Tuesday, January 31

Evergreen Review


Wikipedia - "Evergreen Review is a U.S.-based literary magazine founded by Barney Rosset, publisher of Grove Press. It existed in print from 1957 through 1973, and was re-launched online in 1998. Its diversity can be seen in the March–April 1960 issue, which included work by Albert Camus, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Bertolt Brecht and LeRoi Jones, as well as Edward Albee's first play, The Zoo Story. The Camus piece was a reprint of 'Reflections on the Guillotine', first published in English in the Review in 1957 and reprinted on this occasion as the magazine's 'contribution to the worldwide debate on the problem of capital punishment and, more specifically, the case of Caryl Whittier Chessman.' Evergreen Review debuted pivotal works by Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, Charles Bukowski, William S. Burroughs, Marguerite Duras, Jean Genet, Allen Ginsberg, Günter Grass, Jack Kerouac, Norman Mailer, Henry Miller, Pablo Neruda, Vladimir Nabokov, Frank O’Hara, Kenzaburō Ōe, Octavio Paz, Harold Pinter, Susan Sontag, Tom Stoppard, Derek Walcott and Malcolm X. United States Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas wrote a controversial piece for the magazine in 1969. Kerouac and Ginsberg regularly had their writing published in the magazine. ..."
W - Evergreen Review
Evergreen: The Glossy of the Underground
RealityStudio: Evergreen Review Archive
RealityStudio: Bibliography of Burroughs Texts in Evergreen Review, Evergreen Review, Issues 1-31, Evergreen Review, Issues 32-99
amazon: Evergreen Review Reader 1957-1967, Evergreen Review Reader: 1957-1966, Evergreen Review Reader, 1967-1973

Betty Davis: Columbia Years 1968-1969


"A name on the guestlist of greatness, the former Betty Mabry had hip cachet in the ’60s, and has it again now. A model, a songwriter and a friend of both Jimi Hendrix and Miles Davis (who she married), her trio of mid-1970s albums (Betty Davis, They Say I’m Different and Nasty Gal) established her as a powerful female performer. A cross between George Clinton and Bette Midler, she played sex music with no implied candlelit dinner, a hard and uncompromising funk in which she inhabited an aggressive, theatrically sexual persona. At the time, she outraged nearly everyone. Hers is a story with some great records, a lot of interesting associations, and – possibly the most important factor – many years of unaccounted time, into which mystery and supposition has since enticingly poured. ..."
Uncut
All About Jazz
amazon
YouTube: Down Home Girl, My Soul is tired, Hangin' Out, Politician Man, Born on the Bayou, I'm Ready, Willing & Able (Take 9)

2012 October: Betty Davis

Hate Map | Southern Poverty Law Center


"... Rise of Hate Groups - The SPLC has documented an explosive rise in the number of hate groups since the turn of the century, driven in part by anger over Latino immigration and demographic projections showing that whites will no longer hold majority status in the country by around 2040. As the chart shows, this rise accelerated in 2009, the year President Obama took office, before leveling off and beginning to decline in 2011. Read about our most recent count in 2015, when the total number of groups increased for the first time in three years (download a PDF of the HateMap). ..."
Southern Poverty Law Center
Southern Poverty Law Center: Hate & Extremism
W - List of organizations designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups

Monday, January 30

Love and Black Lives, in Pictures Found on a Brooklyn Street


"One night six years ago, on a quiet side street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, I came across a photo album that had been put out with the trash. I lived around the corner, and I was walking home when I saw it sitting beneath a streetlamp on Lincoln Place. It looked handmade, with a wooden cover bound with a shoelace. But it had been tied up with twine, like a bunch of old newspapers, and left atop a pile of recycling. After hesitating a moment, I picked it up and took it home. The pages were fragile, and they cracked when I turned them, as if the album hadn’t been opened in a long time, but the photos were perfectly preserved. They seemed to chronicle the life of a black couple at midcentury: a beautiful woman with a big smile and a man who looked serious, or was maybe just camera-shy, and had served in World War II. ..."
NY Times

James Chance ‎– Twist Your Soul: The Definitive Collection (2010)


"From brutally unrefined beginnings to later laser precision, James Chance managed to wield fearsome power with the churning suction of jazz-inflected and punk-fuelled funk. His band The Contortions were one of the four acts (along with Lydia Lunch, Mars and DNA) on Brian Eno's NO New York document of the 'no-wave' scene. ... It wasn't long before these screaming and angular beginnings were jettisoned in favour of intricate saxophone trills, sparser bass lines and longer, more laid back songs. This mutation was announced via a name and group change – James White and the Blacks – although the abrasive atonality of the guitars remained as a nod to Chance's own free-jazz beginnings. Twist Your Soul is a two disc retrospective with each disc curated by Chance himself, mainly drawn from the Contortions and Blacks periods in his musical journey. ..."
Drowned In Sound
Discogs
amazon
allmusic: Twist Your Soul: The Definitive Collection (Video)

2009 December: James Chance, 2011 December: No New York, 2014 July: No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980, 2014 July: Bush Tetras, 2015 January: Buy - James Chance and the Contortions (1979), 2015 July: James White And The Blacks - Off White (1979), 2015 October: Pat Place, 2016 January: Lost Chance (1981).

Finding beauty and poetry in a cold, snowy city

saulleiterbusinsnow
"Not a fan of the chilly wet days that characterize a New York winter? Let these shimmering images from Saul Leiter of the city in the 1950s and 1960s give you a different perspective. Leiter, a longtime East Village resident who died in 2013 at age 89, was one of Gotham’s greatest (and mostly unheralded) street photographers, capturing the color of the mid-century metropolis in a subdued, tender glow. His soft-focus photos show us seemingly random, ordinary street scenes: pedestrians at a newsstand, a worker taking a break on the sidewalk, the visual poetry of people and buildings reflected in glass, around corners, and through a misty lens. ...."
Ephemeral New York

2008 June: Saul Leiter, 2011 September: Saul Leiter - 1

Sunday, January 29

Histories of Violence.


