Wednesday, June 19

Our Man In Havana – Graham Greene (1958)


"Our Man In Havana (1958) is a novel set in Cuba by the British author Graham Greene. He makes fun of intelligence services, especially the British MI6, and their willingness to believe reports from their local informants. The book predates the Cuban Missile Crisis, but certain aspects of the plot, notably the role of missile installations, appear to anticipate the events of 1962. It was adapted into a film of the same name in 1959, directed by Carol Reed and starring Alec Guinness. In 1963 it was adapted into an opera by Malcolm Williamson, to a libretto by Sidney Gilliat, who had worked on the film. In 2007, it was adapted into a play by Clive Francis, which has since toured the UK several times and been performed in various parts of the world. Greene joined MI6 in August 1941. ..."
Wikipedia
W – Our Man in Havana (film)
Exploring Cuba, Guided by Graham Greene
NY Times: Out of a Need for Money By JAMES M. CAIN (October 26, 1958)
Drinking and Drink in “Our Man in Havana”
amazon, Criterion ($)
YouTube: Our Man in Havana trailer, Our Man in Havana: Tropicana Scene - Ernie Kovacs

2017 December: The Heart of the Matter (1948)

Make Noise Morphage - My "Film Noir" Reel


"In this video, Hainbach (Stefan Paul Goetsch) gives a hands-on demo of the Make Noise Morphagene and the ‘reel’ that he made for it. The video is not intended to be demo or review of the Morphagene, but instead is more of a look at its musical applications. Hainbach has shared his reel as a free download. Here’s what he has to say about his ‘Noir’ reel: 'I call it Noir, since it is has a vibe of film noir to it. I made this with scoring for picture or theatre in mind, recording piano, percussion, synths on a Telefunken M15 and Nagra III and playing that back on half speed. All music is harmonically related, so it should not grind too much when switching apruptly. I left some space for new splices in the end, as I feel that makes it more playable.'”
Synthtopia
YouTube: Make Noise Morphage - My "Film Noir" Reel

2018 October: Distressed Tape, 2019 February: Sandpaper Is a Form of Change, 2019 February: Hainbach - Gear Top 7: My Personal Favorites In 2018, 2019 May: The Sound of Architecture and Design | Bauhaus, Piezo Microphones and FX

Tuesday, June 18

Personal Appearance - Sonny Stitt (1957)


"Few artists recorded as prolifically as Sonny Stitt; over the course over 100+ albums, he seemed to play with anybody willing to pick up an instrument and join him in the studio. Inevitably, there was a lot of mediocre material released, and it can be a little tricky finding Stitt's best stuff. Personal Appearance is one of the better ones, an outing which finds the saxophonist playing in a Parker-influenced style over a selection of bebop favorites like 'Easy To Love' and 'Autumn In New York.' Stitt's most famous and highly regarded recordings are those in which he is paired with another horn (most notably Gene Ammons or Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis), yet as the sole lead instrument he proves that he has more than enough ideas to hold his own and doesn't require the interplay the extra horn provides. ..."
All About Jazz
W - Personal Appearance
Discogs (Video)
amazon
YouTube: Personal Appearance 10 videos

2018 March: Stitt Meets Brother Jack (1962), 2019 February: Sonny Stitt Plays Jimmy Giuffre Arrangements (1959)

Literary Paris: A Photographic Tour


"An essential addition to the library of every booklover and Francophile, this unique love letter to Paris offers an immersive photographic stroll through its literary delights, from historic bookstores to hidden cafes. Paris in Color author Nichole Robertson turns her lens onto spots both legendary and little-known, highlighting quiet moments that every booklover savors—inviting cafe scenes, comfy chairs, enticing book nooks—and the weathered charm of places steeped in centuries of literary history. Quotes by great writers such as Balzac and Colette are interspersed throughout, while a timeline and an index of featured locations round out the volume. This bijou treasure of a book will inspire every creative soul who dreams of following in the footsteps of their literary heroes."
Chronicle Books
Inside the Great Bookstores of Paris

