Monday, July 31

Radical Municipalism: The Future We Deserve

"I am the daughter of two longtime municipalists. My mother, Beatrice Bookchin, ran for city council of Burlington, Vermont thirty years ago, in 1987, on an explicitly municipalist platform of building an ecological city, a moral economy and, above all, citizen assemblies that would contest the power of the nation state. My father is the social theorist and libertarian municipalist, Murray Bookchin. For many years the left has struggled with the question of how to bring our ideas, of equality, economic justice and human rights, to fruition. And my father’s political trajectory is instructive for the argument that I want to make: that municipalism isn’t just one of many ways to bring about social change — it is really the only way that we will successfully transform society. As someone who had grown up as a young communist and been deeply educated in Marxist theory, my father became troubled by the economistic, reductionist modes of thinking that had historically permeated the Marxist left. ..."

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, 2017 March: As repression deepens, Turkish artists and intellectuals fear the worst

2014 September: Anarchism in America (1983), 2015 August: The Prophet Farmed: Murray Bookchin on Bernie Sanders, 2016 October: Why Bernie Was Right, 2015 October: The Ecology of Freedom (1982), 2016 July: Murray Bookchin’s New Life, 2017 January: Reason, creativity and freedom: the communalist model - Eleanor Finley, 2017 February: Socialism’s Return, 2017 April: The Spanish Anarchists: The Heroic Years 1868-1936 (1977).

The Dashiki: The History of a Radical Garment

Stokley Carmichael
"DIASPORA—The dashiki is clothing as politics. It might not exactly seem that way in its present state—a revived, streetwear trend largely associated with the intricate and highly recognizable ‘Angelina print,’ but its story is one of African innovation and Black resistance. The word 'dashiki' comes from the Yoruba word danshiki, used to refer to the loose-fitting pullover which originated in West Africa as a functional work tunic for men, comfortable enough to wear in the heat. The Yoruba loaned the word danshiki from the Hausa term dan ciki, which means 'underneath'. The danchiki garment was commonly worn by males under large robes. Similar garments were found in sacred Dogon burial caves in Southern Mali, which date back to the 12th and 13th centuries. ..."
W - Dashiki

Sunday, July 30

Snowden - Oliver Stone (2016)

Wikipedia - "Snowden is a 2016 biographical political thriller film directed by Oliver Stone and written by Stone and Kieran Fitzgerald, based on the books The Snowden Files by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena. ... In 2013, Edward Snowden arranges a clandestine meet in Hong Kong with documentarian Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald. They discuss releasing the classified information in the former’s possession regarding illegal mass surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency (NSA). ... Snowden applies for a position at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and subsequently undergoes the screening process. Initially his answers to the screening questions are insufficient, but Deputy Director Corbin O'Brian decides to take a chance on him, given the demands of such extraordinary times. Snowden is then brought to 'The Hill' where he is educated and tested on cyberwarfare. ..."
Slate: The Leaky Myths of Snowden
NY Times: ‘Snowden,’ Oliver Stone’s Restrained Portrait of a Whistle-Blower (Video)
5 Myths About Edward Snowden The Movie Reinforces
YouTube: SNOWDEN - Official Trailer

Lyric on a Battlefield

“Irm Herman” (2016), one in a series of portraits by Dawn Mellor
"Gladstone Gallery is pleased to present Lyric on a Battlefield, a group exhibition organized by Miciah Hussey. The artists featured are: Kelly Akashi, Ellen Berkenblit, Louisa Clement, Anne Collier, Bracha L. Ettinger, Anish Kapoor, Liz Magor, f.marquespenteado, Suzanne McClelland, Dawn Mellor, Monique Mouton, Senga Nengudi, and Kandis Williams. Bringing together artists working in various media, from multiple regions, and of different generations, this exhibition focuses on the lyric—the poetic first-person account of lived experience—to explore the complexities of being in the world. Mirroring the experimental and subjective nature of that form, the works included propose idiosyncratic methods of making visible critical, though complexly personal, interactions between the self and other. Through their translations of poetic reflection into the visual forms of painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography, these artists' different practices expand intimate explorations of desire, social relations, and the environment. ..."
Gladstone Gallery
Gladstone Gallery - 1
NY Times: What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week
ART CITIES:N.York-Lyric on a Battlefield

