Saturday, October 31

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts - Brian Eno / David Byrne (1981)

Wikipedia - "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is a 1981 album by Brian Eno and David Byrne, titled after Amos Tutuola's 1954 novel of the same name. ... The 'found objects' credited to Eno and Byrne were common objects used mostly as percussion. In the notes for the 2006 expanded edition of the album, Byrne writes that they would often use a normal drum kit, but with a cardboard box replacing the bass drum, or a frying pan replacing the snare drum; this would blend the familiar drum sound with unusual percussive noises. Rather than conventional pop or rock singing, most of the vocals are sampled from other sources, such as commercial recordings of Arabic singers, radio disc jockeys, and an exorcist. Musicians had previously used similar sampling techniques, but critic Dave Simpson declares it had never before been used 'to such cataclysmic effect' as on My Life. ..."
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Amos Tutuola
YouTube - America is waiting (Live), Home, Strange Overtones, Very Very Hungry (bootleg), Les Hombres Ne Le Sauront Jamals, The Jezebel Spirit (bootleg)
YouTube: My Life in the Bush of Ghosts 59:55

2008 September: Talking Heads, 2011 June: Talking Heads: 77, 2011 August: More Songs About Buildings and Food, 2011 October: Fear of Music, 2012 January: Remain in Light, 2012 April: Speaking in Tongues, 2012 June: Live in Rome 1980, 2014 December: "Road To Nowhere" (1985), 2015 May: And She Was (1985), 2011 August: David Byrne: How Architecture Helped Music Evolve, 2012 January: The Knee Plays.

Made in Holland: The Chanel of Africa

"A small town factory in the Netherlands might not seem like the obvious birthplace for African haute couture. Helmond is a place most people (Dutch or African) wouldn’t be able to point out on a map and yet, this unassuming little town is where one of the most iconic fashion brands of West and Central Africa was created. As the main supplier of fashion prints to nearly half a continent, the textile company has continued to dominate that fashion scene there for almost 170 years. How’d that happen? Rooted in European colonialism and a testament to African ingenuity, creativity, and cultural pride; it’s a surprising story…"
NY Times: Africa's Fabric Is Dutch
YouTube: Dutch Profiles: Vlisco

New York State of Mind

"Mugged, mugging. I remember hearing those words all the time growing up. Always aware that it could happen, that it would happen. When it did, getting mugged didn’t mean you’d be killed, just that someone would take your shit, probably beat you up, too. That is mind, here’s David Freeman’s 1970 New York magazine story, 'Mugging as a Way of Life'. ..."
The Stacks
"Mugging as a Way of Life" By David Freeman (1970 - New York Magazine)

Friday, October 30

Top 10 Gram Parsons Songs

"Gram Parsons didn’t grow up living the hardscrabble life of most country singers. The man originally named Cecil Ingram Connor III was born into a wealthy Florida citrus family and spent a semester at Harvard before dropping out to concentrate on his burgeoning interest in country music. After stints in the Shilos and the International Submarine Band, he joined the Byrds in 1968 for a five-month spell that resulted in the landmark ‘Sweetheart of the Rodeo‘ album. He then formed the Flying Burrito Brothers, recording two albums with them before being fired in 1970 due to his increasing drug habit. As a solo act, Parsons released ‘GP’ in 1973, which featured three members from Elvis Presley‘s TCB band and a beautiful young folk singer with a voice to match, Emmylou Harris. A second album, ‘Grievous Angel’ was released in 1974, four months after his death on Sept. 19, 1973, at age 26 at Joshua Tree National Monument from an overdose of morphine and alcohol. ..."
Top 10 Gram Parsons Songs (Video)

2008 March: Gram Parsons, 2011 March: Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris. Liberty Hall, Texas, 1973, 2012 May: Sweetheart of the Rodeo, 2013 January: Gram Parsons: Fallen Angel, 2013 September: Flying Burrito Brothers - Live At The Avalon Ballroom 1969, 2014 February: The Gilded Palace of Sin - The Flying Burrito Brothers (1969), 2014 March: Burrito Deluxe - The Flying Burrito Brothers (1970), 2014 May: GP (1973), 2014 September: Grievous Angel (1974), 2015 April: The Byrds - Sweetheart Of The Rodeo (Gram Parsons Vocals).

The Morning of the Poem - James Schuyler (1980)

"When James Schuyler's extraordinary 60-page poem 'The Morning of the Poem' appeared in 1980, it marked the advent of his exceptionally long line: by the time the poem was halfway through, the lines had swelled to virtually two lines each. Although he clearly wasn't counting beats or syllables, there seemed to be a reason, however unstatable, for every break – not only the official breaks but, remarkably, the runovers as well. In other words, the lines were two lines each, as well as being single lines long enough to pass for prose. Within this roomy framework, which recalled Whitman, Schuyler established his own permissions to do pretty much as he pleased, traveling smoothly and confidently on the strength of his associations from one image or memory or aperçu to the next. ..."
EPC: Charles North - Schuyler's Mighty Line
Jacket2: Days and nights with James Schuyler
[PDF] The Morning of the Poem

2008 January: James Schuyler, 2009 October: James Schuyler: Six New Recordings Added, 2011 March: Broadway: A Poets and Painters Anthology, 2011 December: An Anthology of New York Poets, 2012 July: A Schuyler of urgent concern, 2013 July: In Fairfield Porter / James Schuyler country: Penobscot Bay, Maine, 2014 November: Just the Thing: Selected Letters of James Schuyler 1951-1991.

