Thursday, August 25

Cryptography - Neal Stephenson (1999)

Wikipedia - "Cryptonomicon is a 1999 novel by American author Neal Stephenson, set in two different time periods. ... Cryptonomicon is closer to the genres of historical fiction and contemporary techno-thriller than to the science fiction of Stephenson's two previous novels, Snow Crash and Diamond Age. It features fictionalized characterizations of such historical figures as Alan Turing, Albert Einstein, Douglas MacArthur, Winston Churchill, Isoroku Yamamoto, Karl Dönitz, Hermann Göring, and Ronald Reagan, as well as some highly technical and detailed descriptions of modern cryptography and information security, with discussions of prime numbers, modular arithmetic, and Van Eck phreaking. ..."
Guardian: Neal Stephenson's message in code
NY Times

Isabel Bishop

"Shop girls, down and out men, lone pedestrians on the way to the elevated train—from the 1930s to the 1980s, Isabel Bishop observed these men and women from her Union Square artist’s studio, painting them in soft tones that reveal their humanity and fragility. Born in 1902 in Cincinnati, Bishop moved to Manhattan at age 16 to attend the New York School of Applied Design for Women. She then took classes at the Art Students League, developing her talents as a printmaker and painter. Influenced by early Modernists like Robert Henri and old masters such as Rubens, she became associated with the 14th Street School, a group of realist artists that included Reginald Marsh and Raphael Soyer. ..."
Ephemeral New York
W - Isabel Bishop

Carl Stone - Electronic Music from the Seventies and Eighties (2016)

"... The composer Carl Stone is often associated with multi-channel work that immerses the listener in a spatial sonic zone, and with aggressive sample manipulation that explores its source audio from the inside. The two early Stone pieces, LIM and Chao Praya, are neither. Conceptualized and recorded between 1972 and 1974, they are elegant, built from limited resources. They may play with the stereo spectrum, but their intended breadth is reserved. ..."
Unseen Worlds

2010 August: Carl Stone, 2011 April: Ear Meal with Carl Stone, 2012 September: Carl Stone' DARDA performance Super Deluxe Tokyo, 2013 December: Tetsu Inoue and Carl Stone - pict.soul (2001)

Wednesday, August 24

Joni Mitchell - On For the Roses (1972)

"On For the Roses, Joni Mitchell began to explore jazz and other influences in earnest. As one might expect from a transitional album, there is a lot of stylistic ground explored, including straight folk selections using guitar ('For the Roses') and piano ('Banquet,' 'See You Sometime,' 'Lesson in Survival') overtly jazzy numbers ('Barangrill,' 'Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire,' and hybrids that cross the two 'Let the Wind Carry Me,' 'Electricity,' 'Woman of Heart and Mind,' 'Judgment of the Moon and Stars'). 'Blonde in the Bleachers' grafts a rock & roll band coda onto a piano-based singer/songwriter main body. ..."
W - On For the Roses
Rolling Stone
YouTube: For The Roses (Live London 1974), Cold Blue Steel and Sweet Fire (Live 1974)
YouTube: For the Roses [Album]

2015 July: Blue (1970), 2015 Novemer: 40 Years On: Joni Mitchell's The Hissing Of Summer Lawns Revisited

Mapping the Mercantilist World Economy

"This semester I get to teach Economic Geography, a Sophomore-level course in our International Studies program. I use World Systems and World History perspectives, both of which favor a global scale of analysis (the course textbook is Knox, Agnew & McCarthy’s The Geography of the World Economy). This week I presented on Mercantilism, which designates both the dominant political-economic doctrine of the 17th and 18th centuries (as hegemonic a doctrine in its day as Neoliberalism is today) and a set of trade practices institutionalized by European maritime powers. Our current globalized capitalist world economy was built on Mercantilist foundations, put in place in the first phase of global European expansion, the second phase being that of the formal European empires of the industrial age. In the case of the 'New World' in the Americas, Europe’s Mercantilists were creating entirely new trade networks and hinterlands. ..."
Eric Ross, academic

Fear Of Music: Amazing Early Talking Heads Doc From 1979

"A loft in Manhattan, New York, 1979: Talking Heads are working on their latest album Fear of Music. A TV crew from England are present making a documentary for the UK arts series The South Bank Show. They interview and film the band at work—writing, rehearsing and recording songs. At times, listening to Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, Jerry Harrison and David Byrne talk they all make it seem what they’re doing is really quite ordinary, almost mundane. Frantz says he considers his life quite normal when not on tour. He gets up early rather than sleeping all day and going to the clubs at night. Byrne, who sounds at times like Andy Warhol—nervous, shy—discusses his thoughts about dressing like ordinary working people in ordinary everyday work clothes, though he soon discovered keeping up with ordinary fashions was expensive. ..."
Dangerous Minds
YouTube: South Bank Show (1979), The South Bank Show, Season 3 Episode 4

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, 2014 December: "Road To Nowhere" (1985), 2015 May: And She Was (1985), 2011 August: David Byrne: How Architecture Helped Music Evolve, 2012 January: The Knee Plays, 2015 October: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts - Brian Eno / David Byrne (1981).

