Saturday, July 30

Bernie Worrell: 10 Essential Tracks From the P-Funk Keyboardist

"One of the most wildly innovative and technically dazzling musicians in pop music history, Parliament-Funkadelic's Bernie Worrell was like 'Jimi Hendrix on the keyboards,' according to one-time bandmate Bootsy Collins, and that's not a hyperbolic estimation. A classical-music child prodigy who attended the New England Conservatory of Music and Juilliard, Worrell's journey to the funk began by hanging around George Clinton's Newark, New Jersey barbershop. By his early 20s, he was a full-fledged P-Funkateer, and soon became de facto musical director, organizing and orchestrating the anarchic collective's sprawling jams and riffs into iconic compositions and performances. ..."
Rolling Stone (Video)

The Bubble Gum Card War: The Great Bowman & Topps Sets from 1948 to 1955

"In 1951, Bowman's short-lived baseball card monopoly was broken by Topps and the great Baseball Gum Card War was in full swing. Consumers almost always benefit from competition in the marketplace and the card collectors were no exception during the Baseball Bubble Gum Card War. The result was the birth and rapid evolution of the modern baseball card. Each spring during the years of 1952 to 1955, American boys had their choice between two great sets of baseball cards. The boys would cast their votes for their favorite issue of the year by sliding nickels across the counter of America's dime-stores to purchase baseball cards from either Topps or Bowman. ...'
amazon: The Bubble Gum Card War
amazon: Baseball Cards of the Fifties: The Complete Topps Cards 1950-1959
amazon: Topps Baseball Cards: The Complete Picture Collection (A 35-Year History, 1951-1985)
amazon: Classic Sports Card Sets: Best Sport Cards Sets From the 1950s and 1960s
amazon: The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book

Rude Reggae: Rough Riders

"We are back with another Reggae article! 'Rude Reggae – Rough Riders' has been taken from a Black Music Magazine from 1974. It was, in fact, part of a special called Sexy Soul, Blue Blues and Rude Reggae. The author of the Reggae section was Carl Gayle, as usual, providing an entertaining and interesting read. ... At its worst, rude reggae can plumb the depths of childish smut. At its best, it has an earthy and unselfconscious directness which can make the prudest of prudes explode with laughter. ..."
The Ballroom Blitz
YouTube: Judge Dread - Big Six, Lord Kitchener - Dr. Kitch aka The Needle (1963), Prince Buster & All Stars - Rough Rider, Prince Buster - Wreck A Pum Pum, Laurel Aitken - Pussy Price, Justin Hines And The Dominoes - Rub Up Push Up, The Heptones - Fattie Fattie, Derrick Morgan - Kill Me Dead, Lloyd Terrel - Bang Bang Lulu, Max Romeo - Wet Dream, Nora Dean - Barbwire, Wailing Wailers - Bend Down Low

Friday, July 29

Broken Records: The Final Days of Bleecker Bob’s Golden Oldies

"The aromas of must and dust were what stuck with you when you exited Bleecker Bob’s Golden Oldies Record Shop, the dumpy yet iconic LP store in New York City’s mercurial post-boho Greenwich Village. The scents wafted out the door, where they lingered in that no-man’s-land between Ben’s Pizza and Village Psychic. The collected fetor of decades-old cardboard, vinyl, and plastic all comingling, the whiff of oldies begging to be rediscovered. It was unforgettable. For the past 32 years, Bleecker Bob’s shared its air at 118 West Third Street, and it amassed a downtown New York legacy that dated back to the early ’70s. ..."
NY Times: What Did You Buy at Bleecker Bob’s?
Noir York (Video)
Bleecker Bob’s is closing: Legendary record store to be replaced by frozen yogurt chain store (Video)
The Record Store Day After: New York's Iconic Bleecker Bob's Closes
YouTube: The Last Days of Bleecker Bob's 32:54, The Final Days of Bleecker Bobs, Seinfeld - Bleecker Bob's Records

Delta Aquariids Kick Off Summer Meteor Showers

"Open the gate. Here they come! It's time for the annual trifecta of late July-early August meteor showers beginning with the Delta Aquariids which peak the night of July 28–29. The last meteor shower of note occurred in early May when the Eta Aquariids sprinkled a modest few meteors across the dawn sky. Yes, it's been a long time. The Delta Aquariid meteor shower takes its name from Delta Aquarii, a 3rd-magnitude star in the constellation Aquarius, the Water Carrier. Shower meteors fan out across the sky, but all appear to streak away from a point in central Aquarius called the radiant. ..."
Sky & Telescope

2010 August: Perseids

Mid-Century Modern

"The middle of the 20th century was a golden age for the American theater. Tennessee Williams wrote his first masterpiece, The Glass Menagerie, in 1944, towards the end of World War II, and A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof both followed in the subsequent decade. Eugene O’Neill wrote his titanic mature works, Long Day’s Journey Into Night and The Iceman Cometh, during World War II, and each was first performed in the first dozen years after the war. And in the same period, Arthur Miller gave the world arguably his greatest works: All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, and A View From the Bridge. ..."
New Republic

2011 April: The Misfits (1961), 2012 June: Before Air-Conditioning (1998), 2014 December: The Crucible (1953), 2015 December: A View from the Bridge (1955), 2016 January: Arthur Miller’s Brooklyn

