Tuesday, March 31

Andrew Savulich: The City

"Social and cultural transition is often hard to gauge. New York in the 1980s and the first half of the 90s was clearly a different place than it is now: the city was more violent, the street stranger, and Times Square still wonderfully sleazy. Andrew Savulich's subject is this perpetually changing metropolis, and his images are a unique mix of spot news and street photography, capturing crime scenes as well as everyday life. The startling immediacy of the moment prevails in his black-and-white images on which he provides handwritten captions. What at first seems like objective commentary soon reveals an dry ironic tone, at times bordering on black humor."

A New War With Old Generals – Carnage on the Western Front - Week 4

"In the early days of World War 1, warfare is still based on ideas and ideals of 19th century generals. The technological progress during industrialisation clashes with obsolete war tactics. Tens of thousands of soldiers lose their lives in carnage at the Western front. The foreshadow of this carnage could already be seen in last week's episode."
YouTube: A New War With Old Generals – Carnage on the Western Front I - Week 4

2014 December: The Great War: WWI Starts - How Europe Spiraled Into the Great War - Week 1, Europe Prior to WWI: Allies and Enemies I PRELUDE TO WW1 - Part 1/3, Tinderbox Europe - From Balkan Troubles to WWI I PRELUDE TO WW1 - Part 2/3, A Shot that Changed the World - The Assassination of Franz Ferdinand I PRELUDE TO WW1 - Part 3/3, 2015 January: Germany in Two-Front War and the Schlieffen-Plan I - Week 2, 2015 March: To Arms! Deployment of Troops - Week 3

Pull My Daisy (1959)

Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie and Gregory Corso
Wikipedia - "Pull My Daisy (1959) is a short film that typifies the Beat Generation. Directed by Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie, Daisy was adapted by Jack Kerouac from the third act of his play, Beat Generation; Kerouac also provided improvised narration. It starred poets Allen Ginsberg, Peter Orlovsky and Gregory Corso, artists Larry Rivers (Milo) and Alice Neel (bishop's mother), musician David Amram, actors Richard Bellamy (Bishop) and Delphine Seyrig (Milo's wife), dancer, Sally Gross (bishop's sister), and Pablo Frank, Robert Frank's then-young son. Based on an incident in the life of Beat icon Neal Cassady and his wife, the painter Carolyn, the film tells the story of a railway brakeman whose wife invites a respected bishop over for dinner. However, the brakeman's bohemian friends crash the party, with comic results."
Robert Frank and Jack Kerouac’s brilliant 1959 short, ‘Pull My Daisy’ (Video)
Is Pull My Daisy Holy?

2009 November: Another Side of Kerouac: The Dharma Bum as Sports Nut, 2010 July: Kerouac's Copies of Floating Bear, 2011 March: Jack Kerouac on The Steve Allen Show, 2013 September: On the Road - Jack Kerouac, 2014 May: “Walker Evans and Robert Frank – An Essay on Influence by Tod Papageorge” (1981).

Monday, March 30

Bazm and Razm: Feast and Fight in Persian Art

Details from two folios from the Shahnama of Shah Tahmasp. Iran, Safavid period, ca. 1525–30.
"For centuries, Persian kingship was epitomized by two complementary pursuits: bazm (feast) and razm (fight). The ruler’s success as both a reveler and hunter/warrior distinguished him as a worthy and legitimate sovereign. The pairing of bazm and razm as the ultimate royal activities is an ancient concept with roots in pre-Islamic Iran. It is a recurring theme in the Shahnama (or Book of Kings)—the Persian national epic—as well as other poetic and historic texts. The exhibition Bazm and Razm: Feast and Fight in Persian Art, which opened February 17 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, features some three dozen works in various media, created between the 15th century and the present day."
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art: New Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia, and Later South Asia (Video)

Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup

"Arthur 'Big Boy' Crudup (August 24, 1905 – March 28, 1974) was an American Delta blues singer, songwriter and guitarist. He is best known outside blues circles for writing songs such as 'That's All Right' (1946), 'My Baby Left Me' and 'So Glad You're Mine', later covered by Elvis Presley and dozens of other artists. ... Crudup stayed in Chicago to work as a solo musician, but barely made a living as a street singer. Record producer Lester Melrose allegedly found him while he was living in a packing crate, introduced him to Tampa Red and signed him to a recording contract with RCA Victor's Bluebird label. ..."
The Mississippi Blues Trail
YouTube: Mean Ol' Frisco Blues, My Baby Left Me, That's All Right, So Glad You're Mine, Rock me Mama, I'm gonna dig myself a hole, Death Valley Blues, My Mama Don't Allow, Hey Mama Everything's All Right, Standing At My Window, She's Gone, Gonna Be Some Changes Made, Just Like A Spider, Dust My Broom, Hand Me Down My Walking Cane

