Saturday, May 19

Time Regained - Marcel Proust (1927)

Wikipedia - "Volume Seven: Time Regained - The Narrator is staying with Gilberte at her home near Combray. They go for walks, on one of which he is stunned to learn the Méséglise way and the Guermantes way are actually linked. Gilberte also tells him she was attracted to him when young, and had made a suggestive gesture to him as he watched her. Also, it was Lea she was walking with the evening he had planned to reconcile with her. He considers Saint-Loup's nature and reads an account of the Verdurins' salon, deciding he has no talent for writing. The scene shifts to a night in 1916, during World War I, when the Narrator has returned to Paris from a stay in a sanatorium and is walking the streets during a blackout. He reflects on the changed norms of art and society, with the Verdurins now highly esteemed. He recounts a 1914 visit from Saint-Loup, who was trying to enlist secretly. He recalls descriptions of the fighting he subsequently received from Saint-Loup and Gilberte, whose home was threatened. ... À la recherche made a decisive break with the 19th century realist and plot-driven novel, populated by people of action and people representing social and cultural groups or morals. Although parts of the novel could be read as an exploration of snobbism, deceit, jealousy and suffering and although it contains a multitude of realistic details, the focus is not on the development of a tight plot or of a coherent evolution but on a multiplicity of perspectives and on the formation of experience. ... The significance of what is happening is often placed within the memory or in the inner contemplation of what is described. This focus on the relationship between experience, memory and writing and the radical de-emphasizing of the outward plot, have become staples of the modern novel but were almost unheard of in 1913. ..."
In Search of Lost Time - characters, resources, video, translations (Video)

2008 June: Marcel Proust, 2011 October: How Proust Can Change Your Life, 2012 April: Marcel Proust - À la recherche du temps perdu, 2013 February: Marcel Proust and Swann's Way: 100th Anniversary, 2013 May: A Century of Proust, 2013 August: Paintings in Proust - Eric Karpeles, 2013 October: On Reading Proust, 2015 September: "Paintings in Proust" - View of the Piazza del Popolo, Giovanni Battista Piranes, 2015 September: In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way: A Graphic Novel, 2016 January: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919), 2016 February: Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C.K. Scott Moncrieff: Soldier, Spy and Translator, 2016 May: The Guermantes Way (1920-21), 2016 August: Marcel Proust’s Search for Lost Time — Patrick Alexander, 2016 October: My Strange Friend Marcel Proust, 2017 March: Sodom and Gomorrah (1921-1922), 2017 August: Letters To His Neighbor by Marcel Proust; translated by Lydia Davis, October: Proust's À la recherche – a novel big enough for the world, 2017 October: Proust Fans Eagerly Await Trove of Letters Going Online, 2017 December: The Prisoner / The Fugitive (1923-1925)

Tarheel Slim - No Time At All (1974)

"Success for a black musician is very often a fleeting thing, though a single hit can often carry an artist for some period of time. In 1959 there was a record on the R&B charts for nearly ten weeks . . . made it into the black top twenty . . . entitled 'It’s Too Late'; artists – Tarheel Slim and Little Ann. It was a minor key blues, with each singing alternate verses. In spite of subsequent recordings, they never matched the sales levels attained by their first effort for a small NYC record label. Work was available on the strength of that one record, and jobs continued into the mid-sixties, but without further hits, it was a downhill spiral. Tarheel Slim was born Alden Bunn in Bailey, N.C. (near Wilson and Rocky Mount) when he got his first guitar – attracted to it by the musicians he’d see playing In the streets whenever his mother would take him to town (they included Gary Davis, who sold Slim his first Natlonal in 1943!) It was these musicians, coupled with his major recorded influence, Blind Boy Fuller (others were Big Bill, and Buddy Moss) that got him going. His mother would buy every Fuller record as it was issued, and this helped him form his guitar style. (Fuller came once to the Rocky Mount area, but Slim missed him – a later area appearance was cancelled due to Fuller’s illness and subsequent death.) ..."
TRIX 3310 – Tarheel Slim: “No Time At All”
YouTube: Some cold, rainy day, So Sweet So Sweet
YouTube: No time at all 56:36
2017 July: Tarheel Slim & Little Ann

Friday, May 18

The Jam - Peel Session

"THE PEEL SESSIONS is an excellent aural snapshot of the seminal first-generation English punk trio. Recorded for the BBC in April of 1977, just after the release of their debut record, this live-in-the-studio recording for legendary UK DJ John Peel's show captures the Jam storming their way through a short set (including three tunes that would show up on their second album) in their best baby-Who style. Very exciting, and incredibly atmospheric--the energy of the era almost seems to function as a fourth band member."
YouTube: Peel Session 1977: In The City, Art School, I've Changed My Address, Modern World, Peel Session 1977: All Around The World, London Girl, Bricks And Mortar, Carnaby Street, Peel Session 1979: Thick As Thieves, The Eton Rifles, When You're Young, Saturday's Kids

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

Gimme Shelters, Manhattan

The plan to turn the Park Savoy Hotel in Midtown Manhattan into a men's homeless shelter has drawn a range of reactions.
"In the August heat two years ago, residents of Maspeth, Queens, learned of a homeless shelter planned for their neighborhood and erupted in fury, unleashing a campaign of vulgar, racially tinged protests. Maspeth residents picketed a hotel being used as a shelter, spewing hate as homeless children sat inside. They voted the local councilwoman, Elizabeth Crowley, out of office, replacing her with the man who had led their crusade. They shouted down Steven Banks, commissioner of the city’s Human Resources Administration, as he appealed to their sense of compassion during a community meeting, then took their protest to the doorstep of his Brooklyn home. 'Leave Maspeth Alone!' some of their signs read. 'Maspeth Lives Matter!' The city ultimately surrendered. Now, a similar battle is unfolding in the heart of Midtown Manhattan, as residents fight a men’s shelter the city plans to open in the now-shuttered Park Savoy Hotel. The site, on West 58th Street, is one of 90 that Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he will open as part of a yearslong plan. In Maspeth, a mostly white, blue-collar area of Queens, the news of a homeless shelter was met with something barely short of a riot. ..."
NY Times
NY Post: A homeless shelter is coming to Billionaires’ Row

