Saturday, May 31

Rainer Werner Fassbinder


Wikipedia - "Rainer Werner Fassbinder (...31 May 1945 – 10 June 1982) was a German film director, screenwriter, and actor. He is one of the most important figures in the New German Cinema. Fassbinder maintained a frenetic pace in filmmaking. In a professional career that lasted fewer than fifteen years, he completed 40 feature length films; two television film series; three short films; four video productions; twenty-four stage plays and four radio plays; and 36 acting roles in his own and others’ films. He also worked as an actor (film and theater), author, cameraman, composer, designer, editor, producer and theater manager. Underlying Fassbinder's work was a desire to provoke and disturb. His phenomenal creative energy, when working, coexisted with a wild, self-destructive libertinism that earned him a reputation as the enfant terrible of the New German Cinema, as well as being its central figure."
Wikipedia
The Films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Video)
Roger Ebert - Regarding R.W. Fassbinder: Letter to a Young Cinephile
Fassbinder: Romantic Anarchist (Part 1)
Ranked: Rainer Werner Fassbinder Films From Worst To Best (Video)
New Yorker: Total Fassbinder
Rainer Werner Fassbinder Foundation

The Best Black and Whites in NYC Are at a 112-Year-Old Bake Shop


"It's late afternoon on the Upper East Side and Herbert Glaser is hard at work upholding his family's legacy, one apple turnover at a time. The third generation owner of Glaser's Bake Shop (1670 First Avenue, 212-289-2562), he follows many of the same recipes his father first used 112 years ago. Herbert's grandfather, John, first opened the doors to the shop in 1902, during President Theodore Roosevelt's first term and a full decade before The New York Highlanders became the Yankees. The sweet treats from Glaser's native Germany were an instant hit in the area, which was once known as Germantown."
Voice
Glaser's Bake Shop

Friday, May 30

Mystery, Mr. Ra: Sun Ra and his Arkestra (1984)


"So much more than just a legendary pianist and bandleader, whose jazz pedigree goes all the way back to playing with Fletcher Henderson in the ‘40’s, the late great Sun Ra made art in full. Forgoing commercial sensibilities that ultimately kill in favor of those that actually benefit community, Sun Ra incorporated costume, dance, and theater into a symphonic eruption of cultural living by example. His Arkestra, featured in the Mystery, Mr. Ra video touring France in 1984, embodied the shamanic message Sun Ra wished to bestow upon mankind."
VHS Library
YouTube: Mystery Mr. Ra [Full Movie] 51:46

Remembering Café Le Metro: ‘We Were the Resistance to John Q Average American’


Cafe Le Metro, October of 1964
"In 1963 Newsday reported on artists who had abandoned Greenwich Village for the Lower East Side, 'New York’s newest bargain-basement bohemia': 'Poets aren’t lacking on the Lower East Side. Cynthia and Moe Margules, who operate Le Metro, a coffeehouse on Second Avenue, have found that poets are regular, if not heavy-spending customers. Once or twice a week the poets drop by in force to read to each other.' Café Le Metro, like the Tenth Street Coffeehouse and Les Deux Mégots on Seventh Street, was a popular hangout where poets gathered to drink coffee, socialize and recite their work."
Bedford and Bowery

Live from KCRW - Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (2013)


"In April 2013, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds were booked to play the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, and with the same lineup of acts appearing two consecutive weekends, Cave and his bandmates had a few days to kill in California. During their downtime in the Golden State, Cave and the Bad Seeds cut a live-in-the-studio session for Santa Monica's public radio station KCRW-FM, and the recordings have been released under the straightforward (if less than imaginative) title Live from KCRW."
allmusic
W - Live from KCRW
Pitchfork
The Quietus - LISTEN: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds' Live LP (Video)
YouTube: Higgs Boson Blues, Far From Me, Stranger Than Kindness, And No More Shall We Part, Wide Lovely Eyes, Mermaids, People Aint No Good

2008 August: Nick Cave, 2010 November: Henry Lee - Nick Cave & PJ Harvey, 2011 March: The Boatman's Call, 2011 December: B-Sides & Rarities, 2012 January: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - White Lunar, 2013 January: "We No Who U R", 2013 April: No More Shall We Part, 2013 June: The Secret Life Of The Love Song/The Flesh Made Word (1999), 2013 October: The Abattoir Blues Tour (2007), 2014 March: Push the Sky Away (2013).

Thursday, May 29

William Johnson


Jitterbugs (II), c. 1941
Wikipedia - "William Henry Johnson (March 18, 1901–1970) was an African-American painter born in Florence, South Carolina. He became a student at the National Academy of Design in New York. His style evolved from realism to expressionism to a powerful folk style (for which he is best known). ... He spent the late 1920s in France, where he learned about modernism. During this time, he met the Danish textile artist Holcha Krake in Cagnes-sur-Mer. Upon his return to the United States in 1929, Johnson was encouraged by artist-friend, George Luks to enter his work for recognition into the Harmon Foundation Distinguished Achievements Among Negroes in the Fine Arts Field. Johnson was awarded the Harmon gold medal in the fine arts field in January 1930."
Wikipedia
Smithsonian Institution
SI: World on Paper
William H. Johnson Bio – Part I, Part II, Part III
YouTube: Harlem Renaissance & William H. Johnson at the Arlington Museum of Art, Charlie Parker, Parker's Mood, William H. Johnson, Director's Choice - I Baptize Thee by William H. Johnson, Conservation of William H. Johnson's Paintings

