Thursday, November 30
Watch Footage of the Velvet Underground Composing “Sunday Morning,” the First Track on Their Seminal Debut Album The Velvet Underground & Nico (1966)
"Before its many layers of well-deserved hagiography, the Velvet Underground’s first album emerged in 1967 on its own terms, in near obscurity, introducing something so mysteriously cool and hauntingly grim and beautiful. Goth and punk and post-punk and New Wave and chamber pop and shoegaze and indie folk and Britpop and noise and drone and No Wave… all came decades later. But first there was The Velvet Underground & Nico. ... [Tyler] Wilcox describes in his history how all of those qualities—luck, and Andy Warhol, included—brought the five original VU members together in 1965; how the band debuted with Nico at the Delmonico Hotel 1966, occasioning the New York Herald Tribune’s headline, 'Shock Treatment for Psychiatrists'; and how their lo-fi drone and Medieval folk meets decadent, literary 60s pop derived from influences like Booker T. & The MG’s and avant-garde minimalist La Monte Young. It’s one thing to read about this total re-imaging of rock and roll, and another thing entirely to see it. Unfortunately, little film of the band exists from that time—some of it very fragmentary or very rare. ..."
Open Culture (Video)
2010 August: Heroin, 2011 June: All Tomorrow's Parties - The Velvet Underground, 2011 June: The Velvet Underground, 2012 November: Songs for Drella - Lou Reed and John Cale, 2013 October: Lou Reed (1942 - 2013), 2014 June: The Bells (1979), 2014 August: New York (1989), 2015 June: Capitol Theatre Passaic, NJ 9/25/1984, 2015 October: The Blue Mask (1982), 2016 March: New Sensations (1984), 2016 May: Coney Island Baby (1976), 2017 March: Celebrating Lou Reed: 1942–2013
"The Royal Botanical Gardens—an 87-year-old, 2,422-acre swath of historic parks and gardens headquartered in Burlington, Ontario—is home to wonders animal, vegetable, and mineral. There’s a turtle tank in the main building’s lobby, native fish in the wetlands, and wild ducks and bald eagles flying over patches of protected land. Plants, of course, are everywhere, from rock gardens to nature trails to a two-story indoor greenwall. When I visited in early November, workers were building a miniature train set that snakes around an entire atrium, through scale models of Niagara Falls and the CN Tower. ..."
W - Royal Botanical Gardens (Ontario)
"Originally released in 1983 'Life Style' is probably the most sought after and one of the best Roots Reggae albums by Barrington Levy. Born in 1964 Barrington Levy started his career at the age of 15.He became famous early with his hits produced by Henry 'Junjo' Lawes on the 'Roots Radics' Riddims. Recorded at Channel One, Arranged & Produced by Alvin 'GG's' Ranglin 'Life Style' is reissued on vinyl for the first time."
Sounds of the Universe
YouTube: Barrington Levy's Life Style (1983 Full Album)
2012 September: Barrington Levy, 2015 July: Love Your Brother Man: The Early Years
Wednesday, November 29
"Nineteenth century New York had lots of freestanding, single-family mansions. Few survive today, but one Harlem block is host to four. These bells-and-whistles monuments to wealth and status do a pretty good job blending in with the walkups that surround them. You’ll find these mansions at St. Nicholas Place and 150th Street, in the middle of Harlem’s Sugar Hill neighborhood. Sugar Hill is roomy and lovely, but I don’t think the name was in use when James Bailey (of Barnum and Bailey Circus fame) decided to build this magnificent castle of a home in 1888 (below, in 1895). It’s a Medieval limestone mansion with 64 windows of mosaic glass and 30 rooms at 10 St. Nicholas Place—an offshoot of St. Nicholas Avenue, a high and wide road popular among the Gilded Age rich who went coaching there. ..."
Ephemeral New York
Tuesday, November 28
A pro-independence demonstration asking for the release of jailed Catalan activists and leaders in Barcelona, November 11, 2017.
"'Franco has died,' read the tongue-in-cheek headline of the November 11 editorial in El País, Spain’s self-proclaimed newspaper of record. The headline recalled the televised announcement on November 20, 1975, by then prime minister Arias Navarro informing the nation of its leader’s passing—and, unwittingly, of Chevy Chase’s running gag on Saturday Night Live ('Generalissimo Franco is still dead'). The editorial meant to poke fun at foreign commentators who resort to comparisons with the Franco regime to describe the way Spain’s central government has handled Catalonia’s bid for independence. On November 5, Belgium’s former prime minister Elio Di Rupo branded Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy an 'authoritarian Francoist' on Twitter. These comparisons are 'absurd,' El País wrote, calling Di Rupo’s claim 'offensive,' 'intolerable,' and equivalent to calling Angela Merkel 'a totalitarian Nazi.' ..."
2017 October: Catalonia Leaders Seek to Make Independence Referendum Binding, 2017 October: Catalonia: Past and Future - Luke Stobart, 2017 October: Spain moves to take over Catalonia after region declares independence
"Legendary guitarist Earl King ('Lonely, Lonely Nights' and 'Let the Good Times Roll') claimed that he walked into the One Stop Record Shop one day in late 1963 and was told 'All your gang is in the back.' Sure enough, behind the stacks of 45s and LPs he found Professor Longhair, Tommy Ridgley, Eddie Bo, and others huddled around the store’s piano. This was the same room where in early 1960 a teenaged Irma Thomas auditioned for Ron and Ric Records’ Joe Ruffino, which led to her cutting the hit 'Don’t Mess With My Man' (the preceding lyric is 'You can have my husband, but please…'). The record jumpstarted the career of the future Soul Queen of New Orleans. ..."