Tuesday, August 23

The First Book of Fashion

"University of Cambridge historian Dr. Ulinka Rublack, author of the excellent Dressing Up: Cultural Identity in Renaissance Europe, and Maria Hayward have published a unique 16th century manuscript documenting one German accountant’s daring and elegant forays into personal style. The Klaidungsbüchlein, or 'book of clothes,' is the ancestor of every fashion blog, Instagram and Tumblr and it slays them all. Matthäus Schwarz was born in Augsburg on February 20th, 1497, the son of a wine merchant and innkeeper. Even as a teenager Schwarz showed an interest in fashion, realizing how quickly trends came and went. That understanding would inspire him to meticulously record what he wearing, when and why, noting his age down to fractions of years. ..."
The History Blog
NYBooks: Dressing for the King
Renaissance Fashion: The Birth of Power Dressing
University of Cambridge (Video)
The First Book of Fashion makes headlines
amazon - The First Book of Fashion: The Book of Clothes of Matthaeus and Veit Konrad Schwarz of Augsburg
Commons Wikimedia
YouTube: A Young Man's Progress - The First Book of Fashion

2012 December: Impressionism and Fashion, 2013 March: Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, 2013 May: The Cult of Beauty: The Victorian Avant-Garde 1860–1900, 2013 July: Undressed: The Fashion of Privacy, 2014 October: Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945, 2015 May: Fashion to Die For: Did an Addiction to Fads Lead Marie Antoinette to the Guillotine?, 2015 November: When Women Ruled Fashion.

Thievery Corporation - Saudade (2013)

"Coming off the paranoid and dark Culture of Fear, where Orwellian ideas and dub beats filled the speakers, Thievery Corporation do a severe about-face with Saudade, an album that embraces the bossa nova and Brazilian rhythms, and ups the organic material content of the group's output. Horns, strings, and nylon-string guitars are hired, rather than sampled, on an album where Thievery members Rob Garza and Eric Hilton play mostly guitar and bass. They also curate and produce, coming up with a fine set of wistful tunes and suitable, alluring singers when it comes to the former, but they come up a bit short when it comes to the latter. ..."
W - Saudade (Thievery Corporation album)
NPR - First Listen: Thievery Corporation, 'Saudade'
Thievery Corporation announce Saudade, a full-length flirtation with bossa nova (don’t be jealous) (Video)
YouTube: Thievery Corporation - Saudade (full album)

Eau de Cologne

"The group show Eau de Cologne at Sprüth Magers in Los Angeles features work from the late-1970s to 2016 by Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Cindy Sherman and Rosemarie Trockel. The exhibition at Sprüth Magers’ recently-opened Los Angeles gallery is a follow-up to its predecessor in Berlin last year. It sheds light on key topics in these artists’ works, but also the specific history of the gallery and its connection to these important female figures of an art that subtly addresses women’s roles in very different ways. All five artists in the exhibition showed with Monika Sprüth during the earliest years in Cologne and have maintained close ties to the gallery since the early 1980s. ..."
Sprueth Magers
LA Times - Women, art and inequality in the gallery world: Sprüth Magers exhibition fuels an old debate
ART CITIES:Los Angeles -Eau de Cologne

Monday, August 22

Tony Allen With Africa 70 - No Accommodation For Lagos (1978), No Discrimination (1980)

"1978 was without a doubt one of the most disturbing years in the history of Fela and the Afrika 70. Just a year before the army had raided Fela’s compound destroying his house, his club, his brothers free medical clinic and fatally injuring his mother. With their houses destroyed they had to squat the former Decca offices. Somewhere in between the madness they managed to record Fela’s Suffering and Schmiling album and Tony Allen’s third solo-project: ‘No Accomodation For Lagos’. Without a doubt his most political orientated record of all. After the record came out Tony Allen dropped from the Afrika ’70 band as he felt that too many people were sapping Fela of his creative mind. Part of the Tony Allen reissue series on Kindred Spirits, featuring remastered versions and original restored artwork. A must for afro-beat fans around the globe."
Light in the Attic
YouTube: No Accommodation For Lagos, No Discrimination 1:03:37

2016 July: Secret Agent (2008)

Company Wang Ramirez

Monchichi 2015
"In the US premiere of the duet Monchichi (2011), a Frenchman with Spanish parents (Sébastien Ramirez) and a German woman with a Korean mother (Honji Wang) present a dance of alienation and the search for identity and love. A couple both on stage and in real life, their dance backgrounds could hardly be more contrasting: while Ramirez was a B-boy, Wang was classically trained, but they share a love of other dance styles and a great interest in experimentation. Through the exploration of cultural influences, they create a new language: a virtuosic, poetic, and humorous delight. ..."
American Dance Festival
Wang Ramirez
W - Wang Ramirez
YouTube: MONCHICHI x WANG RAMIREZ | dance production, WANG RAMIREZ, AP15 at Breakin' Convention 2012

Marcel Proust’s Search for Lost Time — Patrick Alexander

"In his introduction to his reader’s guide to Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, Patrick Alexander observes that 'Except for those fortunate enough to spend several years confined to a hospital bed, a federal prison, or to be stranded on a desert island with their preselected library, few modern readers have the time to tackle a novel with more than three thousand pages, a million and a half words, and more than four hundred individual characters.' Alexander goes on to point out that 'Proust’s novel is increasingly read only by professional academics,' a trend he describes as a 'great pity.' Alexander wants you to be able to access all the philosophical insight and rich humor of Proust, and his book Marcel Proust’s Search for Lost Time makes a great starting point for doing so. ..."
A Reader’s Guide to The Remembrance of Things Past

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).

