Monday, December 31

Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here


"This is how al-Mutanabbi street looked like; a winding street filled with outdoor book-fair stalls. Poems and prose invaded its atmosphere until one day when Baghdad municipality raided the street and smashed all the book stalls with the support of military forces and without any prior warning. The municipality instigated huge losses and the people expressed sadness because they were used to this heritage for many years."
Book sellers in Baghdad's iconic al-Mutanabbi street under crackdown (Video)
Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here (Video)
The Economist: A literary bridge to Baghdad (1 / 14)
Historic Baghdad Book Market Bulldozed in Late-Night Raid
An Inventory Of Al-Mutanabbi Street, Gallery 1, 2, 3
A Day That Lingers with Us Still - Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here
Google: Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here
amazon: Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here

Charles "Mad Dog" Sheffield


"Charles ‘Mad Dog’ Sheffield, cut 'It's Your Voodoo Working' for J. D. Miller at his Crowley, Louisiana studio in 1961 and released on Nashville’s Excello Records, as were many of Miller’s productions. Sheffield was a blues singer originally from the Beaumont, Texas area on the Gulf Coast, who started off recording as Mad Dog Sheffield in 1957."
Soul Strutter
YouTube: It's Your Voodoo Working, Shoo Shoo Chicken, Rock 'n' Roll Train, I Got Fever, Cool Cat

Iman Issa


Part of the “Material” series (2010–2011).
"Iman Issa’s exhibition, ‘Material’, developed a critical position around monuments quite different to that of the ‘anti-monument’. Anti-monuments, after all, are now part of the mainstream. The British public, for example, not only instantly understood the critical thrust of the unassuming, feminized, interactive aspects of the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain (2004) in London’s Hyde Park, but also grasped the failures of that criticality. Monument and anti-monument have a complementary relationship that completes a circle and constitutes the expansion of the language of each."
Frieze
Iman Issa
Iman Issa: Radical Subtraction By Kaelen Wilson-Goldie
YouTube: Short Stories, A conversation with Iman Issa and Isla Leaver-Yap

Sunday, December 30

In the Garden - Eurythmics


Wikipedia - "In the Garden is the debut studio album by British new wave duo Eurythmics, released in 1981. It was co-produced with 'krautrock' producer Conny Plank, at his studio in Cologne, with numerous guest musicians. Plank had previously worked with the duo whilst they were in their previous band The Tourists. Two singles were released from the album in the UK, 'Never Gonna Cry Again' and 'Belinda'."
Wikipedia
YouTube: Never Gonna Cry Again, Old Grey Whistle Test, 1981, Never Gonna Cry Again

2009 August: Eurythmics
2012 March: 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother)

Diana Thater - "Chernobyl"


"A new video installation by Diana Thater will fill the interior of Hauser & Wirth’s Piccadilly gallery with images of the post-nuclear landscape of Chernobyl. For this work, Thater spent time in the ‘Zone of Alienation’ which surrounds the site of the nuclear disaster, filming the eroded architecture and wildlife of the one-hundred mile wide radioactive territory. The animals she films have managed to survive amid the devastation of the only existing post-human landscape, demonstrating a wilderness of man’s making. The installation focuses on the rare and endangered Przewalski’s Horse. Once facing certain extinction in its native habitat in central Asia, this sub-species of the wild horse now roams freely in the ‘Zone of Alienation’."
Bauserwirth (Video)
LA Times: David Zwirner opens post-Sandy with Diana Thater's 'Chernobyl' video
YouTube: Diana Thater, Chernobyl, 2010
Hauserwirth: Diana Thater Chernobyl (Video)

Super-Sonic Jazz - Sun Ra


Wikipedia - "Super-Sonic Jazz is an album by Sun Ra, recorded in 1956 at RCA Studios, Chicago. Super-Sonic Jazz was the first album to be released on Saturn records, the label run by Sun Ra and Alton Abraham, and was one of only three albums by Sun Ra to have been available in the 1950s. (The other two are Jazz by Sun Ra, also released in 1957, and Jazz in Silhouette, released May 1959.)"
Wikipedia
amazon
YouTube: India, Springtime In Chicago, Advice to Medics, Sunology part 2, Portrait of the Living Sky, Kingdom of Not, Enlightenment, When Angels Speak Of Love