Give It Up - Bonnie Raitt (1972)


"Bonnie Raitt may have switched producers for her second album Give It Up, hiring Michael Cuscuna, but she hasn't switched her style, sticking with the thoroughly engaging blend of folk, blues, R&B, and Californian soft rock. If anything, she's strengthened her formula here, making the divisions between the genres nearly indistinguishable. Take the title track, for instance. It opens with a bluesy acoustic guitar before kicking into a New Orleans brass band about halfway through -- and the great thing about it is that Raitt makes the switch sound natural, even inevitable, never forced. And that's just the tip of the iceberg here, since Give It Up is filled with great songs, delivered in familiar, yet always surprising, ways by Raitt and her skilled band."
allmusic
Wikipedia
#496- Bonnie Raitt- Give It Up- 1972
Rolling Stone
YouTube: Give It Up, Love Me Like a Man, If you got to make a fool of somebody, I Know (You Don't Love Me No More), Under The Falling Sky, You Got to Know How, You Told Me Baby, Love Has No Pride

Wednesday, May 28

NY Train Project


"New York's subway system can be one of the most exciting or overwhelming experiences that a first time visitor or seasoned rider can have. I have been on the subway thousands of times but only until recently did I take the time to really look at my surroundings. One day while waiting for the 6 train at the Bleecker stop, I began to notice the intricate details of the carefully placed tiles in the station sign. Which led me to noticing other station signs and how they were all different, infused with the personality of the neighborhood. I decided that I wanted to share this with others by creating an online gallery of subways stations in NYC, starting with Manhattan. I hope this gallery can serve as not only a tribute to the history of the subway stations but also as a quick guide to getting around New York via the MTA."
NY Train Project
'NY Train Project' Tours NYC Through the Eyes of a Subway Rider
Beautiful Graphics of NY Train Project Celebrates NYC Subway Tile Mosaics

James Carr The Complete Goldwax Singles (2001)


"All 28 songs from Carr's 1964-1970 Goldwax singles are here, which is enough to make it a fair bid for a good best-of compilation, although it doesn't have everything he recorded. About half of the songs on this British import are not on the most well-known American CD compilation of Carr's work, The Essential James Carr, and those tracks are consistent with the level of his other Goldwax recordings, although they don't include anything on the level of 'The Dark End of the Street' or 'Pouring Water on a Drowning Man.' This disc is particularly valuable for filling in some of his earliest 1964-1966 sides, which have a very slightly poppier and more up-tempo bent than his most esteemed songs. ..."
allmusic
amazon
NPR - Goldwax Records: A History Of '60s Memphis Soul
YouTube: The Dark End Of The Street, A Man Needs A Woman, You've Got My Mind Messed Up, Pouring Water On A Drowning Man, Everybody needs somebody, These Ain't Raindrops, You got my mind Messed Up, Stronger Than Love, Lovable Girl, She's Better Than You, That's What I Want To Know

2010 November: James Carr

Tuesday, May 27

Nostromo - Joseph Conrad (1904)


Wikipedia - "Nostromo (full title Nostromo, A Tale of the Seaboard) is a 1904 novel by Polish novelist Joseph Conrad, set in the fictitious South American republic of 'Costaguana'. It was originally published serially in two volumes of T.P.'s Weekly. ... Conrad set his novel in the mining town of Sulaco, an imaginary port in the occidental region of the imaginary country of Costaguana. The book has more fully developed characters than any other of his novels, but two characters dominate the narrative: Señor Gould and the eponymous anti-hero, the 'incorruptible' Nostromo.”
Wikipedia
Nostromo, by Joseph Conrad - Project Gutenberg
W - Nostromo (TV serial)
PBS: Masterpiece Theatre
YouTube: NOSTROMO by Joseph Conrad. Directed by Alastair Reid, Roberto Escobar & Colin Firth in a scene from Nostromo, Roberto Escobar and Claudio Amendola scene from Nostromo

2011 November: Heart of Darkness, 2013 August: Victory (1915).

ABCNT


"ABCNT has always been a favorite artist of ours, as his work demonstrates the power and potential of art to invade the corporate-dominated public spaces of the city. His multidisciplinary work includes clothing, music, and a wide variety of visual art which all speak to the idea that the streets belong to the people. ABCNT recently sat down with Erwin Recinos to discuss art, power, politics, Los Angeles, and tacos… "
L.A. TACO Interview with ABCNT
ABCNT (Video)
ABCNT - Wordpress
ABCNT Street Art SF
vimeo: ABCNT

John Lennon - Mind Games (1973)


"After the hostile reaction to the politically charged Sometime in New York City, John Lennon moved away from explicit protest songs and returned to introspective songwriting with Mind Games. Lennon didn't leave politics behind -- he just tempered his opinions with humor on songs like 'Bring on the Lucie (Freda Peeple),' which happened to undercut the intention of the song. ... While the best numbers are among Lennon's finest, there's only a handful of them, and the remainder of the record is simply pleasant. But compared to Sometime in New York City, as well as the subsequent Walls and Bridges, Mind Games sounded like a return to form."
allmusic
W - Mind Games
The Beatles Bible
40 Years Ago: John Lennon Releases ‘Mind Games’
YouTube: "Mind Games" (Live)
YouTube: Mind Games (Full Album)

