Thursday, January 31

Jonas Mekas 1922–2019


"Reading an obituary for Jonas Mekas, the preeminent champion of underground cinema who died on January 23rd at the age of 96, I was struck by the fact that he started off writing for a Second World War-era underground newspapers in his native Lithuania, as part of the resistance against the Nazis. Mekas’s commitment to the idea of a revolutionary-minded underground obviously preceded his aesthetic activism in the early 1960s in making what he dubbed the 'New American Cinema,' an emerging wave of independently made, poetic, personal films, accessible via screenings in a variety of off-the-beaten-path downtown New York locations. ... Jonas created an alternative establishment for alternative films; while many saw underground movies as a fad of the 60s, he obviously sensed a permanence to their value and position in the culture that warranted such institutional foundations. ..."
The Wire
Guardian: 'I was very angry' – the last interview with Jonas Mekas, godfather of avant garde film
NY Times - Jonas Mekas: A Poet With a Movie Camera
A Conversation Between Film Legend Jonas Mekas and Director Jim Jarmusch
Jonas Mekas on the Poetry of Filmmaking and Living
artbook: Conversations with Filmmakers
Voice - ‘I’m Like the Last Leaf of a Big Tree’: A Conversation With Jonas Mekas
5 Jonas Mekas Films You Must Watch (Video)

Voice: Jonas Mekas

2014 October: Captured: A Film/Video History of the Lower East Side, 2016 February: Jonas Mekas, 2017 July: Patti Smith Sang Some Lou Reed at a Gala For Anthology Film Archives’ Expansion, 2017 August: Jonas Mekas talks about Movie Journal, 2018 May: Scrapbook of the Sixties: Writings 1954 - 2010


Robert Rich & Brian Lustmord - Stalker (1995)


"In 1995, Robert Rich joined underground sound design legend B. Lustmord (aka Lustmord / Brian Williams) for an extended journey inspired by the title and the hypnotic minimalism of Andrei Tarkovsky’s mesmerizing future-fiction film Stalker. The album reveals the ambiguity lurking at the fringes of perception. A provocative contribution to the early ‘dark ambient’ scene. The album slowly reveals a psychoactive soundscape of shape-shifting shadows, dense subharmonic massings, subtle drone textures and ambiguous sound events lurking at the fringes of perception. The seemingly unlikely pairing of Robert Rich, he of slow, gradually evolving electronic music, and B. Lustmord, creator of doomy, ambient industrial experiments – known for his work with Tool, SPK, Puscifer and The Melvins, has yielded a sublime musical entity known as 'Stalker'. ..."
Hearts of Space Records
W - Stalker (album)
Discogs
amazon
YouTube: Stalker ~ full album 1:08:12

Wednesday, January 30

Polar Vortex Live Updates: Extreme Cold Weather Grips Midwest


Temperatures plummeted on Wednesday and could break records. Officials throughout the region declared states of emergency and urged people to stay inside.
"CHICAGO — A deep, brutal cold set in across the Midwest on Wednesday, sending temperatures plummeting to depths that stunned even Midwesterners, a group accustomed to shrugging off winter. The cold that seized the middle of the country was the sort that makes cars moan, that makes breathing hurt, that makes any bit of exposed skin sting. Cities like Chicago had been preparing for the deep freeze for days, so when it arrived, much of life had come to a standstill. Colleges and schools were closed all around, and even the United States Postal Service had stopped deliveries in some places. Workers were sent home, meetings canceled, parties called off. ..."
NY Times (Video)
NY Times: How to Avoid Frostbite and Hypothermia in Extreme Cold Weather
NY Times: A Closer Look at the Polar Vortex’s Dangerously Cold Winds
CBS News: Tracking the polar vortex as wind chills hit dangerous levels (Video)

Philip Perkins - Drive Time (1985)