Tarheel Slim & Little Ann

"Talk about a versatile musician: Alden Bunn (aka Tarheel Slim) recorded in virtually every postwar musical genre imaginable. Lowdown blues, gospel, vocal group R&B, poppish duets, even rockabilly weren't outside the sphere of his musicianship. However, spirituals were Bunn's first love. While still in North Carolina during the early '40s, the guitarist worked with the Gospel Four and then the Selah Jubilee Singers, who recorded for Continental and Decca. ... Tarheel Slim made his official entrance in 1958 with his wife, now dubbed Little Ann, in a duet format for Robinson's Fire imprint ('It's Too Late,' 'Much Too Late'). ..."
amazon: Robin Fire Years
YouTube: It's Too Late, Two Time Loser, Much Too Late, Can't Stay Away, Security, Don't Ever Leave Me

Saturday, July 29

Walden, a Game

"... Henry David Thoreau’s classic 'Walden' is the inspiration for what Smithsonian Magazine is calling 'the world’s most improbable video game': Walden, a Game. Instead of offering the thrills of stealing, violence and copious cursing, the new video game, based on Thoreau’s 19th-century retreat in Massachusetts, will urge players to collect arrowheads, cast their fishing poles into a tranquil pond, buy penny candies and perhaps even jot notes in a journal — all while listening to music, nature sounds and excerpts from the author’s meditations. ..."
NY Times: In ‘Walden’ Video Game, the Challenge Is Stillness (Video)
Walden has been adapted into a video game, and you can play it right now (Video)
Walden, a Game
Walden: A downloadable game for Windows and macOS - $ (Video)

2009 April: Henry David Thoreau, 2012 September: Walden, 2015 March: A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers (1849), 2017 March: Civil Disobedience (1849), 2017 April: The Maine Woods (1864), 2017 June: This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal, 2017 July: Pond Scum - Henry David Thoreau’s moral myopia. By Kathryn Schulz

Surrealist cartomancy

Le Jeu de Marseille - André Breton and a group of his Surrealist friends
"Reworking the illustrations of the standard fifty-two card playing deck has become quite a common thing in recent years with numerous themed decks being produced in costly limited editions. The same goes for decks of Tarot cards which have now been mapped across a number of different magical systems and produced in sets that often add little to the philosophy of the Tarot but merely vary the artwork. This wasn’t always the case, and certainly not in the 1940s when André Breton and a group of fellow Surrealists produced designs for a fascinating deck of cards that hybridises the Tarot and the more mundane pack of playing cards in an attempt to create something new. The Jeu de Marseilles was named after the city of its creation, and it’s no coincidence that one of the most well-known medieval Tarot designs is the Marseilles deck. ..."

Lester Young ‎– In Washington (1956)

"While many critics have written off Lester Young's recordings from his last years leading up to his death in 1959, this previously unissued collection of material recorded at Olivia's Patio Lounge in Washington, D.C. in December, 1956 proves that he was still very much in command. Joined by a local rhythm section consisting of pianist Bill Potts, bassist Norman Williams and drummer Jim Lucht, the tenor saxophonist is still swinging mightily and in full control of his chops. There aren't really any surprises among the selections, which draw from Young's favorite standards and a few of his most requested compositions. Trombonist Earl Swope, a sideman with Woody Herman, is an added guest on the last four selections, providing an excellent foil for Young. ..."
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: In Washington ( Full Album )

Friday, July 28

Fences - August Wilson (2016)

Wikipedia - "Fences is a 2016 American period drama film directed by and starring Denzel Washington and written by August Wilson, based on his Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name (Wilson died in 2005, but completed a screenplay before his death). In addition to Washington, the film also stars Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson and Saniyya Sidney. ... In 1950s Pittsburgh, Troy Maxson (Denzel Washington) lives with his wife Rose (Viola Davis) and their son Cory (Jovan Adepo), and works as a waste collector alongside his best friend, Jim Bono (Stephen Henderson). Troy's younger brother, Gabriel Maxson (Mykelti Williamson), sustained a head injury in World War II that left him mentally impaired, for which he received a $3,000 government payout that Troy used to purchase a home for his family. ..."
Roger Ebert
New Yorker: What “Fences” Misses About Adapting Plays for the Screen
YouTube: Fences Official Trailer #1, Fences Official Trailer #2

Warm Up 2017 - MoMA PS1

"MoMA PS1’s pioneering outdoor music series Warm Up celebrates its 20th season in 2017, with ten Saturdays presenting the best in live and electronic music—both local and global—across a range of genres. Warm Up takes place every weekend from July 1 to September 2, featuring a lineup of emerging and established artists. ... This season, Warm Up is partnering with New York City's Know Wave on a series of weekly radio programs and a line of limited-edition merchandise. Each Saturday, Warm Up Radio will broadcast live from MoMA PS1, featuring special coverage of Warm Up artists, curators, and members of New York’s creative community—giving listeners unique, behind-the-scenes access to one of New York City’s longest-running museum music programs. In addition, Know Wave has created an exclusive Warm Up-inspired capsule collection that will be available on-site at Warm Up and online at ..."
Announcing The 2017 MoMA PS1 Warm Up Lineup

