Tuesday, October 31

The Souljazz Orchestra - Under Burning Skies (2017)


"Canada’s fastest moving and hardest working collective are back with one of their finest albums to date, a brand new journey into tropical, soul and jazz styles on their scorching new release, ‘Under Burning Skies’. Turbulent times call for strong voices and The Souljazz Orchestra’s new set packs a suitably heavy lyrical punch, with wry observations and an urge for progressive change. Musically, the band continue to push the limits, dusting off ‘80s vintage synthesizers and early drum machines for the first time, bringing lo fi disco, boogie and electro touches to their trademark horn arrangements and earthy analogue sound. The fruits are a-plenty and the group sound at their confident and versatile best from start to finish. ..."
The Souljazz Orchestra (Audio)
Discogs
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: Dog Eat Dog (Official Video), Holla holla, Lufunki, Oublier pour un jour

Blank Tape: Electronic Cassette Culture


"Experimental and avant garde music has always sought release through peripheral channels. Where in the past that might have been via a number of hand-painted records handed out at concerts or between friends within local scenes, independent labels with creativity (rather than cash) to burn are turning to cassettes as an available, affordable and more immediate medium to release music on. And where in the past, DIY cassette culture may have been more central to grassroots punk and hip-hop culture, electronic music producers are now exploiting the analogue texture of tape for its sonic qualities too. Rather than make a film about the so-called 'tape revival', we wanted to hear from the makers themselves to understand what it is about tape that remains so attractive. It features labels like Sacred Tapes, Tesla Tapes and Astro:Dynamics, Warp distributors Bleep and producers Helm and Ekoplekz whose music has sprung the underground to find a home on PAN and Planet Mu. A film by Sam Campbell & Sonal Kantaria."
The Vinyl Factory (Video)

2008 September: Tellus Audio Cassette Magazing, 2015 August: Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture - Thurston Moore (2005), 2015 September: OP Magazine / Tape Op, 2015 December: Cassette culture, 2016 April: The idea of the cassette: A gallery with musings, 2017 October: Spool's Out

Monday, October 30

Cabaret Voltaire


Wikipedia - "Cabaret Voltaire was the name of a nightclub in Zürich, Switzerland. It was founded by Hugo Ball, with his companion Emmy Hennings on February 5, 1916, as a cabaret for artistic and political purposes. Other founding members were Marcel Janco, Richard Huelsenbeck, Tristan Tzara, and Sophie Taeuber-Arp and Jean Arp. Events at the cabaret proved pivotal in the founding of the anarchic art movement known as Dada. Switzerland was a neutral country during World War I and among the many refugees coming to Zürich were artists from all over Europe. ... The cabaret featured spoken word, dance and music. The soirees were often raucous events with artists experimenting with new forms of performance, such as sound poetry and simultaneous poetry. Mirroring the maelstrom of World War I raging around it, the art it exhibited was often chaotic and brutal. ..."
Wikipedia
UbuWeb: Cabaret Voltaire
DADA & Modernist Magazines: Cabaret Voltaire
WSJ - Dada: 100 Years Later
Cabaret Voltaire: the Dada House
Welcome to Cabaret Voltaire, birthplace of Dada.
The Art Story: Hugo Ball
YouTube: WWI, Cabaret Voltaire & the beginnings of Dada, Dada Art Movement History - "Dada on Tour"

The First International Dada Fair, held in Berlin, June–August 1920.

UR New York at Pop International Galleries on the Bowery


La Bodega, Mixed media on wood panel
"Few artists capture the soulful grit of NYC as strikingly as Fernando Romero aka Ski and Mike Baca aka 2Esae, collectively known as UR New York. Their most recent exhibit, A New York Story — a captivating ode to NYC — has graced the walls of Pop International Galleries since early October. Pictured above is a work of mixed media on canvas simply titled URNY. What follows are several more artworks that will remain on view through mid-week. Pop International Galleries is located at 195 Bowery at Spring Street and is open Mon-Sat 10-7 | Sun 11-6 and by appointment. ..."
Street Art NYC
Pop International Galleries

Proust Fans Eagerly Await Trove of Letters Going Online


The First Known Footage of Marcel Proust Discovered: Watch It Online
"Marcel Proust’s legions of fans have obsessed about the meaning of his sometimes impenetrable prose, fetishized his tatty fur coat and bed, parsed his manuscripts and, fairly or not, lauded 'Remembrance of Things Past' as the greatest literary work of the 20th century. Now, Proustians the world over are eagerly awaiting two events that may shed new light on the self-consciously eccentric writer and master excavator of memories who arguably out-Joyced Joyce in his epic modernism and whose prose Nabokov once called 'translucid.' Some 6,000 letters written by Proust, many of which had been collected and published by the scholar Philip Kolb of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will be put online and made available free to scholars and general readers alike. ..."
NY Times

2008 June: Marcel Proust, 2011 October: How Proust Can Change Your Life, 2012 April: Marcel Proust - À la recherche du temps perdu, 2013 February: Marcel Proust and Swann's Way: 100th Anniversary, 2013 May: A Century of Proust, 2013 August: Paintings in Proust - Eric Karpeles, 2013 October: On Reading Proust, 2015 September: "Paintings in Proust" - View of the Piazza del Popolo, Giovanni Battista Piranes, 2015 September: In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way: A Graphic Novel, 2016 January: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919), 2016 February: Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C.K. Scott Moncrieff: Soldier, Spy and Translator, 2016 May: The Guermantes Way (1920-21), 2016 August: Marcel Proust’s Search for Lost Time — Patrick Alexander, 2016 October: My Strange Friend Marcel Proust, 2017 March: Sodom and Gomorrah (1921-1922), 2017 August: Letters To His Neighbor by Marcel Proust; translated by Lydia Davis, October: Proust's À la recherche – a novel big enough for the world.