Monday, May 26

The songs of summer


"Memorial Day Weekend fills us with restless anticipation of how we will spend the long, hot days ahead, but it also brings fond memories of summers past, each one marked by a ubiquitous song that still has the power to bring us back to that time. Travel through the last 100 years to discover which summer songs were either released or peaked in popularity during the summer of their respective years. Some are about the summer or the stuff of summer: parties, picnics, fleeting love, nostalgia or fun. Some have that summer feeling in sound alone. Many are relevant to their times. Some have become standards. Some annoy, like a sticky day with too many mosquitoes. Others slow down time, like an unexpected breeze one hopes will never stop. Songs were chosen based on a loose criteria of release date, when they peaked in popularity, and because they help illustrate how we enjoyed music that summer."
Boston Globe (Video)
1965: "Satisfaction" - Rolling Stones
1966: "Summer In The City" - The Lovin' Spoonful
1967: "Respect" - Aretha Franklin
1968: "Dance To The Music" - Sly & The Family Stone
1969: "Come Together" - The Beatles - on - 1969: "Honky Tonk Women" - The Rolling Stones
1991: "Smells Like Teen Spirit" - Nirvana

“Have I Ever Left It?” by Mark O'Connell


"On a bright and blustery morning in February, I stepped out my front door and walked until I reached the north bank of the River Liffey, where I crossed a bridge and stopped in front of a dark gaunt house on Usher’s Island. The house stood a little back from the street, as though in quiet reproach of its surroundings, the only Georgian redbrick in a row of humbler buildings facing the river; it was flanked squatly on one side by a small car upholstery concern, and, on the other, by a large modern block of apartments. The windows of this dark gaunt house were opaque with brownish grime from the heavy traffic along the south quays, but in one of the dim street-level rooms I could make out the looming profile of a massive papier-mâché head, perhaps 3 feet high. The sheer slope of the nose, terminating in a trim gray mustache; the almost comic nobility of the chin; the gigantic fedora overmastering a high forehead: It was instantly apparent whom this cartoon head was intended to represent."
Slate
Joyce Centre Dublin

2011 March: Passages from James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" (1965-67), 2010 March: Ulysses Seen, 2013 February: ULYSSES “SEEN” is moving to Dublin!, 2013: Dubliners, 2014 May: The Dead (1987 film).

Todd Webb


Wikipedia - "Todd Webb (1905–2000) was an American photographer notable for documenting everyday life and architecture in cities such as New York, Paris as well as from the American west. His photography has been compared with Harry Callahan, Berenice Abbott, Walker Evans, and the French photographer Eugène Atget. He traveled extensively during his long life and had important friendships with artists such as Georgia O'Keeffe, Ansel Adams and Harry Callahan. He photographed famous people including Dorothea Lange. His life was like his photos in the sense of being seemingly simple, straightforward, but revealing complexity and depth upon a closer examination. Capturing history, his pictures often transcend the boundary between photography and artistic expression."
Wikipedia
Todd Webb Photographs
ICP - Picture Windows: Todd Webb

Sunday, May 25

Gauguin: Metamorphoses


Siesta, 1893
"This exhibition focuses on Paul Gauguin’s rare and extraordinary prints and transfer drawings, and their relationship to his better-known paintings and his sculptures in wood and ceramic. Comprising approximately 150 works, including some 120 works on paper and a critical selection of some 30 related paintings and sculptures, it is the first exhibition to take an in-depth look at this overall body of work. Created in several discrete bursts of activity from 1889 until his death in 1903, these remarkable works on paper reflect Gauguin’s experiments with a range of mediums, from radically 'primitive' woodcuts that extend from the sculptural gouging of his carved wood reliefs, to jewel-like watercolor monotypes and large, mysterious transfer drawings."
MoMA
MoMA: Gauguin: Metamorphoses
NYT: The Man, Not the Myth
Brooklyn Rail: Myths of Eden and Gauguin’s Metamorphoses

2011 December: Gauguin Tahiti, 2012 May: Gauguin, Cézanne, Matisse: Visions of Arcadia.

Curtis Mayfield - Super Fly (1972)


"The choice of Curtis Mayfield to score the blaxploitation film Super Fly was an inspired one. No other artist in popular music knew so well, and expressed through his music so naturally, the shades of gray inherent in contemporary inner-city life. His debut solo album, 1970's Curtis, had shown in vivid colors that the '60s optimist (author of the civil-rights anthems 'Keep On Pushing' and 'People Get Ready') had added a layer of subtlety to his material; appearing on the same LP as the positive and issue-oriented 'Move On Up' was an apocalyptic piece of brimstone funk titled '(Don't Worry) If There's a Hell Below, We're All Going to Go.' For Super Fly, Mayfield wisely avoids celebrating the wheeling-and-dealing themes present in the movie, or exploiting them, instead using each song to focus on a different aspect of what he saw as a plague on America's streets. "
allmusic
W - Super Fly (soundtrack)
YouTube: Super Fly Live, We Got To Have Peace, Keep On Keeping On
YouTube: Superfly Full LP

2013 June: Roots (1971)

Saturday, May 24

Aspects by Fernando Pessoa


"The Complete Work is essentially dramatic, though it takes different forms — prose passages in this first volume, poems and philosophies in other volumes. It's the product of the temperament I've been blessed or cursed with — I'm not sure which. All I know is that the author of these lines (I'm not sure if also of these books) has never had just one personality, and has never thought or felt dramatically — that is, through invented persons, or personalities, who are more capable than he of feeling what's to be felt. There are authors who write plays and novels, and they often endow the characters of their plays and novels with feelings and ideas that they insist are not their own. Here the substance is the same, though the form is different."
This Recording

2008 March: Fernando Pessoa, 2011 October: Autopsicografia, 2012 October: The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa and Co.: Selected Poems.

