Monday, August 31

The Cities - Paul Blackburn

"... Then a thin sky blue spine catches your eye, and the old Grove Press logo, always a sign of something interesting, and as you fold it down into your hand, you see that it is The Cities by Paul Blackburn.  Flipping through the pages you notice that someone has written comments in the margins of some of the poems, and though you agree with Steiner that an avid reader always has a pencil close by, this is blue ballpoint pen.  The crabbed scrawl is enough to make you slip the volume back onto the shelf until you spy the previous owner’s name on the fly leaf and realize that you hold in your hand a literary artifact. The Cities is probably Paul Blackburn’s best known and most accessible selection of poems. ..."
Someone Else’s Paul Blackburn
Paul Blackburn in Memphis, 1967
Silliman's Blog

2008 August: Paul Blackburn, 2012 November: Yankee go home (PoemTalk #59), 2013 January: Cronopios and Famas - Julio Cortazar (Paul Blackburn), 2013 August: Paul Blackburn and Das Rhinegold, 2015 May: The Grinding Down.

Sun Ra - The Singles (1996)

"Back in the mid-'50s, bandleader Sun Ra decided to get his music to his audience through a more direct process by starting his own label, Saturn Records. Equal parts creative futuristic vision and small-time Southern R&B bandstand hustle, these 45s were pressed in unbelievably small quantities (sometimes in runs of only 50 copies), making them the holy grail of Sun Ra collectibles. The collection of singles runs a neat 30-year time-frame and features everything from Sun Ra with an embryonic form of his Arkestra doing backup duties behind doo-wop groups and R&B slopbucket singers like 'Space Age Vocalist' Yochannon to wild-ass sonic experiements from the late '70s into the early '80s that would have atmospherically fit on any of his avant-garde albums. Pieced together for this release from the contributions of private collectors around the world -- and sonically cleaned up far beyond the audio capabilities of the original vinyl they were pressed on -- these 49 three-minute opuses will alternately confuse, astound, confound, delight, and illuminate Sun Ra fans of all stratas of involvement. A major piece of puzzle that is the man, now in place."
allmusic (Video)
Rockin' With Sun (Ra) (Video)
YouTube: Sun Ra Singles Disc 1, Sun Ra Singles Disc 2, Love in outer space, The Blue Set, Mayan Temples

For Fitz Henry Lane and Other 19th-Century Painters, Catalogues Raisonnés Go Digital

Salem Harbor, 1853
"New technology and fresh perspectives are jumpstarting efforts to assemble exhaustive lists of works by 19th-century American painters, sometimes in progress for decades. Next month a consortium of museums interested in the Massachusetts maritime painter Fitz Henry Lane (1804-65) will introduce a website,, documenting about 320 paintings, drawings and prints at various institutions. Much of the material is being drawn from the Cape Ann Museum, in Mr. Lane’s hometown, Gloucester, Mass., and images on the website will be linked to infrared paint analyses, biographies of Mr. Lane’s clients, newspaper ads for his suppliers, maps of harbors where he sketched and portraits of owners of the ships moored there. ..."
NY Times
Gloucester's Own: Fitz Henry Lane
W - Fitz Henry Lane
Athenaeum forums

Sunday, August 30

50 Years After Dylan Played Forest Hills, Al Kooper Recalls 1965's Electric Summer

"Not quite what you expect to hear from a man recalling the part he played in one of the most controversial moments in rock 'n' roll history, but this is how Al Kooper remembers the moment when Bob Dylan went electric. On July 25, 1965, Dylan and his band faced a grimacing audience when they deviated from their anticipated program and played an electric set at the Newport Folk Festival. Backed by the Butterfield Blues Band, keyboardist Barry Goldberg, and 21-year-old organist Kooper — the man responsible for the organ lick that soars throughout 'Like a Rolling Stone,' which had been released as a single less than a week prior to the Newport show — Dylan raced through a seventeen-minute set. ... Fifty years later, Kooper has spent a significant portion of the past few months reliving that set and the album — Highway 61 Revisited — that followed it, in both New York (at Lincoln Center Out of Doors) and Newport. ..."
Village Voice (Video)
The Most Decisive Moment in Rock History - 50 Years Ago (Video)
YouTube: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival

Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television

"Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television is the first exhibition to explore how avant-garde art influenced and shaped the look and content of network television in its formative years, from the late 1940s to the mid-1970s. During this period, the pioneers of American television—many of them young, Jewish, and aesthetically adventurous—had adopted modernism as a source of inspiration. Revolution of the Eye looks at how the dynamic new medium, in its risk-taking and aesthetic experimentation, paralleled and embraced cutting-edge art and design."
The Jewish Museum (Video)
NY Times - Review: ‘Revolution of the Eye’ Examines Art’s Influence on Early TVA
Yale: Revolution of the Eye

"Meditations On Integration" - Filmed in Belgium on April 19 1964.

"'Meditations on Integration,' which is properly titled 'Praying with Eric' (or 'Meditations (For a Pair of Wirecutters)', is an extended work by Charles Mingus premiered at a Town Hall concert on April 4, 1964. It is his musical interpretation of the history of the American Negro, from the terror and despair of traveling on board the cramped, filthy and life threatening slave ships, to the degrading conditions of slavery itself, the joy of emancipation, and the struggle for civil rights through the turbulent early 1960s. Because Mingus was recorded in concert on numerous occasions during his European tour later that same month, many different versions exist. The piece begins ominously with dark blasts from trumpeter Johnny Coles and tenor saxophonist Clifford Jordan, accompanying Eric Dolphy's forlorn sounding flute and Mingus' mournful arco bass, driven by Dannie Richmond's drums. ..."
Open Culture: Classic Charles Mingus Performance on Belgian Television, 1964 (Video)
YouTube: Meditations On Integration (Eric Dolphy on Bass Clarinet and Flute)

2012 August: The Blues and the Abstract Truth - Oliver Nelson, 2013 August: Out to Lunch! - Eric Dolphy, 2014 October: Outward Bound - Eric Dolphy (1960).