Sunday, October 29

At the Whitney, a Vision of Africa—Without the Colonialist Meddling


Toyin Ojih Odutola (left), originally from Nigeria, and Yaa Gyasi, born in Ghana, photographed in February at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York.
"In the summer of 2016, the poet Claudia Rankine published an essay in Aperture magazine about drawings made by the artist Toyin Ojih Odutola. Ojih Odutola was born in Nigeria, immigrated to the States with her family at age 5, and spent her formative years in Huntsville, Alabama. 'Individuals populate her portraits,' wrote Rankine, 'but remain in conversation with something less knowable than their presumed identity. To settle down her images, to name them, is to render them monolithic.' Rankine was writing about Ojih Odutola’s pen ink drawings, for some time the signature of her practice. These were, in her own telling, 'conceptual portraits' of anonymous subjects (though if you looked close, the faces often resembled that of the artist) depicted unclothed and decontextualized in blank space. What distinguished them was both medium—pen and paper is not often associated with fine art—and style. Ojih Odutola’s subject, principally, was black skin, which she drew shimmering and undulating and alive, sometimes in monotones, sometimes with prismatic bursts of color. ..."
Vogue
NY Times: A Portrait of the Artist as a Young African Immigrant
Whitney - Toyin Ojih Odutola: To Wander Determined
NOWNESS (Video)

2016 December: Toyin Ojih Odutola

Elodie Lauten - "Transform EP" (2014)


"Wilde Calm Records is honored to present new work from the late Elodie Lauten, New York City composer and recipient of the 2014 Robert Rauschenberg Award. Lauten had been exploring microtonality and alternative temperament since working on a Fairlight CMI synthesizer in the early 1980s and up until her untimely death, had been continuing these explorations with the Klio, her custom modular Reaktor software synthesizer. Many Wilde Calm fans will be familiar with Lauten’s music from her numerous collaborations with fellow downtown luminary Arthur Russell. Lauten and Russell met through their mutual poet friend Allen Ginsberg and shared a similar sensibility of musical openness and possibility as evident in their spiritual club classic 'In the Light of the Miracle' and Russell’s appearance on Lauten’s seminal post- minimalist masterwork The Death of Don Juan. Five remastered selections from her most recent album Transform feature on the EP in addition to a Wilde Calm remix. For fans of Laurie Spiegel and Suzanne Ciani, Lauten’s synth explorations are essential."
Soundcloud: "Transform EP" (Video)
deejay (Audio)
iTunes

2010 July: Elodie Lauten, 2013 February: Piano Works Revisited, 2016 July: Orchestre Modern (EP - 1981)

Ngọc Bảo – Cô Tú, a Vietnamese 78rpm


"Finding Vietnamese 78rpm records is not that easy, even though a lot of them were pressed here in France during the colonial period, when Vietnam was still part of French Indochina. This one comes from a lot I bought from another collector in Paris. Thanks to Haji Maji and Excavated Shellac blogs, I was already familiar with some 78rpm recordings of Vietnamese folk music, but it was the first time I heard early popular music from this country. Most of the songs from that lot are based on western instruments, with male and female vocals. To be honest, they sometimes sound a little too sweet for my ears, but this one is really special! I was immediately stunned by the beauty of this voice, accompanied only by a guitar. …"
Ceints de Bakélite (Soundcloud)

Saturday, October 28

“Co-op War” Factions Face Off Outside Mill City Foods, Minneapolis, 1976 — Minnesota Historical Society


“Co-op War” Factions Face Off Outside Mill City Foods, Minneapolis, 1976 — Minnesota Historical Society
"In 1969, a band of draft-dodgers established a commune 'to grow flowers and make pottery' near an abandoned train depot in Georgeville, Minnesota. One of them brought a video camera. His short documentary survives today. A narrator’s voice lopes its way across some homemade footage of overgrown train tracks: 'We talk to the outside world,' the voice narrates, 'but we have an ambivalent attitude toward it.' But before long, these ambivalent communards would venture to the city to participate in the burgeoning food co-op movement. In 1970, an underground newspaper in Minneapolis proclaimed 'GOOD FOOD FOR STRONG REVOLUTIONARY BODIES AT THE PEOPLES’ PANTRY.' ... Pipe dream or no, this utopianism was short-lived. By 1975, sectarian conflicts had spiraled out of control. ..."
Jacobin
Radical Roots: The Story of a Food Revolution (vimeo)
W - List of food cooperatives
W - Food cooperative
You Are the Co-op Difference
amazon: Storefront Revolution: Food Co-ops and the Counterculture

City Market / Onion River Co-op - Burlington, Vermont

Sun Ra in Sin City


Boethius Discusses Music with a Group of Men, miniature from a c. 1405 edition of Boethius’ Fundamentals of Music
"The last time I spoke with Sun Ra, I asked him for his take on the enduring legacy of the Great American Songbook. It was 1993. Ra had returned to Birmingham, Alabama, where he’d been born nearly eighty years before. He would die there, from complications associated with pneumonia, a few weeks later. The pianist, composer, and bandleader’s first published composition, 'Alone with Just a Memory of You,' written in 1936 together with Henry McCellons, conveyed a tender, awkward Tin Pan Alley tone that betrayed his love of sentimental songcraft. This passion is driven home repeatedly in a survey of Ra’s magnificently gigantic discography. He employed anachronistic singers like Clyde Williams and Hattie Randolph. ... Never mind that Ra is known as one of the most adventurous and innovative figures in the history of the twentieth century. That he brought synthesizers to jazz. That his costumes and light shows paved the way for psychedelic rock. That he wrote apocalyptic and deeply philosophical poetry.  ..."
Laphams Quarterly

William Basinski - Watermusic II (2003)