“Cat Eating a Bird,” 1939, by Pablo Picasso
"The Histories of Violence project explores the theoretical, aesthetic and empirical dimensions to violence. Taking advantage of the latest developments in new media technologies and online broadcast capabilities, it provides open access resources to compliment existing teaching formats and further facilitate trans-disciplinary discussion and reflection. Committed to pedagogy in the public interest, its guiding ethos is to critically challenge violence in all its forms. Since its launch in September 2011, our videos have enjoyed over 500,000 hits from over 50,000 unique users spanning 152 different countries. Founded & Directed by the project benefits from an international advisory board which brings together renowned academics from the United Kingdom, Europe and North America, breaking down the intellectual boundaries between politics, culture and the Arts."
Histories of Violence. (Video)
LA Review of Books (Video)
New Republic: A History of Violence By Steven Pinker

Now Gallery


Micro Show opening 1984
"The New York East Village art movement of the 80s is now considered to be the most influencial of the later half of the 20th century culture and art. The Now Gallery was founded in 1983 by an artist and art curator Jacek Tylicki as his cultural concept. Fashion Moda in Bronx was a hub of the street art (graffiti), but in the early eighties the East Village became the main gallery quarter in the city. Club 57, Fun Gallery and The Now Gallery where those early places crowded with visual artists, art performers and poets introducing the underground art into the mainstream art world. At the height of the East Village 'urban primitive' art scene there were over 120 art galleries, many of which also served as performance spaces. ..."
Now Gallery
W - Now Gallery
W - Fashion Moda

Barry White & The Atlantics - "Tracy (All I Have Is You)" (1963)


"BARRY WHITE first appeared on vinyl in 1961 on the song 'Boo-Hoo-Hoo', as part of the Atlantics, alongside Delbert Franklin, Chick Carlton and Gaynel Hodge. The record was released on Eddie Davis’ Linda Records and later covered by female vocal group The Sa-Shays. The Atlantics would go on to record 'Remember The Night' / 'Flame Of Love' in ’62’, with a revised line-up. In 1963 'Flame Of Love' was reissued coupled with 'TRACY' credited to Barry White and The Atlantics, White’s first lead credit. When White left the group to pursue a solo career the remaining band members formed The Rivingtons. SAMMY LEE makes two appearances on the new Outta Sight CD East L.A. Soul: Sammy Lee & The Summits 'Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go' and as a solo artist on his Northern Soul winner 'It Hurts Me' featured here."
Northern Soul Direct
YouTube: Tracy (all I have is you)

Saturday, January 28

Make the Most of the Met


"One of the 21st century’s great wonders, the Metropolitan Museum of Art contains an incomparable collection of humanity’s greatest accomplishments — spanning 6,000 years and the entire globe. Where else can you see the inside of an Egyptian tomb, a full set of Japanese armor and a room of Renaissance paintings in one day? Don't be overwhelmed by the Met's offerings; we'll guide you on your journey through the museum. ..."
New York Times
[PDF] Make the Most of The Met
Met Map - The Met Fifth Avenue / The Met Cloisters / The Met Breuer

Singles: The Definitive 45s Collection - Sun Ru (2016)


"How do you pin down Sun Ra? The cosmic jazzman laid down so much music it would take a warehouse of full-time historians working round-the-clock hours to figure it all out. Albums were often hastily assembled from his prolific sessions, packaged with DIY artwork and sold at gigs for quick cash. Thousands of hours of unheard recordings are rumored to exist. Maybe he stacked boxes of magnetic tape on far-away planets too, such was his connection to the stars. If it’s even possible to traverse the vast Sun Ra universe on board a single starship, then Strut Records’ new compilation Singles: The Definitive 45s Collection offers a compellingly sturdy vessel. It’s a 65-track set of 7-inch fragments of the celestial god, sent to earth to help us map out details of his galaxy that the albums could not. There are no wasted motions here: Each flat, wax disc represented another bright star in the constellation Ra. ..."
Pitchfork
allmusic (Video)
Singles by Sun Ra (Video)
iTunes, amazon
Juno: Singles: The Definitive 45s Collection 1952-1991 (remastered)

75 Books for the Next Four Years


Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
"In the last weeks as I’ve found myself rereading George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984, a work I never took to in high school yet felt even then, all the same, that the context of how the work was being taught had eluded the experiment of my sophomore English class. Orwell’s gray fantasia had been reduced to a Cold War allegory (if even that) about the joys and necessities of unlimited self-expression. In short, what happened in the world before or outside America in the late 1990s. This time round, more than 15 years later, after three presidents and two imperialist wars and so very much else, Orwell’s text strikes me less as science fiction or totalitarian parable. It describes a world I know, today, intimately. It renders the temperature of our corporatized media and the destabilizing rhetoric of the incoming administration under President-elect Trump. ..."
Literary Hub

Friday, January 27

The Rise and Rise of Forró – The Couples’ Dance from Northeast Brazil


"There can’t be many popular musical genres which feature the triangle, drum and accordion as three staple instruments. Forró, pronounced foh-ho, is one of them. It’s a lively, addictive music that has its origins in Northeast Brazil and which can now be heard and danced to in bars and parties all over London. Couples dance together coladinho, heads and hips often touching, spinning and skipping in a close embrace. There’s something magical about a forró party – a live band and their traditional instruments squeezed into the corner of a Brazilian pub in South London every weekend. The crowd sing along to the lyrics as they dance, trying not to trip over tables. Many people dance barefoot. There’s a theory that the word forró comes from the English phrase ‘for all,’ though the more plausible origin is the Brazilian Portuguese forrobodó, a word for a big party. ..."
Sounds and Colours (Video)
NY Times - Forró in Brazil: Under a Full Moon, Dancing to the Beat of the Zabumba
History of Forró