Proensa: An Anthology of Troubadour Poetry - Paul Blackburn

"It was out of medieval Provence—Proensa—that the ethos of courtly love emerged, and it was in the poetry of the Provençal troubadours that it found its perfect expression. Their poetry was also a central inspiration for Dante and his Italian contemporaries, propagators of the modern vernacular lyric, and seven centuries later it was no less important to the modernist Ezra Pound. These poems, a source to which poetry has returned again and again in search of renewal, are subtle, startling, earthy, erotic, and supremely musical. The poet Paul Blackburn studied and translated the troubadours for twenty years, and the result of that long commitment is Proensa, an anthology of thirty poets of the eleventh through thirteenth centuries, which has since established itself not only as a powerful and faithful work of translation but as a work of poetry in its own right. ..."
rain taxi

2008 August: Paul Blackburn, 2012 November: Yankee go home (PoemTalk #59), 2013 January: Cronopios and Famas - Julio Cortazar (Paul Blackburn), 2013 August: Paul Blackburn and Das Rhinegold, 2015 May: The Grinding Down, 2015 August: The Cities (1967). , 2016 March: Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit: A Bouquet for Flatbush (1960)

Thursday, July 27

Angels and Demons at Play: Jim Knipfel on Reclaiming Sun Ra’s Legacy

"'I'm a spirit master,' avant-garde jazz composer and bandleader Sun Ra once said in his own inimitable fashion. 'I've been to a zone where there is no air, no light, no sound, no life, no death, nothing. There's five billion people on this planet, all out of tune. I've got to raise their consciousness, tell them about the wonderful potential to bypass death.' For four decades, from the early fifties until his death in 1993, Sun Ra and his Arkestra baffled, dazzled and aggravated jazz fans with an uncompromising and unpredictable musical style that wandered the spectrum from finger-popping bebop to the harshest of atonal free jazz (sometimes in the same piece), and a mythology that often kept audiences off-balance and guessing. Sun Ra didn’t sell many records in his lifetime, but along with the Arkestra, he nevertheless became the stuff of legend. ..."
The Believer (Audio - Video)

Diary - Elaine Mokhtefi: Eldridge Cleaver

"In 1951 I left the US for Europe. I was working as a translator and interpreter in the new postwar world of international organisations: UN agencies, trade-union bodies, student and youth associations. My plan was to visit France briefly, but I stayed nearly ten years. For anyone living in Paris, the Algerian war was inescapable. Where did your sympathies lie? Which side were you on? ... I stayed on after the coup that brought Houari Boumediene to power in 1965. I had made a home in Algeria; I was happy with my life and my work in the national press. In 1969, events took an extraordinary turn. Late one night I received a call from Charles Chikerema, the representative of the Zimbabwe African People’s Union, one of many African liberation movements with an office in the city. He told me that the Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver was in town and needed help. It was June. I remember it very clearly. I can see myself walking down a side street between the Casbah and the European sector of Algiers towards the Victoria, a small, third-rate hotel. ..."
LRB - Podcast: Panthers in Algiers, Elaine Mokhtefi talks to Jeremy Harding (Video)
W - Eldridge Cleaver

Fred Frith / Henry Kaiser - Friends & Enemies (1999)

"In 1979, guitarists Fred Frith and Henry Kaiser made an album titled With Friends Like These... on the Metalanguage label. It was one of the defining documents of the downtown avant-garde scene, a collection of improvised duets on which both players essentially redefined the sound of the guitar, Frith with his physically altered (and sometimes beaten) instruments, and Kaiser with his virtuosic and harmonically adventurous technique. Four years later they reunited to make Who Needs Enemies?, again on Metalanguage, and on this second album they expanded their arsenal to include the Linn drum and sequencer. Metalanguage went belly up not too long after, and until now the only in-print remnant from those two albums was a condensed single-disc package on SST. ... In short, this set offers everything Frith and Kaiser have recorded together, and at mid-price. Absolutely a must for noise fans, skronk hounds, and adventurous guitarheads."
allmusic (Audio)
amazon, iTunes
pandora (Audio)
YouTube: One of Nature's Mistakes, The Kirghiz Light

Wednesday, July 26

Southern Gothic

Wikipedia - "Southern Gothic is a subgenre of Gothic fiction in American literature that takes place in the American South. Common themes in Southern Gothic literature include deeply flawed, disturbing or eccentric characters who may or may not dabble in hoodoo, ambivalent gender roles, decayed or derelict settings, grotesque situations, and other sinister events relating to or stemming from poverty, alienation, crime, or violence. ... The Southern Gothic style is one that employs the use of macabre, ironic events to examine the values of the American South. Thus unlike its parent genre, it uses the Gothic tools not solely for the sake of suspense, but to explore social issues and reveal the cultural character of the American South – Gothic elements often taking place in a magic realist context rather than a strictly fantastical one. ..."
Guardian: Why southern gothic rules the world
The Evolution Of Southern Gothic
Best Southern Gothic Literature
YouTube: Southern Gothic Project