Sunday, August 21

What’s it like living in Turkey one month after the failed coup?

"A month has passed since the failed military coup in Turkey. The nightly demonstrations against the attempted coup culminated in pro-government rally in Istanbul a week last Sunday, where hundreds of thousands of flag-waving supporters were addressed by the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Following the coup, the government launched a sweeping crackdown with Erdoğan accusing Fethullah Gülen, the US-based cleric, of masterminding it. Nearly 18,000 people have been detained or arrested across Turkey, including 42 arrest warrants for journalists, and the sacking of 15,000 education workers. ... We heard from our readers across the country on the mood in the country one month after the abortive coup. ..."
TIME: The Coup May Have Failed but Fear Still Rules Turkey

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

A few of Schuyler's revisions - Charles North

"I remember once asking Jimmy, after I had gotten to know him a little in the early ’70s, how he decided whether a poem published in a magazine was worthy of reprinting in a book. His answer — accompanied, as it often was, by a slow chuckle, which I assumed meant that his response was serious but that there was something faintly inappropriate if not embarrassing in talking about it — was that anything worth publishing once was worth publishing again. In fact, since I saw a couple of his manuscripts which contained poems that didn’t make their way into the book, he wasn’t quite telling the truth. I also remember asking him whether he revised much, to which the answer was no, hardly at all. ..."

2008 January: James Schuyler, 2009 October: James Schuyler: Six New Recordings Added, 2011 March: Broadway: A Poets and Painters Anthology, 2011 December: An Anthology of New York Poets, 2012 July: A Schuyler of urgent concern, 2013 July: In Fairfield Porter / James Schuyler country: Penobscot Bay, Maine, 2014 November: Just the Thing: Selected Letters of James Schuyler 1951-1991, 2015 October: The Morning of the Poem (1980),June 2016: New Video of James Schuyler’s Legendary Debut Reading in 1988.

Freaks, Radicals and Hippies: Counterculture in 1970s Vermont

Members of the Mount Philo commune traveled to Washington to protest the Vietnam War in 1971
"The 1970s in Vermont were a time of radical change in culture, population, politics, and social life. Many of the features that are today considered quintessentially Vermont–its politics, its local food movements, and its offbeat culture–have their origins in this period of recent history. The Vermont Historical Society embarked on a two-year research project to collect, document, and share the history of this influential decade in Vermont. ..."
Vermont Historical Society
1970s VT: Fears of a hippie invasion
Back to the Land: Communes in Vermont
17 Rare Photos From Vermont That Will Take You Straight To The Past
Vermont Historical Society examines lasting impact of 1970s counterculture
Vermont documents 1970s counterculture

2015 April: Vermont Historical Society examines lasting impact of 1970s counterculture

Saturday, August 20

New Yorkers in Subway Deserts Have Advice for L Train Riders: ‘Suck It Up’

Philippe Pierre’s morning commute from his home in Queens to his job in Manhattan typically involves a commuter van and two subway lines.
"Waiting at a bus stop in a cascade of snow. Inching along in stop-and-go traffic. Cramming into a commuter van alongside other passengers. These are the experiences of living in New York City when a subway line is out of reach. While the city is heralded for operating one of the world’s most expansive networks of subway lines, there are many neighborhoods — and many New Yorkers — that do not benefit from this rapid mode of transportation. For those who live in the huge swaths of the city that the subway does not serve, getting around can be a time-consuming and stressful slog, involving long bus rides, multiple transfers and a large reserve of patience or a good playlist or book to endure an hour or more in transit. ..."
NY Times
W - L (New York City Subway service)
L train shutdown explained: Facts, figures, proposals and more

The Band - Rock of Ages (1972)

"Released on the heels of the stilted, static Cahoots, the double-album Rock of Ages occupies a curious yet important place in Band history. Recorded at a spectacular New Years Eve 1971 gig, the show and album were intended to be a farewell of sorts before the Band took an extended break in 1972, but it turned out to be a last hurrah in many different ways, closing the chapter on the first stage of their career, when they were among the biggest and most important rock & roll bands. That sense of importance had started to creep into their music, turning their studio albums after The Band into self-conscious affairs, and even the wildly acclaimed first two albums seemed to float out of time, existing in a sphere of their own and never having the kick of a rock & roll band. ..."
W - Rock of Ages (The Band album)
Rolling Stone
YouTube: Don't Do It (Live)
YouTube: Rock of Ages complete