Cecil Taylor (1929-2018), Frank O’Hara, Amiri Baraka

"When the groundbreaking avant-garde jazz pianist and composer Cecil Taylor died last month, there was an outpouring of obituaries and tributes to his genius and influence.  But there was less attention paid to Taylor’s connections to the literary world, and to avant-garde poetry — including his links to New York poets during the 1950s and 1960s — than one might have expected. It’s true that Taylor’s friend and rival, Ornette Coleman — who is often seen, alongside Taylor, as one of the co-founders of free jazz – may have had more extensive contact and social ties than Taylor himself with the poets of the New York School, as I discussed after Coleman died in 2015. But Taylor, who was also a poet, first emerged in the same New York scene, rubbing elbows with poets like Frank O’Hara and Amiri Baraka, and playing some of his earliest gigs at the Five Spot (the legendary jazz club that serves as the site of Frank O’Hara’s famous elegy for Billie Holiday and was a hangout for the downtown, bohemian, literary set).  And he really read (and wrote) the stuff: thanks in part to Baraka, Taylor began to read deeply in the work of poets associated with the 'New American Poetry,' like Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Robert Duncan, Michael McClure, and Bob Kaufman. ..."
Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets
YouTube: Les grandes répétitions by Cecil Taylor (France) 44:48

2018 April: RIP, Cecil Taylor (1929-2018), May 1018: Jazz Advance (1956)

Thursday, May 17

Zone to Defend (ZAD)

La Boite Noir (the Black Box), one of the cabins destroyed.
Wikipedia - "The expression Zone to Defend or ZAD (French: zone à défendre) is a French neologism used to refer to a militant occupation that is intended to physically blockade a development project. The ZADs are organized particularly in areas with an ecological or agricultural dimension, notably in the permanent blockade village against an airport in Notre-Dame-des-Landes. However the name has also been used by occupations in urban areas, e.g.: in Rouen, in Décines-Charpieu. One of the movement's first slogans was 'ZADs everywhere' and though there are no official figures, in early 2016 there were estimated to have been between 10 and 15 ZADs across France. The acronym 'ZAD' is a détournement of 'deferred development area' (from French: 'zone d'aménagement différé'). In 2015, the French term 'zadiste' (English: Zadist) entered the 2016 edition of Le Petit Robert dictionary as 'a militant occupying a ZAD to oppose a proposed development that would damage the environment.' Appearing in France in the early 2010s, the term was first popularized during the opposition to the airport construction project in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, north of Nantes. The ZAD movement has its origins in challenging large infrastructure projects in defense of the environment, local people's right to decide the future of their territories (at the price, if necessary, of conflict with state power) and the rejection of the capitalist economy. ... In April 2018, there was another attempt to evict the ZADists of the Notre-Dame-des-Landes commune by police with at least 2500 riot police on the scene. The evacuation began April 9th and officialy finished the 13th April with the destruction of 29 squats on 97, but the police is still deployed to secure the roads on the April 23rd. ..."
ROAR: The revenge against the commons of the ZAD
Verso Archive of Zad
“Everything’s coming together while everything’s falling apart: The ZAD” - Nov 7, 2017 (Video) 36:34

Evictions begin, robocops invade the bocage.

A map of the common projects of the ZAD. (March 2018)

Outliers and American Vanguard

"Anyone interested in American modernism should see 'Outliers and American Vanguard Art' at the National Gallery of Art. Flaws and all, this groundbreaking adventure highlights outstanding, sometimes rarely-seen artworks; revives neglected histories; and reframes the contributions of self-taught artists to this country’s rich visual culture. In recent decades the greatness of these marginalized artists has become increasingly undeniable — whether you call their work folk, primitive, amateur, naïve or, lately, outsider — and demands have gotten louder to include them in a more flexible integrated version of modernism. The show’s predecessors include ambitious surveys like 'Parallel Visions: Modern Artists and Outsider Art' at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1993 and 'The Encyclopedic Palace of the World,' at the 2013 Venice Biennale. But 'Outliers' is different. Limiting its scope to American art, it tries to map the intersections of taught and untaught over the last century, examining not only the place of self-taught art now but how it got here. 'Outliers' represents some five years of meticulous research by Lynne Cooke, senior curator for special projects in modern art at the National Gallery. It is extensive: about 280 artworks by 84 artists — and Ms. Cooke has organized them chronologically, in three sections. ..."
NY Times: A Groundbreaking Show Presents a New, Inclusive Vision of American Art
NGA: American Self-Taught and Avant-Garde Art Explored in Major Traveling Exhibition Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington
When Artists Move from the Margins to the Center

Works from the 1968 to 1992 period include, forefront, John Outterbridge’s “Captive Image #1” from 1971-72. And clockwise from far left: Mr. Outterbridge’s “Captive Image #4” (circa 1974-76); Betye Saar’s “Sambo’s Banjo” (1975); and “Untitled” (1976) from Senga Nengudi.