Saturday, December 29

David Dunn


"A relentless explorer, composer, performer and theorist, David Dunn (born 1953) uses electro-acoustic resources, voice, non-human living systems, as well as traditional instruments. A creator of text-sound compositions, environmental installations, works for radio and video, he has also written and published extensively. Underlying all his work is a common regard for music as a communicative source with a living world. Growing up in San Diego in the sixties and seventies, he encountered people like Harry Partch and Kenneth Gaburo. He worked with Partch for about five years, and continued to be in his ensemble for a decade after his death. His association with Gaburo was even longer, and lasted until Gaburo's death in the early 1990s."
New World Records
Acousmata - David Dunn: Excerpt from Gradients (1999) - Video
YouTube: Survival of the Beautiful NYIH Event, Live at LUFF 2011, Red Rocks 2003, Mimus Polyglottos (1976)

Nobody's Perfect


"Kulchur is unreadable yet it begs to be read. To be read is to be assaulted. Just look at how Kulchur is dressed; it is asking for it. I am talking about its binding. Perfect, like the manhattans or martinis one drinks at Laure’s with Barbara and Frank while discussing Kulchur’s pages. Or Audrey Hepburn’s Givenchy dress (such as Issues 2 and 3, before Kulchur went black on white), which in Kulchur’s case is rather ill-fitting and thus rips at the seams."
MimeoMimeo: Nobody's Perfect

2010 July: Kulchur

Roots Radics


Wikipedia - "The Roots Radics Band was formed in 1978 by bass player Errol 'Flabba' Holt, guitarist Eric 'Bingy Bunny' Lamont and drummer Lincoln Style Scott. They were joined by many musicians, including guitarist Noel 'Sowell' Davy, Dwight Pinkney and Steve Golding, keyboard player Wycliffe 'Steelie' Johnson, and saxophonist Headley Bennett. As a combined force the Roots Radics became a well-respected studio and stage band, which dominated the sound in the first half of the 1980s. They supported artists like Bunny Wailer, Gregory Isaacs and Israel Vibration and have released several albums to their name as well. As an aside, 'Radics' sounds very much like 'Radix', which is the Latin word for 'Root' also."
Wikipedia
Roots Radics
Discogs
YouTube: , Live on TV Part 2, Rocking Miss D, Dedication to Flabba Holt 1, Alien Aborts, Roots Radix Patrolling, Shuffle the deck, False Dub

Friday, December 28

Michelin


Michelin Morocco Map 742
Wikipedia - "Michelin ... is a tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is one of the two largest tyre manufacturers in the world along with Bridgestone. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the BFGoodrich, Kleber, Riken, Kormoran and Uniroyal (in North America) tyre brands. Michelin is also notable for its Red and Green travel guides, its roadmaps, the Michelin stars that the Red Guide awards to restaurants for their cooking, and for its company mascot Bibendum, colloquially known as the Michelin Man. Among Michelin's numerous inventions, there is the removable tyre, the pneurail (a tyre for trains made to run on rails) and the radial tyre technology now used in modern 'green tyres' that reduce fuel consumption."
Wikipedia
Maps & Guides - Michelin
The Savvy Traveller
Michelin Travel & Lifestyle

Thomas Hart Benton


Boomtown, 1927 –1928
Wikipedia - "Thomas Hart Benton (April 15, 1889 – January 19, 1975) was an American painter and muralist. Along with Grant Wood and John Steuart Curry, he was at the forefront of the Regionalist art movement. His fluid, sculpted figures in his paintings showed everyday people in scenes of life in the United States. Though his work is strongly associated with the Midwest, he studied in Paris, lived in New York City for more than 20 years and painted scores of works there; summered for 50 years on Martha’s Vineyard off the New England coast; and also painted scenes of the American South and the American West."
Wikipedia
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Thomas Hart Benton's America Today
NYT: Thomas Hart Benton Masterwork Goes to Met
amazon: Thomas Hart Benton: The America Today Murals
YouTube: American artist of the 20th century, Thomas Hart Benton "From the Ozarks and Beyond", 2, 3

Thursday, December 27

Marva Whitney


Wikipedia - "Marva Whitney (born Marva Ann Manning, May 1, 1944 - December 22, 2012), was an American funk singer. Whitney was considered by many funk enthusiasts to be one of the 'rawest' and 'brassiest' music divas. ... While working at a garment factory, she also began performing in nightclubs and local talent competitions, and in the mid 1960s joined local group Tommy & The Derbys as their lead singer. The group opened for many leading performers passing through Kansas City. In 1967 she left the group, and turned down offers to tour with Bobby Bland and Little Richard before joining the James Brown Revue as a featured vocalist."
Wikipedia
Interview with Marva Whitney (Video)
Pitchfork: R.I.P. Singer and James Brown Collaborator Marva Whitney, "Soul Sister Number 1"
YouTube: It's my Thing - Rare Live 1969, James Brown & Marva Whitney - If You Don't Work You Can't Eat, Unwind Yourself, Daddy Don't Know About Sugar Bear, What Kind of Man, Ball of Fire, What Do I Have To Do To Prove My Love To You, Give It Up or Turnit a Loose, Pt.1 & Pt.2