Nas: Time is Illmatic (2014)

"American social ills get the expensive treatment in artist-turned-film-maker One9’s documentary about Illmatic, the classic 1994 album by rapper Nas. A chronicle of the effects of poverty and poor housing on a generation of New York’s black kids, Illmatic was a scouring exposé. One9’s film, shot on high-end kit, flirts with glamorising the rags-to-rap-to-riches story, but in doing so stays true to its subject. It’s a touch too laudatory. It’s at its best when the gloss falls away. After talking amiably about life in the hood from the comfort of recording studios and loft apartments, Nas takes a trip into the Queensbridge housing project where he grew up. The old neighbourhood welcomes him, but there’s a disconnect. The local boy made it out. He’s a beloved alien to the locals. The world is his. Theirs hasn’t changed much."
W - Nas: Time is Illmatic
Why You Must See the ‘Nas: Time Is Illmatic’ Documentary (Video)
Soundcloud: Official Pete Rock - Time Is Illmatic
YouTube: Nas: Time Is Illmatic 2014 Official Trailer

2015 October: Illmatic (1994)

Thursday, October 29

Decasia - Bill Morrison (2002)

"... Bill Morrison's Decasia is that rare thing: a movie with avant-garde and universal appeal, occasioning two separate features so far in The New York Times. Morrison is not the first artist to take decomposing film stock as his raw material, but he plunges into this dark nitrate of the soul with contagious abandon. Few movies are so much fun to describe. Heralded by a spinning dervish, Decasia's first movement seems culled from century-old actualités: Kimono-clad women emerge from a veil of spotty mold, a caravan of camels is silhouetted against the warped desert horizon, a Greek dancer disintegrates into a blotch barrage, the cars for an ancient Luna Park ride repeatedly materialize out of seething chaos. Decasia is founded on the tension between the hard fact of film's stained, eroded, unstable surface and the fragile nature of that which was once photographically represented. ..."
Voice: J. Hoberman
W - Decasia
NY Times: Symphony of Compositions From Decomposition
"Decasia" named to 2013 National Film Registry (Video)
MoMA: Bill Morrison: Old Films, Contemporary Music, Timeless Themes
YouTube: Decasia excerpt 1, Decasia excerpt 2, Decasia: Excerpt Three
vimeo: Bill Morrison: The film archaeologist

Holiday for Soul Dance - Sun Ra (1970)

"This collection is somewhat of an oddity in that there are no original compositions from Sun Ra. That said, cornet player Phil Corhan contributes 'Dorothy's Dance.' As the album initially surfaced in the early '70s, many presumed the recordings reflected Ra's concurrent combo and sound, which couldn't have been further from the truth. Scholars have since placed 1960 or 1961 as a closer estimation of when these sides were documented, using the rare inclusion of Ricky Murry (vocals) as sonic evidence, coupled with the fact that the effort was cut prior to the band's relocation to New York City from Chicago at the beginning of the decade. ..."
W - Holiday for Soul Dance
New Yorker: The Sun Ra Centenary
YouTube: Holiday for Soul Dance

The Soviet Photobook 1920-1941

"The Soviet Union was unique in its formidable and dynamic use of the illustrated book as a means of propaganda. Through the book, the U.S.S.R. articulated its totalitarian ideologies and expressed its absolute power in an unprecedented way—through avant-garde writing and radical artistic design that was in full flower during the 1920s and ’30s. No other country, nation, government or political system promoted itself more by attracting and employing acclaimed members of the avant-garde. ... The Soviet Photobook 1920–1941 presents 160 of the most stunning and elaborately produced photobooks from this period and includes more than 400 additional reference illustrations. The book also provides short biographies of the photobook contributors, some of whom are presented here for the first time."

Wednesday, October 28

Noam Chomsky: Electing the President of an Empire

"At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., Abby Martin interviews world-renowned philosopher and linguist Professor Noam Chomsky. Prof. Chomsky comments on the presidential primary 'extravaganza,' the movement for Bernie Sanders, the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal, the bombing of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, modern-day libertarianism and the reality of 'democracy' under capitalism."
Occupy (Video)

The Rolling Stones - "Let's Spend the Night Together" / "Ruby Tuesday" (1967)

Wikipedia - "'Let's Spend the Night Together' is a song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, and originally released by The Rolling Stones as a double A-sided single together with 'Ruby Tuesday' in 1967. ... Johns recounts that while mixing 'Let's Spend the Night Together', Oldham was trying to get a certain sound by clicking his fingers. Two policemen showed up, stating that the front door was open and that they were checking to see if everything was all right. At first, Oldham asked them to hold his earphones while he snapped his fingers but then Johns said they needed a more wooden sound. The policemen suggested their truncheons and Mick Jagger took the truncheons into the studio to record the claves-like sound that can be heard during the quiet break at one minute 40 seconds into the song. ..."
W - "Let's Spend the Night Together"
W - "Ruby Tuesday"
YouTube: "Let's Spend the Night Together", "Ruby Tuesday"

2015 August: Exile on Main Street (1972)


"Hello, I'm Mike Rohde. I'm a designer, author, illustrator and sketchnoter, living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I have a passion for simple and usable design solutions. I believe it's important to share thoughts, ideas and process, so others can draw insight from my experiences. I've been writing here since February, 2003, covering design, sketching, drawing, sketchnotes, technology, travel, cycling, books and coffee. ... I'm an author, having written two books on sketchnoting: The Sketchnote Handbook and The Sketchnote Workbook. I speak at events and present workshops that teach people sketchnoting techniques. ..."
rohdesign (Video)