Saturday, August 29

Young Marble Giants

Wikipedia - "Young Marble Giants are a post-punk band formed in Cardiff, Wales in 1978. Their music is constructed around the vocals of Alison Statton along with the minimalist instrumentation of brothers Philip and Stuart Moxham. Young Marble Giants were formed from the ashes of 'True Wheel' which also included friends Matthew Davis and Louise Porter (later signed to EMI) Stuart Moxham wrote the majority of the band's songs, and his writing was often deceptively simple-seeming, giving the YMG's classic work a fragile yet powerful quality. Their sound was characterised by Phil's prominent bass lines, Stuart's rhythm guitar (a mapleglo Rickenbacker 425) and Galanti electric organ lines and Statton's tentative vocals. Stuart Moxham's girlfriend Wendy Smith lent Stuart the money to buy the Rickenbacker. ..."
Young Marble Giants Relive Their Colossal Youth
The Quietus - Colossal Youths: Young Marble Giants Interviewed
YouTube: Young Marble Giants - Colossal Youth (Full Album), Collected Works(Full Album), Peel Session 1980 - Searching For Mr. Right, Brand New Life, Final Day, Posed by Models, N.I.T.A., Live Keystone Berkeley 10:25:80 (Full show)

Chelsea, Manhattan

Wikipedia - "Chelsea is a neighborhood on the West Side of the borough of Manhattan in New York City. The district's boundaries are roughly 14th Street to the south, 30th Street to the north, the western boundary of the Ladies' Mile Historic District – which lies between the Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) and Seventh Avenue – to the east, and the Hudson River and West Street to the west. To the north of Chelsea is the neighborhood of Hell's Kitchen (also known as 'Clinton'), as well as the Hudson Yards; to the northeast is the Garment District; to the east are NoMad and the Flatiron District; to the southwest is the Meatpacking District; and to the southeast is Greenwich Village and the West Village. ... The neighborhood is primarily residential, with a mix of tenements, apartment blocks, city housing projects, townhouses, and renovated rowhouses, but its many retail businesses reflect the ethnic and social diversity of the population. The area has a large gay population. Chelsea is also known as the center of the New York art world, with over 200 galleries in the neighborhood."
NYC Visitor Guide
YouTube: Chelsea, Manhattan (Part 1), (Part 2)

2010 October: Hotel Chelsea, 2012 July: 112 Greene Street, Arena Hotel Chelsea, 2015 January: They Say Art Is Dead in New York. They’re Wrong., 2015 April: Chelsea Piers: New York City in the Age of the Ocean Liner, 2015 May: 10 Galleries to Visit on the Lower East Side.

The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008

"A recent review of The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008 in Eoagh by poet and filmmaker Alison Watkins prompted us to finally spend some quality time over the holidays reading/looking at this gorgeous and timely compilation. Edited by Nico Vassilakis and Crag Hill and published by Fantagraphic Books in Seattle, the anthology captures (as Watkins puts it) 'the explosion of visual poetry that surfaced as the result of computerization and digitization intersecting the humanities in the decade between 1998-2008.' In particular, Watkins’s review notes how the anthology highlights the way the digital and computerized tools of visual poetry are transforming not only visual poetry, but how we experience all poetry. ..."
Poetry Foundation
rain taxi
[PDF] The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008
The Paris Review: Vispo
YouTube: The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008

Friday, August 28

Please Return To: Mail Art from the Ray Johnson Archive

"Artist Ray Johnson's (1927-1995) body of work spans many media, but he is best known for his intricate and complex collages. His mail art project, The New York Correspondance [sic] School, utilized the postal system as a means of dissemination, circumventing the commercial art world. In his life, Johnson was close to key figures including Andy Warhol, Chuck Close, Jim Rosenquist and Jasper Johns, and he is associated with several significant art movements. Johnson continued to produce work until his suicide in 1995, and is the subject of the cult classic documentary film How to Draw a Bunny. His work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, and is held in major public and private collections. ..."
Prentice Art
NY Times - Review: Recalling Ray Johnson, a Pioneer of Mail Art
I Is an Other: The Mail Art of Ray Johnson
The Paris Review: Please Forward Contents

2011 January: Ray Johnson, 2014 May: The Sinking Bear & Ray Johnson’s A Book About Death

East Village Other

Wikipedia - "The East Village Other (often abbreviated as EVO), was an American underground newspaper in New York City, New York, issued biweekly during the 1960s. It was described by The New York Times as 'a New York newspaper so countercultural that it made The Village Voice look like a church circular.' Published by Walter Bowart, EVO was among the first countercultural newspapers to emerge, following the Los Angeles Free Press, which had begun publishing a few months earlier. It was an important publication for the underground comix movement, featuring comic strips by artists including Robert Crumb, Kim Deitch, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, Gilbert Shelton and Art Spiegelman before underground comic books emerged from San Francisco with the first issue of Zap Comix. ..."
East Village Other
Meet The Indie Newspaper Man Who Documented The East Village In The 1980s
The Untold Sixties: When Hope Was Born
The Local East Village

Thursday, August 27

Berlin Atonal Festival: Caught Between Style and Substance?

