Thursday, June 30

East River

1937 - Teen boys making daring dives into the East River.
"Swim in the East River? Without a wet suit, no adult would do it today, let alone allow their child to take a dip there. Yet even after the river became the dumping ground of the city’s untreated sewage, lots of people cooled off in its bracing, choppy waters. Perhaps no group of New Yorkers relied on the river during the hot summer months more than poor tenement kids, who often faced overcrowded public swimming and bathing facilities or preferred the freedom of diving off a city pier with their pals. ..."
Ephemeral New York
W - East River
Into the murky waters: hundreds brave New York City's East River for annual swim (Video)
LA Times: Swim in New York's East River? A floating pool plan envisions a safe way
New Yorker: Swim, Swam, Swum
YouTube: Swimming across the East River

Voyage to the Orient - Gérard de Nerval (1851)

Wikipedia - "Voyage to the Orient (French: Voyage en Orient) is one of the works of French writer and poet Gérard de Nerval, published during 1851, resulting from his voyage of 1842 to Cairo and Beirut. In addition to a travel account it retells Oriental tales, like Solomon and the Queen of Sheba, in terms of the artist and the act of creation. ... For a later edition, de Nerval added a series of appendices, the majority of the material taken directly from Lane's Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians. In 1930 the book was translated as The Women Of Cairo by Conrad Elphinstone in two volumes, it included only the material originally published in 1846–47. More recent translations are incomplete. ..."
Excerpt - 1. The Mask and the Veil
The Women Of Cairo - Volume One, Volume Two
amazon: Journey to the Orient

The Art of the Abandoned - Jenny Uglow

Cornelia Parker: Shared Fate (Oliver), doll severed by the guillotine that was used on Marie Antoinette, 1998
"An especially poignant exhibit in the Foundling Museum, one of my favorite London places, is not in the current show but in the regular display. It’s a small heart, carefully woven in red thread, and it’s one of the tokens left by mothers who handed their children over to the Foundling Hospital in the mid-eighteenth century: a swatch of material, a coin, a piece of jewelry—mementos to identify a foundling if relatives changed their mind. Originally these objects were attached to the admission papers, but in the mid-nineteenth century the Secretary, John Brownlow, removed them to put them on display and raise funds, thus separating the token from the child. Painstaking research has linked many together again, but the baby whose mother left the little heart has never been identified—just a child without a name. ..."
W - Foundling Museum

Wednesday, June 29

My Apartamento: George Lois

"The latest subject of NOWNESS’s series with Apartamento magazine is celebrated art director and self-described 'graphic communicator' George Lois. Known for designing 92 covers of men’s magazine Esquire during his ten-year tenure there, and working to create the iconic 'I Want My MTV' tagline, Lois was a key figure of the 1960s Creative Revolution, which ushered in a new wave of expression in advertising, characterized by its irreverent tone. Still wildly charismatic, the New York native is captured by director Barbara Anastacio in his suitably stylish Greenwich Village apartment, which could easily double as a set for TV drama Mad Men. ..."
George Lois
Mad Men to George Lois: “No, F@¢# YOU!” (spoiler alert)
Reputations: George Lois

Nashville Skyline - Bob Dylan (1969)

Wikipedia - "Nashville Skyline is the ninth studio album by American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, released on April 9, 1969, by Columbia Records. Building on the rustic style he experimented with on John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline displayed a complete immersion into country music. Along with the more basic lyrical themes, simple songwriting structures, and charming domestic feel, it introduced audiences to a radically new singing voice from Dylan—a soft, affected country croon. ..."
Voice: Bob Dylan's 'Nashville Skyline' -- People Are Missing the Point!
Genius (Video)
YouTube: Nashville Skyline (full album) 10 Video

Lacksley Castell (1959 – 1983)

"Babylon World" and "Babylon Fall (version)", 1978
Wikipedia - "Lacksley Castell, sometimes misspelled Laxley, Lacksly, Lasky or Locksley Castel (1959 – 1983) was a Jamaican reggae singer best known for his work in the early 1980s. Lacksley Castell was born in 1959, although some sources claim 1962. Growing up in Kingston's Waterhouse district, along with artists such as Black Uhuru and The Travellers, Lacksley recorded in what was known as the 'Waterhouse style'. Castell became friends with Hugh Mundell who helped both him and his friend Junior Reid to get started in the music business. That resulted in Castell's first single releases in 1978, 'Babylon World' and 'Love in Your Heart', recorded with Augustus Pablo.  ..."
YouTube: "Babylon World" and "Babylon Fall (version)", Love In Your Heart, What a Great Day (& dub), Jah Love Is Sweeter + King Tubby's Mix, My Collie Tree, African Queen, Unkind To Myself + Dub (NEGUS ROOTS), Jah Is Watching You, Government Man + Sly & Robbie - Dub The Government, Speak Softly, Tug A War Games, Johnny Brown + Version, Jah-Children (& Dub), Mother Mitchell (Far East Riddim), & Gregory Isaacs - Clash 12inch

Tuesday, June 28

Sun Ra - God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be! (1979)

"... He is remains a lifer in the Arkestra, continuing to perform under the direction of alto saxophonist Marshall Allen, who has been in the Arkestra since damn near the beginning. This is a HOT album, straight up. High energy, it swings. Some might say it is a little straight forward for Sun Ra. I don't think so; I think that sans Arkestra anything could sound a little tame. What I can say is that hearing him with only bass and drums is nothing short of awesome. Mr. Ra tends to lay back in his larger ensembles; Arkestra recordings are more composition oriented; here you have Ra playing jazz piano, straight through. I'm not too sure about the rarity/availability of this LP, but I'm not too familiar with it, which means it must be a little obscure."
The Changing Same on
YouTube: Days of Happiness, Magic City Blue, Tenderness, Blithe Spirit Dance, God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be!