Tuesday, October 27

Ursula Le Guin

Wikipedia - "Ursula Kroeber Le Guin (October 21, 1929) is an American author of novels, children's books, and short stories, mainly in the genres of fantasy and science fiction. She has also written poetry and essays. First published in the 1960s, her work has often depicted futuristic or imaginary alternative worlds in politics, natural environment, gender, religion, sexuality and ethnography. ... The Left Hand of Darkness, along with The Dispossessed and The Telling, are novels within Le Guin's Hainish Cycle, which employs a future galactic civilization loosely connected by an organizational body known as the Ekumen to consider the consequences of contact between different worlds and cultures. Unlike those in much mainstream science fiction, Hainish Cycle civilization does not possess reliable human faster-than-light travel, but does have technology for instantaneous communication. This allows the author to hypothesize a loose collection of societies that exist largely in isolation from one another, providing the setting for her explorations of intercultural encounter. ..."
Ursula Le Guin
Ursula K. Le Guin's Website
Paris Review: Ursula K. Le Guin, The Art of Fiction No. 221
Le Guin’s Anarchist Aesthetics
NPR: Ursula K. Le Guin Steers Her Craft Into A New Century (Video)
amazon: Ursula K. Le Guin
YouTube: Bill Moyers interview with Ursula K. LeGuin about "Lathe of Heaven", Ursula K. Le Guin and Margaret Killjoy - Mythmakers & Lawbreakers: Anarchist Writers On Fiction, Ursula K. Le Guin, Avenali Chair in the Humanities

Criterion at Thirty

"I’d always thought that designing new packaging for a classic film was like designing a jacket for a new edition of a well-known book: both are associated, in the popular imagination, with familiar, even beloved, graphics. If the designer strays too far from the original vision, the potential for public outcry is high. But where a book offers visual freedom—our minds are free to imagine the scenes and the various characters—a movie comes with a profusion of visual material that’s not soon forgotten. There’s the original theatrical poster, and then, of course, there’s the very film itself, and all the iconic images we associate with it. For designers, translating a director’s vision is hard enough the first time. How do you do it again? The Criterion Collection is known for its impeccable taste in classic and contemporary films, and for the artful packaging that puts these films in a much-needed new light. ..."
Paris Review

Soldier-Talk - The Red Crayola (1979)

Wikipedia - "Soldier-Talk is the third studio album by American experimental rock band The Red Crayola. It was released in 1979 by record label Radadr. By this time, Thompson had moved the project to London and expanded the band for this album to include Lora Logic of X-Ray Spex and Essential Logic and all the members of Pere Ubu. ... Since the release of God Bless the Red Krayola and All Who Sail With It, Steve Cunningham had left the project to pursue his own musical ambitions and had been replaced by Jesse Chamberlain. In 1978, this incarnation of the band was touring regularly and had been signed to Radar Records. Despite the presence of Pere Ubu, the music is a close continuation of the sound previously established by The Red Crayola. Soldier-Talk was conceived as a concept album dealing with the issues of militarism and Soviet communism. Chamberlain wanted to veer the music towards a more pop-oriented direction while Thompson opted to keep the sound experimental. ..."
Perfect Sound Forever
YouTube: The Red Crayola - Soldier-Talk (Full Album)

Monday, October 26

Next From Christo: Art That Lets You Walk on Water

A drawing and collage rendering of 'The Floating Piers' project for Italy’s Lake Iseo.
"It’s been a decade since those 16 days in February 2005 when the artist duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude installed 7,500 gates along Central Park’s walkways, each adorned with shimmering saffron-colored panels creating what Christo described as 'a golden river appearing and disappearing through the branches of the trees.' It was a spectacle like no other in the park’s long history. The $20 million project, financed by the sale of Christo’s artworks, pumped nearly $250 million into the city’s economy and attracted four million visitors. ..."
NY Times

2007 November: Christo & Jeanne-Claude, 2009 November: Jeanne-Claude, 2010 April: Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Remembering the Running Fence, 2010 September: Christo and Jeanne-Claude - The Gates, 2010 November: Over The River - Christo and Jeanne-Claude, 2012 January: 5 Films About Christo & Jeanne-Claude, 2012 June: The Pont Neuf Wrapped, 2013 January: Wrapped Floor and Stairway, 1969, 2015 April: New Christo Work to Temporarily Bridge Italy’s Lake Iseo.

BSA Film Friday: 10.23.15

"Bruno Maltor at Votre Tour Du Monde recently came to Brooklyn and made a short video of his experiences here. It’s a huge borough (2.6 million inhabitants) and he got just a little taste but he did manage to hit DUMBO, Bushwick, Greenpoint, Williamsburg, downtown, the Botanical Gardens, the Brooklyn Museum, caught some performers on the subway, and Damien Mitchell painting a mural. Ah Brooklyn, you heart breaker, you love maker, you land of a million dreams and possibilities. ... 2. NUART at 15 on 2015 3. Vegan Flava: Arms Factory in Lisbon 4. FAILE: “Wishing On You” Times Square 2015 NYC 5. Sandra Chevrier. The Aftenblad Wall 6. Winter is Coming, All My Single Ladies"
Brooklyn Street Art (Video)

Don't Cut Off Your Dreadlocks - Linval Thompson (2004)