"The resurrected Berlin Atonal festival is the kind of success that founder Dimitri Hegemann probably couldn’t have imagined back in 1990, when the fifth and final edition of the festival’s first incarnation ended. While Berlin’s landscape has changed irrevocably since then, its art-punk industrial and noise legacy remains. That restless spirit is aptly housed in the Kraftwerk, a former power plant in the city center whose cavernous concrete interior provides Atonal’s main stage and contains a complex of clubs including Tresor and Ohm, all of which are employed for the festival. ..."
Electronic Beats
Electronic Beats: “All of a sudden, noise was music” – Dimitri Hegemann on the legacy of Berlin Atonal
Electronic Beats: Thunder, lightning, a brick in the face – Berlin Atonal 2014 reviewed
Electronic Beats: Articles

The Word is Beat: Jazz, Poetry & the Beat Generation

"It is the aspiration of much literature that it wants to change the way we look at the world, but few authors and poets have been as influential as the group of writers labeled the Beat Generation. They saw a lot that they did not like about American society in the fifties when they came of age, and they did their best to change it through their literature and a new practice of living. They grew up in the climate of the Cold War and felt the pending threat of the nuclear bomb, but instead of being paralyzed by fear, they directed their energy towards changing society and created their own subculture in places as diverse as Greenwich Village in New York, San Francisco and Paris. They rebelled against capitalism, war and middle-class values and they championed freedom, sexuality, spirituality and the mind-expanding use of drugs. In many ways, their Bohemian life style anticipated the great youth rebellion in the sixties, but the soundtrack of their revolt was not rock 'n' roll, but jazz, an art form that also influenced their way of writing. ..."
All About Jazz

2009 August: Beat Generation, 2010 April: Beat Hotel, 2010 October: "Howl" - Allen Ginsberg, 2012 April: The Beats — A Graphic History, 2012 December: Jazz poetry, 2013 January: Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg.

Wednesday, August 26

The Prophet Farmed: Murray Bookchin on Bernie Sanders

"I want to talk to you about a socialist from Vermont. Born in New York, he was active in the anti-Vietnam and civil rights movements in the 1960’s before moving to the town of Burlington, where he spent the next several decades creating a new set of socio-political ideas that combined the basic outlines of old European socialist ideology with the harsh realities of modern industrial capitalism, as well as a powerful critique of the ecological havoc wrought by the global hegemony of greenhouse gas pollution. But wait! If you thought this was the beginning of a stump speech for Senator Bernie Sanders, you are dead wrong. In fact I am referring to the late Murray Bookchin, a man who, in many ways, was the striking opposite of what Bernie Sanders is in every way. Bookchin was a scholar, activist, and writer whose polemics against capitalism but also cultish politicking on the far left and opportunism by people like Bernie Sanders make for great reading nine years after the man died in 2006. ..."
murray hates bernie: Murray Bookchin, “The Bernie Sanders Paradox: When Socialism Grows Old” (1986)
Campaign Zero
Logos - Review: Murray Bookchin, The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy
Books: Murray Bookchin's 'The Next Revolution'
amazon - The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy

2014 September: Anarchism in America (1983)

Luke O'Sullivan "Cool Shelter"

"My work is about the intersection of built environments and subterranean systems. I create drawings and sculptures of fantastical urban environments. Often inspired by dystopian and science fiction films, I combine recognizable architectural forms and impossible buildings to make diorama-esque works. Early Nintendo games, animations, and maps of caves helped shape my imagination and approach to drawing. The recent works in 'Cool Shelter' explore the relationship between an overworld and underworld. Screen printed drawings and patterns on wood occupy the underground labyrinths with various stations, ladders, and wiring. Three-dimensional textures and two-dimensional façades blend together to create a layered industrial landscape."
Paradigm Gallery + Studio
Luke O'Sullivan
Interview: Sculptor Luke O’Sullivan Discusses His New Series “Cool Shelter”

Once Upon a Time in New York: The Birth of Hip Hop, Disco and Punk

"I don’t think anyone can deny that New York in the 1970’s and 80’s was the place to be. From the birth of disco, to the influx of punk music and clubs like CBGB’s (when it was still cool to be seen there), New York was the center of a culture explosion so large, even the Brit’s were trying to take a page out of it’s book. But with the good, always comes the bad. New York was facing high crime rates due to the crack and pandemic, poverty, and high crime that was sweeping the streets, especially in Harlem and the Bronx. But with those bad times, New Yorkers found a way to show their true colors and some of the best music the world had ever heard would come out of those poor slums over the course of two decades from punk groups The Ramones and Blondie to disco at Studio 54 and uptown to the Bronx for some hip hop throw downs. ..."
YouTube: Once Upon a Time in New York: The Birth of Hip Hop, Disco and Punk - Part 1/4, Part 2/4, Part 3/4, Part 4/4

Tuesday, August 25

NYRB 10th Anniversary Complete Classics Collection

"The NYRB Classics series began in 1999 with the publication of Richard Hughes's A High Wind in Jamaica, and now, ten years later, we are pleased to offer for the first time, exclusively at Amazon, the NYRB 10th Anniversary Complete Classics Collection. The collection spans the eclectic range of the NYRB series, from new translations of canonical figures such as Dante and Chekhov and fiction by modern masters such as Vasily Grossman and Mavis Gallant to narrative history and literary criticism, travel writing, cookbooks, memoirs from such writers as Norman Mailer and Patrick Leigh Fermor, and unclassifiable classics on the order of J.R. Ackerley's My Dog Tulip and Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy. Browse through all 250 NYRB Classics in the collection below, in alphabetical order by author. Also see our companion set, the New York Review Children's Collection, as well as curated lists of favorite books in the list from Francine Prose, David Leavitt, and NYRB Classics editorial director Edwin Frank."
New York Review Books
A Different Stripe: Notes from NYRB Classics

2014 September: The New York Review of Books

Walker Evans: A Life's Work

Interior View of Heliker/Lahotan House, Walpole, Maine, 1962
"Walker Evans (1903–1975) was one of the great per-sonalities of 20th century photography. He first came to public attention through his documentation of poverty in America at the time of the Great Depression that began at the 29th of October 1929 with the Black Friday and dominated the 1930s. Until today his reception is closely linked to the photographs he produced in the 1930s. The exhibition displays with well over 200 original prints from the years 1928 to 1974 both, the icons of his oeuvre, as well as rarely published photographs. His work played a decisive role for what is called the 'documentary style'. For decades, right up to the present, the prolific photographic oeuvre of Walker Evans has acquired an increasingly model character. With his sober documentary fashion he recorded a uniquely authentic picture of America, and like no other before him showed a particular feel for both the everyday and the subtle. ..."
Wall Street International

2011 June: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, 2011 May: A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now, 2013 June: Cotton Tenants: Three Families, 2014 May: “Walker Evans and Robert Frank – An Essay on Influence by Tod Papageorge” (1981), 2014 October: Walker Evans: The Magazine Work, 2014 December: Walker Evans: Decade by Decade.