Thursday, July 28

Beirut Sounds Like This

Broadcasting online, Radio Beirut also showcases live and dj performances in the pulsating Mar Mikhail neighborhood.
"'When I first began making Oriental music as a teenager, it was the way foreigners fantasize it,' says Zeid Hamdan, leaning back into the couch with a cup of chamomile tea. Though it is nine in the morning, he has already wrapped up one meeting, and in an hour he has to be at the studio where he is set to put in an eight-hour day producing musician and film composer Khaled Mouzanar’s new album. ... Soap Kills remains the seminal sound of postwar Beirut, a Beirut just emerging from the devastation and dust of a 15-year-long civil war. Hamdan’s trippy, minimalist beats, samples and orchestration underscore and elevate his counterpart’s misty, sensual vocals, giving them a rubbly landscape from which they rise, unfurling like smoke. ..."
AramcoWorld (Video)

Greensboro sit-ins

Wikipedia - "The Greensboro sit-ins were a series of nonviolent protests in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1960, which led to the Woolworth department store chain removing its policy of racial segregation in the Southern United States. While not the first sit-in of the Civil Rights Movement, the Greensboro sit-ins were an instrumental action, and also the most well-known sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement. These sit-ins led to increased national sentiment at a crucial period in US history. The primary event took place at the Greensboro, North Carolina, Woolworth store, now the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. ..."
History: The Greensboro Sit-In
The Greensboro Chronology
Awesome: Greensboro Four - Woolworth Lunch Counter

American Woman - The Guess Who (1970) Lenny Kravitz, Prince, etc.

Wikipedia - "'American Woman' is a song released by the Canadian rock band the Guess Who in January 1970, from their sixth studio album of the same name. ... The song's lyrics have been the matter of some debate, often interpreted as an attack on U.S. politics (especially the draft). Jim Kale, the group's bassist and the song's co-author, explained his take on the lyrics: 'The popular misconception was that it was a chauvinistic tune, which was anything but the case. The fact was, we came from a very strait-laced, conservative, laid-back country, and all of a sudden, there we were in Chicago, Detroit, New York – all these horrendously large places with their big city problems.' ..."
YouTube: American Woman - The Guess Who, Lenny Kravitz, Prince & Lenny Kravitz (Live)

Wednesday, July 27

North Beach History: When Bebop Filled The Night

Frank Phipps plays bass trumpet at The Cellar, c. 1959.
"... In 1951, while I was a high-school student, my girlfriend and I would make trips from Berkeley to the corner of Turk and Hyde streets in the Tenderloin. Here, at the legendary jazz club, The Black Hawk, we would be ensconced behind a chicken-wire barrier that separated underage patrons from their hipster elders. It was from this 'cage’' that we would 'dig' the energizing sounds of Dave Brubeck, Gerry Mulligan and other jazz greats. ..."
W - North Beach, San Francisco
PBS: Music of the Fillmore

Sophia Al-Maria: Black Friday

Black Friday, 2016. Digital video projected vertically, color, sound; 16:36 min.
"For her first solo exhibition in the United States, Sophia Al-Maria (b. 1983) debuts a new video and installation. For nearly a decade, Al-Maria has been finding ways to describe twenty-first-century life in the Gulf Arab nations through art, writing, and filmmaking. She coined the term 'Gulf Futurism' to explain the stunning urban and economic development in the region over the last decades, as well as the environmental damage, religious conservatism, and historical amnesia that have accompanied it. Her exhibition at the Whitney continues this examination by focusing on the Gulf’s embrace of the shopping mall. ..."
Whitney: Back to the Futurist
Guardian: Artist Sophia Al-Maria: 'People hate Islam, but they're titillated by it too'

Booker Ervin: Exultation! (1963)

"Following the familiar path of military service, then college music education, the young Texan Booker Ervin cut his music teeth playing rhythm and blues, teaching himself tenor. Moving east, a chance encounter with Horace Parlan opened up an audition opportunity with Mingus, where he quickly found a place in the creative cauldron which launched so many fine players in the late ’50s and early ’60s. Able to navigate Mingus complex scores, Ervin also shone in solo, paired with Dolphy’s wild alto excursions. His hard-driving tenor is heard on all Mingus’s key albums of this period including Ah Um, Blues and Roots, At Antibes, and Mingus Five. ..."
London Jazz Collector (Video)
W - Booker Ervin
YouTube: Exultation! (1963)

Tuesday, July 26

Once Upon a Time in America - Sergio Leone (1984)

Wikipedia - "Once Upon a Time in America is a 1984 Italian-American epic crime drama film co-written and directed by Italian filmmaker Sergio Leone and starring Robert De Niro and James Woods. Based on Harry Grey's novel The Hoods, it chronicles the lives of Jewish ghetto youths who rise to prominence in New York City's world of organized crime. The film explores themes of childhood friendships, love, lust, greed, betrayal, loss, broken relationships, and the rise of mobsters in American society. It was the final film of Leone's career and the first feature film he had directed in thirteen years. The cinematography was by Tonino Delli Colli, and Ennio Morricone provided the film score. ..."
13 Epic Facts About 'Once Upon a Time in America'
If You Never Liked Once Upon A Time In America, Give The Director's Cut A Chance (Video)
Roger Ebert
YouTube: Once Upon a Time in America

