Friday, January 31

Day of the Fight - Stanley Kubrick (1951)


Wikipedia - "Day of the Fight is a 1951 American short subject documentary film shot in black-and-white and also the first picture directed by Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick financed the film himself, and it is based on an earlier photo feature he had done as a photographer for Look magazine in 1949. Day Of The Fight shows Irish-American middleweight boxer Walter Cartier during the height of his career, on the day of a fight with black middleweight Bobby James, which took place on April 17, 1950. The film opens with a short section on boxing's history, and then follows Cartier through his day, as he prepares for the 10 P.M. bout that night. He eats breakfast in his West 12th Street apartment in Greenwich Village, then goes to early mass and eats lunch at his favorite restaurant. At 4 P.M., he starts preparations for the fight. By 8 P.M., he is waiting in his dressing room at Laurel Gardens in Newark, New Jersey for the fight to begin. We then see the fight itself, where he comes out victorious in a short match."
Wikipedia
TCM
TIME: From Photography to Film: Stanley Kubrick Enters the Ring (Video)
YouTube: Day of the Fight (1951)

2008 August: Stanley Kubrick, 2010 September: 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2011 February: A Stanley Kubrick Odyssey - A Tribute, 2011 April: Killer's Kiss (1955), 2011 December: Chicago (1949), 2012 October: Dr. Strangelove (1965), 2013 April: LACMA.

Michael Nyman - Drowning by Numbers (1988)


"Having already scored a few successful soundtracks for director Peter Greenaway, composer Michael Nyman applies his minimalist and romantic art to the director's 1988 release Drowning By Numbers. While not as provocative as future Greenaway collaborations like The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover and Prospero's Books, this disc contains enough solid material to keep the Nyman faithful satisfied. ..."
allmusic
W - Drowning by Numbers
amazon: Drowning By Numbers (1987 Film)
Soundcloud: Trysting Fields from Drowning by Numbers (Video)
YouTube: Drowning by Number 3, Knowing The Ropes, Wheelbarrow Walk, Endgame
YouTube: "Drowning by Numbers Knowing the Ropes" Baltic Philharmonic Hall, Poland - Gdańsk, SOLIDARITY OF ARTS FESTIVAL 2009, Trysting Fields, Sheep 'n' Tides

2008 April: Michael Nyman, 2010 August: Decay Music, 2010 December: After Extra Time, 2011 March: Experimental Music: Cage and Beyond, 2011 August: Michael Nyman Band, 2011 December: The Draughtsman's Contract - Peter Greenaway, 2012 March: Time Lapse, 2013 July: Composer in Progress, In Concert (2010).

Thursday, January 30

On the Mountain A Cry Was Heard - Pina Bausch (1993)


"... Bausch’s stiletto says other things, too. It approximates ballet’s pointe shoe in the way it cocks the ankle and ups the arch, yet stiffens the women’s (and sometimes the men’s) connection to the floor. It grounds the stage in a social milieu—the offstage, adult world—yet flirts with fetish, that hairy underworld intimated in the unshaven legs that rise out of those high heels. When Bausch dancers kick off their pumps, which they wear with the confidence of Nazi commandants, they bump down with a harummph, stripped of some erotic power, culturally undressed. Their ballgowns crumple at the hem like musty old mansions. A Bausch evening, you realize, takes place in those three to four inches between nature and nurture, good and evil, and just about any other dichotomy one cares to name. It’s a tight crawlspace."
The New Criterion
Tanztheater Wuppertal: On the Mountain A Cry Was Heard
Telegraph: The mighty Pina Bausch
facebook: Das StÜck mit dem Schiff 1994 (Video)
YouTube: Das Stück mit dem Schiff

2008 May: Pina Bausch, 2009 June: Pina Bausch 1940-2009, 2012 August: Pina Bausch Costumes.

Sun Ra - The Eternal Myth Revealed Vol. 1 (2011)


"It is not an exaggeration to say that this lavishly illustrated and annotated 14-CD box is an essential addition to the shelf of every single hardcore Sun Ra fan as well as musicologists and critics. The Eternal Myth Revealed, Vol. 1 was carefully curated, assembled, annotated, and sequenced by official Sun Ra Music Archive head Michael D. Anderson and issued on his Transparency Records imprint. It traces the musical roots of Sun Ra from his earliest years up to the end of the 1950s. This is accomplished via interviews and narration by Ra, his sidemen, musicologists, historians, and other Sun Ra aficionados, as well as presenting musical selections by Ra's many influences, his contemporaries, and his own early recordings as both an artist and producer, not only in jazz, but in rhythm & blues, doo wop, poetry, blues, and more."
allmusic
Sun Ra: The Eternal Myth Revealed Vol. 1
Sun Ra Arkive
amazon
YouTube: The Eternal Myth Revealed - CD Box Set - Promo Video Part 1, Part 2

Wednesday, January 29

Painters & Poets: Tibor de Nagy Gallery


"The Tibor de Nagy Gallery marks its 60th anniversary with 'Tibor de Nagy Gallery Painters and Poets,' an exhibition celebrating the gallery’s pivotal role in launching the New York School of Poets and fostering a new collaborative ethos among poets and painters in post-War New York. The exhibit focuses on the gallery’s first two decades, the 1950s and ‘60s, when its vibrant, salon-like atmosphere and director John Bernard Myers’ passion for both art and poetry gave birth to these unique partnerships."
Tibor de Nagy Gallery
Tibor de Nagy Gallery: Exhibitions
New Yorker: Artists And Writers
Jill Krementz visits Tibor de Nagy Gallery
NYT: Tibor de Nagy Painters & Poets
amazon: Painters & Poets: Tibor de Nagy Gallery

