Friday, March 31

Fred Tomaselli - Paper

Tomaselli Guilty, 2005
"There’s a saying that today’s news is tomorrow's fish and chip paper, one that’s largely redundant now that we consume so much news (real and 'fake') online. But it seems the tactility of print will never die: a relief to Harry Ramsden’s et al, and also to artist Fred Tomaselli. Since 2005, the artist has been working on a series called The Times, for which he uses front pages from The New York Times as the basis of photograms and collages. The project started under the Bush administration, and was used as a platform on which Tomaselli can creatively explore the global calamities and political nightmares of his lifetime.  ..."
Fred Tomaselli's beguiling artworks on New York Times covers highlight the world's global calamities and political nightmares
Fred Tomaselli
White Cube
vimeo: Fred Tomaselli: Drawing on New York Times Feb 9, 2016

As repression deepens, Turkish artists and intellectuals fear the worst

"After last year's failed coup, Turkey's massive crackdown on civil society is entering its eighth month. Here's why artists and intellectuals feel the latest wave of sackings in the country go one step further. The numbers keep growing - to a point that they're almost too large to grasp. According to data compiled by Turkey Purge, PEN International, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF), 128,398 people have been sacked, while 91,658 are being detained. Nearly seven months after the failed coup of July 2016, a new wave of purges led to the dismissal of 4,464 public servants on February 8. Among them were 330 academics. Many of these newly dismissed scholars - 184 of them - were signatories of a petition released in January 2016 calling for violence to end in south-eastern Turkey, where a majority of the Kurdish population is located. The signatories called themselves Academics for Peace. ..."
As repression deepens, Turkish artists and intellectuals fear the worst
Turkey widens post-coup purge
Turkey targets Dutch with diplomatic sanctions as 'Nazi' row escalates (Video)
Turkish Artist Zehra Doğan Sentenced to Prison for Painting of Kurdish Town Attack

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

Black Tickets - Jayne Anne Phillips (1979)

"Of the almost 30 short fictions collected here, there are about 10 beauties and 10 that are perfectly satisfying and then there are 10 ditties- some of them, single paragraphs- that are so small, isolated and mere exercises in 'good writing' that they detract from the way the best of this book glows. Jayne Anne Phillips is a wonderful young writer, concerned with every sentence and seemingly always operating out of instincts that are visceral and true- perceived and observed originally, not imitated or fashionably learned. ... Someone in a writing class would have liked the brilliant 'tone'; someone certainly would have loved the strangeness; and the careful prose would have been picked over, lovingly. As an occasional teacher of creative writing, I no doubt would have joined in the praise. But too many of these miniatures, these show-off pieces, mar the rougher and more wholly rendered stories in this book. ..."
NY Times: Stories With Voiceprints By JOHN IRVING
W - Black Tickets

Thursday, March 30

Steve Reich’s Celebration of the Lineage of Minimalism

"The musical style so loosely called minimalism — or, in Philip Glass’s preferred term, 'music with repetitive structures' — is not an exclusively American product. There have long been foreign fellow-travellers (Louis Andriessen, Arvo Pärt) and deep influences from abroad (the musical cultures of India and West Africa). But during the past half century minimalism has spread across the world like a sonic Pax Americana, replacing twelve-tone composition as classical music’s ruling common tongue. Glass and Steve Reich have both turned eighty in the past year, so it seems like a good time for Carnegie Hall to celebrate the phenomenon. It does so in 'Three Generations,' a series of four concerts at Zankel Hall (March 30, April 6, April 19, and April 26) curated by Reich, Carnegie’s current composer chair. ..."
New Yorker
The Influence Engine: Steve Reich and Pop Music (Spotify)

2008 February: Steve Reich, 2010 October: Double Sextet, 2010 December: South Bank Show, 2011 February: Different Trains, 2011 June: Music for pieces of wood, 2011 October: Maximum Reich 2.0, 2011 November: A New Musical Language (documentary, 1987), 2012 May: Influences: Steve Reich

The Quad Cinema's Facelift Caps Off a New Golden Age of NYC Cinema

The Quad Cinema on West 13th Street in late 2013, almost two years before it closed for renovations that will soon be complete.
"... Things have, to understate it considerably, changed since those days. The Quad, which originally opened in 1972 as New York City's first multi-screen movie theater and survived in the heart of Greenwich Village for more than forty years, will reopen this April under new management, nearly two years after it closed its doors. The theater has undergone a total redesign — new programmers, new seats, new screens, new lobby, even a new wine bar next door. Listening to the new owner, Charles S. Cohen, a real estate developer and film buff who also owns the arthouse distributor Cohen Media Group, enthuse about the changes he's made, it's clear he's conceived of the project as a high-tech reinvention, with a video screen in the lobby, color-coordinated seats, and a fancy new logo designed by Pentagram; he likens the new theater, half-jokingly, to a '22nd-century experience.' ..."
VOICE - Spring at the Movies: From the Quad Cinema to "The Lost City of Z"

Maps - John Taggart, Nos. 1–6 (1966–74)

Maps 6 (1974)
"'One draws a map to show where one is' reads the motto of Maps, edited by poet, translator, and critic John Taggart. Number 1 was issued from Chicago in 1966 and includes an editor’s note that defines the purpose of the magazine: 'In his Critique of Pure Reason, Kant writes of the need for making new maps of man’s consciousness now, and of the past as seen from that now. ...' The work of Paul Blackburn, Ken Irby, and Clayton Eshleman was featured in the first small issue. Issue 2 (1967), from New York City, was a homage to the sculptor David Smith with contributions from Jerome Rothenberg, Joanne Kyger, Hannah Weiner, Douglas Blazek, Larry Eigner, and others. Issue 3 (1970), from Newberg, Pennsylvania, printed poems for John Coltrane. Issues 4–6 were devoted to Charles Olson, Louis Zukofsky, and Robert Duncan, respectively, with works by and about the poets. ..."
From a secret location

Maps 3 [1970]. Poems for John Coltrane. Cover by Roger Shimomura.