The obsession that is Northern Soul


"A great R&B/Soul label, Okeh Records didn't get the recognition it deserved in the 60's. Under the guidance of production kings like Carl Davis, Okeh released some excellent records, many of which made the charts. This CD contains obscure Okeh tracks, featuring such artists as the Triumphs, the Seven Souls, Johnny Robinson, the Opals, the Carstairs, Jimmy Church, the Little Foxes, and the Autographs. The only real hits are The Artistics' 'This Heart Of Mine,' and Walter Jackson's 'It's An Uphill Climb To The Bottom.'"
allmusic
YouTube: The obsession that is Northern Soul 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

2012 October: Northern Soul

Wednesday, December 26

Lower East Side


Wikipedia - "The Lower East Side, (often abbreviated as LES), is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of the New York City borough of Manhattan. It is roughly bounded by Allen Street, East Houston Street, Essex Street, Canal Street, Eldridge Street, East Broadway, and Grand Street. It was traditionally an immigrant, working-class neighborhood. But it has undergone rapid gentrification starting in the mid-2000s, prompting The National Trust for Historic Preservation to place the neighborhood on their list of America's Most Endangered Places."
Wikipedia
Lower East Side
Tenement Museum
YouTube: New York City, Lower East Side of Manhattan Video Tour - Part 1, Part 2

“The Paris Swingbox” - Parov Stelar


"The now available five-track mini-album, 'The Paris Swingbox', demonstrates this distinctive sound. Unlike his albums, his EPs are aimed at the dance floor and 'The Paris Swing Box', without coming across as simply a tool for DJ’s, is no exception. The five tracks reflect the mood of the swing era in an inimitable way. The samples are arranged subtly and sit perfectly. While staying true to the original sounds and their aesthetics, 'The Paris Swing Box' manages to be a strictly modern production. With house beats always in the foreground, these are kicking club tracks which have nothing to do with soothing lounge music."
Daily Records
YouTube: The Paris Swingbox (New Album 2010 Preview), The Paris Swing Box, The Golden Boy, The Snake, Booty Swing

2012 October: Parov Stelar

Tuesday, December 25

Chris Ware - "Building Stories"


"The most despairing image in Chris Ware’s magnificent new graphic novel, 'Building Stories' — and there are plenty of candidates — depicts a dumpy middle-aged couple, naked in their bedroom. She’s just dropped her clothes to the floor; he’s lying on the bed, oblivious to her, his face and chest illuminated by the iPad propped on his belly. You will never be able to read 'Building Stories' on a digital tablet, by design. It is a physical object, printed on wood pulp, darn it. It’s a big, sturdy box, containing 14 different 'easily misplaced elements' — a hard-bound volume or two, pamphlets and leaflets of various dimensions, a monstrously huge tabloid à la century-old Sunday newspaper comics sections and a folded board of the sort that might once have come with a fancy game. In which order should one read them?"
NYT: Inside the Box
YouTube: Opening Chris Ware's Building Stories, Unboxing
Infographics of Despair: Chris Ware’s Building Stories
LARB: Rick Moody on Building Stories
NYRB: A Triumph of the Comic-Book Novel
Tag Archives: Building Stories Essays
WNYC: Chris Ware's Building Stories (Video)
Watch Chris Ware discuss Building Stories on MSNBC’s The Cycle (Video)
amazon: Building Stories, The Comics of Chris Ware: Drawing Is a Way of Thinking

The Lord of Misrule and the Feast of Fools


Pieter Bruegel, The Fight Between Carnival and Lent (1559)
"In medieval England, the Lord of Misrule was an officer appointed by lot at Christmas to preside over the Feast of Fools - a riotous banquet where the central idea seems always to have been a brief social revolution in which power, dignity and impunity is briefly conferred on those in a subordinate position. The Lord of Misrule was generally a peasant appointed to oversee these Christmas revelries, which often included drunkenness, wild partying and general licentiousness. The appointment of a Lord of Misrule comes from antiquity. In ancient Rome a Lord of Misrule was appointed for the feast of Saturnalia, in the guise of the god Saturn. During this time the ordinary rules of life were subverted as masters served their slaves, and the offices of state were held by slaves."
The Oddment Emporium
W - Lord of Misrule
W - Feast of Fools

2010 May: Peasant
2011 March: "The Harvesters", Pieter Bruegel the Elder
2012 February: The Mill and the Cross - Lech Majewski