BSA Images Of The Week: 03.29.15

Various Artists on a “magnet wall” in Berlin.
"BSA again proudly shouts out Young New Yorkers this week as they offer you works by many Street Artists on the scene today at auction. Check out the auction on April 1st of some of New Yorks’ finest (and generous) Street Artists whose work will benefit the programs of 'restorative justice' which YNY offers to 16 and 17 year olds in NYC who have become entangled with the law. (Video at bottom) Also our hearts go to the neighbors who lost homes and were hurt (some very badly) in the explosion and fire that destroyed two buildings on the Lower East Side this week. Meme-making selfies by callous bimbos aside, stories of strangers and neighbors reaching out to help out remind us why we love NYC. Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this week featuring B.D.White, City Kitty, Claw Money, Enzo Sarto, Hot Tea, Jeff Soto, Philippe Vignal, Rhino, Sbagliato, Sobr, Stikman, Tona, Urban Solid, and VK."
Brooklyn Street Art

Sunday, March 29

Mean Streets - Martin Scorsese (1973)

Wikipedia - "Mean Streets is a 1973 crime film directed by Martin Scorsese and co-written by Scorsese and Mardik Martin. The film stars Harvey Keitel and Robert De Niro. ... Charlie (Harvey Keitel) is a young Italian-American man who is trying to move up in the local New York Mafia but is hampered by his feeling of responsibility towards his reckless friend Johnny Boy (Robert De Niro), a small-time gambler who owes money to many loan sharks. Charlie works for his uncle Giovanni (Cesare Danova), the local caporegime, mostly collecting debts. He is also having a secret affair with Johnny Boy's cousin Teresa (Amy Robinson), who has epilepsy and is ostracized because of her condition—especially by Charlie's uncle."
Roger Ebert
The impact of Martin Scorsese’s ‘Mean Streets’(Video)
What’s the Big Deal?: Mean Streets (1973)
YouTube: Mean Streets theatrical trailer, $10 on a $2,000 debt, Q&A with Martin Scorsese, "Mean Streets" 49:00

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - God Is In The House (2001)

"The centerpiece of this DVD is a 90-minute concert by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, performing live in Lyon, France, in the summer of 2001 during a European tour in support of the album No More Shall We Part. Its mature and emotive textures dominate this show, which means if you're hoping to see Cave whipping himself into a frenzy while Blixa Bargeld rattles the walls with his guitar, well, you're out of luck. However, this footage proves that, in more subtle form, Cave is still a magnetic and compelling performer and that the Bad Seeds have grown into a singularly gifted ensemble who bring just the right amount of drama and force to Cave's superb songs (with guitarist Mick Harvey and violinist Warren Ellis taking top honors at this performance)."
amazon: God Is In The House
YouTube: God Is In The House 1:28:15

2008 August: Nick Cave, 2010 November: Henry Lee - Nick Cave & PJ Harvey, 2011 March: The Boatman's Call, 2011 December: B-Sides & Rarities, 2012 January: Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - White Lunar, 2013 January: "We No Who U R", 2013 April: No More Shall We Part, 2013 June: The Secret Life Of The Love Song/The Flesh Made Word (1999), 2013 October: The Abattoir Blues Tour (2007), 2014 March: Push the Sky Away (2013), 2014 May: Live from KCRW (2013), 2014 July: I Am the Real Nick Cave.

Old Black

Wikipedia - "Old Black is the name given to the main electric guitar used by rock musician Neil Young. Most of Neil's electric guitar parts were recorded on 'Old Black,' though some were played on Gretsch White Falcons or on an orange Gretsch Chet Atkins. Young acquired Old Black in 1969 through a trade with one-time Buffalo Springfield collaborator Jim Messina, who received one of Young's orange Gretsch guitars (Gretsch 6120 Chet Atkins) in exchange."
Neil Young’s ‘Old Black’ Magic
YouTube: NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE - Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black), Wild Man de-strings 'Old Black' Gibson Guitar

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.

Saturday, March 28

John Renbourn: ceaseless explorer of song – appreciation

"It wasn’t the sort of house where you could just drop in and say hi. The converted chapel on the Scottish borders that John Renbourn had called home for the past three decades was far away. Far from pretty much everywhere. And given how remote John’s house was – and that everything in it had got there by being carried along a 200-yard path via a narrow footbridge – it really was astonishing how much stuff there was in it. The 20 or so guitars. The bed in the corner of the large living space. The four or five record players dotted about the place. The thousands of records in the kitchen included an original copy of Lena Hughes – Queen of the Flat-Top Guitar, a privately pressed album of Appalachian folk instrumentals that numbered among his astonishingly diverse influences. The water supply came directly from the river. Mostly it worked, but sometimes, John would have to go outside and fix the pump."
Guardian (Video)
Pitchfork: Pentangle Founder John Renbourn Has Died (Video)
John Renbourn, Eclectic Guitarist Who Founded the Pentangle, Dies at 70

2011 September: Faro Annie, 2011 April: Cruel Sister (1970) - Pentangle, 2012 November: John Renbourn - Sir John Alot, 2013 May: The Lady and the Unicorn, 2014 February: Bert &; John (1966), 2014 October: The Hermit (1976).