Wednesday, May 16

Remembering Tom Wolfe, One of the Central Makers of Modern American Prose

"Tom Wolfe, who died Monday, was—as even those of us who did not share his politics and often deplored his taste and even doubted the fashion wisdom of all the white suits have to admit—one of the central makers of modern American prose. His style, when it emerged, in the mid-nineteen-sixties, was genuinely arresting, and remains startlingly original. Its superficial affect—all those 'Zowies!' and ellipses and broken sentences—was like the sound of AM radio shows in the same period, a collage of attention-seeking screams. But beneath the affectations—no, within them, for, as with any good writer, the mannerisms were the bearers of the morality—was an observer of almost eerie particularity and accuracy. In his best books — 'The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test' and 'The Right Stuff' stand out from among many good ones — Wolfe did something more than get down his time right, as journalists ought to. He found a tone to match the time. Given an American reality of wild-eyed weirdness and psychedelic overcharge—of strip-tease artists bent over by synthetic breasts and cars customized to a point of Bavarian, rococo extravagance—any tone that was not, in itself, overcharged and even a little rococo seemed, he knew, inert. ..."
New Yorker
The Atlantic: The Lexicon of Tom Wolfe
NY Times: Tom Wolfe, ‘New Journalist’ With Electric Style and Acid Pen, Dies at 88
The Paris Review: Tom Wolfe, The Art of Fiction No. 123
W - Tom Wolfe
Tom Wolfe
amazon - Tom Wolfe

Tour May’s Sky: Venus Welcomes Jupiter

The planet Venus is unmistakably bright in the west after sunset. On May 17–18, it's joined by a thin crescent Moon.
"This month's astronomy podcast tells you how to use Venus and the Big Dipper to find many bright stars and constellations. Meanwhile, Jupiter lurks low in the east after darkness falls. During most of this month, the Sun doesn’t set until nearly 8 o’clock, so it’s not really dark until well after dinnertime. And you might even need lightweight long-sleeved clothing or some bug spray to ward off the season’s first wave of insects. But there's always plenty to see in the night sky after the Sun goes down, and May is no exception. Look for hard-to-miss Venus low in the west as darkness falls.You can use Venus to identify several bright stars in its part of the sky. This month's astronomy podcast tells you how to do that — and you'll learn their names too! The Big Dipper is another easy-to-find benchmark in the evening skies of May. ..."
Sky & Telescope (Audio)

A Not So Brief History of Electro

Kraftwerk - Computer Love (1981)
"The genre of electro is as lovable as it is difficult to pin down. The word "electro", sometimes called "electrofunk," describes a wide breadth of electronic music sounds with more or less the same origins. While it took many forms inside the U.S. and eventually internationally, its most steadfast features are groundshaking TR-808 percussion in swift, syncopated patterns and motifs that often invoke technology and ponder the future. By my count, electro first appeared in 1981 and was nothing less than the harbinger of hip-hop and techno, created largely by African-Americans artists and often inspired by European, synth-focused records. It's had a long and fruitful evolution since, seeing occasional resurgences in popularity among DJs and producers while some staunch supporters hold on throughout peaks and valleys. With its recent return to the spotlight on dancefloors and in new release bins, it seems especially worthwhile to examine the history of this portentous genre. ..."
Reverb LP (Video)

Tuesday, May 15

Rorschach Audio: Glenn Branca Discusses Reading, Writing & Volume

"'It's like a lot of people fucking jerking off, is what it sounds like to me.' Suffice to say, Glenn Branca is not a fan of improvised music. Not, at least, of improvisation 'the way it's done now,' what he calls 'this Zorn-ish kind of free improv.' We're sat in the darkened breakfast bar of a chain hotel just beyond the Parisian périphérique. Branca, sixty-four years old with greying hair swept back and a slight cloudiness to his eyes suggestive of incipient cataracts, wears a heavy black jacket with half a dozen different pens in the breast pocket. A twilight blue scarf hangs down across a green jumper in rough-hewn wool. The former guitarist in no wave bands Theoretical Girls and The Static, turned composer of epic electric guitar orchestras that once featured the young Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo, wears his black shirt with the collar popped up. 'When free improvisation first broke out – ' he doesn't so much speak as growl, a throaty east coast drawl with a nicotine rasp like a traction engine ' – mainly starting with Coltrane. I mean, really free improvisation – ' his fingers, usually steepled on the table in front of him, briefly extricate themselves to gesture a little theatrically, shades of the actor he once was, ' – it was interesting,' he concedes, somewhat philosophically. ..."
The Quietus (Video)
NY Times - Remembering Glenn Branca: Hear 10 of His Essential Works (Video)
Guardian - Glenn Branca: punk composer who turned minimalism maximal (Video)
W - Glenn Branca

A Democratic Spring: 12 Left Challengers Taking On the Party Establishment in 2018

"The shock of Donald Trump’s election inspired an organized, determined resistance on many fronts and in many forms. One could be called a 'democratic spring': a long-germinating rebellion within the Democratic Party that gained strength with Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential bid and might just save the withered institution from itself. The Left has sprouted an independent electoral infrastructure, including the formation of new groups like Our Revolution, Justice Democrats, Indivisible and Brand New Congress; the invigoration of existing political organizations like the Working Families Party; and a shift toward greater electoral engagement by groups like People’s Action and the Democratic Socialists of America. Another trend, propelled by Trump’s grotesque misogyny and the emergence of the #MeToo movement, is a surge in the number of women running for office. As of mid-April, 331 women had filed to run, easily beating the old record of 298, set in 2012. Of those, Democrats outnumber Republicans 248 to 83. ..."
In These Times

Jasper Johns Still Doesn’t Want to Explain His Art

Mr. Johns, in his studio, turned a painting-in-progress away from the camera.
"LOS ANGELES — Not long ago, Jasper Johns, who is now 87 and widely regarded as America’s foremost living artist, was reminiscing about his childhood in small-town South Carolina. One day when he was in the second grade, a classmate named Lottie Lou Oswald misbehaved and was summoned to the front of the room. As the teacher reached for a wooden ruler and prepared to paddle her, Lottie Lou grabbed the ruler from the teacher’s hand and broke it in half. Her classmates were stunned. 'It was absolutely wonderful,' Mr. Johns told me, appearing to relish the memory of the girl’s defiance. A ruler, an instrument of the measured life, had become an accessory to rebellion. I thought of the anecdote the other day in Los Angeles, at the Broad museum’s beautiful retrospective, 'Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth.' Coincidentally or not, several of the paintings in the show happen to have rulers affixed to their surfaces. It would be foolish, of course, to view Mr. Johns’s story about the brazen schoolgirl and the broken ruler as the source for those paintings. But is it fair to describe the anecdote as a haunting, an experience that lodged deeply in his brain while a thousand others were promptly forgotten? ..."
NY Times
The Broad: Jasper Johns 'Something Resembling Truth'
W - Jasper Johns

“Untitled” (2016) is the most recent painting in the show and includes one of Mr. Johns’s recurring images of a ruler.

