Friday, October 31

Captured: A Film/Video History of the Lower East Side

"Captured is the definitive anthology of New York's underground cinema in its creators' own words. New York's Lower East Side has been a fountain of creativity and art since the early 1950s, a free-wheeling bazaar of ideas and artists that has challenged and shaped mainstream culture. Captured tells the story of film and video in the Lower East Side and the East Village in the artists' own words. Over one hundred contributors discuss the early years with Allen Ginsburg, Andy Warhol, Jack Smith, Taylor Mead, and Jonas Mekas, as well as the wild '70s and '80s with Jim Jarmusch, Steve Buscemi, Louis Guzman, Nick Zedd, and many others. Movements such as No Wave and the Cinema of Transgression are covered, as is the story of Pull My Daisy, considered among the true progenitors of 'indie film.'"
Seven Stories Press
NY Times: The Lower East Side, Up Close and Personal
NY Times: On Homelessness, Street Style and Drugs (Video)
NY Times: Last Bohemian Turns Out the Lights
The Villager: All sides of Lower East Side film scene in new book
My times with Taylor Mead
W - Clayton Patterson
Captured (Video)
YouTube: Clayton Patterson "Captured" interview on film, Keeping It Real With Clayton Patterson, Clayton Patterson, photographer - Here's the Thing... Ep. 13, Native Underground: 'The Lower East Side OG Clayton Patterson'

The Best By Roger Angell

"I missed Christy Mathewson somehow but caught almost everyone else, down the years—Lefty Grove, Carl Hubbell, Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, Jack Morris, Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson—but here was the best. Madison Bumgarner, the Giants’ left-handed ace, coming on in relief last night in the fifth inning of the deciding seventh game of this vibrant World Series, gave up a little opening single, then retired fourteen straight Kansas City batters, gave up another hit, and then closed the deal. The Giants won, 3–2, claiming their third World Championship in five years. ... He had won a game in each of the Giants’ World Championships, in 2012 and 2010, and now, at twenty-five, stands at 4-0 in the classic, with an earned-run average of 0.25. He was pitching on two days’ rest but also on manna: possibly the best October pitcher of them all."
New Yorker

2014 August: Roger Angell: A Baseball Companion

The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest (1991)

"While most of the players in the jazz-rap movement never quite escaped the pasted-on qualities of their vintage samples, with The Low End Theory, A Tribe Called Quest created one of the closest and most brilliant fusions of jazz atmosphere and hip-hop attitude ever recorded. The rapping by Q-Tip and Phife Dawg could be the smoothest of any rap record ever heard; the pair are so in tune with each other, they sound like flip sides of the same personality, fluidly trading off on rhymes, with the former earning his nickname (the Abstract) and Phife concerning himself with the more concrete issues of being young, gifted, and black."
W - The Low End Theory
Genius (Video)
YouTube: The Low End Theory (Full Album)

2011 May: A Tribe Called Quest

Thursday, October 30

Free: Stream Songs from Bob Dylan’s Upcoming Release, The Basement Tapes Complete

"As his loyal fans already know, Bob Dylan will release next week a six-CD collection called The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 11, which features 139 songs recorded during the late 1960s, when, Dylan, recovering from a motorcycle accident, holed himself up in a basement in Saugerties, NY and began playing music casually with The Band. The story behind the making of The Basement Tapes gets nicely told by Sasha Frere-Jones in the latest edition of The New Yorker, and over at NPR you can now stream a selection of songs from the upcoming Basement Tapes release."
Open Culture (Video)
Guardian - Bob Dylan and the Band: The Basement Tapes Complete review – rickety, strange and utterly timeless(Video)

About Susan Roth And Her Art

Age of Bronze, 1987
"... That incident took place in 1980 and within a year led to the gesturally brushed and stained and occasionally collaged raw and unstretched canvases that in the creative process were forcefully pushed about and folded and radically shaped into bas-relief paintings boldly declaring Susan Roth’s first full and fully personal maturity. Fully mature in the scope and sureness of their ambition, and fully personal in the freshness of vision through which they expand and deepen our understanding of painting’s arsenal of resources, above all in what they have to say about the drawing/painting connection."
Left Bank Art Blog
flickr: radical shape
flickr: Steel Paintings
Susan Roth: Painting Collage, Collaging Painting

Bob Willoughby

William Burroughs - Paris, 1962
Wikipedia - "Robert Hanley 'Bob' Willoughby (June 30, 1927, Los Angeles, California – 18 December 2009, Vence, France) was an American photographer. Popular Photography called him 'The man who virtually invented the photojournalistic motion picture still.' ... Between 1948 and 1954, his exhibitions of photographs of jazz musicians and dancers led to a contract with Globe Photos. Later, he worked for Harper's Bazaar magazine where his photographs illustrated arts and culture articles. His big break came when he was assigned by six magazines to photograph Judy Garland during the filming of A Star is Born (1954). ... Much of Willoughby's popularity stemmed from his ability to capture film stars in unguarded moments of repose and vulnerability."
Bob Willoughby
TIME: Bob Willoughby, Hollywood Photo Legend
YouTube: The Silver Age of Hollywood

Wednesday, October 29

Rohmer in Paris (2013)