The Whitney Museum, Soon to Open Its New Home, Searches for American Identity

"When the Whitney Museum of American Art opens its new building in Manhattan’s meatpacking district on May 1, it’s the big things everyone will notice first: the sweeping views west to the Hudson River; the romantic silhouettes of Manhattan’s wooden water towers; the four outdoor terraces for presenting sculptures, performances and movie screenings; and the tiered profile of its steel-paneled facade, intentionally reminiscent of the Whitney’s Modernist, granite-clad Marcel Breuer building on Madison Avenue, which had been the museum’s home since 1966. Its new digs, designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, also offer commodious interior spaces: 50,000 square feet of galleries, unencumbered by structural columns, and huge elevators that are themselves immersive environments, the work of the artist Richard Artschwager."
NY Times (Video)

Massive Underground City Found in Cappadocia Region of Turkey

Tourist map of Derinkuyu Underground City
"When the invaders came, Cappadocians knew where to hide: underground, in one of the 250 subterranean safe havens they had carved from pliable volcanic ash rock called tuff. Now a housing construction project may have unearthed the biggest hiding place ever found in Cappadocia, a region of central Turkey famous for the otherworldly chimney houses, cave churches, and underground cities its residents carved for millennia. Discovered beneath a Byzantine-era hilltop castle in Nevşehir, the provincial capital, the site dates back at least to early Byzantine times. It is still largely unexplored, but initial studies suggest its size and features may rival those of Derinkuyu, the largest excavated underground city in Cappadocia, which could house 20,000 people. ..."
National Geographic
Derinkuyu & The Underground Cities of Cappadocia

Friday, March 27

Enchanting rainy evenings in the Gilded Age city

Hoffbauer, New York Public Library
"Impressionist painter Charles Constantin Hoffbauer, born in 1875, must have loved the rain. He painted many scenes of streetlights and roadways and cable cars and black-clad people slick with rain, some depicting his native Paris but many of New York, where he arrived just before 1910. His New York is an evening or nighttime city on the move, one of melancholy skies illuminated by billboards and store windows. The exact location of each scene isn’t always clear, but the first image could be close to Times Square, with the Times building in the back. Next up is the very recognizable New York Public Library main building, an El station off in the distance. The third might be Madison Square Park’s Met Life Tower, flanked by the second version of Madison Square Garden in dark shadows. More images of a stormy, moody city can be found here."
Ephemeral New York

Atlantis - Sun Ra (1969)

"Featuring the Astro Infinity Arkestra, Atlantis reveals two very distinct sides of Sun Ra's music. The first consists of shorter works Ra presumably constructed for presentation on the Hohner clavinet. Not only is the electric keyboard dominantly featured, but also it presumably offered Ra somewhat of a novelty as it had only been on the market for less than a year. The second side consists of the epic 21-minute title track and features an additional seven-man augmentation to the brass/woodwind section of the Astro Infinity Arkestra. Tracks featuring the smaller combo reveal an almost introspective Arkestra. ..."
YouTube: Atlantis [Saturn] [Full Album] 42:59

Thursday, March 26

Jennifer Tipton

Autumn Sonata
Wikipedia - "Jennifer Tipton (born September 11, 1937 Columbus, Ohio) is a lighting designer. She has designed for dance, theater and opera. ... She is known for her designs for dance and is the principal lighting designer for the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Choreographers she has worked with include Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jiri Kylian, Dana Reitz, Jerome Robbins, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, Dan Wagoner and Shen Wei. Tipton has designed lighting for the American Ballet Theatre since A Soldier’s Tale (1971). She designed the lighting for Baryshnikov's production of The Nutcracker, both for the stage and for television. In January 2008, Tipton designed a large lighting display for the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY. It was her first non-theatrical installation."
The queen of theater lighting, Jennifer Tipton, gets a spotlight for herself in two New York performances
[PDF] Jennifer Tipton by Megan Slayter
NY Times: Through the Lens Brightly With Jennifer Tipton
TheatreNow! Interview with Jennifer Tipton, Lighting Designer
vimeo: Light Above the Hudson
YouTube: Women in Theatre, Jennifer Tipton on Edward Hopper, Remembering Jerome Robbins, Sardono Dance Theater and Jennifer Tipton: Rain Coloring Forest

Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence

"The first major retrospective exhibition ever presented of paintings by the imaginative Italian Renaissance master Piero di Cosimo (1462–1522) will premiere at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, from February 1 through May 3, 2015. Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence will showcase some 44 of the artist's most compelling works. With themes ranging from the pagan to the divine, the works include loans from churches in Italy and one of his greatest masterpieces, Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints Elizabeth of Hungary, Catherine of Alexandria, Peter, and John the Evangelist with Angels (completed by 1493), from the Museo degli Innocenti, Florence. Several important paintings will undergo conservation treatment before the exhibition, including the Gallery's Visitation with Saints Nicholas of Bari and Anthony Abbot (c. 1489–1490)—one of the artist's largest surviving works. ..."
[PDF] Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence
New Yorker: Change Artist By Peter Schjeldahl
Piero di Cosimo, a misunderstood master, at the National Gallery of Art
Download Press Preview: Piero di Cosimo: The Poetry of Painting in Renaissance Florence Lagu Gratis (Video)