The Wounded Angel - Hugo Simberg (1903)

Wikipedia - "The Wounded Angel  (1903) is a painting by Finnish symbolist painter Hugo Simberg. It is one of the most recognizable of Simberg's works, and was voted Finland's 'national painting' in a vote held by the Ateneum art museum in 2006. Like other Simberg works, the atmosphere is melancholic: the angelic central figure with her bandaged eyes and bloodied wing, the sombre clothing of her two youthful bearers. The direct gaze of the right-hand figure touches the viewer. ... The same road still skirts Töölönlahti Bay today. In Hugo Simberg’s time, the park was a popular spot for leisure-time activities among the working classes. At the time, many charity institutions were located in Eläintarha park; in The Wounded Angel the healthy boys are carrying the injured girl towards the Blind Girls’ School and the Home for Cripples. She clutches a bunch of snowdrops, symbolic of healing and rebirth. ..."
W - Hugo Simberg

Monday, August 24

Industrial Sublime: Modernism and the Transformation of New York’s Rivers 1900–1940

Kurt Albrecht, Untitled (Brooklyn Bridge), c. 1920
"Rivers epitomize the timeless beauty and vitality of nature; they are also engines of commerce and progress. 'Industrial Sublime: Modernism and the Transformation of New York’s Rivers 1900–1940,' organized by the Hudson River Museum, explores a specific instance of that paradox. The seventy works in the exhibition record changes to the regional landscape, defined in the nineteenth century by the Hudson River School as a new eden, and discover a twentieth-century iconography based on skyscrapers and bridges. The word sublime came into use in the eighteenth century to describe feelings of awe at manifestations of natural power such as storms and mountains. In the twentieth century, artists responded to man-made engineering feats with comparable wonder. ..."
Newington-Cropsey Cultural Studies Center
The Hudson River Museum
Industrial Sublime: How New York City’s Bridges and Rivers Became a Muse of Modernism
[PDF] Industrial Sublime
YouTube: Industrial Sublime: Modernism and the Transformation of New York's Rivers 1900 - 1940

Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture - Thurston Moore (2005)

"... The advent of the cassette tape some 30 years ago made it possible for anyone with a tape deck and some tunes to be a record producer, mixing and matching songs, genres and bands. And become at-home record producers we did. Cheap and convenient, customized mix tapes made the perfect personal gift. We made tapes for friends, lovers — we shared the depths of our souls through the carefully chosen songs. We aggregated our favorite party songs, ballads for suffering through heartbreak and our loudest, angriest punk rock anthems. Thurston Moore, of pioneering art-rock-noise band Sonic Youth, explores the magic of the mix tape in a new book, Mix Tape: The Art of Cassette Culture. ..."
The Emotional Design of the Mixtape
Pitchfork: This Is Not a Mixtape
WIRED: The Best 90 Minutes of My Life

ISIS Blows Up Ancient Temple at Syria’s Palmyra Ruins

The Temple of Baalshamin, part of the ancient ruins of Palmyra, in 2014.
"Militants from the Islamic State set off explosions at a temple in the ancient ruins of Palmyra in Syria, activists and government officials said on Sunday, continuing a pattern of destruction that they have visited upon historical sites across the territory they control there and in Iraq. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an activist and monitoring group based in Britain, said Sunday in a statement that Islamic State fighters detonated “a large quantity of explosives” that they had arranged around the Temple of Baalshamin, one of the most grand and well-preserved structures in the sprawling complex of ruins. A government official told reporters that it was heavily damaged by the blast. ..."
NY Times (Slide Show)
NY Times: The Islamic State’s Advantage at Historic Sites

Sunday, August 23

Delaney & Bonnie - Motel Shot (1971)

Wikipedia - "Motel Shot is the fifth studio album by Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, released in 1971. The album, their third for Atco/Atlantic (catalog no. SD 33-358) and fifth overall, is a mostly acoustic set. The album's title refers to the impromptu, sometimes late-night, jam sessions pursued by touring musicians when on the road. In the liner notes, Delaney Bramlett dedicates the album to 'My mom who sang alto.' Bonnie Bramlett wrote 'If this album can make one person feel half of what I felt on this session, then I am happy. It is to all of you with love.' ...  Other standout tracks include 'Long Road Ahead', 'Sing My Way Home' and 'Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad'. Guest musicians on the album include Leon Russell, Duane Allman, Stephen Stills, Dave Mason, John Hartford, Clarence White, Gram Parsons, Bobby Whitlock and Joe Cocker. ..."
Stuck In The Past!
Delaney & Bonnie & Friends: Six Degrees of Swampland
YouTube: Will The Circle Be Unbroken, Come On In My Kitchen (Duane Allman), Long Road Ahead, Talkin' About Jesus, Don't Deceive Me (Please Don't Go), Goin' Down The Road Feelin' Bad (Duane Allman), Lonesome And A Long Way From Home
YouTube: Motel Shot (1971) Full Album

2014 February: Delaney & Bonnie & Friends: Copenhagen December 10, 1969, 2014 September: Home - Delaney & Bonnie (1969), 2015 March: The Original Delaney & Bonnie & Friends (1969).