2009 July: The Band, 2011 June: Music from Big Pink, 2011 September: The Last Waltz, 2012 December: King Harvest 2012 January: Rare Concert Footage of The Band, 1970, 2015 January: Stage Fright (1970), 2015 October: The Band (1969), 2015 December: The Band With The Hawks - The Silver Dome 1989, 2016 April: Don’t Do It (1976)

Cézanne to Richter – Masterpieces from the Kunstmuseum Basel

Max Ernst, La grande forêt, 1927.
"As the main building of the Kunstmuseum Basel is closed for a year of renovations, the museum has launched a rich program of exhibitions, primarily at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst. One particular highlight is the show Cézanne to Richter – Masterpieces from the Kunstmuseum Basel. Curated by Bernhard Mendes Bürgi, the exhibition traces the major developments in European painting through the 1970s. ... The presentation of around seventy works is generally arranged along chronological lines; instead of constructing a didactic narrative in which one school succeeds another, it vividly illustrates the simultaneity of disparate tendencies that is the period’s essential characteristic. The show features around seventy works by Cézanne, Pissarro, Monet, Degas, Renoir, van Gogh, Modersohn-Becker, Böcklin, Hodler, Braque, Picasso, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Klee, Miró, Fontana, Palermo, Tanguy, Richter, and others."
kunstmuseum basel

Friday, August 19

Jill Stein

Wikipedia - "Jill Ellen Stein (born May 14, 1950) is an American physician, activist, and politician. She is currently the Green Party's nominee for President of the United States in the 2016 election. Stein was the presidential nominee of the Green Party in 2012, in which she received 469,501 votes (0.4%). ... On February 6, 2015, Stein announced the formation of an exploratory committee in preparation for a potential campaign for the Green Party's presidential nomination in 2016. On June 22, 2015, Stein formally announced her candidacy for the Green Party's 2016 presidential nomination in a live interview with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! After former Ohio state senator Nina Turner reportedly declined to be her running mate, Stein chose human rights activist Ajamu Baraka as her running mate on August 1, 2016. During the campaign, Stein has said that it is 'hard to say' whether Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton is the 'greater evil'. She said that the 'two corporate parties', the Democratic party and the Republican party, have converged into one and the same party. ..."
W - Green Party of the United States
YouTube: Jill Stein to Bernie Sanders: Run on the Green Party Ticket & Continue Your Political Revolution, Green Party Candidate Jill Stein on Bernie, Hillary & a “Green New Deal” (Interview w/ Cenk Uygur)

Kienholz: Five Car Stud

Fondazione Prada, Kienholz
"Autodidact installation artist and assemblage sculptor Edward Kienholz first began to practice carpentry, metalwork and auto-repair as a young boy on his rural family farm. In a new exhibition at Fondazione Prada, Kienholz: Five Car Stud celebrates his unequivocal imagination with a seven-month-long retrospective. 26 artworks, realized between 1959 and 1994, will be presented as part of the Prada Collection. 'Kienholz does not tend to sublimate the lowness and tragedy of life, the conditions of solitude and triviality, but rather uses them as tools that can highlight the low, popular universe, a place where the emaciated and filthy, the perverse and lurid, represent a new, surprising beauty,' explains the exhibit’s curator, Germano Celant. Five Car Stud officially opened yesterday, ready to catapult viewers into a nightmarish empiricism. ..."
Fondazione Prada (Video)
New Museum

Wild Dub: Dread Meets Punk Rocker

"While punk rock came about ultimately as an intertwining of influences on both sides of the Atlantic, some of its deepest roots are in the multiracial inner cities of London, Brixton, and Birmingham, where disaffected British youth mingled with expatriate Jamaicans and were surrounded by reggae and its mystical, experimental corollary, dub. Bands like the Clash, Public Image Ltd., and the Slits incorporated reggae elements very explicitly into their music, while others, such as the Pop Group and Killing Joke, drew on reggae and dub influences in somewhat more subtle ways. This uneven but ultimately rewarding collection offers some of the most exciting moments of punk-reggae fusion, as well as one or two of its most silly and ill-advised. ... This is a long and generous program, so even the occasional clunker is easily forgivable. Recommended."
YouTube: The clash - bankrobber/dub (the Original Black Market Clash Version),
The Slits - Typical Girls (Brink Style)
, Public Image Limited - Death Disco (Live), Bloody Dub - Stiff Little Fingers, GRACE JONES - PRIVATE LIFE (Dub Version)

Saturday, July 30

Bernie Worrell: 10 Essential Tracks From the P-Funk Keyboardist

"One of the most wildly innovative and technically dazzling musicians in pop music history, Parliament-Funkadelic's Bernie Worrell was like 'Jimi Hendrix on the keyboards,' according to one-time bandmate Bootsy Collins, and that's not a hyperbolic estimation. A classical-music child prodigy who attended the New England Conservatory of Music and Juilliard, Worrell's journey to the funk began by hanging around George Clinton's Newark, New Jersey barbershop. By his early 20s, he was a full-fledged P-Funkateer, and soon became de facto musical director, organizing and orchestrating the anarchic collective's sprawling jams and riffs into iconic compositions and performances. ..."
Rolling Stone (Video)