2011 August: Dollars Trilogy

The Circuit Board Record Album

"Tristan Perich’s Noise Patterns comes in a clear jewel case, but it isn’t a CD. It’s a small, matte-black circuit board. Powered by a watch battery, it produces a series of musical compositions built from the on/off operations on the minuscule chip at the center of the device, the same sort of chip you might find in a microwave oven. What follows is a lengthy, detailed interview in which Perich talks about the development of Noise Patterns, and various other aspects of his artistic efforts, which range from full-scale museum installations of drawing machines and 'microtonal walls,' to live performances in which he builds circuits in front of the audience. ..."
disquiet (Video)
Tristan Perich - Noise Patterns
Bleep (Video)
Tristan Perich - 1-Bit Symphony (Video)
YouTube: Tristan Perich: Surface Image (with Vicky Chow), [LIVE] Vicky Chow performs Tristan Perich: Surface Image 1:03:26

Michael Jordan: ‘I can no longer stay silent’

"As a proud American, a father who lost his own dad in a senseless act of violence, and a black man, I have been deeply troubled by the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of law enforcement and angered by the cowardly and hateful targeting and killing of police officers. I grieve with the families who have lost loved ones, as I know their pain all too well. I was raised by parents who taught me to love and respect people regardless of their race or background, so I am saddened and frustrated by the divisive rhetoric and racial tensions that seem to be getting worse as of late. ..."
The Undefeated

Monday, July 25

The Kut Collective

"... Kut Films was created two years ago. After studying film in Bristol, one guy returned home to Latvia and, after an unsuccessful job search, decided to concentrate less on the commercial and more on personal interests. It seemed like a good idea, not only to pull in some attention, but also to make something fun and meaningful for people in Latvia – and beyond. Luckily, there are plenty of potatoes in Latvian gardens in summertime, so there were no worries about survival for a bit. This guy is the nucleus of the collective, which involves a group of enthusiastic people – it changes according to projects and circumstances. ..."
Don't Panic (Video)

The Slits - "Man Next Door" - Berlin 1981

"One of the few 45s I still own, The Slit’s wonderful cover of 'Man Next Door,' a reggae classic associated with both John Holt (who wrote it) and the 'Crown Prince of Reggae,' Dennis Brown (who covered it. So Did Massive Attack). This non-album, 1980 production was mixed by Adrian Sherwood, Adam Kidron and the Slits themselves. The B-side is a tripped out dub version. Once I was able to get my hands on some 'real' (Jamaican) dub, I was disappointed that it seldom lived up to the psychedelic standards set here. In this live clip, The Slits perform an epic, nearly 9-minute-long romp all over 'Man Next Door' augmented by Steve Beresford on sound effects, Bruce Smith (The Pop Group, PiL) on drums and a young Neneh Cherry on backing vocals (and great dance moves!) at the Tempodrom in Berlin on June 19,1981. Turn this up LOUD and wish you had been there…"
Dangerous Minds (Video)
YouTube: Man Next Door - Berlin 1981

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, 2015 August: Return Of The Giant Slits (1981/2007), 2016 May: "Typical Girls" / "I Heard It Through the Grapevine" (1979)

Sunday, July 24

Mexico City Blues - Jack Kerouac (1959)

Wikipedia - "Mexico City Blues is a poem published by Jack Kerouac in 1959 composed of 242 'choruses' or stanzas. Written between 1954 and 1957, the poem the product of Kerouac's spontaneous prose, his Buddhism, and his disappointment at his failure to publish a novel between 1950's The Town and the City and 1957's On the Road. Kerouac began writing the choruses that became Mexico City Blues while living with Bill Garver, a heroin addict and friend of William S. Burroughs, in Mexico City in 1955. Written under the influence of marijuana and morphine, choruses were defined only by the size of Kerouac's notebook page. ..."
Mexico City Blues [113th Chorus], 4th Chorus
Open Culture - Johnny Depp Recites ‘Chorus 113’ from Kerouac’s Mexico City Blues (Video)
YouTube: Choruses 1-10 (Allen Ginsberg), 230th Chorus & 19th Chorus (Gregory Corso)

2009 November: Another Side of Kerouac: The Dharma Bum as Sports Nut, 2010 July: Kerouac's Copies of Floating Bear, 2011 March: Jack Kerouac on The Steve Allen Show, 2013 September: On the Road - Jack Kerouac, 2014 May: “Walker Evans and Robert Frank – An Essay on Influence by Tod Papageorge” (1981), 2015 March: Pull My Daisy (1959), 2015 December: Hear All Three of Jack Kerouac’s Spoken.

Crosscurrents - Danny Kalb and Stefan Grossman (1969)

"Originally released in 1969, Crosscurrents is the meeting of two very different guitarists collaborating on the blues and other folk forms. This is deep American white music played with character, innocence, and instrumental acumen. Danny Kalb was one of the co-founders of the Blues Project and a brilliant if underacknowledged guitarist. Stefan Grossman is, of course, one of the best-known acoustic guitarists in the world. This fleeting collaboration is inspired, ego-less, and gritty. Grossman wrote the lion's share of the set though Kalb, with his electric guitar and psychedelic effects, is an equal foil (though acoustically, Kalb is a monster as well). ..."
W - Danny Kalb
Spotify, amazon
YouTube: Devil Round The Moon, Harvest Of Your Days, Death Letter Blues, Singing Songs Unsung, Eagles On The Half, Requiem For Patrick Kilroy, Danish Drone, Crow Black Squall

2011 September: The Blues Project, 2012 January: Child Is Father to the Man - Blood, Sweat & Tears , 2013 January: Cafe Au Go Go, 2014 July: Live at The Cafe Au Go Go - The Blues Project (1965).