Brexit: why Britain left the EU, explained with a simple cartoon

This is causing a lot of chaos in Britain; nobody fully knows what will happen next.
"Britain voted Thursday to leave the European Union, a decision that surprised many and one whose consequences still aren’t totally clear. We don’t know quite yet what this will mean for the future of Britain’s economy, its policies, and its relations with other European countries. There have been many twists and turns in British politics that have led to this particular moment. But you don’t necessarily need to have followed those to understand why the British want to leave the European Union, and why the EU matters in the first place. That’s what this cartoon is all about: how the EU came to be, and how Britain came to decide not to be part of it. And this will help make sense of the biggest, looming question: What happens next? ..."


Wikipedia - "A Twinkie is an American snack cake, marketed as a 'Golden Sponge Cake with Creamy Filling.' It was formerly made and distributed by Hostess Brands. ... Realizing that several machines used to make cream-filled strawberry shortcake sat idle when strawberries were out of season, Dewar conceived a snack cake filled with banana cream, which he dubbed the Twinkie. Ritchy Koph said he came up with the name when he saw a billboard in St. Louis for 'Twinkle Toe Shoes'. During World War II, bananas were rationed and the company was forced to switch to vanilla cream. This change proved popular, and banana-cream Twinkies were not widely re-introduced. ..."
How Twinkies Work (Video)

Monday, June 27

Michael Herr, 1940–2016

"Michael Herr, who wrote 'Dispatches,' a glaringly intense, personal account of being a correspondent in Vietnam that is widely viewed as one of the most visceral and persuasive depictions of the unearthly experience of war, died on Thursday at a hospital near his home in Delaware County, N.Y. He was 76. ... The war in Vietnam and its dehumanizing effect on its participants figured widely in Mr. Herr’s writing life. ... But it was 'Dispatches' that declared Mr. Herr’s unimpeachable credentials as a witness to the fearsome fury of combat and, perhaps more terrible, the crippling apprehension that precedes it. ..."
NY Times
Washington Post: Vietnam War reporter Michael Herr, who helped write ‘Apocalypse Now’ and ‘Full Metal Jacket,’ dies at 76
The Paris Review
Esquire: Hell Sucks / Michael Herr
YouTube: Why Michael Herr went to Vietnam as a war reporter

2011 September: Dispatches (1977)

Julie Doucet - Carpet Sweeper Tales (2016)

"... Most recently, Doucet has focused primarily on collage, crafting impeccable zines, prints, and other ephemera. In Carpet Sweeper Tales, her first new book in almost a decade, we see this multi-faceted artist combine her many talents into one genre-defying masterwork. Though Doucet stopped drawing comics over ten years ago, here she revisits the art form, pulling images from 1970s Italian fumetti, or photonovels, to create her own collage comics. Using vintage women’s and home decorating magazines, Doucet collages a unique dialogue of love and travel between characters sitting in classic cars, driving through cities and pristine countryside. This book is the first to combine Doucet’s love of collage with her gift at comics storytelling. ..."
Drawn and Quarterly
Line by Line: Julie Doucet

2014 June: Hillary Chute On Julie Doucet

Spool’s Out: June's Cassettes Reviewed By Tristan Bath

"King of the magnetic tape, Tristan Bath carries on in his quest to bring you the best underground music from around the globe and in doing so discovers his best cassette ever. Iranian drone/ambient artist Siavash Amini has been making his own brand of ethereal dream music (steadily heading into more nightmarish territory of late) from his home in Tehran for the last few years, putting out music on labels such as Mexico City’s finest tape imprint Umor Rex. ..."
The Quietus (Video)
The Quietus: Spool’s Out (Video)

Sunday, June 26

Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life

"The Broad’s first special exhibition is a comprehensive survey of the work of artist Cindy Sherman. Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life is the first major museum show of Sherman’s work in Los Angeles in nearly 20 years, and the exhibition fills The Broad’s first-floor galleries with 120 works drawn primarily from the Broad collection with key loans from other institutions. ... Most well-known for photographs that feature the artist as her own model playing out media-influenced female stereotypes in a range of personas, environments, and guises, Sherman shoots alone in her studio, serving as director, photographer, make-up artist, hairstylist, and subject. Her decades-long performative practice has produced many of contemporary art’s most iconic and influential images."
The Broad
NY Times: Cindy Sherman Will Be Focus of Broad Museum Exhibition
Cindy Sherman’s “Imitation of Life” at The Broad Museum, Los Angeles

2014 October: Cindy Sherman

Let It Come Down - Paul Bowles (1952)

"... It is in this spiritually perilous tradition of vision and intensity at any price--even at the price of a pointless and repellent murder--that Paul Bowles has written an appropriate successor to his first book, the best-selling Sheltering Sky. The new one, Let It Come Down, is more continuously exciting than its predecessor and has more shape and style as a novel. It drives its central character relentlessly toward doom, toward the final orgastic shudder, with the nightmare clarity, the hallucinative exoticism, of the best of Bowles' short stories. And as in the short stories, artistic power and inhumanity go together. ..."
NY Times: A Relentless Drive Toward Doom (1953)
W - Let It Come Down

2007 November: The Authorized Paul Bowles Web Site, 2010 February: Paul Bowles (1910-1999), 2011: January: Halfmoon (1996), 2013 July: Tellus #23 - The Voices of Paul Bowles, 2014 January: Let It Come Down: the Life of Paul Bowles (1998), 2014 March: The Sheltering Sky (1949), 2015 January: Things Gone & Things Still Here, 2015 October: The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles – a cautionary tale for tourists, 2015 November: The Rolling Stone Interview (May 23, 1974).