Ofra Haza ‎– Fifty Gates Of Wisdom (Yemenite Songs) (1987)

"Ofra Haza's death on February 23, 2000, at the age of 41 deprived the world of a lovely woman, a great vocalist, and a fearless cultural advocate. Fifty Gates of Wisdom, her 1985 album of boldly reimagined traditional Yemenite songs, brought her international fame, and decades later, it retains its ability to delight and inspire. The set list consists of secular tunes plus examples of a festive devotional style called diwan, which is common to all Oriental Jewish communities and can be sung in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Arabic. Each group has specific traditions, but the Yemeni variant is especially remarkable for its poetry, much of which was written by rabbis as far back as the 17th century. Most diwan consist of three separate sections: the a cappella nashid (prelude), the shira (singing), during which celebrants bang on copper trays, empty gasoline cans, or whatever else is handy, and a postlude called the hallel, or song of praise. The unusual percussion accompaniment came into use following the destruction of the Temple, when Jews were forbidden to play conventional musical instruments, and also as a result of periodic oppression by Muslim fundamentalists. ..."
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: Im Nin'Alu at Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland, Friday, July 13, 1990
YouTube: Im Nin' Alu, Lefelach harimon, Ayelet Chen, Tzur Menti Se'i Yona Sapri Tama, Galbi, Ode le'eli , Yachilvi Veyachali, A'salk

Tuesday, July 25

Watch Aura Satz’s short film about Laurie Spiegel

"In 2016 the Spanish sound installation artist and film maker Aura Satz premiered Little Doorways To Paths Not Yet Taken at Oliver Coates’s Deep Minimalism festival. Since then her film has been screened at International Film Festival Rotterdam, Fridman Gallery in New York, The Wire's Off The Page in Bergen, and elsewhere. The film offers the viewer a brief yet intimate venture inside the home studio of Spiegel, composer of The Expanding Universe (1980) and Unseen Worlds (1991), and it’s soundtracked by Spiegel’s music and musings. ..."
The Wire (Video)
Inside the Dial Tone-Inspired Sound Art Exhibits of Aura Satz
Aura Satz
The Wire - Aura Satz (Video)

2011 May: Laurie Spiegel, 2012 November: Laurie Spiegel - The Expanding Universe, 2014 February: The Interstellar Contract, 2015 September: Resident Visitor: Laurie Spiegel's Machine Music, 2015 October: Laurie Spiegel: Grassroots Technologist, 2016 June: Meet Four Women Who Pioneered Electronic Music: Daphne Oram, Laurie Spiegel, Éliane Radigue & Pauline Oliveros, 2017 January: Resident Visitor: Laurie Spiegel's Machine Music, 2017 July: Space, Energy & Light: Experimental Electronic And Acoustic Soundscapes 1961-88

Ariel - Sylvia Plath (1965)

Wikipedia - ""Ariel was the second book of Sylvia Plath's poetry to be published, and was originally published in 1965, two years after her death by suicide. The poems in the 1965 edition of Ariel, with their free flowing images and characteristically menacing psychic landscapes, marked a dramatic turn from Plath's earlier Colossus poems. In the 1965 edition of Ariel, Ted Hughes changed Plath's chosen selection and arrangement by dropping twelve poems, adding twelve composed a few months later, and shifting the poems' ordering, in addition to including an introduction by the poet Robert Lowell. ...  In the same interview, Plath also cited the poet Anne Sexton as an important influence on her writing during this time since Sexton was also exploring some of the same dark, taboo, personal subject matter that Plath was exploring in her writing. ..."
W - Ariel
W - Daddy
Modern American Poetry: Sylvia Plath (1932-1963)
New Yorker: Sylvia Plath’s Joy
amazon: Ariel: The Restored Edition

2008 February: Sylvia Plath, 2011 May: "Daddy" (Video)

Don’t March, Organize for Power

"With the sudden and unexpected expansion of socialist organizations like Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) in the wake of the 2016 elections, socialists finally have the opportunity to debate basic strategy. A nationwide socialist movement with tens of thousands of members and supporters has emerged. Considering what we should do now is a vitally important question. It’s also a difficult one. Despite its recent growth, organized socialists remain marginal, with no real mass base. To change the direction of American politics and challenge capitalist hegemony, we will need to reach out not only to self-identified progressives but also to a broader layer of politically disillusioned workers. We will need to choose battles where we can genuinely affect outcomes despite limited resources. We will need to find ways to engage in coalition politics while carving out space to the left of the Democratic Party’s newly invigorated progressive wing. ..."