Monday, May 14

Trilogie de la Mort - Eliane Radigue (1988-1993)

"'Trilogie de la Mort' is considered to be Eliane Radigue's masterpiece. Created between 1988 and 1993 It comprises three hour-long compositions influenced by the Tibetan book of the dead, or the Bardo Thodol, following the cycle of life-death through the six stages of conscience and beyond. Completed in 1988, the first chapter 'Kyema' deals with 'Immediate States' intended to evoke the 'existential continuity' of the being: Kyene (birth), Milam (dream), Samtem (contemplation, meditation), Chikai (death), Chönye (clear light), Sippai (crossing and return). Following the death of her son in a car accident, in 1991 Eliane finished 'Kailasha', drawing inspiration from the paradoxical logic of Escher's interlocking images, and is also symbolic of an imaginary journey around the most sacred of the Himalyan mountains, Mount Kailash, which is considered as a path to other spheres of existence. The cycle completes in 1993 with 3rd chapter, 'Koume', realized at the digitally equipped Studio CIRM in Nice, a marked change from Eliane's previously all analogue techniques. Collected, these are works of profound and intensely focussed beauty intended for deep listening."
Boomkat (Audio)
Éliane Radigue: The Mysterious Power Of The Infinitesimal (Video)
W - Eliane Radigue
amazon: Trilogie de la Mort
YouTube: Kyema, Kailasha, Koumé

Paris 1971

New York Film Festival

Wikipedia - "The New York Film Festival (NYFF) is an annual film festival held every autumn in New York City, presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center (FSLC). Founded in 1963 by Richard Roud and Amos Vogel with the support of Lincoln Center president William Schuman, it is one of the longest-running and most prestigious film festivals in the United States. The non-competitive festival is centered around a 'Main Slate' of typically 20-30 feature films, with sidebars for experimental cinema and retrospectives, and recently introduced documentary and trans-media sections. Programming is led by a rotating Selection Committee, chaired by the Director of the New York Film Festival, with many committee members remaining from year to year. Separate committees and individuals program the short film, experimental, and trans-media sections. ..."
New York Film Festival
NY Times: New York Film Festival Is a Feast for True Believers

The Many Deaths of Punk

"Hard-coded into punk’s DNA is a contradiction worthy of Hegel: A desire to impact the mainstream combined with a disavowal of anything that achieves success. It’s a perfect formula for self-destruction. This core tension has prevented punk from achieving its highest ideals, and has caused the movement to die out several times over. Both Hegel and Fichte could appreciate this self-defeating, 'thesis versus antithesis' dynamic. On the one hand, since the 1970s, punk has optimistically aspired to influence the direction of culture – not just underground subculture, but the actual direction of culture at large. At its most aspirational, punk has indeed wanted to change the world. But embedded within this aspiration is a self-destruct button. ..."

Sunday, May 13

22 Photos of Famous Authors and Their Moms

"In case you haven’t noticed, this Sunday is Mother’s Day. Be nice to your mom. Maybe you could even hang out with her. I promise she’ll like it better than flowers that come in a box, or even a new book (sacrilege, I know). And hey, these twenty-two famous authors did it—even if some of them were babies at the time. So to celebrate some of our greatest writers and the women who brought them into the world, below you’ll find snapshots of Ernest Hemingway, Marguerite Duras, Jorge Luis Borges, Maya Angelou and more, all captured spending quality time with their mothers. (Flowers are nice too.) ..."

Doris Lessing with her mother and brother

Coming Home - Pat Thomas

"Ghanaian highlife master and “The Golden Voice Of Africa”, Pat Thomas, returns with his first full career retrospective on Strut this Autumn, covering his late ‘60s big band highlife recordings through to the 'burger highlife' movement of the early ‘80s. Growing up with music around him ('my uncle, King Onyina, was an important highlife musician'), Thomas was inspired to become a singer after hearing vocalist Joss Aikins: 'He sang with Broadway Dance Band and Decca in Ghana chose him to sing with any group that came into their studios.' When a new incarnation of Broadway Dance Band was created in ‘67, led by Ebo Taylor, Thomas received his first big break. 'Ebo started to write new songs. I added the lyrics and sang them and it worked well.' The partnership with Taylor would become one of the enduring forces in Ghanaian music during the ‘70s, creating a fresh, progressive new highlife sound. ..."
bandcamp (Audio)
Pitchfork: Coming Home (Original Ghanaian Highlife & Afrobeat Classics 1967-1981) (Audio)
YouTube: Pat Thomas & Marijata - i need more, Broadway Dance Band - "Go Modern", Pat Thomas - Yamona, Ebo Taylor Feat. Pat Thomas - No Money, No Love