La Bibliothèque Idéale

The Case Against Quantum Computing


"Quantum computing is all the rage. It seems like hardly a day goes by without some news outlet describing the extraordinary things this technology promises. Most commentators forget, or just gloss over, the fact that people have been working on quantum computing for decades—and without any practical results to show for it. We’ve been told that quantum computers could 'provide breakthroughs in many disciplines, including materials and drug discovery, the optimization of complex systems, and artificial intelligence.' We’ve been assured that quantum computers will 'forever alter our economic, industrial, academic, and societal landscape. We’ve even been told that 'the encryption that protects the world’s most sensitive data may soon be broken' by quantum computers. ..."
IEEE Spectrum

Monday, June 17

Soundwalk Collective - Trasmissions (2017)


"... Among the most engaging trajectories in contemporary creative avant-garde practice, are those which entirely defy the standard classifications of genre and context - pooling from a startlingly diverse range of fields. The trio of Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli, and Kamran Sadeghi, who, with an evolving cast of collaborators, account for the Soundwalk Collective, are among the most noteworthy within this fascinating realm of production. Based between New York City and Berlin, their efforts span fine art and music, digesting anthropological, ethnographic, and psychogeographic study, through the lens of electronic sound - recording, processing, and synthesis. Marking the debut of the new imprint Dischi Fantom, Transmissions - a four LP anthology, gathers four previously unreleased studio compositions into a single sprawling hit. ..."
Soundohm (Audio)
Forced Exposure (Audio)
Discogs

A tenement in the summer is a “fiery furnace”


Tenement's Hester Street, Everett Shinn
"'With the first hot nights in June police despatches, that record the killing of men and women by rolling off roofs and window-sills while asleep, announce that the time of greatest suffering among the poor is at hand,' wrote Jacob Riis in 1890 in How the Other Half Lives. Riis, a former newspaper reporter who immigrated to New York from Denmark 20 years earlier, hoped his book would open the city’s eyes to the lives of the city’s poorest—people who resided mainly in the cramped, filthy tenement districts of the Lower East Side. No season illustrated how harsh life was for these tenement dwellers than summer, or 'the heated term' in Gilded Age parlance. That’s when the heat and humidity turned their substandard homes into what Riis described as 'fiery furnaces,' forcing people to seek a cool breeze on flimsy roofs, shabby fire escapes, and filthy courtyards. ..."
Ephemeral New York

John Sloan, Summer Roof

Why Were Medieval Europeans So Obsessed With Long, Pointy Shoes?


At a royal Parisian wedding the standard footwear was very pointy.
"In 1463, London outlawed the shoes of its fanciest men. These dapper lords had grown ridiculous in their dapperness, and had taken to ambling streets shod in long, carrot-shaped shoes that tapered to impish tips, some as long as five inches beyond the toe. These shoes were called 'crakows' or 'poulaines' (a term also used to refer to the tips alone), and the court of King Edward IV eventually found them offensive enough to pass a sumptuary law prohibiting shoe tips that extended over two inches beyond the toe. Perhaps one of the silliest and most fascinating trends in medieval fashion, these shoes probably first emerged around 1340 in Krakow, Poland—both names refer to this origin—according to Rebecca Shawcross, the author of Shoes: An Illustrated History. ..."
Atlas Obscura
amazon: Shoes: An Illustrated History by Rebecca Shawcross

This poulaine, uncovered on the Thames, features an ankle strap and a sexy, plunging front.

Sunday, June 16

Bernie’s Red Vermont


"It was in a Burlington coffee shop known as a hangout for 'alternative' people—as well as an occasional FBI observation spot for new-left activities—that Bernie Sanders told Greg Guma, the editor of the radical Vermont Vanguard Press, that he wanted to run for mayor. Guma was in the midst of organizing his own mayoral candidacy in the upcoming 1981 election as part of the Citizens Party, a newly formed left-wing band of reformist candidates and activists that had already run a candidate for Vermont’s sole congressional seat in 1980, getting a quarter of the vote in Burlington. But Sanders convinced him otherwise. ... And his brand of left-wing politics has proven far more influential than he or Guma or anyone else in Burlington’s tightly knit leftist world could have dreamed. Sanders’s ideology is the product of the winding circumstances of his long career, tracing an unlikely trajectory from radical New England gadfly to U.S. senator. ..."
New Republic
The Bernie Sanders Paradox: When Socialism Grows Old
Wikipedia - Liberty Union Party
W - Vermont Green Party
amazon: The People's Republic: Vermont and the Sanders Revolution by Greg Guma

Liberty Union

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).