Thirteen poems by Bernadette Mayer

"These poems come from Bernadette Mayer’s long-unpublished early book, The Old Style Is Finding out Something about a Whole New Set of Possibilities, which was written mostly from 1966 to 1970, when Mayer was between the ages of twenty-one and twenty-five. Unlike the majority of the poems in the book, they were never published in any form until their appearance in Eating the Colors of a Lineup of Words: The Early Books of Bernadette Mayer (Station Hill Press, 2015), which we coedited. When Mayer began The Old Style, she was a student at the New School for Social Research in Manhattan, taking poetry classes from Bill Berkson. She had met or at least seen many of the New York School poets, including John Ashbery and Frank O’Hara. ..."

2008 December: Bernadette Mayer

Saturday, June 25

P-Funk All Stars - Urban Dancefloor Guerillas (1983)

"This truly is an all-star affair. Parliament and Funkadelic alumni like Bootsy Collins, Eddie Hazel, Walter 'Junie' Morrison, and Garry Shider, among others, resurface from various stages in the Mothership's time upon earth to contribute to this stylistically sprawling and urbanely funky session; adding to the impressive roll call are high-profile soul and funk guest stars such as Sly 'Sylvester Stewart' Stone, Bobby Womack, Fred Wesley, and Maceo Parker. And leading the charge is the master himself, George Clinton. Amazingly, considering all the egos involved, Urban Dancefloor Guerillas comes off sounding of a piece. ... The newer touches may not suit fans loyal to the group's groundbreaking ‘70s albums, but Urban Dancefloor Guerillas is certainly worth checking out for its own brand of inspired funk."
W - Urban Dancefloor Guerillas
Rolling Stone
YouTube: Generator Pop, Acupuncture, One Of Those Summer, Catch A Keeper, Pumpin' It Up, Copy Cat, Hydraulic Pump

2009 January: George Clinton, 2010 December: Mothership Connection - Houston 1976, 2011 October: Funkadelic - One Nation Under A Groove, 2011 October: "Do Fries Go With That Shake?", 2012 August: Tales Of Dr. Funkenstein – The Story Of George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, 2015 July: Playing The (Baker's) Dozens: George Clinton's Favourite Albums, 2015 August: Chocolate City (1975), 2016 February: Maggot Brain - Funkadelic (1971).

Rose Béton Festival in Toulouse, France in Year 2

"Concrete Rose. Sounds like the name of a jailhouse jezebel with a beauty mark on her cheek and feathers and pearls in her hair. Translate it to French and you get the second edition of Rose Béton, a street art and graffiti festival in the 'Pink City' of Toulouse, which has more than its share of pink paint and terra cotta brick. ..."
Brooklyn Street Art

20 of the most beautiful libraries in the world

Constructed in the 17th century, the Boleian Library & Radcliffe Camera is one of the oldest libraries in Europe.
"A library can be a second home for a bibliophile. They come in all shapes, sizes, and levels of embellishment. The nearly 300-year-old State Hall in Vienna, Austria, boasts carved wooden galleries, baroque-style statues, and frescos, while Taipei's Beitou Branch resembles a treehouse more than a shelter for books. We scoured the internet and found 20 of the most beautifully designed libraries around the world. ..."
Tech Insider

Friday, June 24

Culture - Too Long in Slavery (1977-79)

"This 13-track compilation is culled from Culture's three Front Line releases -- Harder Than the Rest, Cumbolo, and International Herb. All three date from 1978-79, and were overseen by producer Sonia Pottinger. Pottinger had risen in the rocksteady age and was famed for her straightforward, almost gentle, productions, which placed the focus on the singers, not the rhythms or studio effects. She remained a force into the roots age, even while she eschewed the dread sound so popular in the day. Thus, although thematically Culture was a deeply dread band, and were accompanied in the studio by some of the island's heaviest hitting roots musicians, all bolstered by the rhythms of Sly & Robbie, these albums had a much lighter musical feel than most cultural offerings from this time. ..."
YouTube: Too Long in Slavery (Full)

September 2009: Culture, 2011 April: Two Sevens Clash, 2015 May: Two Sevens Clash: The 30th Anniversary Edition (1977/2007).