"Philip Perkins was born in 1951 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania. During the first half of the 1970s he made numerous experimental films in Eugene, Oregon before relocating to San Francisco in 1977. Starting 1979, he focused on sound engineering and music, yet still making videos for local bands The Residents, Tuxedomoon or MX-80, for instance. ... ‘Drive Time’ is a collection of audio vignettes encompassing recordings of various human leisure and outdoor activities (conversations, Christmas party, funfair,  mechanical piano, outdoor orchestral music, muzak, geese, gulls, rain, etc), interweaved with keyboard and guitar music, in addition to what Perkins calls ‘simple musique concrete tricks’. The final mix, an elaborate audio survey of contemporary human activities, shows Perkins’ mastering of studio techniques, clever arrangements and melodic skills. ..."
Continuo
Discogs (Video)
amazon
YouTube: "Drive Time" side a (baby 8), side B (baby 9)

Frozen bubbles


"Cold winter weather can lead to amazing spectacles, such as ice wheels in flowing rivers, boulders of ice on lakes and even caves made of ice. While some formations like these can be rare to find in nature, others can be easy to make right in your backyard. Blowing bubbles that turn into orbs of ice is a simple experiment that can be done at home when the weather is cold enough. Those attempting to make frozen bubbles can use regular bubble solution or a homemade solution comprised of one part water, four parts dish soap and a dash of light corn syrup. Regardless of which bubble solution is used, one more ingredient is needed and can be supplied by Mother Nature only. ..." (Tinker G.)
How to create remarkable frozen bubbles in winter
YouTube: Shattering Bubbles, frozen bubbles in calgary, How To Freeze Soap Bubbles

Tuesday, January 29

Sound Portraits Radio #15 Robert Ashley w/ Doron Sadja


"A distinguished figure in American contemporary music, Robert Ashley holds an international reputation for his work in new forms of opera and multi-disciplinary projects. In the mid 1960s Ashley founded the Sonic Arts Union with Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma, and David Behrman, and later directed the Mills College Center for Contemporary Music. His recorded works are acknowledged classics of language in a musical setting, and he is best known for his epic opera-for-television, Perfect Lives, which is centered around Ashley’s hypnotic voice. Distinctly original in style, and distinctly American in their subject matter and in their use of American language, Robert Ashley’s operas are 'so vast in their vision that they are comparable only to Wagner’s Ring cycle or Stockhausen’s seven-evening Licht cycle. In form and content, in musical, vocal, literary and media technique, they are, however, comparable to nothing else.' - The Los Angeles Times"
Mixcloud (Audio)

2008 March: Robert Ashley, 2012 April: Sonic Arts Union, 2012 July: Various - Lovely Little Records, 2013 October: The Old Man Lives in Concrete, 2014 March: Robert Ashley, 1930-2014, 2016 March: Perfect Lives (1977-83), 2016 June: Music Word Fire and I Would Do It Again: The Lessons (1981)

Paul Sérusier’s ‘The Talisman’, a prophecy of colour


The Talisman
"Paul Sérusier’s Landscape at the Bois d’Amour has now acquired a peculiar status: it is a work which is viewed less for its own merits than for its iconic role in the history of painting. This small plein air study painted 'under the guidance of Gauguin' in Brittany, in the little village of Pont-Aven in October 1888, soon became the symbol of a genuine aesthetic revolution for the Nabis (prophets, in Hebrew). When Sérusier returned to the Académie Julian and presented this synthetic landscape with its pure colours and simplified forms to this group of young artists, they adopted it as their 'talisman'. It later found its way into the collection of Maurice Denis, who helped to establish its credentials as a founding work by providing an account of its creation in an article published in the magazine L'Occident in 1903. Sérusier’s study became the focal point for a sort of origin myth which reinforced the story of a 'painting lesson' from Gauguin as the source of inspiration for the young painter’s manifesto for an art which sought to replace the mimetic approach with a 'colourful equivalent'. ..."
Musée d'Orsay