The Black Island - The Adventures of Tintin (1937)

Wikipedia - "The Black Island (French: L'Île noire) is the seventh volume of The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. Commissioned by the conservative Belgian newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle for its children's supplement Le Petit Vingtième, it was serialised weekly from April to November 1937. The story tells of young Belgian reporter Tintin and his dog Snowy, who travel to England in pursuit of a gang of counterfeiters. Framed for theft and hunted by detectives Thomson and Thompson, Tintin follows the criminals to Scotland, discovering their lair on the Black Island. The Black Island was a commercial success and was published in book form by Casterman shortly after its conclusion. ..."
History of The Black Island
The Black Island
YouTube: The Black Island 40:15

2008 May: Georges Remi, 1907-1983, 2010 July: The Adventures of Tintin: Breaking Free, 2011 December: Prisoners of the Sun, 2012 January: Tintin: the Complete Companion, 2012 December: Snowy

Friday Night Jazz

"Reuben takes you on a new adventure every Friday night, exploring the great American invention called jazz.  You’ll explore the back roads and alleys of the genre, the musicians and standards you love, and experience that essential element of surprise.  Reuben also shares his in-depth knowledge of the stories behind the music. And for jazz 24/7, listen to VPR Jazz 24."
VPR: Introducing Friday Night Jazz With Reuben Jackson

Saturday, August 22

Charles Simonds

Dwelling, 1975. Rue des Cascades, Paris
"Since 1970 Simonds has created Dwelling places for an imaginary civilization of “Little People” who are migrating through the streets of neighborhoods in cities throughout the world; New York, Paris, Shanghai, Berlin, London, Dublin, among others. Each Dwelling is a different time and place in the history of the lives of Little People, a chronology of some of the Dwellings that have been photographed is available below."
Charles Simonds: Dwelling
Charles Simonds (Video)
BOMB: Charles Simonds's Absence
The legends of Charles Simonds
YouTube: Dwellings 1972

How Afropunk Became a Full-Blown Movement

"... And then a news anchor cut in, and the camera panned away. 'I thought that was punk rock,' says Hanif Abdurraqib, a 32-year-old poet and, most recently, the essayist behind Pitchfork's 'I Wasn't Brought Here, I Was Born: Surviving Punk Rock Long Enough To Find Afropunk.' 'I think Janelle Monáe is wholly punk rock.'Anyone associated with the Afropunk festival, where Monáe has performed three times, would agree. This weekend, the black-centric fest will celebrate its eleventh year in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood, proving that it's not a blip, but a movement — one that's needed more than ever before. ..."
Afro Punk Fest (Video)
Untitled (An Oral History of D'Angelo)
Pitchfork: I Wasn't Brought Here, I Was Born: Surviving Punk Rock Long Enough To Find Afropunk

2014 September: Afropunk Before Afropunk

Jimmy Witherspoon ‎– Hey Mr. Landlord

"... This satisfying collection covers the early part of the great blues singer's career from his mid-forties, Philo and Mercury days through his tenures at Modern and Chess in the early '50s. The 17 rare cuts have been nicely remastered and feature Witherspoon backed by the Jay McShann Band and other, unknown personnel on blues, jazz, and jump blues cuts. Being equally at home in all these idioms, Witherspoon is commanding on everything from ballads like 'Strange Woman Blues' to the gospel revival novelty 'Practice What You Preach.' He also eats up the big-band swing number 'Geneva Blues' and makes decent work of rock & roll cuts like 'My Girl Ivy.' Witherspoon is at his best, though, on driving blues swingers like 'Big Daddy,' 'Why Do I Love You Like I Do,' and 'Daddy Pinocchio.' A fine collection that compliments both his other early collections and the comeback recordings he made for Prestige in the early '60s."
YouTube: Hey Mr. Landlord, Cain river blues, Shipyard Woman Blues, I want a little girl, Confessin' the blues, All my geets are gone, Hard Working Man´s Blues, Strange Woman Blues, Third floor blues, Wee Baby Blues, Big Daddy, Daddy Pinocchio, My Girl Ivy

Friday, August 21

Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street (1972)

"Despite an absence of the band's best-known songs, the sweaty, grimy Exile on Main St. has grown into the Rolling Stones' most universally acclaimed record. Despite dozens of hits, putting together a cohesive album often seemed to be beyond the Stones, tripped up by either manager Allen Klein's publishing-rights parasitism or the band's 1970s hubris. That leaves a catalog in which only Exile is built not on hits but on vibe and: the album's singularly sleazy sound and making-of legend. To create Exile, the band escaped Britain as tax exiles, decamping to a French villa. Paradoxically, the posh surroundings created the band's rawest effort. They were a heroin-ragged band, jamming late into the night with calloused fingers and vocal cords in a stale basement with sweaty walls. ..."
W - Exile on Main St
Keith Richards Discusses the Making of The Rolling Stones' 'Exile on Main St.'
NY Times: Revisiting ‘Main St.,’ Rethinking the Myth
YouTube: Exile On Main Street (Full Deluxe Album) 1:48:25

FAILE “Wishing On You” At The Flashy Crossroads of NYC

"A folk-art pagoda sitting quietly in the basin of a valley richocheting with electronic propaganda and consumption worship, the newest public piece by Brooklyn’s street art duo FAILE has a few mysteries to reveal to the river of tourists flowing around it and through it. You may need a place to pray in this land of fake Muppets, Three Card Monte and thong-strung patriotic painted ladies. 'Wishing On You' draws on European, Asian, and American forms and culture, a tribute to traditions, myths, and big screen adventure. ..."
Brooklyn Street Art