Brazil Forró: Music for Maids and Taxi Drivers
"Forro didn't become as popular abroad as other Brazilian styles, although it has its charms. The form mixes European influences in arrangements and verse and chorus structure, with Bahian/Indian rhythms and vocal styles. It features predominantly trios, with accordions, triangle and zabuma (shallow marching drum) the prime instrumentation. The songs are somber, thoughtful and sometimes poignant, and played in a straightforward, less improvisational manner. This 17-cut anthology offers an extensive look at forro; while it doesn't have the enticing qualities of other Brazilian idioms, it's worth close listening and scrutiny."
allmusic (Video), amazon

Brazil Classics, Vol. 3: Forro, Etc.
"When David Byrne first visited the Salvador/Bahia region in 1986, a new musical form that he never heard before amazed him. Dubbed forro, this dance sound originally hailed from northeastern Brazil, described as "a mixture of ska with polka" by Byrne himself. All of the album's tracks radiate a strong, positive energy, created in the most part by reggae-ish acoustic guitars, melodic accordions, and never-ending contagious rhythms. And although this musical style could be compared to America's zydeco sound, forro is intended mainly for parties. Brazil Classics, Vol. 3 was compiled by Byrne himself and features the very best artists and compositions that the genre has to offer. ..."
allmusic (Video), amazon

2010 August: Forró, 2014 June: NaurÊa

Alton Ellis - Mad Mad (1967)


"With an exuberant blast of brass, 'Mad Mad' surged into the sound systems in 1967 to eventually become one of Studio One's most beloved riddims. Intricately arranged by Jackie Mittoo, the song was not one of the label's typically lavish rocksteady fare. For starters, the melody line was slighter and far less lush than usual, while the chorus didn't actually jog with the verses. However, Mittoo made it work regardless, building the arrangement around a compulsive rhythm, jangling cowbell and the song's signature brass line, all offset only by Mittoo's own sparkling piano...and Alton Ellis's soulful vocals abetted by the warm harmonies, of course. ... It was a particular favorite of Junjo Lawes, who scored big with the song's most popular version, Michigan & Smiley's 'Diseases', and continues to be versioned to this day."
allmusic
YouTube: Mad Mad / Diseases (Alton Ellis, Michigan & Smiley)

2012 July: Alton Ellis, 2012 September: Darker Than Blue: Soul from Jamdown, 1973–1977, 2015 September: Randy’s 17 North Parade (1987)

Thursday, January 26

Walking Ulysses | Joyce's Dublin Today


"Eighteen chapters, six hundred and forty-four pages, a quarter of a million words, and seven years in the writing. ... Ulysses is not for the faint hearted. ... This project is intended to help you solve some of these puzzles. WALKING ULYSSES is designed to represent, through an exploration of each of the senses, the experience of living in Dublin on a typical day around the turn of the twentieth century. Our map narrates the journey of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom over the course of a single day, paralleling the progress of James Joyce’s Ulysses, traversing, chronologically, the eighteen chapters of the book. It’s designed to enhance the reader’s vicarious journey through the pages of Ulysses as mediated through the senses of its principal characters. ..."
Walking Ulysses | Joyce's Dublin Today - About
Walking Ulysses | Joyce's Dublin Today
A Walk around James Joyce’s Dublin
amazon: Joyce's Dublin: A Walking Guide to Ulysses

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, 2016 October: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916), 2016 November: Skerries.

The Realist


"There’s something oddly funny about Paul Krassner. And it’s been going on for more than 50 years. He palled around with Lenny Bruce, the pioneering 1950s 'sick' comic, and even edited Bruce’s autobiography, How to Talk Dirty and Influence People. He was instrumental in founding the Yippies!, those radical 'Groucho Marxists' who fought the establishment in the late 1960s with theatrical, absurdist guerrilla monkeyshines. ... The Realist was a proto-underground magazine of 'Free-thought Criticism and Satire' begun in 1958. In its heyday, everyone from Norman Mailer and Joseph Heller to Woody Allen and Dick Gregory to Ken Kesey and Tim Leary to Art Spiegelman and S. Clay Wilson appeared on its cheap newsprint pages. ..."
Paul Krassner on Obama, Orgies, and the Art of Offensive Cartoons
W - The Realist
Fantagraphics: Paul Krassner/The Realist Cartoons ($)
THE REALIST ARCHIVE PROJECT
amazon: Best of The Realist
YouTube: Author, Journalist, Stand-Up Comedian: Paul Krassner Interview - Political Comedy

American 50’s Record Clubs: Jazztone


"My French Rollins title is a typically gutsy mid-’50s fairly heavy vinyl pressing."
"Hot on the heels of the American Recording Society post, the Jazztone record club needs to be given some attention. The Jazztone Society was the first independent jazz record club in the United States, an offspring of Concert Hall Society, a classical music mail order business created by David Josefowitz and his brother Sam, entrepreneurial offspring of Ukrainian emigres. ... The success of Concert Hall prompted diversification by adding a jazz record club, Jazztone. Jazztone operated for three years between 1955 and 1957. ..."
LondonJazzCollector
Discogs - Jazztone (Video)