Yule


Wikipedia - "Yule or Yuletide ('Yule time') is a religious festival observed by the Northern European peoples, later being absorbed into and equated with the Christian festival of Christmas. The earliest references to Yule are by way of indigenous Germanic month names (Ærra Jéola (Before Yule) or Jiuli and Æftera Jéola (After Yule). Scholars have connected the celebration to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht. Terms with an etymological equivalent to Yule are used in the Nordic countries for Christmas with its religious rites, but also for the holidays of this season. Yule is also used to a lesser extent in English-speaking countries to refer to Christmas. Customs such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from Yule. A number of Neopagans have introduced their own rites."
Wikipedia
W - Yule log
W - Wassailing

2011 December: The Yule Log

Monday, December 24

Jazz poetry


52nd Street, NYC, 1947
Wikipedia - "Jazz poetry is poetry that 'demonstrates jazz-like rhythm or the feel of improvisation'. During the 1920s, several poets began to eschew the conventions of rhythm and style; among these were Ezra Pound, T. S. Eliot, and E. E. Cummings. The significance of the simultaneous evolution of poetry and jazz during the 1920s was apparent to many poets of the era, resulting in the merging of the two art forms into jazz poetry. Jazz poetry has long been something of an 'outsider' art form that exists somewhere outside the mainstream, having been conceived in the 1920s by African-Americans, maintained in the 1950s by counterculture poets like those of the Beat generation, and adapted in modern times into hip-hop music and live poetry events known as poetry slams."
Wikipedia
A Brief Guide to Jazz Poetry
Jazz as Communication (1956) by Langston Hughes
Jazz Poetry (Four articles by Kenneth Rexroth)
Village voices: “Beat Generation” Jazz Poetry
Ralph J. Gleason for “DownBeat” – On Jazz/Poetry In The Bay Area
Jazz, Poetry, Rap: Cause and Effect of the Black Arts Movement (Video)

Escaping An Uncertain Fate: Mission Of Burma Interviewed


"The reunited post-punk luminaries are currently touring Europe, fresh off the back of a set at Shellac's ATP and a new best of, Learn How. James Ubaghs spoke to singer/guitarist Roger Miller about their enduring power, the internet's capacity to stifle emergent music scenes and how to avoid the perils of tinnitus"
The Quietus (Video)

2009 March: Mission Of Burma
2009 October: Mission Of Burma - 1

Sunday, December 23

Amelie von Wulffen


Ohne Titel, 2005
"Amelie von Wulffen’s paintings and drawings fuse the imaginary and the everyday, conjuring a world that is at once both winsome and poignant. The primary protagonist in these works is often the artist herself, surrounded by a web of narrative fragments, the connections between which are both highly individualized and richly suggestive. In her most recent works, von Wulffen deploys a host of painterly techniques to create works that, although they depart from the photographic collage practice for which she is best known, remain deeply referential."
aspenartmuseum
New York Art World
YouTube: The XX Factor 06 - Amelie von Wulffen, Painter | euromaxx

Christmas Lights - Gangnam Style


"We are a finalist in the Old Navy contest. Please Vote for our lights, every day. This doesn't play on mobile devices due to a music restriction."
YouTube: Gangnam Style By PSY, Amazing Perth Christmas Lights 2012, Sunrise : Gangnam Style Christmas lights, The numbers: Over 85,000 lights, over 15,000 feet of power cable, 416 channels. Around 20 hours to program this song., Delaney Christmas 2012, etc.
PSY - GANGNAM STYLE (Dec. 23, 2012 - 1,026,920,502)
Rewind YouTube Style 2012
PSY's 'Gangnam Style' Hits 1 Billion Views on YouTube

2012 September: Gangnam Style

Turtle Dreams - Meredith Monk


"'Turtle Dreams' superimposes a turtle on top of a map of the world, more likely dreaming of extending its mobility rather than of military conquest, to which human dream in other films such movements across a map conventionally refer. Nevertheless, the turtle, exceedingly vulnerable underneath its shell, is like an army tank; and the turtle’s benign 'invasion' of a deserted complex of darkened city streets again emphasizes the turtle’s dreamy compensation for this vulnerability."
Dennis Grunes
Meredith Monk: Turtle Dreams
amazon
YouTube: Turtle Dreams (Complete)

2008 March: Meredith Monk
2009 September: Songs of Ascension - Meredith Monk and Ann Hamilton
2011 February: Meredith Monk: A Voice For All Time
2011 August: Ellis Island