"'I want to take you on a journey, a cinephilic journey,' says filmmaker Richard Misek in his accented English. He then goes on to preach the pleasures of ‘cinephilia’, which is of course a term for the love of cinema – but please, somebody, come up with a new descriptor for this passionate pursuit! Misek’s obsession with French New Wave director, Eric Rohmer’s oeuvre, was sparked when he accidentally walked into frame of one of his films. Here he uses footage from Rohmer’s movies to explore the many connections and themes of the filmmaker’s work, primarily focusing on the films that he made in and about Paris. Misek’s exploration is part documentary, part experimental film, and the result is as informative as it is pretentious."
Éminence grise. Éric Rohmer On Blu-ray.
NOWMESS: Rohmer in Paris (2013)

2010 February: Eric Rohmer

Future Eligibles

"Let’s get Dock Ellis into the Hall of Fame. Oh, not really, of course—by the Hall’s statistical criteria, he isn’t even close. But after a visit to Cooperstown in September, I found myself imagining a Hall of Fame that would enshrine him. Ellis is unquestionably famous, after all—infamous, too. ... Evidence keeps mounting that Dock—always flamboyant, often controversial—was the emblematic player of his era, the seventies, with its dubious introduction of such artificialities as the designated hitter and Astroturf; the acrimonious battle for free agency; and all those drugs."
Paris Review

2009 November: Dock Ellis


Wikipedia - "Autechre are an English electronic music duo consisting of Rob Brown and Sean Booth, both from Rochdale, Greater Manchester. Formed in 1987, they are one of the most prominent acts signed to Warp Records, a label known for its pioneering electronic music and through which all Autechre albums have been released. While heavily associated with IDM (intelligent dance music), Booth and Brown are ambivalent about relating their sound to established genres. Their music has exhibited a gradual shift in aesthetic throughout their career, from their earlier work with clear roots in techno, house, electro and hip hop, to later albums that are often considered experimental in nature, featuring complex patterns of rhythm and subdued melodies."
Autechre — L-event
The Quietus - Anatomy Of An Engima: An Interview With Autechre
YouTube: Foil, plyPhon, Second Bad Vibel(Chris Cunningham), Chiastic Slide 1:09:04, Dropp

Tuesday, October 28

Blek le Roc

"Blek le Rat, born Xavier Prou in Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris in 1951, was one of the first graffiti artists in Paris, and the originator of stencil graffiti art. He began his artwork in 1981, painting stencils of rats on the street walls of Paris, describing the rat as 'the only free animal in the city', and one which 'spreads the plague everywhere, just like street art'. His name originates from a childhood cartoon 'Blek le Roc', using 'rat' as an anagram for 'art'. Initially influenced by the early graffiti art of New York City after a visit in 1971, he chose a style which he felt better suited Paris, due to the differing architecture of the two cities."
Blek le Roc
YouTube: Blek Le Rat / Original Stencil Pioneer, Blek Le Rat Documentary, blek le rat

Jim Carroll - Catholic Boy (1980)

"... Jim Carroll is one of the very few authors who convincingly brought his work from the printed word to the rock & roll stage, growing into a passionate and commanding rock singer as well as a tough, intelligent songwriter, and his first album, Catholic Boy, best captures his strengths. Carroll's memoir The Basketball Diaries made clear he had an uncanny knack for capturing the dark and gritty rhythms of the New York streets, while his poetry collections such as Living at the Movies recorded the edgy grace of his verse, and Carroll was able to merge both of those qualities on his songs for Catholic Boy. Of course, this being rock & roll, it's the gritty stuff that's stands out best, especially the unrelenting 'People Who Died' and the pained and bitter title cut."
W - Catholic Boy
NY Times: Jim Carroll’s Long Way Home
Salmagundi Syncopation
YouTube: People Who Died, Nothing is true, Wicked Gravity, Three Sisters, Day and Night

2009 September: Jim Carroll

Drawing Attention to Chicago's Anti-Homeless Measures With 'Compartment 13'

"Homeless people in Chicago face many of the same challenges as low- to no- income people around the world. But city officials took those troubles one step further by constructing steepled anti-homeless barricades this summer at a makeshift homeless encampment on Chicago's Northwest Side. The following comic shows what happens when a group of men and women with nowhere else to go are told to move along."
Illustrated Press, Symbolia

Monday, October 27

"I'm in the Mood" - John Lee Hooker (1951)

"'I'm in the Mood' was a huge hit for John Lee Hooker, as the 1951 single reached #1 in the R&B chart. Reported to have sold a million copies, it was in fact one of the most successful R&B singles of the early 1950s, and if the figure is accurate, one of the highest-selling blues recordings of all time. Listening to it a half-century later, it's astonishing that such a raw and crude recording could have been so successful, but those were different times and ones in which lack of technical sophistication wasn't a handicap to popularity. ... But the reward of 'I'm in the Mood' is indeed the mood itself of the recording: stark, spooky, and earthy, the relatively sweetly crooned title-chorus making it more memorable than several other of Hooker's similar early recordings."
Soundcloud: Shoes - In the Mood For Dub SHOES014
YouTube: I'm In The Mood, John Lee Hooker Bonnie Raitt 1991

Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry

Detail from “Saint Paul Directing the Burning of the Heathen Books”
"The first major monographic exhibition devoted to the great 16th-century Netherlandish artist Pieter Coecke van Aelst (1502-1550) will open at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on October 8, 2014. Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry will explore the artist’s career and reunite many of the finest surviving drawings, panel paintings, and cartoon fragments from his hand with 19 of the spectacular Renaissance tapestries that were made to his designs. These massive hangings were the ultimate medium for Coecke’s artistic expression, yet while they were being woven, he never touched them; they were executed by weavers who superbly translated his vision with brilliant silks, wools, and precious metal-wrapped threads."
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Blog
Yale: Grand Design: Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Renaissance Tapestry
NY Times: In Weft and Warp, Earth, Heaven and Hell

Janene Higgins & Zeena Parkins (2000)

"Harpist Zeena Parkins, who has played in many contemporary groups such as Butch Morris's Conduction, the Skeleton Crew, John Zorn's Cobra, the quintet No Safety (which she co-founded), and The Gangster Band, and video artist Janene Higgins have been presenting their unique multimedia duo performances since the mid-1990's, beginning with a series they dubbed 'Eyewash'. On this videotape, they present an excerpt from their enthralling piece 'Arch' in which Parkins, improvises, elegantly and at times wildly, on an electric harp of her own design and on accordion, her sound palette ranging through ethereal to earthy timbres. Higgins simultaneously creates spellbinding video synthesis in real time, contrasting lyrical physical forms (bodies and architecture) with mysterious abstract colorizations and non-narrative movements projected on several screens."
UbuWeb (Video)

2011 January: Zeena Parkins, 2012 November: News from Babel, 2012 December: Fred Frith, Ikue Mori, Zeena Parkins / sound. at REDCAT, 2013 October: Art Bears Songbook - 2010-09-19 - Rock In Opposition Festival.

Sunday, October 26

The Marriage of Maria Braun - Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1979 BRD Trilogy)

Wikipedia - "The Marriage of Maria Braun is a 1979 West German film directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. The film stars Hanna Schygulla as Maria, whose marriage to the soldier Hermann remained unfulfilled due to World War II and his post-war imprisonment. Maria adapts to the realities of post-war Germany and becomes the wealthy mistress of an industrialist, all the while staying true to her love for Hermann. The film was one of the more successful works of Fassbinder and shaped the image of the New German Cinema in foreign countries. The film is the first in Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy, followed by Veronika Voss and Lola."
Guardian - Rainer Werner Fassbinder: The Marriage of Maria Braun
Roger Ebert
NY Times
Jim's Reviews - Fassbinder's BRD Trilogy
YouTube: Singing in the ruins.
YouTube: The Marriage of Maria Braun 2:00:02

2014 May: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 2014 June: Effi Briest (1974), 2014 July: Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974), 2014 September: A Little Chaos: A Short Crime Film by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Enfant Terrible of New German Cinema, 2014 October: Lola - (1981 BRD Trilogy).

Building for the Next Big Storm

"'All of this was hit pretty hard,' said Kai-Uwe Bergmann, sweeping his arm from the East River toward the looming sprawl of the Baruch Houses, a public housing complex that sits along the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive on the Lower East Side. 'If another storm hits here in the future, it will be just as bad, probably worse.' Mr. Bergmann’s job is to ensure that it doesn’t happen. As a partner at the Bjarke Ingels Group, a Danish architecture firm, he is one in a cast of hundreds trying to fortify New York against another storm like Hurricane Sandy, which ripped through the region two years ago this week. In the storm’s aftermath, there were calls for a single big fix, like sea gates that would close off New York Harbor to swells of rising water."
NY Times (Video)

Nagual Site - Bill Laswell and Sacred Systems (1998)

"Slightly more traditional in its approach than much of bassist/producer Bill Laswell's fusionary world music outings, the mesmerizing Nagual Site was one of the first releases from head Chieftan Paddy Maloney's eclectic label, Wicklow. A breathtakingly original Indian/ambient music fusion, the lushly-textured album prominently features the vocal talents of Gulam Mohammed Khan and Sussan Deyhim, as well as more subtle contributions from frequent Laswell co-conspirators like guitarist Nicky Skopelitis, bassist Jah Wobble, Indian percussion masters Badal Roy and Zakir Hussain, and former P-funk keyboardist Bernie Worrell. Remarkably seamless and organic, this is one of Laswell's most heady stylistic brews."
Silent Watcher
W - Nagual Site
YouTube: Black lotus, Driftwork, Saiya Nikasegaye

2014 May: Bill Laswell - ROIR Dub Sessions (2003)

Saturday, October 25

Iconic BAM Artists: Pina Bausch

"Over the 36 years in which Pina Bausch (1940—2009) shaped the work of Tanztheater Wuppertal, she created an oeuvre that casts an unerring gaze at reality, while simultaneously giving us the courage to be true to our own wishes and desires. Bausch was appointed director of dance for the Wuppertal theater in 1973. The form she developed in those early years was wholly unfamiliar. In her performances the players did not merely dance; they spoke, sang, and sometimes laughed or cried. Dance-theater evolved into a unique genre, inspiring choreographers across the globe and influencing theater and classical ballet in the process. Its success can be attributed to the fact that Bausch made a universal human need the key subject of her work—the need for love, intimacy, and emotional security."
BAM: Pina Bausch (Video)
Tanztheater Wuppertal - Pina Bausch: Schedule