Wednesday, January 25

Trump's Move On Keystone XL, Dakota Access Outrages Activists


"The Trump administration is pushing forward with plans for two major oil pipelines in the U.S., projects that sparked nationwide demonstrations and legal fights under President Barack Obama.
President Trump signed documents inviting the company behind the Keystone XL pipeline to resubmit a proposal for the project, which the Obama administration rejected in 2015, and instructing the Army to expedite the review and approval process for the section of the Dakota Access Pipeline that hasn't been built. ... Demonstrators, sometimes numbering in the thousands, set up several camps on occupied land near the proposed crossing site beginning last summer, in support of the Standing Rock Sioux. The tribe filed a lawsuit against the federal government to block the pipeline, which was retracted earlier this month. ..."
NPR: Trump's Move On Keystone XL, Dakota Access Outrages Activists
NY Times: **For Justin Trudeau, Canada’s Leader, Revival of Keystone XL Upsets a Balancing Act
NY Times: **Histories of Violence.
NY Times: The Conflicts Along 1,172 Miles of the Dakota Access Pipeline
Washington Post
The Spirit of Standing Rock on the Move 
The Verge: Trump resurrects stalled Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines (Video)
ACLU: Stand With Standing Rock
The Never-Ending Indian Wars: Spotlight Returns to Standing Rock
Tsunami of Outrage, Vows of Resistance Follow Trump's Pipeline Order


2011 July: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - Dee Brown, 2012 September: The Ghost Dance, 2016 September: A History and Future of Resistance, 2016 November: Dakota Access Pipeline protests, 2016 December: Police Violence Against Native Americans Goes Far Beyond Standing Rock, 2016 December: Dakota Protesters Say Belle Fourche Oil Spill 'Validates Struggle', 2017 January: A Murky Legal Mess at Standing Rock

Gil Scott-Heron's - Pieces of a Man (1971)


"Gil Scott-Heron's 1971 album Pieces of a Man set a standard for vocal artistry and political awareness that few musicians will ever match. His unique proto-rap vocal style influenced a generation of hip-hop artists, and nowhere is his style more powerful than on the classic 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.' Even though the media -- the very entity attacked in this song -- has used, reused, and recontextualized the song and its title so many times, the message is so strong that it has become almost impossible to co-opt. Musically, the track created a formula that modern hip-hop would follow for years to come: bare-bones arrangements featuring pounding basslines and stripped-down drumbeats. ..."
allmusic
W - Pieces of a Man
Genius: Introduction / The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Video)
amazon, iTunes
mixchoud: Pieces of a Man (1971) ~Full Album~
YouTube: Pieces Of A Man [Remastered + Bonus Tracks] 1:00:23

Rachel Carson


"Featuring the voice of Mary-Louise Parker as the influential writer and scientist, Rachel Carson is an intimate portrait of the woman whose groundbreaking books revolutionized our relationship to the natural world. When Silent Spring was published in September 1962 it became an instant bestseller and would go on to spark dramatic changes in the way the government regulated pesticides. Drawn from Carson’s own writings, letters and recent scholarship, the film illuminates both the public and private life of the soft-spoken, shy scientist who launched the modern environmental movement."
PBS (Video)
W - Rachel Carson
Rachel Carson
NY Times: How ‘Silent Spring’ Ignited the Environmental Movement
amazom: Rachel Carson
YouTube: Pesticides - DDT - Rachel Carson - Silent Spring

Tuesday, January 24

The Weary Blues - Langston Hughes (1925)


Wikipedia - "'The Weary Blues' is a poem by American poet Langston Hughes. Written in 1925, 'The Weary Blues' was first published in the Urban League magazine, Opportunity. It was awarded the magazine's prize for best poem of the year. The poem was included in Hughes' first book, a collection of poems, also entitled The Weary Blues. ... 'The Weary Blues' takes place at an old Harlem bar on Lenox Avenue. There is a piano player playing the blues. As he plays, the speaker observes his body movement and the tone of his voice. Throughout the poem, several literary devices are used to guide the reader through the mixture of emotions the blues player is feeling. The vivid imagery and use of language gives the reader a more personal glimpse into the life of the man playing the blues. ..."
Wikipedia
On "The Weary Blues" - Steven C. Tracy
Poetry Foundation: When the Weary Blues Met Jazz (Video)
YouTube: Poetry by Langston Hughes - The Weary Blues, Langston Hughes - "The Weary Blues" on CBUT, 1958

Clarence Carter - Slip Away / Funky Fever (1968)


"What would I give / For just a few moments / What would I give / Just to have you near // Tell me you will try / To slip away somehow / Oh, I need you, darling / I want to see you right now // Can you slip away / Slip away / Slip away / Oh, I need you so...
Lyric Mode
W - Clarence Carter
Discogs
YouTube: Slip Away, Funky Fever

The Rebel Girl


Crowd in Patterson, New Jersey in 1913 during the IWW silk strike.
"In 1976, Life magazine marked the US bicentennial with a special report on 'Remarkable American Women.' I was thirteen years old at the time and I remember thumbing eagerly through the pages of the magazine, a gift from my mother to nurture my budding feminism. Among the 166 women profiled was the Rebel Girl, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, organizer for the Industrial Workers of the World (also known as the IWW or the Wobblies), free speech fighter, co-founder of the ACLU, and first female secretary of the Communist Party USA. Her bio and photo appeared in the section titled 'Noble Causes,' along with seventeen other 'Crusaders for the Sick, Poor and Oppressed,' including Angela Davis, Dorothy Day, Dolores Huerta, Mary Harris 'Mother' Jones, and Harriet Tubman. ..."
Jacobin
W - Elizabeth Gurley Flynn
NWHM
YouTube: Elizabeth Gurley Flynn: Tenement Talk from March, 2015

Monday, January 23

Maggie Roche (1951-2017)