Monday, January 28

The Left Hemisphere - Dominions, Faculties, Predilections & Peoples


"This is a map of the left hemisphere of the brain, seen through the lens of a 17th Century Explorer. I have taken the broad functional areas of the left hemisphere of the brain and drawn them as separate continents, as if driven apart by shifting tectonic plates. These continents contain settlements and features with names inspired by the functions found in each particular brain area. The Great Age of Discovery, refers to a period between the 15th and 18th Centuries when Europeans explored the world by sea and 'discovered' new lands. Of course many of these countries were already occupied by indigenous peoples, but from a European explorer's perspective, they were brand new. The quest to understand the structure and function of the brain has similarly been a process of exploration and discovery - the territory is already there, science is our method of exploration and mapping. ..."
The Left Hemisphere - About (Video)
The Left Hemisphere
W - Age of Discovery

Summit Series 1972


Wikipedia - "The Summit Series, or Super Series (in Russian Суперсерия СССР — Канада; Superseriya SSSR — Canada), known at the time simply as the Canada–USSR Series, was an eight-game series of ice hockey between the Soviet Union and Canada, held in September 1972. It was the first competition between the Soviet national team and a Canadian team represented by professional players of the National Hockey League (NHL), known as Team Canada. ... The series was organized with the intention to create a true best-on-best competition in the sport of ice hockey. The Soviets had become the dominant team in international competitions, which disallowed the professional players of Canada. Canada had had a long history of dominance of the sport prior to the Soviets' rise. ... The Canadians scored three in the third, the final one scored with 34 seconds left, by Paul Henderson. The series was played during the Cold War, and intense feelings of nationalism were aroused in fans in both Canada and the Soviet Union and players on the ice. ..."
Wikipedia
NY Times: In 1972, Hockey’s Cold War Boiled Over
1972 Summit Series
YouTube: Cold War on Ice Summit Series '72 1:22:41

Sunday, January 27

The 1959 Project: A New Photoblog Takes a Day-By-Day Look at 1959, the Great Watershed Year in Jazz


"If you’ve hung around Open Culture long enough, you’ve heard said that 1959 was a watershed year for jazz—the year of modal classics Giant Steps and Kind of Blue, 'harmolodic' masterpiece The Shape of Jazz to Come, and the forever cool Time Out and Mingus Ah Um. Sixty years later in 2019, these experiments and confident leaps forward continue to mark pivotal moments in modern music—moments documented heavily by the photographers who gave the albums their inimitable look. To celebrate that year in musical breakthroughs and photographic near-perfection, sportswriter and jazz history 'superfan' Natalie Weiner has launched a blog called The 1959 Project. ..."
Open Culture
The 1959 Project (Video)


Jacob Miller - Healing Of The Nation (1978)


"Jacob Miller returns yet again to one of his favorite themes, the legalization of ganja for ‘Healing of the Nation’. This time around he addresses himself directly to the Jamaican government, with a series of respectful and well reasoned arguments. ‘You no fight against the rum-man, you no fight against the wine-man, you no fight against the cigarette smoking, yet you know, yes you know, these things give cancer.’ Instead, the Jamaican government expends vast amount of resources chasing down and jailing the colliemen, when in fact, according to Miller, collie cures cancer. There’s little, if any research, to support that claim, but still the singer has a case to make when he declares that an end to criminalization would bring about a healing of the nation. ...”
allmusic
Genius
W - Jacob Miller
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Healing Of The Nation / Dub

Saturday, January 26

Trump Signs Bill Reopening Government for 3 Weeks in Surprise Retreat From Wall


"President Trump agreed on Friday to reopen the federal government for three weeks while negotiations continued over how to secure the nation’s southwestern border, backing down after a monthlong standoff failed to force Democrats to give him billions of dollars for his long-promised wall. The president’s concession paved the way for the House and the Senate to both pass a stopgap spending bill by voice vote. Mr. Trump signed it on Friday night, restoring normal operations at a series of federal agencies until Feb. 15 and opening the way to paying the 800,000 federal workers who have been furloughed or forced to work without pay for 35 days. The plan includes none of the money for the wall that Mr. Trump had demanded and was essentially the same approach that he rejected at the end of December and that Democrats have advocated since, meaning he won nothing concrete during the impasse. ..."
NY Times
NY Times: For a President Consumed With Winning, a Stinging Defeat
NY Times: Opinion - Trump’s Shutdown Was a Cruel Joke
NY Times: Government Shutdown Timeline: See How the Effects Are Piling Up - Read more.
NY Times: National Emergency Powers and Trump’s Border Wall, Explained
NY Times: A Typical Federal Worker Has Missed $5,000 in Pay From the Shutdown So Far

