Thursday, April 30

A Droning In The Eire: Jennifer Walshe On The Irish Avant-Garde

Zaftig Giolla (right middleground), Galway, 1929.
"There was this guy I went to school with, lived about a mile away from us. His grandfather was the principal of one of the three parish schools, back in the days before they were amalgamated into a single, yet still tiny, entity. That was in the late 70s I think, or around then. He wasn't that old then; 60, maybe 65, but a venerable civil servant all the same. Like many a civil servant in Ireland, he had things going on outside of the job that few people at the time really knew about. I guess his family knew, some of the parish probably did, but there were only ever hints of it publicly. He kept it mostly to the shed at the back of their house, itself a picturesque country home next to the parish hall, two storeys with a tall roof, cubic, squat but somehow elegant under the unnecessary shade of tall Douglas fir trees that dominated the front yard. Ivy was growing up the front of the house when I knew it, by which time it had been sold to a couple of German retirees. Master Madden was dead by then, and I never met him. ..."
Quietus (Video)
Aisteach Institute Ireland (Video)
Historical Documents of the Irish Avant-Garde By Jennifer Walshe
YouTube: Jennifer Walshe's Historical Documents of the Irish Avant-Garde, #JenniferWalshe

An Empty Stadium in Baltimore

"When the Baltimore Orioles host the Chicago White Sox at Camden Yards on Wednesday, it won't really feel like a baseball game. There will be no cheering, and no booing. Nor will there be heckling, hot dogs, or beer. There will be no fans in the stadium at all, in fact. After riots in the city forced the postponement of games for two straight days, Major League Baseball announced that the Orioles will play on Wednesday, but the game will be closed to the public. ..."
ESPN: White Sox-Orioles game will be played Wednesday, closed to public (Video)
ESPN: This too is Baltimore
NY Times: Taking to the Baltimore Streets, but for Peace and Progress (Video)
ABC: Baltimore Riots 'Not Going to Happen Tonight,' Governor Says (Video)
After Riots, Orioles Play To An Empty Stadium In Baltimore
UEFA punishes CSKA Moscow for racist, violent fans with Champions League stadium closures
TIME: A Japanese Soccer Team Plays to an Empty Stadium Because of Racist Fans
NPR: Mexican Soccer Teams Play To Empty Stadiums

David Lynch Creates a Very Surreal Plug for Transcendental Meditation

"While fans wait with increasing dour moods on the future of the Twin Peaks reboot, David Lynch is busy doing…something. When the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards honored the director for his work as founder and chairman of the David Lynch Foundation, it turned out Lynch couldn’t make the evening. Instead of the usual apology email, the man who once turned some test footage into a weird short film made a quick video to screen at the award show. It’s…Lynchian. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

2014 September: David Lynch: The Unified Field, 2014 December: David Lynch’s Bad Thoughts - J. Hoberman, 2015 March: Lumière and Company (1995).

Wednesday, April 29

Last Days in Vietnam

"Explore the Last Days Experience site here. Academy Award® Nominee for Documentary Feature. In April of 1975, the North Vietnamese Army was closing in on Saigon as South Vietnamese resistance was crumbling. Approximately 5,000 Americans remained with roughly 24 hours to get out. Their South Vietnamese allies, co-workers, and friends faced certain imprisonment and possible death if they remained behind, yet there was no official evacuation plan in place. Still, over the last days in Vietnam, with the clock ticking and the city under fire, 135,000 South Vietnamese managed to escape with help from a number of heroic Americans who took matters into their own hands, engaging in unsanctioned and often makeshift operations in a desperate effort to save as many people as possible."
PBS: (Video)
IMDb: Trailer (Official Trailer)

Jerry Saltz on the New Whitney Museum

"Part I: The Museum as Fairy Tale. I’ve spent much of my life in and in love with museums. When I was 10 years old, there was no mention of art in my home. But then my mother began driving me from the suburbs to the Art Institute of Chicago. There, she looked at art on her own for hours, leaving me to do the same. At the time, I liked being alone but hated museums. I felt they were old and dead, places where people just stood and stared. But one day, waiting, bored, brooding, I found myself absorbed by two beautifully colored adjacent old paintings. On the left, a pair of men standing outside a jail cell talk to a haloed man, inside the cell, while an incredible leopard guards nearby. ..."
W - Jerry Saltz
twitter, facebook

Chelsea Piers: New York City in the Age of the Ocean Liner

"The Chelsea Piers were once New York City’s portal to the world, a series of long docks along the west side of Manhattan that accommodated some of the most luxurious ocean liners of the early 20th century. Passenger ocean travel became feasible in the mid 19th century due to innovations in steam transportation, allowing for both recreational voyages for the wealthy and a steep rise in immigration to the United States. The Chelsea Piers were the finest along Manhattan’s busy waterfront, built by one of New York’s greatest architectural firms as a way to modernize the west side. Both the tragic tales of the Titanic and the Lusitania are also tied to the original Chelsea Piers. But changes in ocean travel and the financial fortunes of New York left the piers without a purpose by the late 20th century. How did this important site for transatlantic travel transform into one of New York’s leading modern sports complexes? ..."
The Bowery Boys: New York City History
W - Chelsea Piers
Chelsea Piers History 101

Tuesday, April 28

Whiplash (2014)