Captain Haddock

Wikipedia - "Captain Archibald Haddock ... is a fictional character and a major protagonist in The Adventures of Tintin, the comics series by Belgian cartoonist Hergé. He is Tintin's best friend, a seafaring Merchant Marine Captain. ... Throughout it all, the Captain's coarse humanity and sarcasm act as a counterpoint to Tintin's often implausible heroism. He is always quick with a dry comment whenever the boy reporter gets too idealistic. ... As a sailor, Haddock would need to have a very colourful vocabulary, but Hergé could not use any swear words as he knew his audience included children. ..."
List of Captain Haddock's Curses
David's Favourite Captain Haddock Curses
YouTube: Captain Haddock with the raiders - Crab with the Golden Claws

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, 2015 August: The Black Island (1937), 2015 September: King Ottokar's Sceptre (1938), 2015 December: Red Rackham's Treasure (1943).

Saturday, July 23

Q&A: Antoinette Balzano and Cookie Cimineri of Totonno’s

"This year, Totonno’s, the famed Coney Island pizzeria, turned 90. Founded by the original pizzaiolo at Lombardi’s, Anthony 'Totonno' Pero, this doughy institution has counted punk legends (The Ramones), rock stars (Lou Reed), professional athletes (Derek Jeter), and world-class chefs (Mario Batali) among its regulars. For many customers, it’s a place that inspires some of their oldest memories, but for Pero’s granddaughters and co-owners, it’s home. We spoke with Antoinette Balzano and Cookie Cimineri about life in Brooklyn’s beach town, the pizzeria’s history, and why Lou Reed loved it so damn much. ..."
W - Totonno’s
NY Times: Fighting to Save the Flavor of New York
A Visit to Coney Island Institution Totonno's
YouTube: Totonnos (Brooklyn, NY)

2014 June: Pizza, 2014 October: Viva La Pizza! The Art of the Pizza Box (NYC)

The Blow-Up - Television (1982)

"Double live albums frequently come off as redundant and indulgent, but in the case of Television, The Blow-Up comes awfully close to being an essential document, simply because the band's studio albums didn't always capture the rawness and spontaneity that fueled their on-stage improvisations. Both of those qualities are present on The Blow-Up in abundance; the sound quality is not exactly pristine, but the performances, recorded in 1978 on what proved to be the band's final tour, are exciting and frequently breathtaking, capturing a side of the band that will enlighten anyone wondering how Television's intricate, layered sound was ever tagged 'punk.' ..."
Please, Don’t Blow Up Your Television
YouTube: The Blow-Up Live 1978 2LP FullVinyl

2007 November: Tom Verlaine, 2010 March: Tom Verlaine - 1, 2011 October: Warm and Cool, 2012 Nov: Little Johnny Jewel, 2012 December: Words from the Front, 2013 July: Flash Light, 2013 October: See No Evil, 2014 October: Dreamtime (1981), 2014 November: Marquee Moon (1977), January: Adventure (1978), 2015 October: Tom Verlaine (1979).

Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology (2015)

"Anyone with any interest at all in contemporary Moroccan writing must start with Souffles. A cultural and political journal, Souffles (the French word for 'breaths') was founded in 1966 by Abdellatif Laâbi and Mostafa Nissabouri. Run by a group of artists and intellectuals, Souffles was a written fight for democratic ideals and a new Maghrebi literature following independence in Morocco. For those of us who can’t read French or Arabic, or who don’t have the attention span to sift through all of the archives, we now have the excellent Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology, edited by Olivia C. Harrison and Teresa Villa-Ignacio, with just the right amount of historical background and contextual commentary. ..."
Three Percent
Decolonizing Culture
Room 220
W - Souffles (magazine)
amazon: Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology from the Moroccan Journal of Culture and Politics

Friday, July 22

The Keeper

A detail from a collection of the artist Shinro Ohtake’s scrapbooks.
"'The Keeper' is an exhibition dedicated to the act of preserving objects, artworks, and images, and to the passions that inspire this undertaking. A reflection on the impulse to save both the most precious and the apparently valueless, it brings together a variety of imaginary museums, personal collections, and unusual assemblages, revealing the devotion with which artists, collectors, scholars, and hoarders have created sanctuaries for endangered images and artifacts. In surveying varied techniques of display, the exhibition also reflects on the function and responsibility of museums within multiple economies of desire. ..."
New Museum
NY Times: ‘The Keeper’ Reveals the Passion for Collecting
At The New Museum, The Keeper is a Haven for Historians, Hoarders, and Humanity
“The Keeper” Sleeper: The New Museum Displays the Harrowing “Sketchbook from Auschwitz”

William Forsythe - Solo (1997)