Wednesday, March 29

Bob Dylan Turns Up For Woody Guthrie Memorial

"Bob Dylan finally emerged from 18 months of self-imposed seclusion at the Woody Guthrie Memorial Concert in Carnegie Hall on January 20. His appearance had been announced and the two performances were sold out weeks in advance. Scalpers were reportedly getting $25.00 per ticket, and at the concert itself people were standing on the sidewalk and in the lobby begging, 'Extra tickets? Any tickets for sale?' ... But Bob Dylan, in a gun-metal grey silk mohair suit, blue shirt with green jewels for cuff links and black suede boots as well as his new beard and moustache, was the center of attention. Most of the artists accompanied themselves on guitar while they sang, and the others played behind them. Dylan, however, sprawled in his chair with his eyes closed, seeming to be somewhere else entirely until it was his turn to play. ..."
Rolling Stone
The Band: Various Artists: A Tribute to Woody Guthrie, Part 1
Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan Hit Manhattan
Oxford Dictionaries: The language and influences of the early Bob Dylan
YouTube: The Grand Coulee Dam, Dear Mrs. Roosevelt, I Ain't Got No Home

John Sloan, "Flowers of Spring" (1924)

"Few artists painted the moods, rhythms, and rituals of the seasons like John Sloan, who moved to New York from Philadelphia in 1904 and spent the early 20th century in Greenwich Village—living and working for almost a decade at 88 Washington Place. His windows facing Lower Sixth Avenue 'gave Sloan a view of street life from an elevated vantage point, which he frequently incorporated into his paintings,' states the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) in Boston. A real-life wagon loaded with vibrant flowers was the inspiration for his 1924 painting 'Flowers of Spring,' which belongs to the MFA. As Sloan (at left in a self-portrait from 1890) himself recalled in his book Gist of Art: 'This picture has, in a very direct, simple way, handed on the thrill that comes to everyone on a wet spring morning from the first sight of the flower huckster’s wagon. ..."
Ephemeral New York: Spring flowers arrive on a rainy Village sidewalk

Engulfed in Battle, Mosul Civilians Run for Their Lives

The aftermath of fierce fighting between Iraqi special forces and the Islamic State in western Mosul.
"The war to drive the Islamic State from its last strongholds in western Mosul has come to this: With every advance by Iraqi forces, every missile rained down by coalition aircraft, a flood of Iraqi civilians hits the streets. It is no longer a question of waiting between salvos — there are few, if any, breaks that make it obvious when to run, so the people of Mosul are simply running whenever they can. As we traveled with Iraqi special forces deep in western Mosul last week, in the mostly residential Mosul Jidideh neighborhood, we saw desperate families start out right at daybreak. Families carried their young children and propped up their aging relatives, and they all moved as quickly as they could along streets where the sounds of battle were all too close: a cacophony of gunfire, the dull thud of mortar rounds, the deafening roar of Islamic State car bombs and American airstrikes. ..."
NY Times (Video)

2014 August: The Islamic State, 2014 September: How ISIS Works, 2015 February: The Political Scene: The Evolution of Islamic Extremism, 2015 May: Zakaria: How ISIS shook the world, 2015 August: ISIS Blows Up Ancient Temple at Syria’s Palmyra Ruins, 2015 November: Times Insider: Reporting Europe's Refugee Crisis, 2015 November: Three Teams of Coordinated Attackers Carried Out Assault on Paris, Officials Say; Hollande Blames ISIS, 2015 November: The French Emergency, 2015 December: A Brief History of ISIS, 2015 December: U.S. Seeks to Avoid Ground War Welcomed by Islamic State, 2016 January: Ramadi, Reclaimed by Iraq, Is in Ruins After ISIS Fight, 2016 February: Syrian Officer Gave a View of War. ISIS Came, and Silence Followed., 2016 March: Brussels Survivors Say Blasts Instantly Evoked Paris Attacks, 2016 April: America Can’t Do Much About ISIS, 2016 June: What the Islamic State Has Won and Lost, 2016 July: ISIS: The Cornened Beast, 2016 October: Archaeological Victims of ISIS Rise Again, as Replicas in Rome, 2016 December: Battle Over Aleppo Is Over, Russia Says, as Evacuation Deal Reached, 2017 January: Eternal Sites: From Bamiyan to Palmyra, 2017 February: Tour a City Torn in Half by ISIS.