2016 April: Bernie Sanders and the History of American Socialism, 2017 January: Reason, creativity and freedom: the communalist model - Eleanor Finley, 2017 February: Socialism’s Return, 2017 July: Don’t March, Organize for Power, 2017 December: Vermont Progressive Party, 2017 December: The 2017 Progressive Honor Roll, 2018 February: Catalyst, 2018 April: Are You Progressive?, 2017 April: Capitalism and the Family, 2017 August: America Has a Long and Storied Socialist Tradition. DSA Is Reviving It., 2017 August: Socialism: As American As Apple Pie, 2018 May: A Democratic Spring: 12 Left Challengers Taking On the Party Establishment in 2018, 2018 July: The Ballot and the Break, 2018 August: What You Need To Know About Democratic Socialism, 2018 August: The New Socialists, 2019 May: Mayor and ‘Foreign Minister’: How Bernie Sanders Brought the Cold War to Burlington

What region has the nation’s best pizza?


"America is not a pizza monoculture. A cheeseburger in New York might not be so different from a cheeseburger in Chicago, but the pizzas between those two cities are barely in the same category of food. Our pies—like our people—span many styles, shapes, creeds, and appearances. Every region has its own pizza patois, with syntaxes and phrasings so specific to its birthplace that it may as well be Esperanto anywhere else. But take your emotions out of it for a minute. Can we just say some pizzas are demonstrably better than others? The quality gap between the best and worst regional styles is a wide chasm. This doesn’t apply to any other food in America with the exception of maybe barbecue (but even with barbecue, we’re talking about a genre, not a specific dish). And frankly, some city’s pizza styles are half-assed ideas that get disproportionate championing in the name of civic duty. ..."
The Takeout

White clam pizza

2014 June: Pizza, 2014 October: Viva La Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box (NYC), 2016 July: Q&A: Antoinette Balzano and Cookie Cimineri of Totonno’s, 2017 September: The Pizza Show, 2017 November: A Priceless Pizzeria in Brooklyn, 2018 December: State of the Slice, Part 2: The 27 Pizza Spots That Define New York Slice Culture, 2019 January: How the Slice Joint Made Pizza the Perfect New York City Food

Saturday, June 15

W.P. Kinsell


"Three paragraphs in, there it is: W.P. Kinsella's most famous sentence, and no doubt the most misquoted line of his writing career as well. 'If you build it, he will come.' The he (not 'they') referred to in the instruction was Shoeless Joe Jackson, the baseball star disgraced for allegedly throwing the 1919 World Series and the eponymous hero of Mr. Kinsella's seminal novel, Shoeless Joe. The novel, about a struggling Iowa farmer who hears a voice telling him to build a baseball diamond in the middle of his corn field, was adapted for film as Field of Dreams – a critically acclaimed blockbuster that made the already beloved novel a sensation. For Mr. Kinsella, baseball wasn't simply a game – it was poetry, and a metaphor for life. ..."
Shoeless Joe author W.P. Kinsella saw baseball as a metaphor for life
Guide to Baseball Fiction: W. P. Kinsella
ESPN - Where it began: 'Shoeless Joe' by W.P. Kinsella
W - W.P. Kinsell
W.P. Kinsell
amazon: W.P. Kinsell, Field of Dreams ($)
W - Field of Dreams
YouTube: Field of Dreams Trailer

Friday, June 14

The Poetry Project’s Half-Century of Dissent


"February 10, 1971, on a Wednesday night in the East Village, a full moon glowed in the wintry sky over St. Mark’s Church in-the-Bowery. Inside, a group of New York’s most cutting-edge scene-makers gathered at the Poetry Project to hear a reading by poet and Warhol aide-de-camp Gerard Malanga. Andy was there, as was Lou Reed, along with poets Gregory Corso, John Giorno, Joe Brainard, and Bernadette Mayer. First up that night was a dark-eyed, lanky young poetess by the name of Patti Smith. An up-and-coming playwright named Sam Shepard, with whom she’d recently become involved, was there in support, as was her closest friend and collaborator, Robert Mapplethorpe. Smith knew she didn’t just want to read that night; rather, she wanted to electrify the audience with poems that possessed the power of rock ‘n’ roll. ..."
Voice

Poet John Giorno keeps his audience rapt at one of the Poetry Project’s marathon New Year’s Day readings, in 1981.