"A certain flavour of composition puts emphasis more on what could be considered 'hang-time' than 'narrative'. Some pieces don't necessarily have to 'go' anywhere in particular, their existence is simple enough in that it presents a mood, a moment, a place and encapsulates it. Think of still-images for the ears as opposed to moving-pictures for the eyes. As an audio exploration into this hovering suspension-fluid-photography, Basinski presents Watermusic. The piece utilises what seems to be a form of generative music technique similar to that employed by Brian Eno on his 'Systems Series' works, wherein the compositional factor is comprised of the simple interaction between a limited number of carefully calculated cycling motifs, designed to create a form of self-perpetuating music. ... - [k/doherty]"
Cargo Records
soundcloud: Watermusic II
amazon, iTubes
YouTube: Watermusic II

2017 January: The Disintegration Loops (2002-2003)

Friday, October 27

J.F.K. Files, Though Incomplete, Are a Treasure Trove for Answer Seekers


John F. Kennedy arrived in Dallas on the day he was assassinated in 1963.
"President Trump ordered the long-awaited release on Thursday of more than 2,800 documents related to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but bowed to pressure from the C.I.A. and F.B.I. by withholding thousands of additional papers pending six more months of review. While incomplete, the documents were a treasure trove for investigators, historians and conspiracy theorists who have spent half a century searching for clues to what really happened in Dallas on that fateful day in 1963. They included tantalizing talk of mobsters and Cubans and spies, Kremlin suspicions that Lyndon B. Johnson was behind the killing, and fear among the authorities that the public would not accept the official version of events. Paging through the documents online on Thursday night was a little like exploring a box of random papers found in an attic. There were fuzzy images of C.I.A. surveillance photos from the early 1960s; a log from December 1963 of visitors, including a C.I.A. officer, to Johnson’s ranch in Texas; and reports that Lee Harvey Oswald obtained ammunition from a right-wing militia group. Some of the documents convey some of the drama and chaos of the days immediately after the murder of the president. Among them is a memo apparently dictated by J. Edgar Hoover, the F.B.I. director, on Nov. 24, 1963, shortly after Jack Ruby shot and killed Oswald as he was being moved from Police Headquarters to a local jail. ..."
NY Times (Video)
NY Times - A J.F.K. Assassination Glossary: Key Figures and Theories (Video)
NY Times - The J.F.K. Files: Decades of Doubts and Conspiracy Theories (Video)
W - Assassination of John F. Kennedy
W - John F. Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories
W - Umbrella man (JFK assassination)
W - Badge Man, W - Three tramps, W - Babushka Lady

Spain moves to take over Catalonia after region declares independence


"BARCELONA — The Spanish Senate gave the central government in Madrid unprecedented powers over Catalonia on Friday, just minutes after the breakaway region declared independence, sharply escalating a constitutional crisis in the center of western Europe. The two votes — one for independence, one to restore constitutional rule — came in dueling sessions of parliaments in Barcelona and Madrid. The central government easily won permission to take over control of Catalonia. Meanwhile, secessionists in Catalonia faced bitter recriminations from Catalan foes who called the move for nationhood a coup and a historic blunder, a month after a referendum that backed a split from Spain. Spain quickly began to move against what it views as an insurrection. The constitutional court started proceedings against the Catalan parliament’s declaration of independence. There were also reports that Spanish prosecutors were preparing to file rebellion charges against Catalan President Carles Puigdemont. ..."
Washington Post (Video)
Washington Post - Catalonia’s independence vote: What you need to know (Video)
NY Times - Spain Moves to Take Control of Catalonia After Secession Vote

2017 October: Catalonia Leaders Seek to Make Independence Referendum Binding, 2017 October: Catalonia: Past and Future - Luke Stobart

Thursday, October 26

How Does It Feel? An Alternative American History, Told With Folk Music


"You could say the silence started in Calumet in 1913. Word spread that the doors opened inward, that no one was to blame. What followed was a great quiet, a hundred years of agreed-upon untruth. Or you could say it began just afterward, during the patriotic rush of the First World War and the Palmer Raids that followed. The Wobblies were crushed, the call for a workers’ alternative stilled. Or you could say it began after the Second World War. If you see the two global conflicts as a single long realignment of power, then after America emerged as a superpower, its century-long Red Scare kicked back in with a vengeance. That’s how Elizabeth Gurley Flynn saw it. She traced the 'hysterical and fear laden' atmosphere of the late 1940s back to when she was a union maid visiting Joe Hill in prison. 'Now,' she said, 'it is part of the American tradition.' ..."
Longreads (Video)
amazon: Grown-Up Anger: The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913 - Daniel Wolff

2008 January: Woody Guthrie, 2009 May: To Hear Your Banjo Play - 1947, 2010 June: Dust Bowl Ballads, 2012 July: Woody Guthrie at 100: Celebrate His Amazing Life with a BBC Film, 2013 September: Buffalo Skinners, 2014 September: "The Ranger's Command", "To Hear Your Banjo Play", "Greenback Dollar", "John Henry", 2016 October: Don't Mourn-Organize!: Songs of Labor Songwriter Joe Hill, 2016 November: AD Presents: A Woody Guthrie Companion (A Mixtape), 2016 December: Talking blues, 2017 March: Bob Dylan Turns Up For Woody Guthrie Memorial

2010 April: Little Red Songbook, 2016 September: Don't Mourn-Organize!: Songs of Labor Songwriter Joe Hill (1990), 2017 January: The Rebel Girl, 2017 March: Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

Jean-Louis Forain


Au Théâtre 1882
Wikipedia - "Jean-Louis Forain (23 October 1852 – 11 July 1931) was a French Impressionist painter, lithographer, watercolorist and etcher. ... Forain's quick and often biting wit allowed him to befriend poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine as well as many writers, most notably Joris-Karl Huysmans. He was one of only 'seven known recipients' to receive a first edition of A Season in Hell directly from Rimbaud. ... A follower and protégé of Degas, Forain joined the Impressionist circle in time to take part in the fourth independent exhibition in 1879; he participated in three of the four landmark shows that followed between 1879 and 1884. Influenced by Impressionist theories on light and color, he preferred to depict scenes of everyday life: his watercolors, pastels, and paintings focused on Parisian popular entertainments and themes of modernity—the racetrack, the ballet, the comic opera, and bustling cafés. ..."
Wikipedia
Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide
Social Life in Jean-Louis Forain's Paris 1852-1931
artsy
YouTube: Jean-Louis Forain