Mexico’s Classroom Wars

2006–2016. Street graffiti in Oaxaca City, commemorating the ongoing teachers’ struggle.
"Ten years ago, as a group of striking teachers slept in their encampment during the early hours of June 14 in the state capital of Oaxaca, Mexico, government forces launched an attack to remove them from the zócalo, or town square. Riot police cleared the plaza while helicopters dropped tear gas from above. The striking teachers were beaten, arrested, and pushed out of the city center. But not for long; the teachers and their supporters quickly regrouped, fighting back, block by block, and took the plaza back by midday. ..."
Mexican police use deadly force against protesters in Oaxaca, escalating tense situation
We Are the Face of Oaxaca: Testimony and Social Movements

Meet Four Women Who Pioneered Electronic Music: Daphne Oram, Laurie Spiegel, Éliane Radigue & Pauline Oliveros

Daphne Oram
"... And that impression would be entirely off the mark, even if it has been reinforced again and again in retrospectives, documentaries, and popular histories. But perspectives are shifting, and we’ve tried to highlight some of the alternate histories of electronic music that document female artists’ indispensable contributions to the field. Recent documentaries about influential BBC Radio composer and musician Delia Derbyshire, for example, have reintroduced her work to a new generation. A wider appreciation came in the form of KPFA’s 'Crack O’ Dawn' program broadcasting seven hours of music by over two dozen important women composers and musicians from 1938-2014. ..."
Open Culture (Video)
Guardian - Mothers of invention: the women who pioneered electronic music

2012 February: Pink Noises: Women on Electronic Music and Sound, 2011 May: Laurie Spiegel, 2012 November: Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe, 2011 January: Maryanne Amacher, 2012 October: Ikue Mori, 2009 October: Sound collage, 2014 February: Women And Their Machines: A Think-piece About Female Pioneerism in Electronic Music.

Thursday, June 23

Who Makes the Bronx

Antonio. Orange Seller, Jerome Avenue & Clifford Place
"In the shade of the 4 train’s elevated track, Jerome Avenue’s dense clusters of auto-repair shops, storefronts, and manufacturers have long formed the economic spine of one of New York’s increasingly rare blue-collar neighborhoods. But as the city government considers rezoning the corridor to add residential development, change looms for the neighborhood’s social and economic landscape. Against that backdrop of uncertainty, these short documentaries profile some of the people who work and live along Jerome Avenue. ..."
NY Times (Video)

I'm Jimmy Reed (1958)

"In deciding where to start listening to Jimmy Reed, the man and his record label made it easy -- at the beginning. His debut LP release, I'm Jimmy Reed, was about as strong a first album as was heard in Chicago blues, but also no stronger (relatively speaking) than the first long-players issued of Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf and co. As was the case with most bluesmen of his generation, Reed's debut LP was really a collection of single sides than an actual album of new material (though some of it did hail from its year of release), consisting of tracks he'd recorded from June 1953 ('Roll & Rhumba') through March 1958 ('You Got Me Crying' etc.). ..."
W - Jimmy Reed
YouTube: I'm Jimmy Reed Full Album

James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake Gets Turned into an Interactive Web Film, the Medium It Was Destined For

"Two radical modernists, James Joyce and Sergei Eisenstein, once met in Paris in 1929 and, 'depending on who you read,' writes Dan McGinn, 'are purported to have discussed a film version of ‘Ulysses’ and how Karl Marx’s ‘Das Kapital’ could be depicted onscreen.' For many years, an adaptation of Marx’s dense political-economic critique seemed about as plausible as a film version of Joyce’s famously dense novel, which takes place on a single day, June 16th—forever after known as Bloomsday. ..."
Opon Culture (Video)

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), 2014 May: “Have I Ever Left It?” by Mark O'Connell, 2014 July: Digital Dubliners, 2014 September: Read "Ulysses Seen", A Graphic Novel Adaptation of James Joyce’s Classic, 2015 January: The Mapping Dubliners Project, 2015 February: Davy Byrne’s, 2016 January: Port and Docks, 2016 February: Hear James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake Read Unabridged & Set to Music By 17 Different Artists, 2016 April: Nassau Street, 2016 May: Stephen’s Green.

Wednesday, June 22

All Your Modern Dance Heroes Made a Short Film Together

"Some people fantasize about who they would want to invite to their dream dinner party. Here at Dance Magazine, we fantasize about which choreographers we would want to collaborate on our dream dance project. The weird thing is that someone actually made the fantasy come to life. Filmmaker Mitchell Rose, a former choreographer/performance artist who often collaborates with dancers, got 42 choreographers from around the U.S. to create one long piece of solo choreography that strings together movement from one artist to the next. Each choreographer picks up where the other left off. Rose calls it 'Exquisite Corps' (a play on the term exquisite corpse, in which a group of collaborators create a sequence, but each only sees the end of the previous contribution). ..."
Dance Magazine (Video)
NYC Dance Stuff (Video)

10 Song Demo - Rosanne Cash (1996)

"Despite its title, 10 Song Demo isn't really a demo tape, but it is what the title suggests -- a stripped-down, direct collection of songs (for the record, there are 11 songs, not ten). Conceptually, it is a brilliant way to signal that Rosanne Cash has severed ties with Nashville, as well as begun her contract with Capitol Records. However, the album doesn't completely work. Essentially, 10 Song Demo is an official statement from Cash that she is no longer strictly a country singer, but an all-around singer/songwriter. Of course, she has always bent the rules of country music, so this isn't a big departure as far as songwriting goes. ..."
W - 10 Song Demo
YouTube: 10 Song Demo 11 Video

2010 March: Rosanne Cash, 2012 January: Black Cadillac, 2012 April: "I Was Watching You"  , 2012 July: The Wheel, 2012 February: Live From Zone C, 2014 February: The River & the Thread (2014), 2014 August: Rules of Travel (2003), 2015 June: King's Record Shop (1987).

