience from the outset. Her debut, Horses, has her own apocalyptic version of Van Morrison's 'Gloria' as well as a healthy portion of Chris Kenner's 'Land of a Thousand Dances' inside 'Land.' On 1979's Wave she covered the Byrds 'So You Want to Be (A Rock and Roll Star),' and scored with the single. Her intuitive reading of Bob Dylan's 'Wicked Messenger' was a beautiful aspect of Gone Again in 1996, and she paid tribute to Allen Ginsberg by using one of his poems in 'Spell,' on 1997's Peace and Noise. ..."
W - Twelve
YouTube: Changing Of The Guards, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Gimme Shelter (Live), Within You Without You