"Shot in black-and-white, Solo features an electric solo performance by choreographer William Forsythe, beginning with a close-up on the balletic movements of his feet, scanning up his frame, and then finally zooming out to capture his frenetic movements across a starkly lit stage. The dance is accompanied by an atonal violin composition by Thom Willems and occasional directions from an off-camera male voice, both of which contribute to the film's gloomy, paranoid atmosphere. Solo premiered at the 1997 Whitney Biennial and is considered a landmark in Forsythe's artistic career. Choreography/Performance: William Forsythe; Music: Thom Willems, in collaboration with Maxime Franke; Director: Thomas Lovell Balogh; Camera: Jess Hall, Courtesy of The Forsythe Company."
UbuWeb (Video)

Miriodor ‎– Jongleries Élastiques (1996)

"For their fourth album (fifth if you count the cassette that came out between the first and second), Miriodor has again pulled out a long list of surprises. Their sound is rooted in the chamber rock one might associate with bands like Univers Zero and Henry Cow (circa Western Culture), with touches of folk and other elements. In fact this is a hard band to pin down because each of their releases have been so different, and this latest is no exception. There are wild mood swings and time changes, odd angularities and dissonant incongruities that together make for some great listening. ..."
allmusic (Video)
YouTube: The Little Ship's Terrible Wreck, Igor, l'ours a moto

2014 July: Cobra Fakir

Thursday, July 21

10 Classics of Campaign Literature

"Campaign writing has a bit of sports journalism about it—from the vivid depictions of victory and defeat, to the martial perseveration on strategy, and the almost sabermetric obsession with numbers ranging from delegate counts to polling. There is a similarity between explicating the perfect Belichick or Lombardi play and the strategic machinations of a Karl Rove or David Axelrod. The best of political journalism has an appreciation for the well-executed play even if, maybe especially if, it comes from the other side. Though the questions of politics (too often dismissed as matters of mere opinion) cut to the core of the fundamental values by which we define ourselves—questions of what is fair, what is equal, what is free—the greatest accounts of campaigns and elections still offer something of the trans-ideological. ..."
Literary Hub

Hüsker Dü - "Makes No Sense At All" / "Love Is All Around" (1985)

Wikipedia - "'Makes No Sense At All' is a song by Hüsker Dü from the album Flip Your Wig. The song was the only single from the album. The release of the single, along with the flip side track 'Love Is All Around'—the theme song to The Mary Tyler Moore Show—demonstrated Hüsker Dü's continued move away from their hardcore punk roots to a more melodic synthesis of pop and punk. In a review on Allmusic, the song is called 'perhaps the group's greatest fusion of punk and pop...Mould had, quite simply, written one of his best melodies, capable of containing the furious energy of his guitar style while still offering a potent melodic hook that made the most of the band's psychedelic undertow.' ..."
YouTube: "Makes No Sense At All", "Love Is All Around"

2014 July: Zen Arcade (1984)

Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968

Wikipedia - "Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era is a groundbreaking compilation album of American psychedelic and garage rock singles released in the mid-to-late 1960s. It was assembled by Jac Holzman, founder of Elektra Records, and Lenny Kaye, later lead guitarist for the Patti Smith Group. The original double album was released on LP by Elektra in 1972 with liner notes by Kaye that contained one of the first uses of the term 'punk rock'. It was reissued with a new cover design by Sire Records in 1976 and expanded into four-CD box set by Rhino Records in 1998. ..."
No. 50: ‘Nuggets: Original Artyfacts’ (Video)
YouTube: Nuggets Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era CD 1, CD 2

Wednesday, July 20

Court and Cosmos

"One of the most productive periods in the history of the region from Iran to Anatolia corresponds to the rule of the Seljuqs and their immediate successors, from 1038 to 1307. The Seljuqs were a Turkic dynasty of Central Asian nomadic origin that in short time conquered a vast territory in West Asia stretching from present-day Turkmenistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. The lands controlled by the Seljuqs were not a unified empire, but controlled by various branches of the Seljuqs and their successor dynasties (Rum Seljuqs, Artuqids, Zangids, and others). Under Seljuq rule, the exchange and synthesis of diverse traditions—including Turkmen, Perso-Arabo-Islamic, Byzantine, Armenian, Crusader, and other Christian cultures—accompanied economic prosperity, advances in science and technology, and a great flowering of culture within the realm. ..."
The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Video)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Court and Cosmos: The Great Age of the Seljuqs

Entre Lajeunesse et la sagesse - Kate & Anna McGarrigle (1980)

Wikipedia - "Entre Lajeunesse et la sagesse is the fourth album by Kate & Anna McGarrigle, released in 1980. Consisting entirely of songs in French, the album was originally released with the title French Record and was given the new subtitle of Entre Lajeunesse et la sagesse (the title of its first track) when it was re-released on CD in 2003. The album title is a pun: Lajeunesse is a street name in Montreal, Quebec but, since la jeunesse means youth and la sagesse means wisdom, the title can also be interpreted as 'between youth and wisdom'. It is considered by many fans, even those who don't speak French, to be one of the duo's best albums. ..."
YouTube: Complainte pour Ste. Catherine, Excursion a Venise, Naufragee Du Tendre, Parlez-Nous à Boire, Entre Lajeunesse et la sagesse

2008 July: Kate and Anna McGarrigle, 2010 January: Kate McGarrigle 1946 – 2010, 2012 April: Kate and Anna McGarrigle, 2014 August: "Goin Back to Harlan".

Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective, 1999–2016

"Tom Sachs pays tribute to a defining icon of street culture—the boom box—by transforming our glass entryway, the Rubin Pavilion, into a living sound system that hovers between art and science, the functional and the mythological. Tom Sachs: Boombox Retrospective, 1999–2016 features eighteen works that highlight the artist’s ability to inventively transform ordinary, everyday materials into art. With wit and ingenuity, he creates boom box sculptures that play music and activate the space, turning it into an immersive sound environment. The work is programmed with playlists that go on sequentially throughout our public hours. ..."
Brooklyn Museum
Tom Sachs
YouTube: Tom Sachs Boombox Retrospective Exhibit

Tuesday, July 19

Gunslinger - Ed Dorn

Wikipedia - "Gunslinger is the title of a long poem in six parts by Ed Dorn. The gunslinger is a long form political poem about a demigod cowboy, a saloon madam, and a talking horse named Claude Levi-Strauss, who travel the Southwest in search of Howard Hughes. The conversation stream of the poem is constantly interrupted. Dorn mixes the jargon of drug addicts, Westerners, and others to reflect the jumble of American speech. He seems to intentionally frustrate the reader; syntax is ambiguous, punctuation is sparse, and puns, homonyms, and nonsense words become an integral part of conversation. ..."
Google - Gunslinger
EPC: On Ed Dorn's Gunslinger
Google - "Art Rising to Clarity: Edward Dorn's Compleat Slinger" by William J. Lockwood
Chicago Poetry - "INTERVIEW WITH ED DORN" by Effie Mihopoulos
gary brower gunslinger in new mexico: for ed dorn (1929-1999)
Ed Dorn and the politics of the New American Poetry

2007 December: Edward Dorn, 1929-1999, 2011 April: The North Atlantic Turbine, 2012 September: Fulcrum Press, 2014 September: Tom Clark - Edward Dorn (1929-1999), 2015 November: The Collected Poems 1956 - 1974, 2015 December: Recollections of Gran Apachería (1974), 2016 April: By the Sound (1965).


Wikipedia - "Gelato (Italian pronunciation: [dʒeˈlaːto]; plural: gelati [dʒeˈlaːti]) is the Italian word for ice cream, commonly used, in English, for ice cream made in an Italian style. Gelato is made with a base of milk, cream, and sugar, and flavored with fruit and nut purees and other flavorings. It is generally lower in fat, but higher in sugar, than other styles of ice cream. ... The history of gelato is rife with myths and very little evidence to substantiate them. Some say it dates back to frozen desserts in Sicily, ancient Rome and Egypt made from snow and ice brought down from mountaintops and preserved below ground. Later, in 1686 the Sicilian fisherman Francesco Procopio dei Coltelli perfected the first ice cream machine. However, the popularity of gelato among larger shares of the population only increased in the 1920s–1930s in the northern Italian city of Varese, where the first gelato cart was developed. ..."
NPR: Why Scream For Gelato Instead Of Ice Cream? Here's The Scoop
What's the Difference Between Gelato and Ice Cream?
YouTube: How to make Italian Gelato

Muddy Waters - The Complete Aristocrat & Chess Singles A's & B's: 1947-1962

"Muddy Waters brought a Son House-like Delta country-blues style north with him from Mississippi to Chicago in 1943, intent on making a living from music. Switching from acoustic to electric guitar in order to be better heard in the Chicago clubs and bars, Waters gradually assembled one of the greatest ongoing bands in the history of blues, and in the process, Waters and his band assembled the very template for classic Chicago blues. ..."
Black Grooves
YouTube: Muddy Waters 1948 Aristocrat Recordings, Gypsy Woman, Hard Day Blues

Monday, July 18

Photographers in Focus: Ethan Sprague

"'I like to work with nutcases, people who don't conform,' says Milan-born filmmaker Alex Grazioli, who found the oddball photographer and subject of Ethan Sprague: The Camera and the Cage through yet another unorthodox character. Grazioli, who splits his time between New York City and London, was working on a feature documentary about Abel Ferrara, and after sharing a slice at Gotham’s famed Joe’s Pizza, Ferrara suggested they go watch some basketball down the street. Grazioli was struck by the in-your-face nature of the games at the courts on the corner of West 4th Street and 6th Avenue, where a fence barely separates players from passersby and onlookers. ..."
W - West Fourth Street Courts
amazon: Pick-Up Game: A Full Day of Full Court
The Cage (Street Basketball NYC) (Video)

Marvin Gaye - "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" (1971)

Wikipedia - "'Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)', often shortened to 'Inner City Blues', is a song by Marvin Gaye, released as the third and final single from and the climactic song of his 1971 landmark album, What's Going On. Written by Gaye and James Nyx Jr., the song depicts the ghettos and bleak economic situations of inner-city America, and the emotional effects these have on inhabitants. ... The song was recorded in a mellow funk style with Gaye playing piano. Several of the Funk Brothers also contributed, including Eddie 'Bongo' Brown, and bassist Bob Babbitt. ..."
YouTube: Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)

1984 (For the Love of Big Brother) - Eurythmics (1982)