The Kinks - "Dead End Street" / "Big Black Smoke" (1966)

"'Dead End Street' is a song by the British band The Kinks from 1966, written by main songwriter Ray Davies. Like many other songs written by Davies, it is to some degree influenced by British Music Hall. ... The song, like many others by the group, deals with the poverty and misery found in the lower classes of English society. ... A mimed promotional film (precursor to the modern music video) was produced for the song in late 1966. It was filmed on Little Green Street, a diminutive eighteenth century lane in North London, located off Highgate Road in Kentish Town. ..."
Genius (Video)
YouTube: Dead End Street, Big Black Smoke

2012 February: The Kinks, 2013 July: "Sunny Afternoon", 2015 August: Village Green Preservation Society (1968), 2015 December: "Waterloo Sunset" (1967)

Tuesday, June 21

What the Islamic State Has Won and Lost

"Maps often depict the Islamic State as a sprawling territory across Iraq and Syria. But the group’s control has been shaped by about 126 places — cities, towns, infrastructure and bases — where it has had military dominance. ..."
NY Times

2014 August: The Islamic State, 2014 September: How ISIS Works, 2015 February: The Political Scene: The Evolution of Islamic Extremism, 2015 May: Zakaria: How ISIS shook the world, 2015 August: ISIS Blows Up Ancient Temple at Syria’s Palmyra Ruins, 2015 November: Times Insider: Reporting Europe's Refugee Crisis, 2015 November: Three Teams of Coordinated Attackers Carried Out Assault on Paris, Officials Say; Hollande Blames ISIS, 2015 November: The French Emergency, 2015 December: A Brief History of ISIS, 2015 December: U.S. Seeks to Avoid Ground War Welcomed by Islamic State, 2016 January: Ramadi, Reclaimed by Iraq, Is in Ruins After ISIS Fight, 2016 February: Syrian Officer Gave a View of War. ISIS Came, and Silence Followed., 2016 March: Brussels Survivors Say Blasts Instantly Evoked Paris Attacks, 2016 April: America Can’t Do Much About ISIS.

Dexter Gordon - One Flight Up (1964)

"When he expatriated to Scandinavia just before this session in Paris was recorded, Dexter Gordon said he was liberated in many ways, as a jazz musician and as a human being. This is reflected in the lengthy track on this album, a testament to that newly found freedom, addressing the restrictions the American music scene placed on artists to do the two- to three-minute hit. With the nearly 18-minute 'Tanya' and the 11-minute 'Coppin' the Haven,' Gordon and his quintet, featuring trumpeter Donald Byrd, were able to jam at length with no thought of being edited, and they fully prolong their instrumental remarks in a way few other musicians -- jazz or otherwise -- would allow themselves. ..."
Dexter Gordon: One Flight Up (1964) Blue Note (Video)
W - One Flight Up
YouTube: One Flight Up 5 Video

2014 April: Night in Tunisia, Whats new, Blues Walk (Holland, 1964), 2015 May: Our Man in Paris (1963), 2015 August: Ballads.

The Big Hack

"On December 4, 2017, at a little before nine in the morning, an executive at Goldman Sachs was swiping through the day’s market report in the backseat of a hired SUV heading south on the West Side Highway when his car suddenly swerved to the left, throwing him against the window and pinning a sedan and its driver against the concrete median. A taxi ran into the SUV’s rear fender and spun into the next lane, forcing a school-bus driver to slam on his brakes. Within minutes, nothing was moving from the Intrepid to the Whitney. When the Goldman exec came to, his driver swore that the crash hadn’t been his fault: The car had done it. ..."
NY Mag (Video)
W - Hacker culture
W - Hacker (computer security)

Monday, June 20

Havana Sugar Kings

Wikipedia - "The Havana Sugar Kings were a Cuban-based minor league baseball team that played in the Class AAA International League from 1954 to 1960. They were affiliated with Major League Baseball's Cincinnati Reds, and their home stadium was El Gran Estadio del Cerro (sometimes called Gran Stadium) in Havana, Cuba. The Sugar Kings began life in 1946 as the Havana Cubans, founded by Washington Senators scout Joe Cambria. They played in the old Class C (later Class B) Florida International League. In 1954, Roberto 'Bobby' Maduro bought the team, moved it to the International League, and renamed it the Sugar Kings. ..."
NY Times: In Havana, Remembering a Minor League Championship
Havana’s Forgotten Baseball Team Played A Key Role In U.S.-Cuba Relations
ESPN - SC Featured: Sugar Kings (Video)
vimeo: Documentary about the Havana Sugar Kings., 1959 Junior World Series: Havana Sugar Kings vs. Minneapolis Millers

20116 May: Almendares Alacranes - 1878 to 1961, 2016 May: The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball - Roberto Gonzlez Echevarria (1999)

Music Word Fire and I Would Do It Again: The Lessons - Robert Ashley (1981)

"Music Word Fire and I Would Do It Again: The Lessons (1981), from Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives, an opera commissioned and produced for television by The Kitchen. Principal collaborators are Peter Gordon (Music Producer), John Sanborn (Video Director), Carlota Schoolman (Producer for The Kitchen), and 'Blue' Gene Tyranny (Music Collaborator). Perfect Lives features the extraordinary keyboard inventions of “Blue” Gene Tyranny and the singing of Robert Ashley, Jill Kroesen and David Van Tieghem. ..."
YouTube: Isolde (Marie Isolde), Raoul de Nogel (No-Zhay), Buddy, The Captain of the Football Team (Donnie)

2008 March: Robert Ashley, 2012 April: Sonic Arts Union, 2012 July: Various - Lovely Little Records, 2013 October: The Old Man Lives in Concrete, 2014 March: Robert Ashley, 1930-2014, 2016 March: Perfect Lives (1977-83).