Saturday, December 22

Eric B. & Rakim


Wikipedia - "Eric B. & Rakim were a hip-hop duo composed of DJ Eric Barrier (born November 8, 1965) and MC Rakim (born William Michael Griffin Jr. on January 28, 1968). Hailing from Long Island, New York, the pair are generally considered by hip hop enthusiasts to be one of the most influential and innovative groups in the genre. During hip hop's 'golden age' of the mid 1980s to the early 1990s, the duo was almost universally regarded as the premier MC/DJ combo in hip hop. The two had a potent chemistry; the duo's beats built on the hard-hitting sound of Run-D.M.C. by adding James Brown samples and Eric B's scratching, setting the stage for hip hop's late-1980s/early-1990s infatuation with samples from Brown."
Wikipedia
Eric B. & Rakim
GLOBAL DARKNESS
YouTube: Paid In Full, I Ain't No Joke, Follow The Leader, Don't Sweat The Technique, Microphone Fiend, Juice (Know The Ledge), Move The Crowd

Friday, December 21

The Art of Guarding Art: Russia’s Lady Museum Guards


Kugach's Before the Dance, State Tretyakov Gallery
"When most people go to museums, they visit to take in the art—not the people who are guarding it. But photographer Andy Freeberg became fascinated not with what the museums in Russia display, but who was displayed along with it. In his 'Guardians' series, he captures the unexpected world of female Russian museum guards. Unlike their American counterparts, the Russian guards are not uniformed, they are seated, and almost all are older women. They in effect become part of the scenery itself."
Slate
Andy Freeberg: Guardians

Closing the Door on 2012


John Elliot, Spectrum Spools LP
"In this edition of The Out Door, we talk with Gabriel Saloman about his many ventures since the demise of his duo Yellow Swans, trace Nathan Bowles' musical journey from Spiral Joy Band to Black Twig Pickers to Pelt to his new solo album, and offer an exclusive premiere stream of the new Cultus Sabbati album. But first, we explore the motivations and machinations behind our favorite record labels of 2012."
Pitchfork (Video)

Delaney & Bonnie with Eric Clapton - I Don't Know Why (1969)


"Denmark, Copenhagen. Friends are: Delaney Bramlet (guitar),George Harrison (guitar), Dave Mason (guitar), Jim Gordon (drums), Carl Radle (bass), Bobby Whitlock ( organ), Jim Price (trumpet), Bobby Keys (sax), Tex Johnson (percussion). Rita Coolidge & Bonnie (backing vocals)."
YouTube: I Don't Know Why

2010 September: Delaney & Bonnie

Thursday, December 20

Gustavo Santaolalla


Wikipedia - "Gustavo Alfredo Santaolalla (born 19 August 1951) is an Argentine musician, film composer and producer. ... Santaolalla aided the development of rock en español by acting as producer for Mexican acts ((Neón)), Maldita Vecindad, Fobia, Molotov, Café Tacuba, Julieta Venegas, the Colombian singer Juanes, Chilean rock trio Los Prisioneros, Argentine rock bands Divididos and Bersuit Vergarabat and León Gieco's 'De Ushuaia a La Quiaca' (1 and 2), among many others. Santaolalla transferred his efforts to film soundtracks in the late 1990s, producing albums for the films Amores Perros, 21 Grams and The Motorcycle Diaries."
Wikipedia
amazon: Gustavo Santaolalla
YouTube: Motorcycle Diaries - De Usuahia a la Quiaca, Babel - Soundtrack, 21 Grams - Can Light be Found in the Darkness to Can Things be Better, Biutiful - Lait, Babel - Iguazu, The Motorcycle Diaries - Apertura, Lela, 21 Grams - Do We Lose, Biutiful - Raval, Sopranos - Pampa

Ivan Turgenev - First Love (1860)


Wikipedia - "First Love ... is a novella by Ivan Turgenev, first published in 1860. It is one of his most popular pieces of short fiction. First Love is an example of a frame story. The beginning starts with the protagonist, Vladimir Petrovich, in a party. The party guests are taking turns recounting the stories of their first loves. When Vladimir's turn comes to tell his story, he suggests that he write down the story in a notebook because it is a rather long, unusual tale. The story within the story then continues from his notebook, which recounts the memory of his first love."
Wikipedia
amazon

"Paddy's Lamentation" - Linda Thompson


"Well it's by the hush, me boys, and sure that's to hold your noise
And listen to poor Paddy's lamentation
Oh I was by hunger pressed, and in poverty distressed
So I took a thought I'd leave the Irish nation"
YouTube: "Paddy's Lamentation"

2008 January: Linda Thompson
2011 July: Shoot Out the Lights - Richard and Linda Thompson
2011 November: Linda Thompson - Fashionably Late
2012 February: I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight - Richard and Linda Thompson