Camille Henrot: Grosse fatigue


"Best-known for her videos and animated films combining drawn art, music and occasionally scratched or reworked cinematic images, Camille Henrot’s work blurs the traditionally hierarchical categories of art history. Her recent work, adapted into the diverse media of sculpture, drawing, photography and, as always, film, considers the fascination with the 'other' and 'elsewhere' in terms of both geography and sexuality. This fascination is reflected in popular modern myths that have inspired her, such as King Kong and Frankenstein. The artist's impure, hybrid objects cast doubt upon the linear and partitioned transcription of Western history and highlight its borrowings and grey areas."
Camille Henrot
Selected works
Artforum
Camille Henrot: The Restless Earth
Film/Art | Camille Henrot: A Hunter-Gatherer During a Time of Collective “Grosse Fatigue”
vimeo: Camille Henrot "Grosse Fatigue"
YouTube: Camille Henrot, Grosse Fatigue, 2013 @ Venice Biennale, Grosse Fatigue Part 2

Friday, May 23

Afrobeat, Brazilian Style


"... In the midst of the global youth counter-cultural rebellion of the late 1960′s, Brazilian musicians looked to the U.S. and Europe for inspiration while living under a pro-West military dictatorship. They merged rock, jazz, and soul music with their own African-influenced popular musics to create a rebellious and internationally celebrated sound. However, what in hindsight may seem like an obvious connection at the time, engagement with contemporary African artists such as Fela Kuti was limited. ... Although, the song of Orquestra Afro-Brasileiro is missing the typical drum beat of Tony Allen, it has more African percussion than is common to Afro-Brazilian music styles such as afoxé, jongo, maracatú, samba, etc. Fast forward to the 21st century [and an African consciousness growing alongside the many contemporary social movements] and the afrobeat resurgence popping around the world has reached Brazil."
Africasa Is A Country (SoundGoods)
Globalize This!?: A Place for Brazilian Rap in “Afro-Beat”

Nolita


Wikipedia - "Nolita, sometimes written as NoLIta, and deriving from 'NOrth of Little ITAly' is a neighborhood in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. Nolita is bounded on the north by Houston Street, on the east by the Bowery, on the south roughly by Broome Street, and on the west by Lafayette Street. It lies east of SoHo, south of NoHo, west of the Lower East Side, and north of Little Italy and Chinatown. The neighborhood was long regarded as part of Little Italy, but has lost much of its recognizable Italian character in recent decades because of the migration of Italian-Americans out of Manhattan. Many elderly descendants of Italian immigrants continue to live in the neighborhood. Moreover, the Feast of San Gennaro, dedicated to Saint Januarius ('pope of Naples'), is held in the neighborhood every year following Labor Day, on Mulberry Street between Houston and Grand Streets."
Wikipedia
airbnb: Nolita
YouTube: Tour of Little Italy, NYC, Italian Corners - Little Italy - Manhattan - From Mulberry Street to Grand Street, New York | Knocking Around Nolita, World cup in Little Italy (Nolita)

2012 September: Little Italy

David Behrman - On the Other Ocean/Figure in a Clearing (1977)


"A welcome CD reissue of the original subtle, sustained, and serene vinyl recording. The beautiful and meditative 'On the Other Ocean,' a new music classic, is Behrman's first interactive piece in which the musicians played acoustic instruments that triggered the production of harmonies from computer-driven synthesizers, and the musicians were in turn influenced in their spontaneous improvising by what the computer did. This is the basic setup for interactive computer music. The computer in this case was a microcomputer called the KIM-1, a precursor to the Apple II, and one of the first personal computers available. Flutist Maggi Payne and bassoonist Arthur Stidfole improvised around six pitches chosen by Behrman, and when they played one of the six notes activating the pitch-sensing circuits, Behrman's homemade synthesizers would produce harmonic responses. ..."
allmusic
W - David Behrman
On the Other Ocean - Lovely Music
vimeo: On the Other Ocean/Figure in a Clearing 43:04

2010 October: Roulette TV: David Behrman, 2012 January: The Siren Orchestra.

Thursday, May 22

Iphigenia in Tauris - Pina Bausch (1972)


"... 'Iphigenie,' the choreographer’s second work for her new Wuppertal company, formed just a year earlier, feels, rather touchingly, like the work of a younger [Pina] Bausch. It offers a more or less literal danced depiction of the opera’s libretto, using the 1871 German version based on Euripides’s 'Iphigenia in Tauris.' ... The siblings’ realization of one another’s identity, close to the end of the opera, and as Orestes lies, throat bared to Iphigenie’s dagger, is the dramatic high point of the tale, and Bausch’s piece ends soon after, omitting the more complex ending of the Euripides play. But even in this relatively straightforward, pure-dance account, Bausch’s instinct for the creation of drama through movement alone, and her talent for the conjuring of psychic landscapes and the frightening depthless descent into nightmare, is immediately apparent."
NYT: ‘Iphigenie’ True to Bausch’s Vision
Guardian: Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch - review
Telegraph: Iphigenie auf Tauris, Tanztheater Wuppertal, Sadler's Wells, review
YouTube: Orfeo y Eurídice visto por Pina Bausch, Iphigenia in Tauris - Pina Bausch, Iphigenia in Tauris

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

Northern Soul: Keeping The Faith - The Culture Show


"In my opinion, this is the best documentary about the Northern Soul scene to date, it's been done with love and affection. Produced and Directed by Maurice O'Brien and Edited by David Arthur. Most documentaries covering the music that I love make me cringe, this one gives me goosebumps."
YouTube: Northern Soul: Keeping The Faith

2012 October: Northern Soul, 2012 December: The obsession that is Northern Soul, 2013 November: Poor-Man's Speed: Coming of Age in Wigan's Anarchic Northern Soul Scene.