Disguise: Masks and Global African Art

Zina Saro-Wiwa, The Invisible Man (detail), 2015.
"Disguise: Masks and Global African Art connects the work of twenty-five contemporary artists with historical African masquerade, using play and provocation to invite viewers to think critically about their world and their place within it. By putting on a mask and becoming someone else, artists reveal hidden realities about society, including those of power, class, and gender, to suggest possibilities for the future. ... Masks have long been used by African artists to define relationships―between individuals, communities, the environment, or the cosmos―and, sometimes, to challenge the status quo. However, once masks were removed from their original performance context, they were transformed into museum objects, and their larger messages were often lost. ..."
Brooklyn Museum
SAM Invokes New Spirits in the Ambitious Disguise: Masks and Global African Art
The Brooklyn Museum Is Rethinking The Concept Of “African Masks”

Sunday, June 19

John’s Sloan, "Spring Rain," 1912

"Looking at John’s Sloan’s foreboding 'Spring Rain' makes me feel as if I’m right behind this woman as she walks the slick pavement of an almost empty city park. That’s exactly the point. 'In his 1912 painting Spring Rain, he placed the viewer on a wet path in Union Square by filling the lower edge of the picture—the front edge of the picture plane—with rain-soaked pavement,' writes Nancy Mowll Mathews in Moving Pictures. 'Then Sloan moved the journey diagonally up through the painting as the path recedes into the space of the park. We too seem to be standing on the walkway watching the back of a young lady as she moves though the park. Through the artist’s hand the viewer experiences what it is like to cross the empty park in the mist of a spring rain.' Red stockings: a fad at the time?"
Ephemeral New York
[PDF] John Sloan'S Urban Encounters

Traffic Continues - Fred Frith (2000)

"For the past quarter century the varied recordings of musical renegade Fred Frith have provided a far-flung tour of the worldwide avant-garde fringe. On Traffic Continues, he composes for and plays guitar with Ensemble Modern, the venerable 21-piece German new music assemblage. This handsomely packaged CD is one of the strongest statements of Frith's career, a finely balanced work that contains concert hall and street sensibilities in equal measure. There are two lengthy pieces, the 29-minute 'Traffic Continues' and the 35-minute 'Traffic Continues II: Gusto (for Tom Cora),' an homage to the phenomenal cellist who with Frith was a member of the avant rock band Skeleton Crew. ... The closing elegiac minutes of this CD prove that even the most cutting-edge new music is most meaningful when there is emotional resonance at its core."
Fred Frith - Ensemble Modern: Traffic Continues
W - Traffic Continues
YouTube: Traffic Continues 21 videos

Delroy Williams - Think Twice, Babylon Boys, Dubplate style Ft Augustus Pablo (1979)

"... Babylon Boys is the side. Think Twice is nice true, the No Entry rhythm is a steppers blueprint, but Babylon Boys is out there, pure mystical vibes, impenetrable Bible lyrics and fervent vocals from Delroy and Ricky Grant... awesome! ..."
Blood and Fire
YouTube: Delroy Williams - Think Twice (Extended 12"), Babylon Boys 12', Think twice (Dubplate style Ft Augustus Pablo's No Entry) Roots dub

Saturday, June 18

Why ‘Transcending Race’ Is a Lie

"I was born in the shadow of the 21st century, so I never knew O. J. Simpson as an athlete or as an actor. I wasn’t quite a year old on Jan. 1, 1989, the day Simpson beat his wife, Nicole Brown-Simpson, so badly that she fled their house screaming, 'He’s going to kill me!' I was only 6 on June 17, 1994, when the N.B.A. finals broadcast cut away to a shot of Simpson’s white Ford Bronco creeping down a California highway, escorted by a line of black-and-whites, as if in a funeral procession. That was four days after Brown-Simpson, 35, and her friend Ronald Goldman, 25, were found dead in pools of blood, nearly decapitated. Some of my earliest memories are of that white Bronco, and of the 'Trial of the Century' that followed, and of my parents’ happiness when Simpson was acquitted. ..."
NY Times
ESPN - Athletes, domestic violence and the hurdle of indifference
ESPN - O.J. Simpson: The patient zero of athlete privilege
The Atlantic - O.J.: Made in America Is Vital Storytelling
Why the director of O.J.: Made in America included graphic crime photos, but not Kato Kaelin (Video)

2016 April: The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story

Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy

"For sixteen days – June 18 through July 3, 2016 (weather permitting) – Italy’s Lake Iseo is being reimagined. 100,000 square meters of shimmering yellow fabric, carried by a modular floating dock system of 220,000 high-density polyethylene cubes, undulate with the movement of the waves as The Floating Piers rise just above the surface of the water. Visitors can experience this work of art by walking on it from Sulzano to Monte Isola and to the island of San Paolo, which is framed by The Floating Piers. The mountains surrounding the lake offer a bird’s-eye view of The Floating Piers, exposing unnoticed angles and altering perspectives. Lake Iseo is located 100 kilometers east of Milan and 200 kilometers west of Venice. ..."
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Christo and Jeanne-Claude: The Floating Piers, Lake Iseo, Italy
NY Times - Christo’s Newest Project: Walking on Water (Video)
NY Times - Next From Christo: Art That Lets You Walk on Water

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, 2015 April: New Christo Work to Temporarily Bridge Italy’s Lake Iseo, 2015 October: Next From Christo: Art That Lets You Walk on Water.