Wikipedia - "Whiplash is a 2014 American drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle based on his experiences in the Princeton High School Studio Band. Starring Miles Teller and J. K. Simmons, the film depicts the relationship between an ambitious jazz student (Teller) and an abusive instructor (Simmons). ... Andrew Neiman (Miles Teller) is a first-year jazz student at the prestigious Shaffer Conservatory in New York. He has been playing drums from a young age and aspires to become one of the greats like Buddy Rich. Famed conductor Terence Fletcher (J. K. Simmons) walks in on Andrew practicing in the music room late one night and eventually invites him into his studio band as the alternate for core drummer Carl Tanner (Nate Lang). Fletcher is abusive toward his students, mocking and insulting them; when the band rehearses the Hank Levy piece 'Whiplash' and Andrew struggles to keep his tempo, Fletcher hurls a chair at him, slaps him, and otherwise humiliates him in front of the class."
New Yorker: “Whiplash” Gets Jazz All Wrong
Atlantic: The Uncomfortable Message in Whiplash's Dazzling Finale
YouTube: Whiplash TRAILER 1, Terence Fletcher The Insults

The Byrds - Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (Gram Parsons Vocals)

Wikipedia - "... Released at a time when The Byrds' surprising immersion in the world of country music coincided with their declining commercial appeal, Sweetheart of the Rodeo was certainly an uncommercial proposition at the time of its release. However, the album has proved to be a landmark, serving not only as a blueprint for Parsons' and Hillman's The Flying Burrito Brothers, but also for the entire nascent 1970s Los Angeles country-rock movement. The album was also influential on the outlaw country and new traditionalist movements, as well as the so-called alternative country genre of the 1990s and 2000s. Among fans of The Byrds, however, opinion is often sharply divided regarding the merits of the album, with some seeing it as a natural continuation of the group's innovations, and others mourning the loss of the band's trademark Rickenbacker guitar jangle and psychedelic experimentation."
YouTube: Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (Gram Parsons Vocals) (full album)

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), 2014 May: GP (1973), 2014 September: Grievous Angel (1974).

Dike Blair

Untitled, 1990, gouache, pencil, and spray paint on paper
"New York–based artist Dike Blair explores the relationship between sculpture and painting, solidity and light, in mixed-media installations. His gouache still lifes and landscapes on paper are photorealist (painted from his own snapshots) and show objects such as Coke cans, VHS tapes, sci-fi paperbacks, eyes, and botanical forms. These more traditional, personal works are contrasted against sculpture that tends toward post-minimal formality and incorporates industrial elements like carpeting, lamps, and power cords. In recent hybrid sculptures, Blair enclosed framed gouache paintings and other objects within painted shipping crates, which could be unpacked to generate larger, transient works."
[PDF] Artforum
Dike Blair: Now and Again - Falk Visiting Artist
inframe: 1/5: How to light sculptures and paintings (Video)

Monday, April 27

Stagger Lee

Wikipedia - "'Stagger Lee', also known as 'Stagolee' and other variants, is a popular American folk song about the murder of Billy Lyons by 'Stag' Lee Shelton in St. Louis, Missouri at Christmas, 1895. The song was first published in 1911, and was first recorded in 1923 by Fred Waring's Pennsylvanians. A version by Lloyd Price reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. ... He was well known locally as one of the "Macks", a group of pimps who demanded attention through their flashy clothing and appearance. In addition to these activities, he was the captain of a black 'Four Hundred Club', a social club with a dubious reputation. On Christmas night in 1895, Shelton and his acquaintance William 'Billy' Lyons were drinking in the Bill Curtis Saloon. Lyons was also a member of St. Louis' underworld, and may have been a political and business rival to Shelton. Eventually, the two men got into a dispute, during which Lyons took Shelton's Stetson hat. ..."
The Song and Myth of Stagger Lee
The Mystery of Stack-O-Lee
A Brief History of Stagger Lee and Billy Lyons
[PDF] The Story of Stagger Lee
YouTube: "Stack O' Lee Blues" Herb Wiedoeft's Cinderella Roof, Orchestra Gertrude "Ma" Rainey & Her Georgia Band, Frank Hutchison, Furry Lewis, MISSISSIPPI JOHN HURT, Woody Guthrie, Memphis Slim, Lloy Price, Ike and Tina Turner, Professor Longhair, Taj Mahal, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

A tough painter depicts a tender New York

Spring Morning in New York, 1922
"George Luks arrived in New York from Philadelphia in 1896. Passionate and energetic, he was one of many young painters (along with artist friends he met in Philly, like Everett Shinn and William Glackens) whose work focused on the tenderness of the city’s underbelly. 'One of the dynamic, young group of American Realists known as the Ashcan School, [Luks] was a tough character who in art and life embraced the gritty side of turn-of-the-century New York,' states the Brooklyn Museum. Macho and combative, he first worked as an illustrator at the New York World, honing his skills outside of his newspaper job by painting peddlers, poor older women, street kids, and other down and out New Yorkers—as well as impressionist-like scenes of the city at play and at street markets. ..."
Ephemeral New York

Jerry’s Deli (1976)

"... Perhaps most famously, he documented one Jerry Meyers, owner, proprietor, and renowned bully of Jerry’s Deli, once located in Streeterville. The appropriately titled  nine-minute Jerry’s Deli (1976) shows Jerry shuffling customers into his deli, leading them to the counter, then impatiently screaming at them to make up their damn minds already and order! Oddly, his clientele seems to love it. Interviews with Jerry throughout offer some much appreciated expository by way of ‘character development.’ He’s a decent guy and even he isn’t certain whether or not his antics are genuine. Jerry’s Deli, besides being great fun, is a good entrance point for those interested in [Tom] Palazzolo’s man-of-the-people documentary style. If nothing else, his films show a high level of respect for working people."
Facets Features
YouTube: Jerry’s Deli (1976)

Sunday, April 26

Patience (After Sebald) - (2010)