Elite Soccer’s Culture of Graft


Cristiano Ronaldo's slap on the wrist for Spanish tax fraud belies the scale of the problem.
"On Tuesday Cristiano Ronaldo, smiling and bedizened in a black coat and diamond earrings, arrived at court in Madrid, Spain, to receive a $21.6 million fine for tax fraud. It is roughly what the Portuguese star, worth around $450 million, makes each quarter. And while the 33-year-old—who’s also currently under investigation for an alleged rape in Las Vegas—may be a particularly distasteful example, it’s just the tip of the international tax-evasion iceberg in modern soccer, which thanks to whistleblowers and investigative journalism is now slowly being revealed. Ronaldo, a five-time FIFA world player of the year who last summer moved from Real Madrid to Italian giant Juventus, has become a human billboard since bursting onto the global stage as a teenager with Manchester United. He owns businesses in footwear, fragrances, gyms, a creative agency, hotels and underwear. He endorses watches, shampoo, online gambling–even steelworks. ..."
New Republic

Friday, January 25

Paper marbling


Endpapers of a 1735 book made in France
Wikipedia - "Paper marbling is a method of aqueous surface design, which can produce patterns similar to smooth marble or other kinds of stone. The patterns are the result of color floated on either plain water or a viscous solution known as size, and then carefully transferred to an absorbent surface, such as paper or fabric. Through several centuries, people have applied marbled materials to a variety of surfaces. It is often employed as a writing surface for calligraphy, and especially book covers and endpapers in bookbinding and stationery. Part of its appeal is that each print is a unique monotype. There are several methods for making marbled papers. A shallow tray is filled with water, and various kinds of ink or paint colors are carefully applied to the surface with an ink brush. Various additives or surfactant chemicals are used to help float the colors. ..."
Wikipedia
The Unsung Delight of a Well-Designed Endpaper
Decorated Book Papers: a Beginner’s Guide
Guardian - Hold the front pages: meet the endpaper enthusiasts

Paper marbling from a book bound in England around 1830

Strike up the band: Mariachis win the cup


"The Albuquerque Isotopes are having themselves quite a Winter Meetings. Sunday, the Triple-A Colorado Rockies affiliate recieved the James H. Johnson President's Award for 'most complete franchise.' The following morning, they became the inaugural winners of Minor League Baseball's Copa de la Diversión event series. Copa de la Diversión, an initiative designed to engage with Hispanic fans, features Minor League teams adopting Spanish-language identities. The Isotopes, one of 33 teams to participate in 2018, played four games as the Mariachis de Nuevo México. Minor League Baseball's Latinx Advisory Committee voted the Mariachis as the top identity, based on criteria such as attendance, marketing dollars invested, revenue gains and relevant community partnerships. Albuquerque emerged triumphant over a quartet of fellow semi-finalists: Monarcas de Eugene (Eugene Emeralds), Cucuys de San Bernardino (Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino), Cielo Azul de Oklahoma City (Oklahoma City Dodgers) and the Flying Chanclas de San Antonio (San Antonio Missions). ..."
MILB
Forbes: Minor League Baseball To Have 'Copa De La Diversión' In Effort To Reach Latino Communities
SI: Ranking The Best Team Names From MiLB's Copa de la Diversión
W - List of Minor League Baseball leagues and teams

Thursday, January 24

Ambrose Akinmusire - A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard (2017)


