Friday, December 19

William S. Burroughs - The Dub Spencer & Trance Hill (2014)

"... When intoxicating, rock-infused dub meets the spirit of William S. Burroughs. The Dub Spencer & Trance Hill fellows conjure up the spirit of the highly influential beat poet, novelist, essayist, painter and spoken word performer, and mix it beautifully with their unique and exhilarating deep dub blend. The connection between Burroughs’ word currents and Dub Spencer’s playing works so naturally it feels like Burroughs was right there in studio with the band. These two entities intensify each other in a holy union. It’s a perfect match. Heavy weight basslines flow smoothly as solid yet elastic foundations, tightly united with sumptuous, dynamic layers of drums that push forward like mighty engines. Spacey guitars saw and inflame; magnetizing shades of organ, keyboards and melodica provide a vintage spark, and electronic shades twist and swirl."
Igloo (Video)
YouTube: In Dub (Selected by Dub Spencer & Trance Hill)

Thursday, December 18

U.S. to Restore Full Relations With Cuba, Erasing a Last Trace of Cold War Hostility

"President Obama on Wednesday ordered the restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba and the opening of an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half-century as he vowed to 'cut loose the shackles of the past' and sweep aside one of the last vestiges of the Cold War. The surprise announcement came at the end of 18 months of secret talks that produced a prisoner swap negotiated with the help of Pope Francis and concluded by a telephone call between Mr. Obama and President Raúl Castro. The historic deal broke an enduring stalemate between two countries divided by just 90 miles of water but oceans of mistrust and hostility dating from the days of Theodore Roosevelt’s charge up San Juan Hill and the nuclear brinkmanship of the Cuban missile crisis."
NY Times (Video)
NY Times: Mistrust Erodes Relations Between U.S. and Cuba
NY Times: As Havana Celebrates Historic Shift, Economic and Political Hopes Rise (Video)
ESPN: The future of Cuban ballplayers (Video)

Mark Dion

Theatrum Mundi, Armarium, 2001
"Since the early 1990s, Mark Dion has examined the ways in which dominant ideologies and public institutions shape our understanding of history, knowledge, and the natural world. Appropriating archaeological and other scientific methods of collecting, ordering, and exhibiting objects, the artist creates works that address distinctions between objective scientific methods and subjective influences. By locating the roots of environmental politics and public policy in the construction of knowledge about nature, Dion questions the authoritative role of the scientific voice in contemporary society."
Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (Video)
W - Mark Dion
art21 - SEGMENT: Mark Dion in "Ecology" (Video)
MASS/MoCA - Mark Dion: The Octagon Room
YouTube: MIA Artist in Residence, Tanya Bonakdar, NYC (March 2013), Walkthrough, Mark Dion, Mark Dion Lecture 1:12:08

Wednesday, December 17

Darren Waterston: Uncertain Beauty

"Painter Darren Waterston's installation Filthy Lucre -- the centerpiece of Uncertain Beauty -- is a contemporary re-imagining of James McNeill Whistler's 1876 decorative masterpiece Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room. Waterston became fascinated with The Peacock Room both for its unrivaled union of painting and architecture and for its dramatic story of patronage and artistic ego. The original -- the dining room of the London home of shipping magnate Frederick Leyland -- was designed to showcase Leyland's collection of Asian ceramics, with Whistler's painting La Princesse du pays de la porcelaine (1863-64) featured over the mantel."
MASS/MoCA (Video)
Darren Waterston
YouTube: Artist Talk: Darren Waterston’s "Filthy Lucre"

Billy Bragg - Don't Try This at Home (1991)

"After dipping his toes in the notion of using backing musicians on Talking With the Taxman About Poetry, Billy Bragg finally dove in headfirst with Worker's Playtime, but Don't Try This at Home was where Bragg first began to sound completely comfortable with the notion of a full band. With Johnny Marr (who helped produce two tracks), Peter Buck, Michael Stipe, and Kirsty MacColl on hand to give the sessions a taste of star power, Don't Try This at Home sounds full but uncluttered; the arrangements (most complete with -- gasp! -- drums) flesh out Bragg's melodies, giving them greater strength in the process, and Billy's craggy vocals wrap around the melodies with significantly more flexibility than on previous recordings. ..."
W - Don't Try This at Home
YouTube: Tank Park Salute, Accident Waiting To Happen, Sexuality, Moving the Goalposts, Cindy of a Thousand Lives, Body of Water

2011 November: Billy Bragg, 2012 November: Strange Things Happen (Live on The Tube 1984), 2012 December: The Internationale, 2013 May: Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions, 2014 June: Tooth & Nail (2013), 2014 September: Peel Session.