Adrian Younge: New Soul Rebel

"The distinctive clattering drums and twisted psychedelics underpinning Jay Z’s ode to stacking art dollars, 'Picasso Baby,' sounds like a dusty sample rattled out of a 70s funk studio in Memphis, Tennessee. It is in fact a loop from 'Sirens,' a track written in 2011 by Adrian Younge, a gifted multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer. The Los Angeles native’s singular obsession with the seemingly lost craft of analogue production has made him the go-to name for hip-hop, R&B and soul stars in search of an old-school studio magic. From Hova, Snoop, the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and Ghostface Killah to Common, Raphael Saadiq, Bilal, and Ali Shaheed of A Tribe Called Quest, Younge's multiple collaborators cite his passion for vinyl culture and nuanced approach in successfully creating music deeply inspired by the past, yet progressive in execution."
Adrian Younge’s Perfection Of The Analogue Sound Dissected By RZA, Bilal, Raphael Saadiq & DJ Premier In Stunning Short Film
W - Adrian Younge
Linear Labs
YouTube: Adrian Younge's Vinyl Collection - Crate Diggers

Wednesday, March 25

Travelers in Postwar Europe: Photographs by H. A. Durfee, Jr., 1951-53

Vineyard on the Rhine, Bacharach, Germany
"... In the early 1950s, prior to beginning his career in Vermont, Dr. Durfee practiced medicine at the U.S. Army Airbase in Wiesbaden, Germany. He and his wife Elizabeth took advantage of the assignment, traveling to London, Paris, Venice and the German countryside when they could find the time. On these travels, Durfee took with him two German cameras: a Rolleiflex and Rolleicord. Between 1951 and 1953, he took more than 600 black-and-white images, capturing the striking architecture, landscapes, monuments, ruins, and the uncannily empty streets of Europe’s cities in the aftermath of World War II."
Fleming Museum of Art
Travelers in Postwar Europe

Marianne Faithfull - Give My Love to London (2014)

"Though there is no musical resemblance, the title track of Marianne Faithfull's Give My Love to London looks back at her brilliant reading of Kurt Weill's and Bertolt Brecht's 'Pirate Jenny' on her 20th Century Blues album from 1997, and even mentions her by name. ... The intimate yet dramatic sadness in this reading completes a series of bridge constructions from the eras in Faithfull's musical past to her present. Thus, Give My Love to London is as complete a portrait of the artist -- at least from the late '70s on -- as we've ever had. In total, it reveals no abatement in her creative renaissance."
W - Give My Love to London
NPR: First Listen
YouTube: Give My Love To London, Love More Or Less, Late Victorian Holocaust, Sparrows Will Sing, True Lies, The Price of Love, Deep Water

2008 June: Marianne Faithfull, 2010 November: Marianne Faithfull - 1, 2013 January: Broken English: Deluxe Edition, 2013 November: Before the Poison (2005), 2014 August: Kissin' Time (2002), 2014 October: Broken English short film by Derek Jarman (1979).

Daedalus Books

Wikipedia - "Daedalus Books is an independent seller of books, music, and video founded in 1980. While it also sells new titles, Daedalus Books' specialty is the remaindered book. Its philosophy is to keep bestsellers, classics, and overlooked gems available to the reading public. The company has a wholesale division and a retail division. The retail division sells via catalogs, a web site, and through a bricks and mortar store."
Daedalus Books
Daedalus Books – there’s a reason they’re a legend

Tuesday, March 24

Mario Vargas Llosa

The Discreet Hero
Wikipedia - "Jorge Mario Pedro Vargas Llosa, 1st Marquis of Vargas Llosa (...Spanish: born March 28, 1936) is a Peruvian writer, politician, journalist, essayist, college professor, and recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. ... Like many Latin American writers, Vargas Llosa has been politically active throughout his career; over the course of his life, he has gradually moved from the political left towards liberalism or neoliberalism. While he initially supported the Cuban revolutionary government of Fidel Castro, Vargas Llosa later became disenchanted with his policies. ..."
The Paris Review: Mario Vargas Llosa, The Art of Fiction No. 120
New Yorker: Restless Realism
New Republic: Why Literature?
NY Times: Vargas Llosa Takes Nobel in Literature
amazon: Mario Vargas Llosa
Guardian: Nobel prize for literature goes to Mario Vargas Llosa (Video)

Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection

"The story of Huddie 'Lead Belly' Ledbetter reads like a parody of the brutal bluesman biography: Kill a man, go to prison — twice — then appeal for a pardon in a song. According to the legend, Lead Belly's undeniable talent convinced Texas Governor Pat Neff to let him go. 'The states all kinda got ticked off when that story came out,' says Jeff Place, an archivist with Smithonian Folkways. 'They said no, no — he really got out both times because his time was up.' With a new box set called Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection, Place is hoping to set the record straight on that and other aspects of the musician's legacy. He says the musicologist John Lomax really did 'discover' Lead Belly in the infamous Angola prison in Louisiana — but that Lomax also carefully crafted and exploited Lead Belly's image as a dangerous criminal."
NPR: 'That Blew My Mind': Raiding The Lead Belly Vault (Video)
NY Times
YouTube: Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection (Making Of)

Armand Guillaumin

The Bay And The River
Wikipedia - "Armand Guillaumin (February 16, 1841 – June 26, 1927) was a French impressionist painter and lithographer. Born Jean-Baptiste Armand Guillaumin in Paris, he worked at his uncle's lingerie shop while attending evening drawing lessons. He also worked for a French government railway before studying at the Académie Suisse in 1861. There, he met Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro with whom he maintained lifelong friendships. While he never achieved the stature of these two, his influence on their work was significant. Cézanne attempted his first etching based on Guillaumin paintings of barges on the River Seine. Guillaumin exhibited at the Salon des Refusés in 1863. He participated in six of the eight Impressionist exhibitions: 1874, 1877, 1880, 1881, 1882 and 1886. ..."
Armand Guillaum - The complete works
Nineteenth-Century Art Worldwide
YouTube: Armand Guillaumin 1841 1927