Slumber, Awakening - Alastair Wilson


"A dark, melodic, semi-self-generating modular patch using 2 Mother 32s sent through an Eventide Space hall reverb, using Ableton Live as a tempo source. A slight bit of compression is added to tame some of the more insistent bass surges. The patch is only semi-random because the notes come from sequences based off the C minor triad; the Assign outputs' random stepped voltages do the rest! If you want to recreate this patch, you can find it here. ... This is a melodic, improvised demo of how a single Mother 32 can play a bass line and melody at once, sent through an Eventide Space shimmer reverb, without any other processing or effects. The LFO is used as the bass here. The idea is that the Assign output can send a clock out pulse on each step of the sequence. ... You now have a Mother 32 which can play a bass line and melody at the same time! Stop and start the sequencer to change the bass note. If you want to recreate this patch, you can find it here. ..."
Matrix Synth (Video)
YouTube: 001//Slumber, 002//Awakening

Thursday, June 13

The Irrepressible Emotion of Lee Krasner


Shattered Light (1954)
"In 1959, Lee Krasner was in crisis. She was still mourning her husband—who’d died in a car crash three years earlier—when her mother died, compounding her grief. An exhibition of her work planned by the critic Clement Greenberg had been canceled when Greenberg decided he didn’t appreciate her newer paintings. Plagued by insomnia, Krasner began painting at night in her husband’s old studio, and since she disliked working with color under artificial light, she used only shades of umber and white. The paintings Krasner made during this period, described by her friend Richard Howard as her 'Night Journeys,' are extraordinary. The confinement of her color palette is coupled with a wild range of motion and space, in works that erupt with feeling. The Eye Is the First Circle, completed in 1960 and named after an Emerson quote, is a tempest that engulfs the viewer in chaotic, feathery strokes, a 16-foot-wide sweep of circular emotion. Krasner’s grief, her rage, her power, are all contained within the canvas, layered in jagged streaks of dark brown and daubs of white. Her state of mind is locked in paint, but seeps outward. ..."
The Atlantic
Guardian: Reframing Lee Krasner, the artist formerly known as Mrs Pollock (Video)
Guardian: Storms of colour from a wild destructive genius – Lee Krasner review
Lee Krasner - Living Colour (Video)
W - Lee Krasner
Then and Now: Lee Krasner’s Land of Her Own Invention
Sotheby's: Lee Krasner from the Depths of Despair to the Height of her Career (Video)

2019 April: Ninth Street Women: Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Joan Mitchell, and Helen Frankenthaler: Five Painters and the Movement That Changed Modern Art (2018)

Where We Are: An At-A-Glance Spacecraft Locator


"The last quarter has seen few changes in the roster of planetary exploration spacecraft. SpaceIL’s lunar lander Beresheet is now on the lunar surface. Its descent on 11 April seemed to go nearly perfectly. Unfortunately, a cascade of events shortly before its planned landing caused it to hit the ground too fast, and it did not survive. I’ve corrected an earlier omission (spotted—as they always are—by a sharp-eyed reader): the map at right now includes ESA’s Gaia star-mapping spacecraft, which orbits in step with Earth at the gravitationally stable L2 point, farther from Earth than the Sun. ..."
Planetary: Where We Are
[PDF] The Planetary Report • June Solstice 2019
Planetary

Wednesday, June 12

In the Heart of Syria's Darkness, a Democratic, Egalitarian and Feminist Society Emerges


Kurdish women of the Kobani canton in Rojava marching in a demonstration calling for the release of the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, Syria, 2015
"The most amazing thing about Rojava is that hardly anyone knows it exists. We hear plenty about Syria – the battlefields and chemical attacks, the brutality of ISIS and barbarity of the Assad regime. But very little has been written about the fact that in northeastern Syria an anarchist-feminist autonomous region has arisen that is the antithesis to everything around it. ... Yet this is precisely the vision that the people of Rojava – known officially as the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria – are realizing in practice, in an appallingly hostile environment, surrounded by enemies bent on their destruction. ... The theorist who influenced Ocalan most profoundly was Murray Bookchin, a Jewish-American writer and anarchist who formulated the theory of social ecology. Drawing on the connection between the environmental crisis and capitalist society, Bookchin argued that the enslavement and destruction of nature is the continuation of the enslavement of other human beings. ..."
Haaretz

Kurdish demonstrators holding a banner bearing Ocalan’s image.