"Linval Thompson gets a massive retrospective courtesy of Trojan with Don't Cut Off Your Dreadlocks, collecting 47 tracks from his strongest years as a writer and vocalist, 1975 to 1981. It also gives a window into Linval's early production work that started in 1978 and would eclipse his singing in the '80s, making him one of the most successful producers of the dawning dancehall era. In fact, all but 11 of the tracks here bear Thompson's mark as both producer and singer, with the cuts prior to 1978 being helmed by his mentor, Bunny Lee. ... Thankfully, landmark King Tubby dubs like 'Jamaican Colley Version' retain all of their power. Don't Cut Off Your Dreadlocks isn't the place to start with Linval Thompson -- that honor falls to Blood & Fire's immaculate Ride On Dreadlocks, which helped bring attention to his overlooked roots material in the first place -- but its thoroughness makes it nearly an equal."
YouTube: Don't Cut Off Your Dreadlocks, Danger In Your Eyes, Channel One Dub, Can't Stop Natty Dread Again, Roots Lady, If I Follow My Heart, Police and soldier, Train To Zion feat. U Brown, Long long dreadlocks - Album

Sunday, October 25

McSorley's Bar - John Sloan (1912)

McSorley's Bar, 1912
"John McSorley opened his alehouse on East Seventh Street in 1854 and for half a century served an all-male clientele of tanners, carpenters, bricklayers, butchers, teamsters and brewers. He died in 1910. ... In McSorley’s Bar, Sloan employs 'the charm of chiaroscuro,' as his friend William Butler Yeats described it, to endow the scene with drama and like many of Sloan’s paintings, it celebrates the quotidian pleasures of working-class life. As such, it speaks to Sloan’s political as well as artistic commitments. A lifelong socialist—he was art editor of The Masses magazine from its founding in 1911—Sloan considered his art a contribution to the struggle for a more just society. And yet, ironically, McSorley’s Bar mediated between plebeian Greenwich Village and an upscale world of art galleries and collectors, thus speeding the transformation of McSorley’s from workingman’s saloon to tourist attraction. Leftwing bohemians had discovered McSorley’s in the 1910s. ..."
Painting McSorley’s Bar
my daily art display
Art Out The Wazoo

Pat Place

Wikipedia - "Pat Place (born 1953 in Chicago) is an artist, photographer and musician noted for her work in the no wave bands James Chance and the Contortions and Bush Tetras. Place graduated with a BFA in painting and sculpture at Northern Illinois University. She came to New York City in 1975 and exhibited her art in various galleries from 1977 to 1984. Place’s photography has recently been shown at the 'No Wave, Post Punk, Underground New York 1976-80' exhibition curated by Thurston Moore and Byron Coley at KS Art in TriBeca 2008, and the group exhibition 'Happy Vacation' at Thrust Projects. ..."
PAT PLACE - Interview by Tim Broun (December 2011)
Thrust Projects
YouTube: Cold Turkey, Live at Hurrah - 1-30-81, Too many creeps / In the night - Bush Tetras, Bush Tetras - Things That Go Boom In The Night, Das Ah Riot, James Chance and The Contortions - I Can't Stand Myself, James Chance and The Contortions - Contort Yourself, James Chance & The Contortions - Max's Kansas City (1978)

2009 December: James Chance, 2011 December: No New York, 2014 July: No Wave: Post-Punk. Underground. New York. 1976-1980, 2014 July: Bush Tetras, 2015 January: Buy - James Chance and the Contortions (1979), 2015 July: James White And The Blacks - Off White (1979)

Don't Mess With My Man - Irma Thomas (1959)

Wikipedia - "... Born Irma Lee, as a teen she sang with a Baptist church choir, auditioning for Specialty Records as a 13-year-old. By the age of 19 she had been married twice and had four children. Keeping her second ex-husband's surname, she worked as a waitress in New Orleans, occasionally singing with bandleader Tommy Ridgley, who helped her land a record deal with the local Ron label. Her first single, '(You Can Have My Husband but) Don't Mess with My Man,' was released in spring 1960, and reached number 22 on the Billboard R&B chart. ..."
YouTube: Don't Mess With My Man

Saturday, October 24

M Train - Patti Smith

"Patti Smith’s achingly beautiful new book, 'M Train,' is a kaleidoscopic ballad about the losses dealt out by time and chance and circumstance. Losing her husband, the guitarist Fred (Sonic) Smith, to heart failure in 1994 at the age of 45. Losing her brother, Todd, a month later to a stroke. Losing her early New York friend and roommate, Robert Mapplethorpe, to AIDS in 1989. Her book is about moving from a time when her children were little and 'the things I touched were living' ('my husband’s fingers, a dandelion, a skinned knee') to a time when she increasingly began to capture and memorialize moments from her life in photos and words — to create, as an artist, talismanic souvenirs of the past. Of which this book is one. ..."
NY Times
PBS: In ‘M Train,’ Patti Smith journeys to where art comes from (Video)
Vanity Fair: Patti Smith Talks Fame, Youth, and Her New Memoir, M Train
CBC: Patti Smith tackles memories in M Train
YouTube: Legendary Patti Smith on Her New Memoir "M Train", In ‘M Train,’ Patti Smith journeys to where art comes from

Hidden Islam - Nicoló Degiorgis

"While the media is abuzz with talk of the large Muslim populations in France, Germany, Holland and England, Islam and Italy are terms not often heard in tandem. Italy is, in fact, home to 1.5 million practicing Muslims—a figure that has grown rapidly within the last 10 to 15 years with new waves of immigration from countries such as Albania, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia and Pakistan, among others. The country, however, contains a mere eight mosques on paper, only one of which holds official state recognition. Though freedom of religious practice without discrimination is enshrined within the Italian constitution, Islam is the second-most widely practiced religion in the country behind Catholicism and it has yet to receive formal recognition from the state. In 2008, a bill was introduced to block the construction of mosques in much of the country, meaning the millions of Muslims in Italy have had to find other spaces in which to gather and pray. ..."
Collector Daily
amazon: Nicoló Degiorgis: Hidden Islam: Islamic Makeshift Places of Worship in North East Italy, 2009-2013