The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955

"In 1951, Bowman's short-lived baseball card monopoly was broken by Topps and the great Baseball Gum Card War was in full swing. Consumers almost always benefit from competition in the marketplace and the card collectors were no exception during the Baseball Bubble Gum Card War. The result was the birth and rapid evolution of the modern baseball card. Each spring during the years of 1952 to 1955, American boys had their choice between two great sets of baseball cards. The boys would cast their votes for their favorite issue of the year by sliding nickels across the counter of America's dime-stores to purchase baseball cards from either Topps or Bowman. ...'
amazon: The Bubble Gum Card War
amazon: Baseball Cards of the Fifties: The Complete Topps Cards 1950-1959
amazon: Topps Baseball Cards: The Complete Picture Collection (A 35-Year History, 1951-1985)
amazon: Classic Sports Card Sets: Best Sport Cards Sets From the 1950s and 1960s
amazon: The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book

Rude Reggae: Rough Riders

"We are back with another Reggae article! 'Rude Reggae – Rough Riders' has been taken from a Black Music Magazine from 1974. It was, in fact, part of a special called Sexy Soul, Blue Blues and Rude Reggae. The author of the Reggae section was Carl Gayle, as usual, providing an entertaining and interesting read. ... At its worst, rude reggae can plumb the depths of childish smut. At its best, it has an earthy and unselfconscious directness which can make the prudest of prudes explode with laughter. ..."
The Ballroom Blitz
YouTube: Judge Dread - Big Six, Lord Kitchener - Dr. Kitch aka The Needle (1963), Prince Buster & All Stars - Rough Rider, Prince Buster - Wreck A Pum Pum, Laurel Aitken - Pussy Price, Justin Hines And The Dominoes - Rub Up Push Up, The Heptones - Fattie Fattie, Derrick Morgan - Kill Me Dead, Lloyd Terrel - Bang Bang Lulu, Max Romeo - Wet Dream, Nora Dean - Barbwire, Wailing Wailers - Bend Down Low

Friday, July 29

Broken Records: The Final Days of Bleecker Bob’s Golden Oldies

"The aromas of must and dust were what stuck with you when you exited Bleecker Bob’s Golden Oldies Record Shop, the dumpy yet iconic LP store in New York City’s mercurial post-boho Greenwich Village. The scents wafted out the door, where they lingered in that no-man’s-land between Ben’s Pizza and Village Psychic. The collected fetor of decades-old cardboard, vinyl, and plastic all comingling, the whiff of oldies begging to be rediscovered. It was unforgettable. For the past 32 years, Bleecker Bob’s shared its air at 118 West Third Street, and it amassed a downtown New York legacy that dated back to the early ’70s. ..."
NY Times: What Did You Buy at Bleecker Bob’s?
Noir York (Video)
Bleecker Bob’s is closing: Legendary record store to be replaced by frozen yogurt chain store (Video)
The Record Store Day After: New York's Iconic Bleecker Bob's Closes
YouTube: The Last Days of Bleecker Bob's 32:54, The Final Days of Bleecker Bobs, Seinfeld - Bleecker Bob's Records

Delta Aquariids Kick Off Summer Meteor Showers

"Open the gate. Here they come! It's time for the annual trifecta of late July-early August meteor showers beginning with the Delta Aquariids which peak the night of July 28–29. The last meteor shower of note occurred in early May when the Eta Aquariids sprinkled a modest few meteors across the dawn sky. Yes, it's been a long time. The Delta Aquariid meteor shower takes its name from Delta Aquarii, a 3rd-magnitude star in the constellation Aquarius, the Water Carrier. Shower meteors fan out across the sky, but all appear to streak away from a point in central Aquarius called the radiant. ..."
Sky & Telescope

2010 August: Perseids

Mid-Century Modern

"The middle of the 20th century was a golden age for the American theater. Tennessee Williams wrote his first masterpiece, The Glass Menagerie, in 1944, towards the end of World War II, and A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof both followed in the subsequent decade. Eugene O’Neill wrote his titanic mature works, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and The Iceman Cometh, during World War II, and each was first performed in the first dozen years after the war. And in the same period, Arthur Miller gave the world arguably his greatest works: All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, and A View From the Bridge. ..."
New Republic

2011 April: The Misfits (1961), 2012 June: Before Air-Conditioning (1998), 2014 December: The Crucible (1953), 2015 December: A View from the Bridge (1955), 2016 January: Arthur Miller’s Brooklyn