The Ides of March (2011)

Wikipedia - "The Ides of March is a 2011 American political drama film directed by George Clooney from a screenplay written by Clooney, along with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon. The film is an adaptation of Willimon's 2008 play Farragut North. ... Stephen Meyers is the junior campaign manager for Mike Morris, Governor of Pennsylvania and a Democratic presidential candidate, competing against Arkansas Senator Ted Pullman in the Democratic primary. Both campaigns are attempting to secure the endorsement of North Carolina Democratic Senator Franklin Thompson, who controls 356 convention delegates, enough to clinch the nomination for either candidate."
NY Times
YouTube: The Ides of March Trailer 2011

Tuesday, December 16

Lennon or McCartney

Wikipedia - "Lennon–McCartney (also written Lennon/McCartney and occasionally known as McCartney–Lennon) was the rock music songwriting partnership between English musicians John Lennon (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) and Paul McCartney (born 18 June 1942) of the Beatles. It is one of the best known and most successful musical collaborations in history. Between 1962 and 1969, the partnership published approximately 180 jointly credited songs, of which the vast majority were recorded by the Beatles, forming the bulk of their catalogue. Unlike many songwriting partnerships that comprise separate lyricist and composer, both Lennon and McCartney wrote words and music. Sometimes, especially early on, they would collaborate extensively when writing songs, working 'nose to nose and eyeball to eyeball'. Later, it became more common for one of the two credited authors to write all or most of a song with limited input from the other."
Atlantic: The Power of Two
Main composer of the Beatles songs
YouTube: Lennon or McCartney

Anne-Marie Albiach

Wikipedia - "Anne-Marie Albiach (9 August 1937 – 4 November 2012) was a contemporary French poet and translator. Anne-Marie Albiach's poetry is characterized by, among other things, an inventive use of spacing on the printed page. With Claude Royet-Journoud and Michel Couturier, she co-edited the magazine Siécle a mains, where she first published her translation of Louis Zukofsky's 'A-9'. Today, Albiach is associated in France with poets Claude Royet-Journoud and Emmanuel Hocquard, all three being, at various times, translated and published by the American poets Keith Waldrop and Rosmarie Waldrop via Burning Deck, their influential small press."
Poetry Foundation
Jacket2: Aleatory displacement
amazon: Anne-Marie Albiach
[PDF] Two Poems: - Shearsman Books

Angela Davis: ‘There is an unbroken line of police violence in the US that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery’

"'There is an unbroken line of police violence in the United States that takes us all the way back to the days of slavery, the aftermath of slavery, the development of the Ku Klux Klan,' says Angela Davis. 'There is so much history of this racist violence that simply to bring one person to justice is not going to disturb the whole racist edifice.' I had asked the professor, activist, feminist and revolutionary, the woman whom Richard Nixon called a terrorist and whom Ronald Reagan tried to fire as a professor, if she was angered by the failure of a grand jury to indict a white police officer for shooting dead an unarmed black man, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri earlier this year."

2011 September: The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975, 2013 February: Angela Davis.

Monday, December 15

The Passenger - Michelangelo Antonioni (1975)

Wikipedia - "The Passenger ... is a 1975 film directed by Michelangelo Antonioni. Written by Antonioni and Peter Wollen, the film is about a British-American journalist, David Locke (Jack Nicholson) who assumes the identity of a dead businessman while working on a documentary in Chad, unaware that he is impersonating an arms dealer with connections to the rebels in the current civil war. Co-starring Maria Schneider, The Passenger was the final film in Antonioni's three-picture deal with producer Carlo Ponti and MGM, after Blowup and Zabriskie Point, and competed for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. ..."
Roger Ebert
NY Times: Antonioni's Characters Escape Into Ambiguity and Live (Your View Here) Ever After
Diary Of A Screenwriter
Other Voices
YouTube: The Passenger (1975) | Original Film Trailer

2011 September: Red Desert (1964), 2011 November: Blow-Up (1966)

Trisha Donnelly

"The Serpentine comprises two galleries situated on either side of The Serpentine lake in the heart of the Royal Park of Kensington Gardens in central London. The Serpentine Gallery and the newly opened Serpentine Sackler Gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, present world-renowned exhibitions of art, architecture and design throughout the year."
Trisha Donnelly | Serpentine Galleries
W - Trisha Donnelly
Telegraph - Trisha Donnelly, Serpentine Gallery, review: 'a calculated non-event'
Culture Whisper

Sonny Boy Williamson - King Biscuit Time

Wikipedia - "King Biscuit Time is the longest-running daily American radio broadcast in history. The program is broadcast each weekday from KFFA in Helena, Arkansas, and has won the George Foster Peabody Award for broadcasting excellence. The first broadcast of King Biscuit Time was on November 21, 1941 on KFFA in Helena, and featured the African-American blues artists Sonny Boy Williamson II (Rice Miller) and Robert Lockwood, Jr. Williamson and Lockwood played live in the studio and were the key musicians in the original studio band, the King Biscuit Entertainers. Other musicians who joined the original band were Pinetop Perkins on piano and James Peck Curtis on drums. Williamson left the program in 1947 but returned for a stint in 1965 just prior to his death."
YouTube: Sonny Boy Williamson II-King Biscuit Time (Full Album)

Sunday, December 14

72 Hours in Detroit

"Forget for once Madonna, Eminem and Iggy Pop. Detroit, formerly known as Motor City, is a broken metropolis that nevertheless can still lay claim to being the epicenter of American black music. The Motown sound, funk and techno were all born in what was formerly the richest city in the US. Today, however, the city is bankrupt, and the majority of its largely black population is living in poverty. Diving into the city's musical history is a lot like being transported to a parallel dimension of hopeful projections. For many, Detroit's music and art scenes remain a unique opportunity for urban cultural renewal—albeit one not without the potential pitfall of a revitalization that excludes black communities."
72 hours in Detroit (Video)

2012 September: Andrew Moore: 'Detroit Disassembled', 2013 July: Motor City's Burning - Detroit from Motown to the Stooges, 2013 August: Detropia (2012), 2014 April: Detroit: Evolution of a City.