Tuesday, March 28

‘Music is the Weapon’: The must-see Fela Kuti documentary from 1982

"Musical visionary, street preacher, incendiary political activist, and Afro-beat progenitor, Fela Anikulapo Kuti is chronicled in Fela Kuti – Music is the Weapon, a compelling 1982 documentary directed by Stéphane Tchal-Gadjieff and Jean Jacques Flori. The film documents all-night politically charged performances at Fela’s Shrine nightclub, intimate takes from inside his Kalakuta Republic compound, and scenes of street culture in Lagos, Nigeria. It’s not a complete picture by any means, but it’s a singular and important historical record capturing Kuti in stage and home milieus that were vital to his life and work. If you had any doubt that Fela Kuti was anything short of an otherworldly human being, this film and these performances will dispel that belief quickly. As he did often in his music, Fela speaks out repeatedly against the Nigerian government throughout the film while discussing his political and musical ambitions. ..."
Dangerous Minds
DailyMotion: Music is the Weapon
YouTube: Music is the Weapon ($ - $2.99)

Stars Born in Galactic Wind

"This artist’s illustration depicts stars forming in gas streaming out of the center of a galaxy. Outflows are a natural part of galaxy development, powered by bursts of starbirth or maniacally accreting black holes (or both) in galactic cores. Astronomers expect such outflows to ignite star formation. Although they’ve seen outflow-triggered star formation before, for example in cold gas condensing around bubbles inflated by black hole outbursts, it’s been difficult to conclusively spot stars forming in the winds themselves. ..."
Sky & Telescope

March of time: 20th Century icons from an old art museum in Buffalo are at the Museum of Art

Paul Gauguin’s sullen, haunted Spirit of the Dead Watching
"In the Paris of the 1910s and 1920s, of the many artists working there — Picasso, Chagall, Derain, Matisse, and others — it was the painter Chaim Soutine who had the most colorfully odorous studio. Born in a small town near Minsk, in what is today Belarus, Soutine liked to paint butchered animal flesh: he kept his rotting models, the carcasses of cows, rabbits, fish, and other creatures, in the studio. He made portraits, landscapes, and other sorts of pictures, but it’s those images of over-ripe decay that he’s most remembered for. The best known are his paintings of a beef carcass hung on a dressing rack. The gristly, beaded blood and tissue smear and clot down the cow’s inners. Soutine’s treatment of the motif was a conversation with predecessors, with Rembrandt’s stately Carcass of Beef and Titian’s late, demonic Flaying of Marsyas. His pictures answered those with stylistic extremity and lush corporeal energy. ..."
San Diego Reader - W.S. Di Piero

2016 March: W.S. Di Piero, 2016 December: Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008, Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful.

Monday, March 27

Drive-in theater

Westbury Theater
Wikipedia - "A drive-in theater or drive-in cinema is a form of cinema structure consisting of a large outdoor movie screen, a projection booth, a concession stand and a large parking area for automobiles. Within this enclosed area, customers can view movies from the privacy and comfort of their cars. Some drive-ins have small playgrounds for children and a few picnic tables or benches. The screen can be as simple as a wall that is painted white, or it can be a steel truss structure with a complex finish. Originally, a movie's sound was provided by speakers on the screen and later by an individual speaker hung from the window of each car, which would be attached by a wire. ... Decline. The shift in content of drive-ins was less of a problem than competition from home entertainment, from color television to VCRs and video rentals. This, along with the 1970s oil crisis led to a sharp decline of attendance as well to the widespread adoption of daylight saving time (which made the shows start an hour later), making it harder for drive-ins to operate successfully. ..."
W - List of drive-in theaters
Welcome To The Drive-In Theater!

"Stefanie Klavens has a love for 20th century pop culture and Americana. In her articulate photographic series, titled 'Vanishing Drive-Ins,' Klavens documents the disintegration of the American drive-in. Once a popular social and entertainment aspect, it has been slowly disappearing from the United States. As Klavens explains, 'The drive-in has suffered the same fate as the single screen theater. Before World War II the drive-in was a modest trend, but after the war the craze began in earnest, peaking in popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960’s. Drive-ins were ideal for the modern family, everyone jumped into the car, no babysitter needed. ‘Car culture’ had officially arrived as a dominant force on the American scene.' Despite the rapid popularity of the drive-in, they simply could not stand the test of time. ..."
The Art Of Disappearing: Stefanie Klavens Documents Vanishing Drive-Ins
Stefanie Klavens
YouTube: Vintage Ads - Drive In Intermission 22 (Drive-In Movie Ads)

Chi - The Original Recordings (2016)

"This is essentially the comprehensive version of The Original Recordings, compiling all tracks from their s/t tape and the later CD reissue - including both Kuhl II and Hopi- to frame their meditative, electro-acoustic wanderlust in all its dreamy effect. Using a Juno 60 and JX3P synths, coupled with a few guitars, handmade percussion, flutes, organs and tape-loops, the six-piece ensemble recorded from summer,' all the doors and windows were open; birds flew in and out' thru the winter months, where 'we sat close together, no hearing, only blankets, candles and brandy', playing from late morning until sunrise to realise a drifting, gentle sound that hearkened back to classic kosmische from neighbouring Germany, but trimming away some of that sound’s cliche’s to leave a more minimalist, spectral sort of music for relaxation and meditation. ..."
Boomkat (MP3)
Soundcloud: AI-03: CHI - The Original Recordings
YouTube: Chi Factory Live @ OTO, London
YouTube: Kuhl, Hopi, Twisted Camels, Before The Mountain

Sodom and Gomorrah - Marcel Proust (1921-1922)

"An eye for the ladies, and the men, and the scenery ... Marcello Mazzarella as Marcel Proust in Raoul Ruiz's film, Time Regained. Well, I most surely tempted fate when I signed off my last Proust post by writing that I couldn't wait to begin volume four. Four months later and I've finally had time to return to Brittany, the salons of the Fauborg Saint-Germain and Marcel's labyrinthine mind. If volume one of In Search of Lost Time represents the novel's overture, and volumes two and three are concerned chiefly with Marcel's jejune preconceptions about society and their subsequent explosion, then Sodom and Gomorrah is, as its title suggests, unabashedly about forbidden passions. From Marcel's chance witnessing of a spur of the moment coupling between an aristocrat and a tailor to the male bordellos of Paris, the book bulges with accounts of love at its most urgent, jealous, lubricious and clandestine. ..."
Guardian: Going to Sodom and Gomorrah with Proust
W - Sodom and Gomorrah
Sodom and Gomorrah: The two-minute 'Sodom'