Wednesday, May 21

Jack Kerouac’s Poems Read by Patti Smith, John Cale & Other Cultural Icons (with Music by Joe Strummer)


"Jack Kerouac was cool before it was cool. Kerouac’s breakout novel, On the Road, influenced generations of artists, writers and musicians. His prose was vital and messy and new. He wrote frankly about sex, drugs and spiritual yearning. He was young and movie star good looking. And he was a friend with just about every other literary rock star of the era – William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder and Neal Cassady — many of whom ended up characters in his books. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

Sally Cruikshank


Wikipedia - "'Quasi at the Quackadero' is a 1975 animated short by Sally Cruikshank. This cartoon follows two ducks and a pet robot at an amusement park in the future where time travel is exploited. In 2009, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Animator Sally Cruikshank, while a graduate student at the San Francisco Art Institute, in San Francisco, California, created the animated short 'Chow Fun' (1972), editing it at the city's Snazelle Films, a commercial-film company that also rented space and film equipment. This led to Cruikshank being hired there, and becoming head of animation by the end of summer 1972."
Wikipedia
W - Sally Cruikshank
Boiling Sand
YouTube: Quasi at the Quackadero, Make Me Psychic, Face Like a Frog, Fun on mars, Island of Emotion, Above It All, Sally Cruikshank interview 1980

Tuesday, May 20

Astor Piazzolla - Live at The Montreal Jazz Festival (1986)


"In a nod to an Argentine musician who revolutionized the genre-not without sometimes fierce resistance-it's often said that there are two types of tango: before and after Piazzolla. The Argentine's music found inspiration in the traditional tango of his homeland, but infused it with highly contemporary harmonies, a sustained rhythm, and inventive writing that is seductive, warm and superbly eloquent. His bandoneón solos are masterpieces that draw from jazz as well as a mysterious and abidingly Latin musical vocabulary."
Festival International de Jazz de Montréal
amazon: Live at the Montreal Jazz Festival (2008)
YouTube: Live at The Montreal Jazz Festival (COMPLETO) 59:49

2008 March: Astor Piazzolla, 2010 September: Astor Piazzolla Remixed, 2011 February: Adios Nonino, 2011 April: Milonga del angel, 2011 August: 1985. Utrecht, Netherlands.

Camille Lepage


Wikipedia - "Camille Lepage (January 28, 1988 – May 9, 2014) was a French photojournalist who was killed during the conflict in the Central African Republic in 2014. Her death was described as a 'murder' by the French presidency and it marked the first death of a Western journalist in the conflict. ... Lepage spoke passionately about the seriousness of the news stories surrounding the Central African Republic conflict that are not covered by the mainstream media: 'I can’t accept that people’s tragedies are silenced simply because no one can make money out of them,' she said. 'I decided to do it myself, and bring some light to them no matter what.' A week before her death, Lepage's last entries on Instagram and Twitter said that she was traveling by motorbike for hours with an anti-balaka militia down routes chosen to avoid checkpoints of African peacekeepers to Amada Gaza about 120 km away from Berbérati, where 150 people had been killed by Séléka rebels since March. On May 13, 2014, Lepage's body was found by French troops patrolling in the Bouar region in the west of the country in a vehicle driven by anti-balaka rebels."
Wikipedia
Camille Lepage
New Yorker - Slide Show: Remembering Camille Lepage (1988-2014)
TIME: Photographer Camille Lepage Killed in Central African Republic
The Courageous Career of Slain French Photojournalist Camille Lepage

Monday, May 19

How New York City invented the penthouse


1930s
"Penthouse: the word conjures up luxury and exclusivity. Thing is, it’s a clever 1920s rebranding of the top of a building, where no one with any choice used to want to live. For most of the city’s history, the single-structure mansion was the preferred domicile for the rich. At the turn of the 20th century, monied New Yorkers were increasingly occupying 'French Flat' cooperative apartments. But even then, the undesirable rooftop apartment was given over to servants. Until the city and its tastes changed in the Jazz Age. ..."
Ephemeral New York

“Walker Evans and Robert Frank – An Essay on Influence by Tod Papageorge” (1981)


Parade, Hoboken, New Jersey, 1955
"The purpose of this monograph is to describe the influence of Walker Evans’ American Photographs (1938) on The Americans (1959) of Robert Frank. To do this, the photographs in the two books have been edited and yoked together in a series of comparisons. What follows, then, is an exercise in speculation, one born of love and respect. It is offered as a working idea rather than an assured truth, a reasoned pretext for returning to the two great books it examines."
ASX
amazon: Walker Evans and Robert Frank, an essay on influence

Sunday, May 18

GP (1973)