Monday, March 23

Peaks and Valleys: The Career of Sean Penn

"All careers, even the great ones, have their ups and downs. ... Our legends are fallible, but they don’t become legends without the sort of dizzying heights of success we mere mortals can only dream about. A great man once said that life is a highway, and if you really are gonna ride it all night long, you might get a flat tire or two in the process. Sean Penn is many things — gifted actor, humanitarian, party pooper, and troubled man who has been charged with felony domestic assault. He has done some of the best and worst acting of the last 30 years."
Grantland (Video)

2013 June: Colors - Dennis Hopper (1988)

The Original Delaney & Bonnie & Friends (1969)

Wikipedia - "The Original Delaney & Bonnie & Friends, also known by its subtitle Accept No Substitute, is the second studio album by American recording duo Delaney & Bonnie. ... It was recorded with many of the 'friends' that would form the core of their best-known 1969–70 touring band, including Leon Russell, Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle and Rita Coolidge. ... In a contemporary review for The New York Times, Robert Christgau praised the duo's singing and lyrics of 'rich but implicit' sexuality and commonplace truths about love. He was also impressed in how the album appropriates soul music, but asserted that 'it is a white album, and for once that's good. No black singers would record anything so eccentric, so unabashedly baroque, in its celebration of black music.'"
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends: Six Degrees of Swampland
Spotify, facebook
YouTube: Accept No Substitute (1969) Full Album 34:30

2010 August: Derek and the Dominos, 2014 February: Delaney & Bonnie & Friends: Copenhagen December 10, 1969, 2014 September: Home - Delaney & Bonnie (1969).

Charles Olson - "In Cold Hell, in Thicket" (1950)

Charles Olson, In Cold Hell, In Thicket. Divers Press / Origin, Palma de Mallorca, 1953.
"Charles Olson reading 'In Cold Hell, in Thicket' (1950) sometime in the mid-60s in Gloucester, MA—late night, recorded for Robert Creeley. Audio courtesy Ron Silliman and PennSound audio archive. Image: Ivan Besse—Britton, SD 1938-39 courtesy Rick Prelinger and archive.org. Text transcribed from The Collected Poems of Charles Olson: Excluding the Maximus Poems edited by George Butterick. Premiered at the Charles Olson Centenary Conference Worcester, MA on 27 March 2010—Fuller Theater."
YouTube: "In Cold Hell, in Thicket"
Charles Olson - In Cold Hell, In Thicket

2009 January: Charles Olson, 2009 April: Rockport Harbor, 2010 September: Charles Olson: The Art of Poetry No. 12, 2011 July: Charles Olson: February 21, 1957, 2012 April: A Trip to Charles Olson’s Gloucester, 2012 June: In Which We Lather Our Sensibilities At Length, 2013 January: Mass.Charles Olson, 2013 May: The Maximus Poems, 2013 November: A Guide to The Maximus Poems of Charles Olson .

Sunday, March 22

Roz Chast’s Pysanky

Egg #77, 2010-2013, eggshell, dye, and polyurethane
"Roz Chast does excellent work on paper—and sure enough, her latest memoir, Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, has just won a National Book Critics Circle Award—but I think her real medium is the egg. She’s been doing great things with pysanky (i.e. Ukrainian painted eggs) for at least a decade. Her latest efforts will be on display, along with her cartoons and her work in textiles, at Danese Corey Gallery starting this Friday."
The Paris Review
NY Times: The Droll Cartoonist With a Grade-A Obsession (November 26, 2004)

Alaska Through New Eyes

The whaling steamer Belvedere, Cape Lisburne, Arctic Ocean, circa 1886
"In 1886 Alaska had been American for less than two decades, Russian presence had waned, and the whaling industry widely occupied the region. The sole representative of American authority in those waters was the US Revenue Cutter Bear, a 198-foot, reinforced-hull vessel powered by both steam and sail. The ship’s mission was to confiscate illegal alcohol and guns, make observations for nautical charts, offer medical assistance to natives and ships’ crews, pick up explorers from an earlier US Navy expedition, and generally police the area. As a new book, Steaming to the North, shows, the Bear’s cruise that summer also produced some of the first photographs ever taken of that part of the world...."
The New York Review of Books
Steaming to the North - University of Chicago Press

Canal Street

Wikipedia - "Canal Street is a major east-west street in Lower Manhattan, New York City, running from East Broadway between Essex and Jefferson Streets in the east, to West Street between Watts and Spring Streets in the west. It runs through the neighborhood of Chinatown, and forms the southern boundaries of SoHo and Little Italy as well as the northern boundary of Tribeca. ... Tourists as well as locals pack its sidewalks every day to frequent the open-air food stalls and bare-bones stores selling items such as perfume, purses, hardware, and industrial plastics at low prices. Many of these goods are grey market imports and many notoriously counterfeit, with fake trademarked brand names on electronics, clothing and personal accessories (including the fake Rolex watches that have become a Manhattan cliché)."
RK Chin: Canal Street
nyc: Canal Street
YouTube: Canal Street Hustlers and Street Vendors