2008 June: Marcel Proust, 2011 October: How Proust Can Change Your Life, 2012 April: Marcel Proust - À la recherche du temps perdu, 2013 February: Marcel Proust and Swann's Way: 100th Anniversary, 2013 May: A Century of Proust, 2013 August: Paintings in Proust - Eric Karpeles, 2013 October: On Reading Proust, 2015 September: "Paintings in Proust" - View of the Piazza del Popolo, Giovanni Battista Piranes, 2015 September: In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way: A Graphic Novel, 2016 January: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919), 2016 February: Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C.K. Scott Moncrieff: Soldier, Spy and Translator, 2016 May: The Guermantes Way (1920-21), 2016 August: Marcel Proust’s Search for Lost Time — Patrick Alexander, 2016 October: My Strange Friend Marcel Proust.

Sunday, March 26

The House of Twenty Thousand Books - Sasha Abramsky

"The House of Twenty Thousand Books is the story of Chimen Abramsky, an extraordinary polymath and bibliophile who amassed a vast collection of socialist literature and Jewish history. For more than fifty years Chimen and his wife, Miriam, hosted epic gatherings in their house of books that brought together many of the age’s greatest thinkers. The atheist son of one of the century’s most important rabbis, Chimen was born in 1916 near Minsk, spent his early teenage years in Moscow while his father served time in a Siberian labor camp for religious proselytizing, and then immigrated to London, where he discovered the writings of Karl Marx and became involved in left-wing politics. He briefly attended the newly established Hebrew University in Jerusalem, until World War II interrupted his studies. Back in England, he married, and for many years he and Miriam ran a respected Jewish bookshop in London’s East End. ..."
NYRB (Video)
Washington Post: ‘The House of Twenty Thousand Books’ re-creates an intellectual milieu

Days Have Gone By - John Fahey (1967)

"Sam Graham once referred to Fahey as the 'curmudgeon of the acoustic guitar,' while producer Samuel Charters noted that Fahey 'was the only artist I ever worked with whose sales went down after he made public appearances.' This tumultuous spirit, in turn, made tumultuous music on albums like Days Have Gone By, filled with odd harmonics, discord, and rare beauty. ... Fahey has often been grouped with new age music but this -- especially with his early work -- is somewhat of a misnomer. New age strives to build harmony; Fahey revels in conflict. Days Have Gone By is another rewarding reissue of the master's classic '60s work and will be eagerly greeted by guitar aficionados."
W - Days Have Gone By
The Fahey Files - Days Have Gone By
YouTube: Days have gone by 10 videos

2009 March: John Fahey, 2011 March: Your Past Comes Back to Haunt You (The Fonotone Years 1958-1965), 2012 September: Fare Forward Voyagers (Soldier's Choice), 2013 February: The Mill Pond, 2013 August: Railroad (1983), 2013 December: Dances of the Inhabitants of the Invisible City of Bladensburg (1973), 2016 January: The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death (1965).

VF Mix 75: North African 78s by Ceints de Bakélite

"At first sight, writing a piece about 78 rpm records for The Vinyl Factory might seem a bit paradoxical. Apart from a few exceptions, 78 rpm records were indeed not made of vinyl but rather of a mixture mainly composed of shellac. These thick and heavy records were produced from the late 1880’s and lasted until the 1950’s in western countries, one or even two decades later in some other places like India or South Africa. 78 rpm is a generic term that actually refers to a wide and fascinating variety of records. From the 5″ records produced in Germany by Emile Berliner in 1889 to French 20″ centre-start Pathé records from the 1910’s, their sizes are anything but standard and would probably delight DJ Food and his odd-sized records list. Their speed also varied from 60 to 130 rpm until it was standardized in the 1920’s. ..."
The Vinyl Factory (Mixcloud) 52:31

Saturday, March 25

 Donald Trump’s Rise Has Coincided With an Explosion of Hate Groups

"Two Indian immigrants in Kansas shot by a man hurling anti-Muslim insults. Bomb threats and vandalism menacing Jewish community centers. Children bullying classmates of color with pro-Trump taunts. With reports like these erupting across the country, you wouldn’t be alone in suspecting that America was becoming a more hateful place, or that our current administration might have something to do with it. But now we also have some statistics to illuminate the apparent feedback loop between Pennsylvania Avenue policies and Main Street violence. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) annual census of 'extremist' groups, 'The number of hate groups in the United States rose for a second year in a row in 2016 as the radical right was energized by the candidacy of Donald Trump.' ..."
The Nation
Rolling Stone: Trump the Destroyer
Intelligence Report, Southern Poverty Law Center
The “Trump Effect” - Southern Poverty Law Center (Video)
[PDF] The Trump Effect - Southern Poverty Law Center
Ten Days After: Harassment and Intimidation in the Aftermath of the Election - Southern Poverty Law Center

2017 January: Hate Map | Southern Poverty Law Center

NYC Subway Film #1: The Incident - Larry Peerce (1967)