2008 May: Pina Bausch, 2009 June: Pina Bausch 1940-2009, 2012 August: Pina Bausch Costumes.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Wikipedia - "The Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library is the rare book library and literary archive of the Yale University Library in New Haven, Connecticut. Situated on Yale University's Hewitt Quadrangle, the building was designed by Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and completed in 1963. Established by a gift of the Beinecke family and given its own endowment, the library is financially independent from the university and is co-governed by the University Library and Yale Corporation."
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
New Video Provides Overview of Beinecke Renovation Project (Video)

The Long Count Fight

Wikipedia - "The Long Count Fight or the Battle Of The Long Count was the boxing rematch between world Heavyweight champion Gene Tunney and former champion Jack Dempsey, held on September 22, 1927, at Soldier Field in Chicago. Just 364 days before, on September 23, 1926, Tunney had beaten Dempsey by a ten round unanimous decision to lift the world Heavyweight title, in Philadelphia. The first fight between Tunney and Dempsey had been moved out of Chicago because Dempsey had learned that Al Capone was a big fan of his, and he did not want Capone to be involved in the fight. Capone reportedly bet $50,000 on Dempsey for the rematch, which fueled false rumors of a fix. Dempsey was favored by odds makers in both fights, largely because of public betting which heavily tilted towards Dempsey."
Dempsey loses on long count
Gene Tunney -vs- Jack Dempsey 1927 (Rare Long Count film)
The Dempsey-Tunney Fight of 1926
YouTube: Jack Dempsey vs Gene Tunney - The Long Count (1927)

Friday, October 24

Pierre Reverdy

Wikipedia - "Pierre Reverdy (... September 13, 1889 – June 17, 1960) was a French poet whose works were inspired by and subsequently proceeded to influence the provocative art movements of the day, Surrealism, Dadaism and Cubism. The loneliness and spiritual apprehension that ran through his poetry appealed to the Surrealist credo. He, though, remained independent of the prevailing 'isms,' searching for something beyond their definitions. His writing matured into a mystical mission seeking, as he wrote: 'the sublime simplicity of reality.' ... Reverdy arrived in Paris in October 1910, devoting his early years there to his writing. It was in Paris, at the artistic enclave centered around the Bateau-Lavoir in Montmartre that he met Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Louis Aragon, André Breton, Philippe Soupault and Tristan Tzara. All would come to admire and champion Reverdy’s poetry. Reverdy published a small volume of poetry in 1915."
The Poetry Foundation
"Seven Poems", Pierre Reverdy, translated by Kenneth Rexroth
The Paris Review: Contra Dancing with Pierre Reverdy
Mary Ann Caws on Pierre Reverdy
Three Percent: Pierre Reverdy

Robert Wyatt Story (BBC Four, 2001)

"Robert Wyatt’s story is as compelling as the endlessly imaginative music that it yielded. Like that of the best songwriters, his work is a world unto itself, instantly recognizable, not least of all due to his high, quavering vocals and almost cubist approach to lyrics. Involved in every avant-garde of British music since the ’60s—from prog rock to punk and postrock—Wyatt began his career as the drummer and vocalist for the Canterbury band Soft Machine, a seminal prog-rock outfit heavily into jazz time-signatures and modal drift. In 1973, Wyatt fell from the fourth-floor window of a friend’s home, becoming paralyzed from the waist down."
YouTube: Robert Wyatt Story 1:08:01

2010 November: Robert Wyatt, 2011 October: Sea Song, 2012 October: Comicopera, 2013 March: The Last Nightingale, 2013 September: Solar Flares Burn for You (2003), 2014 March: Cuckooland (2003).

Kirby Scudder

"... One of those participating in Zuccotti Park that day was New York-based artist and arts activist Lopi LaRoe. Lopi, who works under the moniker 'Lmnopi,' is a former Santa Cruz resident. She has continued her work with the organization helping with disaster relief in the wake of super storm Sandy under Occupy Sandy and has been active in the fight against fracking in New York state. After spending much of the 1990s in Santa Cruz, she received a BFA in painting and printmaking from SUNY Purchase in New York."
Kirby Scudder: Activist Lmnopi's rebirth as a painter
Lmnopi Maize

Thursday, October 23

A wintry view of the end of Christopher Street

Christopher Street, Greenwich Village, 1934
"Christopher Street in the far West Village really hasn’t changed very much since Beulah R. Bettensworth depicted it in 1934. Well, at least this corner of it. This Depression-era painter lived a block away at 95 Christopher, and her stretch of the street looks like the downtown of a small village: there’s the Ninth Avenue El Station that once ran up Greenwich Street. Victorian Gothic St. Veronica’s Church peeks over the station. The PATH station entrance has a similar awning. And there still is a yellow three-story building on that northwestern corner. Too bad the cigar store is gone!"
Ephemeral New York
Smithsonian Institution

Louise Bourgeois - Peels an Orange

"... Sewing an orange skin. Words in [Louise] Bourgeois’ prose sound sewn together (her Surrealist trait), in a sonorous repetition which makes you hear the thread sizzle, as well as her breath and anxiety. Her humming is constant when she works. On one side, the mother passed to the child the concept of a forbidden needle, in terms alluding to the forbidden fruit. On the other side, the father takes a fruit in his hand, a tangerine, to also speak of something forbidden to little girls by (mother) nature. We know what -- the unavoidable penis. The scene is much more interesting than this banality. Louise can hardly tell this anecdote."
YouTube: Peels an Orange