"I came late to WG Sebald, in the early summer of 2010, although I'd known of him for years. He was one of those surname-only authors whose works it seemed everyone else had read – or else he would crop up stuffily in the footnotes of a certain sort of book. So until I heard Will Self praising his work on the Today programme, he was simply a name on my to-do list. A task, you might say. Someone to read in hospital, if and when the time came.
But something about Self's enthusiasm persuaded me to buy The Rings of Saturn that lunchtime. Billed as an account of several days spent walking the Suffolk coast – territory I have known and loved since childhood – it ought to make perfect reading for the journey home to East Anglia that evening. And sure enough, as my train clattered and swayed across the shrinking peatlands, I found myself asking where this reluctant German had been all my life. ..."
Guardian: WG Sebald: Darkness on the edge of Anglia (Video)
New Yorker: Why You Should Read W. G. Sebald
NY Times: In the Company of Ghosts
YouTube: Patience (After Sebald), Adam Phillips on Sebald

2011 July: The Rings of Saturn - W.G. Sebald, 2015 February: ‘Drowned in a sea of salt’ Blake Morrison on the literature of the east coast

The Mechanical Monsters - 1941

Wikipedia - "The Mechanical Monsters is the second of the seventeen animated Technicolor short films based upon the DC Comics character Superman. Produced by Fleischer Studios, the story features Superman battling a mad scientist with a small army of robots at his command. It was originally released by Paramount Pictures on November 28, 1941. A robot flies into a scientist's secret lair and unloads a pile of cash into a vault. The robot is controlled completely from the scientists command center, and many robots similar to it are lined up along the walls of the lair. The front page of the Daily Planet reports the 'mechanical monsters' robbery right alongside an announcement for the display of 50 million dollars of the world's rarest gems at the local museum. Later, as Lois and Clark are covering the museum's exhibit for the Planet, a robot lands in the street outside. ..."
"The Mechanical Monsters" (Fleischer Brothers SUPERMAN Cartoon)
YouTube: Fleischer Superman Cartoons: The Mechanical Monsters

2010 August: Superman (1940s cartoons)

Saturday, April 25

BSA Film Friday: 04.24.15

"1. BSA Special Feature: C215 In the Footsteps of His Favorite Painter: Caravaggio. Here is a new short documentary that follows the unique pathway of Caravaggio, as told by one of his biggest fans, the street artist and master stencillist C215 visiting Palermo. He says he is sure Caravaggio would be a street artist if he were alive today. Who would argue? ... Now screening: 2. East London Quick Tour of Street Art of : BUSH 3. Vinz: Feel Free Project (NSFW) 4. Woozy in Athens: Moving Shadows"
Brooklyn Street Art (Video)

New Christo Work to Temporarily Bridge Italy’s Lake Iseo

"ROME – One of Italy’s lesser-known lakes (without American movie stars to stalk) is likely to become considerably more famous after the wrap artist Christo has his way with it. For just over two weeks, in June 2016, floating walkways lined with bright yellow fabric will create a walkway around Lake Iseo, in the Lombardy region, joining the mainland to the lake islands.The fabric will continue on pedestrian streets in two mainland towns. Visitors will be able to walk on the work, atop some 200,000 fabric-lined floatable cubes stretching for almost two miles, but it was also designed to be seen from the mountains above. Titled 'The Floating Piers,' the project was presented by Christo and the Italian art critic and curator Germano Celant in Rome on Wednesday."
NY Times
Wrapped Fountain and Wrapped - Medieval Tower. Spoleto, Italy 1968
Wrapped Monuments. Milano, Italy 1970
The Wall - Wrapped Roman Wall. Via Veneto and Villa Borghese, Rome, Italy. 1973-74

2007 November: Christo & Jeanne-Claude, 2009 November: Jeanne-Claude, 2010 April: Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Remembering the Running Fence, 2010 September: Christo and Jeanne-Claude - The Gates, 2010 November: Over The River - Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 2012 January: 5 Films About Christo & Jeanne-Claude, 2012 June: The Pont Neuf Wrapped, 2013 January: Wrapped Floor and Stairway, 1969.

Remembering Bernard Stollman: 10 Essential ESP-Disk Albums

"Bernard Stollman died this week at 85. Unknown to most but a legend to many, he was one of the most important non-musicians in the history of the 1960s jazz avant-garde. Stollman, a lawyer, founded the ESP-Disk label in 1964, initially so he could release Ni Kantu En Esperanto, an album of songs and poetry in Esperanto (a language invented in the 1880s and intended to transcend national boundaries and thus foster international peace and understanding). The imprint’s second release, though, turned out to be one of the landmark jazz albums of all time — saxophonist Albert Ayler’s Spiritual Unity. Scorching and raw, this trio session can still take the top of your skull off. ..."
Stereogum: #10 - Giuseppi Logan Quartet - Giuseppi Logan Quartet (1965). #9 ...
NY Times: Bernard Stollman, Founder of Adventurous Record Label, Dies at 85
W - Bernard Stollman
Pitchfork: ESP-Disk Founder Bernard Stollman Has Died (Video)
NPR: Legendary Record Label Loses Staff In Split

Friday, April 24

Type 42: Fame Is the Name of the Game

"In spring 2012 artist Jason Brinkerhoff (born 1974) discovered a collection of around 950 black-and-white Type 42 Polaroids featuring headshots and intimate close-ups of actresses taken from the television screen beginning in the late 1960s. The origins of the series—and, most notably, its creator—remain entirely mysterious, their author's only trace being the scribbles of actresses' names and dates on the Polaroids' edges. Edited by Nicole Delmes and Susanne Zander, and introduced by Cindy Sherman, Fame Is the Name of the Game showcases a selection of 120 works from the extraordinary archive. Capturing such celebrities as Brigitte Bardot, Doris Day, Catherine Deneuve, Mia Farrow, Jane Fonda, Sophia Loren, Barbara Streisand, Elizabeth Taylor and Tina Turner, the collection wrests the fleeting fame of 1960s cinema into the present, memorializing the fascination it provided for the anonymous photographer. ..."
Galerie Susanne Zander
Wall Street Int.