Wikipedia - "The Incident is a 1967 American neo noir film written by Nicholas E. Baehr (based on his teleplay Ride with Terror, which had been previously adapted as a 1963 television film), directed by Larry Peerce and starring Beau Bridges, Tony Musante, Brock Peters and Martin Sheen in his first film role. It tells the story of two young hoodlums who, after mugging a man at knifepoint, board a New York City subway train and terrorize the passengers. The film was made for a budget of $1,050,000. ... The New York City Transit Authority denied permission to film on its property, including background shots, but the filmmakers shot them anyway. Cinematographer Gerald Hirschfeld and an assistant rode the subway with a hidden camera, and when its sound was noticed, they stopped and came back later to finish the job. Hirschfeld said in an interview that he filmed in black and white in order to get 'the most realistic style of photography possible'; test shots were taken in muted color but they were deemed a distraction from the desired 'somber' effect. ..."
The Big Ugly: Larry Peerce’s ‘The Incident’
The Incident (1967) New York Subway Noir
NY Times: 'The Incident' on View at Two Theaters:Tale of Subway Terror Is Taken From TV
W - IRT Jerome Avenue Line, W - 170th Street (IRT Jerome Avenue Line)
YouTube: "The Incident" with Tony Musante and Martin Sheen
YouTube: The Incident 1:39:31

Linval Thompson ‎– She Is Mad With Me / Stop Your War (1979)

"Thompson was raised in Kingston, Jamaica, but spent time with his mother in Queens, New York, and his recording career began around the age of 20 with the self-released 'No Other Woman,' recorded in Brooklyn, New York. Returning to Jamaica in the mid 1970s he recorded with Phil Pratt, only to return to New York to study engineering. ... Although he continued to work as a singer, he became increasingly prominent as a producer, working with key artists of the late roots and early dancehall era such as Dennis Brown, Cornell Campbell, The Wailing Souls, Barrington Levy and Trinity, with releases through Trojan Records as well as his own Strong Like Sampson and Thompson Koos record labels. ..."
Midnight Raver
YouTube: She Is Mad With Me

Friday, March 24

From Kongo to Othello to Tango to Museum Shows

Peter Paul Rubens, Head of an African Man Wearing a Turban, ca. 1609
"... This discovery helped inspire 'Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe,' an inventive show at the Walters that enlists familiar faces of art history to spotlight lesser-known ones in social history. Focusing on the period between 1480 to 1610, an era of increased contact as trade routes expanded, diplomats traveled more widely, and Africans were imported to Europe en masse to serve as slaves, the show includes works by Dürer, Rubens, Pontormo, and Veronese, among many others, depicting Africans living in or visiting Europe. The museum describes the show as an effort to restore an identity to individuals who have been invisible–in various senses of the word. ..."
Art News
The Image of the Black in Western Art
The Image of the Black in Western Art: Featured Audio (Video)
The African Presence in México: From Yanga to the Present
Washington Post: Philip Kennicott on 'African Presence in Mexico' at Anacostia Community Museum
Tate: Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic
Metropolitan Museum of Art: African Art, New York, and the Avant-Garde (Video)
NY Times: A Continent’s Art on a Long American Journey

2017 February: Robert Farris Thompson: Canons of the Cool, 2017 March: Africa's Great Civilizations, 2017 March: Revealing the African Presence in Renaissance Europe

The Boys of Sheriff Street - illustrated by Jacques de Loustal and written by Jerome Charyn (2016)

"Jerome Charyn is one of our great American writers. ... For this review, we look at 'The Boys of Sheriff Street,' illustrated by Jacques de Loustal and written by Jerome Charyn. This is a beautifully tragic love story–at an exquisitely high level of artistry. Graphic novels are not always what some people may expect, not even aspiring cartoonists. ... And so it is with this book which is 80 pages. That’s perhaps more of a European standard–but it works so well. Consider this work quite the treat with its theatrical and painterly flourish. ..."
Comics Grinder
Just Well Mixed
W - Jerome Charyn

A Night at Birdland Vol. 1 - Art Blakey (1954)

"When Art Blakey founded the Jazz Messengers, his initial goal was to not only make his mark on the hard bop scene, but to always bring younger players into the fold, nurture them, and send them out as leaders in their own right. Pianist Horace Silver, trumpeter Clifford Brown, and saxophonist Lou Donaldson were somewhat established, but skyrocketed into stardom after this band switched personnel. Perhaps the most acclaimed combo of Blakey's next to the latter-period bands with Lee Morgan and Wayne Shorter, the pre-Messengers quintet heard on this first volume of live club dates at Birdland in New York City provides solid evidence to the assertion that this ensemble was a one of a kind group the likes of which was not heard until the mid-'60s Miles Davis Quintet. ... This recording, as well as subsequent editions of these performances, launches an initial breakthrough for Blakey and modern jazz in general, and defines the way jazz music could be heard for decades thereafter. Everybody must own copies of all volumes of A Night at Birdland."
W - A Night at Birdland Vol. 1
YouTube: A Night at Birdland Vol. 1 58:09

Thursday, March 23

New York by New Yorkers: A Local's Guide to the City's Neighborhoods

"New York City's five boroughs consist of 303 neighborhoods, according to the official designations of the Department of City Planning, from Allerton in the east Bronx to Yorkville in Manhattan. But when it comes to neighborhoods, officialness is beside the point. ... All of these places are rooted in city history and lore — and all are constantly changing. When you think of Bensonhurst, does it bring to mind the opening scene of Saturday Night Fever, or the panoply of Asian shops that line 86th Street today? ... It likely depends on when and where you were raised and your knowledge of history — plenty of 21st-century New Yorkers, after all, see ghosts of the Five Points every time they walk through Manhattan's Foley Square, thanks to Luc Sante's Low Life and Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York. ..."