Doug Sahm and Band (1973)

"Doug Sahm began his solo career in 1972, after the Sir Douglas Quintet finished its contract with Smash/Mercury and after Atlantic Records co-owner/producer Jerry Wexler convinced him to sign to his label. Wexler gave the Texas maverick the chance to cut a star-studded, big-budget album, shuffling him off to New York where Wexler and Arif Mardin helmed a series of sessions with an ever-revolving cast of musicians featuring Bob Dylan, Dr. John, David 'Fathead' Newman, David Bromberg, and Flaco Jimenez, in addition to such Sir Doug stalwarts as Augie Meyers and the rhythm section of bassist Jack Barber and drummer George Rains. This group cut a lot of material, which was whittled down to the 12-track album Doug Sahm and Band, released in early 1973."
W - Doug Sahm
Doug Sahm & Bob Dylan: Amigos de Musica
William Henry Prince
Grooveshark: Wallflower
YouTube: Is anybody going to San Antone, Faded love, Poison love, Dealer's Blues, Don't Turn Around, I Get Off

Walker Evans: Decade by Decade

"Is there anyone left who would not instantly recognise the terse black-and-white pictures of rural poverty in the US that American photographer Walker Evans made during the Great Depression of the 1930s? The photographs that Walker Evans (1903-1975) made on assignment from the Farm Security Administration have become some of the most iconic images in photographic history. Walker Evans documented America’s day-to-day life ‘with the nuance of a poet and the precision of a surgeon’ (in the words of the Metropolitan Museum) and his immaculate, documentary style found many imitators. He photographed workers on their way to the factory, subway commuters, roadside signposts, wooden churches, and village shops. He also wrote about them. Evans’ reception was long determined by the prominence of this early work."
Huis Marseille

2011 June: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, 2011 May: A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now, 2013 June: Cotton Tenants: Three Families, 2014 May: “Walker Evans and Robert Frank – An Essay on Influence by Tod Papageorge” (1981), 2014 October: Walker Evans: The Magazine Work.

Saturday, December 13

How to Raise Hell in Three Steps: on RUN-D.M.C, Parliament, Blackness and Revolution

"In 1987, in a small Southwestern Pennsylvania steel town, I was the only black kid I knew. I was also the only kid with a copy of Run-D.M.C.’s Raising Hell. At the time those two facts seemed to be very much connected. For those who haven’t had the pleasure, being the only black kid in middle school is a little like having a disease that you don’t want to talk about and don’t want anyone else to talk about either. You feel ashamed. You feel guilty. When you get to the three or four paragraphs in your social studies book about slavery, you try to look so deeply engrossed in taking notes that you don’t even notice how many kids are stealing glances at you. And you don’t even take notes."
How to Raise Hell in Three Steps: on RUN-D.M.C, Parliament, Blackness and Revolution (Video)
“Fuck tha Police” in Historical Context (Video)
Killer Mike Discusses Police Militarization, Ferguson on CNN (Video)
When the People Cheer: How Hip-Hop Failed Black America

Claude Monet - The Argenteuil Bridge

The Argenteuil Bridge, 1874
"In 1874, the year of the first Impressionist exhibition, Claude Monet painted the Argenteuil Bridge seven times, and the railway bridge which spans the Seine upstream from the village, four times. This shows how attached the artist was to the motif, using the flowing river as a counterpoint for the geometrical mass of the bridge and its piles reflected in the water. Here the foreground is filled with sailboats at their mooring. The effects of light on the masts and on the roofs of the houses on the bank in the background are an opportunity for the play of complementary colours (orange and blue) which accentuate the glittering light. The Argenteuil Bridge exhibits great variety in treatment: the still firm outlines of the solid or structured elements, such as the sailboats and the bridge, a smooth, even texture for the water in the foreground, and choppy brushstrokes capturing the reflections in the middle ground."
Musée d'Orsay
smarthistory (Video)
National Gallery of Art
The railway bridge at Argenteuil


"CRISP is an Australian Street artist based in Bogota, Colombia. He was born to artist parents, and grew up in rural Australia. From a very young age he drew, painted, sculpted, pottered, carved, photographed and created anything he could as a form of personal expression. ... He has never looked back since, giving people in the street something more interesting to look at, through the use of stickers, bombing stencils, paste ups, ceramic street masks, carvings, posters, murals and more. CRISP believes in communities reclaiming the street aesthetic as their own from capitalist advertising, corporate slogans and even just the mundane boring obsession of sterile grey concrete walls, city councils tend to prefer today! His street art can vary from the purely aesthetic to the very thought provoking socio-political."
Street Art NY: Speaking with Bogota-Based Australian Artist CRISP in NYC