A Closer Walk (Video)
YouTube: JOHNNY 'GUITAR' WATSON - Those Lonely, Lonely Nights, Don't Mess With My Man - Irma Thomas, Let The Good Times Roll- Shirley & Lee
2014 February: Johnny "Guitar" Watson - Space Guitar: The Essential Early Masters, 2015 October: Don't Mess With My Man - Irma Thomas (1959)
Monday, November 27
"New York means a great deal to many filmmakers, perhaps none more so than Martin Scorsese. Part of the generation that included Coppola and Spielberg, Scorsese was born in 1942 in Queens. His work, so often tied closely to his Italian-American, Roman Catholic background, stands among the best in American cinema. New York has a mythic status for natives and non-New Yorkers alike, in no small part because of the dozens of movies that are set in the city. Scorsese's New York films capture the darker sides of the city. His camera fixates on the violent and unseemly. For this project, Complex visited outdoor locations from six of Scorsese's New York films—Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980), After Hours (1985), Goodfellas (1990), Bringing Out the Dead (1999)—and photographed the sites as they look today. Many have changed dramatically, some have not. Some remain static within neighborhoods that are barely recognizable now compared to what the filmmaker's camera captured. ..."
2009 August: Marty Scorsese, 2010 September: The Directors: Martin Scorsese (2000), 2012 February: The Vision Thing, 2015 March: Mean Streets (1973)
Eugène Delacroix (1798–1863), Moroccans Outside the Walls of Tangier, 19th century, watercolor and opaque white watercolor over graphite on wove paper
"This exhibition highlights more than 150 master drawings from the Thaw Collection, one of the world’s finest private collections containing over 400 sheets. Assembled over the last fifty years, and made a promised gift to the Morgan in 1975, the collection has now been given in full to the museum by Life Trustee Eugene V. Thaw and his wife, Clare. Drawn to Greatness focuses on pivotal artists and key moments in the history of draftsmanship. Works by major masters from the Renaissance to the modern era will be on view, including Mantegna, Rubens, Rembrandt, Canaletto, Piranesi, Watteau, Fragonard, Goya, Ingres, Turner, Daumier, Redon, Degas, Cézanne, Gauguin, van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, and Pollock. Listen to the audio guide narrated by Colin B. Bailey, Director of the Morgan Library & Museum, and curators John Marciari, Jennifer Tonkovich, Isabelle Dervaux, and Ilona van Tuinen. ..."
The Morgan (Video)
"Evidence Records' Singles collection was the first inkling for many that Sun Ra had rehearsed and led vocal groups during his Chicago phase. Now Atavistic is shedding considerably more light on the subject with the release of Spaceship Lullaby, a collection of rehearsals Ra held with the Nu-Sounds, the Lintels, and the Cosmic Rays. The first batch of tunes are the Nu-Sounds with Ra on piano and Robert Barry on drums. ... The Lintels sound like a considerably less professional group, and it is unknown whether Ra worked with them beyond this session. There's another set with the Nu-Sounds and just Ra on piano, but the best is probably saved for last with the Cosmic Rays rehearsing with the full Arkestra. There's a bit more distortion on these tracks (the rest sound remarkably good for home rehearsals), but it's worth hearing if only for the vocal version of 'Africa,' which appeared on Nubians of Plutonia. There are some flaws in the tapes, but given the rarity of this material, that's a minor quibble. Sun Ra fans will be thrilled that this material exists at all to be heard, and the chance to hear Sun Ra giving directions is like a peek behind the curtain. Excellent."
YouTube: Chicago 1954-60 [FULL ALBUM] 1:16:52
Sunday, November 26
"In the aftermath of the L.A. riots, a determined filmmaker and a brilliant actor overcame budget concerns and voices of dissent to transform the life story of a radical black thinker into a cinematic masterpiece. ... Here’s a footnote to that history. Elsewhere in Los Angeles the very same day, in a screening room on the Warner Bros. lot, a group of studio execs were finally getting to see the four-hour cut of their latest gamble, a $33 million epic that had gone so far over budget the editor and director had at one point been locked out of the editing room by the bond company hired by the studio. The movie was Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. From the start, it’d been a storied production. There’d been 20-odd years of false starts, a public shake-up of directors, protests decrying the potential mishandling of the material, and constant fights over money, length, and scope. ..."
The Ringer (Video)
Voice: Read Our 1992 Profile of Spike Lee and the Making of “Malcolm X” (Video)
W - Malcolm X (1992 film)
2008 August: Malcolm X, 2012 August: Malcolm X at Oxford, 1964, 2016 February: The Legacy of Malcolm X, 2017 February: Firsthand Account: The Assassination of Malcolm X, 2017 November: Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power
"After two and half months away, Jenny and I returned to New York. We spent our time in London well – hanging with friends, writing, reading and patching our bruised psyches back together. We were better for it. Coming back felt strange – at once like we had never left and no longer belonged. We only spent a week in the city. It was mostly a social call, checking in with those closest to our hearts before departing south to Mexico City. My only plan was to wander between my favorite record shops and take some photos for the New York installment of my series The Big Dig. I had told myself I wasn’t allowed to buy any records during our travels. It didn’t make any sense to add any weight to my already overflowing bags. ..."