Friday, June 17

The Journey from Syria, Part Two - Ben Taub

"In the first episode of 'The Journey,' Aboud Shalhoub travelled from Turkey to Greece aboard a small dinghy packed with refugees that puttered across the Aegean Sea under the cover of darkness. Now, having reached Athens, Shalhoub hikes up to the Acropolis, in the center of the city. 'We’ve reached a country where there’s real freedom,' he tells the filmmaker Matthew Cassel. 'I’m speaking from the birthplace of democracy.' ..."
New Yorker: The Journey from Syria, Part Two (Video)

2016 June: The Journey from Syria, Part One

FOTR: DJ Spinna

"FOTR this week is BK’s own DJ Spinna. As one of the biggest purveyors of all things good music on the DJ/party circuit, Spinna continues to leave his lasting impression whenever and wherever he plays. He’s also an extremely accomplished producer with a very impressive discography spread out over years of releasing music and mixes with labels like BBE, Rawkus, Nite Grooves and many others. He’s carved out a name for himself in recent years as well doing tribute nights for the likes of Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and the recently deceased Prince. In honor of Prince, his birthday and his recently named 'Prince Day' in his native Minnesota, Spinna will be at Good Room in BK tonight for a celebration of Prince’s life and legacy. Check that out if you’re in the area and check out a recent (almost) 3 hour marathon set from the man below."
Its the Dub (Video)
DJ Spinna
vimeo: DJ SPINNA
YouTube: Sound Beyond Stars PROMO - DJ Spinna BBE Music

Southern Fried Funk (2006)

"An amazing set of funky 45s from New Orleans and other points deep south – with a mix of obscure bits and a few 'classic' Crescent City grooves! Southern Fried Funk is a collection of singles originally issued on regional labels such as Tou-Sea, Deesu, Quinvu, Budd, Gold Cup, Malaco, Milk and more – corralled here on CD by the reverent revivalists at Grapevine Records – who respect the more famous numbers, but also include plenty of other rare ones to keep the interest of more hardcore collectors! What we really love about this particular comp is the deep soul feel of the tracks – with all of the raw, thundering, sweaty funk elements in full force – but the material still has a soul feel underneath. ..."
Dusty Groove
YouTube: Southern Fried Funk 1:01:19

Thursday, June 16

C: A Journal of Poetry

"C: A Journal of Poetry first appeared in May of 1963, edited by Ted Berrigan and published by Lorenz Gude. It became an influential showcase for the work of New York School poets and artists — like Berrigan himself, along with Ron Padgett, Joe Brainard, Kenneth Koch, James Schuyler, John Ashbery, Dick Gallup, David Shapiro, and others — it was a predominantly male list, though Barbara Guest and a few others (including Alice B. Toklas!) made appearances. The Fales Library has only a partial collection of the journal; all of the images included below are from that archive. To match the scattershot nature of the image collection, this commentary will be a collage of quotes from friends and fellow poets of Berrigan's in Nice to See You: Homage to Ted Berrigan, edited and introduced by Anne Waldman for Coffee House Press in 1991. ..."
RealityStudio - Intro
RealityStudio - Index to the Contents of C: A Journal of Poetry
The Nation: When Poetry Was the Rage
MIMEO MIMEO: Kulchur on C: A Journal of Poetry

Solitary browsing on Fourth Avenue’s Book Row

"Manhattan has always had its neighborhoods of commerce and industry, from the Garment Center to the Pickle District. And like those two vestiges of the late 19th century city, a booksellers’ district also popped up, this one on the warehouse blocks along Fourth Avenue south of Union Square. 'That quarter-mile section of Fourth Avenue which lies between the Bible House [at Astor Place] and the vista of Union Square has been for more than forty years the habitat of many dealers of old books,' noted Publishers’ Weekly in 1917. ... Booksellers’ Row attracted bibliophiles and casual browsers for decades; in the 1950s, more than 40 general and specialty shops lured reader to their mazes of shelves. ..."
Ephemeral New York

Dion - "Runaround Sue" (1961)

"... Dion DiMucci: We used to have these parties in the Bronx in the late 1950s and early ’60s. They were held in the basement of an apartment building at 2308 Crotona Ave., where a friend was the superintendent. He turned space near the boiler room into a living room, with couches and chairs. One night in 1960, about 30 guys and girls from the neighborhood got together there to celebrate the birthday of a friend—Ellen. ... The bones of the song were already in place when Ernie got there. I had the song’s sound and breaks as well as some of the lyrics: 'She likes to travel around/ She’ll love you then she’ll put you down./ People let me put you wise/ Sue goes out with other guys.' After Ernie heard where I was going with the song, we went to work on the melody and lyrics. I had my guitar and Ernie was banging on the desk with his palms. I wanted the song to be about a girl we knew from the neighborhood who had broken every guy’s heart. ..."
WSJ: The Story Behind ‘Runaround Sue’
W - "Runaround Sue"
YouTube: Runaround Sue

2011 March: Dion and the Belmonts

Wednesday, June 15

Borges and $: The Parable of the Literary Master and the Coin

"I fell in love with Jorge Luis Borges when I was a freshman in college. That year, full of hope and confusion, I left my hometown for the manicured quads of Brown University, desperately seeking culture—art, beauty, and meaning beyond the empty narrative of wealth building that consumes our world. It is easy to look back and see why Borges spoke to me. The Argentine fabulist’s short stories were like beautiful mind-altering crystals, each one an Escheresque maze that toyed with our realities—time, space, honor, death—as mere constructs, nothing more. With the beautiful prose of a poet-translator-scholar, he could even make money seem like mere fantasy. It was precisely the narrative someone like me might want. ..."