Friday, December 12

"To Hell With Poverty" / "Capital (It Fails Us Now)" - Gang of Four (1981)

"Gang of Four wasn't as a brutal as some of their contemporaries, but the cheeky approach to their art didn't leave listeners with any lesser sense of meaning. This hyper-stylized single cover for 'To Hell With Poverty' is an excellent example of this; it's at once critical and accessible."
YouTube: "To Hell With Poverty" (TV Live), "To Hell With Poverty" (Live on Rockpalast, 1983), "Capital (It Fails Us Now)

June 2008: Gang Of Four, 2011 March: Gang Of Four - 1, 2012 August: "I Love a Man in a Uniform"

Jonathan Keys

"In the age of Photoshop, cell phone snaps, and digital photography, British photographer Jonathan Keys stands out with his passion for the collodion (or wet plate) process, an early photographic process that was invented by Frederick Scott Archer in the 1850s. Armed with his 130-year-old wooden Circa camera and a lens from the 1920s, Keys roams the streets of Newcastle, capturing striking images of present-day England in a classical, black-and-white aesthetic."
Photographer Uses 130-Year-Old Camera to Capture Images of Modern England
Photographer uses Victorian camera to capture modern Newcastle on glass

Dostoyevsky Got a Reprieve from the Czar’s Firing Squad and Then Saved Charles Bukowski’s Life

"Yesterday we featured Charles Bukowski’s first-ever recorded readings. Perhaps you found them, in their way, inspirational, but for me the feeling of inspiration always leads to a question — who inspired my inspirer? In the case of Bukowski, the poet has, in his work, clearly named one of his main inspirations: the work of 19th-century Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky. The author of Crime and Punishment might at first seem to have little in common with the author of Ham on Rye, but often the most resonant inspirations don’t involve much direct resemblance."
Open Culture (Video)

Thursday, December 11

Poets on Photography

Sergio Larrain, Boulevard Saint-Germain, Before the Deux Magots Café, 1959
John Ashbery: "I lived in Paris mostly from 1955 to 1965. This photograph, called Boulevard Saint-Germain, Before the Deux Magots Café, Paris 1959, is by Sergio Larrain. The Café Deux Magots was a favorite hangout of mine, at least when I was flush enough to afford it. I could conceivably have been there when the picture was taken. The photograph sums up beautifully the atmosphere of Paris on a rather chilly autumn afternoon, with well-dressed and well-behaved tourists sipping their café exprès and two fashionable cars, a sports car and a sedan. The three people chatting around the sports car are almost crystallizations of Parisians of that now distant era. The young man at far left, with his back to the camera, is an iconic silhouette of the time, with pleasantly rumpled clothes and both shoes planted firmly on the pavement. I keep this card tucked into a picture frame over my desk to remind me of the past in all its melancholy variety."
The Paris Review - John Ashbery, Ann Lauterbach, Richard Howard, Ben Lerner

Raphael Soyer

Cafe Scene, 1940
"New York artist Raphael Soyer’s style of painting was seriously out of fashion during his lifetime. Born in Russia in 1899, his family arrived in the Bronx in 1912. Soyer soon went to work, holding menial jobs. But throughout the teens, he also studied art, taking free classes at Cooper Union and the Art Students League. Rather than the abstract style that was popular in the 1930s and beyond, his work was realistic—he cast his eye on the lonely and downtrodden working-class New Yorkers he saw in bars, employment agencies, and on city streets. ... Soyer sketched and painted compassionate images of lonely and dispossessed Bowery bums, shopgirls, and secretaries going about their lives and appearing ordinary, unheroic, yet deeply human. ..."
Ephemeral New York
W - Raphael Soyer
NY Times: Raphael Soyer, Social Realist Artist, is Dead at 87
YouTube: Raphael Soyer

Jem Cohen - This Is a History of New York (1987)

"And in its own way, it is. I've always felt that demythologising films about New York make me want to visit the place more than romanticised ones ever do - and I say that as a big Woody Allen fan (see also Fruitvale Station, which wraps a horrible story about racial injustice inside a warm, humane portrait of NYC communal spirit). In Jem Cohen's short the people are mostly marginal, the footage could be from a hundred years ago or from last week, and the monuments to America's progressive, space-racing past are in a state of melancholy disrepair."
YouTube: This Is a History of New York