You’re Probably Reading This On an Electronic Device


"The Village Voice’s archives are not digitized. ... But ephemera such as those barely scratch the surface. There are Nat Hentoff’s columns — 51 years of them, sketching and agitating in the intellectual space that surrounds civil liberties and free speech. The images of Fred McDarrah, Mary Ellen Mark, Sylvia Plachy, James Hamilton, Amy Arbus, Catherine McGann, and Robin Holland, which have defined so much of what we think of as the Village and the way the Voice has looked at the world. The unflinching reporting and investigative work of Jack Newfield, Alexander Cockburn, Susan Brownmiller, James Ridgeway, Wayne Barrett, Teresa Carpenter, Joe Conason, Tom Robbins, Alisa Solomon, Jennifer Gonnerman, Michael Tomasky, Peter Noel, Julie Lobbia, and Mark Schoofs, just to name a handful. The groundbreaking critical writing of Jerry Tallmer and Michael Feingold on theater; of Jonas Mekas, Andrew Sarris, Molly Haskell, J. Hoberman, Amy Taubin, and Stephanie Zacharek on film; of Peter Schjeldahl, Roberta Smith, Jerry Saltz, and R.C. Baker on art; of Richard Goldstein, Robert Christgau, Tom Carson, James Wolcott, Nelson George, Barry Walters, and Ann Powers on popular music; of Stanley Crouch and Gary Giddins on jazz. The innovatively cross-current cultural writing of Jill Johnston, Ellen Willis, C. Carr, Karen Durbin, Vince Aletti, Greg Tate, Guy Trebay, Thulani Davis, Hilton Als, and Colson Whitehead. ... This list, as lists like this often do, goes on and on and on. ..."
VOICE

Wednesday, October 25

20 Baseball Books


"... Baseball is America's language, even its glue. Or as the poet Donald Hall puts it in an introduction to this book: 'It is by baseball, and not by other American sports, that our memories bronze themselves. . . . By baseball we join hands with the long line of forefathers and with the dead.' Diamonds Are Forever, an elegant collection of text and artwork edited by Peter H. Gordon, a curator at the New York State Museum, with the assistance of Sydney Waller and Paul Weinman, is the color catalogue of a traveling exhibit. ... There is something to every taste in Diamonds Are Forever, with its excerpts from 55 writers ranging from Woody Allen to Ernest Hemingway to Carl Sandburg and works by 90 artists, including Andy Warhol, Jacob Lawrence and Elaine de Kooning. Here is the last sentence of Catfish Hunter's brief speech on Catfish Hunter Day at Yankee Stadium: 'Thank you, God, for giving me strength, and making me a ballplayer.'..."
NY Times - "Spring Training," a 1981 oil on canvas by Gerald Garston

5 Seasons - Roger Angel
Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series - Eliot Asinof
Why Time Begins on Opening Day - Thomas Boswell
Can't Anybody Here Play This Game?: The Improbable Saga of the New York Met's First Year - Jimmy Breslin, Bill Veeck
The Long Season - Jim Brosnan
The Pride of Havana: A History of Cuban Baseball - Roberto Gonzalez Echevarria
Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir - Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Boys of Summer - Roger Kahn
Summer of '49 - David Halberstam
A Day In The Bleachers - Arnold Hano
Beyond the Sixth Game - Peter Gammons
The Bronx Zoo - Sparky Lyle, Peter Golenbock
Diamonds Are Forever: Artists and Writers on Baseball - Peter H. Gordon (Editor), Donald Hall (Introduction)
Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game - Michael Lewis
A Whole Different Ball Game: The Inside Story of the Baseball Revolution - Marvin Miller
American Pastimes: The Very Best of Red Smith
The Glory of Their Times - Lawrence Ritter
Baseball's Great Experiment: Jackie Robinson and His Legacy - Jules Tygiel
Weaver on Strategy - Earl Weaver
The Science of Hitting - Ted Williams

Coffee as Existential Statement: A Crisis in Every Cup on Valencia Street


"Getting a morning coffee on Valencia Street, San Francisco’s high hipster avenue, is not merely buying a drink: it is making an existential statement. Drinking your way down Valencia’s coffee shops offers an unofficial tour of the city’s newly ascendant 21st-century lifestyles. The names of the cafes glisten with the sheen of carefully cultivated style. Ritual Roasters. Four Barrel. The Blue Fig. Craftsman and Wolves. Glazed with polished alliterations and alluring adjectives, the names leave an iron aftertaste of brand awareness and search engine optimization on the palette. The fashionable formula seems to involve taking a familiar item and injecting it with a slightly unusual accent — a blue hue or the fourth barrel — to lift the tediously literal into the intriguingly suggestive. ..."
LA Review of Books

2010 September: Espresso, April: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World, 2013 May: Coffeehouse, 2015 June: Barista, 2015 August: Coffee Connections at Peddler in SoHo, 2015 November: The Case for Bad Coffee, 2016 January: 101 Places to Find Great Coffee in New York (2014), 2017 June: How Cold Brew Changed the Coffee Business, 2017 September: Our 7 Favorite Literary Coffee Shops, 2017 October: Clever Literary Coffee Poster.