Monday, July 24

The 150 Greatest Albums Made By Women

150. The Roches, The Roches (1979)
"This list, of the greatest albums made by women between 1964 and the present, is an intervention, a remedy, a correction of the historical record and hopefully the start of a new conversation. Compiled by nearly 50 women from across NPR and the public radio system and produced in partnership with Lincoln Center, it rethinks popular music to put women at the center. ..."
NPR - A New Canon: In Pop Music, Women Belong At The Center Of The Story

The Gramercy mansion in a John Sloan painting

"He often came across subjects for his work near Washington Square, or Union or Madison Squares. But in 1912, after moving from Sixth Avenue to 155 East 22nd Street, John Sloan trained his outsider’s eye on Gramercy Park (fellow social realist painter George Bellows’ territory), where he painted two women tending to a baby in a carriage on a warm, lush day. Sloan 'found his subjects in his immediate surroundings; the streets he traveled and the people he encountered were immediately translated to canvas,' wrote Margarita Karasoulas on ..."
Ephemeral New York

A Buyer’s (And Seller’s) Guide To The MLB Trade Deadline

The Milwaukee Brewers are exceeding expectations. But should they become buyers at the trade deadline?
"For most Major League Baseball teams, the trade deadline is a chance to step back and take stock of the franchise’s trajectory. Although only a small fraction of rumored deals actually end up happening, a team’s willingness to swap assets — as either a buyer or a seller — says a lot about where it is in the cycle between contending for a World Series and playing for the future. For a few teams, the choice has already been made. These are the clubs on the ends of the baseball spectrum: the bottom dwellers already committed to punting the present in order to stockpile young talent and the clear front-runners who can begin fine-tuning their playoff rosters in July. But the bulk of the league faces a fork in the road and doesn’t have the luxury of soul-searching with the trade deadline less than two weeks away. ..."

Sunday, July 23

Jeremiah Moss Was Here

Cup & Saucer has been a mainstay of Lower Manhattan for more than 70 years, but its owners say a rent increase of $7,600 per month is forcing them to close it.
"On a gray, drizzly Friday in July, I joined Jeremiah Moss for a walk. We met at the Astor Place cube, as the artist Tony Rosenthal’s 1967 black Cor-Ten steel sculpture Alamo is known, in the shadow of two buildings that exemplify everything Moss hates about contemporary New York. To the south stood the awkwardly amoebic Astor Place Tower; looming behind us, the gleaming black glass of 51 Astor Place, a/k/a the Death Star. If real estate money had its way, this neighborhood — gateway to the once irresistibly gritty East Village — would be rebranded 'Midtown South.' In his new book, Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul (Dey Street), Moss offers a wrenching, exhaustive chronicle of the 'hyper-gentrification' of New York — and the relentless monotony of chain stores and luxury high-rises that continues to suffocate small businesses and displace the poor, working-class, immigrant, and ethnic communities and artists, eccentrics, and bohemians who have made the city what it is. ..."
NY Times: Another New York Diner Turns Off the Grill, a Victim of Rising Rents
New Yorker: An Activist for New York’s Mom-and-Pop Shops
Goodbye Notes to Cup & Saucer
amazon: Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul

Err Guitar by Elliott Sharp with Mary Halvorson and Marc Ribot (2017)

"Last summer in Elliott Sharp’s recording studio in Manhattan, New York guitarist Sharp spent a day with guitar colleague Mary Halvorson and another with Marc Ribot, legendary guitarist of Tom Waits, The Lounge Lizards and Marianne Faithful. The result was a series of recordings that could only be created by friends. They represent the great art of guitar playing by three exceptional musicians looking for new sonic adventures in search of the sound of our time. 'I hear in their playing both a step into an unknown future and wild growth from a deep past,' says Elliott Sharp. 'The contradiction is resolved in improvisation – the transcendent sonic path of the now.' ...”
Intakt Records (Audio)
iTunes, amazon
YouTube: Blindspot

2011 February: Selling Water By the Side of the River - Evan Lurie, 2012 September: Marc Ribot, 2013 February: Silent Movies, 2013 November: The Nearness Of You, 2014 January: Full Concert Jazz in Marciac (2010), 2014 May: Gig Alert: Marc Ribot Trio, 2014 September: Marc Ribot Trio with Mary Halvorson at The Stone, 2015 September: Marc Ribot y Los Cubanos Postizos - The Prosthetic Cubans (1998), 2015 November: Marc Ribot Ceramic Dog (2014), 2016 February: Musical Improvisation in the Marlene Dumas Exhibition (2015), 2017 May: Marc Ribot Trio - Fat Man Blues (2015)