The Rape of Belgium – War Crimes in the Summer of 1914 - Week 5

"During their advance through Belgium, the German Army is committing atrocities against Belgian civilians. The Austro-Hungarian Army is perpetrating massacres against the Serbian civilian population to retaliate against Serbian guerrilla warfare. At the Eastern Front, German generals Hindenburg and Ludendorff succeed in one of the most important battles of World War I: The Battle of Tannenberg."
YouTube: The Rape of Belgium – War Crimes in the Summer of 1914 - Week 5

2014 December: The Great War: WWI Starts - How Europe Spiraled Into the Great War - Week 1, Europe Prior to WWI: Allies and Enemies I PRELUDE TO WW1 - Part 1/3, Tinderbox Europe - From Balkan Troubles to WWI I PRELUDE TO WW1 - Part 2/3, A Shot that Changed the World - The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand I PRELUDE TO WW1 - Part 3/3, 2015 January: Germany in Two-Front War and the Schlieffen-Plan I - Week 2, 2015 March: To Arms! Deployment of Troops - Week 3, 2015 March:A New War With Old Generals – Carnage on the Western Front - Week 4

The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky

Robe (detail), ca. 1700–40. Eastern Plains artist; probably Illinois, Mid–Mississippi River Basin.
"This exhibition will unite Plains Indian masterworks found in European and North American collections, from pre-contact to contemporary, ranging from a two-thousand-year-old human-effigy stone pipe to contemporary paintings, photographs, and a video-installation piece. Works of art collected centuries ago by French traders and travelers will be seen together with those acquired by Lewis and Clark on their famous expedition of 1804–06, along with objects from the early reservation period and recent works created in dialogue with traditional forms and ideas.The distinct Plains aesthetic—singular, ephemeral, and materially rich—will be revealed through an array of forms and media: painting and drawing; sculptural works in stone, wood, antler, and shell; porcupine-quill and glass-bead embroidery; feather work; painted robes depicting figures and geometric shapes; richly ornamented clothing; composite works; and ceremonial objects. Many nations, including Osage, Quapaw, Omaha, Crow, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Lakota, Blackfeet, Pawnee, Kiowa, Comanche, and Meskwaki will be represented."
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Video
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Exhibition Objects

Thursday, April 23

Chris Rock explains how Major League Baseball got so old and white

"Chris Rock recorded a seven-minute monologue on blacks in baseball for HBO's Real Sports. If you still watch baseball, you'll want to watch this. Just a heads up, there's some premium cable language, so put headphones in if you're at work."
SD Nation (Video)

200 Ansel Adams Photographs Expose the Rigors of Life in Japanese Internment Camps During WW II

"... [Actor George] Takei and his family were among over 100,000 Japanese-Americans— over half of whom were U.S. citizens—interned in such camps. Into one of these camps, Manzanar, located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas, celebrated photographer Ansel Adams managed to gain entrance through his friendship with the warden. Adams took over 200 photographs of life inside the camp."
Open Culture

Wednesday, April 22

Hip-Hop History Tuesdays: Joe Conzo (Born In The Bronx) Amoeblog Interview

"'It's pretty humbling and amazing to see my photos from when I was a sixteen, seventeen year old kid,' Joe Conzo told the Amoeblog - as seen in the above video clip - speaking last week by the wall of photos on display at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise gallery space on Greenwich Street in the Village in New York City. The exhibit is similar in title and theme as well as contributors to the highly recommended 2007 published book Born In The Bronx that he is an integral part of. 'Born In The Bronx: Afrika Bambaataa, Buddy Esquire, Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style and Joe Conzo - A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop' the exhibit that is curated by Johan Kugelberg (editor of the book) runs through July 26th, 2014 at the downtown gallery space and is well worth visiting - and it is free. ..."
Amoeba (Video)

2012 January: The Hip-Hop Family Tree: A Look Into the Viral Propagation of a Culture, 2012 August: ‘Hip Hop Family Tree’ Comics Explain Genesis of the Genre, 2013 October: The Hip Hop Family Tree, 2014 June: Born in the Bronx: A Visual Record of the Early Days of Hip Hop, 2015 April: Hip-Hop Revolution.

Gilbert Sorrentino - The Orangery (1978)

"Sorry about that cheesy orange opening, but since every poem of the seventy-eight collected here in 1978 for the Texas Press Poetry Series and published as The Orangery, purposely (and cleverly) contains a variation or adjective on 'orange' -- coronas, coronets, carillons, crèmes, burnt-orange, blossoms, bustiers, roses, glare, gold, fruit, flavor, flowers, tangelos, juice, ice, orangeades, sponges, sunsets, suns, light, love, stars, moon, Florida, slacks, conflagration, flames, gifts, gaudiness, wallpaper, glitter, groves, orchards, Orange Julius, disingenuousness, drinks, trees, glamour, togas, poppies, poseurs, hair, sombreros, guava, lava, Java, jelly, underbellies, duck's feet, sherbet, wax, marmalade, and perhaps a few other words I've neglected to itemize -- understand that my apology is truly insincere! ..."
Enrique Freeque's Forum
[PDF] Green Integer

2012 January: Gilbert Sorrentino

Keb Darge – The Man Who Sold His Soul (and funk, and r&b Records)