2014 January: Jem Cohen, 2014 June: Museum Hours (2012), 2014 November: Interview with Jem Cohen.

Wednesday, December 10

Panel Faults C.I.A. Over Brutality and Deceit in Terrorism Interrogations

"The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday issued a sweeping indictment of the Central Intelligence Agency’s program to detain and interrogate terrorism suspects in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks, drawing on millions of internal C.I.A. documents to illuminate practices that it said were more brutal — and far less effective — than the agency acknowledged either to Bush administration officials or to the public. The long-delayed report delivers a withering judgment on one of the most controversial tactics of a twilight war waged over a dozen years. ... In exhaustive detail, the report gives a macabre accounting of some of the grisliest techniques that the C.I.A. used to torture and imprison terrorism suspects. Detainees were deprived of sleep for as long as a week, and were sometimes told that they would be killed while in American custody."
NY Times (Video)
NY Times: 7 Key Points From the C.I.A. Torture Report
NY Times: Republican Response to the Torture Report
NY Times: C.I.A.’s Response to the Senate Torture Report
NY Times: The Senate Committee’s Report on the C.I.A.’s Use of Torture

David Lynch’s Bad Thoughts - J. Hoberman

I Am Running Home from Your House, 2013
"Like Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali, David Lynch is a name-brand artist who confounds conventional categories. Lynch was the first American avant-garde filmmaker to direct a Hollywood blockbuster (the ill-fated Dune, 1984), the first to create a prime-time network TV show (the fabulously idiosyncratic Twin Peaks, 1990), the first to win the Palme d’Or at Cannes (Wild at Heart, 1990), the first to open a Paris nightclub (the ultra-finished sub-basement Silencio), and the first, save Warhol or Bruce Conner, to have a museum retrospective of his paintings, drawings, prints and assemblages."
NYBook (Video)

2014 September: David Lynch: The Unified Field

Robert Wyatt - Different Every Time (2014)

"Any compilation record fulfills two purposes: it provides a listening experience, and it makes an argument. At some basic level, the first is, as with any music, the most important, but it's the second that makes for the livelier discussion. Domino's Robert Wyatt anthology, entitled Different Every Time and split into two double-records, slaughters its opposition as a listening experience. As an argument about the substance of (rarefied language is in this case entirely appropriate) one of the genuinely great, if cruelly under-known, musicians of the past fifty years, there is a counter-argument to be made."
The Quietus
Wire: Robert Wyatt: an extract from biography Different Every Time
amazom: Different Every Time
Juno: Different Every Time: Volume 1 - Ex Machina, Volume 2: Benign Dictatorships

2010 November: Robert Wyatt, 2011 October: Sea Song, 2012 October: Comicopera, 2013 March: The Last Nightingale, 2013 September: Solar Flares Burn for You (2003), 2014 March: Cuckooland (2003), 2014 October: Robert Wyatt Story (BBC Four, 2001).

Tuesday, December 9

"Strange Fruit" - Billie Holiday (1939)

Wikipedia - "'Strange Fruit' is a song performed most famously by Billie Holiday, who first sang and recorded it in 1939. Written by teacher Abel Meeropol as a poem and published in 1937, it protested American racism, particularly the lynching of African Americans. Such lynchings had reached a peak in the South at the turn of the century, but continued there and in other regions of the United States. Meeropol set it to music and, with his wife and the singer Laura Duncan, performed it as a protest song in New York venues in the late 1930s, including Madison Square Garden."
NPR: The Strange Story Of The Man Behind 'Strange Fruit' (Video)
NY Times: Strange Fruit - Billie Holiday, Café Society, and an Early Cry for Civil Rights
YouTube: "Strange Fruit"

2010 April: Billie Holiday, 2013 May: Duke Ellington’s Symphony in Black, Starring a 19-Year-old Billie Holiday

The Great War: WWI Starts - How Europe Spiraled Into the Great War - Week 1

"After the assasination of Franz Ferdinand, Austria-Hungary is determined to put a lid on Serbia once and for all. Germany wanted to go to war with Russia sooner than later, because it was a affraid of a strong Czar. In our first episode, Indy explains how the conflicts in Europe spiraled into a world war."
YouTube: WWI Starts - How Europe Spiraled Into the Great War - Week 1

Monday, December 8

Welcome to Union Glacier - Wes Anderson (2013)

"Our main Antarctic camp is located in the southern Ellsworth Mountains, on the broad expanse of Union Glacier. The setting is spectacular. The accommodation spacious and comfortable. The meals fresh and delicious. The service and support unparalleled. Majestic peaks rise in all directions offering plenty of opportunities for scenic excursions, technical climbs and ski tours. At camp there is little wind, providing a comfortable environment to relax and take it all in. ... Union Glacier Camp is only accessible by air and your journey begins with a 4 ¼ hour flight from Punta Arenas, Chile. Our wheeled aircraft lands on a naturally-occurring ice runway on the Union Glacier, where you take your first steps in Antarctica. Climb aboard one of our specially adapted vans for the 5 mile (8km) ride to camp, where a warm welcome awaits you."
Union Glacier Camp
W - Union Glacier
vimeo: Welcome to Union Glacier 53:56

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).