Thursday, July 28

Beirut Sounds Like This

Broadcasting online, Radio Beirut also showcases live and dj performances in the pulsating Mar Mikhail neighborhood.
"'When I first began making Oriental music as a teenager, it was the way foreigners fantasize it,' says Zeid Hamdan, leaning back into the couch with a cup of chamomile tea. Though it is nine in the morning, he has already wrapped up one meeting, and in an hour he has to be at the studio where he is set to put in an eight-hour day producing musician and film composer Khaled Mouzanar’s new album. ... Soap Kills remains the seminal sound of postwar Beirut, a Beirut just emerging from the devastation and dust of a 15-year-long civil war. Hamdan’s trippy, minimalist beats, samples and orchestration underscore and elevate his counterpart’s misty, sensual vocals, giving them a rubbly landscape from which they rise, unfurling like smoke. ..."
AramcoWorld (Video)

Greensboro sit-ins

Wikipedia - "The Greensboro sit-ins were a series of nonviolent protests in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1960, which led to the Woolworth department store chain removing its policy of racial segregation in the Southern United States. While not the first sit-in of the Civil Rights Movement, the Greensboro sit-ins were an instrumental action, and also the most well-known sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement. These sit-ins led to increased national sentiment at a crucial period in US history. The primary event took place at the Greensboro, North Carolina, Woolworth store, now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. ..."
History: The Greensboro Sit-In
The Greensboro Chronology
Awesome: Greensboro Four - Woolworth Lunch Counter

American Woman - The Guess Who (1970) Lenny Kravitz, Prince, etc.

Wikipedia - "'American Woman' is a song released by the Canadian rock band the Guess Who in January 1970, from their sixth studio album of the same name. ... The song's lyrics have been the matter of some debate, often interpreted as an attack on U.S. politics (especially the draft). Jim Kale, the group's bassist and the song's co-author, explained his take on the lyrics: 'The popular misconception was that it was a chauvinistic tune, which was anything but the case. The fact was, we came from a very strait-laced, conservative, laid-back country, and all of a sudden, there we were in Chicago, Detroit, New York – all these horrendously large places with their big city problems.' ..."
YouTube: American Woman - The Guess Who, Lenny Kravitz, Prince & Lenny Kravitz (Live)

Wednesday, July 27

North Beach History: When Bebop Filled The Night

Frank Phipps plays bass trumpet at The Cellar, c. 1959.
"... In 1951, while I was a high-school student, my girlfriend and I would make trips from Berkeley to the corner of Turk and Hyde streets in the Tenderloin. Here, at the legendary jazz club, The Black Hawk, we would be ensconced behind a chicken-wire barrier that separated underage patrons from their hipster elders. It was from this 'cage’' that we would 'dig' the energizing sounds of Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan and other jazz greats. ..."
W - North Beach, San Francisco
PBS: Music of the Fillmore

Sophia Al-Maria: Black Friday

Black Friday, 2016. Digital video projected vertically, color, sound; 16:36 min.
"For her first solo exhibition in the United States, Sophia Al-Maria (b. 1983) debuts a new video and installation. For nearly a decade, Al-Maria has been finding ways to describe twenty-first-century life in the Gulf Arab nations through art, writing, and filmmaking. She coined the term 'Gulf Futurism' to explain the stunning urban and economic development in the region over the last decades, as well as the environmental damage, religious conservatism, and historical amnesia that have accompanied it. Her exhibition at the Whitney continues this examination by focusing on the Gulf’s embrace of the shopping mall. ..."
Whitney: Back to the Futurist
Guardian: Artist Sophia Al-Maria: 'People hate Islam, but they're titillated by it too'

Booker Ervin: Exultation! (1963)

"Following the familiar path of military service, then college music education, the young Texan Booker Ervin cut his music teeth playing rhythm and blues, teaching himself tenor. Moving east, a chance encounter with Horace Parlan opened up an audition opportunity with Mingus, where he quickly found a place in the creative cauldron which launched so many fine players in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Able to navigate Mingus complex scores, Ervin also shone in solo, paired with Dolphy’s wild alto excursions. His hard-driving tenor is heard on all Mingus’s key albums of this period including Ah Um, Blues and Roots, At Antibes, and Mingus Five. ..."
London Jazz Collector (Video)
W - Booker Ervin
YouTube: Exultation! (1963)

Tuesday, July 26

Once Upon a Time in America - Sergio Leone (1984)

Wikipedia - "Once Upon a Time in America is a 1984 Italian-American epic crime drama film co-written and directed by Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone and starring Robert De Niro and James Woods. Based on Harry Grey's novel The Hoods, it chronicles the lives of Jewish ghetto youths who rise to prominence in New York City's world of organized crime. The film explores themes of childhood friendships, love, lust, greed, betrayal, loss, broken relationships, and the rise of mobsters in American society. It was the final film of Leone's career and the first feature film he had directed in thirteen years. The cinematography was by Tonino Delli Colli, and Ennio Morricone provided the film score. ..."
13 Epic Facts About 'Once Upon a Time in America'
If You Never Liked Once Upon A Time In America, Give The Director's Cut A Chance (Video)
Roger Ebert
YouTube: Once Upon a Time in America