"Given Gram Parsons' habit of taking control of the bands he played with (and his disinclination towards staying with them for very long), it was inevitable that he would eventually strike out on his own, and his first solo album, 1973's G.P., is probably the best realized expression of his musical personality. ... Parsons also discovered that rare artist with whom he can be said to have genuinely collaborated (rather than played beside), Emmylou Harris; Gram and Harris' spot-on harmonies and exchanged verses on 'We'll Sweep out the Ashes in the Morning' and 'That's All It Took' are achingly beautiful and instantly established her as one country music's most gifted vocalists. ..."
allmusic
W - GP (1973)
Perfect Sound Forever
GRAM PARSONS: GP. Bud Scoppa - Rolling Stone, 1 March 1973
YouTube: Still Feeling Blue, We'll Sweep Out the Ashes in the Morning, A Song For You, Streets of Baltimore, She, That's All It Took, The New Soft Shoe, Kiss the Children, Cry One More Time, How Much I've Lied, Big Mouth Blues - Live texas

2008 March: Gram Parsons, 2011 March: Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris. Liberty Hall, Texas, 1973, 2012 May: Sweetheart of the Rodeo, 2013 January: Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel, 2013 September: Flying Burrito Brothers - Live At The Avalon Ballroom 1969, 2014 February: The Gilded Palace of Sin - The Flying Burrito Brothers (1969), 2014 March: Burrito Deluxe - The Flying Burrito Brothers (1970).

John Ashbery, The Art of Poetry No. 33


Pyrography: John Ashbery working, 1984. Larry Rivers.
"The interview was conducted at John Ashbery's apartment in the section of Manhattan known as Chelsea. When I arrived, Ashbery was away, and the doorman asked me to wait outside. Soon the poet arrived and we went up by elevator to a spacious, well-lighted apartment in which a secretary was hard at work. We sat in easy chairs in the living room, Ashbery with his back to the large windows. The predominant decor was blue and white, and books lined the whole of one wall. We talked for more than three hours with only one short break for refreshment—soda, tea, water, nothing stronger."
The Paris Review

Saturday, May 17

Jane and Louise Wilson - Stasi City {1997)


"Jane and Louise Wilson’s Stasi City is a psychological exploration of the mute, abandoned architectural spaces of the Stasi, the former headquarters of the East German secret police. For five minutes, a video camera slowly and deliberately pans through the building’s hallways and interrogation rooms, invoking the long history of abuses that took place there, as a human figure floats gently upwards unpinned from the laws of gravity. The four channel video installation is shown on opposite corners of the enclosed installation space, reinforcing a sense of confinement and surveillance."
Zero Gravity
spacearts
Film Space - Invisible Sculpture: Jane and Louise Wilson's Haptic Visuality
UbuWeb: Stasi City (1997)

2013 August: Jane and Louise Wilson

The Apartment (1960)


Wes Anderson’s 10 Favorite New York Movies
Wikipedia - "The Apartment is a 1960 American comedy-drama film produced and directed by Billy Wilder, which stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray. ... Calvin Clifford (C. C.) 'Bud' Baxter (Jack Lemmon) is a lonely office drudge at a national insurance corporation in a high-rise building in New York City. In order to climb the corporate ladder, Baxter allows four company managers, who reinforce their position over him by regularly calling him 'Buddy Boy', to take turns borrowing his Upper West Side apartment for their various extramarital liaisons, which are so noisy that his neighbors assume that he is bringing home different women every night. The four managers (Ray Walston, David Lewis, Willard Waterman, and David White) write glowing reports about Baxter, who hopes for a promotion from the personnel director, Jeff Sheldrake (Fred MacMurray)."
Wikipedia
Roger Ebert
THE APARTMENT by Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond
YouTube: The Apartment - Trailer, Office Party Scene

Friday, May 16

Body Politic: Contemporary Art and Culture In Rio


Gondola lift, Complexo do Alemão, Rio de Janeiro, July 7, 2011.
"FOR THIS ISSUE’S Dispatch, Artforum goes south, to Rio de Janeiro—a city as defined by myths of sensualist extravagance as it is by horror stories of yesterday’s military dictatorship and today’s slum violence. Yet one does not have to subscribe to cliché to recognize that Rio is somehow singular; that, in the past half century alone, it has been a place of extraordinary innovation and devastation alike, from the decadent inventions of bossa nova and Tropicália to the human-rights abuses of the postwar period and the unsettling rise of the modern favela in the 1970s. Such paradoxical histories are still with us: This year, as Rio prepares to host the World Cup in June and gears up for the Summer Olympics in 2016, spending astronomical amounts on infrastructural changes and in many instances attempting to eradicate portions of the favelas, it also observes (without celebrating) the fiftieth anniversary of the 1964 coup that brought the military to power."
ARTFORUM
GUILHERME WISNIK
IRENE V. SMALL
DANIEL STEEGMANN MANGRANÉ

"And This Is Free" (1964)


"After languishing out of print for many years, Mike Shea's legendary film on Chicago's Maxwell Street Market, And This Is Free, has finally been reissued by Shanachie and I imagine news of this will stir up quite a bit of excitement in blues circles. Shanachie has done an exemplary job with the packaging; housed in a soft covered fold out set is a two disc set containing the 50 minute documentary And This Is Free, the 30 minute documentary Maxwell Street: A Living Memory, some fascinating archival footage, an interview with sound man Gordon Quinn, a separate CD of performances by artists associated with Maxwell Street plus an illustrated 36 page booklet."
And This Is Free: The Life And Times Of Chicago's Legendary Maxwell Street
CBG
allmusic: Various Artists - And This Is Maxwell Street
Gordon Quinn
amazon
vimeo: "And This Is Free" (1964) 47:50

2011 January: Maxwell Street

FIRST LOOK: Feature Film Sign Painters. Premieres Today.