"Road To Nowhere" - Talking Heads (1985)

"The first single from 1985's Little Creatures, 'Road To Nowhere' is gimmicky almost to the point of novelty. Starting with an earnest gospel-like a cappella introduction -- more in the austere four-square Methodist style of church singing than the flashier choirs -- the song slides into a thumping, accordion-led shuffle influenced by but not particularly beholden to traditional zydeco."
W - "Road To Nowhere"
YouTube: "Road To Nowhere"

2008 September: Talking Heads, 2011 June: Talking Heads: 77, 2011 August: More Songs About Buildings and Food, 2011 October: Fear of Music, 2012 January: Remain in Light, 2012 April: Speaking in Tongues, 2012 June: Live in Rome 1980.

Face Control - A Moscow Travelogue

"The author makes his first trip to the Second World, and finds himself fascinated by The Third Rome. This 30-page comic contains stories about mysterious women bikers, dark chocolate with cheese curds, avant-garde Russian poetry, 'the 'Moscow Face', anti-cafes, Victor Tsoi and Vladimir Mayakovsky."
Face Control - A Moscow Travelogue
The secret life of a think-tank researcher in Singapore

Sunday, December 7

The Making of an Underground Film

"There is simply too much pork for the fork in this wild CBS Evening News report on the then-new phenomenon of 'underground films' from New Year’s Eve of 1965/66. Seen here are Piero Heliczer filming the Velvet Underground, along with testimony from Jonas Mekas, Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol, a gorgeous young Edie Sedgwick, Al Aronowitz (the rock journo who introduced The Beatles to Dylan—and pot), Willard Van Dyke of the Museum of Modern Art, Chuck Wein, even shirtless and bodypainted Lou Reed and John Cale. Angus MacLise, who was still in the group when this was shot makes an appearance as well."
Dangerous Minds
W - Underground film
YouTube: The Making of an Underground Film from CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite

The Barbizon School: French Painters of Nature

Theodore Rousseau, Maison-atelier a Barbizon
"In early nineteenth-century France, landscape painting was narrowly circumscribed by an aesthetic code upheld by the conservative French Academy. Painters and sculptors were rigorously trained in the Neoclassical tradition to emulate artists of the Renaissance and classical antiquity. In the hierarchy of historical subjects recognized by the Academy, pure landscape painting was not a privilege. At best, artists could hope to paint an idealized nature inspired by ancient poetry. The grand classicizing subjects of the seventeenth-century painters Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain presented other acceptable models."
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
W - Barbizon school

Hanart 100: Idiosyncrasies

"Hanart TZ Gallery, pre-eminent gallery specializing in contemporary art of Greater China, is celebrating its 30th anniversary with 'Hanart 100: Idiosyncrasies' comprising non-sale exhibitions across three venues and a symposium in Hong Kong. The event focuses on the concept of the 'Three Art Worlds' that have coexisted in China from the 1900s to present day: the literati tradition, the socialist state and our current global capital world. The exhibition serves as a testimony to years of hard work used to foster and promote Chinese contemporary art and is a timely reflection to the benefit of future development."
ARTFORUM: Together Again

Saturday, December 6

Two Lives (2012)

Wikipedia - "Two Lives ... is a 2012 German drama film written and directed by Georg Maas, and starring Juliane Kohler, with Liv Ullmann. Set in Norway and Germany, it is loosely based on an unpublished novel by Hannelore Hippe since released as Ice Ages. The film explores the history of the Lebensborn or war children, born in Norway and raised in Germany. It explores the lives of a grown woman who had claimed to have escaped from East Germany, where she was raised, and her Norwegian mother, with whom she is reunited."
NPR: A Legacy Of War, Hitting Home Decades Later In Norway
NY Times: So Blissfully Nestled in Her Web of Lies
Variety: Film Review: ‘Two Lives’
YouTube: Two Lives

Friday, December 5

Jeff Bridges narrates Bob Dylan's road to Big Pink and 'Basement Tapes'

"Inside a pink house in tiny West Saugerties in 1967, Bob Dylan recorded The Basement Tapes. To get there, Dylan and The Band drove from a Manhattan hotel to that upstate New York house, known to music lovers simply as Big Pink. Now, fans can take a virtual ride of the route they traveled in a new short time-lapse film, From The Village to The Basement, narrated by actor Jeff Bridges. Watch, below. 'Big Pink is a pilgrimage for people,' Legacy Recordings' digital maestro Tom Mullen, who wrote and created the 180-second film, told Mashable."
Mashable (Video)
New Yorker: After the Fall
8 Things We Learned Diving Into Bob Dylan's 'Basement Tapes'
W - The Basement Tapes, W - List of Basement Tapes songs, W - The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete, W - The Basement Tapes (1975)
amazon: The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11(Deluxe Edition)
YouTube: Robbie Robertson Talks About Bob Dylan and the Basement Tapes

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

Chant Avedissian’s “The Arab Resistance” (2008)
"The site of the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi is desolate these days: just arid land and concrete pilings jutting out over a peninsula on Saadiyat Island, north of the city’s urban center here. But in about three years, it is poised to become an international tourist attraction, when a stunning museum designed by Frank Gehry, a graceful tumble of giant plaster building blocks and translucent blue cones, is scheduled to open. Spanning 450,000 square feet, the $800 million museum will be about 12 times the size of the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright landmark in New York and will showcase art from the 1960s to the present."
NY Times: A New Art Capital, Finding Its Own Voice (Video)
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