The Hum (Video)
"In the mid-1980s, as gentrification encroached on the East Village, the neighborhood’s eastern fringe remained a lawless landscape of abandoned buildings and rubble-strewn lots. Here in 'Alphabet City,' amid the thriving drug trade, intrepid squatters surreptitiously reclaimed unused real estate. In 1986, a group of artist squatters led by Tenesh Webber sledgehammered their way into 292 East Third Street, between Avenues C and D. Accommodating living spaces as well as an exhibition space, Bullet Space quickly became a nexus for the East Village tradition of politically radical, semi-legal street art, producing works like the handmade artists’ book Your House Is Mine, an unrivaled embodiment of the downtown aesthetic. ..."
Gallery 98 - 98 Bowery
Saturday, November 25
The pedestrian Pont Des Arts in central Paris
"London had been fielding serious plans to construct a green link across the river Thames for five years before ultimately cancelling the project last spring. Now, it’s apparently Paris’s turn and the French capital is going a step further—it wants three of them. New plans for car-free urban river bridges ripe with trees and shrubs comes as part of a huge international city redevelopment project piloted by the C40 Cities group. Called Reinventing Cities, its inspiration is specifically Parisian, as it is modeled on the French Capital’s Reinvent Paris architectural competition, currently in its second round. Right now, City Hall is inviting applicants to tender projects for three sites on the eastern section of the River Seine, to construct planted bridges that would allow pedestrians and bikes to cross with greater ease. ..."
"Spiritual jazz has always been a fringe denomination. And it's difficult to pin down for good reason; its name is less to do with the sound of this particular jazz, rather more that it’s jazz with a particular message – religious, political or both. Although more celebrated today, the cosmic messages chanted through Sun Ra's music were previously seen as esoteric, perhaps occultish, with focus mostly being on his mental instability. But now, it's this 'spiritual' jazz that Ackamoor draws from the most: Sun Ra and Pharaoh Sanders are paid reference to in nods across his new album, We Be All Africans. ..."
Soundcloud: We Be All Africans
YouTube: We be all Africans (Full album) 37:37
" Everything else SPK did was either industrial grind or fluffy dance-pop. Zamia Lehmanni lies along the axis of Graeme Revell's other solo projects (see below) and is gorgeous throughout. Its cover is red, gold, and black and the liner notes quote decadent poets in the original French along with a description of copper-colored blossoms from 'Against Nature.' by J. K Huysmans. You can see the dew on the leaves in a garden enclosed by mold-covered stone walls. The music is urgent gamelan with sampled laments by the former residents of Bikini Atoll (they were removed for the US atomic bomb tests and as a result lost their sense of place. They never again flourished--they only persisted). Byzantium and bikinis aside, you can also use it as music for a drowned world resurrected. In peaceful lagoons, amid the seaweed-wrapped ruins, one can take one's solitary ease and dream of growing gills for a return to the sea. ..."
W - SPK
W - Zamia Lehmanni: Songs of Byzantine Flowers
YouTube: Zamia Lehmanni: Songs of Byzantine Flowers [FULL ALBUM] 48:17
Friday, November 24
The Museum of Modern Art's atrium has hosted works like James Lee Byars's “The Mile-Long Paper Walk,” performed, above, by Katie Dorn.
"If you've ever visited the Museum of Modern Art — and probably even if you haven't — you'll have a sense that the place doesn't exactly run itself. As much or even more so than other museums, MoMA keeps the behind-the-scenes operations behind the scenes, presenting visitors with coherent art experiences that seem to have materialized whole. But that very purity of presentation itself stokes our curiosity: No, really, how do they do it? Now, MoMA has offered us a chance to see for ourselves through a new series of short documentaries called At the Museum, a look at and a listen to the nuts and bolts of one of America's mostly highly regarded art institutions. ..."
Open Culture (Video)
"Over 50 years ago, in 1965, Italian immigrant Domenico DeMarco opened Di Fara Pizza in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. To this day, it's considered by critics and locals alike to be 'the best of the best,' as former chef Anthony Bourdain reportedly put it back in 2007. There's a lot of pizza in New York City. It's a cliché maybe, but Di Fara Pizza is considered by many to be New York City's best pizza. It's notoriously expensive ($30 for a regular cheese pizza), and has a notoriously long wait (over an hour, easy). It's also dangerously delicious. And I should know — I ventured deep into Brooklyn to try Di Fara's legendary pizza for myself. This is what it's like! ..."
The 'best' pizza in NYC costs $30 for a regular pie — and it's ridiculously delicious
New Yorker: A Priceless Pizzeria in Brooklyn (Video)
2014 June: Pizza, 2014 October: Viva La Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box (NYC), 2016 July: Q&A: Antoinette Balzano and Cookie Cimineri of Totonno’s, 2017 September: The Pizza Show
"When Cabaret Voltaire signed to Some Bizarre in 1983, it was an industrial band with a cult following. That all changed when the first album under the deal hit the streets: The loss of founding member Christopher Watson forced a rethink, and the group emerged as a lean electronic duo, still dedicated to experimental funk but with a much colder and danceable format. Some Bizarre's distribution deal with Virgin also brought the Cabs to a much wider audience, both at home and on the dancefloor. ... Those broken up by the omission can find a bunch of it on this album's companion work, the Conform to Deform box set, which also includes a number of the flip sides of the tracks found here, as well as a number of rarities.) This is the sound that launched a thousand techno acts."