"Since founding the Wooster Collective more than ten years ago, some of our favorite artists featured on the website have been trained in the art of sign painting.  Today, the highly anticipated feature film SIGN PAINTERS, directed by Faythe Levine & Sam Macon, is now available on iTunes and for download and streaming worldwide through the film's website signpaintersfilm.com The film explores and celebrates the 150 year-old American history of the artform through anecdotal accounts from artists across the country including Ira Coyne, Bob Dewhurst, Keith Knecht, Norma Jeane Maloney and Stephen Powers. We're thrilled to be involved with SIGN PAINTERS and are releasing it through BOND/360, the film distribution arm of Marc's firm, BOND Strategy and Influence.
Wooster Collective (Video)

Thursday, May 15

Anthology Film Archives


Wikipedia - "Anthology Film Archives is an international center for the preservation, study, and exhibition of film and video, with a particular focus on independent, experimental, and avant-garde cinema. The film archive and theater is located at 32 Second Avenue on the corner of East Second Street in the East Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. It is one of the largest archives of avant-garde and experimental cinema in the world and is the only non-profit organization of its kind in New York City, independent through self-support. Anthology screens nearly 1,000 public programs annually; features weekly in-person appearances by artists with their work; and publishes historical and scholarly books and catalogs."
Wikipedia
Anthology Film Archives
New Yorker: The Singularities

Wednesday, May 14

The 9/11 Story Told at Bedrock, Powerful as a Punch to the Gut


Airplane fragments displayed at the Sept. 11 museum.
"After a decade marked by deep grief, partisan rancor, war, financial boondoggles and inundation from Hurricane Sandy, the National September 11 Memorial Museum at ground zero is finally opening ceremonially on Thursday, with President Obama present, and officially to the public next Wednesday. It delivers a gut-punch experience — though if ever a new museum had looked, right along, like a disaster in the making, this one did, beginning with its trifurcated identity."
NY Times (Video)
NY Times: 9/11 Memorial Museum Faces the Latest Hurdle: Its Opening (Video)
NY Times: A New Story Told at Ground Zero - The National September 11 Memorial Museum (Video)

2011 September: The Encyclopedia of 9/11, 2011 September: WNYC's Guide to 9/11 Arts Events, 2011 September: September 11, 2001.

Gig Alert: Marc Ribot Trio


"Guitarist Marc Ribot plays art-rock with his band Ceramic Dog…he plays soul with The Young Philadelphians…and writes scores for silent films like Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid. Oh, and when he has free time, he plays with a couple of the finest jazz musicians in the city, too. Here’s Albert Ayler's 'The Wizard' from the new recording of the Marc Ribot Trio Live at The Village Vanguard. They play at Le Poisson Rouge tonight."
WNYC (Video)

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, 2014 January: Full Concert Jazz in Marciac (2010).

Portfolio by Anna Plesset


"It starts with a found film. According to Plesset, sometime around 1945 her grandfather, a division psychiatrist in the US Army during WWII, exchanged a pistol for a 16mm camera. The footage from this camera is a record of his passage through Europe during the last years of the war, lingering almost equally on landmarks, monuments, and landscapes as on bombed-out roads and abandoned cities. ... The project is fragmented in its constant shifting between these two axes, but it’s the details—locations on a map, stills from the grandfather’s film, a stub from a museum ticket, a postcard—that make it resonate as a document that is intimate in scale and ambitious in the way it reflects history, technology, time, and how these alter our experience."
BOMB (Video)

Tuesday, May 13

INTERVIEW: “An Interview with Edward Hopper, June 17, 1959″


Sunday, 1926
"The following oral history transcript is the result of a tape-recorded interview with Edward Hopper on June 17, 1959. The interview was conducted by John Morse for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution."
ASX

2008 July: Edward Hopper, 2010 October: Finding Nighthawks, 2010 December: Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time, 2012 Wednesday: Through Edward Hopper's eyes: in search of an artist's seaside inspiration, 2013 July: Hopper Drawing.

Spirit


Wikipedia - "Spirit was an American jazz/hard rock/progressive rock/psychedelic band founded in 1967, based in Los Angeles, California. Their most commercially successful single in the US was 'I Got A Line On You', but they were at least as well known for their albums including The Family That Plays Together, Clear, and Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus. ... [Ed] Cassidy was instantly recognizable by his shaven head (hence his nickname 'Mr. Skin') and his fondness for wearing black. He was around twenty years older than the rest of the group (born in 1923). His earlier career was primarily in jazz and included stints with Cannonball Adderley, Gerry Mulligan, Roland Kirk, Thelonious Monk and Lee Konitz. He was a founding member of Rising Sons with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder."
Wikipedia
Progarchives
YouTube: I got a line on you, Spirit (1968) 1:03:18, The Family That Plays Together (1968) 38:48, Twelve Dreams Of Dr. Sardonicus (1970) 54:09

Monday, May 12

Rev. Robert Wilkins


Wikipedia - "Robert Timothy Wilkins (January 16, 1896 – May 26, 1987) was an American country blues guitarist and vocalist, of African American and Cherokee descent. His distinction was his versatility; he could play ragtime, blues, minstrel songs, and gospel with equal facility. Wilkins was born in Hernando, Mississippi, 21 miles from Memphis. He worked in Memphis during the 1920s at the same time as Furry Lewis, Memphis Minnie (whom he claimed to have tutored), and Son House. He also organized a jug band to capitalize on the 'jug band craze' then in vogue. Though never attaining success comparable to the Memphis Jug Band, Wilkins reinforced his local popularity with a 1927 appearance on a Memphis radio station."
Wikipedia
allmusic
NPS: Rev. Robert Timothy Wilkins - Memphis School
Illustrated Robert Wilkins discography
YouTube: Prodigal Son, Streamline 'Frisco Limited, Holy Ghost Train, Don't Let Nobody Turn You 'Round, New Stock Yard Blues, Alabama Blues, Dirty Deal Blues
YouTube: The Legendary Piedmont Recordings (Full Album) 36:40