Boozoo Chavis - Johnnie Billy Goat (1998)


"Another kudo to Rounder for getting this retrospective gem out before the untimely passing of this icon of zydeco music. This disc is conscientiously culled from some sparkling live performances in Lake Charles, LA, and from his previous Rounder and Goldband releases. This was a man who took the time to give back to the culture that fostered his music and do all he could to promote up-and-coming musicians. This is zydeco -- a mixture of Creole music fused with rhythm & blues -- which is made for partying and dancing. His live performances were just a nonstop whirl from the opening notes to the last with the crowds drenched in sweat and screaming for more, no matter what area of the country he played. ... That raw rocking sound that he was known for all his life is pervasive throughout this disc. This is the best collection of one of the very stalwarts of zydeco music, as well as just an excellent example of what this man could do with songs that were benchmarks in other genres, such as Bob Wills' standard 'Dance All Night.' The sound quality is excellent and it contains an exemplary mixture of songs."
allmusic (Audio)
Wilson "Boozoo" Chavis
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: Boozoo Chavis

Tuesday, October 24

Aguirre, the Wrath of God - Werner Herzog (1972)


Wikipedia - "Aguirre, the Wrath of God, known in the UK as Aguirre, Wrath of God, is a 1972 West German epic film written and directed by Werner Herzog. Klaus Kinski stars in the title role. The soundtrack was composed and performed by West German progressive/Krautrock band Popol Vuh. The story follows the travels of Spanish soldier Lope de Aguirre, who leads a group of conquistadores down the Orinoco and Amazon River in South America in search of the legendary city of gold, El Dorado. Using a minimalist approach to the story and dialogue, the film creates a vision of madness and folly, counterpointed by the lush but unforgiving Amazonian jungle. Although based loosely on what is known of the historical figure of Aguirre, the film's storyline is, as Herzog acknowledged years after the film's release, a work of imagination. Some of the people and situations may have been inspired by Gaspar de Carvajal's account of an earlier Amazonian expedition, although Carvajal was not on the historical voyage represented in the film. Other accounts state that the expedition went into the jungles but never returned to civilization. Aguirre was the first of five collaborations between Herzog and the volatile Kinski. ... Aguirre opened to widespread critical acclaim, and quickly developed a large international cult film following. ..."
Wikipedia
MoMA: Werner Herzog’s Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Classic Art Films
senses of cinema: Myth, Environment and Ideology in the German Jungle of Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Slant
amazon
YouTube: Aguirre, Wrath of God - trailer
YouTube: Aguirre, Wrath of God 1:30:26

32 Stories: Special Edition Box Set - Adrian Tomine (2009)


"Between the ages of seventeen and twenty, Adrian Tomine self-published a series of 'mini-comics': small, hand-assembled booklets thta he wrote, drew, and distributed himself. Entitled Optic Nerve, these comics were comprised of short vignettes and stories which displayed a youthful energy, an unabashed sense of experimentation, and the first hints of the distinctive, realist style that Tomine would go on to perfect. Over the course of those three years, word of mouth spread about these comics, and something that began as a teenage hobby was recognized as the arrival of a promising new talent. ..."
Drawn and Quarterly
amazon

2016 March: Killing and Dying (2015), 2016 November: Cometbus #57

Julio Cortázar, The Art of Fiction No. 83


"When Julio Cortázar died of cancer in February 1984 at the age of sixty-nine, the Madrid newspaper El Pais hailed him as one of Latin America’s greatest writers and over two days carried eleven full pages of tributes, reminiscences, and farewells. Though Cortázar had lived in Paris since 1951, he visited his native Argentina regularly until he was officially exiled in the early 1970s by the Argentine junta, who had taken exception to several of his short stories. With the victory, last fall, of the democratically elected Alfonsín government, Cortázar was able to make one last visit to his home country. Alfonsín’s cultural minister chose to give him no official welcome, afraid that his political views were too far to the left, but the writer was nonetheless greeted as a returning hero. ..."
The Paris Review

2011 November: Blow-Up (1966) - Michelangelo Antonioni, 2016 March: Cronopios and Famas (1969)

Monday, October 23

Fuji music


Wikipedia - "Fuji is a popular Nigerian musical genre. It arose from the improvisational Ajisari/were music tradition, which is a kind of music performed to wake Muslims before dawn during the Ramadan fasting season. Were music/Ajisari itself was made popular by Alhaji Sikiru Ayinde Barrister. Were music/Ajisari, traditionally, was an Islamic type music played by the Muslim children in Yorubaland to wake the faithful for fasting or Suhur during Ramadan period. This musical genre was made popular by Alhaji Dauda Epo-Akara, the deceased who based in Ibadan,was the "awurebe" founder and Ganiyu Kuti, a.k.a. 'Gani Irefin'. The Muslim community in Lagos metropolis (Lagos Mainland and Lagos Island) had a sizeable number of 'Ajiwere' acts. These early performers drew great inspiration from Yoruba Sakara music style (using the sakara drum but without the violin-like goje instrument—which is normally played with an accompanying fiddle). ..."
Wikipedia
HISTORY OF FUJI MUSIC (Video)
YouTube: King Wasiu Ayinde Marshal - Fuji Collections Nigeria Fuji Music, Ayinla Omowura - Retin Ojo Ola, Ayinla Omowura - Ajoji Ki Bon'ile Dule, Alhaji Kollington Ayinla - Fuji Ropopo, Alhaji Chief Kollington Ayinla & His Fuji '78 Organization, Musiliu Haruna Ishola - Soyoyo, Sikiru Ayinde Barrister - Reality, ATAWEWE-PUBLIC FIGURE - ORIN ADIO SULAIMAN DAN DAN NI

NET SPECIAL: Meet Nigeria’s leading Fuji musicians - Alao Malaika, Wasiu Ayinde, Taiye Currency and Remi Aluko.