Maggie Roche, center, in 1985 with her sisters Suzzy, left, and Terre.
"Maggie Roche, co-founder of the idiosyncratic and influential sister trio The Roches, passed away on Saturday, January 21. Her sister and bandmate Suzzy Roche announced the death on Facebook and said the cause was breast cancer. NYT Obituary. Prior to forming the Roches, Maggie and sister Terre performed as a duo before Paul Simon asked them to contribute vocals to 'Was A Sunny Day' on his 1973 album, There Goes Rhymin' Simon (YT) (Spotify). Maggie and Terre subsequently released Seductive Reasoning (Spotify) (YT) in 1975, with contributions from Simon and the Muscle Shoals rhythm section. ... Adding youngest sister Suzzy in 1977, they properly re-christened themselves as The Roches, releasing a stunning self-titled debut album (YT) (Spotify) two years later. ..."
Metafilter (Video)
NY Times: Maggie Roche, Who Harmonized With Her Singing Sisters, Dies at 65

2008 August: The Roches

Eye in the Sky (2015)


Wikipedia - "Eye in the Sky is a 2015 British thriller film starring Helen Mirren, Aaron Paul, Alan Rickman and Barkhad Abdi. The film, directed by Gavin Hood based on a screenplay by Guy Hibbert, features drone warfare. Filming began in South Africa in September 2014. ... The movie opens in Eastleigh, Nairobi, Kenya, where Alia Mo'Allim (Aisha Takow), a preteen girl, twirls a hula hoop that was just made by her father in their backyard. British Army Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) wakes up early in the morning and hears that an undercover British/Kenyan agent has been murdered by the Al-Shabaab terrorist group. From Northwood Headquarters she then begins her no-nonsense command of a mission to capture high-level Al-Shabaab militants meeting in a safehouse in Nairobi, Kenya. ..."
Wikipedia
Roger Ebert
Guardian: Eye in the Sky review – a morality tale of modern warfare (Video)
NY Times: ‘Eye in the Sky,’ Drone Precision vs. Human Failings (Video)
YouTube: Eye in the Sky Official North American Trailer (2015) - Aaron Paul, Helen Mirren War Thriller HD

Pere Ubu - New Picnic Time (1979)


"It has been some years now that I have been saying that the Pere Ubu album entitled New Picnic Time, from 1979, is the scariest album ever made, and perhaps the time has come now to back up this claim, to speak of the dark truths of New Picnic Time. Yes, I understand, there are a great many other scary albums out there. For example, there is The Flowers of Romance by Public Image Limited. That is a very scary album, based on a certain subjective notion of scary, which is that scary involves consciousness in the process of decay or confinement or miniaturization. Test Department were occasionally scary. Throbbing Gristle, definitely scary on occasion, and with some similarities of intent and mission with Pere Ubu. The first album by Einsturzende Neubauten, called Kollaps, plenty unsettling. ..."
New Music - Kingdom Come: Pere Ubu’s New Picnic Time
W - New Picnic Time
YouTube: New Picnic Time 10 videos

2008 April: Pere Ubu, 2010 July: Pere Ubu - 1, 2012 November: David Thomas And The Pedestrians - Variations On A Theme, 2013 February: Dub Housing, 2014 September: Carnival of Souls (2014), 2015 June: Street Waves / My Dark Ages (1976), 2016 January: Live at the Longhorn: April 1, 1978, 2016 February: Cloudland (1989), 2016 April: Architecture of Language 1979-1982, 2016 November: The Modern Dance (1978), 2016 December: Don't Expect Art (1980).

Sunday, January 22

Women’s March Highlights as Huge Crowds Protest Trump: ‘We’re Not Going Away’


"• Hundreds of thousands of women gathered in Washington on Saturday in a kind of counterinauguration after President Trump took office on Friday. A range of speakers and performers cutting across generational lines rallied near the Capitol before marchers made their way toward the White House.
• They were joined by crowds in cities across the country: In Chicago, the size of a rally so quickly outgrew early estimates that the march that was to follow was canceled for safety. In Manhattan, Fifth Avenue became a river of pink hats, while in downtown Los Angeles, even before the gathering crowd stretched itself out to march, it was more than a quarter mile deep on several streets.
• Begun as a Facebook post just after the election, the march is the start of what organizers hope could be a sustained campaign of protest in a polarized America, unifying demonstrators around issues like reproductive rights, immigration and civil rights. The movement has also encountered divisions.
• The Times had journalists covering the marches in Washington; New York; Boston; Atlanta; Denver; Los Angeles; Phoenix; St. Paul, Minn.; and Key West, Fla. Check out what they posted on Twitter and what readers asked of them live. See photos from marches around the world, too. (All times listed below are local.) ..."
NY Times

Thousands gathered in Montpelier, VT
Scenes From the Women's March on Montpelier
"Thousands of people attended the Women's March in Montpelier Saturday afternoon in a jubilant celebration outside the Statehouse. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made an appearance and addressed the crowd to thunderous applause. 'Too many women have fought for too many years for equal pay for equal work; we are not going back,' he told those assembled. The massive crowds caused miles-long traffic backups along north and southbound Interstate 89, according to Vermont State Police. Authorities suggested drivers find alternate routes to avoid the gridlock and temporarily closed exit 8 and exit 9. 'Commuters will NOT be able to access Montpelier via the interstate and are advised to find alternate routes of travel until further notice,' police said. ..."
Seven Days