The Drifters' Golden Hits

Wikipedia - "The Drifters' Golden Hits is a 1968 compilation album by American doo wop/R&B vocal group The Drifters. The collection of the bands' later hits charted at #22 on Billboard's 'Black Albums' chart and at #122 on the 'Pop Albums' chart. Music critic Robert Christgau numbers it among the essentials for a basic library of albums representing the 1960s. ... Originally released on the Atlantic label, the album has been re-released on CD by Atlantic. A Drifters' compilation by the same name was released by Intercontinental records in 1996, but it has a different track listing."
W - The Drifters
YouTube: The Drifters Golden Hits
There Goes My Baby - (If You Cry) True Love, True Love - Dance With Me - This Magic Moment - Save the Last Dance for Me - I Count the Tears - Some Kind of Wonderful - Up on the Roof - On Broadway - Under the Boardwalk - I've Got Sand in My Shoes - Saturday Night at the Movie

Wednesday, October 22

Goya: Order and Disorder

"One of the titans of European art, Francisco Goya (1746–1828) witnessed a time of revolution and sweeping change in thought and behavior. As 18th-century culture gave way to the modern era, Goya’s penetrating gaze sought new means to capture human experience, both as he observed it, and as his imagination and artistic gifts transformed it. 'Goya: Order and Disorder' takes an innovative approach, organizing the extreme variety of the artist’s output thematically. The exhibition employs the poles of order and disorder to structure Goya’s creativity, moving from dignified portraits and daily rituals to the chaos of war and the pandemonium of the Bordeaux bull ring. Goya also attended to the fertile territory between the competing forces of order and disorder. In some works, either harmony or chaos prevails, but most exhibit a disquieting tension between these opposites."
MFA (Video)
MFA: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Presents
NY Times: Cosmic Grumbling, Awash With Acid
Boston: “Goya: Order and Disorder” at the Museum of Fine Arts
YouTube: Enter the Mind of Goya

2010 April: Francisco Goya, 2013 March: The Angel of the Odd. Dark Romanticism from Goya to Max Ernst, 2013 April: The Angel of the Odd.

Guitar Slim

"No 1950s blues guitarist even came close to equaling the flamboyant Guitar Slim in the showmanship department. Armed with an estimated 350 feet of cord between his axe and his amp, Slim would confidently stride on-stage wearing a garishly hued suit of red, blue, or green, usually with his hair dyed to match! It's rare to find a blues guitarist hailing from Texas or Louisiana who doesn't cite Slim as one of his principal influences: Buddy Guy, Earl King, Guitar Shorty, Albert Collins, Chick Willis, and plenty more have enthusiastically testified to Slim's enduring sway."
Perfect Sound Forever
The Mississippi Blues Trail
YouTube: The Things That I Used to Do, I'm Guitar Slim, Well, I Done Got Over It, Story of My Life, Reap What You Sow, Standin' At The Station, Bad Luck Blues, New Arrival, Think It Over, Twenty-Five Lies, Certainly All, You Give Me Nothing But The Blues, Letter To My Girlfriend AKA Prison Blues, Sum'thin' To Remember You By, Later For You Baby, Quicksand, Sufferin' Mind, I Want To Love-A You, Cryin' In The Morning, Woman Troubles aka Bad Luck Is On Me
Buddy Guy on Guitar Slim

Italian Style: Fashion Since 1945

Models on the catwalk beneath the Sala Bianca's Murano glass chandeliers in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence, 1953
"Trace the evolution of Italian design, from Gucci and Prada to Missoni, Versace and more. A major retrospective of the fashion that has defined a nation—and a rare chance to see Milan’s finest in Minneapolis. An MIA first, this groundbreaking exhibition examines the craftsmanship and entrepreneurial verve that catapulted Italy from the ashes of World War II to the style powerhouse it is today. Immerse yourself in impeccable design, rare ingenuity, and the head-turning glamour of celebrity style."
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
amazon: The Glamour of Italian Fashion: Since 1945
YouTube: The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945-2014

Tuesday, October 21

Watch Rick Rubin Return to His NYU Dorm Room

"In 1984, Def Jam Records, the label that defined hip-hop’s commercial and artistic potential, was born in a very unlikely location: a tiny New York University dorm room. Founder Rick Rubin — now a record-industry legend who’s shepherded the careers of everyone from Jay Z to the Red Hot Chili Peppers — hadn’t returned to that Greenwich Village double-occupancy room in three decades. But for Rolling Stone Films’ premiere documentary, Rick Was Here, he ventured back to Weinstein Hall, room 712, to remember how it all began."
Def Jam, (Video)
W - Rick Rubin
W - Def Jam Recordings
Interview Magazine
YouTube: T La Rock - It's Yours (Radio Mix), LL Cool J — I Need a Beat, The Beastie Boys — Rock Hard, Jazzy Jay — (This) Def Jam, MCA And Burzootie — Drum Machine (Psycho Dust Version), LL Cool J — I Want You, Jimmy Spicer — This Is It, Hollis Crew — It’s the Beat