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).
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, 2018 May: Bookchin: living legacy of an American revolutionary, 2018 July: How My Father’s Ideas Helped the Kurds Create a New Democracy - Debbie Bookchin

New Web Project Immortalizes the Overlooked Women Who Helped Create Rock and Roll in the 1950s


Sparkle Moore
"'For sixty years, conventional wisdom has told us that women generally did not perform rock and roll during the 1950s,' writes Leah Branstetter, Ph.D. candidate in musicology at Case Western Reserve University. Like so many cultural forms into which we are initiated, through education, personal interest, and general osmosis, this popular form of Western music—now a genre with seventy years under its belt—has functioned as an almost ideal example of the great man theory of history. ... The recognition of rare exceptions, like Sister Rosetta Tharpe, does not challenge the rule. But Branstetter’s Women in Rock and Roll’s First Wave project almost single-handedly does. ..."
Open Culture (Audio)
Women in Rock & Roll’s First Wave

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Why everyone went to the 8th Street Bookshop


"The handsome brick storefront at West Eighth Street and MacDougal Place has been occupied by countless businesses since it went up on this Greenwich Village corner in 1838. But perhaps it's best remembered as the home of the Eighth Street Bookshop—one of dozens of booksellers centered around Eighth Street or Fourth Avenue that made the Village a bibliophile paradise in the 1950s and 1960s. "Operated by the brothers Elias and Ted Wilentz, the Eighth Street Bookshop gained fame as a literary gathering place with close ties to the nonconformist writers of the day, whose works and lifestyle gave rise to the term 'Beat Generation,' states the Village Alliance. ..."
Ephemeral New York
Reality Studio: Eighth Street Bookshop

Tuesday, June 11

Oonops Drops - African Roots 2 (Brooklyn Radio)


"... After many years Oonops is back again with another African special about the spirits of African roots from the early 70s, fresh'n'highly motivated contemporary bands from around the globe to futuristic afro inspired heavy beats. This time he invited John Warr (UK) who has been promoting and DJing African and Latin Music since the early 80s with clubs and radio shows like Afro Base on Reverb Nation. Next up is Peter Piper (Germany), an expert in Ethiopian 45s and LP albums of the 60s and 70s with a little exclusive set of his gems. But before Oonops opens up the show with a selection out of his crates including brand new releases and rare tunes from the past. Let's begin this 2,5h-musical experience now by hitting the play button and spread the word. ..."
Mixcloud (Video)

Monday, June 10

Berlin Alexanderplatz - Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1980)


"Until its self-described two-hour epilogue, Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s adaptation of Alfred Döblin’s 1929 novel Berlin Alexanderplatz is an engrossing psychological portrait of Franz Biberkopf (Günter Lamprecht), a Weimar-era worker bee whose slow corrosion of self both parallels and paves the way for the impending rise of Nazism. He’s a vividly realized allegorical golem, at moments passive and acquiescent, at others viciously in control. Emerging from a four-year prison stint at the start of Fassbinder’s 15-hour-plus epic, he plugs his ears and contorts his mouth in silent scream (the on-screen title reads: 'The Torment Begins'), though he’s no mere victim of the pogrom’s progress slowly infecting the German id. In retrospect, Biberkopf is more of an accumulative symbol, as he wears his ideologies—Nazi newspaper seller, drunk, underground criminal, pimp—like the latest fashions, discarding them when they violently fester or cease to be useful. The residue of his experiences—multifaceted, oft-contradictory—nonetheless remains, so the impression in the moment is one of revelation: With each narrative step forward, Biberkopf seemingly gains in clarity (the length of the work is a benefit, allowing for a novelistic density and, at times, a mesmeric depth of character), though Fassbinder is, in fact, merely setting up his metaphor-slathered patsy for an empty-headed last-act kill. ..."
Slant
NY Times: Wandering in Weimar Purgatory By A. O. SCOTT
The Paris Review - Mean Streets: The Life and Afterlife of Berlin Alexanderplatz
NY Times: BY FASSBINDER, 'BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ' by Vincent Canby
W - Berlin Alexanderplatz (miniseries)
amazon (Video)
YouTube: Berlin Alexanderplatz trailer, Barbara Sukowa on Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz, Harry Baer on Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz, Hanna Schygulla on Fassbinder's Berlin Alexanderplatz