The Germans Play Monopoly - Existential Comics

"Existential Comics imagines what would probably happen if several of the greatest German thinkers sat down to a game of Monopoly…"
Existential Comics

2014 January: Existential Comics, 2014 December: The Dark Knight of Faith - Existential Comics.

Friday, October 23

A Family Swept Up in the Migrant Tide

"Zain al-Abideen Majid’s father lifts him over a coil of glittering razor wire in the moonlit darkness of a Serbian farm, stretching to hand the boy to a relative on the other side. Though Zain is only 4, this is by no means his first surreptitious border crossing, and he remembers his father’s admonition at the very start of their journey, when they slipped from their homeland of Syria into Turkey: Don’t make a sound, or the guards will beat us. On this night, as Zain is passed over the wire from Serbia into Hungary, the barbs rip two bloody gashes in his right shin, like the flicks of a scalpel. He stays silent. ..."
NY Times (Video)

2015 September: NY Times: Traveling in Europe’s River of Migrants

African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds (2008)

"If you're a fan of classic music from the African continent, you're living in rich times. Interest in the music outside of the communities it was made in is at an all-time high, and there is a new crop of intrepid reissue labels willing to put in enormous amounts of time and energy to bring this music to a whole new set of waiting ears. These are not the fly-by-night exploito outfits of old-- Popular African Music, Sound Way, Analog Africa, the newly resurrected Strut, and Graeme Counsel's recent series of African music projects on Stern's/Syllart do it the right way, tracking down the original masters when available, finding the artists, and making sure they get paid. ..."
YouTube: African Scream Contest: Raw & Psychedelic Afro Sounds From Benin & Togo 70s [full album]

The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Venice, the Doge's Palace, 1881.
"Showcasing the Clark's renowned holdings of French Impressionist paintings, this exhibition features seventy-three works of art, including works by Edgar Degas, Édouard Manet, Claude Monet, Berthe Morisot, Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley. Also represented are Pierre Bonnard, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Jéan-Leon Gérôme, Jean-François Millet, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, among others. The MFAH exhibition tells not only the story of Sterling and Francine Clark's devotion and passion for collecting but also of painting in nineteenth-century France, including the Orientalist works of Gérôme, Barbizon paintings of Corot and Théodore Rousseau, Impressionist masterpieces of Degas, Manet, Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, and Sisley, and Early Modern output of Bonnard and Lautrec. Portraits, landscapes, marines, still lifes, and scenes of everyday life by twenty-five artists, spanning seventy years, are on view."
The Clark
Kimbell Art Museum
amazon: Great French Paintings from the Clark: Barbizon through Impressionism
vimeo: The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Thursday, October 22

Scratching DJs

Wikipedia - "Scratching, sometimes referred to as scrubbing, is a DJ and turntablist technique used to produce distinctive sounds by moving a vinyl record back and forth on a turntable while optionally manipulating the crossfader on a DJ mixer. While scratching is most commonly associated with hip hop music, since the mid-1970s, it has been used in some styles of pop and in nu metal. ... Although previous artists such as William S. Burroughs had experimented with the idea of manipulating a reel to reel tape manually for the sounds produced (such as with his 1950s recording, 'Sound Piece'), vinyl scratching as an element of hip hop pioneered the idea of making the sound an integral and rhythmic part of music instead of uncontrolled noise. Christian Marclay was one of the earliest musicians to scratch outside of hip hop. In the mid-1970s, Marclay used gramophone records and turntables as musical instruments to create sound collages. He developed his turntable sounds independently of hip hop DJs. ..."
Wikipedia (Video)
PBS: The Art Of Turntablism
Scratching On Controllers: 5 Myths Busted (Video)
School Of Scratch (Video)

Crumbling Movie Houses that Were Main Attractions

Loews Palace Theatre
"For Matt Lambros, a photographer based in Brooklyn, New York, grand movie palaces of the United States hold such fascination that he has spent six years documenting them, and counting – his fascinating spin on the history of the giant cultural hubs is to show what has become of the many that have fallen into disuse and dilapidation. ... That may well be readers’ response to his book, due out soon, presenting his photographs of a remarkable theater in a state of decay, but also detailing its planning, construction, and soul, as well as images of its gradual renovation over the last four years. Kings Theatre, The Rise, Fall and Rebirth of Brooklyn’s Wonder Theatre, which will likely appear towards the end of 2015, will cover the entire history of the Loew’s Kings Theatre on Brooklyn’s Flatbush Avenue, from its opening in 1929 to its closure in 1977 to its and recent reopening [in March 2015] as a performing-arts center after extensive repair. ..."
Moving Image Archive News

Landscape - Marianna Gioka

"Rosenfeld Porcini is proud to present Greek painter Marianna Gioka’s inaugural UK solo show ‘Landscape’. This follows her participation in the gallery’s fifth themed group exhibition ‘Around Drawing’, which gathered artists who clearly use traditional drawing methods to forge their artistic language, and artists –who although not traditional draughtsmen, have produced works which can be closely related to a vision of what does, in fact, constitute a drawing. The gallery will feature Gioka’s most recent paintings and works from earlier periods in her career."
rosenfeld porcini
Marianna Gioka