The Project Papers


The Poetry Project at St. Mark's Church, [1974].
"Ed Friedman edited the Project Papers beginning in the fall of 1987. Issues, usually four pages in length, were published (and distributed free-of-charge) at each of the 1987-88 Wednesday night readings. Most of the issues consisted of one or two poems by each of the poets who were reading on a particular program. The Project Papers imprint was also used to publish articles that offered useful and concise perspectives on the Poetry Project’s history, aesthetics, and organizational mission. Generally, these articles originated from the Poetry Project’s Annual Symposiums, either as lectures or opening statements from panel discussions. Lewis Warsh’s special issue of Project Papers was a set of diary entries reprinted from one of his early collections. ..."
The Project Papers Archives - The Poetry Project

2014 July: The Poetry Project

Sunday, October 22

The Alexandria Quartet: 'Love is every sort of conspiracy'


A Coptic funeral in Mohammed Ali Square, Alexandria, early twentieth century.
"Lawrence Durrell claimed that the four books of The Alexandria Quartet were 'an investigation of modern love'. It's possible to take that idea at face value. Some have even used it as a stick with which to beat him. Notably, his Guardian obituarist (writing in 1990, at a time when Durrell's reputation was possibly at its lowest ebb) said 'a harsh judgment' of his masterpiece might be that it was 'a four-volume romantic novel written by a poet steeped in Freud and on nodding terms with Einstein'. I'm guessing from the warm response the books have had from this month's Reading Group that most of you reading this will see that as an absurd rather than just a harsh judgment. Even if we accept that Durrell was only concerned with romantic love, that gives us endless scope for discussion – as Reading Group contributor Wheldrake has pointed out. ..."
Guardian
Lawrence Durrell's Egypt 

2011 December: The Alexandria Quartet - Lawrence Durrell, 2013 September: Villa that inspired Lawrence Durrell faces demolition, as Egypt allows heritage to crumble, 2014 August: Prospero’s Cell (1945), 2015 April: Bitter Lemons (1953–1956), 2015 May: Caesar's Vast Ghost: Aspects of Provence, 2016 July: Reflections on a Marine Venus (1953), 2016 September: The Greek Islands, 2016 October: Justine (1957), 2017 February: Balthazar (1958), 2017 April: Mountolive (1958), 2017 May: Clea (1960)

On the Hook


A taco from Country Boys.
"It is hard to imagine a government official stopping Daniel Day-Lewis on Oscar night, following the actor down the red carpet, asking a series of questions about his acting and filmmaking credentials, and telling him to change outfits or withdraw from the contest. The food service industry, however, is a very different stage, and Brooklyn food vendors like Marcos Lainez answer to public health officials as a part of everyday business. During this year’s Vendy Awards, an annual cooking competition billed as “the Oscars of street food,” a cohort of inspectors from the New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene arrived just after doors opened to conduct full inspections of every nominated business. Lainez is a co-owner of El Olomega, a street food business that specializes in the Salvadoran-style pupusa (a thick, griddled corn cake). ..." (Nov 7, 2013)
BKLYN

Vendors lined up on Bay Street, near Field 1. The vendors once operated inside the fence surrounding the fields — now they're on the street.

Sun Ra - Exotica - A Modern Harmonic Industrial Film Short (with Irwin Chusid)


"We had the esteemed pleasure to speak with Irwin Chusid (that's partly a joke as we talk to him all the time!) of the Sun Ra estate. We secretly recorded that call and turned it into another Modern Harmonic Industrial Film Short. This is in celebration of the Exotica set that Irwin put together! Sensuous dreamscapes to transport the listener to the lush tropical environs of the outer reaches of the omniverse. Your choice of three colorful inter-stellar saucers or two compact saucers of 'Exotic-Ra' bringing you to a lush cocktail party where space is the place. All packaged in a beautiful Chesley Bonestell adorned gatefold package with two sets of extensive notes! Sun Ra. Exotica. Incongruous? Listening to the 25 tracks herein will showcase that Sun Ra was, indeed, an Exoticat of sorts, albeit in his own unique way, of course. That Sun Ra hasn’t been celebrated in Exotica circles is understandable. ..."
YouTube: A Modern Harmonic Industrial Film Short (with Irwin Chusid)
W - Irwin Chusid
Shiny Beast

Saturday, October 21

In Paris, Passion Battles the Decline of Stamp Collecting


Buying and selling at the stamps and postcards market in Paris.
"PARIS — There is a rundown shop in my neighborhood near the Rue des Martyrs that never seems to close. When I peer through the window late at night, I usually see a small group of older men bent over a long table, picking up and moving around thousands of tiny bits of colored paper with their tiny tweezers. At first, I wondered whether the place might be a front for a bookie joint or a money-laundering operation. Not at all. It is very respectable. It goes by the name Action Philatélie — Action Philately — and has been in business for as long as anyone can remember. It is dedicated to the buying, selling, researching, sorting, evaluating and classifying of postage stamps. ..."
NY Times

2007 November: Literary Stamps, 2008 May: Penny Black, 2009 January: Mail art, 2009 September: Cuba Stamp, 2009 September: First day of issue, 2009 November: Airmail stamp, 2009 DecArtistamp, 2010 January: Zeppelin mail, 2010 February: Miniature sheet, 2011 August: Artistamp, 2014 March: First day of issue

Hear 4+ Hours of Jazz Noir: A Soundtrack for Strolling Under Street Lights on Foggy Nights


"Nowadays few crowds seem less likely to harbor criminal intent than the ones gathered to listen to jazz, but seventy, eighty years ago, American culture certainly didn't see it that way. Back then, jazz accompanied the life of urban outsiders: those who dabbled in forbidden substances and forbidden activities, those influenced by the alien morality of Europe or even farther-away lands, those belonging to feared and mistreated social groups. That image stuck as much or even more firmly to jazz musicians as it did to jazz listeners, and when a new cinematic genre arose specifically to tell stories of urban outsiders — the lowlifes, the anti heroes, the femmes fatales — jazz provided the ideal soundtrack. ..."
Open Culture (Spotify, Video)
amazon: Jazz Noir
YouTube: Jazz Noir [part 1], [part 2], [part 3]

2009 January: Film noir, 2014 February: Crime Jazz: How Miles Davis, Count Basie & Other Jazz Legends Provided the Soundtrack for Noir Films & TV, 2014 June: The 5 Essential Rules of Film Noir, 2015 August: Infographic explains “film noir” and finds the most noir film of them all, 2017 September: John Zorn - Naked City (1990).