Wednesday, December 19

Old New York


John Sloan. The City from Greenwich Village, 1922
"The Sixth Avenue El train has just cleared the steep bend off Third Street. It is now picking up speed and will, any moment now, bolt uptown. Next stop, Eighth Street, then past Jefferson Market, Fourteenth Street, then all the way north till it reaches Fifty-Ninth Street. But perhaps it is not racing up at all but grinding to a stop after that notoriously difficult curve before Bleeker Street. It’s hard to tell. The blue lettering on the train’s marker light must spell something, but it’s hard to decipher this as well. Under the el two vehicles seem to know where they’re headed. To the left of the train, on the corner of Sixth and Cornelia, a scrawny, wedge-shaped, twelve-story high-rise strains to look taller than it is. Its numberless lighted windows suggest that, despite darkness everywhere, this is by no means nighttime, but evening, maybe early evening. The building’s residents are probably preparing dinner, some just walking in after work, others listening to the radio, the children are doing homework. This is 1922, and this is Sloan country."
The Paris Review
amazon: New York Then and Now

2009 August: John Sloan
2011 November: American realism

African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde


"This exhibition highlights the specific African artifacts acquired by the New York avant-garde and its most influential patrons during the 1910s and 1920s. Reflecting on the dynamism of New York's art scene during the years that followed the 1913 Armory Show, the exhibition brings together African works from the collections of many key individuals of the period such as Alfred Stieglitz, Marius de Zayas, John Quinn, Louise and Walter Arensberg, Alain LeRoy Locke, and Eugene and Agnes Meyer."
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art - Exhibition Objects
NYT: When Artifact ‘Became’ Art

Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker - Rosas Danst Rosas (1983)


"The Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker launched her company, Rosas, in 1983, and won immediate attention for her musicality and her austere, pure dance minimalism. Fase, her first piece, used repetition to almost hallucinatory effect, as she and another female dancer whirled and spun in interlocking patterns to a shimmering score by Steve Reich. Fase was followed the same year by Rosas Danst Rosas, which applied the same repetitive, minimalist style to music by Thierry de May and Peter Vermeersch. De Keersmaeker and her company have revived both pieces many times in the quarter century since their creation, but Rosas Danst Rosas remains the more confrontational of the two, retaining its considerable power to baffle, frustrate and intrigue."
UbuWeb (Video 57:15)

2009 July: Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker

Tuesday, December 18

"Decoration Day" - Charles Ives


"... Ives’s experiments in ‘Decoration’ Day set off some explosive reactions, even among the musicians who attempted to perform his pieces. Typical was that of Paul Eisler, Assistant Conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, as we see in a letter he wrote to Ives in 1920: 'After reading over your score carefully, I have come to the conclusion that it is absolutely impossible for us to play this composition at our rehearsal, as it is much too difficult to read at sight, and inasmuch as the time limit for our rehearsal period would not allow more than a reading. I trust, however, that the opportunity for us to play it will present itself in the future.'”
Keeping Score
W - A Symphony: New England Holidays
Anglican Curmudgeon
Pandemonium: Charles Ives by Alex Ross, The New Yorker, June 7, 2004
vimeo: "Decoration Day"

2008 September: Charles Ives
2010 December: Holidays Symphony
2011 November: Three Places in New England
2012 August: Symphony No. 2

The Melker Project


Wikipedia - "The Melker Project AKA Johnny Cashin' Out, Skeetwood Mac, Booty Huxtable, Skeevie Tricks, A$AP Scotty and Ricky Exit-Row-Zay is the brainchild of world-renowned DJ and remixer Scott Melker. Known for being among the first DJs to champion the mashup style using vinyl – long before the advent of Serato and digital DJing – Melker is known for his mashups and remixes many of which have reached No. 1 on the Hype Machine Popular Chart."
Wikipedia
The Melker Project (Video)
YouTube: The Melker Project
Brooklyn Radio: Weekly Digest 8 (Video)
Soundcloud (Video)

Monday, December 17

Icaro Zorbar


"Icaro Zorbar's ingenious jury-rigged sculptures exploit the physical characteristics of vinyl records to create instant audio collages through the use of multiple needles on a single LP. Works like The Golden Triangle (2006), evoke two layers of antiquated technology: the music box and the record player. Like a number of other artists in this exhibition, including Mark Essen and Cory Arcangel, Zorbar's reincarnation of obsolete technologies is done with affection and a bit of nostalgia for a technological moment that his generation might barely be able to remember. The stumbling, haunted lilt of the snippet of Bolero also evokes a distinct melancholy, as if the voices echo out from the past."
G:Class
Icaro Zorbar
YouTube: The Golden Triangle, 2006 at the New Museum in NYC, Ventila dor, Ensayos con un recuerdo, poco a poco, solista # 6/soloist # 6