Wednesday, October 21

A Great Day in Harlem

Wikipedia - "A Great Day in Harlem or Harlem 1958 is a 1958 black-and-white group portrait of 57 notable jazz musicians photographed in front of a brownstone in Harlem, New York City. The photo has remained an important object in the study of the history of jazz. Art Kane, a freelance photographer working for Esquire magazine, took the picture around 10 a.m. on August 12 in the summer of 1958. The musicians had gathered at 17 East 126th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues in Harlem. Esquire published the photo in its January 1959 issue. Kane calls it 'the greatest picture of that era of musicians ever taken.' Jean Bach, a radio producer of New York, recounted the story behind it in her 1994 documentary film, A Great Day in Harlem. The film was nominated in 1995 for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature. As of January 2015, only two of the 57 musicians who participated are still living (Benny Golson and Sonny Rollins)."
W - A Great Day in Harlem (film)
A Great Day in Harlem: The Spirit Lives - 50 Years On
NPR: Behind 'A Great Day In Harlem': Jean Bach On Piano Jazz (Video)
A Great Day in Harlem
YouTube: A Great Day In Harlem - Harlem 58 - The Photograph - Part 1-7

The Concept of Anxiety - Søren Kierkegaard (1844)

Wikipedia - "The Concept of Anxiety (Danish: Begrebet Angest): A Simple Psychologically Orienting Deliberation on the Dogmatic Issue of Hereditary Sin, is a philosophical work written by Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard in 1844. ... For Kierkegaard (writing as a pseudonymous author, Vigilius Haufniensis), anxiety/dread/angst is unfocused fear. Kierkegaard uses the example of a man standing on the edge of a tall building or cliff. When the man looks over the edge, he experiences a focused fear of falling, but at the same time, the man feels a terrifying impulse to throw himself intentionally off the edge. That experience is anxiety or dread because of our complete freedom to choose to either throw oneself off or to stay put. The mere fact that one has the possibility and freedom to do something, even the most terrifying of possibilities, triggers immense feelings of dread. Kierkegaard called this our 'dizziness of freedom.' ..."
Second Period: Indirect Communication (1843-46) - The Concept Of Anxiety
[PDF] Kierkegaard: The Concept of Dread
Kierkegaard's Concept of Dread - Marxists Internet Archive

2011 July: Søren Kierkegaard, 2013 April: Repetition (1843), 2013 December: The Quotable Kierkegaard, 2014 October: Fear and Trembling - Søren Kierkegaard (1843), 2014 December: The Dark Knight of Faith - Existential Comics, 2015 July: I still love Kierkegaard.

"Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been)" - DJ Premier, Rakim, Nas & Krs-One (2007)

Wikipedia - "'Classic (Better Than I've Ever Been)' is Grammy nominated collaboration song between Kanye West, Nas, KRS-One and that is co-produced by Rick Rubin and DJ Premier. The song was released as a single on February 20, 2007 by Nike Records. ... Its remix, 'Better Than I've Ever Been DJ Premier Remix', is produced by DJ Premier, and it features Rakim along with the aforementioned rappers. It features DJ Premier's signature scratches from prior songs such as Nas' 'One Love' and 'It Ain't Hard to Tell'. ..."
Classic (Nike Air Force Remix) Lyrics
Soundcloud: Kanye West ft. Dj Premier, NAS, Rakim, Krs-one - Classic (Video)
YouTube: DJ Premier, Rakim, Nas & Krs-One - Classic (HD)

Tuesday, October 20

Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels

"Drawn & Quarterly: Twenty-Five Years of Contemporary Cartooning, Comics, and Graphic Novels is an eight hundred-page thank-you letter to the cartoonists whose steadfast belief in a Canadian micro-publisher never wavered. In 1989, a prescient Chris Oliveros created D+Q with a simple mandate to publish the world’s best cartoonists. Thanks to his taste-making visual acumen and the support of over fifty cartoonists from the past two decades, D+Q has grown from an annual stapled anthology into one of the world's leading graphic novel publishers. With hundreds of pages of comics by Drawn & Quarterly cartoonists, D+Q: 25 features new work by Kate Beaton, Chester Brown, Michael DeForge, Tom Gauld, Miriam Katin, Rutu Modan, James Sturm, Jillian Tamaki, Yoshihiro Tatsumi alongside rare and never-before-seen work from Guy Delisle, Debbie Drechsler, Julie Doucet, John Porcellino, Art Spiegelman, and Adrian Tomine, and a cover by Tom Gauld. ..."
Drawn & Quarterly
Montreal Review of Books: A Montreal Powerhouse Celebrates Its Silver Anniversary
The Comics Journal

Akalé Wubé - Alègntayé feat. Genet Asefa (Digital Single, 2015, Paris DJs)

"While discussing the possibility of releasing Akalé Wubé's sax & flute player Etienne de la Sayette's solo recordings on Paris DJs, the idea of getting Grant Phabao to put to good use his reggae-remixing skills on one of Akalé Wubé's songs arose quickly. But what about the Ethiopian horn or vocal harmonies, would they fit on a reggae groove? Well you can't really know until you try, so that's exactly what happened. ..."
Paris DJs (Video)

The Lomax Kentucky Recordings

Aunt Molly Jackson
"These are documentary sound recordings of rural Kentucky music and lore collected under the auspices of the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress between 1933 and 1942. Performed by farmers, laborers, coal miners, preachers, housewives, public officials, soldiers, grandparents, adolescents, and itinerant musicians, they present a full spectrum of traditional expressive culture from twelve of Eastern Kentucky’s mountain counties: ballads and lyric songs, play-party ditties and comic pieces, topical and protest material, fiddle and banjo tunes, hymns and sacred songs, children's games and lullabies, and a variety of spoken lore—religious testimonies, occupational reminiscences, tall tales, jokes, and family and personal narratives. ..."
The Lomax Kentucky Recordings (Video)
LOC: American Folklife Center (Video)