W - The Original Sound Of Sheffield '83 / '87
YouTube: The Original Sound of Sheffield '83/'87 [Full Album] 1:14:28
2009 December: Cabaret Voltaire, 2015 June: #7885 (Electropunk to Technopop 1978-1985)
Thursday, November 23
Tostão, No. 9, and Pelé, No. 10, celebrate Carlos Alberto’s final goal for Brazil in the World Cup final against Italy on June 21, 1970, Mexico City
"Begin, as Wallace Stevens didn’t quite say, with the idea of it. I so like the idea of Simon Critchley, whose books offer philosophical takes on a variety of subjects: Stevens, David Bowie, suicide, humor, and now football — or soccer, as the US edition has it. (As a matter of principle I shall refer to this sport throughout as football.) 'All of us are mysteriously affected by our names,' decides one of Milan Kundera’s characters in Immortality, and I like Critchley because his name would seem to have put him at a vocational disadvantage compared with Martin Heidegger, Søren Kierkegaard, or even, in the Anglophone world, A. J. Ayer or Richard Rorty. (How different philosophy might look today if someone called Nobby Stiles had been appointed as the Wykeham Professor of Logic.) ..."
amazon: What We Think About When We Think About Soccer
"In A.B. Spellman’s essential 1966 book, Four Lives in the Bebop Business, Ornette Coleman said the following: 'The best statements Negroes have made, of what their soul is, have been on tenor saxophone.' As wise as Coleman was, it’s a debatable point: Charlie Parker and Ornette himself both ignited revolutions on alto. But it makes sense, too. Whether Lester Young, Dexter Gordon, or Albert Ayler (to name just a few), black musicians gave their lives to that instrument, told their stories through it, and crafted and refined — and defined — the tenor saxophone’s various sounds and textures. ..."
Pharoah Sanders: Tauhid // Jewels Of Thought // Summun Bukmun Umyun - Deaf Dumb Blind (Video)
amazon: Four Lives in the Bebop Business
2015 December: Maleem Mahmoud Ghania With Pharaoh Sanders - The Trance Of Seven Colors (1994), 2016 January: Ptah, The El Daoud - Alice Coltrane & Pharoah Sanders (1970), 2016 November: Tauhid (1967), 2017 May: The Pharoah Sanders Story: In the Beginning 1963-1964
Wednesday, November 22
Yoknapatawpha County is a fictional area of Mississippi that William Faulkner invented to make as a setting for almost all of his texts.
Wikipedia - "Yoknapatawpha County, pronounced [jɒknəpəˈtɔfə] is a fictional Mississippi county created by the American author William Faulkner, based upon and inspired by Lafayette County, Mississippi, and its county seat of Oxford, Mississippi (which Faulkner renamed Jefferson). Faulkner often referred to Yoknapatawpha County as 'my apocryphal county'. From Sartoris onwards, Faulkner would set all but four of his novels in the county (Soldiers' Pay, Pylon, The Wild Palms and A Fable were set elsewhere), as well as over 50 of his stories. Absalom, Absalom! includes a map of Yoknapatawpha County drawn by Faulkner. The word Yoknapatawpha is derived from two Chickasaw words—Yocona and petopha, meaning 'split land'. Faulkner said to a University of Virginia audience that the compound means 'water flows slow through flat land'. Yoknapatawpha was the original name for the actual Yocona River, a tributary of the Tallahatchie which runs through the southern part of Lafayette County. ..."
William Faulkner: Yoknapatawpha County
People, Places, and Events: A Faulkner Glossary
amazon: Yoknapatawpha, Images and Voices: A Photographic Study of Faulkner’s County
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), 2017 October: 20 Pieces of Writing Advice from William Faulkner
"... But a rather different influence is reflected in (Paul) Blackburn’s next book, The Nets. Composed mostly in Spain and southern France from 1954 to 1957 (though not published until 1961 in New York), The Nets contains a number of poems structured around the numerology and symbolism of the Celtic tree alphabet as explicated in Robert Graves’s The White Goddess (1947); Blackburn had early on admired this influential work and visited with Graves a number of times in Mallorca. The best of the other Nets poems, less allusive—and less obscure—also tend to give a mythic cast to ordinary events of Blackburn’s life in Europe, while keeping them firmly anchored to the present. ..."
[PDF] The Nets
2008 August: Paul Blackburn, 2012 November: Yankee go home (PoemTalk #59), 2013 January: Cronopios and Famas - Julio Cortazar (Paul Blackburn), 2013 August: Paul Blackburn and Das Rhinegold, 2015 May: The Grinding Down, 2015 August: The Cities (1967). , 2016 March: Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit: A Bouquet for Flatbush (1960), 2017 July: Proensa: An Anthology of Troubadour Poetry
Tuesday, November 21
Artist's impression of `Oumuamua, the first confirmed interstellar asteroid
"Astronomers are now certain that the mysterious object detected hurtling past our sun last month is indeed from another solar system. They have named it 1I/2017 U1(’Oumuamua) and believe it could be one of 10,000 others lurking undetected in our cosmic neighbourhood. The certainty of its interstellar origin comes from an analysis that shows its orbit is almost impossible to achieve from within our solar system. Its name comes from a Hawaiian term for messenger or scout. Indeed, it is the first space rock to have been identified as forming around another star. Since asteroids coalesce during the process of planet formation, this object can tell us something about the formation of planets around its unknown parent star. ..."