Saturday, May 12

How Pharoah Sanders Brought Jazz to Its Spiritual Peak with His Impulse! Albums

"With Ayler's statement about jazz's so-called 'New Thing,' the metaphor was cast. Of course John Coltrane – the giant of the tenor saxophone who brought Eastern thought to bear on his own music – was deemed the father. It was ‘Trane who gave his blessing to the next generation of players: Archie Shepp, Marion Brown, John Tchicai, Dewey Johnson, Pharoah Sanders, Albert Ayler and more before Coltrane left his earthly body in 1967. And it was Ayler who best embodied the fiery cast of free jazz, burning bright only to burn out, dragged out of the East River at the age of 34. Yet as he nears his 75th year, Sanders’ body of work does not enjoy nearly the same reverence, awe and praise as the others in the holy trinity of spiritual jazz. Coltrane continues to be the subject of colossal box sets and deluxe reissues, Ayler has had every scrap of recorded music culled and collected, while Sanders’ oeuvre stands in disarray. His eleven Impulse albums – from 1967’s Tauhid to 1974’s Love in Us All – comprise arguably the greatest run on the label. Yet outside of 1969’s Karma, none of Pharoah’s Impulse albums are currently in print in the U.S. Half of them are unavailable on CD or vinyl, the other half are bundled as two-for-one budget imports, with no remastering or bonus tracks. Most of the ink given to Sanders appears at the tail end of Coltrane bios, noting that Sanders was the lone horn player to share the bandstand with Coltrane at the end of his life. In Ornette Coleman’s estimation, Sanders is 'probably the best tenor player in the world.' And while Sanders has released many albums on many labels, nothing matches his Impulse years. The music he made with large ensembles in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s drew from the jazz tradition, but elevated the form so as to embrace gospel, soul, African folk, R&B and what would soon be deemed world music, weaving it all into a tapestry that spoke of African-American identity, spiritual realization and world peace. ..."
Red Bull Music Academy Daily (Video)
YouTube: Pharoah Sanders (Live Video - 1968) Festival France. Lonnie Liston Smith - piano: Sirone - bass

2015 December: Maleem Mahmoud Ghania With Pharaoh Sanders - The Trance Of Seven Colors (1994), 2016 January: Ptah, The El Daoud - Alice Coltrane & Pharoah Sanders (1970), 2016 November: Tauhid (1967), 2017 May: The Pharoah Sanders Story: In the Beginning 1963-1964, 2017 November: Let Us Now Praise Pharoah Sanders, Master of Sax, 2018 February: Anthology: You've Got to Have Freedom - Pharoah Sanders (2005), 2018 February: James Blood Ulmer & Pharoah Sanders - Live 2003

Germinal - Émile Zola (1884-85)

Wikipedia - "Germinal is the thirteenth novel in Émile Zola's twenty-volume series Les Rougon-Macquart. Often considered Zola's masterpiece and one of the most significant novels in the French tradition, the novel – an uncompromisingly harsh and realistic story of a coalminers' strike in northern France in the 1860s – has been published and translated in over one hundred countries and has additionally inspired five film adaptations and two television productions. Germinal was written between April 1884 and January 1885. It was first serialized between November 1884 and February 1885 in the periodical Gil Blas, then in March 1885 published as a book. The title (pronounced [ʒɛʁminal]) refers to the name of a month of the French Republican Calendar, a spring month. Germen is a Latin word which means 'seed'; the novel describes the hope for a better future that seeds amongst the miners. ..."
Guardian: Rereading Zola's Germinal
Germinal - Émile Zola

Friday, May 11

Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790

"The vitality and inventiveness of artists in eighteenth-century New Spain (Mexico) is the focus of this exhibition, which presents some 110 works of art (primarily paintings), many of which are unpublished and newly restored. The exhibition surveys the most important artists and stylistic developments of the period and highlights the emergence of new pictorial genres and subjects. It is the first major exhibition devoted to this neglected topic. The eighteenth century ushered in a period of pictorial splendor in Mexico as local schools of painting were consolidated, new iconographies were invented, and painters explored new ways to invigorate their art. Attesting to their extraordinary versatility, the artists who created mural-size paintings to cover the walls of sacristies, choirs, and university halls were often the same ones who produced portraits, casta paintings (depictions of racially mixed families), painted folding screens, and finely rendered devotional imagery. The volume of work produced by the four generations of Mexican artists that spanned the eighteenth century is virtually unmatched elsewhere in the Spanish world. ..."
Metropolitan Museum of Art
NY Times - ‘Painted in Mexico’: When a New Art Flourished Far From Mother Spain

Bookchin: living legacy of an American revolutionary

"Below you will find an interview with Debbie Bookchin, daughter of the late Murray Bookchin, who passed away in 2006. Bookchin spent his life in revolutionary leftist circles, joining a communist youth organization at the age of nine and becoming a Trotskyist in his late thirties, before switching to anarchist thought and finally ending up identifying himself as a ‘communalist’ after developing the ideas of ‘libertarian municipalism’. Bookchin was (and remains) as influential as he was controversial. His radical critiques of deep ecology and ‘lifestyle anarchism’ stirred up a number of heated debates that continue to this day. Now that his revolutionary ideas have been picked up by the Kurdish liberation movement, who are using Bookchin’s works to build a democratic, gender-equal and ecologically sustainable society in the heart of the Middle East, we are seeing a renewed interest in the life and thoughts of this great political thinker. For this reason ROAR is very excited to publish this interview with Debbie Bookchin, which not only provides valuable insights into her father’s political legacy, but also offers a glimpse into the life of the man behind the ideas. ..."

2016 February: The Feminist, Democratic Leftists Our Military Is Obliterating - Debbie Bookchin, 2016 May: Turkey’s Authoritarian Turn, 2016 July: How Turkey Came to This, 2017 March: As repression deepens, Turkish artists and intellectuals fear the worst, 2017 July: mRadical Municipalism: The Future We Deserve

2014 September: Anarchism in America (1983), 2015 August: The Prophet Farmed: Murray Bookchin on Bernie Sanders, 2016 October: Why Bernie Was Right, 2015 October: The Ecology of Freedom (1982), 2016 July: Murray Bookchin’s New Life, 2017 January: Reason, creativity and freedom: the communalist model - Eleanor Finley, 2017 February: Socialism’s Return, 2017 April: The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years 1868-1936 (1977).