2011 August: Dollars Trilogy

The Circuit Board Record Album

"Tristan Perich’s Noise Patterns comes in a clear jewel case, but it isn’t a CD. It’s a small, matte-black circuit board. Powered by a watch battery, it produces a series of musical compositions built from the on/off operations on the minuscule chip at the center of the device, the same sort of chip you might find in a microwave oven. What follows is a lengthy, detailed interview in which Perich talks about the development of Noise Patterns, and various other aspects of his artistic efforts, which range from full-scale museum installations of drawing machines and 'microtonal walls,' to live performances in which he builds circuits in front of the audience. ..."
disquiet (Video)
Tristan Perich - Noise Patterns
Bleep (Video)
Tristan Perich - 1-Bit Symphony (Video)
YouTube: Tristan Perich: Surface Image (with Vicky Chow), [LIVE] Vicky Chow performs Tristan Perich: Surface Image 1:03:26

Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’

"As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well. I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. ..."
The Undefeated

Monday, July 25

The Kut Collective

"... Kut Films was created two years ago. After studying film in Bristol, one guy returned home to Latvia and, after an unsuccessful job search, decided to concentrate less on the commercial and more on personal interests. It seemed like a good idea, not only to pull in some attention, but also to make something fun and meaningful for people in Latvia – and beyond. Luckily, there are plenty of potatoes in Latvian gardens in summertime, so there were no worries about survival for a bit. This guy is the nucleus of the collective, which involves a group of enthusiastic people – it changes according to projects and circumstances. ..."
Don't Panic (Video)

The Slits - "Man Next Door" - Berlin 1981

"One of the few 45s I still own, The Slit’s wonderful cover of 'Man Next Door,' a reggae classic associated with both John Holt (who wrote it) and the 'Crown Prince of Reggae,' Dennis Brown (who covered it. So Did Massive Attack). This non-album, 1980 production was mixed by Adrian Sherwood, Adam Kidron and the Slits themselves. The B-side is a tripped out dub version. Once I was able to get my hands on some 'real' (Jamaican) dub, I was disappointed that it seldom lived up to the psychedelic standards set here. In this live clip, The Slits perform an epic, nearly 9-minute-long romp all over 'Man Next Door' augmented by Steve Beresford on sound effects, Bruce Smith (The Pop Group, PiL) on drums and a young Neneh Cherry on backing vocals (and great dance moves!) at the Tempodrom in Berlin on June 19,1981. Turn this up LOUD and wish you had been there…"
Dangerous Minds (Video)
YouTube: Man Next Door - Berlin 1981

2010 October: Ari Up (17 January 1962 – 20 October 2010), 2012 July: Subatomic Sound System meets Lee Scratch Perry & Ari Up of the Slits (7″ vinyl), 2014 September: Live in Cincinnati and San Francisco 1980, 2015 August: Return Of The Giant Slits (1981/2007), 2016 May: "Typical Girls" / "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (1979)

Sunday, July 24

Mexico City Blues - Jack Kerouac (1959)

Wikipedia - "Mexico City Blues is a poem published by Jack Kerouac in 1959 composed of 242 'choruses' or stanzas. Written between 1954 and 1957, the poem the product of Kerouac's spontaneous prose, his Buddhism, and his disappointment at his failure to publish a novel between 1950's The Town and the City and 1957's On the Road. Kerouac began writing the choruses that became Mexico City Blues while living with Bill Garver, a heroin addict and friend of William S. Burroughs, in Mexico City in 1955. Written under the influence of marijuana and morphine, choruses were defined only by the size of Kerouac's notebook page. ..."
Mexico City Blues [113th Chorus], 4th Chorus
Open Culture - Johnny Depp Recites ‘Chorus 113’ from Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues (Video)
YouTube: Choruses 1-10 (Allen Ginsberg), 230th Chorus & 19th Chorus (Gregory Corso)

2009 November: Another Side of Kerouac: The Dharma Bum as Sports Nut, 2010 July: Kerouac's Copies of Floating Bear, 2011 March: Jack Kerouac on The Steve Allen Show, 2013 September: On the Road - Jack Kerouac, 2014 May: “Walker Evans and Robert Frank – An Essay on Influence by Tod Papageorge” (1981), 2015 March: Pull My Daisy (1959), 2015 December: Hear All Three of Jack Kerouac’s Spoken.

Crosscurrents - Danny Kalb and Stefan Grossman (1969)

"Originally released in 1969, Crosscurrents is the meeting of two very different guitarists collaborating on the blues and other folk forms. This is deep American white music played with character, innocence, and instrumental acumen. Danny Kalb was one of the co-founders of the Blues Project and a brilliant if underacknowledged guitarist. Stefan Grossman is, of course, one of the best-known acoustic guitarists in the world. This fleeting collaboration is inspired, ego-less, and gritty. Grossman wrote the lion's share of the set though Kalb, with his electric guitar and psychedelic effects, is an equal foil (though acoustically, Kalb is a monster as well). ..."
W - Danny Kalb
Spotify, amazon
YouTube: Devil Round The Moon, Harvest Of Your Days, Death Letter Blues, Singing Songs Unsung, Eagles On The Half, Requiem For Patrick Kilroy, Danish Drone, Crow Black Squall

2011 September: The Blues Project, 2012 January: Child Is Father to the Man - Blood, Sweat & Tears , 2013 January: Cafe Au Go Go, 2014 July: Live at The Cafe Au Go Go - The Blues Project (1965).