Bob Dylan - The Bromberg Sessions / Series Of Dreams (The Best Of The 1989-1993 Sessions & Lives)


"New video today from the 90's. This is another great compilation from the blog A Thounsand Highways and includes the best of the years 1989 to 1993, with rare performances, studio sessions and more. Also, the first part includes the very rare Bromberg Sessions. Before Good As I Been To You, Bob worked with long-time partner David Bromberg (they first met in 1970 for Self-Portrait) to record a new album. The sessions didn't come to fruition and Bob went on his way. However, thanks to the Bootleg Series Vol.8, we had a preview of how great those sessions were. For now, only three other songs circulate, and they are just perfect. A rare treasure and certainly one of the holy grail of Dylan's career. 1989 to 1993 also offered classic performances, like the 60th anniversary celebration of country legend Willie Nelson, the Supper Club shows in November 1993, and other rare outtakes from Oh Mercy and Under The Red Sky. This is a must-have for any fan of the Bard. Hope you will like it as much as I do. - Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands"
YouTube: The Bromberg Sessions / Series Of Dreams 2:52:38

Friday, October 20

Vermont International Film Festival


"VTIFF was born from the anti-nuclear movement in the 1985, making it the world’s oldest environmental and human rights film festival, although its focus today has broadened to embrace a wide spectrum of social issues and a focus on independent art-house cinema. Founded by two longtime peace and social justice activists, George and Sonia Cullinen, the inspiration for the festival came from the success of their 1981 film, From Washington to Moscow, which documented a Walk for Peace between two rural towns — Washington and Moscow, Vermont. ... VTIFF grew out of this vision. The first Vermont International Film Festival was held in 1985 at Marlboro College in southern Vermont. About one hundred people attended the inaugural event. Now based primarily in Burlington, VTIFF also present showcases in other parts of Vermont. Past festival guests have included such activist artists as actor Danny Glover, Bread & Puppet Theater founder Peter Schumann, and historian and playwright Howard Zinn, among others."
VTIFF

Agnès Varda’s Ecological Conscience


Jules Breton, The Recall of the Gleaners, 1859.
"'Existence isn’t a solitary matter,' says the shepherd to the wanderer in Agnès Varda’s 1985 film, Vagabond. This vision of collectivity, the belief that we are all in it together, recurs throughout Varda’s films, from her early, proto–New Wave La Pointe Courte (1954) to her acclaimed Cléo from 5 to 7 (1961) to her most recent film, Faces Places (2017), made in collaboration with the young French street artist JR. (Filmmaking isn’t a solitary matter, either.) 'This movie is about togetherness,' she told New York Magazine. Watching Faces Places, I couldn’t help thinking about Varda’s 2000 film, The Gleaners & I. Both are road-trip movies in which Varda interviews the kinds of people we don’t often see in movies—farmers, miners, dockworkers, and their wives. ..."
The Paris Review

August 2010: Agnès Varda, May 2011: The Beaches of Agnès, 2011 December: Interview - Agnès Varda, 2013 February: The Gleaners and I (2000), 2013 September: Cinévardaphoto (2004), 2014 July: Black Panthers (1968 doc.), 2014 October: Art on Screen: A Conversation with Agnès Varda, 2015 September: Cléo from 5 to 7 (1962), Plaisir d’amour en Iran (1976), 2017 April: Agnès Varda’s Art of Being There, 2017 April: AGNÈS VARDA with Alexandra Juhasz, 2017 August: Agnès Varda on her life and work - Artforum.

Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs


"Raghubir Singh (1942–1999) was a pioneer of color street photography who worked and published prolifically from the late 1960s until his death in 1999 at age 56. Born into an aristocratic family in Rajasthan, he lived in Hong Kong, Paris, London, and New York—but his eye was perpetually drawn back to his native India. This retrospective exhibition will situate Singh's photographic work at the intersection of Western modernism and traditional South Asian modes of picturing the world. It will feature 85 photographs by Singh in counterpoint with works by his contemporaries—friends, collaborators, fellow travelers—as well as examples of the Indian court painting styles that inspired him. ..."
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art: Exhibition Objects
CNN - "Modernism on the Ganges: Raghubir Singh Photographs" at the Met Breuer
amazon

Thursday, October 19

Les Filles du feu - Gérard de Nerval (1854)


Wikipedia - "Les Filles du feu (English: The Daughters of Fire) is a collection of short prose works, poetry and a play published by the French poet Gérard de Nerval in January 1854, a year before his death. During 1853, Nerval had suffered three nervous breakdowns and spent five months in an asylum. He saw Les Filles du feu as an opportunity to show the public, his friends and his father that he was sane, though except for the introduction all of the pieces in Les Filles du feu had been published previously: 'Angélique' in Les Faux Saulniers (1850), 'Sylvie' in La Revue des Deux Mondes (1853), and 'Émilie', 'Jemmy', 'Isis' and 'Octavie' in diverse reviews. The precise meaning of the title, which Nerval chose just before publication, is uncertain. ..."
Wikipedia
amazon

2007 December: Gerard De Nerval, 2010 March: Robin Blaser - Les Chimeres, 2016 June: Voyage to the Orient (1851), 2017 March: Selected Writings of Gerard De Nerval (1957), 2017 June: Did Gerard de Nerval walk his pet lobster through Paris?