W - 'Oumuamua
BBC: Bizarre shape of interstellar asteroid
YouTube: First Interstellar Asteroid Wows Scientists
‘Oumuamua is rocketing through our Solar System at 44km a second.
Manfred Eicher, the founder of ECM Records, with Naná Vasconcelos, Pat Metheny and the engineer Jan Erik Kongshaug.
"Sound quality has always mattered to Manfred Eicher, the meticulous and exploratory producer who founded ECM (Edition of Contemporary Music) Records in 1969 and has produced the vast majority of its recordings. ECM has released an extraordinary catalog that encompasses jazz, classical music and cross-cultural fusions from composers and performers like Keith Jarrett, Vijay Iyer, Arvo Pärt and Meredith Monk. Across styles, the label’s hallmark has been the contemplative detail of its music, a kind of acoustic enhanced realism. ECM was long a holdout against streaming services that have to contend with bandwidth limits and non-optimal soundcards in computers and phones, as well as deals that minimize the value of music. But as of Nov. 17, everything on ECM will be available through the major streaming services, awaiting discovery by new listeners. Here The New York Times music critics and contributors choose 21 ECM albums to begin the exploration. Use your best playback system. JON PARELES. ..."
NY Times (Audio)
Monday, November 20
"Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities. Now screening :
1. We’re Street (Somos Rua) – Rollerblading as Urban Art and Performance
2. PEZA – Yoseba MP
3. Don’t Fret Does Commercial Gig for Sports Team
4. “Complex Meshes” Miguel Chevalier, Fabian Forban, Krista Kim, REO
Brooklyn Street Art (Video)
"More than 10.000 records (new releases or reissues handpicked by the Paris DJs team, plus the big stocks from Grant Phabao & Djouls' collection) have already been listed on Paris DJs' private record store. We opened it on Discogs a year ago while Parisian people may contact us to give us a visit adn save on shipping costs. Since then already 1.500 records have been sold. Soon we'll start listing the records from other members of the crew, it never truly ends… But thousands of records is maybe too much so we thought we should share regularly some insight, and list some selections of some of the cool music we have in store for you. Here's a first one, twelve 45s, cool & groovy stuff in different styles. ..."
Sunday, November 19
"PARIS — Behind the famous dilating windows Jean Nouvel designed for its Seine-side home, the Institut du Monde Arabe has presented a string of recent shows that have deepened and diversified France’s understanding of Islam. From 'The Thousand and One Nights' (2012) to 'Hajj: The Pilgrimage to Mecca' (2014) and the epic 'Ocean Explorers' (2016), exhibitions here have disclosed the breadth of Islamic culture and history, and their intimate, centuries-long links with the West. But Islam is not the only religion in the Arab world, and this autumn the institute, which celebrates its 30th birthday this month, has turned its attention to another faith. 'Eastern Christians: 2,000 Years of History,' a vital, thorough, and sometimes astonishingly gorgeous exhibition, explores the birth and transmission of Christianity from Jesus’ death to the present day. ..."
Oriental Christians: 2,000 Years of History
"I almost had to repeat kindergarten because I procrastinated on learning to read. Faced with this threat, I hit the books, and by the end of the year I had achieved a 5th grade reading level. I credit Bill Watterson and Gary Larson for this; I remember sitting in my dad’s apartment at ages six and seven, each of us curled up with one of his Calvin & Hobbes or The Far Side volumes. While he savored the pages, I soldiered through the multisyllabic speech bubbles, pausing every now and then to ask things like, 'Daddy, what does hypothetical mean?' ..."
2011 January: Calvin and Hobbes, 2015 March: Bill Watterson talks: This is why you must read the new ‘Exploring Calvin and Hobbes’ book, Calvin and Markov
"History, they say, is written by the victors. Without a doubt, it's written by the governing majority, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the near invisibility, until very recently, of black and African people in chronicles of British life and culture. Honest Jons provides a vibrant antidote to this Eurocentric bias with the London Is The Place For Me compilation series (not to mention, of course, restoring some important early black British music to the racks). Volume 1 looked at Trinidadian calypso recorded in London in the 1950s; Volume 2 broadened the field to include music made by African artists. This latest volume stays with London-made African music of the 1950s but, unlike its predecessors, focuses on just one musician: Ambrose Adekoya Campbell, the trailblazing grandaddy of all African musicians who've since arrived in the city. ..."
All About Jazz
YouTube: London Is The Place For Me 3 1:06:19
YouTube: London Is the Place for Me Part Three: Ambrose Adekoya Campbell
Saturday, November 18
"HAMBURG, Germany— Max Deutsch went through a month of training before he traveled across the ocean, sat down in a regal hotel suite at the appointed hour and waited for the arrival of the world’s greatest chess player. Max was not very good at chess himself. He’s a 24-year-old entrepreneur who lives in San Francisco and plays the sport occasionally to amuse himself. He was a prototypical amateur. Now he was preparing himself for a match against chess royalty. And he believed he could win. ... Magnus Carlsen is a 26-year-old world champion from Norway who has become a global celebrity because of chess. He belongs alongside Garry Kasparov and Bobby Fischer in any conversation about the most talented players ever. Max’s original idea had been to beat a computerized simulation of Magnus. But when The Wall Street Journal stumbled across his 'Month to Master' project while reporting another story, it offered to put him in touch with the real-life version. Max was game. ..."