Book review: Nothing lost in translation of 'Berlin Alexanderplatz'
W - Alfred Döblin
NYRB: Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin

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), 2014 December: Veronika Voss (1982 - BRD Trilogy), 2015 January: Digital Anthology: Rainer Werner Fassbinder - $0.99, 2016 February: The Merchant of Four Seasons (1971)

MLB Ballpark Beer Guide


Oriole Park at Camden Yards
"Nothing pairs better with baseball—and its wild and weird stadium foods—than an ice-cold beer. But gone are the days of light lagers and limited choices. Major League Baseball’s ballparks offer an extensive list of draft and packaged beers, from big-brand standbys to hyper-local breweries and ballpark-only brews. ... With so many choices, its understandable if you’re undecided on what to sip on for nine innings. Luckily, whether you’re in search of a bargain brew or a craft beer from a local brewery, we’ve got you covered. Ahead of the 2019 season, Sports Illustrated reached out to all 30 MLB teams to find out details on each ballpark’s beer offerings. ..."
SI
Craft Beer Line-Ups at All 30 MLB Stadiums (2015)
Comparing Beer, Hot Dog, and Ticket Prices at Major League Baseball Parks

Schaefer Beer and the Brooklyn Dodgers.
The Glory Days of Baseball and Beer Marketing
"Beer has been closely associated with professional baseball since the game’s earliest days, but it was not initially a marriage welcomed by owners. In fact, the National League once expelled teams for selling beer at the ballpark. But over the years that relationship changed, and over time baseball became a prime marketing tool for breweries. Here are some notable examples. ... And what better way to reach a mass market of beer drinkers in the 1950s and 1960s than through sponsorship of baseball games? Some brewery owners even went to the point of buying baseball teams. ..."
The Glory Days of Baseball and Beer Marketing


Sunday, June 9

4 Disturbing Details You May Have Missed in the Mueller Report


"After two years of silence, the special counsel Robert Mueller recently made his first public remarks — to complain, it seemed, that no one had read his report. 'We chose those words carefully,' Mr. Mueller said, 'and the work speaks for itself.' But at a dense 440-plus pages, if the report speaks for itself, it takes a great deal of time and focus to listen to what it has to say. Mr. Mueller tells a complicated story of 'multiple, systematic' efforts at Russian election interference from which the Trump campaign was eager to benefit. And he describes a president eager to shut down an investigation into his own abusive conduct. This is far from, as the president put it, 'no collusion, no obstruction.' The document is packed with even more details, ranging from the troubling to the outright damning. Yet these have been lost in the flurry of discussion around the report’s release. Even the most attentive reader could have trouble keeping track of the report’s loose ends and dropped subplots. Here are four of the most surprising details that you might have missed — and none of them are favorable to the president. ..."
NY Times
W - Mueller Report

Loïs Mailou Jones


Seventh Street Promenade, 1943, watercolor with graphite underdrawing on paper
"Loïs Mailou Jones (November 3, 1905 – June 9, 1998) was an influential artist and teacher during her seven-decade career. Jones was one of the most notable figures to attain notoriety for her art while living as a black expatriate in Paris during the 1930s and 1940s. Her career began in textile design before she decided to focus on fine arts. Jones looked towards Africa and the Caribbean and her experiences in life when painting. As a result, her subjects were some of the first paintings by an African-American artist to extend beyond the realm of portraiture. Jones was influenced by the Harlem Renaissance movement and her countless international trips. Lois Mailou Jones' career was enduring and complex. Her work in designs, paintings, illustrations, and academia made her an exceptional artist that continues to receive national attention and research. ..."
Wikipedia
Loïs Mailou Jones: Creating A New African-American Image
Voices of the Harlem Renaissance‎ (Video)
SAAM
YouTube: Loïs Mailou Jones paved a path for black artists who had been shut out of the world of fine art

Saturday, June 8

Gris-Gris - Dr. John (1968)


"... Ahmet Ertegun, head of Atlantic Records and feeling quite generous after the number one hit single saved his company from being sold to ABC-Paramount, flew the singers with their entourage and five piece backup band from the west coast. The keyboard player in that band was Mac Rebennack, at the time an unknown entity to Ertegun and most anyone else. Two years later Ertegun would come to learn a whole lot more about the keyboard player, this time under the moniker of Dr. John, who would deliver to him a strange LP oozing southern psychedelic voodoo no ears have yet to hear. This is the story of Dr. John’s Gris-Gris. ..."
The Music Aficionado (Audio)
LINER NOTES FOR DR. JOHN'S GRIS-GRIS
W - Gris-Gris
Genius (Audio)
amazon
YouTube: Dr. John Talks about Professor Longhair (Live)
YouTube: Gris-gris 7 videos