Io Anthology: Literature, Interviews, and Art from the Seminal Interdisciplinary Journal, 1965 -1993

"Publication of the Io Anthology: Literature, Interviews, and Art from the Seminal Interdisciplinary Journal is an exciting event. I’ve been intrigued with Io ever since coming across a used issue some years ago. This was the Olson-Melville Sourcebook, The New Found Land issue #22 at the now long gone Acorn Books on Polk St in San Francisco. I remember marveling over the manner in which the contents were a mixture of critical and creative work ever so loosely tied together in so far as they responded to the works of 20th century poet Charles Olson and 19th century novelist Herman Melville no matter how tangentially—for instance, I wondered: 'what are satellite images of the planet Jupiter doing in here?'. The issue was clearly in large part inspired by Olson’s Call Me Ishmael, his infamously reworked dissertation on Melville wherein the creative and the critical are so thoroughly blurred there is no clear categorical choice for where the writing falls between the two. ..."
The Rumpus
Lindy Hough

Industrial Workers of the World (IWW)

Wikipedia - "The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), members of which are commonly termed 'Wobblies', is an international labor union that was founded in 1905 in Chicago, Illinois in the United States of America. The union combines general unionism with industrial unionism, as it is a general union whose members are further organized within the industry of their employment. The philosophy and tactics of the IWW are described as 'revolutionary industrial unionism', with ties to both socialist and anarchist labor movements. In the 1910s and early 1920s, the IWW achieved many of their short-term goals, particularly in the American West, and cut across traditional guild and union lines to organize workers in a variety of trades and industries. At their peak in August 1917, IWW membership was more than 150,000. ..."
PBS - People & Events: The Industrial Workers of the World
Documents, Essays and Analysis for a History of the Industrial Workers of the World
IWW posters
YouTube: Free Speech and the IWW, Industrial Workers of the World- Educational Presentation, The Wobblies Full Documentary 1:28:39

2010 April: Little Red Songbook, 2016 September: Don't Mourn-Organize!: Songs of Labor Songwriter Joe Hill (1990), 2017 January: The Rebel Girl

Wednesday, March 22

Moonlight - Barry Jenkins (2016)

Wikipedia - "Moonlight is a 2016 American, coming-of-age, drama film written and directed by Barry Jenkins based on Tarell Alvin McCraney's unpublished semi-autobiographical play In Moonlight Black Boys Look Blue. It stars Trevante Rhodes, André Holland, Janelle Monáe, Ashton Sanders, Naomie Harris, and Mahershala Ali. The film presents three stages in the life of the main character. It explores the difficulties he faces with his own sexuality and identity, including the physical and emotional abuse he receives as a result of it. ..."
NY Times - ‘Moonlight’: Is This the Year’s Best Movie? (Video)
New Yorker: “Moonlight” Undoes Our Expectations
Vogue: Moonlight’s Cinematographer on Filming the Most Exquisite Movie of the Year
The Atlantic: Moonlight Is a Film of Uncommon Grace
YouTube: Moonlight

Border Crossings: Issue 139 – Painting

Letterpress Box #4, 2015
"The Beauty of Being Boxed In. The work of Winnipeg artist Brian Hunter traces a process of ongoing and inventive transformation with the object he is painting, transforming into different subjects. A letterpress box that was used as a display case for trinkets his wife’s grandmother had collected has been changed into a body of paintings that touches on everything from architecture to an engagement with the history of modernist painting. All his paintings in this series are oil on wood; the largest is 36 x 48 inches, the smallest 10 x 8 inches. ..."
Border Crossings
Border Crossings: August 2016 – Volume 35, Number 3

Marvin Gaye - I Want You (1976)

"Marvin Gaye’s I Want You was originally released 40 years ago this month, and the timing feels somewhat fitting given today’s essential dialogue about the existential value of black life. You can’t make a convincing argument that black lives matter if you’re not also willing to acknowledge that black sexuality, romance, and love—aspects that have been historically threatened, circumscribed, and limited by the horrors of slavery and legally enforced systems of segregation and brutality—matter too. So as we join in the #blacklivesmatter fight, we would do well to recall that #blackerotics have always been an indispensable tool of community recalcitrance and survival. ..."
Pitchfork - I Want You Still: Celebrating 40 Years of Marvin Gaye’s Sensual Classic (Video)
W - I Want You
YouTube: "I want You" Rare footage of GREATNESS (Live)
YouTube: I Want You 38:09

2016 July: "Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler)" (1971)

Tuesday, March 21

Trisha Brown, Choreographer and Pillar of American Postmodern Dance, Dies at 80

Trisha Brown rehearsing members of her troupe in 1991 in her work “Foray Foret.”
"Trisha Brown, the choreographer and exemplar of the founding generation of American postmodern dance, died on Saturday in San Antonio. She was 80. Barbara Dufty, the executive director of Ms. Brown’s dance company, confirmed the death. Ms. Brown had been treated for vascular dementia since 2011. Few dance inventors have so combined the cerebral and sensuous sides of dance as Ms. Brown did, and few have been as influential. Her choreography, showcased primarily in New York, helped shape generations of modern dance creators into the 21st century. [ Mikhail Baryshnikov, Laurie Anderson and other artists speak on working with Ms. Brown. ] ..."
NY Times
NY Times: 5 Artists on Working With Trisha Brown (Video)

2008 May: Trisha Brown, 2010 December: "A Walk Across the Rooftops", 2011 January: Trisha Brown - Floor of the Forest (1970), 2011 March: Pioneers of the Downtown Scene, New York 1970s, 2012 February: Dance/Draw, 2016 January: Dance, Valiant & Molecular, 2016 February: Set and Reset (1983), Newark (1987), Present Tense (2003).