The Battle for Venezuela, Through a Lens, Helmet and Gas Mask

Antigovernment protesters celebrating in May after seizing control of the Francisco Fajardo Highway through Caracas.
"CARACAS, Venezuela — Motley throngs of masked antigovernment protesters hurl rocks, fireworks and Molotov cocktails. The police and soldiers retaliate with tear gas, water cannon blasts, rubber bullets and buckshot. An uprising is brewing in Venezuela. Nearly every day for more than three months, thousands have taken to the streets to vent fury at President Nicolás Maduro and his increasingly repressive leadership. These confrontations often turn into lopsided and sometimes lethal street brawls — more than 90 people have been killed and more than 3,000 arrested. I have worked as a photojournalist for The New York Times in Venezuela for nine years, and for the past two have focused on the plight of Venezuelans struggling with the worst economic crisis in the country’s history. I have witnessed their growing anger as food and medicine disappear and Mr. Maduro’s authoritarianism intensifies. ..."
NY Times

Saturday, July 22

Obscure Records - Brian Eno (1975 and 1978)

"Obscure Records was a U.K. record label which existed from 1975 to 1978. It was created and run by Brian Eno, who also produced the albums (credited as executive producer in one instance). Ten albums were issued in the series. Most have detailed liner notes on their back covers, analyzing the compositions and providing a biography of the composer, in a format typical of classical music albums, and much of the material can be regarded as 20th century classical music. The label provided a venue for experimental music, and its association with Eno gave increased public exposure to its composers and musicians. In their original editions, all albums used variations of the same cover art of a collage by John Bonis, covered up by an overprinting of black ink. The picture beneath the ink can be seen somewhat clearly under a strong light. Each volume except the seventh has one small window in the black overprint to reveal a different portion of the picture on each album. The red and white label design is a blurred photo that appears to be spires on roofs of buildings. ..."
UbuWeb (Audio)
Open Culture: Hear Albums from Brian Eno’s 1970s Label, Obscure Records (Audio)
Artists' Books and Multiples
W - Obscure Records
YouTube: Obscure Records 10 videos

L'Argent - Robert Bresson (1983)

Wikipedia - "L'Argent (French pronunciation: ​[laʁ.ʒɑ̃], meaning 'Money') is a 1983 French drama film written and directed by Robert Bresson. The film is loosely inspired by the first part of Leo Tolstoy's novella The Forged Coupon. It was Bresson's last film, and earned its maker the Director's Prize at the 1983 Cannes Film Festival. A young man enters his father's study to claim a monthly allowance. His father obliges, but the son presses for more, citing a debt at school he must pay. The father dismisses him and an appeal to his mother fails. This leads him to try to pawn his watch to a friend, who instead gives him a forged 500-franc note. After the trade, the youth lingers to peruse an album of nude art. ..."
W - The Forged Coupon two parts by Leo Tolstoy
senses of cinema
Guardian: Robert Bresson
YouTube: L'Argent

2008 December: Robert Bresson

Friday, July 21

Is Morocco Headed Toward Insurrection?

Protesters raise the flag of the Rif Republic (left) and the pan-Berber tricoleur (right) at a demonstration in the northern town of Al-Hoceima, Morocco, June 1, 2017.
"Curfews, roadblocks, checkpoints on highways leading to Al Hoceima in northeastern Morocco; neighborhoods encircled by military trucks; police attacking protesters; mass arrests; activists abducted off the streets. Since May 26, the first day of Ramadan, the city of Al Hoceima has seen continuous tumult, culminating with a day of bloody clashes on June 26, in what is now being called the Black Eid of 2017. Tensions had been running high in the Rif region, with ongoing protests since October, when a young fish vendor died at the hands of the police, crushed to death in a trash compactor as he tried to retrieve his confiscated merchandise. A truce of sorts had been negotiated in mid-May, when a ministerial delegation arrived in the city of Al Hoceima promising various development projects. ..."
The Nation

2016 July: FirstLook: Learning from the Pattern-Masters, 2016 July: Souffles-Anfas: A Critical Anthology (2015)

Unfinished Conversations: New Work from the Collection

Erik van Leishout, Untitled, 2014, Conté crayon, synthetic polymer paint, felt-tip pen, and vinyl on paper.
"Unfinished Conversations: New Work from the Collection brings together works by more than a dozen artists, made in the past decade and recently acquired by The Museum of Modern Art. The artists that make up this intergenerational selection address current anxiety and unrest around the world and offer critical reflections on our present moment. The exhibition considers the intertwining themes of social protest, the effect of history on the formation of identity, and how art juxtaposes fact and fiction. From Cairo to St. Petersburg, from The Hague to Recife, the artists in the exhibition observe and interpret acts of state violence and the resistance and activism they provoke. They reexamine historical moments, evoking images of the past and claiming their places within it. ..."
With a Display of New Work from Its Collection, MoMA Takes a Political Turn
New Yorker: The Unsettling Power of MOMA’s “Unfinished Conversations”
vimeo: John Akomfrah on The Unfinished Conversation