Wire - Live at the Roxy, London – April 1st & 2nd 1977/Live at CBGB Theatre, New York – July 18th 1978
"Previously only available as bootlegs or as part of the limited edition Wire: 1977-1979 box set, this is the first time these historic live recordings have been made widely available. Their importance lies in the fact that they catch the band live at two pivotal stages of their evolution. Caught on tape some five months before recording Pink Flag, Disc One comprises both complete 25-minute sets from the band’s appearances at the Roxy’s punk festival. Interestingly enough, they include covers of JJ Cale’s 'After Midnight' and the Dave Clark Five’s 'Glad All Over'. Not actually recorded at the legendary punk rock hovel (but just around the corner, in front of a small audience in an old run down theatre, by long-gone NY radio station WPIX), the CBGB recording offers a fascinating contrast. With CBGB’s owner Hilly Kristal credited as executive producer, the sonics are fuller and the performances considerably more assured across the 11-song set, made up of tracks from Pink Flag and the yet-to-be-recorded Chairs Missing. ..."
W - Live at the Roxy, London – April 1st & 2nd 1977/Live at CBGB Theatre, New York – July 18th 1978
YouTube: Live at The Roxy, London - April 2, 1977 - FULL SET - HD Audio 25:40
2009 January: Wire, 2012 January: On the Box 1979., 2013 September: Chairs Missing (1978), 2014 June: 154 (1979), 2014 July: Document And Eyewitness (1979-1980), 2015 April: The Ideal Copies: Graham Lewis Of Wire's Favourite Albums, 2015 July: Pink Flag (1977), 2015 December: The Peel Sessions Album (1989), “Dot Dash”, "Options R" (1978), 2017 June: Outdoor Miner / Practice Makes Perfect (1979).
Wikipedia - "The Wages of Fear (French: Le salaire de la peur) is a 1953 French-Italian thriller film directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, starring Yves Montand, and based on the 1950 French novel Le salaire de la peur (lit. 'The Salary of Fear') by Georges Arnaud. When an oil well owned by an American company catches fire, the company hires four European men, down on their luck, to drive two trucks over mountain dirt roads, loaded with nitroglycerine needed to extinguish the flames. ... In 1982, Pauline Kael called it 'an existential thriller—the most original and shocking French melodrama of the 50s. ... When you can be blown up at any moment only a fool believes that character determines fate. ... If this isn't a parable of man's position in the modern world, it's at least an illustration of it. ... The violence ... is used to force a vision of human existence.' ..."
Guardian - The Wages of Fear: No 8 best action and war film of all time
YouTube: Wages of Fear - Trailer
Friday, November 17
Joel Berry II
"Sports Illustrated’s College Basketball Projection System is a collaboration between economist Dan Hanner and SI’s Chris Johnson and Jeremy Fuchs that produces our 1–351 team rankings, conference predictions and player statistical forecasts. For a deeper look at how the system works, read this explainer. This model has produced more accurate team rankings than similar projections produced by ESPN, CBS Sports and noted analyst Ken Pomeroy for the past three seasons. ..."
W - 2017–18 NCAA Division I men's basketball season
CBS Sports (Video)
The Ringer - College Basketball Preseason Power Rankings: Games Are Back, and So Is Title Favorite Duke (Video)
College basketball: 16 bold predictions for the 2017-18 season (Part I) (Video)
SB Nation: 11 predictions for college basketball’s 2017-18 season (Video)
2012 July: Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC, 2013 March: March Madness 2013, 2014 January: History of the high five, 2015 February: Dean Smith (February 28, 1931 – February 7, 2015), 2015 September: Joint Ventures: How sneakers became high fashion and big business, 2015 December: Welcome to Smarter Basketball, 2016 January: The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams (1994), 2016 January: A Long Hardwood Journey, 2016 March: American Hustle - Alexandra Starr, 2016 July: Photographers in Focus: Ethan Sprague, 2016 November: 2016–17 College Basketball
"... A modern visitor to Rome, drawn to the Coliseum on a moonlit night, is unlikely to be so bewitched, sandwiched between his or her fellow tourists and an army of vendors aggressively peddling light-up whirligigs, knock off designer scarves, and acrylic columns etched with the Eternal City’s must-see attractions. These days, your best bet for touring Rome’s best known landmarks in peace may be an interactive map, compliments of the Morgan Library and Museum. Based on Paul-Marie Letarouilly’s picturesque 1841 city plan, each digital pin can be expanded to reveal descriptions by nineteenth-century authors and side-by-side, then-and-now comparisons of the featured monuments. ..."
Arrested time: Fans of “Downton Abbey” can wander into Mrs. Patmore’s kitchen, steaming pots and all, in “Downton Abbey: The Exhibit” in Manhattan.
"It lives. The show you could never quite kick the habit of. The show you tried to replace with 'The Crown' or 'Call the Midwife' or 'Peaky Blinders' or, God, 'Poldark.' But nothing, it turned out, could quite fibrillate your atrium like that first sight of Downton Abbey every Sunday evening, framed against a blue sky by a yellow lab’s twitching haunches, and bringing with it the promise of gorgeous, onrolling misery for every character, upstairs and down. Quietly, stubbornly, you kept the flame alive, trolling the show’s Wiki forum, lunging at every report of a possible film version, plotting your make-believe itineraries to Highclere Castle, where most of the show was filmed. And now your faithfulness has its reward. The Abbey — or, at least, 'Downton Abbey: The Exhibition' — has come back to you. ..."