The Clash: Westway to the World


"The Grammy-winning 2000 film, The Clash: Westway to the World, is a fascinating look at the rise and fall of one of history’s greatest rock bands. The Clash didn’t invent punk rock–bands like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols preceded them–but they did their best to reinvent it, moving beyond the self-absorbed nihilism of the Pistols to embrace a more global, politically engaged ethos that moshed together a riot of musical and cultural influences, including reggae and rap. Perhaps no one was more responsible for injecting those influences into the punk subculture than the man who made this movie, Don Letts."
Open Culture (YouTube - 1:19:56)
W - The Clash: Westway to the World
amazon

Michael Frimkess and Magdalena Suarez Frimkess


"A selection of works Magdalena recently showed at South Willard, Los Angeles as part of their regular shop exhibit in store exhibitions. The horses are really great, made with a simple series of hand rolled tubes, Magdalena has been making variations on this horse form for over a decade. All these works 2010-2011 and all solo pieces with the exception of the large vase at the bottom which is a collaboration between Michael and Magdalena."
Magdalena Frimkess
South Willard
Google

Sunday, December 16

Mantra Percussion


"... By commissioning and performing new, significant works for large percussion ensemble by both prominent and emerging composers, Mantra Percussion is committed to breathing new life into the art and engaging in cross-discipline collaborations to produce evening-length events that look toward a grander artistic vision."
Mantra Percussion
NYT: The Wonders of Wood, Soaring From the Rhythms of Six Planks
YouTube: Michael Gordon's Timber, Mantra Percussion: Michael Gordon's Timber, Mantra at Lowe's Hardware Store: NPR Music Field Recordings

Blue Beat Records


Wikipedia - "Blue Beat Records was a record label that released Jamaican rhythm and blues and ska music in the United Kingdom in the 1960s. It led to the use of the word bluebeat as a generic term to describe all styles of early Jamaican music from R&B to ska, rocksteady and early reggae, including music not associated with the record label."
Wikipedia
Guardian - Label of Love: Blue Beat Records
YouTube: Derrick & Patsy - Burnette - Blue Beat, Prince Buster - One Step Beyond, Theo Beckford - Jack & Jill Shuffle, theophilus beckford - little lady, Eric Humpty Dumpty Morris - Humpty Dumpty, Ska Champions - My Tears

Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler


"In 1972 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aired a half-hour documentary that conveyed the message that traditional Scottish-style fiddle music in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, was in decline and would soon die out. The film, Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler, argued that modern music was more popular with the young generation of the 1960s and 1970s and that, as a result, transmission of the style and tunes handed down from 19th-century Scottish immigrants to Cape Breton would be broken."
The Myth of the Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler
YouTube: Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler 1, 1971s Vanishing Cape Breton Fiddler w Rankin Family

2011 July: Cape Breton Island
2011 June" The Lost Salt Gift of Blood - Alistair MacLeod

Saturday, December 15

UNCLE TUPELO Part – Thoughts On An Artist / Looking For A Way Out


"Uncle Tupelo was a short-lived but influential indie/country/rock band from Belleville, Illinois in the early ‘90s consisting of Jay Farrar (vocals, guitar & other stringed instruments), Jeff Tweedy (vocals, bass & acoustic guitar) and Mike Heidorn (drums). I didn’t become aware of them until 1995, after they split up, and they formed two successful groups: Son Volt (Farrar) and Wilco (Tweedy), both of which released their debut albums that year. In the early ‘90s, my musical universe was vastly expanding, as I was a few years out of college, working a full-time job and spending most of my wages on records & CDs. A genre that was just gaining traction at the time went by various names: alt-country, Americana and roots-rock among them."
Thoughts On An Artist / Looking For A Way Out - Part 1 (Video), Part 2 (Video)

2011 July: Uncle Tupelo

Friday, December 14

Writers’ Houses Gives You a Virtual Tour of Famous Authors’ Homes


"I’ve always been somewhat amused by the accounts of Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud’s brief bohemian affair. The older, married, and internally tortured Catholic Verlaine’s pining for the self-destructive and precocious young Rimbaud always presents a ridiculous picture in prose. But it’s a picture that takes on much clearer contours when, for the first time, I get to see the house they occupied on 8 Great College St. in Westminster (above). The image of the house, with its forbidding brick façade, gives their really pretty unpleasant story a gravitas that literary history can’t approach."
Open Culture
Writers’ Houses