New York Noise: Art and Music from the New York Underground 1978-88

"Between 1975 and 1988 New York City spawned an incredible and wild array of artistic communities that overlapped and interbred with scant heed for generic 'purity' (let alone posterity): every musician, it seemed, was also an artist, every artist a filmmaker and every filmmaker was in a band. These heady years saw the births of Punk at CBGB and Max's Kansas City, of Hip Hop in the Bronx, the emerging art music activities of Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson, Free Jazz and the No Wave art/rock scene around James Chance, Lydia Lunch and Mars. New York Noise is Paula Court's photographic tour of these colliding worlds. From her arrival in New York City in 1978, Court diligently photographed the likes of Glenn Branca, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, David Byrne, Rhys Chatham, Lou Reed, James Chance, Patti Smith, Afrika Bambaata, John Cage, Robert Longo, Jim Jarmusch, Cindy Sherman and Richard Prince, as well as bands like DNA, Suicide, Bush Tetras, ESG and the Rock Steady Crew. ..."
Guardian - New York Noise: The underground in pictures

Thursday, August 20

Harlem on My Mind: Cultural Capital of Black America, 1900–1968

"At the end of the Civil Rights Movement, the Metropolitan Museum of Art organized Harlem on My Mind: Cultural Capital of Black America, 1900–1968, an exhibition that sought to explore the history and value of the predominantly Black community of Harlem, New York. In organizing one of the most controversial exhibitions in United States history, the Metropolitan decided to exclude Harlemites from participating in the exhibition planning and to exclude artwork by Harlem’s thriving artist community from the exhibition. ... This article details the struggles of Harlem-based artists to confront and challenge the unethical machinations of the institutional epicenter of the postwar international art world. This discussion addresses the critical appropriations of the event forged by black visual artists, photographers, and visitors who brought a competing set of political and emotional investments in the documentary works on display. ..."
American Studies
[PDF] Black Artists and Activism: Harlem on My Mind (1969)
NY Times: What I Learned From a Disgraced Art Show on Harlem

Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - Moanin' (1958)

"Moanin' includes some of the greatest music Blakey produced in the studio with arguably his very best band. There are three tracks that are immortal and will always stand the test of time. The title selection is a pure tuneful melody stewed in a bluesy shuffle penned by pianist Bobby Timmons, while tenor saxophonist Benny Golson's classy, slowed 'Along Came Betty' and the static, militaristic 'Blues March' will always have a home in the repertoire of every student or professional jazz band. 'Are You Real?' has the most subtle of melody lines, and 'Drum Thunder Suite' has Blakey's quick blasting tom-tom-based rudiments reigning on high as the horns sigh, leading to hard bop. 'Come Rain or Come Shine' is the piece that commands the most attention, a highly modified, lilting arrangement where the accompanying staggered, staccato rhythms contrast the light-hearted refrains. Certainly a complete and wholly satisfying album, Moanin' ranks with the very best of Blakey and what modern jazz offered in the late '50s and beyond."
W - Moanin'
All About Jazz
YouTube: Moanin' (Live)
YouTube: Moanin' (Full Album)

Parliament - Chocolate City (1975)

"Parliament's second album for Casablanca, following Up for the Down Stroke (1974), Chocolate City isn't one of the group's better-known albums. Unlike its predecessor and successive albums such as Mothership Connection (1976), it lacks a signature hit; even though the title track and 'Ride On' charted as singles, they're minor in comparison to definitive classics such as 'Up for the Down Stroke' and 'Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof Off the Sucker).' Though it's not one of the better-known Parliament albums, Chocolate City is nonetheless one of their best and perhaps most underrated. There's a wealth of musical talent to be heard here -- most notably Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, and Eddie Hazel -- and an emphasis on horns and harmony vocals. Plus, there's no overarching narrative as there would be on successive albums, occasionally to a fault. Instead, this is a collection of stand-alone songs, none topping the six-minute mark. Regardless of its lack of signature hits, Chocolate City is a Parliament album that shouldn't be overlooked."
W - Chocolate City
YouTube: Chocolate City (Full)

2009 January: George Clinton, 2010 December: Mothership Connection - Houston 1976, 2011 October: Funkadelic - One Nation Under A Groove, 2011 October: "Do Fries Go With That Shake?", 2012 August: Tales Of Dr. Funkenstein – The Story Of George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, 2015 July: Playing The (Baker's) Dozens: George Clinton's Favourite Albums.

Wednesday, August 19

Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East

Shirin Neshat (Iran, Qazvin, United States, New York City, born 1957), Speechless, 1996
"In recent years, the parameters of Islamic art have expanded to include contemporary works by artists from or with roots in the Middle East. Drawing inspiration from their own cultural traditions, these artists use techniques and incorporate imagery and ideas from earlier periods. LACMA has only recently begun to acquire such work within the context of its holdings of Islamic art, understanding that the ultimate success and relevance of this collection lies in building creative links between the past, present, and future. Islamic Art Now marks the first major installation of LACMA’s collection of contemporary art of the Middle East. As the first of a two-part program, this exhibition features approximately 25 works by artists from Iran and the Arab world, including Shirin Neshat, Susan Hefuna, Lalla Essaydi, Mitra Tabrizian, Mona Hatoum, Hassan Hajjaj, Wafaa Bilal, Barbad Golshiri, and Youssef Nabil, among others."
LACMA - Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East
Islamic Art Now
NPR: At LA Museum, A Powerful And Provocative Look At 'Islamic Art Now' (Video)

Burning Spear - Man In The Hills / Dry & Heavy (1976)

"Coming after the highly acclaimed Marcus Garvey (1975), Burning Spear's fourth album, Man in the Hills (1976), had a lot to live up to. It is generally conceded that they did not craft an equally impressive follow-up, but Man in the Hills has its charms nevertheless. Lead singer and main songwriter Winston Rodney turns back to reflections on his rural Jamaican childhood for many of the lyrics, which gives the album a gentler, more nostalgic message than the political, exhortative Marcus Garvey. Rodney's tenor is well suited to the sentiments, and the all-star band assembled to back him is supportive and, especially in the horn charts, complementary to the lead voice. The demands of recording schedules may have caused Burning Spear to recast earlier songs, but that contributes to the album's theme of looking back. ..."
W - Man in the Hills (1976), W - Dry & Heavy (1976)
YouTube: Man In The Hills ~ Live 1981, I W.I.N., It's A Long Way Around, Dry and Heavy, Groovy, People Get Ready

2009 June: Burning Spear, 2010 October: Marcus Garvey / Garvey's Ghost, 2012 March: Burning Spear 1981 - Markthalle Hamburg, 2012 December: Hail H.I.M.