"The name Keb Darge has been a synonym for vinyl record culture for the past four decades. The outspoken Scotsman, responsible for starting more than his share of music scenes for the past 40 years, knows all too well the ups and downs of a record collector. Having owned and sold many of the world’s rarest records in his lifetime, he has seen the many of these leave his record box more than once, without regrets. Credited for discovering unknown records and bringing them to the public, Mr. Darge has been adamant about one thing: the music. A Northern soul boy at heart, he started dancing at Wigan Casino, the Mecca for Northern soul music and its culture in England. ..."
Dust and Grooves
Interview: Keb Darge
Music More Than Myself: Keb Darge and the History of Northern Soul
1960s darge -- All Categories
YouTube: Keb Darge vol.1/2/3, Keb Darge Interview August 2011 Part 1/3, Part 2/3, Part 3/3

Tuesday, April 21

Muddy Waters - The Complete Plantation Recordings (1993)

"At long last, Muddy's historic 1941-1942 Library of Congress field recordings are all collected in one place, with the best fidelity that's been heard thus far. Waters performs solo pieces (you can hear his slide rattling against the fretboard in spots) and band pieces with the Son Sims Four, 'Rosalie' being a virtual blueprint for his later Chicago style. Of particular note are the inclusion of several interview segments with Muddy from that embryonic period and a photo of Muddy playing on the porch of his cabin, dressed up and looking sharper than any Mississippi sharecropper on Stovall's plantation you could possibly imagine. This much more than just an important historical document; this is some really fine music imbued with a sense of place, time and loads of ambience."
YouTube: The Complete Plantation Recordings 1:01:43

Monday, April 20

A New Whitney

"From the west, along the Hudson River, it looks ungainly and a little odd, vaguely nautical, bulging where the shoreline jogs, a ship on blocks perhaps, alluding to one of New York’s bedrock industries from long ago. It’s a glittery emblem of new urban capital, shipping now having gone the way of so much else in the neighborhood. From the north, it resembles something else, a factory or maybe a hospital, with a utilitarian wall of windows and a cluster of pipes climbing the pale-blue steel facade toward a rooftop of exposed mechanicals. And from the east, its bulk suddenly hides behind the High Line, above a light-filled, glass-enclosed ground floor that gives views straight through the building to the water. By moving downtown from Madison Avenue, the Whitney Museum of American Art does more than drop a cultural anchor at the High Line’s base, in the deracinated meatpacking district."
NY Times
The High Line

2015 March: The Whitney Museum, Soon to Open Its New Home, Searches for American Identity

David Chase Reveals the Philosophical Meaning of The Soprano’s Final Scene

"Eight years after it aired, the final scene of the final episode of The Sopranos still has people guessing: What happened when the screen suddenly went black? Did Tony Soprano get whacked? Or did he live to see another quasi-ordinary day? Could he really die as Journey sings, 'Don’t Stop Believing?' In a new interview appearing on The Directors Guild of America web site, David Chase, creator of The Sopranos, revisits the making of the final scene. Chase doesn’t directly answer the questions about Tony’s fate. But he does give us some insight into the deeper philosophical questions raised in the scene (watch it above) and how much they’re bound up in the lyrics of Journey’s soundtrack. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

2011 June: The Sopranos, 2012 March: The Family Hour: An Oral History of The Sopranos, 2013 June: James Gandolfini


Wikipedia - "291 is the commonly known name for an internationally famous art gallery that was located at 291 Fifth Avenue in New York City from 1905 to 1917. Originally known as the 'Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession', the gallery was created and managed by photographer Alfred Stieglitz. The gallery is famous for two reasons. First, the exhibitions there helped bring art photography to the same stature in America as painting and sculpture. Pioneering artistic photographers such as Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Gertrude Kasebier and Clarence H. White all gained critical recognition through exhibitions at 291. Equally important, Stieglitz used this space to introduce to the United States some of the most avant-garde European artists of the time, including Henri Matisse, Auguste Rodin, Henri Rousseau, Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso, Constantin Brâncuși, Francis Picabia and Marcel Duchamp."
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Alfred Stieglitz (1864–1946) and His Circle
Alfred Stieglitz's Gallery 291
291 is Dead. Long Live 295.
Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, 291 Fifth Avenue, New York City

Sunday, April 19


Wikipedia - "Sandhog is the slang term given to urban miners, construction workers who work underground on a variety of excavation projects in New York City. Generally these projects involve tunneling, caisson excavation, road building, or some other type of underground construction or mining projects. The miners work with a variety of equipment from tunnel boring machines to explosives to remove material for the project they are building. The term is an American colloquialism.  ... In addition, they worked on the foundations for most of the bridges and many of the skyscrapers in the city. Many of these workers are Irish or Irish American and West Indian. Sandhogging is often a tradition and is passed down through generations of families; since mining projects span decades, it is not uncommon to find multi-generations of families to work together on the same job."
Episode 158: Sandhogs
Long Haul (Video)
Voice: Sandhogs Tunneling Under Second Avenue
YouTube: Documentary clip - The Sand Hogs, SANDHOGS - Award Winning TV Special 1:32:35

Augustus Pablo - Valley of Jehosaphat (1999)

"This may be tantamount to sacrilege in roots reggae circles, but really, don't Augustus Pablo's albums all pretty much sound alike? There's no denying his historical importance as a musician and producer for bringing in the melodica and popularizing, if not introducing, dub techniques into the music. Certainly King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown and probably East of the River Nile belong in any serious reggae collection for their crucial musical innovations in mid- and late-'70s Jamaican music. But the fact is, you know what you're going to get on any Pablo disc -- melodica instrumentals with a basic backing band, some dub touches -- and there's only so much mileage you can get out of that combination. There are some different twists on Valley of Jehosaphat, like the dischords Pablo throws into his soloing on 'Lymphatic Time' or the blend of British and Jamaican veterans backing him. ..."
YouTube: Valley of Jehosaphat [full album] 58:47