Florida Funk 1968-1975

"Formally, Florida Funk is a sequel to Texas Funk and Midwest Funk, Jazzman Records' other collections of R&B rarities from the late '60s and early '70s. Informally, it's part of a much longer list of recent regional funk reissues. There's Southern Funkin' on the Beat Goes Public label, Funky Funky Chicago and Funky Funky Detroit and Funky Funky Houston on Funky Delicacies, and the ever-growing Eccentric Soul series from the Numero Group. Good as this deeply obscure music can be, I'm almost as fascinated by the fanatics who assemble these collections, not just of funk but of soul, punk, psychedelia, Jesus rock, and other forms of 30-to-40-year-old Americana. These tiny record companies, many of them based abroad, are retracing the steps of the people who spearheaded the folk revival in the '50s and early '60s, searching out forgotten records, tracking down and interviewing the people who made them, and imagining a mythological American past. Part DJ Shadow and part Harry Smith, their efforts add up to an enormous Anthology of American Funk Music. There's a danger, in anthologies like these, that this mystique will overwhelm the actual music. Pop archaeologists have been known to prize a record's rarity more than its actual vitality, as though a privately pressed 45 of a freshman trying to sound like Sly Stone is more valuable than Stone's own recordings. Florida Funk avoids that trap: This CD might not be filled with musical innovations, but nearly all the tracks are enjoyable, and a few shine brighter than that. Extensive liner notes add valuable context, painting a portrait not just of the people who produced the music but of the place that produced the people. ..."
No Depression
YouTube: Florida Funk 1968-1975 21 videos

Thursday, May 10

Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise

"60-minute portrait of visionary artist Sun Ra and his avant-garde jazz Arkestra filmed in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, D.C. in 1978 and 1980. One of jazz music's most entertaining and eccentric figures is profiled in Robert Mugge's hourlong, 1980 profile of the late bandleader-keyboardist-composer Sun Ra. 'I don't consider myself one of the humans,' he once said. 'I'm a spiritual being,' who was reputed to eschew the usual jazzman's indulgences of drugs and sex and who, despite the weird trappings (he and his big band, the Intergalactic Omniverse Arkestra, usually performed in glittery costumes that combined African, alien, and thrift-shop styles), infused his music with a strong sense of discipline and precision. Here we see Ra and the band rehearsing and performing; their 'joyful noise' is free, sometimes chaotic, but also clearly blues-based, somewhat reminiscent of Monk or Mingus (there's even a rendition of 'Round Midnight'). Ra is also interviewed surrounded by the Egyptian artifacts and antiquities that were an important element of his 'mythocracy.' He clearly loves having an audience-and how can you not enjoy listening to a guy who also chooses the White House as a backdrop for solemn pronouncements like 'I'm not a part of history-I'm more a part of mystery, which is my story'? -- Sam Graham"
UbuWeb (Video)

Montreal Expos

Wikipedia - "The Montreal Expos (French: Les Expos de Montréal) were a Canadian professional baseball team based in Montreal, Quebec. The Expos were the first Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise located outside the United States. They played in the National League (NL) East Division from 1969 until 2004. Following the 2004 season, the franchise relocated to Washington, D.C., and became the Washington Nationals. Immediately after the minor league Triple-A Montreal Royals folded in 1960, political leaders in Montreal sought an MLB franchise, and when the National League evaluated expansion candidates for the 1969 season, it awarded a team to Montreal. Named after the Expo 67 World's Fair, the Expos originally played at Jarry Park Stadium before moving to Olympic Stadium in 1977. The Expos failed to post a winning record in any of their first ten seasons. The team won its only division title in the strike-shortened 1981 season, but lost the 1981 National League Championship Series (NLCS) to the Los Angeles Dodgers. ..."
YouTube: The Montreal Expos play their first-ever home game in 1969, The Montreal Expos Win A Playoff Series!, 1981 NLCS Gm3: White's three-run homer breaks tie, Remembering Montreal Expos legend Rusty Staub

Historically Compromised

The body of Aldo Moro discovered in the center of Rome on May 9, 1978.
"Forty years ago, the most intense drama in Italy’s postwar political history reached its climax. On the morning of May 9, 1978 the commandos of the Red Brigades abandoned a stolen Renault 4 on Rome’s via Michelangelo Caetani, not far from the river Tiber. In the trunk was the bullet-riddled body of former prime minister Aldo Moro. Secretary of Italy’s ruling Christian Democratic party (DC), Moro was the highest-profile victim of the political violence that engulfed 1970s Italy. The fifty-five-day crisis in which he was held hostage by the Red Brigades, ending in his murder, also decisively undermined attempts at a pact between the DC and the Italian Communist Party (PCI). The Red Brigades were hostile to the PCI and targeted Moro because he had been one of its leading interlocutors in the ruling party. The DC had been in office continuously since 1944, but faced with parliamentary deadlock after the 1976 election, PCI secretary Enrico Berlinguer pushed a 'historic compromise' to unite the two parties in government. ..."

2018 January: The Fate of the Party, 2018 March: In Italy Election, Anti-E.U. Views Pay Off for Far Right and Populists, 2018 March: Notes on Italy’s Election

Wednesday, May 9

The World Cup of Transit Maps, 2018

"Let’s have some fun! Presented here are 32 cities from around the world (12 from the Americas, 12 from Europe and 8 from Asia), representing a wide range of rail-based rapid transit map design. They’re arranged into four groups of eight: the Red and Blue Lines contain cities from the Americas, while the Green and Orange Lines are comprised of European cities. The 8 Asian cities have been spread evenly across the four groups and seeded so that they can’t knock each other out before the quarter finals (if they make it that far!). The mechanics are simple: it’s a straight knock-out tournament. Win your match and you’re through to the next round. Lose and you’re out. ..."
Transit Maps