"An expansive two-disc concert album, Ambrose Akinmusire's 2017 effort, A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard, is a sophisticated production on par with his previous studio recordings. Rather than returning to those familiar surroundings for his fourth album, Akinmusire instead brought his quartet to the Vanguard along with a set of newly penned original compositions. It's a purposeful choice that resonates with the long history of albums recorded at the storied Greenwich Village institution, most notably John Coltrane's classic, and at the time divisive, 1962 contribution, 'Live' at the Village Vanguard.  ... Joining Akinmusire are his longtime bandmates pianist Sam Harris, bassist Harish Raghavan, and drummer Justin Brown. Together, they make a distinctly mutative style of jazz that straddles the line between avant-garde classical impressionism, soulful post-bop, and atonal free jazz, sometimes within the same song. ..."
allmusic (Audio)
W - A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
Soundcloud
YouTube: A Rift In Decorum: Live At The Village Vanguard 16 videos

John McPhee: Seven Ways of Looking at a Writer


"... John Angus McPhee was born in Princeton, New Jersey, on March 8, 1931, to Dr. Harry McPhee, a physician for the Princeton University athletic department, and his wife Mary. As a boy, McPhee enjoyed sports and the outdoors, but by the time he entered Princeton University, writing had become his main passion. His career in journalism began at Time, but in the early sixties he moved over to The New Yorker, where he has continued to write for over half a century. The sixties were a decade of upheaval and progress, and one of the many areas where that revolutionary spirit reared its head was in the art of nonfiction. In previous decades, nonfiction—particularly if written for periodicals—had been seen mostly as ephemeral reportage. It was for catching up on world events, local matters, and human interest, usually read over a morning cup of coffee, stained with those wet, brown rings. ..."
LitHub

2017 September: The Mind of John McPhee

Wednesday, January 23

Marshall - Reginald Hudlin (2017)


Wikipedia - "Marshall is a 2017 American biographical legal drama film directed by Reginald Hudlin and written by Michael and Jacob Koskoff. It stars Chadwick Boseman as Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Supreme Court Justice, and focuses on one of the first cases of his career, the State of Connecticut v. Joseph Spell. It also stars Josh Gad, Kate Hudson, Dan Stevens, Sterling K. Brown, and James Cromwell. ... In 1940, Thurgood Marshall is an NAACP lawyer traveling the country defending people of color who are wrongly accused of crimes because of racial prejudice. Upon his return to his New York office, he is sent to Bridgeport, Connecticut, to defend Joseph Spell, a chauffeur accused of rape by his white employer, Eleanor Strubing, in a case that has gripped the newspapers. In Bridgeport, insurance lawyer Sam Friedman is assigned by his brother to get Marshall admitted to the local bar, against his will. At the hearing, Judge Foster, a friend of the father of prosecutor Lorin Willis, agrees to admit Marshall, but forbids Marshall from speaking during the trial, forcing Friedman to be Spell's lead counsel. Marshall must guide Friedman through notes, such as when he advises Friedman to allow a woman of Southern white descent into the jury because of her assertive and questioning personality. ..."
Wikipedia
Smithsonian: The True Story Behind “Marshall”
Roger Ebert
amazon
YouTube: MARSHALL | Trailer 1

Édouard Manet - Interior at Arcachon (1871)


"Manet painted this domestic scene while staying in a seaside town in southwestern France. He never exhibited it, perhaps because its subject was deeply personal. The artist had recently reunited with his family after serving in the National Guard, defending Paris during the Franco-Prussian war. His wife looks up from her writing to enjoy the view, while her son holds what appears to be a cigarette, seemingly lost in thought. The loose, sketchy technique gives the painting an intimate, informal quality."
The Clark

2015 April: Van Gogh, Manet, and Matisse: The Art of the Flower, 2016 April: Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse

Tuesday, January 22

Pharoah Sanders - Africa (1987)


"As Kevin Whitehead's liner notes to this release reflect, Sanders 'pays explicit tribute to his late mentor John Coltrane -- as this set's Coltrane-oriented sound makes unashamedly clear.' Actually, Coltrane penned only one of the eight tunes, while Sanders wrote six, but the spirit of the master looms heavily throughout. Sanders displays an uncanny resemblance to Trane's unique way of over-blowing and his special ability to get inside a ballad. Pianist John Hicks is in perfect form and contributes mightily to the success of the session. Most will probably prefer the original Coltrane to Sanders' imitations, but Africa is nonetheless a joyous and worthy tribute to one of the giants of jazz. This album marked somewhat of a backtrack for the saxophonist, as he had frequently become identified with much more traditional playing."
allmusic (Audio)
Pharoah Sanders & Idris Muhammad (Audio)
W - Africa
Discogs (Video)
amazon, iTubes
YouTube: Africa [Full Album] 57:43