2009 December: Augustus Pablo, 2011 November: King Tubbys Meets Rockers Uptown - Augustus Pablo and King Tubby, 2011 May: East of the River Nile, 2013 January: King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown

Saturday, April 18

Bitter Lemons - Lawrence Durrell (1953–1956)

Wikipedia - "Bitter Lemons is an autobiographical work by writer Lawrence Durrell, describing the three years (1953–1956) he spent on the island of Cyprus. ... Durrell moved to Cyprus in 1953, following several years spent working for the British Council in Argentina and the Foreign Office in Yugoslavia. Having relinquished government employment, Durrell wanted to plunge himself once more into writing, and was looking to return to the Mediterranean world he had experienced in Corfu and Rhodes. He had hoped that he would be able to purchase a house in an affordable location and write. Although Durrell must have experienced personal difficulties—his wife, Eve, was undergoing treatment for mental illness and had left him in charge of his young daughter, Sappho (born 1951) — the book does not mention these people or incidents, aside from a few oblique references to his daughter."
NY Times: Bellapais Journal; Bitter Memories of a Love Affair With Cyprus
Transversality - Robert O'Toole
amazon: Bitter Lemons, Bitter Lemons of Cyprus (A CSA Word Recording)

2011 December: The Alexandria Quartet - Lawrence Durrell, 2013 September: Villa that inspired Lawrence Durrell faces demolition, as Egypt allows heritage to crumble, 2014 August: Prospero’s Cell (1945).

Magda Love

"Born in Argentina, Magdalena Marcenaro aKa Magda Love has lived in New York City for more than a decade. Mostly know by her colorful street art and big public works. The artist forms deeply textured, often ferocious, narratives joining nostalgic images with sudden, emotional moments. Her aim is to inspire dialogue about personal experience and prompt a thoughtful pause in the roller coaster of life. Her work, inspired by her travels is often deeply textured, exposes vulnerability joined with sudden ferocity, and nostalgia linked to sudden joy. ..."
From Argentina With Love- Magda Love! (Video)
Street Art NYC

Friday, April 17

Kenneth Patchen

Wikipedia - "Kenneth Patchen (December 13, 1911 – January 8, 1972) was an American poet and novelist. He experimented with different forms of writing and incorporated painting, drawing, and jazz music into his works, which were often compared with those of William Blake and Walt Whitman. Patchen's biographer wrote that he 'developed in his fabulous fables, love poems, and picture poems a deep yet modern mythology that conveys a sense of compassionate wonder amidst the world's violence.' Along with his friend and peer Kenneth Rexroth, he was a central influence over the San Francisco Renaissance and the Beat Generation. ..."
Poetry Foundation
Kenneth Patchen Home Page
Jacket2: Kenneth Patchen — Poetry and Jazz days, 1957–1959
We Meet and The Walking Away World by Kenneth Patchen
Silliman's Blog
amazon: Kenneth Patchen
Kenneth Patchen: December 6, 1957 (Video)
YouTube: Kenneth Patchen Part 1, Part 2, Do The Dead Know What Time It Is?, The Journal of Albion Moonlight, Do I Not Deal With Angels, John Cage & Kenneth Patchen - The City Wears A Slouch Hat (1942), Kenneth Patchen w/ Chamber Jazz sextet - The Murder Of Two Men By a Young Kid Wearing Lemon

The Ideal Copies: Graham Lewis Of Wire's Favourite Albums

"Wire have always been a band of tensions, of different modes, mysteries and ways of being. It's often tempting to try and locate which elements of their wry angularity come from which member, but it's probably a mistake to always assume that the pop comes from Colin Newman, the art from Graham Lewis and, before he left, experimental textures by Bruce Gilbert. That's what makes Wire such a special band - a slipperiness that has arguably kept them slightly adrift from the recognition that they deserve. With new album Wire getting plaudits all over the shop this seems, pleasantly enough, likely to change. ..."
The Quietus (Video)

2009 January: Wire, 2012 January: On the Box 1979., 2013 September: Chairs Missing (1978), 2014 June: 154 (1979), 2014 July: Document And Eyewitness (1979-1980).

Thursday, April 16

Inside Abbey Road

"The latest nifty, nerdy online delight is Inside Abbey Road, a virtual tour of the famous London studio that allows users to 'walk' through the three recording rooms, examine some of the gear, and learn more about the artists who recorded there. Part of Google’s DevArt partnership with the Barbican, a London arts center, Inside Abbey Road is full of fun features, including a time-lapse video of a full symphony setup, a sound test by stereo inventor (and Abbey Road engineer) Alan Blumlein, and a 'mixing desk' to try your hand at sound levels. ..."
Google - Inside Abbey Road (Video)

By The El: Third Avenue and its El at Mid-Century

Uptown express leaving 23rd Street
"... His photographs form such a rich and rare archive of mid-century street life, transportation and building that his son Lawrence was moved to catalogue the images and bring them to a wide public. The resulting book, By The El: Third Avenue and its El at Mid-Century, is now in its second printing and is available for purchase on Amazon, or at the New York Transit Museum or the Bronx County Historical Society. The combination of the elder Stelter’s photographs, the younger Stelter’s comprehensive knowledge of our transit history, and first-hand accounts of living by or traveling on the El provides either a nostalgic reminder for someone who experienced this nearly forgotten chapter of New York City’s history or a welcome introduction for someone who didn’t."
By The El: 3rd Avenue and its El at Mid-Century
Ten minute impressionistic documentary film Third Avenue El (Video - 1950)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Trade Machine: Let’s Kick Out James Taylor, and Seven More Ways to Improve Music’s Crock of a Museum