2009 August: Jorge Luis Borges, 2013 May: Jorge Luis Borges - 1, 2013 October: Borges: Profile of a Writer Presents the Life and Writings of Argentina’s Favorite Son, Jorge Luis Borges.

Fintan Magee, Puerto Rico, and Rising Sea Levels

"Fintan Magee chose this water tower shape to feature a local San Juan boy carrying an iceberg – while the water levels rise and flood his world. Perhaps he is remarking on the fact that we are burdening the next generation of people with a host of ecological disasters to carry on their backs. The Australian artist has been merging his graffiti practice and studio practice on the streets in large murals in recent years and often he uses the opportunity to speak to social and environmental ills, many on a global scale. ..."
Brooklyn Street Art

Walker Evans: Labor Anonymous

"Walker Evans shot the photographs collected in Labor Anonymous as an assignment for Fortune magazine, which published a small selection of 20 images in its November 1946 issue, under the title 'On a Saturday Afternoon in Detroit.' Until now, however, the entire series of 50 photographs has never been reproduced. Evans’ extraordinary serial studies of the facial expressions and postures of Detroit workers walking the city’s streets are fascinating both as portraiture and as a surprising dimension of his photographic style. ... This book compiles the photographs, contact sheets, small-version printlets, Evans’ annotations to newspaper clippings, drafts for an unpublished text, telegrams and every available print Evans made, along with the Fortune spread as published. ..."
New Yorker: Walker Evans’s Typology of the American Worker

2011 June: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, 2011 May: A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now, 2013 June: Cotton Tenants: Three Families, 2014 May: “Walker Evans and Robert Frank – An Essay on Influence by Tod Papageorge” (1981), 2014 October: Walker Evans: The Magazine Work, 2014 December: Walker Evans: Decade by Decade, 2015 August: Walker Evans: A Life's Work, 2015 October: Walker Evans’ “lineup of faces” on the subway.

Tuesday, June 14

Stuart Davis: In Full Swing

Owh! in San Pao, 1951
"Stuart Davis (1892–1964) is one of the preeminent figures of American modernism. With a long career that stretched from the early twentieth century well into the postwar era, he brought a distinctively American accent to international modernism. Faced with the choice between realism and pure abstraction early in his career, Davis invented a vocabulary that harnessed the grammar of abstraction to the speed and simultaneity of modern America. By merging the bold, hard-edged style of advertising with the conventions of European avant-garde painting, he created an art endowed with the vitality and dynamic rhythms that he saw as uniquely modern and American. In the process, he achieved a rare synthesis: an art that is resolutely abstract, yet at the same time exudes the spirit of popular culture. ..."
NY Times - Stuart Davis: A Little Matisse, a Lot of Jazz, All American
W - Stuart Davis
amazon - Stuart Davis: In Full Swing
vimeo: Stuart Davis: In Full Swing

People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm - A Tribe Called Quest (1990)

"One year after De la Soul re-drew the map for alternative rap, fellow Native Tongues brothers A Tribe Called Quest released their debut, the quiet beginning of a revolution in non-commercial hip-hop. People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm floated a few familiar hooks, but it wasn't a sampladelic record. Rappers Q-Tip and Phife Dawg dropped a few clunky rhymes, but their lyrics were packed with ideas, while their flow and interplay were among the most original in hip-hop. From the beginning, Tribe focused on intelligent message tracks but rarely sounded over-serious about them. ... Restless and ceaselessly imaginative, Tribe perhaps experimented too much on their debut, but they succeeded at much of it, certainly enough to show much promise as a new decade dawned."
W - People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm
Genius (Video)
YouTube: I Left My Wallet In El Segundo
YouTube: People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm (Full album)

2011 May: A Tribe Called Quest, 2014 October: The Low End Theory (1991), 2015 June: Midnight Marauders (1993)

La commare secca - Bernardo Bertolucci (1962)

Wikipedia - "La commare secca (literally 'The skinny gossip', English title The Grim Reaper) is the 1962 Italian film written and directed by Bernardo Bertolucci, based on a story by Pier Paolo Pasolini. It was Bertolucci's directorial debut at age 21. ... The film begins with the brutal image of a prostitute's corpse on the bank of the Tiber in Rome. We then see a series of interrogations of suspects by the police, all of whom are known to have been in a nearby park at the time of the murder. Each suspect recounts his activities during the day and evening, and each narrative serves as a slice of life story. A young man tells the police that he was meeting with priests in order to get a job recommendation, though we see that he and his friends spent the time trying to rob lovers in the park. ..."
Criterion Reflections
NY Times
YouTube: Intervista a Bernardo Bertolucci

2008 July: Bernardo Bertolucci, 2011 November: The Last Emperor (1987)