Spool's Out: A Cassette Reviews Column For January


"This dirty dated realm of microscopic labels, home recordings and music-by-post is something of an idyllic simulacrum of the mainstream. Drawing lines on a map between the labels, sellers, artists and distributors in question, it's possible to begin formulating something of an apolitical revision of the music industry's map, a Gall-Peters projection of a culture that – despite all this 'democratising' technology we hold in our hands – chiefly remains little more than a clone of the 20th century music industry model, albeit with a slightly longer digital tail. In the thriving analogue parallel world, all roads can lead anywhere, with London, Berlin and New York no more important than Nottinghamshire or Glasgow. A noise duo from Maine send music to get pressed in Dublin, a Viennese label release sprawling epic drones from Ireland, and it's still blessedly rare in the cassette-sphere to read those dreaded stale words: 'since moving to Brooklyn'. Without an ostensible centre stage, and diminishing barriers, we're all part of it - there are no outsiders."
The Quietus (Video)

Tuesday, January 28

Pete Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014)


Wikipedia - "Peter 'Pete' Seeger (May 3, 1919 – January 27, 2014) was an American folk singer. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he also had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of the Weavers, most notably their recording of Lead Belly's 'Goodnight, Irene', which topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. Members of the Weavers were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s, he re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, counterculture and environmental causes. ... Seeger was one of the folksingers most responsible for popularizing the spiritual 'We Shall Overcome' (also recorded by Joan Baez and many other singer-activists) that became the acknowledged anthem of the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement, soon after folk singer and activist Guy Carawan introduced it at the founding meeting of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. ..."
Wikipedia
NYT: Pete Seeger, Songwriter and Champion of Folk Music, Dies at 94 (Video)
AllMusic: Artist Biography by William Ruhlmann
YouTube: Pete Seeger on "The Johnny Cash Show" complete and uncut, Pete Seeger, Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee - Down by the Riverside, Pete Seeger Music From Oil Drums, Waist Deep In The Big Muddy

2009 May: To Hear Your Banjo Play (1947), 2009 Sepember: Rainbow Quest, 2011 February: Talking Union and Other Union Songs - The Almanac Singer.

Cai Guo-Qiang: A Clan of Boats


"... Since childhood, Cai has held a special fascination with boats, a familiar symbol he grew up with in the harbour city of Quanzhou, China, which appear constantly throughout his repertoire. 'A Clan of Boats' allows Cai to recount a number of them, which he refers to as his 'children'. Among them is the Faurschou Foundation's own 'Reflection - A Gift from Iwaki'. A wreck filled with broken white porcelain from Dehuain Cai's hometown, the work has been shown at many important museums around the world. Each time the team of Iwaki volunteers, who excavated the boat as a gift to commemorate their friendship with Cai since 1994, would arrive on site to install the hull, just as they did for 'A Clan of Boats', and they are very much part of the work."
Faurschou Foundation
amazon: Cai Guo-Qiang: A Clan of Boats
vimeo: Creation of 'A Clan of Boats'

2008 March: Cai Guo-Qiang, 2009 October: Cai Guo-Qiang - An Introduction, 2012 March: Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe, 2012 April: Sky Ladder.

Monday, January 27

Save Rizzoli


"Since 1985, Manhattan’s Rizzoli Bookstore has occupied a spectacular six-story limestone townhouse on Fifty-Seventh Street—their Web site aptly goes in for a bit of self-congratulation, touting the 'cast iron chandeliers, ornately decorated vaulting, and a luminous Diocletian window.' You can learn more about the history of the building here. It’s the sort of place that inspires breathless exaltation in book lovers, or even merely book likers; if you were to publish a magazine of bookseller porn, Rizzoli would be the centerfold. Put more baldly, it’s magical."
The Paris Review
The New Yorker: Selling Books to Madonna
Rizzoli
The 1920 Sohmer Piano Bldg. -- No. 31 West 57th Street
YouTube: Rizzoli Bookstore: The Most Beautiful Bookstore in New York

Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux - Ugolino


Ugolino and His Sons (detail)
"Carpeaux found inspiration in Canto XXXIII of Dante's Divine Comedy which describes the encounter in Hell between the writer, led by Virgil, and Ugolino della Gherardesca. The count recounts the punishment he has suffered. In 13th-century Pisa, having betrayed the party of the Gibelins who favoured the Emperor in his struggle against the Pope, who was supported by the Guelfes, Ugolino was imprisoned in a tower. His rival, the archbishop Ubaldini, condemned him to starve to death in gaol. According to legend, Ugolino died after eating his own sons and grandsons who shared his cell."
Musée d'Orsay
Yale Press: The Passions of Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux
W - Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux

From Shore to Shore


"From Shore to Shore examines both the continuity and the changes that have affected Irish traditional music since the turn of the 20th century. It mixes historic photographs and film footage with contemporary interviews and musical performances. The film has been broadcast on local PBS television stations in the New York City area, and Reno, Nevada and broadcast nationally in both Ireland and Australia."
folkstreams (Video)