StenLex New Mural In Roma, Italy


"After their recent solo show at Magda Danysz Gallery in Paris, StenLex are now back home where they just completed this brilliant new piece in Roma, Italy. Using their signature 'Stencil Poster' technique for this new mural, they pasted up the stencil cut on paper and then painted over it before destroying the matrix. If you wish to see that one, you will have to reach the Covent De Montana."
StreetArtNews
W - Sten Lex

Wim Mertens - "Struggle for Pleasure", "Maximizing The Audience"


"'Struggle for Pleasure' is the name of a song released in 1983 by Belgian composer Wim Mertens. It is the theme song used by the Belgian phone operator Proximus. It featured in the Peter Greenaway movie 'The Belly of an Architect'. Energy 52's song 'Café Del Mar' features a main melody based on 'Struggle for Pleasure'. It was also covered by Belgian dance music group Minimalistix in 2000 and reached dance charts across Europe."
Internet Cultural Network
YouTube: Struggle for Pleasure, Maximizing The Audience

2009 April: Wim Mertens
2011 December: Soft Verdict

Thursday, December 13

Linotype: The Film


"Linotype: The Film is a feature-length documentary centered around the Linotype type casting machine. Called the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' by Thomas Edison, it revolutionized printing and society. The film tells the charming and emotional story of the people connected to the Linotype and how it impacted the world. The Linotype (pronounced 'line-o-type') completely transformed the communication of information similarly to how the internet is now changing communication again. Although these machines were revolutionary, technology began to supersede the Linotype and they were scrapped and melted-down by the thousands. Today, very few machines are still in existence."
Linotype: The Film
vimeo: "Linotype: The Film" Official Trailer

Hail H.I.M. - Burning Spear


"Across five seminal albums, Burning Spear would do more than just define roots; he would leave a fiery legacy that no other artist has equalled. Kicking off with the stunning Marcus Garvey in 1975 and encompassing the equally exceptional string of Man in the Hills, Dry & Heavy, Social Living, and Hail H.I.M., the final album in this series of masterpieces, Spear had undergone a continuous evolution. Over this five year period, Spear had truncated from a trio to Winston Rodney alone, grown to include the accompanying Black Disciples aggregate of elite sessionmen, then pared down to a smaller grouping, and had seen Rodney move into self-production."
allmusic
YouTube: Hail H.I.M., Hail H.I.M. in Dub, Columbus, Road Foggy, Jah See And Know, African Teacher, African Postman, Cry Blood Africans, Follow Marcus Garvey

2009 June: Burning Spear
2010 October: Marcus Garvey / Garvey's Ghost
2012 March: Burning Spear 1981 - Markthalle Hamburg

Wednesday, December 12

Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language


"Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language is a group exhibition that brings together 12 contemporary artists and artists’ groups working in all mediums including painting, sculpture, film, video, audio, and design, all of whom concentrate on the material qualities of language—visual, aural, and beyond. The work that these artists create belongs to a distinguished history of poem/objects, and concrete language experiments that dates to the beginnings of modernism, and includes both the Dada and Futurist moments as well as the recrudescence of Neo-Dada in the late 1950s, and international literary movements like concrete and sound poetry in Europe, Latin America, and the United States."
MoMA
Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language: Nora Schultz
NYT: Building Blocks of Meaning, Retranslated
Riot of Perfume

Robin Lane & the Chartbusters


Wikipedia - "Robin Lane (born 1947, Los Angeles, California) is an American rock singer and songwriter. Her band, Robin Lane & the Chartbusters, released three albums on Warner Bros. Records in the early 1980s, and was best known for its single 'When Things Go Wrong'. ... In the 1970s, Lane moved to eastern Pennsylvania and then to Cambridge, Massachusetts, where her musical interests turned from folk-rock to a harder sound influenced by the growing punk rock and New Wave genres."
Wikipedia
last.fm
YouTuber: When Things Go Wrong - Rat club Boston 1979, Many Years Ago, I Don't Want to Know


Tuesday, December 11

Release - Pet Shop Boys


Wikipedia - "Release is the twelfth studio album, the eighth of entirely new music, by the English electronic music duo Pet Shop Boys. It was first released in 2002. ... The album marked a significant departure from previous work, being apparently guitar- and piano-driven. However the album was made like their previous albums with most tracks mainly programmed on computers; however the sampled or synthesised guitars and drum sounds chosen often sound 'real' and the synthesisers always present are sometimes used to sound like guitars (the solo in 'Birthday boy', for instance, or the opening figure of 'Home and dry')."
Wikipedia
amazon: Release
YouTube: Home And Dry, Home And Dry [Live - Cubism In Concert], I get Along 'Live', Birthday Boy, London, I Get Along, E-mail, The Samurai in Autumn, Love is a catastrophe, Here, The night i fell in love, You Choose