"Wikipedia - "1984 (For the Love of Big Brother) is a soundtrack album by Eurythmics, containing music recorded by the group for director Michael Radford's colour remake film version of George Orwell's classic dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. Virgin Films produced the film for release in its namesake year, and commissioned Eurythmics to write a soundtrack."
Wikipedia, W - Big Brother (Nineteen Eighty-Four), W - Nineteen Eighty-Four, Wikiquote - 1984
Philip Coppens
amazon: 1984 for the Love of Big Brother
YouTube: Sexcrime, Ministry Of Love, Doubleplusgood, Julia
YouTube: George Orwell 1984 trailer, Winston's Walk Home, Great Speech from 1984 'Nineteen Eighty Four' by Michael Radford

Sunday, July 17

How Turkey Came to This

"On Friday, a coup attempt by elements of the Turkish military—the longtime adversaries of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s demagogic (but democratically elected) president—plunged Turkey into uncertainty and violence. Details were still sketchy and evolving this evening, with the president, and even much of Turkey’s increasingly repressed opposition, speaking out against the attack on the country’s civilian government, which has been overthrown at other times over the past 65 years. By early Saturday morning in Turkey, the government was claiming that the coup attempt had been foiled, even as reports of violence continued to proliferate. ..."
NY Times: As Turkey Coup Unfolded, ‘the Whole Night Felt Like Doomsday’ (Video)
Guardian - Turkey coup attempt: Erdoğan demands US arrest exiled cleric Gülen amid crackdown on army – as it happened (Video)
CNN: Turkey coup attempt: Erdogan rounds up suspected plotters (Video)

2016 February: The Feminist, Democratic Leftists Our Military Is Obliterating -  Debbie Bookchin, 2016 May: Turkey’s Authoritarian Turn

Munma - Cadavre Exquis (feat. Jad Atoui)

"... Beirut based composer Jawad Nawfal has produced one of this year's best electronic LPs in Three Voices which came out on Ruptured, the label he co-runs, last month. The titular three voices belong to a group of spoken word artists that Nawfal commissioned specifically for the piece before building sound beds round each recording. Collaborating with vocalists while recording dubstep and with rappers for hip hop tracks in the past, he's no stranger to working with the human voice, but he is especially respectful of the spoken word element of these tracks, turning in an impressive collection of stark, minimal, dubbed out frameworks. - John Doran"
The Quietus
Munma 'Three Voices' (Soundcloud)
Soundcloud: Munma - Cadavre Exquis (feat. Jad Atoui) [Three Voices, 2016]

Want to Work in 18 Miles of Books? First, the Quiz

Fred Bass, 88
"As Jennifer Lobaugh arrived at the Strand Book Store to apply for a job this spring, she remembered feeling jittery. It wasn’t only because she badly wanted a job at the fabled bookstore in Greenwich Village, her first in New York City, but also because at the end of the application, there was a quiz — a book quiz. ... The Strand is the undisputed king of the city’s independent bookstores, a giant in an ever-shrinking field. It moves 2.5 million books a year and has around 200 employees. While its competitors have closed by the dozens, it has survived on castaways — from publishers, reviewers, the public and even other booksellers. ..."
NY Times

2013 July: Strand Book Store

Saturday, July 16

Enter Brian Wilson’s Creative Process While Making The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds 50 Years Ago: A Fly-on-the Wall View

"Fifty years on, you can read all you want about the Beach Boys’ 1966 masterpiece Pet Sounds (and here’s two books that are great), but to really appreciate the intricate nature of the arrangements, you have to turn to the multi-tracks themselves. Working with session players that could pick up the ideas tumbling from his head (and hurriedly transcribe them), Brian Wilson created a sonic tapestry at L.A.‘s Gold Star Studios that still sounds fresh and, as the years go by, otherworldly. ... Pet Sounds continues to reveal secrets and treasures the more you listen to it–as this series of YouTube mini-docs from user Behind the Sounds reveals. ..."
Open Culture (Video)
Rolling Stone - Beach Boys' 'Pet Sounds': 15 Things You Didn't Know (Video)
Vox: The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds came out 50 years ago. It still feels fresh today. (Video)
The Beach Boys Finally Confirm Those Legends About ‘Pet Sounds’
50 Years Ago Today, The Beach Boys' 'Pet Sounds' Brought Love To The World (Spotify)

2010 July: Pet Sounds, 2013 October: The Pet Sounds Sessions

Sammy Baloji & Filip De Boeck — Urban Now: City Life in Congo

[Dominique Malaquais] work focuses on intersections between emergent urban cultures, global, late capitalist market forces and political and economic violence in African cities.
"This exhibition by photographer Sammy Baloji and anthropologist Filip De Boeck offers an exploration of different urban sites in Congo, through the media of photography and video. Focusing upon the 'urban now', a moment suspended between the broken dreams of a colonial past and the promises of neoliberal futures, the exhibition offers an artistic and ethnographic investigation of what living – and living together – might mean in Congo’s urban worlds. As elsewhere on the African continent, Congo’s cities increasingly imagine new futures for themselves. ..."
Kinshasa’s fluxes and rhythms
U Chicago: “Poverty” and the Politics of Syncopation
YouTube: Sammy Baloji's Urban Now at WIELS

Unconventional, Part 1: Ed Sanders and the Liberal Puritan

"In anticipation of the Republican and Democratic national conventions later this summer, Nathan Gelgud, a correspondent for the Daily, will be posting a regular weekly comic about the writers, artists, and demonstrators who attended the contested 1968 DNC. Catch up with Part 1Part 2Part 3, Part 4 and Part 5."
The Paris Review