Sunday, January 26

The Jazz Age - Bryan Ferry


"Over the last 40 years, singer Bryan Ferry has established himself not only as the frontman of one of rock's most iconic bands, but also as a unique interpreter covering the songs of others. The songwriters he's covered have been transformed into something wholly other by him. Ferry's ability to find and reveal what is hidden in a lyric, a musical phrase, or even a key signature is uncanny. The Jazz Age finds Ferry covering himself in radical fashion: he doesn't sing. He is credited as co-producer (with Rhett Davies) and 'director.' The Jazz Age celebrates Ferry's 40th anniversary in music by re-recording some of his classic tunes -- from the 1972 Roxy Music album to 2010's Olympia -- inspired by the sounds of '20s jazz. Ferry's looked deeply into the past before -- 1999's As Time Goes By paid tribute to the music of the '30s, an album of sung standards from the era -- but not his own. ..."
allmusic
NYT: Roxy Music’s Roaring Twenties
Bryan Ferry: The Jazz Age - exclusive album stream (Video)
YouTube: The Only Face, This Island Earth, I Thought, Don't Stop The Dance

Bidoun Magazine


"Since 2004, Bidoun has filled a gaping hole in the arts and culture coverage of the Middle East, pioneering a distinctive voice that is intelligent, critical, and original. From the beginning, Bidoun has served as a platform — for new questions, images, and ideas about the Middle East. Bidoun’s activities fall in three primary areas: publishing, educational, and curatorial. To date, our projects have included a range of pursuits: curatorial initiatives, educational programs, artist commissions, talks, tours, performances, books, an itinerant library, and an online archive of avant-garde media."
Bidoun
W - Bidoun
UbuWeb - Bidoun: Art & Culture From the Middle East (Video)

Charles Marville, Photographer of Paris


"Widely acknowledged as one of the most talented photographers of the 19th century, Charles Marville (French, 1813–1879) was commissioned by the city of Paris to document both the picturesque, medieval streets of old Paris and the broad boulevards and grand public structures that Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann built in their place for Emperor Napoleon III. Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris at The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents a selection of around 100 of his photographs."
Metropolitan Museum of Art
amazon

2011 April: Charles Marville

Saturday, January 25

Ubu Roulette


"Explore the bizarre world of video art without clicking through names of artists you probably haven’t heard about anyway. This single feature website contains just one button that launches a random video. Organize your own Ubu Roulette party. Invite friends (or better even random people), connect a beamer and point your browser to ubu-roulette.com. Random art is a perfect way to trigger random conversations."
joaoflux
Ubu Roulette

Deep Dark Fears


"If you are suffering from a lack of things to be terrified of, here's just what you've been looking for. Artist and animator Fran Krause has a Tumblr blog devoted to our deepest, darkest fears, appropriately titled Deep Dark Fears. Be cautious about looking through these comics if you are the suggestible type …you might develop new nightmares! Some of these disturbing fantasies are Krause's own, others are submitted by readers. -via Laughing Squid"
Neatorama
Deep Dark Fears

Friday, January 24

Elegy of a Voyage - Aleksandr Sokurov (2001)


"Elegy of a Voyage (2001) is billed as a documentary, but the connection seems tenuous—if indeed it exists at all. The film is a series of oneiric images taken from a journey which a nameless narrator (even he questions who he is) mysteriously finds himself to be a passive participant of. We see him, but only from behind or looking down at his feet. A variety of modes of transport are used—walking, train, car, ship and even the suggestion of flight—to take the protagonist to a deserted, moonlit art gallery (in fact the Boijmans Museum in Rotterdam). Here he looks round at the paintings (some of them missing, obviously hanging there only moments ago) before finding one labelled as being by Pieter Saenredam and dated 1765 which at first he thinks he painted. As the memories come back, he realises that he did not paint it himself but was standing by the artist at the time it was made. Surveying the canvas, he comments on its details, noting which ones the artist made up and which were actually observed."
MUBI
The infinite journey
YouTube: Elegy of a Voyage

2009 March: Aleksandr Sokurov, 2012 January: Russian Ark,

Le Grand Kallé et l'African Jazz


Wikipedia - "Grand Kallé et l'African Jazz (often referred to simply as African Jazz) was one of the first full-time, professional band in what was then called Belgian Congo, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was founded by Joseph Kabasele Tshamala, popularly known as Le Grand Kallé. The band was invited to Brussels in 1960 to play at the Congolese Round Table Conference, where they were amongst the first bands to introduce modern African music to Europe. Among their most popular songs was 'Indépendance Cha Cha' (1960) the pan-African hit which, like much of their recorded output, used Latin American rhythms like the Cuban chachachá. They were, together with among others Franco Luambo's OK Jazz band, pioneers of the African variant of Rumba, that later evolved into Soukous."
Wikipedia
YouTube: Parafifi, Ambiance Kalle Catho, Kelya, Yoka nainu miziki, Essous Spiritou, Gauche Droite, Gauche Droite, Débordement

Thursday, January 23

Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb: Memory City


"Photographers Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb take an elegiac look at Rochester, New York, a city that was for 125 years the home of Eastman Kodak, which declared bankruptcy in 2012. These images, taken during what may be the last days of film as we know it, are a meditation on film, memory, time, and the city itself. For this project, Alex took images with his last rolls of Kodachrome, a formerly vibrant color film that can now only be processed as black-and white. The resulting photos have a weathered quality akin to a fading memory. Alex also took to the streets of Rochester and shot in digital color – work that punctuates the black and white work with images from his signature style. Rebecca, who still uses film for all her work, responded to the medium’s uncertain future by creating an elegiac refrain of color still lifes and portraits of Rochester women past and present."
Radius Books
amazon
Master Street photographers Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb

Józef Robakowski


4 Fields of Focusing - 1969
"With the Workshop of Film Forum, he focused on an analysis of new media language, striving to rid film of "alien elements" - anecdote, literary forms, narration - and make its language simpler and information denser. From 1974, Robakowski also embraced a new medium - video art. Born in 1939 in Poznań, he lives and works in Łódź as an academy professor and theoritician, while making films, photographic series, installations, drawings, objects, and conceptual projects."
Culture
Personal Cinema: Józef Robakowski’s Cinematic Works
Józef Robakowski. My own cinema (Video)
Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (Video)
vimeo: Józef Robakowski
YouTube: Attention!Light

Houseboat Days - John Ashbery (1977)


"... Ashbery's poetry is difficult, dense, and disjointed. I think it should be read with a sense of play and freedom and that the temptation to paraphrase should be avoided. In its meditative, philosophical character, Ashbery's work follows on that of Wallace Stevens, the poet who most influenced Ashbery. This is avant-garde modernistic writing, and Ashbery wants to help himself and the reader see the world anew without cliches or preconceptions. Yet Ashbery is deeply rooted in his past, and many of his works evidence a sense of nostalgia. The language of his poems shifts, frequently mid-stream, from passages of beauty and formalism to colloquialisms and platitudes. Tenses and pronouns likewise shift repeatedly. There is a sense of plurality, of everydayness, and of finding joy in the commonplace that I think works in these poetic meditations. Each reader will probably find individual poems in Houseboat Days to enjoy and will find others to pass over. - Robin Friedman"
amazon
Poets: "Daffy Duck In Hollywood" (Video)
[PDF] "And Ut Pictura Poesis Is Her Name"

Wednesday, January 22

Full Concert Jazz in Marciac (2010)


"Duration: 54min. Artistes: John Zorn - Direction, Saxophone; Marc Ribot - Guitar, Joey Baron - Drums, Jamie Soft - Piano, Trevor Dunn - Bass, Cyro Baptista - Percussion, Kenny Wollesen - Vibraphone. Track list: 1. Little Bittern 2. Anulikwutsayl 3. Exodus 4. Karaim 5. Lilin"
YouTube: Full Concert Jazz in Marciac 2010 FULL HD

2009 March: John Zorn, 2010 August: Spillane,  2011 October: Filmworks Anthology : 20 Years of Soundtrack Music, 2012 September: Marc Ribot, 2013 January: Bar Kokhba and Masada, 2013 September: Masada String Trio Sala.
 2011 February: Selling Water By the Side of the River - Evan Lurie, 2012 September: Marc Ribot, 2013 February: Silent Movies, 2013 November: The Nearness Of You.

Sound Affects - The Jam (1980)


"Unhappy with the slicker approach of Setting Sons, the Jam got back to basics, using the direct, economic playing of All Mod Cons and 'Going Underground,' the simply brilliant single which preceded Sound Affects by a few months. Thematically, though, Paul Weller explored a more indirect path, leaving behind (for the most part) the story-song narratives in favor of more abstract dealings in spirituality and perception -- the approach stemming from his recent readings of Blake and Shelley (who was quoted on the sleeve), but more specifically Geoffrey Ash, whose Camelot and the Vision of Albion made a strong impression. ..."
allmusic
W - Sound Affects
The Quietus - 30 Years On: The Jam's Sound Affects Revisited (Video)
BBC - Sound Affects
YouTube: Start!, That's Entertainment, Scrape Away, Set The House Ablaze, Pretty Green, Monday, But I'm Different Now, Music For The Last Couple, Man In The Corner Shop, Boy About Town

2009 March: The Jam, 2011 December: Down in the Tube Station at Midnight, 2012 November: "Going Underground", 2013 January: In the City, 2013 February: This Is the Modern World, 2013 July: All Mod Cons, 2013 November: Setting Sons.

Tuesday, January 21

View the Passport Photos of F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf & Other Cultural Icons


"If you’ve had the fortune of travelling for leisure, you know that there are three types of mementoes that unfailingly elicit pangs of nostalgia. The first are photographs. The second are the running commentaries we write down in journals and blogs, documenting the various impressions, thoughts, and minutiae we experience. The third are passports. When brimming with exit stamps and tattered visas, passports are the mark of a worldly traveller: a grimy, well-worn sign to fellow hostel guests that you’re wanted company when the time comes to compare stories."
Open Culture
Passport Photos of Iconic Figures in The Past
The Untravelled Paths
W - Passport

Side By Side on Monhegan: The Henri circle and the American Impressionists


"Exhibition catalogue from the Monhegan Museum. Featuring landscapes and seascapes of George Wesley Bellows, Clarence K. Chatteron, Henry Bill Selden, Edward F. Rook, Randall Davey, Robert Henri, Edward Willis Redfield, Bernard Guttman, Rockwell Kent, John McPherson, William Chadwick, Frank Bicknell, Henrietta Shore, Woodhull Adams, and many more."
amazon: Side By Side on Monhegan
NYT: Maine Through Artists' Eyes