Dublin Guitar Quartet

"Don't ask the members of the Dublin Guitar Quartet to play the time-honored classics of the Spanish repertoire. They might play traditional Spanish style classical guitars, but they're not your standard guitar ensemble. The Dubliners are strictly devoted to contemporary music. They've been commissioning new pieces and adapting others for both acoustic and electric guitars since 2002, when the group formed at the Dublin Conservatory of Music and Drama. Dressed more like stylish bankers than hipsters, the musicians filed behind Bob Boilen's desk in matching suits and proceeded to make string quartet music by Philip Glass shine in a completely new way."
NPR (Video)

Thursday, December 4

Discover the 1950s & 1960s Computer & Cut-Up Animation of Pioneering Filmmaker Stan VanDerBeek

"Hey, lovers of animation and experimental film: do you know the name Stan VanDerBeek? If not, you’ll enjoy learning it, for more reasons than that it allows you to type four capital letters. Endlessly adventurous in his quest to find new ways to craft (not to mention display) moving images, VanDerBeek, who in college encountered the likes of John Cage, Merce Cunningham, and Robert Rauschenberg, mobilized for his animation a variety of technologies that, in his day, people didn’t have much of a sense of what to do with, artistically or otherwise."
Open Culture (Video)

2011 April: Visual Velocity: The Work of Stan VanDerBeek

Double Fantasy - John Lennon/Yoko Ono (1980)

"The most distinctive thing about Double Fantasy, the last album John Lennon released during his lifetime, is the very thing that keeps it from being a graceful return to form from the singer/songwriter, returning to active duty after five years of self-imposed exile. As legend has it, Lennon spent those years in domestic bliss, being a husband, raising a baby, and, of course, baking bread. Double Fantasy was designed as a window into that bliss and, to that extent, he decided to make it a joint album with Yoko Ono, to illustrate how complete their union was. For her part, Ono decided to take a stab at pop and while these are relatively tuneful for her, they nevertheless disrupt the feel and flow of Lennon's material, which has a consistent tone and theme."
BBC: John Lennon and Yoko Ono Double Fantasy Review
Top 10 Yoko Ono Songs
YouTube: Double Fantasy (Full Album), (Just Like) Starting Over (Double Fantasy: Stripped Down)

2009 September: John Lennon - Live in New York City (Madison Square Garden 1972), 2014 April: "Jealous Guy" (1971), 2014 May: Mind Games (1973), 2014 July: Out of the Blue.

Wednesday, December 3

Veronika Voss - Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1982 - BRD Trilogy)

Wikipedia - "Veronika Voss ... is a black-and-white 1982 film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. ... She meets a sports reporter named Robert Krohn and is impressed that he does not know who she is. The two begin a love affair, even though Robert already lives with his girlfriend Henriette, who nevertheless realizes that Veronika has an irresistible allure. Veronika’s behavior is erratic and sometimes desperate, and as Robert delves into her life he discovers that she is essentially a captive to a corrupt neurologist named Dr. Marianne Katz. Dr. Katz keeps Veronika addicted to opiates and uses her power to give or deny drugs to bleed the actress of her wealth."
Roger Ebert
NY Tines
Hollywood, Germany: The Longing of Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Veronika Voss
YouTube: Veronika Voss - Official Trailer

2014 May: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 2014 June: Effi Briest (1974), 2014 July: Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974), 2014 September: A Little Chaos: A Short Crime Film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Enfant Terrible of New German Cinema, 2014 October: Lola - (1981 BRD Trilogy), 2014 October: The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979 BRD Trilogy).

No Agreement - Fela Anikulopo Kuti (1977)

"Recorded in 1977, No Agreement follows the Afro-beat template to a masterful level: amazingly catchy guitar lines that replicate a bass guitar in their construction, a second guitarist to add some JB's funk power, driving horn section proclamations, intricate saxophone, trumpet and organ improv solos, and then Fela Anikulopo Kuti's wit and message for the people. Even though Fela had vowed to speak his mind, he turns in a song where he proclaims to keep his mouth shut if it means that he will harm his brothers and sisters in the population (not that he actually does, as some of his most scathing songs have yet to come). 'No Agreement' is decidedly some of the most interesting instrumentation that he had turned in. ..."
Boca Vasionski
MixCloud: No Agreement
YouTube: No Agreement [full album]

Yvonne Rainer: Dances and Films

"Dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, and writer Yvonne Rainer (American, b. 1934) is one of the most influential artistic figures of the last 50 years. Her work has been foundational across multiple disciplines and movements: dance, cinema, feminism, minimalism, conceptual art, and postmodernism. Rainer first came to prominence as a leading figure in the Judson Dance Theater movement, a loose collection of dancers and artists whose performances (often held at the Judson Memorial Church in New York City) crossed fluidly between the fields of dance and visual art, creating a striking and intellectualized form of performance that denied the theatricality and emotionalism of modern dance in favor of movements that seemed casual, spare, and cool."
Yvonne Rainer: Dances and Films (Video)
Guardian - Yvonne Rainer: Dance Works review – funny, anarchic and oddly moving
Yvonne Rainer’s Dance Works create a chorus of limbs
Grey on Grey