On The Road Again ...

"APRIL 14. Biloxi, Mississippi. The Coast Bar/Restaurant at the Beau Rivage Casino. TECHNO THURSDAY doesn't drop for another two days, which means the packed crowd inside the casino bar tonight is here for only one reason: Biloxi's first official event of the Shuckers' inaugural season as the Double-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. But there's a catch. Tonight's event will serve as both a meet-and-greet and a bon voyage. After relocating from Huntsville, Alabama, at the end of last season, the team faced a string of political, financial and environmental snafus, all of which delayed the opening of the Shuckers' new stadium. In fact, right now the ballpark is little more than a shell, with no seats or grass, and center field is submerged in swampy rainwater. ..."

Tuesday, August 18

The Muse of Place and Time: An Interview with William Christenberry (2004-2005)

"RH: Describe your family background in Tuscaloosa, and its impact on your work. WC: It has been said that I was born in Hale County, but I was actually born in the city of Tuscaloosa, which is just a few miles north. My grandparents on both sides, the Smith Family and the Christenberry Family, were farming families in Hale County. It was made, however you want to look at it, famous or infamous, in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men [1939], which is a coincidence since James Agee and Walker Evans were there in the summer of 1936 putting that work together. I was born in November 1936, so I tell people that I didn’t meet them [laughter]. I was born and raised in Tuscaloosa, went to high school there, and to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. My summer forays past and present into Hale County are constant. Since the early 1960s that’s the only time of year and about the only place I make photographs. My earliest color snapshot is from 1960. ..."
American Suburb X
Southern Spaces: Place, Time, and Memory (Video)

Underground New York Public Library

“Black Spring,” by Henry Miller
"The Underground New York Public Library is a photo series featuring the Reading-Riders of the NYC subways. The photos come together as a visual library. This library freely lends out a reminder that we’re capable of traveling to great depths within ourselves and as a whole. I’m Ourit Ben-Haim. I make the pictures and the posts. I’m fascinated by how we apply ourselves to stories and discourse. In so doing, we shape who we understand ourselves to be."
Underground New York Public Library

Songs of the Spanish Civil War

"Songs of the Spanish Civil War rekindles the hymnal of the Abraham Lincoln Brigade, more than 2,600 American volunteers who fought General Francisco Franco and his fellow fascists from Italy and Nazi Germany to defend the popularly elected Spanish Republic during the 1936-1939 conflict. These songs, recorded around the time of the war’s end and later reissued in the 1960s by Folkways Records, still inspire supporters of democratic causes around the world. Singers include Pete Seeger, Tom Glazer, Butch and Bess Hawes, Woody Guthrie, Ernst Busch, and Bart van der Schelling."
Smithsonian Institution
Revisiting the Timeless Tracks of the Spanish Civil War (Video)

2011 July: Spanish Civil War - 75 Year, 18 July, 2011 August: Down and Out in Paris and London, 2012 March: 1984 (For the Love of Big Brother), 2013 January: The Real George Orwell

Monday, August 17

Clifford Ross: Landscape Seen & Imagined

A test print of the augmented-reality work. Summer, shot in his Red Hook, Brooklyn studio.
"In this major mid-career museum survey, Landscape Seen & Imagined documents Clifford Ross’s longstanding project to reconcile realism and abstraction. The exhibition takes place throughout two buildings, six galleries, and an exterior performing arts courtyard. Among other works, the exhibition includes a 24’ high x 114’ long photograph on raw wood that spans the length of MASS MoCA’s tallest gallery and an immersive installation of animated video on twelve separate 24’ high screens. Ross’s hyper-detailed photographs of hurricane waves and mountains are included along with a new 'invisible art' project featuring animated virtual elements only accessible by means of the viewer’s smartphone. ..."
Clifford Ross
Steven Kasher Gallery
NY Times: Clifford Ross’s Wave Mechanics

Billy Bragg - Workers Playtime (1987)

"By the time Billy Bragg began recording Workers Playtime in the fall of 1987, he'd gone from a rabble-rousing leftist songwriter and D.I.Y. one-man punk band to a bona fide pop star in the U.K., and had won a sizable cult following (and a major-label recording contract) in the United States. In addition, Bragg had begun expanding the stark sound of his early recordings on his 1986 album Talking with the Taxman About Poetry, and the sessions for Workers Playtime found Bragg and producer Joe Boyd building actual arrangements around his tunes as he struggled to balance a broader and more eclectic musical approach with the small-p politics that were his stock in trade. ..."
W - Workers Playtime
YouTube: Waiting for the Great Leap Forwards (1988)
YouTube: billy bragg - the short answer, The Only One, Waiting For The Great Leap Forward, The Price I Pay

2011 November: Billy Bragg, 2012 November: Strange Things Happen (Live on The Tube 1984), 2012 December: The Internationale, 2013 May: Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions, 2014 June: Tooth & Nail (2013), 2014 September: Peel Session, 2014 December: Don't Try This at Home (1991), 2015 April: Between the Wars EP (1985).