2009 September: Monhegan Island, 2012 August: Monhegan, The Artists' Island.

Monday, January 20

The Great War: July 1, 1916


"Joe Sacco is a cartoonist, graphic novelist and journalist; he's best-known for his dispatches from today's regions of conflict, like the Middle East and Bosnia, in cartoon form. But for his latest book, The Great War, Sacco turns his eye on history. He's recreated of one of the worst battles of World War I, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, from its hopeful beginning to its brutal end. The book is unconventional in form — it folds out to form a 24-foot-long panorama. And while a separate author's note provides historical context, the book itself is wordless; no dialogue, no captions."
NPR: The Great War (Video)
Slate: A 24-foot Panorama of the Most Infamous Day of World War
TCJ: The Great War: July 1, 1916
W.W. Norton
NYT: Solemn Panorama of Battle

Romantic Reflections’ photo-shoot & behind-the-scenes


"Two years after Audiocentric, Jason Minnis and I collaborated again earlier this month on his latest musical project: Romantic Reflections. Jason is a Brooklyn based producer & classical pianist and he asked me to take the lead on the visual concept of his classical piano EP. We did a ghost-dog style photo-shoot on a roof-top in East New York for the album cover and ended-up shooting a short film as well. In the video below, Jason talks about the concept behind the album. Album cover and photo-shoot behind-the-scenes after the jump."
Stephane Missier aka Charles le Brigand
 (Video)

Sunday, January 19

Bruce Davidson


USA. 1959. Brooklyn Gang.
Wikipedia - "Bruce Davidson (born September 5, 1933) is an American photographer. He has been a member of the Magnum Photos agency since 1958. His photographs, notably those taken in Harlem, New York City, have been widely exhibited and published. Bruce Davidson was born on born September 5, 1933 in Oak Park, Illinois. ... Davidson’s next project, East 100th Street, is perhaps his most famous. East 100th Street was a two-year documentation of an infamous block in East Harlem. This project was also displayed at the Museum of Modern Art. Davidson followed this with Subway, a classic portrayal of the New York subway system, in the late 1970s. Using color to convey mood, Davidson documented a gritty and lively urban underworld. Over a decade later, in the early 1990s, Davidson completed a four-year exploration of Central Park, showing it as a beautiful and grand homage to New York City."
Wikipedia
15 Lessons Bruce Davidson Can Teach You About Street Photography
Bruce Davidson and 1950s gangs of Brooklyn
New Yorker - Bruce Davidson: Time of Change
Magnum Photos: Bruce Davidson
New Yorker: Bruce Davidson on Street Photography (Video)
YouTube: A Time of Change - Bruce Davidson's Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, Bruce Davidson: A Lifetime with Leica, TateShots: Bruce Davidson's Subway, Everybody Street: Bruce Davidson

Saturday, January 18

Blood Money - Tom Waits (2002)


"Tom Waits has said: 'I like a beautiful song that tells you terrible things. We all like bad news out of a pretty mouth.' When it comes to the material on Blood Money, I don't know if I can call Waits' mouth pretty, but he certainly offers plenty of bad news in a very attractive, compelling way. Released simultaneously with Alice, a recording of songs written in 1990, Blood Money is a set of 13 songs written by Waits and Kathleen Brennan in collaboration with dramatist Robert Wilson. The project was a loose adaptation of the play Woyzeck, originally written by German poet Georg Buchner in 1837. The play was inspired by the true story of a German soldier who was driven mad by bizarre army medical experiments and infidelity, which led him to murder his lover -- cheery stuff, to be sure. ..."
allmusic
Wikipedia
Tom Waits Albums From Worst To Best
YouTube: Misery Is The River Of The World, Coney Island Baby, All The World Is Green, God's Away On Business, Knife chase, Starving in the belly of a whale, A good man is hard to find, Another Man's Vine, Lullaby, The Part You Throw Away, Woe, Calliope

2012 July: Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards, 2013 March: Burma Shave, 2013 May: "Ol' '55", 2013 July: The Heart of Saturday Night (1974).

The Great Speckled Bird


Wikipedia - "The Great Speckled Bird was a counterculture underground newspaper based in Atlanta, Georgia from 1968 to 1976. It was founded by New Left activists from Emory University and members of the Southern Student Organizing Committee, an offshoot of SDS. Founding editors included Tom and Stephanie Coffin, Howard Romaine and Gene Guerrero Jr. The first issue appeared March 8, 1968, and within 6 months it was publishing weekly. By 1970 it was the third largest weekly newspaper in Georgia with a paid circulation of 22,000 copies. The paper subscribed to Liberation News Service, a leftist news collective. The office of The Great Speckled Bird at the north end of Piedmont Park (240 Westminster Dr.) was firebombed and destroyed on May 6, 1972 after the paper published an exposé of the mayor of Atlanta."
Wikipedia
The Great Speckled Bird
Georgia State University
New Georgia Encyclopedia
Paper Service Answering Hippies ...
Atlanta Progressive News
YouTube: The Great Speckled Bird

Friday, January 17

The Poetics of Space - Gaston Bachelard (1958)


Wikipedia - "The Poetics of Space (French: La Poétique de l'Espace) is a 1958 book by Gaston Bachelard. Bachelard applies the method of phenomenology to architecture basing his analysis not on purported origins (as was the trend in enlightenment thinking about architecture) but on lived experience of architecture. He is thus led to consider spatial types such as the attic, the cellar, drawers and the like. This book implicitly urges architects to base their work on the experiences it will engender rather than on abstract rationales that may or may not affect viewers and users of architecture. It is about the architecture of the imagination."
Wikipedia
[PDF] The Poetics of Space
amazon
Google - The Poetics of Space