Monday, October 20

Cindy Sherman

Wikipedia - "Cynthia 'Cindy' Morris Sherman (born January 19, 1954) is an American photographer and film director, best known for her conceptual portraits. In 1995, she was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Through a number of different series of works, Sherman has sought to raise challenging and important questions about the role and representation of women in society, the media and the nature of the creation of art. Her photographs include some of the most expensive photographs ever sold. Sherman lives and works in New York."
MoMA: The Complete Untitled Film Stills Cindy Sherman
Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Stills
American Icons: Untitled Film Stills (Video)
TATE: Untitled Film Still #48
YouTube: UNTITLED FILM STILLS, Robert Longo on Cindy Sherman's Untitled Film Still #25, 1978, Cindy Sherman - Nobody's Here But Me (1994) 55:23

Falling Man - Don DeLillo (2007)

Wikipedia - "Falling Man is a novel by Don DeLillo, published May 15, 2007. ... Falling Man concerns a survivor of the 9/11 attacks and the effect his experiences on that day has on his life thereafter. As the novel opens, Keith Neudecker, a 39-year-old lawyer who works in the World Trade Center, escapes from the building injured slightly and walks to the apartment he previously shared with his son Justin and estranged wife Lianne. ..."
Paris Review - Falling Men: On Don DeLillo and Terror
NY Times: The Clear Blue Sky
NY Books: Racing Against Reality
Guardian: As his world came tumbling down

2010 October: Pafko at the Wall, 2012 May: Underworld , 2012 July: The Body Artist, 2013 September: White Noise, 2013 November: The Art of Fiction No. 135, 2014 July: Don DeLillo: The Word, The Image, and The Gun.

Sunday, October 19

Art(s) in transit: Technology, aeshtetics, and the art of urban transformation in NYC

Fred’s soup cans, South Bronx, Martha Cooper, 1980
"... In January 2013, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York added the Metropolitan Transit Authority’s (MTA) 'Help Point' to their permanent collection. By this time, however, the MTA was no stranger to the world-renowned arts institution. The MTA’s metro-card vending machines previously graced the galleries of MoMA in the 2011 exhibition 'Talk to Me.' Coinciding with MoMA’s relocation of subway design into the locale of Andy Warhol, Jackson Polluck, and Mark Rothko was the launch of the MTA’s Arts for Transit App, a program that prompted the New York Times to declare that the subway is New York’s most 'underrated art museum'.”
Navigating Cartographies (Video)

Roxy Theatre

Wikipedia - "The Roxy Theatre was a 5,920 seat movie theater located at 153 West 50th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues, just off Times Square in New York City. It opened on March 11, 1927 with the silent film The Love of Sunya, produced by and starring Gloria Swanson. The huge movie palace was a leading Broadway film showcase through the 1950s and was also noted for its lavish stage shows. It closed and was demolished in 1960. The Roxy Theatre was originally conceived by film producer Herbert Lubin in mid-1925 as the world's largest and finest motion picture palace. To realize his dream, he brought in the successful and innovative theater operator Samuel L. Rothafel, aka 'Roxy', to bring it to fruition, enticing him with a large salary, percentage of the profits, stock options and offering to name the theatre after him."
W - Samuel Roxy Rothafel
The Roxy Theater, one of New York City's greatest lost palaces.

Curtis Mayfield Omnibus (1995)

"Written and Presented by Caryl Phillips, 'Darker Than Blue' was a tribute to the talent of Curtis Mayfield and broadcast in March 1995. Interviews include the great man himself and all the appropriate supporting cast... Jerry Butler, Fred Cash and Sam Gooden of The Impressions and Carl Davis. Caryl Phillips visits Curtis's childhood home and school in Chicago and talks to Curtis's mother. Curtis's son Todd Mayfield is also interviewed in Atlanta. Essential viewing for all Curtis fans and devotees of Chicago soul."
YouTube: Curtis Mayfield Omnibus - Part 1, Part2, Part 3, Part 4

2013 June: Roots (1971), 2014 May: Super Fly (1972), 2014 July: There's No Place Like America Today (1975), 2014 September: Back to the World (1973).

Saturday, October 18

José Parlá’s Solo Exhibition “In Medias Res” Continues through Saturday at Chelsea’s Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

Hot Gowanus 2014
"Continuing through Saturday at Chelsea’s Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, José Parlá’s solo exhibition, 'In Medias Res,' features a range of exquisitely richly-layered, abstract works focusing on the artist’s personal interactions with particular places. Here is a small sampling..."
Street Art NYC
Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery
José Parlá
NY Times
vimeo: Wrinkles of The City - Havana, Cuba by JR & José Parla
NOWNESS: José Parlá: Off the Wall

2012 December: The Wrinkles of the City / La Havana / 2012, 2013 February: José Parlá

Typed Portraits of Literary Legends: Kerouac, Saramago, Bukowski & More

"Artists have used all sorts of odd media to create portraits, everything from guitar picks to dice to wooden eggs. Add to this list Brazilian type artist Álvaro Franca, who uses the typewriter. Instead of composing literary portraits of his heroes, Franca types out literal portraits. The principle of the pictures are the same grey-scale printing used in newspapers or, if you spent time in the computer lab in the 1990s, those dot matrix images that were such the rage among computer nerds. Using a computer, Franca breaks the image down into discrete pixels and adds one or more keystrokes to that pixel. ‘I’ and ‘O’ seem to work for lighter greys while visually dense letters like ‘x’ and 'm' are used for the darker end of the spectrum. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

Friday, October 17

Final Cut: Ladies and Gentleman (2012)