The Black Balloon - John Renbourn (1979)


"The Black Balloon is one of John Renbourn's instrumental guitar albums. He gives a classical feel to the tracks on the first side, taking 'The English Dance'1979) at an appropriately quick speed and displaying some fast, intricate playing on 'Bourée I and II.' The lengthy medley of 'The Mist Covered Mountains of Home,' 'The Orphan,' and 'Tarboulton' introduces his frequent supporting musician Tony Roberts on flute, with Stuart Gordon adding tabla on the final section for a sound reminiscent of the John Renbourn Group projects. The second side contains two long tracks, 'The Pelican' and "The Black Balloon," each of which finds Renbourn adding to his textured acoustic work with some overdubbed electric guitar playing, and Roberts again sits in on the title tune. For those who have followed Renbourn to this point, the album will seem like a continuation of one of the paths he enjoys following in British folk music."
allmusic
W - The Black Balloon
amazon
YouTube: The Black Balloon (full album) 37:32

2011 September: Faro Annie, 2012 November: John Renbourn - Sir John Alot, 2013 May: The Lady and the Unicorn, 2014 February: Bert &; John (1966), 2014 October: The Hermit (1976), 2015 March: John Renbourn: ceaseless explorer of song – appreciation., 2015 November: The Attic Tapes - John Renbourn (2015), 2016 November: Cruel Sister (1970) - Pentangle, 2016 December: Lost Sessions (1973)

Lightbath’s Percussive Reverberations


Forgiveness | Ambient Eurorack Modular Synthesizer | Chance, Plonk, Rainmaker, Rings, T-Wrex, Clouds
"In her interview as part of the Sound + Process podcast, Emily Sprague mentioned two musicians as inspirations for her, one of them being Lightbath, aka Bryan Noll. She was speaking in particular about Lightbath’s videos, in the context of videos with a certain aesthetic that she found comforting if rare — which is to say, not all 4/4, not techno, not noisey, not songy, not purely noodling; instead: soft, ambient, and ever so slightly melodic. She doesn’t specifically say those things; that’s an aesthetic triangulation on my part based on what Sprague’s music often sounds like, and what Lightbath and the other musician whose videos she mentioned, R Beny, are generally up to. ... Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/lightbath. More from Lightbath/Noll at lightbath.com and twitter.com/lightbath."
disquiet (Video)

Wednesday, October 18

Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series


"In 1941, Jacob Lawrence, then just 23 years old, completed a series of 60 small tempera paintings with text captions about the Great Migration, the mass movement of black Americans from the rural South to the urban North that began in 1915–16. Within months of its making, the Migration Series was divided between The Museum of Modern Art (even-numbered panels) and the Phillips Memorial Gallery (odd-numbered panels). The work has since become a landmark in the history of African American art, a monument in the collections of both institutions and a crucial example of the way in which history painting was radically reimagined in the modern era. ..."
artbook
Phillips Collection
amazon

2015 February: One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North

Popol Vuh - Sei Still, Wisse Ich Bin (1981)


"Recorded in 1980 and produced by Klaus Schulze, Sei Still, Wisse ICH BIN ("Be quiet, I am") is one of Popol Vuh's sacred music offerings. Like Hosianna Mantra nearly a decade before, this set is regal in its solemnity and in its intensity. Utilizing the Chorensemble der Bayerischen Staatsoper and the soprano saxophone stylings of Chris Karrer, Popol Vuh -- down to a three-piece with vocalist Renate Knaup fronting the choir, Fricke on piano and voice, and guitarist Daniel Fichelscher holding down the drum chair as well, this is a huge recording . Schulze's immediate mix, which brings the vocals into complete balance with the undulating, mantra-like instrumentation, is nothing less than stunning; from Tibetan-style prayer chants to Eastern Orthodox choral scales, from thundering bass drums and cymbals to snaky, elusive, sparse electric guitar lines and Fricke's trademark shimmering piano, each of this album's seven selections is its own kind of masterpiece. It is the perfect marriage of world music utilized in rock & roll fashion, and of both being placed at the service of the Sacred. It is nothing less than awe-inspiring."
allmusic
W - Sei Still, Wisse Ich Bin
Discogs
YouTube: Sei still, wisse ich bin FULL ALBUM

2008 August: Popol Vuh, 2010 December: Aguirre, the Wrath of God, 2011 May: Abschied (1972), 2013 May: Fitzcarraldo - Werner Herzog, 2913 September: Hosianna Mantra (1972), 2014 April: Revisited & Remixed 1970-1999 (2011), 2014 August: Letzte Tage-Letzte Nächte (1976), 2014 May: Agape-Agape (1983), 2016 July: Die Nacht Der Seele - Tantric Songs (1979), 2016 November: Das Hohelied Salomos (1975)

20 Pieces of Writing Advice from William Faulkner


"William Faulkner is one of the best writers America has ever produced, with a distinctive voice and a relentless intelligence that earned him a Nobel Prize in literature at age 52—not to mention two Pulitzer prizes, two National Book Awards, and the undying love of many readers. He’s one of those writers you can read again and again without really understanding how he’s done what he’s done; he has that magic. But that doesn’t keep anyone from trying to learn from him. Though he didn’t much care for interviews, he has shared his expertise in a few; he also served as the Writer-in-Residence at the University of Virginia in 1957 and 1958, and some of his pedagogical conversations with students there have since been made public. Faulkner was born 120 years ago today in New Albany, Mississippi; to celebrate his birthday and to better learn from his work, find below some of his best advice on craft, character, and the writer’s life. ..."
lithub

2011 September: Southern Gothic, 2014 February: William Faulkner, 2015 October: William Faulkner Draws Maps of Yoknapatawpha County, the Fictional Home of His Great Novels, 2015 November: Interviews William Faulkner, The Art of Fiction No. 12, 2016 April: Absalom, Absalom!! (1936), 2016 May: The Sound and the Fury (1929), 2016 October: The Snopes Trilogy (1940, 1957, 1959), 2016 December: Light in August (1932), 2017 February: As I Lay Dying (1930), 2017 June: The Wild Palms (1939), 2017 August: Sanctuary (1931). 2017 September: The Unvanquished (1938)