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, 2017 November: Let Us Now Praise Pharoah Sanders, Master of Sax, 2018 February: Anthology: You've Got to Have Freedom - Pharoah Sanders (2005), 2018 February: James Blood Ulmer & Pharoah Sanders - Live 2003, 2018 May: How Pharoah Sanders Brought Jazz to Its Spiritual Peak with His Impulse! Albums

This Bowery theater gave performers “the hook”


"When a city policeman turned U.S. congressman named Henry Clay Miner opened Miner’s Bowery Theatre in 1878, this small venue between Broome and Delancey Streets showcased a type of entertainment known as variety shows. 'Actors came on the stage to sing, dance, and do acrobatic acts and then unite to burlesque some current musical show,' wrote the New York Times in 1929. Even for the Bowery—legendary at the time for its raucous bars, theaters, flophouses, and music halls—Miner’s drew huge merciless crowds. Customers cheered, jeered, and stomped their feet in approval as each act did their number. ..."
Ephemeral New York
Henry C. Miner and the Origins of “The Hook”
NY Times: MINER'S BOWERY WAS A LANDMARK (Aug. 1929)

Orientalism’s Equestrian Eye


Ferdinand Victor Eugène Delacroix, “Horses Coming Out of the Sea,” 1860
"'Orientalism' was a term first used several centuries ago to describe scholarship and art by 'Westerners'—shorthand for Europeans and North Americans—who sought to depict largely Islamic cultures of North Africa and Asia. Some 40 years ago, it came under criticism for cultural bias. Despite these changes in attitudes, one subject in Orientalist art has remained universally admired: the region’s horses. The 19th-century European and American artists who specialized in scenes of North Africa, the Levant and the Arabian Peninsula were as enamored of the equines of those lands as were the inhabitants. The first collectors of Orientalist horse paintings were those among the affluent of Europe and America who hungered to see expressions of heroic values. ... The Arab masters of these equine marvels were accorded a similarly romanticized respect. ..."
AramcoWorld

Georges Washington, “The Falconers,” date unknown

2018 April: Orientalism - Edward W. Said (1978)

Sunday, January 20

How to Read a Protest: The Art of Organizing and Resistance - L. A. Kauffman (2018)


"Displaced from the National Mall by a partial government shutdown and facing the likelihood of harsh weather, the third Women's March on Washington, D.C., may well draw an even smaller turnout than the presidential inauguration did two years ago. On the other hand, the first march, that same weekend, remains a difficult act to follow. L. A. Kauffman's recent book How to Read a Protest: The Art of Organizing and Resistance (University of California Press) contains a table called 'Marching Everywhere: The Largest Coordinated Protests in U.S. History,' with data on eight of them from the past 50 years. The National Women's March of January 2017 sets the record, with at least 4.2 million participants in more than 650 cities. That is more than twice the number of participants, in more than three times as many cities, as the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam in October 1969. ..."
Reading Mobilization
Guardian - Dear resistance: marching is not enough - LA Kauffman
amazon
vimeo: How To Read a Protest: The Art of Organizing and Resistance

Women protest against the Trump administration’s separation of children from immigrant parents, in the Hart Senate office building in Washington.

Patti Smith’s Talismanic Photos from Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s Home and Beyond


“Patti at William Burroughs’s Grave,” Lawrence, Kansas, 2013
"In 2012, Patti Smith travelled to Mexico City to speak and perform at La Casa Azul, the former home of the artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. While visiting the property, which now serves as a museum, Smith took several black-and-white Polaroid photographs of objects she encountered: a pair of crutches that belonged to Kahlo; her worn corset; a white coverlet with crocheted trim, dangling from a wooden bed frame. Those images are part of a new exhibit of Smith’s photographs, titled 'Wing,' which is now on display at the Diego Rivera Gallery, at the San Francisco Art Institute, adjacent to Rivera’s 1931 mural 'The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City.' ..."
New Yorker