2011 June: Gaston Bachelard

Still Feel Gone - Uncle Tupelo (1991)


"Uncle Tupelo clearly defined their nervy Gram Parsons-meets-the Minutemen sound on their debut album, 1990's No Depression, and their 1991 follow-up, Still Feel Gone, found them branching out into new variations of their previously established themes. While No Depression was dominated by breakneck tempos with the occasional slow, contemplative number thrown in for variety, Still Feel Gone found Uncle Tupelo taking a closer look at the middle ground, as evidenced by the high-strung acoustic guitars of 'Still Be Around,' the measured but powerful Crazy Horse stomp of 'Looking for a Way Out,' the lonesome shuffle of 'True to Life,' and the stark atmospherics of 'If That's Alright' (the latter of which in retrospect sounds like the first dawning of the ideas Jeff Tweedy would explore with Wilco). ..."
allmusic
Wikipedia
YouTube: Gun, Looking For A Way Out, Fall Down Easy, Nothing, Still Be Around, Watch me fall, True to Life, Cold Shoulder, Discarded

2011 July: Uncle Tupelo, 2012 December: No Depression, 2013 August: March 16–20, 1992.

The Cutlass Dance Band, Los Issifu and his Moslem


"One of the rarest and most desirable Ghanaian 45s and definitely the heaviest two funk tracks ever to be recorded by The Cutlass Dance Band. As with all of our 45s, this record was licensed directly from the artists. And here are two stone cold Afro Funk bangers by Los Issifu and his Moslems. Directly licensed from the man himself and we are also in the process of tracking down the tapes for two so far unreleased albums by Los Issifu!"
Voodoo Funk (soundcloud)

Thursday, January 16

Rena Effendi


Wikipedia - "Rena Effendi is an Azerbaijani photographer. Her work is focused on themes of environment, post-conflict society, the effects of oil industry on people, and social disparity. She is currently (2013) based in Cairo, Egypt. Effendi was born on April 26, 1977, in Baku. She studied at the Azerbaijan State Institute of Languages. She began photographing in 2001 and became a full-time photographer in 2005 after quitting her job as an Economic Development Specialist at the United States Agency for International Development in Baku. Effendi's first monograph 'Pipe Dreams', published by Schilt Publishing, focuses on lives of ordinary citizens in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey along the Baku–Tbilisi–Ceyhan pipeline."
Wikipedia
Rena Effendi
New Yorker: Between Here and Paradise: Rena Effendi’s Havana
Prix Pictet
INSTITUTE
Visura Magazine
YouTube:Rena Effendi at HOST Gallery

Nicolas Jaar - Other People


"I first met Nicolas Jaar when I was working for DFA. He must have been seventeen or eighteen years old at the time. I came back from lunch one day and found him talking enthusiastically but eloquently and immediately assumed he was some band’s manager, because those are the only types who command that kind of attention in the laid back office. He was talking about Joy Division in relation to Wolf + Lamb, so the context was wild, but Nico’s monologue felt inspired and energetic. Of course, Nico’s personality is large. He’s a tenacious guy, and it speaks through his music and performances. He’s never not doing something, which is rare for young guys finding their way. In my opinion, he’s on a pioneering artist track that not many people I know lead."
Electronic Beats
YouTube: Nicolas Jaar Feature (Slices Issue 4-12), Nicolas Jaar Boiler Room NYC DJ Set at Clown & Sunset x RBMA Takeover, Nicolas Jaar live in Budapest (2012)

2013 September: Nicolas Jaar

Wednesday, January 15

In Which He Could Visit Her And Did Not Need To Write


Ted Berrigan - 1967 (Alex Katz)
"Ted Berrigan met Sandy Alper and seven days later they were married. She wrestled him to the ground, sat on his lap, and asked him to marry her. He agreed. She dropped out of college and boarded a bus with him to Houston, where she pawned her watch to pay for the marriage license. She said she dropped out of college because she could tell, in an instant, that 'living with Ted would be far more educational than staying in school.' ... The letters between Ted Berrigan and Sandy Alper were published for the first time in Dear Sandy, Hello. In it Sandy explains that she was young (19) but she knew what she was doing. Once married, they visited her parents in Miami, who searched Ted's things and found letters from Ron Padgett about the drug scene on the Columbia campus. The next day the police arrived to take Sandy to Jackson Memorial Hospital mental ward."
This Recording

2011 January: Ted Berrigan - Two prose poems, 2011 September: Public Access Poetry, 2011 November: Twenty-Four Sonnets (1971), 2012 June: Recovering "Memorial Day".