Demonstrators gather for a rally at the Place de Trocadero in Paris in solidarity with supporters
Women's Marches Go Global: Postcards From Protests Around The World
"As the Women's March on Washington has swelled in support, attracting attention and supporters in the lead-up to Saturday's demonstrations, its name has become something of a misnomer. Sister marches have been organized in all 50 states, several U.S. territories and countries around the world. They have tried to express solidarity with the aims of the original march: opposition to President Trump's agenda, and support of women's rights and human rights in general. Given the quirks of time zones, many of those marches kicked off before the event that inspired them. In Sydney, London, New Delhi, and other cities, demonstrators broke out their signs and pink hats before even their compatriots in D.C. could. Straight from NPR and member station reporters on the ground: Here's a glimpse of the marches Saturday — across the country, and around the world. ..."
NPR (Video)

Women's March on Washington draws massive crowds
"Hundreds of thousands of people poured into the US capital on Saturday to march in opposition to President Donald Trump, a day after the Republican took office, as sister demonstrations took place in cities across Africa, Asia and Europe. Women and men of all ages took to the streets of Washington, DC, rallying around issues like women's rights, reproductive rights and immigration. The march was supposed to be along the National Mall, the stretch of parkland that runs from Congress to the White House. But it spilled onto Pennsylvania Avenue, the street where the new president and property tycoon now lives, and where his Washington-based hotel is. ..."
Al Jazeera (Video)

YouTube: Ashley Judd's EPIC "Nasty Woman"Scarlett Johansson, Gloria Steinem, Angela Davis, Alicia Keys, Elizabeth Warren, Madonna, America Ferrera
Women’s March on Washington: Full Rally | The New York Times
YouTube: ‘We’re Not Going Away’: Women’s March Highlights as Huge Crowds Protest Trump

Everett Shinn, "34th Street" (1903)


Pastel on paper.
"... In 1897, Shinn was offered a higher paying job as an illustrator for the New York newspaper, The World. He moved there and was joined shortly there after by his wife, Flossie, and by other members of the Charcoal Club. Shinn enjoyed living in the city and observing the eccentric daily hustle and bustle exemplified by living in New York. Much of Shinn's life and opinions were reflected in his work. His life in New York was a major subject in many of his paintings. Shinn often depicted scenes of drama and violence, rallying for social change and urban understanding. Coinciding with the dramatic themes found throughout his work, theatre was also a major subject in Shinn's pastels. In 1899, he quit the newspaper business and began working for Ainslee's Magazine, a magazine that also employed his wife, who was by that time a very successful illustrator and who brought in a good deal of the household income. ..."
Poul Webb

Saturday, January 21

Inauguration Protesters and Police Clash on Washington’s Streets


"A spate of violence erupted on Friday in the nation’s capital, as protesters damaged storefronts, threw rocks and bricks at police officers and lit a limousine on fire. Phalanxes of police officers used pepper spray, flash grenades and other nonlethal crowd-control tools to disperse the protesters. By the end of the day, six police officers had sustained minor injuries and more than 200 people had been arrested. Many of the protesters were dressed in black, wore face masks and carried flags associated with anti-fascist groups. They congregated on a series of streets just blocks from the parade where Donald J. Trump passed as he made his way to the White House for the first time as president, their activities creating a distraction as television networks played live footage of the clashes. ..."
NY Times


Members of Occupy Museums #J20 outside the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Artists Reckon With Trump’s Inauguration
"Kelli O’Hara sang 'A Cockeyed Optimist.' Chita Rivera delivered 'America.' Four more Broadway stars belted out 'I’m a Woman,' and a larger group made melody with 'What the World Needs Now Is Love.' In one of countless displays of cultural counterprogramming to Inauguration Day across the country, Broadway’s biggest stars — a group generally disheartened by the election of Donald J. Trump — performed show-tunes-with-a-message on Friday afternoon at Town Hall in Manhattan to raise money for social justice organizations. With Mr. Trump celebrating the start of his presidency, the singers celebrated art as a comfort, an inspiration and a rallying cry for the coming months and years. ..."
NY Times


An illustration of a crowd in front of the White House during Andrew Jackson's first inaugural reception in 1829.
The Wild Inauguration of Andrew Jackson, Trump’s Populist Predecessor
"Seeking to portray Donald J. Trump as a man of the people, some of his closest advisers have said he is the natural successor to President Andrew Jackson, America’s architect of political populism. With crowds streaming into Washington for the inauguration on Friday, commentators and historians were harking back to the inauguration of the seventh president on March, 4 1829, when a crowd of thousands mobbed the Capitol building and the White House, representing to many at the time the danger of the mob run amok. Biographers, historians and Mr. Trump’s own confidants have not been shy about drawing parallels. ..."
NY Times

A Dark Inaugural"Politicians, preparing for inaugurals, scurry for their histories. The Republican Senator Roy Blunt, who welcomed the crowd to Donald Trump’s Inauguration, chose to commemorate the peaceful transitions of the late eighteenth century, when partisan tensions were high and the Republic might not have survived. The Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, speaking just before the new President, read at length from a letter that Sullivan Ballou, a Union officer, wrote to his wife: 'I know how strongly American Civilization now leans upon the triumph of the Government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us.' In the faces just behind the new President and his family, viewers could detect the partisan zigzag of our recent political history: the Clintons, the Bushes, the Obamas.  ... This was a dark inaugural. The America Trump described was filled with victims: of 'inner city' poverty, of 'crime and drugs and gangs,' of 'rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation.' But even starker was how forcefully Trump compressed history. ..."
New Yorker

A Brief History of Subway Cinema


On The Town(1949)
"Decades in the making, the Second Avenue Subway finally opened to the public this week, its glimmering new stations at 72nd, 86th, and 96th Streets heralded with the pomp and circumstance of a movie premiere. Of course, the subway doesn’t immediately come to mind as a photogenic movie star, but in fact, the various tunnels and stations of the New York City Subway have appeared as the backdrop for hundreds of movies. Its route diversity — from deep under midtown to elevations above the outer boroughs — and its longevity have allowed filmmakers to turn the subway into a rolling sound stage. ..."
The Bowery Boys: New York City History (Video)