Obsolete Systems - Laurie Spiegel (2001)


"Software developer and technology pioneer Laurie Spiegel has worked with many of the first synthesizer and computer music systems. This CD culls some of her best works written for Obsolete Systems: Don Buchla's machines, the Apple II computer, the McLeyvier computer-controlled synthesizer, and the GROOVE Hybrid System. These pieces were created between 1970 and 1983, at a time when technology evolved quickly and even the standards in analog sound and digital information treatments changed constantly. The music varies in style from delicate modal synthesizer pieces to acousmatic works. ... Some may find similarities between her music and the works of Larry Fast and Tangerine Dream at the same time -- even though they worked quite differently. The album's highlight is the final track, the 15-minute Voices Within: A Requiem, previously released on a 1982 Capriccio LP. Obtained through classic tape techniques and delay effects, it achieves a dense shroud of sustained tones. The musical element equals the historical relevance of this collection."
allmusic (Audio)
Discogs
YouTube: Obsolete Systems 1:01:00

2011 May: Laurie Spiegel, 2012 November: Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe, 2014 February: The Interstellar Contract, 2015 September: Resident Visitor: Laurie Spiegel's Machine Music, 2015 October: Laurie Spiegel: Grassroots Technologist, 2016 June: Meet Four Women Who Pioneered Electronic Music: Daphne Oram, Laurie Spiegel, Éliane Radigue & Pauline Oliveros, 2017 January: Resident Visitor: Laurie Spiegel's Machine Music, 2017 July: Space, Energy & Light: Experimental Electronic And Acoustic Soundscapes 1961-88, 2017 July: Watch Aura Satz’s short film about Laurie Spiegel

Saturday, January 19

Your Guide to January’s Supermoon Total Lunar Eclipse


This composite image of the total lunar eclipse on September 28, 2015, captured the Moon during totality. Earth's umbra at the Moon's distance spans about 9,000 kilometers or ~2.6 lunar diameters.
"A full 62 luxurious minutes of totality. That's what we can expect on the night of January 20–21 when the Full Wolf Moon does a slow dance through Earth's umbra (the innermost region of the shadow). The last total lunar eclipse over the Americas took place in the wee hours of January 31, 2018. This one will be more user-friendly for Western Hemisphere observers as it happens during evening hours. If you're adept at comparing full Moon sizes, examine the Moon during the eclipse. Does it appear larger than normal? In fact it is! Perigee, when the Moon is closest to the Earth, occurs only about 14 hours after maximum eclipse. That makes this a supermoon, defined as a full Moon that comes within 90% of its closest approach to Earth. ..."
Sky & Telescope
***NY Times: How to Watch the Lunar Eclipse and Supermoon on Sunday Night

January's total lunar eclipse is observable from North and South America, Europe, Northwest Africa, and the Arctic. It will be primarily an evening event for the Americas and a morning one for Europe and Africa. The next total lunar eclipse for North America occurs on May 26, 2021 — that's  a lengthy wait!

Revolutions On Air: An Introduction


"New York City between 1980 and 1988 was a crucible of musical styles: hip hop (then brand new) melting together with boogie and electro, disco and funk dancing elegantly towards their doom, New Wave and punk making way for the first strains of house music and freestyle. Nowhere was the intertwining of these threads more obvious than on the radio, where a handful of DJs – themselves producers and remixers in their own right – were creating a conversation between the underground sounds of the clubs and the streets and the mainstream. ..."
Red Bull Music Academy Daily (Video)
YouTube: Trailer: Revolutions On Air
YouTube: Revolutions On Air: The Golden Era of New York Radio 1980 - 1988 17:07