"When a state subsidy is suddenly eviscerated, what’s an enterprising filmmaker to do? In the case of Hungarian helmer Gyorgy Palfi, a leftover post-production grant provided seed money for his delightful montage film Final Cut — Ladies & Gentleman. The product of three years in the editing room, the playful pic consists of quick cuts from more than 450 classics of world cinema, artfully collaged to tell a love story. ... Repping a master class in both film history and editing, the story is told via clips that last just a few seconds yet cleverly move the action forward. Men and women meet cute, take in a show, fall in love, have great sex, marry and honeymoon. With the arrival of domesticity, women cook and clean, and men spend long hours at the office. Misunderstandings surface; men turn paranoid, women dissolve in tears. War tears couples apart, but reconciliation — and a baby — lies in the cards."
Final cut - Ladies and Gentlemen
vimeo: Everything Is Festival: "Final Cut - Ladies & Gentlemen" (trailer)
YouTube: Final Cut - Hölgyeim es Uraim

Le Jour se lève - Marcel Carné (1939)

Wikipedia - "Le Jour se lève ... is a 1939 French film directed by Marcel Carné and written by Jacques Prévert, based on a story by Jacques Viot. It is considered one of the principal examples of the French film movement known as poetic realism. ... The film begins with foundry worker François (Jean Gabin) shooting and killing Valentin (Jules Berry). François then locks himself in his room in a guest house at the top of many flights of stairs. He is soon besieged by the police, who fail in an attempt to shoot their way into the room, as François barricades himself in. ... Le Jour se lève was released in France in June 1939 and shown in the US the following year. In France, however, the film was banned in 1940 by the Vichy government on the grounds it was demoralizing. After the war's end, the film was shown again to wide acclaim."
Film Reference - 1952, Sight and Sound
Cinema of the World
Critical Commons: Le Jour se Leve - Love scene between Francois and Francine (Video)
TCM: Beat It Or I'll Shoot! (Video)
YouTube: 75th Anniversary Trailer

Thursday, October 16

How Brooklyn Has Changed on Screen

"We have all heard a great deal at this point about the changes that have come to Brooklyn over the last several decades. In truth, those changes are more complicated than much of the media coverage suggests. But the borough has changed, of course, and its depiction on screen has changed along with it. 'Brooklyn: Through the Lens' shows how filmmakers and TV showrunners have imagined Brooklyn’s past and present, sometimes from right up close, and sometimes from the distance of Hollywood (or Manhattan), from the days of Jackie Robinson and It Happened in Brooklyn to Bored to Death and Lena Dunham, and all the decades in between."
Slate: How Brooklyn Has Changed on Screen (Video)

The Jimi Hendrix Experience - Live at Monterey (1967)

"The Jimi Hendrix Experience's breakthrough appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival on June 18, 1967, has been committed to disc, in whole or in part, before, starting with the split LP Monterey International Pop Festival, which featured four tracks by Hendrix on one side and performances by Otis Redding on the other. That album was released scant weeks before Hendrix's death in September 1970. In 1986, Jimi Plays Monterey, containing the full ten-song set, appeared. Both those albums were released on Hendrix's original U.S. label, the Reprise imprint of Warner Bros. Records. Experience Hendrix, the company formed to reissue the guitarist's work after his recordings were acquired by his family, has put out its own versions of many of his discs, and Live at Monterey is its take on the Monterey show."
W - Live at Monterey
dailymotion: Jimi Hendrix Live at Monterey 1967

2010 September: Jimi Hendrix, 2013 November: Watch Jimi Hendrix: Hear My Train A Comin’, the New PBS Documentary, 2014 July: Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock: The Complete Performance in Video & Audio (1969).

Palais Schaumburg

Wikipedia - "Palais Schaumburg was a new wave band from Hamburg, Germany. The style was classified as Neue Deutsche Welle, and strongly characterized by their avant garde music and dadaistic attitude. The band was originally formed in 1980, featuring Timo Blunck, Holger Hiller, Thomas Fehlmann, and percussionist F.M. Einheit. The group's name stands for Das Palais Schaumburg in Bonn, the former residence of German chancellor. ... The group made several singles and albums throughout early 80's, where their avant garde sounds were heavily influenced by funk, especially in albums Lupa and Parlez-Vous Schaumburg."
YouTube: Kinder der Tod, Wir bauen eine neue Stadt, Deutschland kommt gebräunt zurück, Beat of Two 12inch, Easy Go (12 inch extended single version), Ahoi, nicht traurig sein, Telefon, Europa

Wednesday, October 15

Émile Henri Bernard

Après-midi à Saint-Briac, 1887
Wikipedia - "Émile Henri Bernard (28 April 1868 – 16 April 1941) was a French Post-Impressionist painter who had artistic friendships with Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and Eugène Boch, and at a later time, Paul Cézanne. Most of his notable work was accomplished at a young age, in the years 1886 through 1897. He is also associated with Cloisonnism and Synthetism, two late 19th-century art movements. Less known is Bernard's literary work, comprising plays, poetry, and art criticism as well as art historical statements that contain first hand information on the crucial period of modern art to which Bernard had contributed."
Musée d'Orsay: Emile Bernard (1868–1941)
YouTube: Emile Bernard

Train Kept A-Rollin'