Van Dyke Parks - Jump! (1984)

Wikipedia - "Jump! is a studio album by Van Dyke Parks. It was released in 1984 on Warner Bros.. The album (and its accompanying children's book) is a retelling of Joel Chandler Harris's Uncle Remus tales. Parks mixes numerous musical styles. On Jump! these include bluegrass, Tin Pan Alley, 1930s jazz, and Broadway musical. ..."
Guardian - Van Dyke Parks: 'I was victimised by Brian Wilson's buffoonery'

Wikipedia - "Br'er Rabbit /ˈbrɛər/ (Brother Rabbit), also spelled Bre'r Rabbit or Brer Rabbit or Bruh Rabbit, is a central figure as Uncle Remus tells stories of the Southern United States. Br'er Rabbit is a trickster who succeeds by his wits rather than by brawn, provoking authority figures and bending social mores as he sees fit. ... The Br'er Rabbit stories can be traced back to trickster figures in Africa, particularly the hare that figures prominently in the storytelling traditions in West, Central, and Southern Africa. These tales continue to be part of the traditional folklore of numerous peoples throughout those regions. In the Akan traditions of West Africa, the trickster is usually the spider Anansi, though the plots in his tales are often identical with those of stories of Br'er Rabbit. ..."
W - Br'er Rabbit
Paste Magazine
YouTube: Jump! 36:08

2012 July: Van Dyke Parks, 2015 December: Moonlighting: Live at the Ash Grove (1998), 2016 November: Song Cycle (1967)

Monday, March 20

Human Interest: Scott Rothkopf on Jasper Johns

"I’m Scott Rothkopf, the Whitney’s chief curator, and we’re in the exhibition Human Interest which I co-curated, looking at Jasper Johns’s Racing Thoughts. The term racing thoughts can be related to a sense of anxiety. I think it also can be related to creativity—to all the different thoughts that are appearing before us in this picture, and the way that Johns kind of gathers them together, but without one conclusion. When I look at this painting, I am in a certain headspace that feels kind of dreamy, almost. It keeps giving me more every time I look at it, and I don’t think it’s something I’ve ever fully solved. It is a portrait containing many portraits within it. ..."
Whitney (Video)

2012 November: Dancing around the Bride, 2014 November: Sturtevant: Double Trouble, 2015 January: Dial-A-Poem Poets - Big Ego (1978), 2016 November: John Cage: Lecture on the Weather (1975)

The Vibrators - Pure Mania (1977)

"Were the Vibrators real punks? Maybe not, but then again, were the Stranglers? Or Eddie and the Hot Rods? Even more to the point, was Steve Jones? Plenty of rock careerists jumped onto the punk/new wave bandwagon in the wake of the Sex Pistols' success (and more than a few folks, like Jones, stumbled into the new movement by accident), but unlike most of them, the Vibrators took to the fast/loud/stripped down thing like ducks to water, and both Knox (aka Ian Carnarchan) and Pat Collier had a genius for writing short, punchy songs with sneering melody lines and gutsy guitar breaks. If the Vibrators were into punk as a musical rather than a sociopolitical movement, it's obvious that they liked the music very much, and on that level their debut album stands the test of time quite well. ... Maybe Pure Mania isn't purist's punk, but it's pure rock & roll, and there's nothing wrong with that."
W - Pure Mania
YouTube: Pure Mania

Spread Art NYC Presents 20 Big Years — an Artistic Tribute to Biggie Smalls — at the Bishop Gallery through Tomorrow

Danielle Mastrion, Crook from the Brook
"Continuing through tomorrow, Sunday, at the Bishop Gallery is 20 Big Years, an artistic tribute to the late Biggie Smalls. Presented by Spread Art NYC, it features works in a range of styles by over a dozen of our favorite local artists. Pictured above is a portrait of Biggie painted by Ben Angotti. Here are several more images from the exhibit. ... A particular highlight of the exhibit is the collaborative piece by Rocko and Zimer, who had painted the now-iconic Biggie tribute mural on Bedford and Quincy. You can check that one out out — along with over 20 other tribute pieces — through tomorrow at the Bishop Gallery, 916 Bedford Avenue in Bed-Stuy."
Street Art NYC
The Notorious B.I.G.’s Legacy to Be Celebrated With New York Art Show (Video)

2016 January: Brooklyn, the Remix: A Hip-Hop Tour (2013)

Sunday, March 19

Paris Commune 1871

French troops assaulting a barricade during the Paris Commune.
Wikipedia - "The Paris Commune (French: La Commune de Paris, IPA: [la kɔmyn də paʁi]) was a radical socialist and revolutionary government that ruled Paris from 18 March to 28 May 1871. Following the defeat of Emperor Napoleon III in September 1870, the French Second Empire swiftly collapsed. In its stead rose a Third Republic at war with Prussia, which laid siege to Paris for four months. A hotbed of working-class radicalism, France's capital was primarily defended during this time by the often politicized and radical troops of the National Guard rather than regular Army troops. In February 1871 Adolphe Thiers, the new chief executive of the French national government, signed an armistice with Prussia that disarmed the Army but not the National Guard. ..."
ROAR - On this day in 1871: Paris Commune established
New Yorker: The Fires of Paris
W - Communards' Wall
Pere-Lachaise: The Communards Wall and More at the World’s Most Famous Cemetery
Guardian - La Commune: a lesson in audacity
YouTube: The Paris Commune