D+Q announces Doucet and Kominsky-Crumb in 2018

"As announced today on Bustle, Drawn & Quarterly will publish two groundbreaking works of comics by the revolutionary cartoonists Aline Kominsky-Crumb and Julie Doucet. In spring 2018, D+Q will publish a new and expanded edition of the seminal collection Love That Bunch by Kominsky-Crumb with an afterword by comics scholar Hillary Chute. In fall 2018, D+Q will release the highly anticipated Dirty Plotte: The Complete Julie Doucet. Both titles were acquired by D+Q Publisher Peggy Burns and will be co-edited with Senior Editor Tracy Hurren. ..."
Two New Feminist Graphic Novels On Their Way To A Bookstore Near You — REVEAL

Thursday, July 20

The Living and the Dead

Old City of Mosul
"I. Eastern Mosul. In a film, on the news, you watch a war. While in a war, you mostly hear it. Weapons are fired day and night, but only sometimes do you see them fired. As much as images, then, each battle takes on its own sounds. The battle of Mosul began officially on Oct. 17, 2016. Sonically, it didn’t come into its own until some weeks later. In the opening skirmishes, as Iraqi troops encountered Islamic State fighters on farmland and in villages outside the city, rounds whistled unobstructed through the air and thudded in the sod, a vague overture. When the troops breached the easternmost districts of the city proper — in early November — then you could begin to really listen to the conflict. ..."
NY Times

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, 2017 March: Engulfed in Battle, Mosul Civilians Run for Their Lives, 2017 May: Aleppo After the Fall, 2017 July: Iraqi forces declare victory over Islamic State in Mosul after grueling battle.

A Weiss Touch: Words and Wax from the World's Best Record Collector

"... Do you have records you can’t get enough of, even after you’ve heard them a thousand times before? Ramones Leave Home, Wire Pink Flag, Brian Eno Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), Zombies Odyssey and Oracle, La Monte Young Well-Tuned Piano, The Shaggs Philosophy of the World, Damon Song of a Gypsy, Fallen Angels It’s a Long Way Down, Velvet Underground Velvet Underground, Guided By Voices Bee Thousand, P.M Dawn. Jesus Wept, Jackson C. Frank Blues Run the Game, Fairport Convention Liege and Lief, Linda Perhacs Parallelograms, 13th Floor Elevators Easter Everywhere, Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul, Ornette Coleman Dancing in Your Head, Albert Ayler Spiritual Unity, Captain Beefheart Safe as Milk, Damned Damned Damned Damned, Pink Floyd Piper at the Gates of Dawn, Bazerk Bazerk Bazerk Son of Bazerk, The Millennium Begin, The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour (US version), Love Forever Changes. But ask me tomorrow and you might get a completely different list. ..."
Dust and Grooves

Milton Hamilton - Long Long Road / Longest Dub (1972)

"Milton Hamilton used to be a member of the Classics, alongside Denzil Dennis. The group was based in the UK and recorded for both Laurel Aitken and Lee Perry (a version of 'Cherry Oh Baby' called 'Cheerio Baby' for the latter, among others.) Although the backing track for 'Long Long Road' came from Jamaica, the backing vocals are performed by the british group the Rudies. 'Long Long Road' is also featured on the Trojan sampler 'Me Nah Worry', albeit without the dub version. There it is credited to Denzil Dennis and Milton Hamilton whereas this 7” credits Milton Hamilton and long time Denzil associate Pat Rhoden. To my ears this version seems a bit rougher than the one featured on the Trojan album, but that might very well be a remastering issue. The label credits Errol L. Campbell as producer, but that is actually an amalgamation of two names. ...">
Pressure Beat (Audio)
YouTube: Long, Long Road + Version

Wednesday, July 19

Trump Seems Much Better at Branding Opponents Than Marketing Policies

"Donald J. Trump, the master brander, has never found quite the right selling point for his party’s health care plan. He has promised 'great healthcare,' 'truly great healthcare,' 'a great plan' and health care that 'will soon be great.' But for a politician who has shown remarkable skill distilling his arguments into compact slogans — 'fake news,' 'witch hunt,'  'Crooked Hillary' — those health care pitches have fallen far short of the kind of sharp, memorable refrain that can influence how millions of Americans interpret news in Washington. Analyzing two years of his tweets highlights a pair of lessons about his messaging prowess that were equally on display as the Republican health care bill, weakly supported by even Republican voters, collapsed again in Congress on Monday. Mr. Trump is much better at branding enemies than policies. And he expends far more effort mocking targets than promoting items on his agenda. ..."
NY Times