Wikipedia - "'Train Kept A-Rollin' (or 'The Train Kept A-Rollin') is a song first recorded by American jazz and rhythm and blues musician Tiny Bradshaw in 1951. Originally performed in the style of a jump blues, it has been reworked into a 'classic guitar riff song for the ages'. Bradshaw borrowed lyrics from an earlier song and set them to an upbeat shuffle arrangement that inspired other musicians to perform and record it. Johnny Burnette and the Rock and Roll Trio made an important contribution in 1956 by adding a prominent three-note minor key repeating guitar line to the song. Although the actual guitar player has been questioned, his contribution has been seen as one of the first uses of an intentionally distorted guitar in rock music. In 1965, the Yardbirds popularized the song as an early psychedelic blues rock song, due largely to Jeff Beck's fuzz-toned guitar work."
Train Kept A-Rollin'
YouTube: The Train Kept A-Rollin' - Tiny Bradshaw, Johnny Burnette, The Yardbirds

Sigmar Polke: a life of defying convention

Untitled (Quetta, Pakistan) 1974–1978
"Sigmar Polke (1941-2010) is one of the most experimental artists of recent times. Alongside Gerhard Richter and Blinky Palermo, Polke was a key figure in the generation of German artists who first emerged in the 1960s. This autumn Tate Modern presents the first full retrospective of Polke’s career, bringing together paintings, films, sculptures, notebooks, slide projections and photocopies from across five decades, and including works which have never before been exhibited. "
TATE - Sigmar Polke: a life of defying convention
Walker Art

2009 September: Sigmar Polke, 2014 April: Alibis: Sigmar Polke 1963–2010

Tuesday, October 14

Fania at Fifty

"Fania Records, the legendary Latin music label, has been celebrating its fiftieth anniversary with a series of events in New York and Los Angeles, its opening salvo a Central Park show last June spotlighting salsero Roberto Roena. It felt, indeed, like a party. Hundreds of dancers flooded the area in front of the stage. Those present merely to spectate were forced backward. ... In its sixties and seventies heyday, Fania was the most powerful force in the Latin music industry, and salsa was the most powerful force in Latin music. The depth of the connection between label and genre is pronounced. Ask die-hard fans to list their favorite figures from salsa’s golden age, and nine out of ten answers will be artists whose résumés include Fania for at least a record or two (Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente), if not for significant stretches of their careers (Celia Cruz, Willie Colón)."
The Paris Review
NPR: On Fania Records And The Music That Made It Matter (Video)
Fania Records: Fifty Years Of Sabor (Video)
W - Fania Records
Digital Salsa: The Surprising Rebirth Of Legendary Latin-Music Label Fania Records (Video)
YouTube: Descarga Fania LIVE - Fania All Stars with Bobby Valentin, Celia Cruz & The Fania All Stars - Quimbara - Zaire, Africa 1974, Fania All Stars - Siento, Fania All Stars - Pueblo latino (versión inédita), Vuela la Paloma- Fania All Star

2011 November: Charlie Palmieri, 2014 March: Harlem River Drive - Harlem River Drive (1971)

Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn - William Hogarth (1738)

Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn, William Hogarth
Wikipedia - "Strolling Actresses Dressing in a Barn is a painting from 1738 by British artist William Hogarth. It was reproduced as an engraving and issued with Four Times of the Day as a five print set in the same year. The painting depicts a company of actresses preparing for their final performance before the troupe is disbanded as a result of the Licensing Act 1737. Brought in as a result of John Gay's Beggar's Opera of 1728, which had linked Robert Walpole with the notorious criminal Jonathan Wild, the Licensing Act made it compulsory for new plays to be approved by the Lord Chamberlain, and, more importantly for the characters depicted, closed any non-patent theatres. The majority of the painting was completed before the Act was passed in 1737, but its passing into law was no surprise and it was the work of a moment for Hogarth to insert a reference to the Act itself into the picture."
W - Barn

Monday, October 13

Sun Ra And His Arkestra - In The Orbit Of Ra

"As one of the most prolific musicians to have ever lived (releasing over 150 albums, 180 of which can be found listed here), Sun Ra is an artist for whom compilations offer a necessary gateway for potential fans otherwise put off by the bewildering diversity of his recorded output. Many are already available –Greatest Hits: Easy Listening For Intergalactic Travel on Evidence, Out There A Minute put out by Blast First and Mute, and more recently the three disc A Space Odyssey: From Birmingham To The Big Apple on Fantastic Voyage Music, to name but three."
The Quietus
YouTube: In The Orbit Of Ra: Arkestra Reflections On Sun Ra 17:11
Soundcloud: "Plutonian Nights" (Original Tape Master)
YouTube: Sun Ra And His Myth Science Arkestra - Somewhere In Space, "Angels And Demons At Play" [Original Tape Master], Somewhere In Space

Blondie - "Rip Her to Shreds", "In the Flesh", "X Offender" (1977)

Wikipedia - "'Rip Her to Shreds' is a song by American new wave band Blondie, which features on the band's self-titled debut album. 'Rip Her To Shreds' was Blondie's first UK single, released on Chrysalis Records in the UK in late 1977, though it did not chart. The B-sides to this single were 'In the Flesh' and 'X Offender', both previously issued as A-side singles by Private Stock Records, and both moderately successful in certain territories. As a promotional gimmick the song was also released as a 12" single (at that time a relative rarity), selling for 99p."
YouTube: Rip Her To Shreds, In The Flesh, X Offender