The Roads of Ancient Rome Visualized in the Style of Modern Subway Maps


"Sasha Trubetskoy, an undergrad at U. Chicago, has created a 'subway-style diagram of the major Roman roads, based on the Empire of ca. 125 AD.' Drawing on Stanford’s ORBIS model, The Pelagios Project, and the Antonine Itinerary, Trubetskoy's map combines well-known historic roads, like the Via Appia, with lesser-known ones (in somes cases given imagined names). If you want to get a sense of scale, it would take, Trubetskoy tells us, 'two months to walk on foot from Rome to Byzantium. If you had a horse, it would only take you a month.' You can view the map in a larger format here. ..."
Open Culture

Friday, June 7

Where Birds Meet Art . . . After Dark


Red-faced Warbler by ATM. Location: 601 W. 162 St., New York, NY 10032
"The Audubon Mural Project is a collaboration between the National Audubon Society and Gitler & Gallery to create murals of climate-threatened birds throughout John James Audubon's old Harlem‐based neighborhood in New York City. The project is inspired by the legacy of the great American bird artist and pioneering ornithologist and is energized by Audubon’s groundbreaking Birds and Climate Change Report, which reveals at least half of all North American birds are threatened by a warming climate. The project commissions artists to paint murals of each of the report's 314 species, and has been widely covered in the media, including The New York Times. ... Want to take a tour of the Harlem murals? New York City Audubon has you covered. Visit 30 installations on a Sunday morning escapade, along with John James Audubon's final resting place. More details and registration here. You can also take a self-guided tour using our printable map. ..."
Audubon (Video)
NY Times: Public Art Takes Flight
[PDF] THE AUDUBON MURAL PROJECT
topic: Birds of North America - Jason Ward (Video)

Calliope Hummingbird​ by Kristy McCarthy. Location: Apollo Pharmacy, 3569 Broadway (at 146th St.), New York, NY 10031

Beach Life


Martin Parr, Mar Del Plata, Argentina, 2014.
"No one captures the colorful, blissful chaos of the beach like the British photographer Martin Parr. Some of his seaside shots swim with the verve of a Hieronymus Bosch painting. Others are spare, dotted with tiny figures who are nearly swallowed up in the sprawl of the dunes. Everywhere there are stories: a seagull going about its day; surfers cresting and crashing; a couple, still wet from a dip, canoodling across their towels. Martin Parr: Beach Therapy collects and reproduces the latest in Parr’s long-running series of sandy photographs. A selection of images from the book appears below. ..."
The Paris Review
artbook: Martin Parr: Beach Therapy

Thursday, June 6

Let's Get Lost - Bruce Weber (1988)


"Let's Get Lost is a 1988 American documentary film about the turbulent life and career of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker written and directed by Bruce Weber. The title is derived from the song 'Let's Get Lost' by Jimmy McHugh and Frank Loesser from the 1943 film Happy Go Lucky, which Baker recorded for Pacific Records. A group of Baker fans, ranging from ex-associates to ex-wives and children, talk about the man. Weber's film traces the man's career from the 1950s, playing with jazz greats like Charlie Parker, Gerry Mulligan, and Russ Freeman, to the 1980s, when his heroin addiction and domestic indifference kept him in Europe. By juxtaposing these two decades, Weber presents a sharp contrast between the younger, handsome Baker — the statuesque idol who resembled a mix of James Dean and Jack Kerouac — to what he became, 'a seamy looking drugstore cowboy-cum-derelict', as J. Hoberman put it in his Village Voice review. ..."
Wikipedia
NY Times: A Jazzman So Cool You Want Him Frozen at His Peak
Roger Ebert
Chet Baker Sings and Plays from the Film "Let's Get Lost" (Audio)
YouTube: Let's Get Lost - Trailer
YouTube: Let's Get Lost 1:59:47

2018 September: Gerry Mulligan Quartet - Pacific Jazz Records (1952), 2019 May: Italian Movies (2014)