Saturday, March 21

Negro league baseball

Satchel Paige, the Kansas City Monarchs - Negro Leagues (Kadir Nelson)
Wikipedia - "The Negro leagues were United States professional baseball leagues comprising teams predominantly made up of African Americans and, to a lesser extent, Latin Americans. The term may be used broadly to include professional black teams outside the leagues and it may be used narrowly for the seven relatively successful leagues beginning in 1920 that are sometimes termed 'Negro Major Leagues'. ... On May 2, 1920, the Indianapolis ABCs beat the Chicago American Giants (4–2) in the first game played in the inaugural season of the Negro National League, played at Washington Park in Indianapolis. But, because of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919, the National Guard still occupied the Giants' home field, Schorling's Park (formerly South Side Park)."
Seamheads: Negro Leagues Database
MLB: Negro Leagues
NLBM History
Baseball Reference
YouTube: The Negro Leagues: Baseball, America, and Segregation, Extra Innings: Preserving the History of The Negro Leagues

"Town Called Malice" / "Precious" - The Jam

Wikipedia - "'Town Called Malice' is a song recorded by British band The Jam from the album The Gift. ... It was a double A-side single release featuring 'Precious' as the flip side. A 12" version was also available with a live version of 'Town Called Malice' backed by an extended version of 'Precious'. Released as the first single from the album on 29 January 1982, it entered the chart at number one on the British music charts, staying at the top for three weeks, and preventing 'Golden Brown' by The Stranglers from reaching number one. ..."
YouTube: Town Called Malice, Precious

2009 March: The Jam, 2011 December: Down in the Tube Station at Midnight, 2012 November: "Going Underground", 2013 January: In the City, 2013 February: This Is the Modern World, 2013 July: All Mod Cons, 2013 November: Setting Sons, 2014 January: Sound Affects (1980), 2014 December: Live At Bingley Hall, Birmingham, England 1982.

FOTR: Four Color Zack

"Four Color Zack’s breakout in the last few years has put him near the top of the whole DJ stratosphere. As 2012 Red Bull Thre3style World Champion and an all around great dude, he’s currently out on this year’s Thre3style circuit judging the competitions and flexing a nightly performance. You can keep up with the ongoing Thre3style schedule here. Zack and DJ Scene just dropped a collaborative production project on Fool’s Gold featuring Mad Lion (bo!) and a song with M.O.P. called Slap it Down."
The Rub (Video)
Four Color Zack (Video)
Soundcloud (Video)
facebook, twitter
YouTube: DJ Four Color Zack (Thre3style Champ) at Turntable Lab, DJcityTV, Tone Pla

Friday, March 20

Portfolio: Twenty-one Dresses

"A number of years ago, a young painting conservator entered a forgotten storeroom in a fifteenth-century Florentine villa and stumbled on a pile of Louis Vuitton steamer trunks. She opened them and discovered a collection of exquisite dresses, the kind usually seen only in movies, or inside protective vitrines in museums. Closer inspection revealed silk labels, hand-woven with the name 'Callot Soeurs.' In the second volume of 'Remembrance of Things Past,' the Narrator asks his beloved, Albertine, 'Is there a vast difference between a Callot dress and one from any ordinary shop?' Her response: 'Why, an enormous difference, my little man!'"
New Yorker
W - Callot Soeurs
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
House of Callot Soeurs
A Leading Fashion House: The Callot Sisters

Thursday, March 19

ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–60s

"ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–60s, is the first large-scale historical survey in the United States dedicated to the German artists' group Zero (1957–66) founded by Heinz Mack and Otto Piene and joined in 1961 by Günther Uecker, and ZERO, an international network of like-minded artists from Europe, Japan, and North and South America—including Lucio Fontana, Yves Klein, Yayoi Kusama, Piero Manzoni, Almir Mavignier, Jan Schoonhoven, and Jesús Rafael Soto—who shared the group’s aspiration to transform and redefine art in the aftermath of World War II. Featuring more than 40 artists from 10 countries, the exhibition explores the experimental practices developed by this extensive ZERO network of artists, whose work anticipated aspects of Land art, Minimalism, and Conceptual art. ZERO encompasses a diverse range of media including painting, sculpture, works on paper, installations, and archival materials such as publications and photographic and filmic documentation."
Guggenheim (Video)
Guggenheim: ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–60s
NY Times: 3 Men and a Posse, Chasing Newness
YouTube: ZERO: Countdown to Tomorrow, 1950s–60s with V. Hillings, T. Caianiello, J. Robinson 1:00:00

The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon - John Joseph

When punk seemed exhausted, a new generation of kids arrived in the East Village to fight for their music.
"When John Joseph returned to New York, in 1981, punk rock was almost dead, and he was determined to help kill it. He had grown up hard in Queens, abandoned by his father and then by his mother. (Eventually, he stopped using his last name, which was McGowan.) He wound up living in a Catholic boys’ home in the Rockaways, which in time came to seem less appealing than a life on the streets. Among the many things he found on the streets was punk, in the form of a wild concert at Max’s Kansas City, the night club on Park Avenue South where such heroes as Sid Vicious and Johnny Thunders liked to debauch themselves. John Joseph had visited Max’s under the influence of a sedative called Placidyl, which may explain why he can’t remember what band was playing, and why he fared so poorly in the fistfight that followed the show. But he liked the mayhem, and he liked the punk-obsessed woman he met a few weeks later, who had a fake English accent and a real heroin addiction."
New Yorker: United Blood - How hardcore conquered New York.
amazon: The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon by John Joseph
John Joseph of Cro-Mags Has the Craziest Stories Ever - Interviews
YouTube: Evolution Of A Cromagnon - Meeting the Bad Brains / Definition of modern celebrities