2012 March: Downton Abbey, 2013 February: Downton Abbey 3, 2015 January: ‘Downton Abbey’ and History: A Look Back, Recap: Rumble With Lord G!, 2015 February: Recap: Prayers for Lord G’s Truest, Furriest Love, 2015 February: Recap: The Crawleys Should Have Sent Their Regrets, 2015 February: Recap: Yes, It’s Called the Hornby Hotel, 2015 March: Recap: In the Finale, Mary Meets Mr. Handsome, 2016 March: ‘Downton Abbey’ Finale: A Grand British Story With an American Finish
Thursday, November 16
Wikipedia - "Blade Runner is a 1982 American neo-noir science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, written by Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, and starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. It is a loose adaptation of the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. ... Blade Runner underperformed in North American theaters and polarized critics; some praised its thematic complexity and visuals, while others were displeased with its unconventional pacing and plot. However, it subsequently became an acclaimed cult film, and is now regarded as one of the all-time best science fiction movies. Hailed for its production design depicting a 'retrofitted' future, Blade Runner remains a leading example of neo-noir cinema. ..."
Vanity Fair: The Battle for Blade Runner (Video)
Thirty Years Later – Blade Runner (1982)
Guardian: Tears in rain? Why Blade Runner is timeless
amazon: Blade Runner: The Final Cut
"I am a life-long bookseller and avid reader. I began making these book sculptures when struggling to come up with a gift for my boss, celebrating the ten year anniversary of her bookstore. There was no book I could give her that she hadn't already discerned, so I decided to take a favorite book of poems and reconfigure it into a tree. Dismantling a book is not done without consciousness. Books are precious items. All the books used in my art have been loved and read, and are chosen because of their particular worth. Taking apart text, line by line, I like to think I am reading these books in a different way. Words take on different meanings when isolated or spun into a physical form. These art pieces are an attempt to read words as objects."
"Someone and someone / Were down by the pond / Looking for something / To plant in the lawn / Out in the fields they / They were turning the soil / I'm sitting here hoping / This water will boil / When I look through the windows / And out on the road / They're bringing me presents / And saying hello // Singing words, words / Between the lines of age / Words, words / Between the lines of age // If I was a junkman / Selling you cars / Washing your windows / And shining your stars / Thinking your mind / Was my own in a dream / What would you wonder / And how would it seem? / Living in castles / A bit at a time / The King started laughing / And talking in rhyme // Singing words, words / Between the lines of age / Words, words / Between the lines of age"
YouTube: Words (Live at Red Rocks, 2000)
2008 February: Neil Young, 2010 April: Neil Young - 1, 2010 April: Neil Young - 2, 2010 May: Neil Young - 3, 2010 October: Neil Young's Sound, 2012 January: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History, 2012 June: Like A Hurricane, 2012 July: Greendale, 2013 April: Thoughts On An Artist / Three Compilations, 2013 August: Heart of Gold, 2014 March: Dead Man (1995), 2014 August: Ragged Glory - Neil Young + Crazy Horse (1990), 2014 November: Broken Arrow (1996), 2015 January: Rust Never Sleeps (1979), 2015 January: Neil Young the Ultimate Guide, 2015 March: Old Black, 2015 September: Zuma (1975), 2016 January: On the Beach (1973), 2016 April: Sleeps with Angels (1994), 2016 November: Eldorado (EP - 1989), Long May You Run - The Stills-Young Band (1976), 2017 June: "River Of Pride" / "White Line" (1975), 2017 July: "Thrasher" [Live at the Cow Palace, 1978]
Wednesday, November 15
"A few years ago, during a visit to Cézanne’s studio in Aix-en-Provence, I experienced a flash of insight about the artist that I saw as intrinsic to his becoming the father of modern painting. Once having seen it, it inspired me to move in a new direction in my own work. Cézanne painted his studio walls a dark gray with a hint of green. Every object in the studio, illuminated by a vast north window, seemed to be absorbed into the gray of this background. There were no telltale reflections around the edges of the objects to separate them from the background itself, as there would have been had the wall been painted white. Therefore, I could see how Cézanne, making his small, patch-like brush marks, might have moved his gaze from object to background, and back again to the objects, without the familiar intervention of the illusion of space. ..."
The Paris Review
artbook: Joel Meyerowitz: Cézanne's Objects
2011 August: Paul Cézanne, 2014 November: Cézanne: Landscape into Art, 2015 March: Madame Cézanne, 2017 June: Portraits by Cézanne
"How raw do you like your dance music? Does modern techno feel like a soft blow to your skull? There used to be a better way. London's Soul Jazz Records has released In the Beginning There Was Rhythm, a compilation of British post-punk bands, including the Slits, Gang of Four, Throbbing Gristle, and Cabaret Voltaire. We're talking about drums and wires, knife-sharp scratchy rhythm guitar, crappy synths, and veteran funk and reggae horns. We're talking men shouting political slogans and naked women covered in mud. And while this music sounds old, it sure as hell isn't dated-- this stuff is primal, made by people who were finding new ways to channel the brute instinct that first drove man to bang animal skins with sticks. These songs came out of the bleak setting of industrial England in the late 70s and early 80s. The Thatcher administration came into power, and skinheads and members of the National Right roamed the streets. Against this climate, bands emerged from the inner city melting pots embodying a new racial, sexual, and musical diversity. ..."