Friday, January 20

Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965


John Cohen, Red Grooms transporting artwork to Reuben Gallery, New York, 1960.
"Between the apex of Abstract Expressionism and the rise of Pop Art and Minimalism, the New York art scene was transformed by artist-run galleries. Inventing Downtown presents works from fourteen of these crucibles of experimentation, highlighting artists’ efforts to create new exhibition venues for innovative works of art—ranging from abstract and figurative painting, assemblage, sculpture, and works on paper to groundbreaking installations and performances. ..."
Grey Art Gallery
Grey Art Gallery: Images
NY Times: ‘Inventing Downtown’ Recalls When Artists Ran the Galleries
WSJ: ‘Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952-1965’ Review: The Good Old Days
amazon: Inventing Downtown
WNYC: Remembering the Tenth Street Galleries
YouTube: inventing downtown

Street Sounds From The Bay Area: Music City Funk & Soul Grooves 1971-75


"It’s about time BGP got seriously funky and over the next few months we will be serving up some fantastic collections of rare funk and groovy soul from the depths of the black American recording industry. In the last decade funk has gone from the forgotten cousin of soul to the genre that has been most quickly excavated and then sometimes discarded. It often seems that every rare record has been snapped up and compiled already (it’s not true but sometimes it seems like it). However, the Ace collective really does have the ability to go deeper; as with the world of rare soul, our access to the tape vaults of various companies allows us to bring the world some exceptional music that has never been heard since the day it was recorded. Street Sounds From The Bay Area is the result of our examination of the recordings made, and then on the whole not released, by Ray Dobard’s Music City outfit between 1971 and 1975. ..."
Ace Records (Video)
Discogs
iTunes
JUNO: Charles Doc Williams - "Bumpin' On Sunset/We Got More Soul" (medley), Chucky Thurmon - "Just A Man", The Two Things In One - "Stop Telling Me", Etc,
YouTube: Eddie Boogaloo - Love Uprisers, Sixth Sense - Soul Messengers

Jim White - No Such Place (2001)


"Southern Gothic singer/songwriter Jim White grew up in Pensacola, Florida, enamored with the sounds of the white gospel music he heard on the Gospel Jubilee television series. After spending his formative years on the outskirts of a deeply Pentecostal community, he entertained a career as a professional surfer, followed by a stint in Milan as a fashion model. A bandsaw accident that resulted in a maimed left hand seemed to end White's hopes as a musician, but after writing a collection of simple songs on his guitar, a friend convinced him to record a demo, which ultimately made its way to the offices of David Byrne's Luaka Bop label. After re-recording the songs, White issued his debut, Wrong-Eyed Jesus!, a collection of atmospheric, oddly spiritual country-folk performances, in 1997. No Such Place was issued in early 2001. In 2004, White released Drill a Hole in That Substrate and Tell Me What You See (again on Luaka Bop), which featured such eccentric guests as the Barenaked Ladies, Aimee Mann, and Bill Frisell. ..."
allmusic
W - Jim White
JIM WHITE LIVES HERE (Video)
YouTube: If Jesus Drove A Motor Home, 10 Miles To Go On A 9 Mile Road, The Wound That Never Heals, Handcuffed to a fence in mississippi, Searching For The Wrong-Eyed Jesus, God Was Drunk When He Made Me, Hey! You going my way???, Christmas day, Corvair

Thursday, January 19

A Visit to Home, Memory, and Future at Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute’s (CCCADI) New East Harlem Home


"... Your inaugural exhibit, Home, Memory, and Future is quite impressive. It is divided into three distinct parts. Yes. Part I: Harlem: East and West features the works of three acclaimed photographers who have been documenting Harlem since the 70’s. Part II: Harlem and Home in the Global Context showcases artworks that suggest how cultural traditions are used to establish “home” in distant places. And Part III: Mi Quirido Barrio (My Beloved Community) – focusing on the social history of El Barrio — takes place outdoors and in cyberspace, using augmented reality. Among its themes are: migration, nostalgia for the past. gentrification and looking to the future. ..."
Street Art NYC

William Onyeabor - Crashes in Love (1977)


"Crashes in Love was released in 1977 on the artist's own imprint, Wilfilms, like every of his records (all masterpieces). The album is said to have been composed as a soundtrack to a movie Onyeabor made - 'a tragedy of how an African Princess rejects the love that money buys', as mentioned on the sleeve. Crashes in Love is actually William Onyeabor's first record and of course features a few mindbending tracks. Genius man. William Onyeabor studied cinematography in Russia for many years, returning to Nigeria in the mid-70s to start his own Wilfilms music label and to set up a music and film production studio. He recorded a number of hit songs in Nigeria during the 70s, the biggest of which was ‘Atomic Bomb’ in 1978. ..."
afrobeat, afrofunk, afrojazz, afrorock, african boogie, african hiphop ...
Guardian: The five-year quest to reissue William Onyeabor
Discogs
YouTube: Something You'll Never Forget, Heaven and Hell, Ride on Baby">
YouTube: 'Fantastic Man' (Full Length) - A Film About William Onyeabor

2014 March: ATOMIC BOMB! The Music of William Onyeabor

Eva Mlinar


Cafe DADA Illustrations for the playbill of the theatre play
"Hi, I'm an illustrator and graphic designer from Ljubljana, Slovenia. I studied History of Art (Faculty of Arts, Ljubljana) and also Visual Communication at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Ljubljana. In my work, I love to combine handmade and digital processes for a fresh, artful approach and enjoy playing with different techniques. Inspired by books, museums, medieval times and tiny little details. I live and work between Ljubljana and Istanbul."
Eva Mlinar
ILLUSTRATED INTERVIEW WITH EVA MLINAR
Interview: Eva Mlinar