2010 Janury: Yvonne Rainer, 2012 July: Space, Body, Language

Tuesday, December 2

"The Beatnik Riot"

Wikipedia - "... On Sunday, April 9, 1961, folk music pioneer Izzy Young, owner of the Folklore Center (who had been trying to get permits for the folksingers) and about 500 musicians and supporters gathered in the park and sang songs without a permit, then held a procession from the park through the arch at Fifth Avenue, and marched to the Judson Memorial Church on the other side of the park. At about the time the musicians and friends reached the church, the New York Police Department Riot Squad was sent into the park, attacked civilians with billy clubs, and arrested ten people. The incident made the front pages of newspapers as far away as Washington, D. C.. The New York Mirror initially reported it as a 'Beatnik Riot' but retracted the headline in the next edition. These tensions did not die down for some time."
Dan Draisin: Sunday Bloody Sunday
NPR: How The Beatnik Riot Helped Kick Off The '60s (Video)
"Sunday" April 9, 1961

Marlene Dumas: The Image as Burden

The Image as Burden, Installation view including Models, 1994
"With almost two hundred drawings and paintings from private and museum collections throughout the world, Marlene Dumas – The Image as Burden is the first major solo exhibition of Dumas in the Netherlands in 20 years. It is the most comprehensive retrospective survey of her work in Europe to date and presents a compelling overview of her oeuvre from the late 1970s to the present. In addition to her most important and iconic works, the exhibition also presents lesser-known paintings and drawings, including many works never before seen in the Netherlands, and a selection of her most recent paintings. The title of the exhibition is derived from the work The Image as Burden (1993), which refers to the conflict between the painterly gesture and the illusion of the painted image."
Stedelijk Museum (Video)
Marlene Dumas

Monday, December 1

Susan Sykes: Recent Watercolors; Based on 1930’s and 1940’s Urban Landscapes

Orchard and Hicks St., NYC 1938, 2007
"Bernarducci Meisel Gallery, in New York City, will feature this exhibition of watercolors by Susan Sykes through April 28. These paintings, inspired by photographs from the 1930s and 1940s, are imbued with a compelling charm and nostalgia. Salvaged from historical societies and local museums, the vintage black-and-white photos are revived through Sykes’ own realist vision. The artist brings these images of a bygone era—including architecture, automobiles, and fashions of the time—to life through the use of vivid colors and Photo Realistic detail."
Susan Sykes: Recent Watercolors; Based on 1930’s and 1940’s Urban Landscapes
Steven Scott Gallery
Bernarducci Meisel Gallery

"Good Morning, Mr. Orwell" by Nam June Paik

Wikipedia - "'Good Morning, Mr. Orwell' was the first international satellite 'installation' by Nam June Paik, a South Korean-born American artist often credited with inventing video art. It occurred on New Year's Day, 1984. The event, which Paik saw as a rebuttal to George Orwell's dystopian vision of 1984, linked WNET TV in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris live via satellite, as well as hooking up with broadcasters in Germany and South Korea. It aired nationwide in the US on public television, and reached an audience of over 25 million viewers worldwide. ..."
Media Art Net
ARTFORUM: Nam June Paik, Good Morning, Mr. Orwell, 1984


Boombox, Art Basel - Primary Flight
"Sonni was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he studied graphic design and worked as an Art Director for animation and film companies, he resides in Brooklyn, New York. In his art, he is constantly searching for that lost moment in adolescence where adventure makes dreams a reality, where the imagination and playing develop invisible forces to re-capture those lost momeries from your childhood. He works with different mediums that include paper and pencil, illustrator, acrylic on canvas, and wooden sculptures. Yet, his passion is to paint murals in public spaces, finding that dialogue with the public through primary colors and playfulness!"
Sonni Studio (Video)
Street Art NYC: Speaking with Sonni

Sunday, November 30

Rock Critic Greil Marcus Picks 10 Unexpected Songs That Tell the Story of Rock ‘n’ Roll

"Rock critic and scholar Greil Marcus has just released a book with Yale Press called The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs, and it appears to be an unusual take on a very hackneyed subject, as Marcus admits in the video trailer above: 'Everybody knows the history of rock ‘n’ roll,' he says, 'What if it was just about a few songs?' 'Unlike all previous versions of rock ‘n’ roll,' writes Yale, 'this book omits almost every iconic performer and ignores the storied events and turning points that everyone knows.' This is not entirely true—you’ve got your Beatles, you’ve got your Buddy Holly, but you’ve also got… Joy Division. And a number of other surprising, offbeat choices that don’t necessarily sound like rock ‘n’ roll history, but certainly tell it their various ways."
Open Culture (Video)
Yale Press (Video)
NPR: The Other Rock History - A Cultural Mixtape From Greil Marcus (Video)
Slate: Secret Chords