Gasoline - A Journey Into Abstract Hip-Hop (1998)

Wikipedia - "Gasoline est un groupe de musique français créé en 1998 par Yoann l'agence. Le style musical de Gasoline, relevant de l'abstract hip-hop et du hip-hop est caractérisé par des ambiances cinématographiques tirées de films noirs et de films de rue. ..."
YouTube: Gasoline - A Journey Into Abstract Hip-Hop [Full album] 1:05:05

Sunday, August 16

Sanctuary of Ruin: Touring Western Australia's Piano

"Legend has it that when an elephant becomes aware its own death is imminent, it leaves the herd and travels alone to a final resting place known by instinct, an arched cathedral of bleached bones and ivory known as the elephant graveyard. Here all past elephants have converged, creating a reverent repository of sorts. The graveyard is thought apocryphal but some facets of the myth ring true: elephants do venerate the bones of their dead, especially the ivory, carrying the tusks about or gently rolling them back and forth beneath their sensitive feet. And elephant remains are often found en masse; perhaps due to ivory-poaching massacres or the tendency of older elephants to congregate around waterholes where plants are soft on the palate. The myth conjures a mysterious place, heavy with memory and metaphor, where one might ruminate on lost things, the majesty of life, and the inevitability of ruin. And on treasure. ..."

Blind Willie McTell

Wikipedia - "Blind Willie McTell (born William Samuel McTier; May 5, 1898 – August 19, 1959) was a Piedmont and ragtime blues singer and guitarist. He played with a fluid, syncopated fingerstyle guitar technique, common among many exponents of Piedmont blues, although, unlike his contemporaries, he came to use twelve-string guitars exclusively. McTell was also an adept slide guitarist, unusual among ragtime bluesmen. His vocal style, a smooth and often laid-back tenor, differed greatly from many of the harsher voice types employed by Delta bluesmen, such as Charley Patton. McTell embodied a variety of musical styles, including blues, ragtime, religious music and hokum. ..."
amazon: Blind Willie McTell
American Music
YouTube: You Was Born To Die, Statesboro Blues, Southern Can Is Mine, Lord, Send Me An Angel, Searching The Desert For The Blues, Dying Crapshooters Blues, Broke Down Engine, Delia, Lay Some Flowers On My Grave, Mama, 'Tain't Long Fo' Day, Writin' Paper Blues, Low Rider's Blues, Drive Away Blues
YouTube: Blind Willie McTell talking about his life and the blues
YouTube: Georgia Blues: Blind Willie McTell 56:45

The Kinks - Village Green Preservation Society (1968)

"It takes a Village Green Preservation Society to love The Kinks. The problem facing The Kinks when they released The Village Green Preservation Society in late November 1968 wasn't merely the competition-- Jimi Hendrix's Electric Ladyland, Led Zeppelin's debut, and the Rolling Stones' Beggars Banquet offered plenty-- but that this subtle, funny, surreal, and at times almost tender record could have been recorded on another planet. ... Critics praised the album, the public ignored it, and Davies-- surveying the scene-- asserted that it wasn't created for public consumption. Intentions aside, The Kinks simply moved on, leaving small knots of fans to pledge secret allegiance to Village Green. However, as years passed and the weather changed, its following grew, and finally, one day, the verdict reversed and the album was touted as a masterpiece. Ironically, it might have happened sooner had the band not been so prolific up through the late 80s. ..."
W - Village Green Preservation Society
Dusting ‘Em Off: The Kinks – The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society
Esquire: The Best Rock Album You've Never Heard
YouTube: Village Green Preservation Society, Last Of The Steam Powered Trains / Picture Book, Picture Book
YouTube: The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society - Full Album
YouTube: JoshMan4492 / Village Green Preservation Society

2012 February: The Kinks, 2013 July: "Sunny Afternoon"

Saturday, August 15

Robert Seydel: The Eye in Matter

From Book of Ruth
"The art of Robert Seydel (1960–2011) is a rare hybrid species of the visual and literary that dissolves boundaries between the lyrical and the narrative and the acts of reading and looking. In a body of work marked by an unrelenting sense of play, Seydel collapses the historical past with the notated, emotional present and mingles actual personages with fictional characters. Much of his work is made under the auspices of various personas in place of the singular first person perspective. Beginning in 2000, Seydel created this series of works using the alter ego Ruth Greisman, a resident of Queens, New York, who was inspired by his aunt of the same name. 'Robert Seydel: The Eye in Matter' features a definitive selection from this fictional archive with a selection of Ruth’s 'journal pages' and almost one hundred collages (many previously unpublished and unexhibited), and Seydel’s notebooks, open to pages that reveal glimpses of the process of making this visionary body of work. ..."
Queens Museum
[PDF] Download the brochure.
NY Times - Review: ‘Robert Seydel: The Eye in Matter’ Looks at an Artist’s Traces
Two Works by Robert Seydel
Tupelo Quarterly

The Slits - Return Of The Giant Slits 2CD (1981/2007)

"The full, original 1981 Return of the Giant Slits album + a bonus CD that features ALL the archived dub versions and an American radio interview conducted at the time that was subsequently used by CBS for an ultra-rare promo disc. Including new cover art and two of the classic photos by Anton Corbijn from the NME magazine cover session. The 1981 second and final Slits studio album features the same line-up as their first album, Cut: Ari Up, Tessa Pollit and Viv Albertine. This record has often been overshadowed by their more controversial 1979 debut. It represents their natural development as artistes by focusing more on their interests in dub and 'world music' sound eclecticism (featuring Steve Beresford and ex-Pop Group drummer, Bruce Smith) that is well suited to their, by then, more accomplished playing style. Perhaps, in retrospect, the Jamaican half-sister to The Raincoats recordings. A 'lost' gem, ripe for reappraisal, of this still vastly influential and important group, in both musical and sociological terms."
Forced Exposure
W - Return of the Giant Slits
YouTube: Return Of the Giant Slits 2CD (Full Album), Return Of the Giant Slits(Full Album)

2010 October: Ari Up (17 January 1962 – 20 October 2010), 2012 July: Subatomic Sound System meets Lee Scratch Perry & Ari Up of the Slits (7″ vinyl), 2014 September: Live in Cincinnati and San Francisco 1980