Monday, October 19

The Ecology of Freedom - Murray Bookchin (1982)

"... With this succinct formulation, Murray Bookchin launches his most ambitious work, The Ecology of Freedom. An engaging and extremely readable book of breathtaking scope, its inspired synthesis of ecology, anthropology, and political theory traces our conflicting legacies of hierarchy and freedom, from the first emergence of human culture to today's globalized capitalism, constantly pointing the way to a sane, sustainable ecological future. On a college syllabus or in an activist's backpack, this book is indispensable reading for anyone who's tired of living in a world where everything is an exploitable resource."
AK Press
W - The Ecology of Freedom
[PDF] The Ecology of Freedom
The Ecology of Freedom in the Democratic City

2014 September: Anarchism in America (1983), 2015 August: The Prophet Farmed: Murray Bookchin on Bernie Sanders, 2015 October: Post-Scarcity Anarchism (1971).

Loose Balls - Terry Pluto (2007)

"Library Journal - The ABA was born in 1967 and in nine tumultuous seasons introduced such legendary stars as Julius Erving, Connie Hawkins, George Gervin, and Moses Malone. Pluto, a basketball writer for the Akron Beacon Journal , spins an irreverent history in interview format of the league with the three-point shot, the slam dunk contest, the red, white, and blue ball. The ABA saga includes unsettled finances, ever-changing teams, and constant war with the more established National Basketball Association. As well as the stars, we meet the owners (Earl Foreman, John Y. Brown, and Charles O. Finley), the coaches (Hubie Brown, brother Larry Brown, Bob Bass, and Slick Leonard), the bad boys (Warren Jabali and John Brisker), the characters (Wendell Ladner and Marvin Barnes), and dozens of others. Well-told by participants, this is a history laced with humor from a league filled with fun."
Review of Terry Pluto’s “Loose Balls”
The Short, Wild Life of the American Basketball Association

2011 June: American Basketball Association, 2012 July: Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC, 2012 November: Your Guide to the Brooklyn Nets, 2013 March: March Madness 2013, 2013 October: Rucker Park, 2013 November: Free Spirits', 2014 January: History of the high five, 2015 February: Dean Smith (February 28, 1931 – February 7, 2015), 2015 June: Basketball’s Obtuse Triangle, 2015 September: SLAM Magazine, 2015 September: Joint Ventures: How sneakers became high fashion and big business.

"Who's Making Love" - Johnnie Taylor (1968)

Wikipedia - "'Who's Making Love' is a single written by Stax staffers Homer Banks, Bettye Crutcher, Don Davis and Raymond Jackson, and recorded by singer Johnnie Taylor. ... It became one of the few singles Taylor would become primarily known for in the mainstream. The song featured Stax in-house band Booker T. & the MG's, and Isaac Hayes (on keyboards) and was Taylor's best-selling single to date before the release of 'Disco Lady' almost a decade later. ..."
YouTube: Who's Making Love

Sunday, October 18

William Faulkner Draws Maps of Yoknapatawpha County, the Fictional Home of His Great Novels

"If you’ve ever had difficulty pronouncing the word Yoknapatawpha—the fictional Mississippi county where William Faulkner set his best-known fiction—you can take instruction from the author himself. During his time as writer-in-residence at the University of Virginia, Faulkner gave students a brief lesson on his pronunciation of the Chickasaw-derived word, which, as he says, sounds like it’s spelled. If you’ve ever had difficulty getting around in Yoknapatawpha—getting the lay of the land, as it were—Faulkner has stepped in again to help his readers. He drew several maps of varying levels of detail that show Yoknapatawpha, its county seat of Jefferson in the center, and various key characters’ plantations, crossroads, camps, stores, houses, etc. from the fifteen novels and story cycles set in the author’s native Mississippi. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

2011 September: Southern Gothic, 2014 February: William Faulkner

The Band - The Band (1969)

"The Band's first album, Music from Big Pink, seemed to come out of nowhere, with its ramshackle musical blend and songs of rural tragedy. The Band, the group's second album, was a more deliberate and even more accomplished effort, partially because the players had become a more cohesive unit, and partially because guitarist Robbie Robertson had taken over the songwriting, writing or co-writing all 12 songs. ... The arrangements were simultaneously loose and assured, giving the songs a timeless appeal, while the lyrics continued to paint portraits of 19th century rural life (especially Southern life, as references to Tennessee and Virginia made clear), its sometimes less savory aspects treated with warmth and humor."
W - The Band
The Band - The Brown Album
Across the Great Divide: The Band's "Brown Album"
YouTube: The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Live), King Harvest, Up On Cripple Creek, Rag Mama Rag- Winterland (San Francisco, CA) Nov 25, 1976, Whispering Pines (alternate take)
YouTube: The Band (1969)

2009 July: The Band, 2011 June: Music from Big Pink, 2011 September: The Last Waltz, 2012 December: King Harvest 2012 January: Rare Concert Footage of The Band, 1970, 2015 January: Stage Fright (1970).