"On Saturday, the following artists will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Lou Reed, Green Day, Bill Withers, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, Ringo Starr, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and the '5' Royales. On behalf of mankind, I offer my congratulations to these luminaries on what is truly a momentous honor. Now, let’s talk once again about how the Rock Hall is a crock and desperately needs to be reformed. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame typically elicits three kinds of negative responses. The first kind — indifference — doesn’t concern us, so let’s skip ahead to the next two: anger over an inductee who is deemed undeserving, and anger over an artist who is deserving but isn’t inducted. Pretty much every argument about the Rock Hall revolves around one of those scenarios. ..."
Grantland (Video)

Wednesday, April 15

Eduardo Galeano (3 September 1940 – 13 April 2015)

After a speech at the National Pedagogical University in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, in 2005.
Wikipedia - "Eduardo Hughes Galeano (3 September 1940 – 13 April 2015) was a Uruguayan journalist, writer and novelist considered by some, among other things, 'a literary giant of the Latin American left'. His best-known works are Las venas abiertas de América Latina (Open Veins of Latin America, 1971) and Memoria del fuego (Memory of Fire Trilogy, 1982–6). 'I'm a writer,' the author once said of himself, 'obsessed with remembering, with remembering the past of America and above all that of Latin America, intimate land condemned to amnesia.' ... In 1973, a military coup took power in Uruguay; Galeano was imprisoned and later was forced to flee. His book Open Veins of Latin America was banned by the right-wing military government, not only in Uruguay, but also in Chile and Argentina. ... He fled again, this time to Spain, where he wrote his famous trilogy, Memoria del fuego (Memory of Fire), described as 'the most powerful literary indictment of colonialism in the Americas.' ..."
Guardian: Eduardo Galeano: 'My great fear is that we are all suffering from amnesia'
10 Eduardo Galeano Quotes That Will Change The Way You View Human History
Democracy Now!: Remembering Eduardo Galeano, Champion of Social Justice & Chronicler of Latin America’s Open Veins (Video)
Aj Jazeera: The beautiful game loses its man of letters
amazom: Books by Eduardo Galeano
Lannan: Eduardo Galeano with Marie Arana (Video)

Berkeley in the Sixties (1990)

Wikipedia - "Berkeley in the Sixties is a 1990 documentary film by Mark Kitchell. The film highlights the origins of the Free Speech Movement beginning with the May 1960 House Un-American Activities Committee hearings at San Francisco City Hall, the development of the counterculture of the 1960s in Berkeley, California, and ending with People's Park in 1969. The film features 15 student activists and archival footage of Mario Savio, Todd Gitlin, Joan Baez, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Huey Newton, Allen Ginsberg, Gov. Ronald Reagan and the Grateful Dead. The film is dedicated to Fred Cody, founder of Cody's Books. It was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. ..."
NY Times
YouTube: Berkeley in the Sixties, Berkeley in the Sixties 12:55, vimeo: Berkeley in the Sixties 1:55:40

Sailors and Daughters: Early Photography and the Indian Ocean

"Sailors and Daughters reveals the expansive maritime societies of Zanzibar, the east African coast, and beyond. From the 1840s, cameras traced the international migrations of traders, sailors, sons, and daughters through Indian Ocean ports, continuing trade that dates back over five millennia. East African cities flourished as hubs of both land and sea trade routes, which extended to the central African interior, Horn of Africa, Persian Gulf, Indian Ocean islands, western India and the Far East. The region’s intercultural ethos generated a multitude of encounters between subjects, photographers, and the global audiences who viewed the resulting images. By gathering images from scarce and little-known collections of early photographs, lithographs, postcards, and private albums, this exhibition focuses attention on a diverse cross-section of the region’s people and their cosmopolitan cities by the sea. It serves as a starting point for a larger photographic and creative visual history of the prosperous and diverse communities of the Indian Ocean world."

Tuesday, April 14

Preview Know Hope “Water Takes the Shape of its Container” at Openspace Galerie Paris

"Know Hope makes his first Solo Appearance in Paris at Openspace Galerie Paris. The exhibition titled 'Water Takes the Shape of its container' will feature a new body of work moving from installation, collage, assemblages and traditional drawing. Know Hope draws from all aspects of his oeuvre utilizing photographs of installations, ephemera, and natural found elements in nature. Intimate compositions that speak deeply, building a story visually but also utilizing text placed insitu to generate deep contrasts are just some of what make Know Hope one of our generations most sincere voices. His ability to sense and be sincere through his art, even when placed behind glass in a frame is why you need to make sure you go witness his latest exhibition in Paris. You wont be sorry."
flickr: this is limbo

Bill Murray: five best moments

"As an actor, Bill Murray seems to exist on a separate plane, somewhere beyond Hollywood’s usual ego-stroking circle jerk. Notoriously hard to pin down for interviews, and partial to pulling the odd prank on fans before scurrying away, he’s built a phenomenal career since cutting his comedic teeth on Saturday Night Live in the 70s. He’s starring in St Vincent, out in UK cinemas this week, so we’re burdening ourselves with the task of picking his five best performances to date. Join in below the line with the roles you’d have chosen. ..."
Guardian (Video)

Poetry in 1960 — A Symposium

"The materials published in this feature are led by my introduction to a symposium on the poetry and poetics of 1960. The introduction you'll read here is more or less just as I spoke it a few months ago at the Writers House in Philadelphia. Since then, Gordon Faylor and I have gathered somewhat revised versions of the presentations made that evening. We then solicited responses from various others and we are happy to present these also as part of our 1960 feature, along with several other images and documents. I have been obsessively tracking 1960 doings and writings — reading, watching (film and TV), researching, interviewing, cross-referencing, following apparently meaningless leads; some of these have been posted to my blog '1960.'  ..."
Introduction to the poetry and poetics of 1960
PennSound: Poetry in 1960 — A Symposium (Video)