Helter Skelter (1992)

Wikipedia - "Helter Skelter is a 1992 rock opera by Fred Frith and François-Michel Pesenti. It was their first collaborative album and was recorded in Marseille, France in February 1992. The music was composed by Frith, with libretto by Pesenti, and was conducted by Frith and Jean-Marc Montera. Frith does not perform on this album. In 1990, English multi-instrumentalist, composer and improvisor Fred Frith spent six months in Marseille, France working with Que d'la Gueule, a group of young unemployed rock musicians. He composed Helter Skelter for them to perform, a rock opera for two sopranos, one contralto and a large electric ensemble. Their style of playing and abilities varied considerably, but Frith found that this was what contributed to the success of the project."
YouTube: Fred Frith & Que D'La Gueule - Berlin Jazz Festival, 1992 58:58

Wednesday, March 18

San Francisco Renaissance

Robin Blaser
Wikipedia - "The term San Francisco Renaissance is used as a global designation for a range of poetic activity centered on San Francisco and which brought it to prominence as a hub of the American poetic avant-garde. However, others (e.g., Alan Watts, Ralph J. Gleason) felt this renaissance was a broader phenomenon and should be seen as also encompassing visual and performing arts, philosophy, cross-cultural interests (particularly those that involved Asian cultures), and new social sensibilities. ... He was amongst the first American poets to explore Japanese poetry traditions such as haiku and was also heavily influenced by jazz. If Rexroth was the founding father, Madeline Gleason was the founding mother. During the 1940s, both she and Rexroth befriended a group of younger Berkeley poets consisting of Robert Duncan, Jack Spicer and Robin Blaser. Gleason and Duncan were particularly close and read and criticized each other's work."
The Beats: San Francisco
The Blacklisted Journalist
Howls, Raps & Roars: Recordings from the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance (Video)
Rexroth’s San Francisco (1975)
Reality Studio: Ten San Francisco Poets
amazon: The San Francisco Renaissance: Poetics and Community at Mid-Century
Poetry Center Digital Archive, (Video)

Life in Crimea - Photographs by Arthur Bondar

"One year ago today, after twenty-three years as an autonomous region within Ukraine, Crimea voted in a referendum to leave Ukraine and join Russia. Russian elections aren’t known for their fairness, and the official reports of eighty-three-per-cent turnout, with ninety-seven per cent voting to join Russia, were widely questioned. Still, it’s clear that many Crimeans truly wanted to become Russian, hoping to be rescued from the uncertainty of post-Maidan Ukraine, to receive higher pensions, and to exit a nation in which they’d never really felt at home. The Ukrainian photographer Arthur Bondar, who documented life on the peninsula between 2010 and 2014, says that Crimeans have 'celebrated grandly' this past year."
New Yorker
Arthur Bondar
VII Photo
Chernobyl Anniversary: Arthur Bondar Photos Document Life In The Exclusion Zone
vimeo: Shadows of Wormwood, Balaklava: The Lost History
YouTube: Barricade: The EuroMaidan Revolt

Tuesday, March 17

Winter Birdwatching in Jersey City - John Dunstan

"My short film 'Winter Birdwatching in Jersey City' has been selected for the Golden Door International Film Festival of Jersey City, Wildlife Vaasa in Finland and Village Docs in Milan. ... A film I am very much looking forward to about the plight of bees and the fascinating people involved with them in Weehawken, New York, Colarado and across the country. My short film, around 17 mins should be an eye opener for many area residents, touching on the unprecedented Snowy Owl irruption of this past winter, hawks, falcons, over wintering herons, Raven Snowy Owl interaction all in the most unlikely of environments and on the big screen, this is not your modern multiplex, a real movie palace, admission is a reasonable 10 dollars, a family friendly program."
vimeo: "Winter Birdwatching in Jersey City"

Archie Shepp - Attica Blues (1972)

"Refining his large-ensemble experiments of 1971, Attica Blues is one of Archie Shepp's most significant post-'60s statements, recorded just several months after authorities ended the Attica prison uprising by massacring 43 inmates and hostages. Perhaps because Shepp's musical interests were changing, Attica Blues isn't the all-out blast of rage one might expect; instead, it's a richly arranged album of mournful, quietly agonized blues and Ellingtonian swing, mixed with a couple of storming funk burners. Of course, Shepp doesn't quite play it straight, bringing his avant-garde sensibilities to both vintage big band and contemporary funk, with little regard for the boundaries separating them all. ..."
W - Attica Blues (1972)
YouTube: Attica Blues, Attica Blues 8:44
vimeo: Archie Shepp's new Attica Blues Band Project
YouTube: Attica Blues 39:30