BSA Film Friday: 10.16.15

"1. Welcome To America Owen Dippie by Erin Dippie. A nice homemade video this week by New Zealand painter Owen Dippie’s talented wife Erin, who documented his trip to New York and LA. Without the hype this gives you an idea what it is like to be a tourist here, and it is good to see the experience through the eyes of a loving partner. 2. Covert To Overt: Photography of Obey Giant by Jon Furlong 3. Taken By Storm: The Art Of Storm Thorgerson And Hipgnosis Trailer 4. Sobecksis Mural 'Motion' in Mannheim"
Brooklyn Street Art (Video)

Saturday, October 17

W.G. Sebald - The Rings of Saturn (1999)

"Early on in W.G. Sebald‘s strange and beautiful novel The Rings of Saturn, the erudite narrator (seemingly) offhandedly alludes to Albrecht Dürer’s 1514 engraving Melencolia I. Rings is larded with such references, stuffed to the gills with analysis of history and literature and art (and so much more), but the quick allusion to Melencolia I seems a particularly informative way of interpreting–or at least comprehending–Sebald’s grand, glorious book. Before we begin though, it will be useful to quickly summarize the plot: In 1992, a German intellectual named W.G. Sebald takes a walking tour of the east coast of England. He visits old English manors, the homes of dead writers, decaying seaside resorts, abandoned islands, and many other melancholy spots."
Guardian: The Rings of Saturn by WG Sebald – walking through history (Video)
W - The Rings of Saturn
NYT: In the Company of Ghosts

2015 February: ‘Drowned in a sea of salt’ Blake Morrison on the literature of the east coast, 2015 April: Patience (After Sebald) - (2010)

The Middle East Friendship Chart

"With overlapping civil wars in Syria and Iraq, a new flare-up of violence between Israel and the Palestinians, and tense nuclear talks with Iran, Middle Eastern politics are more volatile than ever and longtime alliances are shifting. Here's a guide to who's on whose side in the escalating chaos. Click a cell to learn more information."

Sleepy John Estes

Wikipedia - "John Adam Estes (January 25, 1899 – June 5, 1977), best known as Sleepy John Estes or Sleepy John, was an American blues guitarist, songwriter and vocalist, born in Ripley, Lauderdale County, Tennessee. In 1915, Estes' father, a sharecropper who also played some guitar, moved the family to Brownsville, Tennessee. Not long after, Estes accidentally lost the sight in his right eye when a friend threw a rock at him. At the age of 19, while working as a field hand, he began to perform professionally. ..."
American Music
YouTube: Drop Down Mama, Diving Duck Blues, Liquor Store Blues, Floating Bridge, Someday Baby Blues, Mailman Blues (Live), The Girl I love, She Got Long Curly Hair, Broken-Hearted, Ragged And Dirty Too, Street Car Blues, Lawyer Clark Blues, Watcha Doin, Everybody Oughta Make A Change, Fire Department Blues (Martha Hardin), I Ain't Gonna Be Worried No More, Stop That Thing, Death Valley Blues, Broke And Hungry, Jailhouse Blues

Friday, October 16

Bob Dylan - "Positively 4th Street" / "From a Buick 6" (1965)

Wikipedia - "'Positively 4th Street' is a song written and performed by Bob Dylan, first recorded by Dylan in New York City on July 29, 1965. ... The song, like most of Dylan's, is composed of a simple harmonic, or chordal, and melodic structure; the verse has a I-ii-IV-I progression followed by I-V-IV-vi-V. Dylan begins by telling the unspecified second-person target of the song that they have a lot of nerve to say that they are his friend and then goes on to list a multitude of examples of their backstabbing duplicity. While the lyrics are distinctly negative, the organ-dominated backing music is that of care-free folk-rock. ... The lyrics of 'Positively 4th Street' are bitter and derisive, which caused many, at the time of the song's release, to draw a comparison with Dylan's similarly toned previous single 'Like a Rolling Stone'. ..."
amazon: Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña
NY Times: CHAPTER ONE - Positively 4th Street By DAVID HAJDU
NY Times: Protest and Soap Opera for 4 Singers of the 60's
YouTube: Positively 4th Street, From a Buick 6


John Sloan, The Haymarket, 1907.
Wikipedia - "The Tenderloin was the name given to an entertainment and red-light district in the heart of the New York City borough of Manhattan during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The area originally ran from 23rd Street to 42nd Street and from Fifth Avenue to Seventh Avenue. By the turn of the 20th century, it had expanded northward to 57th or 62nd Street and west to Eighth Avenue, encompassing parts of what is now the Flatiron District, NoMad, Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen, the Garment District and the Theater District. ... By the 1880s, the Tenderloin encompassed the largest number of nightclubs, saloons, bordellos, gambling casinos, dance halls, and 'clip joints' in New York City, to the extent that one estimate made in 1885 was that half of the buildings in the district were connected with vice. ..."
Untapped Cities Tour: The Remnants of Manhattan’s Tenderloin Red Light District
Ephemeral New York: A Chelsea block lined with brothels in the 1870s
Ephemeral New York: The “loud and lurid” Haymarket on 30th Street
Friday Night Fever: Haymarket, New York’s Moulin Rouge

Laurie Spiegel: Grassroots Technologist

"People often speak about computers and technology as though these things are completely antithetical to nature and tradition, though this is largely a false dichotomy. Electronic music pioneer Laurie Spiegel began her musical life as a folk guitar player and has never abandoned that music. But she fell in love with machines the first time she saw a mainframe tape-operated computer at Purdue University on a field trip there with her high school physics class and has been finding ways to humanize them in her own musical compositions and software development ever since. She sees a lot of common ground between the seemingly oppositional aesthetics of folk traditions and the digital realm. In fact, when we met up with her last month in her Lower Manhattan loft crammed full of computers, musical instruments, and toys of all sorts, she frequently spoke about how in her world view the computer is actually a folk instrument."
New Music Box (Video)

2011 May: Laurie Spiegel, 2012 November: Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe, 2014 February: The Interstellar Contract, 2015 September: Resident Visitor: Laurie Spiegel's Machine Music.