Monday, April 13

Günter Grass

Wikipedia - "Günter Wilhelm Grass (... 16 October 1927 – 13 April 2015) was a German novelist, poet, playwright, illustrator, graphic artist, sculptor and recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Literature. Grass was born in the Free City of Danzig (now Gdańsk, Poland). In May 1945, after brief service as a teenaged soldier in the Waffen SS, he was taken prisoner by U.S. forces and released in April 1946. Trained as a stonemason and sculptor, he began writing in the 1950s. In his fiction, he frequently returned to the Danzig of his childhood. Grass is best known for his first novel, The Tin Drum (1959), a key text in European magic realism. It was the first book of his Danzig Trilogy, which includes Cat and Mouse and Dog Years. His works are frequently considered to have a left-wing political dimension, and Grass was an active supporter of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). ..."
NPR: Günter Grass, Who Confronted Germany's Past As Well As His Own, Dies At 87
SPIEGEL Interview with Günter Grass: 'The Nobel Prize Doesn't Inhibit Me in My Writing'
NY Times: A Soldier Once By JOHN IRVING
DW: Mourning Günter Grass (Video)
YouTube: Writing against the wall 38:39

The Tentmakers of Cairo

"Their work combines sophisticated skills with craft techniques that have been refined over many generations. Using only a needle, thimble, and large pair of tailor’s scissors, these skilled artisans flip, fold and stitch fabric with virtuoso precision. Khayamiya originates from architecture, but resembles the historic development of quilts. The Tentmakers use a vast array of colours in their work. The careful use of colour combinations is one of the most important elements of their designs. During the Khedival period (1867-1914), the Tentmakers used cottons dyed by hand in shades of red, white and blue, as well as recycled fabrics. Their designs have changed dramatically over the last two centuries, drawing from a wide range of sources across the history of Islamic visual culture. Khayamiya is an important feature of Egyptian public and private life. Decorated tents are used as backdrops and venues for weddings, funerals, feasts and many other celebrations. ..."
The Tentmakers of Cairo: The History
The Tentmakers of Cairo
The Tentmakers of Cairo: The Trailer (Video)
W - Khayamiya
Aramco World
The Tentmakers of Cairo: Documenting a Dying Craft
YouTube: Tentmaker in Cairo

Sunday, April 12

"Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)" - Bob Dylan (1966)

Wikipedia - "'Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)' is the first track of the second disc of the 1966 album Blonde on Blonde, the seventh album from singer-songwriter Bob Dylan. ... The song consists of three verses with a bridge after the second verse. It is done in a bluesy style, with a moderate tempo. The lyrics speak of a man who has grown tired of constantly guessing at his girlfriend's feelings and is going to move on with his life rather than continue fighting the unpredictability of his girlfriend. The song presents a feeling of change and movement that was one of the trademarks of the 1960s. This song has a swinging beat and is representative of the album's sound as a whole."
YouTube: "Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)"

2010 August: Blonde on Blonde (1966), 2011 February: "I Want You", 2013 July: ‘Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands’ | Classic Tracks.

L'argot Du Bruit - Pascal Comelade (1998)

"By 1998, France's Pascal Comelade was well into his stride, and releasing albums as if they were editions of a regular magazine. Indeed, the magazine comparison is also valid on the basis that his albums tend to follow a similar pattern with only subtle variances in style. His first album of this year was L'argot Du Bruit; I believe a rough translation is 'The jargon of noise'. Comelade's listing on this site under the wing of 'Progressive electronic' is somewhat misleading, as his albums are most certainly not synthesiser-fests or keyboards infested virtuoso performances. The main sounds here, and indeed on many of Comelade's albums are French style accordions, Spanish brass and a variety children's instruments. The tracks tend to be short, sometimes very short, with only the occasional indulgence into anything over 4 minutes. The compositions are simple, using repetition a lot, their simplicity being emphasised by the instruments used and the basic arrangements. ..."
YouTube: Pascal Comelade & PJ Harvey. Love too soon, L'argot du bruit, Via-Crucis Del Rocanrol, Le soir du grand soir, Domisiladoré, Marie = un faux-cil dans la transmission, Teresa

2014 June: Pascal Comelade, 2014 September: September Song (2000), 2014 November: El pianista del antifaz (2013).

Saturday, April 11

Coypel's 'Don Quixote' Tapestries: Illustrating a Spanish Novel in Eighteenth-Century France

"A masterpiece of comic fiction, Cervantes’s Don Quixote (fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha) enjoyed great popularity from the moment it was published, in two volumes, in 1605 and 1615. Reprints and translations spread across Europe, captivating the continental imagination with the escapades of the knight Don Quixote and his companion, Sancho Panza. The novel’s most celebrated episodes inspired a multitude of paintings, prints, and interiors. Most notably, Charles Coypel (1694−1752), painter to Louis XV, created a series of twenty-eight paintings (also called cartoons) to be woven into tapestries by the Gobelins manufactory in Paris. ..."
The Frick Collection
The Frick Collection: Introduction
NY Times: Review: ‘Coypel’s Don Quixote Tapestries’ Weaves a Classic Tale
YouTube: Coypel's 'Don Quixote' Tapestries: Illustrating a Spanish Novel in Eighteenth-Century France

Laura Kicey

"Kicey is a photographer and artist based just outside of Philadelphia, PA. Her work has been shown in a number of galleries regionally, and has appeared in numerous publications internationally. Her 'construct' series of photographic montages is what drew me to her talent. The series consists of digitally altered photographs of architecture to make imaginary walls. Her color schemes and the contrast of style make her work completely vibrant and fun!"
laura kicey