Captain Haddock

Wikipedia - "Captain Archibald Haddock ... is a fictional character and a major protagonist in The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. He is Tintin's best friend, a seafaring Merchant Marine Captain. ... Throughout it all, the Captain's coarse humanity and sarcasm act as a counterpoint to Tintin's often implausible heroism. He is always quick with a dry comment whenever the boy reporter gets too idealistic. ... As a sailor, Haddock would need to have a very colourful vocabulary, but Hergé could not use any swear words as he knew his audience included children. ..."
List of Captain Haddock's Curses
David's Favourite Captain Haddock Curses
YouTube: Captain Haddock with the raiders - Crab with the Golden Claws

2008 May: Georges Remi, 1907-1983, 2010 July: The Adventures of Tintin: Breaking Free, 2011 December: Prisoners of the Sun, 2012 January: Tintin: the Complete Companion, 2012 December: Snowy, 2015 August: The Black Island (1937), 2015 September: King Ottokar's Sceptre (1938), 2015 December: Red Rackham's Treasure (1943).

Saturday, July 23

Q&A: Antoinette Balzano and Cookie Cimineri of Totonno’s

"This year, Totonno’s, the famed Coney Island pizzeria, turned 90. Founded by the original pizzaiolo at Lombardi’s, Anthony 'Totonno' Pero, this doughy institution has counted punk legends (The Ramones), rock stars (Lou Reed), professional athletes (Derek Jeter), and world-class chefs (Mario Batali) among its regulars. For many customers, it’s a place that inspires some of their oldest memories, but for Pero’s granddaughters and co-owners, it’s home. We spoke with Antoinette Balzano and Cookie Cimineri about life in Brooklyn’s beach town, the pizzeria’s history, and why Lou Reed loved it so damn much. ..."
W - Totonno’s
NY Times: Fighting to Save the Flavor of New York
A Visit to Coney Island Institution Totonno's
YouTube: Totonnos (Brooklyn, NY)

2014 June: Pizza, 2014 October: Viva La Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box (NYC)

The Blow-Up - Television (1982)

"Double live albums frequently come off as redundant and indulgent, but in the case of Television, The Blow-Up comes awfully close to being an essential document, simply because the band's studio albums didn't always capture the rawness and spontaneity that fueled their on-stage improvisations. Both of those qualities are present on The Blow-Up in abundance; the sound quality is not exactly pristine, but the performances, recorded in 1978 on what proved to be the band's final tour, are exciting and frequently breathtaking, capturing a side of the band that will enlighten anyone wondering how Television's intricate, layered sound was ever tagged 'punk.' ..."
Please, Don’t Blow Up Your Television
YouTube: The Blow-Up Live 1978 2LP FullVinyl

2007 November: Tom Verlaine, 2010 March: Tom Verlaine - 1, 2011 October: Warm and Cool, 2012 Nov: Little Johnny Jewel, 2012 December: Words from the Front, 2013 July: Flash Light, 2013 October: See No Evil, 2014 October: Dreamtime (1981), 2014 November: Marquee Moon (1977), January: Adventure (1978), 2015 October: Tom Verlaine (1979).

Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology (2015)

"Anyone with any interest at all in contemporary Moroccan writing must start with Souffles. A cultural and political journal, Souffles (the French word for 'breaths') was founded in 1966 by Abdellatif Laâbi and Mostafa Nissabouri. Run by a group of artists and intellectuals, Souffles was a written fight for democratic ideals and a new Maghrebi literature following independence in Morocco. For those of us who can’t read French or Arabic, or who don’t have the attention span to sift through all of the archives, we now have the excellent Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology, edited by Olivia C. Harrison and Teresa Villa-Ignacio, with just the right amount of historical background and contextual commentary. ..."
Three Percent
Decolonizing Culture
Room 220
W - Souffles (magazine)
amazon: Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics

Friday, July 22

The Keeper

A detail from a collection of the artist Shinro Ohtake’s scrapbooks.
"'The Keeper' is an exhibition dedicated to the act of preserving objects, artworks, and images, and to the passions that inspire this undertaking. A reflection on the impulse to save both the most precious and the apparently valueless, it brings together a variety of imaginary museums, personal collections, and unusual assemblages, revealing the devotion with which artists, collectors, scholars, and hoarders have created sanctuaries for endangered images and artifacts. In surveying varied techniques of display, the exhibition also reflects on the function and responsibility of museums within multiple economies of desire. ..."
New Museum
NY Times: ‘The Keeper’ Reveals the Passion for Collecting
At The New Museum, The Keeper is a Haven for Historians, Hoarders, and Humanity
“The Keeper” Sleeper: The New Museum Displays the Harrowing “Sketchbook from Auschwitz”