Robert Dodge: Vietnam 40 Years Later


"As Americans and Vietnamese observe the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, award-winning journalist and photographer Robert Dodge asks us to give up our horrific war-era memories of this Southeast Asian country in favor of a more hopeful and modern vision. In an eight-year project that promotes reconciliation and healing, Dodge offers more than 100 beautiful and poignant images of Vietnam and its people that depict a country with one foot in ancient Asia and another tentatively leaping towards joining the global economy."
Robert Dodge: Vietnam 40 Years Later (Video)
Robert Dodge
Foreword: Vietnam 40 Years Later

Les Aambassadeurs Internationaux feat Salif Keita-Mandjou 1978


"Classic ode to president Sékou Touré (Guinea) by Les Ambassadeurs featuring singer Salif Keita and guitarist Manfila Kanté."
W - Salif Keita
YouTube: Les Aambassadeurs Internationaux feat Salif Keita-Mandjou 1978

Sunday, May 11

Afro-Cuban jazz


Machito/Chico O'Farrill/Dizzy Gillespie - Afro-Cuban Jazz
Wikipedia - "Afro-Cuban jazz is the earliest form of Latin jazz. It mixes Afro-Cuban clave-based rhythms with jazz harmonies and techniques of improvisation. Afro-Cuban jazz first emerged in the early 1940s with the Cuban musicians Mario Bauza and Frank Grillo 'Machito' in the band Machito and his Afro-Cubans, based in New York City. In 1947 the collaborations of bebop innovator Dizzy Gillespie with Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo brought Afro-Cuban rhythms and instruments, most notably the tumbadora and the bongo, into the East Coast jazz scene. Early combinations of jazz with Cuban music, such as Dizzy's and Pozo's "Manteca" and Charlie Parker's and Machito's 'Mangó Mangüé', were commonly referred to as 'Cubop', short for Cuban bebop."
Wikipedia
allmusic: Machito - Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite 1950
Afro-Cuban Jazz
Discogs
YouTube: Machito & Charlie Parker - The Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite, Mario Bauza & His Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra - El Manicero, Chico O'Farrill & Afro Cuban Jazz Big Band - Trumopet Fantasy, Machito & His Afro-Cuban Orchestra - Gone City

2011 June: Mario Bauzá, 2011: Machito.

The Last Sentimentalist: A Q. & A. with Duane Michals


"The photographer Duane Michals is perhaps best known for his 'fictionettes': dream-like stagings in which Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, and Andy Warhol have all appeared. These enchanting photo sequences and montages, which are often accompanied by Michals’s handwritten prose, make innovative use of the medium’s ability to suggest what cannot be seen. Michals was born in 1932, in Pittsburgh. He moved to New York in the mid-nineteen-fifties, and he had his first exhibition in 1963, at the Underground Gallery, in Greenwich Village. A prolific photographer, Michals has published his work in dozens of books, including 'Questions Without Answers,”' from 2001. 'Empty New York,' a series of photographs that he produced at the start of his career, is currently on view at the D.C. Moore Gallery, in Manhattan."
New Yorker
DC Moore Gallery - Duane Michals: Empty New York

2011 October: Duane Michals

Saturday, May 10

Chantal Akerman


Wikipedia - "Chantal Anne Akerman (... born 6 June 1950) is a Belgian film director, artist, and professor of film at the City College of New York. Akerman's best-known film, Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), broke new ground and still exemplifies a dedication to the ellipses of conventional narrative cinema. Akerman was born to an observant Jewish family in Brussels, Belgium. Her grandparents and her mother were sent to Auschwitz; only her mother came back. This is a very important factor in her personal experience. Her mother's anxiety is a recurrent theme in her filmography."
Wikipedia
European Graduate School
vimeo: Interview with Chantal Akerman
Icarus Films
Voice: Chantal Akerman's New York
YouTube: Hotel Monterey (1972), Hotel Monterey - 1, News From Home (1972), La chambre (1972)
YouTube: Interview - Too Far, Too Close<//a>

Joseph Cornell: Navigating The Imagination


"American artist Joseph Cornell (1903–1972) has been celebrated internationally for his boxes, collages, and films since the 1930s. His mining of far-flung ideas and traditions and elegant integration of woodworking, painting, papering, and drawing define the innovation and visual poetry associated with his work. Above all, he forever altered the concept of the box—from a time-honored functional container into a new art form, the box construction."
PEM - Joseph Cornell: Navigating The Imagination (Launch Page)
[PDF] Joseph Cornell: Navigating the Imagination. The following checklist lists those works ...
NYT: Poetic Theaters, Romantic Fevers
YouTube: Joseph Cornell: Navigating The Imagination

2007 November: Joseph Cornell, 2010 September: Stan Brakhage, Joseph Cornell - The Wonder Ring, 1955, 2011 April: Rose Hobart (1936), 2012 June: "Bookstalls" - Joseph Cornell, 2012 December: Joseph Cornell's Manual of Marvels.