Wednesday, January 18

How Baudelaire Revolutionized Modern Literature


Portrait by Gustave Courbet, 1848
"Around, let’s say, 1885 the young French poet Jules Laforgue was living in Berlin and scribbling observations in his notebooks. He was reading Charles Baudelaire’s notorious book of poetry, Les Fleurs du Mal— a book that had been prosecuted, successfully, by the French state for obscenity — and as Laforgue read on, he jotted down small aphorisms, mini-observations. These phrases were of a private kind: 'a distinguished wanderer in the line of Poe and Gérard de Nerval,' 'sensual hypochondria shading into martyrdom . . . ': that kind of thing. They were private notes for a future essay that Laforgue would never write, attempts to define the genius of Baudelaire — who had died in 1867, around twenty years earlier, at the age of only forty-six. ..."
New Republic
The Paris Review: The Eye of Baudelaire
W - Symbolism

2009 February: Charles Baudelaire, 2012 December: Impressionism and Fashion

Frédéric Bazille (1841-1870). The Youth of Impressionism.


Summer Scene
"How should we consider the work of Frédéric Bazille, who died in combat in 1870 during the Franco-Prussian War aged just 28? Although his early paintings are clearly those of a budding painter, influenced by Realism and by his friend Monet, he nevertheless went on to complete numerous masterpieces in which he gradually asserted his unique talent. Around sixty paintings have come to us, each one a challenge, another milestone for the young artist, enabling us to follow his progress towards the increasingly personal expression of his 'temperament', in the words of the time. ..."
Musée d'Orsay (Video)
Musée d'Orsay
W - Frédéric Bazille

Pearls Before Swine - Balaklava (1969)


"A record that virtually defies categorization, Pearls Before Swine's 1968 epic Balaklava is the near-brilliant follow-up to One Nation Underground. Intended as a defiant condemnation of the Vietnam War, it doesn't offer anthemic, fist-pounding protest songs. Instead, Rapp vented his anger through surrealist poetry, irony, and historical reference: Balaklava was the 1854 Crimean War battle that inspired Alfred, Lord Tennyson to write his epic The Charge of the Light Brigade; in reality, the 'Charge' was a senseless military action that killed scores of British soldiers. ... It's probably the best example of what Rapp calls 'constructive melancholy' (also the name of a recent CD collection of Pearls songs), a combination of the real with the surreal, and it's indispensable to any serious '60s rock collection."
allmusic
W - Balaklava
YouTube: Balaklava [Full Album]

Tuesday, January 17

Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful


Moravia, 1966 - Art Institute of Chicago
"Nationality Doubtful, the title of an intensely beautiful exhibition of Josef Koudelka’s photographs at the Getty Center, refers to a peculiar fact of the Czech photographer’s life. Born in 1938 in a small town in Moravia, he moved to Prague to study aeronautical engineering, but by the late 1950s photography was occupying more of his time. By the 1960s he was working for theater companies in Prague while pursuing a project that would occupy him for years: he began traveling Eastern Europe, spending time in over 80 Roma villages and encampments. Photography and itinerancy, or the photographing of itinerancy, took over his life. He was back in Prague in 1968 when Soviet-led Warsaw Pact armies entered the city. It was one of those moments when history happens to an artist, and Koudelka brought all his powers to documenting the invasion. ..."
Koudelka was into enormity By W.S. Di Piero
The J. Paul Getty Museum
The Art Institute of Chicago (Video)
vimeo: Nationality Doubtful

2016 March: W.S. Di Piero, 2016 December: Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008.

The Other Colombia


January 2016, Putumayo. In this part of the Amazonian jungle, people use the river to travel. The local economy is based on cattle breeding and coca production, which is illegal. In the area, the FARC promotes training in cattle breeding. But the peasants don’t give up coca production, which is seen as the more lucrative opportunity in this isolated place.
"There is a Colombia left out, ignored. To meet her, you often need to take muddy tracks deformed by mule hooves or travel for hours on a tiny little rowboat. This Colombia doesn’t know the effects of the growth. It’s still waiting for the next visit of a health brigade or schoolteacher. But this Colombia isn’t only poverty and misery. It is also the liveliness, ingenuity, and passion of those who learned to survive and construct a world far from anywhere. You can meet it in the course of a vallenato refrain, on the rhythms of cumbia, or when you let yourself drive to the incredible stories of a local ranchera song. This is the other Colombia: out of the cities, removed from the centers of decision-making, living in the countryside at the pace of the harvest, the rainy period, and the moon’s cycle. She is built on community ties, looking at consumer society and its middle class with alternating desire and disgust. ..."
Guernica

Monday, January 16

The Evolution of Dr. King


The National Civil Rights Museum
"Virtually every Democratic Party politician, black or white, claims the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Conveniently forgotten is the fact that in the final years of his life, before his assassination in 1968, King broke with Democratic President Lyndon Johnson over the Vietnam War and the administration’s failure to enforce civil rights legislation in the South. That’s something no Democrats of national stature have been willing to do today. ..."
Jacobin
Graphic essay: What the Civil Rights Movement can teach us about surviving Trump
The National Civil Rights Museum (Video)

2008 January: Martin Luther King Jr., Martin Luther King Jr. - 1, 2013 August: The March at 50 , 2015 January: Freedom Journey 1965: Photographs of the Selma to Montgomery March by Stephen Somerstein, 2015 February: Spider Martin’s Photographs of the Selma March Get a Broader View, 2015 March: Revisiting Selma, 2015 December: Atlanta: Darker Than Blue, 2016 February: Unpublished Black History