Arena Hotel Chelsea


"A 1981 BBC documentary, produced for the series Arena, about New York City's legendary Chelsea Hotel and its colourful inhabitants."
YouTube: Arena Chelsea Hotel Pt.1, Pt.2, Pt.3, Pt.4, Pt.5, Pt.6

2010 October: Hotel Chelsea

Tuesday, January 14

This Not That - John Baldessari (2010)


"As one of the most unusual of all contemporary art forms, conceptual art is an art form that finds the ideas or concepts attached to the work taking on much greater importance than visual concerns. The mode, which frequently overlaps with the concept of artistic installations, took on greatest popularity in the 1960s, and went on to inspire and shape the work of artists over the next several decades. Examples include Fred Forest buying a blank space in the newspaper and inviting readers to contribute their own art, and Robert Rauschenberg sending a short note that claimed to be a portrait as his contribution to a gallery exhibit. Artist John Baldessari (b. 1931) helped launch this movement and thus earned a reputation as one of its true harbingers."
amazon
YouTube: This Not That 1:27:52

2009 October: John Baldessari, 2012 May: A Brief History of John Baldessari.

Henry Thomas


Wikipedia - "Henry Thomas (born 1874, Big Sandy, Texas – died 1930) was an American country blues singer, songster and musician, who enjoyed a brief but notable recording career in the late 1920s. Often billed as 'Ragtime Texas', Thomas' style was the basis for what later became known as Texas blues guitar. Thomas was born into a family of freed slaves in Big Sandy, Texas in 1874. He began traveling the Texas rail lines as a hobo after leaving home in his teens. He eventually earned his way as an itinerant songster, entertaining local populaces as well as railway employees. Although the circumstances are not known, Thomas recorded twenty-three sides for Vocalion Records between 1927 and 1929. The repertoire on these cuts includes a combination of reels, gospels, minstrel pieces, ragtime numbers and blues. Besides guitar, Thomas accompanied himself on quills, a folk instrument fabricated from cane reeds whose sound is similar to the zampona played by musicians in Peru and Bolivia. His style of playing guitar was probably derived from banjo-picking styles."
Wikipedia
“Ragtime Texas”: a hobo songster goin’ up the country… A tribute to Henry Thomas
Texas State Historical Association
Illustrated Henry Thomas discography
YouTube: Texas Worried Blues, Don't Leave Me Here (Don't Ease Me In), Bull Doze Blues, Fishing Blues, Railroadin' Some, When The Train Comes Along, The Little Red Caboose, Charmin' Betsy, John Henry

Monday, January 13

Micol Assaël


Untitled 2004. Engines, electrical resistances, smoke, tables, chair, turnished glasses.
"What was it about this small web image of an installation that made it stick to my memory and made me wish to find out all about it’s context and origin? The documentation of Micol Assaël’s installation Mindfall gives the impression of worn-out machinery, abandoned by its operators and heading towards the unknown. It makes me wonder what happened in this room – what will develop here, and will it in any way be possible to stop? Other parts of her work include large room environments in which she by means of electronics and mechanics creates (fascinating, in different ways charged) rooms where the viewer becomes physically involved through the use of temperature, air flow and electricity. A conversation with Assaël gives a glimpse into a way of thinking where dreams and the as yet unmapped frontiers of natural science become components in – and starting points of – art production."
Short circuits and open endings – a conversation with Micol Assaël
Johann König, Berlin: Micol Assaël
Micol Assaël
Kunsthalle Fridericianum
blip: Micol Assael's container of tortured engines
vimeo: Inner Disorder

History of the high five


"When I first phoned Lamont Sleets this spring, I knew only the following: He is a middle-aged man living in the small town of Eminence, Ky.; he played college basketball for Murray State University between 1979 and 1984; and he reportedly created one of the most contagious, transcendently ecstatic gestures in sports -- and maybe, for that matter, American life. I was calling Sleets because I wanted to talk to the man who invented the high five. I'd first read about him in 2007 in a press release from National High Five Day, a group that was trying to establish a holiday for convivial palm-slapping on the third Thursday in April."
ESPN
W - High five

Rene Gagnon Inaugurates Mecka Gallery : Opening Today in Brooklyn


"Brooklyn hasn’t opened a new Street Art gallery in a little while – in fact it has lost some formal spaces that welcome artists of the street kind over the past couple of years. So you’ll be happy to know we can now announce a new Street Art show at a new Street Art centric gallery is opening tonight. And you’ll jump out of your boots when you find out there will be a free print release to the first hundred people in line. 'HI! My name is… A Solo Exhibition of This and That', a new show by Rene Gagnon opens tonight and inaugurates the Mecka Gallery in Bushwick, or East Williamsburg, depending on which real estate agent or Midwestern transplant is showing you the neighborhood."
Brooklyn Street Art
Rene Gagnon
YouTube: Rene Gagnon at Spring Street, Artistic Process of Rene Gagnon
YouTube: Rene Gagnon

Sunday, January 12

Robert Cottingham


Wikipedia - "Robert Cottingham (born 1935 in Brooklyn, New York) is considered to be one of most important original photorealist painters. Cottingham's work focuses on items associated as Americana. He studied art at Brooklyn's Pratt Institute. His first solo show was in 1971 at the O.K. Harris Gallery in New York. In 1990, he was elected into the National Academy of Design as an Associate Academician, and became a full Academician in 1994. A retrospective of Cottingham's work took place at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1998."
Wikipedia
artnet
American Art
YouTube: Robert Cottingham