Nioque of the Early-Spring: Francis Ponge

"For those unaware of the French poet Francis Ponge, this new translation by Jonathan Larson offers a glimpse into a realm of glimpses, a fraction of poetic marvels in a realm of mere fractals. As a single work surrounded by many others, this book on its own is ultimately a gentle, inviting framework through which Ponge’s work and endurance, seasoned and lightened at once, can explore the gradients of concept and theme. It is filled with openness and propulsion. It is a thorough radicalism and also a challenge to the immensity of time and space. Knowing and to be known, the process and the result, a spiraling enthusiasm, wondrous, an investment, and an engagement. It is relational and intentional. Time, nature, knowledge. These are key spaces of the macrocosmic warp and wordplay Ponge iterated originally though Nioque, as explored by its translator’s introduction. Through a significant treatment, Jonathan Larson has recrafted a book capable of encountering time in the umbrella of the creative process. Poems of 1950-1953, entries and explorations into and out of the wrapped, frolicking springtime. Nature as a reflection of seasons, perhaps with Spring serving as keystone, and nature as spirit, as something remarkably anew, consciously reverberating in circumspection. Nioque provides a portrayal of significance in its self-referential patterning. At what better, triggering instance does a poetics have an opportunity to grow, does a mode of thought lead to future elevations? ..."
Yellow Rabbits Review #41: Nioque of the Early-Spring by Francis Ponge
Jonathan Larson On His Translation Of The Poetry Of Francis Ponge
Two Poems by Francis Ponge

Mayan Letters: Soap

Joe Bataan - Riot! (1968)

"A real killer from the legendary Joe Bataan – an album of righteous power that really lives up to the dynamic promise of the title and cover! Joe Bataan's in top form throughout – serving up a blend of Latin grooves and 60s soul influences that few other artists of the time could touch – soaring and upbeat one minute, but mellow and laidback the next. There's a number of longer tracks on here that really move past the standard Latin Soul modes – bringing in bits of descarga jazz, instrumental soul, and mellower ballads to Joe's already-great blend of styles. The depth here is tremendous, and nearly every track's a winner! Titles include the slamming 'It's A Good Feeling (Riot)', 'Muneca', and 'Mambo De Bataan' – plus the soul tracks 'What Good Is A Castle', 'My Cloud', 'Daddy's Coming Home', 'Ordinary Guy', and 'For Your Love'."
dusty groove
Joe Bataan talks about his iconic LP Riot and starting Ghetto Records
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: Riot! (Full Album )

2018 April: Salsoul (1994)

Tuesday, May 8

A Brooklyn Barkeep’s Illustrated Guide to New York Watering Holes

"John Tebeau lives the kind of life you thought was extinct in New York City. He spends three days a week behind the bar at Red Hook’s Fort Defiance, tending to a cast of regulars and visitors, many of whom have wandered in after a trip to IKEA, in dire need of booze. When he’s not at Fort Defiance, Tebeau’s in his Brooklyn Heights studio working as a freelance illustrator. He combines his two areas of expertise in his new book, Bars, Taverns, and Dives New Yorkers Love: Where to Go, What to Drink, which features his hand-drawn renderings of fifty bars from around the five boroughs, along with recipes and short essays on all things hospitality: whether to sit at the bar or a table, advice on engaging with your fellow drinkers, and quotes overheard at his regular Atlantic Avenue tavern, ChipShop. The importance of a good bar was established in his life early on, as a kid in North Muskegon, Michigan. ..."
amazon: Bars, Taverns, and Dives New Yorkers Love: Where to Go, What to Drink - John Tebeau

Gloria / Baby, Please Don't Go - Them (1964)

"'Gloria' is a song written by Northern Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison and originally recorded by Morrison's band Them in 1964 and released as the B-side of 'Baby, Please Don't Go'. The song became a garage rock staple and a part of many rock bands' repertoires. It is particularly memorable for its 'Gloria!' chorus. It is easy to play, as a simple three-chord song, and thus is popular with those learning to play guitar. Morrison said that he wrote 'Gloria' while he performed with the Monarchs in Germany in the summer of 1963, at just about the time he turned 18 years old. He started to perform it at the Maritime Hotel when he returned to Belfast and joined up with the Gamblers to form the band Them. ..."
W - Baby, Please Don't Go
W - Them
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: "Gloria" (Live 1965), Baby, Please Don't Go

Europe After the Rain: Watch the Vintage Documentary on the Two Great Art Movements, Dada & Surrealism (1978)

"'Dada thrives on contradictions. It is creative and destructive. Dada denounces the world and wishes to save it.' So says one narrator of journalist-filmmaker Mick Gold's Europe After the Rain, a 1978 Arts Council of Great Britain documentary on not just the international avant-garde movement called Dada but the associated currents of surrealism churning around that continent during the first half of the twentieth century. 'Dada wanted to replace the nonsense of man with the illogically senseless. Dada is senseless, like nature. Dada is for nature, and against art. Philosophers have less value for Dada than an old toothbrush, and Dada abandons them to the great leaders of the world.' Of the many bold and often contradictory claims made about Dada, none describe it as easily understood. But Dada has less to do with intellectual, aesthetic, or political coherence than with a certain energy. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

2016: DADA Companion, 2016: The Growing Charm of Dada, 2009 February: Charles Baudelaire, 2012 December: Impressionism and Fashion, 2017: How Baudelaire Revolutionized Modern Literature, 2017: The Dada Painters and Poets: An Anthology - Mary Ann Caws

Monday, May 7

Jonas Mekas - Scrapbook of the Sixties: Writings 1954 - 2010

"Scrapbook of the Sixties is a collection of published and unpublished texts by Jonas Mekas, filmmaker, writer, poet, and cofounder of the Anthology Film Archives in New York. Born in Lithuania, he came to Brooklyn via Germany in 1949 and began shooting his first films there. Mekas developed a form of film diary in which he recorded moments of his daily life. He became the barometer of the New York art scene and a pioneer of American avant-garde cinema. Every week, starting in 1958, he published his legendary 'Movie Journal' column in The Village Voice, writing on a range of subjects that were by no means restricted to the world of film. He conducted numerous interviews with artists like Andy Warhol, Susan Sontag, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Erick Hawkins, and Nam June Paik. Some of these will now appear for the first time in his Scrapbook of the Sixties. Mekas’s writings reveal him as a thoughtful diarist and an unparalleled chronicler of the times—a practice that he has continued now for over fifty years. Jonas Mekas (*1922, Semeniškiai / Lithuania), lives and works in New York. Film-maker, writer, poet and co-founder of the Anthology Film Archives one of the world’s largest and most important repositories of avant-garde film. Mekas’s work has been exhibited in museums and festivals worldwide. ..."