Life in Hell - Matt Groening

Wikipedia - "Life in Hell was a weekly comic strip by Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and Futurama, which was published from 1977 to 2012. The strip featured anthropomorphic rabbits and a gay couple. Groening used these characters to explore a wide range of topics about love, sex, work, and death. His drawings were full of expressions of angst, social alienation, self-loathing, and fear of inevitable doom. ... Groening photocopied and distributed the comic book to friends. He also sold it for two dollars a copy at the 'punk' corner of the record store in which he worked, Licorice Pizza on Sunset Boulevard. Life in Hell debuted as a comic strip in the avant-garde Wet magazine in 1978, to which Groening made his first professional cartoon sale."
Life in Hell Archives
13 Of The Best "Life In Hell" Comics By Matt Groening
amazon: Matt Groening

Monday, March 16

Jeff Greinke - Lost Terrain (1992)

"This 1992 entry from Jeff Greinke is strongly suggestive of some of the works of Harold Budd and the cooler ambient pieces of Brian Eno. The often opaque shades of 'Changing Skies,' his previous release, give way here to culturally flavored hues that drift through dreamlike states with similar theme variations. A journey into night, Lost Terrain has the feeling of exploring forgotten landscapes of both inner and outer worlds. The first cut, 'Terrain of Memory,' will strike a sympathetic chord with those who like Budd's The White Arcades in its cool, dark ambience. ..."
BestBuy: Lost Terrain - CD (Video)
YouTube: Veiled

2009 December: Jeff Greinke, 2012 September: Cities in Fog, 2013 May: Timbral Planes.

A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers - Henry David Thoreau (1849)

Wikipedia - "A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849) is a book by Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862). It is ostensibly the narrative of a boat trip from Concord, Massachusetts to Concord, New Hampshire, and back, that Thoreau took with his brother John in 1839. John died of tetanus in 1842 and Thoreau wrote the book, in part, as a tribute to his memory. ... While the book may appear to be a travel journal, broken up into chapters for each day, this is deceptive. The actual trip took two weeks and while given passages are a literal description of the journey — from Concord, Massachusetts, down the Concord River to the Middlesex Canal, to the Merrimack River, up to Concord, New Hampshire, and back — much of the text is in the form of digressions by the Harvard-educated author on diverse topics such as religion, poetry, and history. Thoreau relates these topics to his own life experiences, often in the context of the rapid changes taking place in his native New England during the Industrial Revolution, changes that Thoreau often laments."
The Walden Woods Project
Prezi (Video)
amazon (Audible Audio Edition)

2009 April: Henry David Thoreau, 2012 September: Walden.

27 hilariously bad maps that explain nothing

10 - Whole Foods reshuffles Europe
"Maps can illuminate our world; they can enlighten us and make us see things differently; they can show how demographics, history, or countless other factors interact with human and physical geography. But, sometimes, maps can be utter disasters, either because they're wrong or simply very dumb. Here are a collection of maps so hilariously bad that you may never trust the form again. Tellingly, the bulk of the collection comes from cable TV news."

Sunday, March 15

Freedom Tunnel

Wikipedia - "The Freedom Tunnel is the name given to the Amtrak tunnel under Riverside Park in Manhattan, New York City. It got its name because the graffiti artist Chris 'Freedom' Pape used the tunnel walls to create some of his most notable artwork. The name may also be a reference to the former shantytowns built within the tunnel by homeless populations seeking shelter and freedom to live rent-free and unsupervised by law enforcement. ... Over the tunnel's years of disuse, its isolated nature allowed graffiti artists and street artists to work without fear of arrest, leading to larger and more ambitious pieces. The tunnel has unique lighting provided by grates in the sidewalks of Riverside Park above the space. The descending shafts of light allow graffiti art to be seen in the gloom, and artists would often center their projects under the light to take advantage of the spot-lighting effect, as if in a gallery."
Chris Pape's Freedom Tunnel
NYC Underground: A Journey To The Freedom Tunnel
Exploring an Active Amtrak Tunnel Under the Upper West Side
W - Dark Days (film)
vimeo: Freedom Tunnel - Filmed and cut by Charles le Brigand
YouTube: How to get to the Freedom Tunnel, Marc Singer - Dark Days Documentary (first 10 minutes)

Au Pairs - "Inconvenience" / Pretty Boys (12")

"Blasting into the post-punk consciousness with a tremendous debut album, the Au Pairs, fronted by lesbian-feminist Lesley Woods, played brittle, dissonant, guitar-based rock that shared political and musical kinship with the Mekons and (especially) the Gang of Four. The music was danceable, imbued with an almost petulant irony, and for a while, very hip and well-liked by critics. Unlike many bands of the day, however, the Au Pairs (at least initially) backed it up with searing, confrontational songs celebrating sexuality from a woman's perspective. ..."
YouTube: Inconvenience / Pretty Boys (12")

2008 May: Au Pairs, 2012 October: Au Pairs @ Pinkpop 1982, 2014 August: Stepping Out of Line: The Anthology (2006).

"That's A Pretty Good Love" - Big Maybelle (1956)

"Baby my love is deep (How deep?)
Deep as the bottom of the ocean (How pure?)
Pure as the new born baby (How bright?)
Outshine's the sun above
That's a pretty good love."
YouTube: That's A Pretty Good Love