"California Sun" - The Rivieras (1963)

Wikipedia - "'California Sun' is a song written and originally recorded by Henry Glover and Morris Levy and performed by Joe Jones. It was then released by Roulette Records in the winter of 1961. The most successful version of the song was released by the Rivieras in 1964 and became the group's biggest hit in their short career. This song was the result of their first recording session at Chicago's Columbia Recording Studios in 1963 (purchased by manager Bill Dobslaw). The lineup for this session included Marty Fortson on vocals and rhythm guitar, Joe Pennell on lead guitar, Doug Gean on bass, Otto Nuss on organ, and Paul Dennert on drums. ..."
W - The Rivieras
YouTube: California Sun

Civil Disobedience - Henry David Thoreau (1849)

Wikipedia - "Resistance to Civil Government (Civil Disobedience) is an essay by American transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. In it, Thoreau argues that individuals should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that they have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice. Thoreau was motivated in part by his disgust with slavery and the Mexican–American War (1846–1848). ... The word civil has several definitions. The one that is intended in this case is 'relating to citizens and their interrelations with one another or with the state', and so civil disobedience means 'disobedience to the state'. ... This misinterpretation is one reason the essay is sometimes considered to be an argument for pacifism or for exclusively nonviolent resistance. For instance, Mahatma Gandhi used this interpretation to suggest an equivalence between Thoreau's civil disobedience and his own satyagraha. ..."
Open Culture: Henry David Thoreau on When Civil Disobedience and Resistance Are Justified (1849)
Civil Disobedience

2009 April: Henry David Thoreau, 2012 September: Walden, 2015 March: A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849)

Saturday, March 18

Thrilling Short Film Captures Madness of NYC Subway System in Quick, Two-Second Clips

"The New York City subway system comprises 24 separate lines, 469 different stations, and more than 31,000 individual turnstiles. Laid out end to end, its 840 miles of track could stretch from the five boroughs to Chicago, and its 6,300-plus trains currently serve some 5.6 million riders each day. And despite the intricacies involved in maintaining an operation of this magnitude, it turns out one of the best ways to conceptualize the organized chaos that is the New York City subway system is to boil the insanity down into a two-minute experimental film. ..."
VOICE (Video)

Up for the Down Stroke - Parliament (1974)

"Kicking off with one of prime funk's purest distillations -- the outrageously great title track, with a perfect party chorus line and uncredited horns (presumably the Horny Horns were involved somehow) adding to the monster beat and bass -- Up for the Down Stroke finds Parliament in rude good health. As was more or less the case through the '70s, Parliament took a slightly more listener-friendly turn here than they did as Funkadelic, but often it's a difference by degrees. Just listening to some of Bernie Worrell's insane keyboard parts or Bootsy Collins' bass work here is enough to wake the dead. ..."
W - Up for the Down Stroke
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: UP FOR THE DOWN STROKE-1974 TV Commercial-1st Casablanca
YouTube: Up For The Down Stroke (Full Album)

2009 January: George Clinton, 2010 December: Mothership Connection - Houston 1976, 2011 October: Funkadelic - One Nation Under A Groove, 2011 October: "Do Fries Go With That Shake?", 2012 August: Tales Of Dr. Funkenstein – The Story Of George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic, 2015 July: Playing The (Baker's) Dozens: George Clinton's Favourite Albums, 2015 August: Chocolate City (1975), 2016 February: Maggot Brain - Funkadelic (1971), 2016 June: P-Funk All Stars - Urban Dancefloor Guerillas (1983).

Embrace The Contradictions: The Strange World Of... The KLF

"When a young Scotsman named Bill Drummond arrived in Liverpool in the early seventies to complete his art school education, the city was overflowing with eccentric, creative characters, visionaries and dreamers. Perhaps the most influential of these was the beat poet and former merchant seaman Peter O'Halligan, who Drummond encountered in an old warehouse on Mathew Street- formerly home to the legendary Cavern Club, but by 1974 all but derelict. O'Halligan was very interested in dreams, especially one experienced in 1927 by the pioneering Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung. As recorded on page 223 of Jung's book Memories, Dreams, Reflections, Jung found himself in a 'dark, sooty city' he identified as Liverpool (a place he never actually visited) and concluded that it was quite literally 'the pool of life'. Jung considered this the most significant dream he ever had. ..."
The Quietus (Video)

2009 May: The KLF, 2011 June: Justified & Ancient, 2013 May: "3 a.m. Eternal", 2013 November: "America: What Time Is Love?" / "What Time Is Love?"

Friday, March 17

 Algeria’s New Imprint

"A few months ago, I was deep in conversation with Hichem Lamraoui, one of the principal buyers for the Librairie du Tiers Monde in downtown Algiers, when an elegantly dressed young woman rushed into the store and asked the cashier if she could see the books from Éditions Barzakh. She wasn’t talking about a particular author or series—she wanted to see the entire run of Barzakh’s titles. It was as if someone at McNally Jackson in Manhattan or Moe’s in Berkeley had asked whether there was a section devoted to New Directions. But in this bookstore, the best in Algiers, the Barzakhs sit together on a bookshelf directly across from the entrance. They are small, narrow, and taller than average, so they fit easily in the hand. ..."
The Nation
W - Barzakh Editions

2011 February: Raï, 2011 November: The Battle of Algiers (1957), 2012 February: An Intro To Rebel Hip-Hop Of The Arab Revolutions, 2013 March: Poems for the Millennium: The University of California Book of North African Literature