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

Foundation for Arabic Music Archiving and Research

CD – Salama Higazi
"AMAR is a Lebanese foundation committed to the preservation and dissemination of traditional Arab music. AMAR owns 7,000 records, principally from the 'Nahda' era (1903 – 1930s), as well as around 6,000 hours of recordings on reel. To safeguard this rare collection, AMAR has acquired a state-of-the-art studio specifically dedicated to the digitization and conservation of this music. In early 2010, AMAR built a multi-purpose hall that hosts up to eighty people. The launch of AMAR took place on August 17th – 19th, 2009 at its premises in the Qurnet el-Hamra Village, Metn District, Lebanon. ... The CD is a reliable format for the sale and distribution of music so long as it is part of a more informative package. The package should include one or more CDs unveiling the works of multiple singers such as Yûsuf al-Manyalâwî or ̕Abd al-Hay Hilmî, together with a booklet that provides historical, musical and pictorial information about them and their work. The first proposed package was an ambitious one. In October 2011, AMAR released the integral Yûsuf al-Manyalâwî records, which were the ultimate reference in art singing at the beginning of the 20th century.  A total number of approximately sixty-two 78 rpm (rounds per minute) disks, were reproduced on 10 CDs (after being digitized, restored and re-mastered) representing all facets of Manyalâwî:  dawrqasîdamawwâlmuwashshah and layâli type improvisations, among others. The choice of this vocalist as a first priority is justified by his artistic significance, as well as the technical quality of his recordings (particularly during the campaign of May 1910). ..."
AMAR: About - Lebanese
AMAR - Products
AMAR - Timeline

CD – Qasabgi. Muḥammad al-Qaṣabgī

Clash: An Urban Collective

"Detour Gallery is pleased to announce CLASH: An Urban Collection an exhibition of works by such artists as DAIN, BNS, Cleon Pederson, and Stikki Peaches among others. CLASH pushes the boundaries of sensibility while maintaining its order in the commonality that all of the works root themselves firmly in the grit of the urban art spirit. The exhibit places a combination of both emerging and established urban artists together in the spirit of a happy accident. Place the best representation of works conceived by artists who hail from such diverse sections of the world as Brooklyn and LA to Oslo and Germany and see what happens. Their work shouts loud colors, iconic images, and bold lines. The artwork emulates an urban city landscape through its multifaceted layers of expression consisting of layers of spray paint, photography, ink, silkscreen acrylic and pop culture characters. ..."
Carpe Diem
StreetArtNYC: Red Bank’s Detour Gallery Presents “CLASH: An Urban Collective” with Dain, Cleon Peterson, Ashleigh Sumner, Ståle Gerhardsen, Stikki Peaches, Faile and more

Sunday, May 6

Black and White and Black: On the Comics of Chris Reynolds

"Around the start of the first millennium, a territory on the northern coast of Africa fell under control of the Romans, who dubbed it 'Mauretania,' possibly derived from a native word or from the Greek for 'dark' (or 'obscure')—the root that eventually informed the term Moor. Centuries later, the Cunard Line affixed the name to a giant ship, built in Newcastle and launched in 1906, which for several years enjoyed distinction as both the world’s fastest and largest ocean liner, beloved by many, though called by Kipling 'the monstrous nine-decked city.' It was scrapped between 1935 and 1937, and parts of the interior found a home in a pub in Bristol. Eight decades after the RMS Mauretania’s maiden voyage, Chris Reynolds, a Welsh-born artist in his mid twenties, embarked on what would be his life’s work, a beguiling series of loosely connected stories that he called Mauretania Comics. The work had nothing to do with that remote place or with seafaring vessels of yore, and the name was just one of its many elusive mysteries. The stories were and are easy to consume but tantalizingly difficult to characterize. ..."
The Paris Review
The Paris Review: Endless Summer Wells
amazom: Chris Reynolds

Maximum Joy - I Can't Stand It Here On Quiet Nights: Singles 1981-82

“I Can’t Stand It Here On Quiet Nights is centred around the trio of singles the band released on Dick O’Dell’s Y Records between 1981-1982. Their first, ‘Stretch’, was licensed to seminal American label 99 Records and soon after became an anthem on the New York club underground, a cult staple at Danceteria and on late-night radio. Closer to home and a shared personal favourite is their first B-side, ‘Silent Street / Silent Dub’: a languid, haunting tribute to long summer nights in St Pauls (where the Idle Hands shop presently resides), and specifically the Black & White Cafe, “where dub-reggae reigned supreme, 24/7”. Llewellin’s mesmerising one-drop kit and Catsis’s outrageously heavy bassline anchor the track, allowing Rainforth’s exquisite vocal and Wrafter’s trumpet to soar within the intense, expressionistic dub mix. In both subject matter and execution it is the definitive Bristol tune. ... Listening today, three-and-a-half decades later, it’s easy to hear Maximum Joy as a relic of their era. The defining characteristics of their music—rope-like basslines, squalls of dub delay, and alternately soaring and honking horn parts—peg them to the early 1980s, when punk rock, funk, disco, and reggae were all mixing together. But the Bristol, UK, group has never enjoyed the acclaim of contemporaries like Rip Rig and Panic, Pigbag, or the Pop Group (with whom they shared members), to say nothing of New York acts like ESG or Liquid Liquid (with whom they rubbed elbows on the roster of New York’s 99 Records). ..."
Holland Tunnel Dive
silent street (Audio)
Pitchfork (Audio)
W - Maximum Joy
YouTube: Stretch, Silent Street & Silent Dub, Building Bridges (Building Dub)