Michael Rakowitz - The Breakup


"Michael Rakowitz’s admiration for the Beatles began at the age of seven, on the day that John Lennon died, as he conveyed in The Breakup, 2010, a ten-part radio series originally broadcast on Amwaj Radio in Ramallah. Written and narrated by Rakowitz, it is presented as an audio installation in his current exhibition in New York and blends Beatles songs and the band members’ intimate conversations from the shooting of the 1970 documentary Let It Be with international audio and television reports of events leading to the 1967 Six-Day War. In the gallery’s back room, Rakowitz offers a forty-five-minute video, also titled The Breakup, 2010–12. Here the band’s demise is made analogous to the splintering of a nascent pan-Arab nationalism in the Middle East in the wake of the 1967 war."
ARTFORUM
From Invisible Enemy to Enemy Kitchen - Michael Rakowitz in conversation with Anthony Downey
vimeo: The Breakup, Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4a, Part 4

Saturday, January 11

Indochine (1992)


Wikipedia - "Indochine is a 1992 French film set in colonial French Indochina during the 1930s to 50s. It is the story of Éliane Devries, a French plantation owner, and of her adopted Vietnamese daughter, Camille, with the rising Vietnamese nationalist movement set as a backdrop. The screenplay was written by novelist Erik Orsenna, script writers Louis Gardel, Catherine Cohen, and Régis Wargnier, who also directed the film. The film stars Catherine Deneuve, Vincent Perez, Linh Dan Pham, Jean Yanne and Dominique Blanc. At the outset of the film, Camille, a young girl from the Nguyen Dynasty (powerless under French colonial rule), is adopted by Éliane Devries after her parents die in a plane crash at the end of the 1910s. Madame Devries owns and operates a large rubber plantation in Indochina that employs many indentured laborers. Unmarried, she raises Camille as her own daughter, where she lives with her father, who oversees the day-to-day operations of the plantation. At an auction bidding on the same painting, Madame Devries meets Jean-Baptiste Le Guen, a lieutenant in the French Navy. This culminates into a brief, torrid love affair. When Camille is sixteen, a French police officer shoots a Vietnamese prisoner who is escaping through the city streets."
Wikipedia
NYT: Indochine (1992)
Vincent Perez
Roger Ebert
YouTube: Indochine Trailer, Indochine 1992 de Regis Wargnier English Sub

Intersection: Brooklyn Heights Vintage


"Irwin Susskind, a Brooklyn Heights resident for 42 years, says he likes antique clothing and gets a lot of his clothes at thrift shops and street sales."
NYT: Intersection: Brooklyn Heights Vintage (Video)

Thursday, January 9

Another Green World - Brian Eno (1975)


Wikipedia - "Another Green World is the third studio album by English musician Brian Eno. Produced by Eno and Rhett Davies, it was originally released by Island Records in September 1975. As he had done with previous solo albums, Eno worked with several guest musicians including Phil Collins, John Cale and Robert Fripp. The album marked a great musical change from Eno's previous albums. Using his instruction cards the Oblique Strategies for guidance, the album contained fewer lyric-based rock songs and had stronger emphasis on instrumental productions; many without the aid of guest musicians. The dark humour of the lyrics also changed to more dreamlike and obscure songs."
Wikipedia
allmusic
YouTube: Arena - Brian Eno - Another Green World, Another Green World(Full album).

Let It Come Down: the Life of Paul Bowles (1998)


"Expatriate American writer Paul Bowles came to the limelight with an adaptation to screen by Bernardo Bertolucci of his first novel The Sheltering Sky. Subsequently, ambitious documentarists from several countries went down to Tangiers, Morocco where Bowles has been living for more than 50 years to capture the last days of an aging artist and composer, who played an important role in shaping the artistic trends of the 20th century along with other celebrities such as Allen Ginsberg, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and William S. Burroughs. In this definitive film biography which took director Jennifer Baichwal more than four years to complete, the 87-year-old Bowles reflects on his life, work and friends while lying in bed at his home in Tangier smoking kif (cannabis) from an elegant black cigarette holder."
NYT - Let It Come Down: the Life of Paul Bowles (1998)
Film Journal
amazon
YouTube: Let it Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles

2007 November: The Authorized Paul Bowles Web Site, 2010 February: Paul Bowles (1910-1999), 2011: January: Halfmoon (1996), 2013 July: Tellus #23 - The Voices of Paul Bowles.

Tuesday, January 7

Underground Scene: New York’s Subway Back in the Day


Scene on the New York City subway, 1969.
"Culture: 1942-1969. As difficult as it is to believe, the New York City Subway has not always been the paragon of cleanliness, courtesy and efficiency currently enjoyed by several million New Yorkers and out-of-towners each and every day. In fact, for several decades in the middle of the 20th century, what was then the world’s busiest subway system was actually something of a mess. Unlike today’s flawless high-tech marvels, cars back in the day were relatively rickety affairs, and frequently sauna-hot in the summer. Crime on trains and platforms was not unknown. Sharp-eyed travelers might occasionally spot litter. And while contemporary commuters can, and do, set their watches by trains’ arrivals and departures, the old subway’s schedules could often, to the initiated, seem arbitrary — nonexistent, even. Verily, New Yorkers today live in a mass-transit Golden Age."
LIFE

Guillaume Leblon: Under My Shoe


Sand Rise West 2 (2009)
"On view through April 6, 2014, this first solo exhibition of Paris-based sculptor Guillaume Leblon’s work in a U.S. museum will feature a selection of works made over the last decade, in addition to two major new projects created for MASS MoCA. Leblon’s practice is characterized both by its diversity and the artist’s canny manipulation of space. While he creates powerful, discrete objects, he often choreographs his works into a larger spatial narrative within his exhibition venues."
MASS/MoCA
Bureau for Open Culture
Galerie Jocelyn Wolff