Steady State - Alex Roldan


"The machine does most of the work. It chugs along, lights blinking a telegraph of the underlying rhythm, knobs erect and at precise angles, tones rendered as held bits atmosphere, fraying as they go, the full effect a sort of aged glisten. ... This video is Alex Roldan at play with his modular synthesizer, and it dates from late November of last year (earlier videos from him include drum covers of songs by Boards of Canada and Aphex Twin). Since then there have been another four modular ones from Roldan. Subscribe to his channel to encourage further endeavors.
This is the latest video I’ve added to my YouTube playlist of recommended live performances of ambient music. Video originally posted to Rodan’s YouTube channel. More from Rodan, who is based in Washington, D.C., at iamanalog.bandcamp.com."
disquiet (Video)

Friday, January 18

The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I - Roger Shattuck (1958)


"It isn't often that a scholarly study of avant-garde literature and the arts running to some 400 pages acquires the status of a literary classic, but that has been the happy fate of a delightful book called, The Banquet Years: The Origins of the Avant-Garde in France, 1885 to World War I, whose author -- the American writer and translator Roger Shattuck -- died on Dec. 8 at the age of 82. Amazingly, The Banquet Years, published in 1968, remains in print to this very day, and both its sly humor and its brilliant combination of anecdote and analysis are as fresh, as amusing and as essential to our understanding of the modern era as the day it was published. So are the deft portraits of the book's principal subjects -- Alfred Jarry, Henri Rousseau, Erik Satie and Guillaume Apollinaire -- a quartet of gifted misfits and oddball talents whose accomplishments, though scarcely noticed by the reigning eminences of French cultural life, offered a preview of the modernism that would in many respects give the arts of the 20th century their special character. ..."
WSJ: Remembering 'The Banquet Years' By Hilton Kramer
New Republic - Half Tame
Roger Shattuck, The Banquet Years (1) -- La belle époque (The Good Old Days)
[PDF] The Banquet Years
amazon

Jean Beraud, The Boulevard Montmartre and the Theatre des Varietes (c1886)

Industrial music


Throbbing Gristle
Wikipedia - "Industrial music is a genre of experimental music which draws on harsh, transgressive or provocative sounds and themes. AllMusic defines industrial music as the 'most abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music'; 'initially a blend of avant-garde electronics experiments (tape music, musique concrète, white noise, synthesizers, sequencers, etc.) and punk provocation'. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by members of Throbbing Gristle and Monte Cazazza. While the genre name originated with Throbbing Gristle's emergence in the United Kingdom, concentrations of artists and labels vital to the genre also emerged in Chicago. ... The precursors that influenced the development of the genre included acts such as electronic music group Kraftwerk, experimental rock acts such as Pink Floyd and Frank Zappa, psychedelic rock artists such as Jimi Hendrix, and composers such as John Cage. Musicians also cite writers such as William S. Burroughs, and philosophers such as Friedrich Nietzsche as influences. ..."
Wikipedia
20 of the most iconic songs in industrial music (Audio)
Assimilate: A Critical History of Industrial Music
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Thursday, January 17

How the Slice Joint Made Pizza the Perfect New York City Food


Getting pizza and hanging about on MacDougal Street in Greenwich Village. Aug. 2, 1963.
"Pizza can be a great divider in New York. In fact, one of the easiest ways to get into argument (without end) is to name a 'best pizza in the city.' But at the same time, pizza — specifically the reheated, foldable, portable slice — is one of the city’s great uniters. There is no culinary experience that New Yorkers share more widely and more unanimously than the slice joint. Like catching a sunset over the skyline or stepping in an icy curbside puddle, the slice joint has, since its beginnings more than 50 years ago, become common currency. The price has changed over the decades, but the scene and staging remain much the same. ... 'Three dollars,' the pizza man says briskly, after he has placed the requested slice into a decked oven. Out come the hot, bubbling triangles of cheese and sauce on thin, pliable crust. Once their slices are ready, the diners — if so formal a word even applies — grab a place at the counter in the window or push out the door, slice in hand, on to wherever the evening may take them. This is the 'New York style.' ..."
NY Times

A kosher pizza shop on 13th Avenue in the Borough Park section of Brooklyn. Feb. 21, 1971.

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, 2017 November: A Priceless Pizzeria in Brooklyn, 2018 December: State of the Slice, Part 2: The 27 Pizza Spots That Define New York Slice Culture