Friday, July 15

Ballet 422

"Justin Peck is not a lonely guy. He has a girlfriend, close colleagues, a loving family. But you wouldn’t necessarily know this from watching him in 'Ballet 422,' the documentary that chronicles his third piece of choreography for New York City Ballet from creation to performance. ... There he is alone in the dance studio, working through a step; alone on the subway platform, heading home to his Upper West Side apartment; alone at his computer, reviewing videotape of the day’s rehearsal. You don’t see him eat or socialize; you rarely even see him sit down. And while this existence may seem ascetic, it actually turns out to be realistic, Mr. Peck said in a recent interview. When he is working on a new dance, everything else falls away. ..."
NY Times - The Camera Is On: Now Go Create
Ballet 422 (Video)
NPR: 'Ballet 422' Is A Dance Documentary Long On Art, Not Drama
YouTube: Ballet 422 Official Trailer 1 (2014) - Documentary HD

Jamaiel Shabaka cut his teeth with legend Sun Ra before recording the mysterious reggae LP The Land of the Rising Sun

"It was a record. It’s always a record. A few months ago, while on a visit to the best unsung record shop in Los Angeles, Mono Records, owner John pulled an intriguing LP off his oh-so-coveted shelf of not-yet-priced acquisitions. He wanted to show me a reggae record he didn’t know anything about, lost—but not so lost, as I would soon discover—in a huge collection of radical jazz he had just purchased. Credited to one Jamaiel Shabaka, it sounded both heavy and definitely different. Its intricate artwork read Land of the Rising Sun, and its back-sleeve notes only added to the mystery: Recorded and mixed at studios such as Hit City West (L.A.), Channel One and Music Mountain (Jamaica), engineered by four different people including legendary singer/producer Sugar Minott. ..."
Wax Poetics
YouTube: I Am That I Am 12"

Memorial Album - Clifford Brown (1956)

"Like swing guitarist Charlie Christian, Clifford Brown was incredibly influential for someone who died so young. The Fats Navarro-minded trumpeter was only 25 when a car accident claimed his life in 1956, but his influence remained long after his death -- Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan, Woody Shaw, Donald Byrd, and Carmell Jones were among the many trumpet titans who were heavily influenced by Brown. In the early to mid-'50s, Brown kept getting more and more exciting; those who found him impressive in 1952 found even more reason to be impressed in 1955. That means that when it comes to Brown's dates, excellent doesn't necessarily mean essential. ... Casual listeners would be better off starting out with some of Brown's recordings with Max Roach; nonetheless, seasoned fans will find this to be a treasure chest."
W - Memorial Album
YouTube: Memorial Album (Full Album)

2015 April: Clifford Brown and Max Roach (1955)

Thursday, July 14

Mad Men Restaurants: 10 Places Don Draper Dined in New York

Everett Shinn - "The Pool Room" (1903)
"Maybe it’s the impending arrival of July. Or perhaps it’s the recent arrival of a hard-won set of vintage Toots Shor’s glasses that showed up at my home yesterday. I can’t quite tell, but both leave me missing Mad Men. Television’s most stylish show typically returns each July, but, as we all know, negotiations between creator Matthew Weiner and the suits at AMC have stalled the season 5 premiere until 2012. Grrr! ... The Oak Room Bar. Location: 10 Central Park South at 59th Street, New York, New York. The Dish: Don learns the extent of boss Roger Sterling’s marital discord over drinks at the legendary Oak Room Bar in the fabled Plaza Hotel in this premiere-season episode. Recently refurbished, the stunning views of Central Park, the original murals by Everett Shinn, and the original oak bar remain intact, as does the classic New York feel. ..."
Mad Men Restaurants: 10 Places Don Draper Dined in New York

2013 January: Mad Men, 2013 September: ‘Mad Men’s’ Split Season 7: You’re Killing Me, AMC, 2015 May: Life After Don Draper

Esoteric Impressions of Degas – Other Worldly Photographs

1895 or 1896 - Gelatin dry-plate negative
"In 1999, 104 years after the Impressionist painter Edgar Degas used a camera to create forty or so photographs, they went on public display. Degas, we learn, saw these works as experiments and explorations of a medium new to the world in general, and to the artist in particular. He never showed them publicly and only a select, inner circle of friends, were permitted to see them. Contrast this to the fact that Degas was one of the primary forces and one of the best known painters who pioneered the creation of 19th century French revolution in art, called the Impressionist movement and whose shows attracted crowds from all over Europe. ..."
Esoteric Impressions of Degas – Other Worldly Photographs

From Alger to Antananarivo – A selection of 78rpm records from Africa

Zineb Bent Sigya – Rahe Khsm Rah (Algeria)
"This selection of 26 songs taken from my 78rpm record collection was created for the Paris Music Library. It is a subjective and modest journey through Africa’s sound heritage. It doesn’t aim at offering an exhaustive overview of the various forms of music that have been recorded on the African continent before the vinyl era. I recommend to listeners willing to discover more to plunge into the essential Opika Pende set released in 2011 by Dust to Digital, or the numerous compilations published by the Yazoo and Frémeaux & Associés labels and available at the Paris Music Library. This selection is based on recordings made between the 1930s and 1960s. ..."
Ceints de Bakélite (MixCloud)