YouTube: In The Beginning There Was Rhythm 11 videos
"... The newer incarnation of Univers Zero was notable for its return to the 'classic' lineup and refocus on acoustic instrumentation. This served them well with three studio and two live albums after The Hard Quest, showing they clearly had a new lease on life and an eager fanbase. This enthusiasm is particularly noticeable in the band’s latest instalment. Although clearly and uniquely evil sounding, there’s a more buoyant, lively quality to this year’s Phosphorescent Dreams. The first two tracks are quintessential Univers Zero, but 'Très Affables' borders on joyful with its 9/8 motif. 'Rêve Mécanique' delves into this territory as well. Kurt Budé’s woodwinds circle around Nicholas Dechêne’s beautiful shimmery guitar, melding perfectly with the intricate piano before the track changes direction and heads into territory approaching free-jazz. This is the happiest they have ever sounded and injects a freshness into the work that is certainly well-received. After 40 years and 12 albums of sonic intensity and bleak dissonance, it’s nice for a bit of a change. ..."
echoes and dust
The Progressive Aspect
YouTube: Phosphorescent Dreams 1:02:42
2016 October: Heatwave (1986)
Tuesday, November 14
"Owl’s Head Park has a mystical hold over many Bay Ridge residents, one that’s difficult to explain to outsiders. Sure, it’s 24 pleasant acres of woods, hills, playgrounds, curving paths, breathtaking views and a skating ramp, but are they worth a trip on the R train? It’s not even the nicest park in Bay Ridge, a superlative that surely belongs to Shore Road Park, the winding network of waterfront trails and baseball fields that extends more than 30 blocks, from Owl’s Head to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. But the more time you spend in Owl’s Head, watching sunsets from atop its massive hill or riding Flexible Fliers down it, the more it sticks to you, the more you realize what the neighborhood’s early settlers realized: this is one of the finest pieces of land in Brooklyn. ..." (Jan 22, 2015)
W - Bay Ridge, Brooklyn
Owl's Head Park
"At dusk, the women of Sokomuhugo Street in Stone Town are finishing setting up their charcoal stoves to make fresh batches of buttery, flaky chapati for those who gather after evening prayer. Draped casually over their heads and around their hips are matching, intricately patterned fabrics, each further distinguished, along the bottom of each cloth, by its own Swahili proverb. They are wearing kanga, one of the most ubiquitous and popular fabrics in all of East Africa. Multifunctional, vibrantly colorful and affordable, kanga permeates the fashion landscape, especially on the semi-autonomous, predominantly Muslim island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania, where it is said to have originated. ..."
What the Future Sounded Like: Documentary Tells the Forgotten 1960s History of Britain’s Avant-Garde Electronic Musicians
"It really is impossible to overstate the fact that most of the music around us sounds the way it does today because of an electronic revolution that happened primarily in the 1960s and 70s (with roots stretching back to the turn of the century). While folk and rock and roll solidified the sound of the present on home hi-fis and coffee shop and festival stages, the sound of the future was crafted behind studio doors and in scientific laboratories. What the Future Sounded Like, the short documentary above, transports us back to that time, specifically in Britain, where some of the finest recording technology developed to meet the increasing demands of bands like the Beatles and Pink Floyd. Much less well-known are entities like the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, whose crew of engineers and audio scientists made what sounded like magic to the ears of radio and television audiences. ..."
Open Culture (Video)
YouTube: The New Sound of Music (BBC Documentary 1979) 48:53
Monday, November 13
"In the six years since Mali's Habib Koite released his last new studio album, he developed a reputation in the West as one of his country's greatest cultural exports. On Afriki, Koite has fine-tuned his carefully manicured approach to melodic, acoustic-based songs of deep personal and global meaning. Always an engaging singer and songwriter, Koite's guitar is on equal footing here; his playing and the overall musicianship of his band, Bamada, outshines anything they offered in their previous outings. Koite exhibits a newfound sensitivity in his playing, always intricate, evocative, rhythmic and moving. Some of the instrumental work is reminiscent of the folk guitar styles of the '60s, but on tracks like the exquisite 'N'Teri,' a simple song of thanks, Koite brings in lush orchestration and background vocalists, as well as an array of native African instruments such as the balofon and n'goni. ..." Nov. 12, FlynnSpace, Vermont
W - Habib Koité
YouTube: N'teri (Afriki, 2009), N Teril, Baro
“New York From Brooklyn”
"Overshadowed by social realist painters and then the abstract movement early in the 20th century, Colin Campbell Cooper never quite got his due. But his evocative takes on New York’s streetscapes and skyline reveal a fascination with the bigness of the city’s architecture contrasted against the smaller personal stories of millions of anonymous New Yorkers. The bigness you notice first, especially with paintings like the 'Mountains of Manhattan' (top) and the 'Cliffs of Manhattan' (second), which both depict the city as an awesome and mighty wonder along the lines of the Rockies or the Alps. When Cooper contrasts the big and the small, as he does here in 1917’s 'South Ferry,' he gives us a more humanistic view of Gotham. We may not be able to read their faces, but every one of those trolley riders ans sidewalk vendors has a story. ..."
Ephemeral New York