The John Coltrane Record That Made Modern Music

"Today, exactly 50 years will have passed since the death of John Coltrane, one of the most groundbreaking and technically gifted jazz musicians ever. Over the course of his four decades on earth, Coltrane lived and breathed to create jazz saturated with dissonance and arrhythmia and tenacity—raw jazz, powerful jazz, jazz hundreds of stories tall. To commemorate the half century that has passed since Coltrane’s death, many will revisit his most famous songs ('My Favorite Things', 'In a Sentimental Mood') and records (Giant Steps, A Love Supreme, Blue Train). However, too few will reflect upon Coltrane's most tenacious and inaccessible album, Interstellar Space, which was released posthumously and is, in many ways, Coltrane’s most influential record, its echoes still heard today in everything from electronic music to some of the world’s biggest hip-hop acts. ..."
New Yorker: Why Did Ralph Ellison Despise Modern Jazz?

2011 November: John Coltrane Quartet, Live at Jazz Casual, 1963, 2012 March: John Coltrane 1960 - 1965, 2012 September: "Naima" (1959), 2012 October: Blue Train (1957), 2013 April: The World According to John Coltrane, 2013 November: A Love Supreme (1965), 2014 July: New Photos of John Coltrane Rediscovered 50 Years After They Were Shot, 2014 November: Coltrane’s Free Jazz Wasn’t Just “A Lot of Noise”, 2015 February: Lush Life (1958), 2015 May: An Animated John Coltrane Explains His True Reason for Being: “I Want to Be a Force for Real Good”, 2015 July: Afro Blue Impressions (2013), 2015 September: Impressions of Coltrane, 2015 December: Giant Steps (1960), 2016 January: Crescent (1964), 2016 April: The Church of Saint John Coltrane, 2016 July: Soultrane (1958), 2016 December: Dakar (1957).

Neil Young - "Thrasher" [Live at the Cow Palace, 1978]

"Neil Young’s 'Thrasher' appeared on the Rust Never Sleeps L.P. in the summer of 1979. Rolling Stone magazine has called the tune one of Young’s greatest. Here’s Young performing 'Thrasher' live in 1978 at the Cow Palace near San Francisco. The clip comes from the Rust Never Sleeps film. ..."
Cherry Stereo
YouTube: "Thrasher"

2008 February: Neil Young, 2010 April: Neil Young - 1, 2010 April: Neil Young - 2, 2010 May: Neil Young - 3, 2010 October: Neil Young's Sound, 2012 January: Long May You Run: The Illustrated History, 2012 June: Like A Hurricane, 2012 July: Greendale, 2013 April: Thoughts On An Artist / Three Compilations, 2013 August: Heart of Gold, 2014 March: Dead Man (1995), 2014 August: Ragged Glory - Neil Young + Crazy Horse (1990), 2014 November: Broken Arrow (1996), 2015 January: Rust Never Sleeps (1979), 2015 January: Neil Young the Ultimate Guide, 2015 March: Old Black, 2015 September: Zuma (1975), 2016 January: On the Beach (1973), 2016 April: Sleeps with Angels (1994), 2016 November: Eldorado (EP - 1989), Long May You Run - The Stills-Young Band (1976), 2017 June: "River Of Pride" / "White Line" (1975).

Tuesday, July 18

A magical garden nobody knows in Central Park

Conservatory Burnett Fountain
"Like many features of the 1858 'Greensward' plan for Central Park, the flower garden that was supposed to be built at 74th Street and Fifth Avenue never made it off the blueprint. But in the 1930s, when the glass conservatory and greenhouses (below, in 1900) that were erected at Fifth Avenue and 105th proved too costly to maintain, parks director Robert Moses had them torn down—and plans for a European-style garden were drawn. The result was the Conservatory Garden, which opened in 1937, a six-acre expanse of fountains, walkways, and lush and enchanting gardens in every direction. Stepping into it feels like walking into a secret, a hidden oasis where the only sounds are the chorus of singing birds and the occasional human gasp at the sight of a curious raccoon. ..."
Ephemeral New York

2013 September: Central Park, 2014 March: Central Park in the Dark - Charles Ives (1906)

Turner set free: Nature as roughhouse theater by W.S. Di Piero

The Burning of the Houses of Lords and Commons, 16 October, 1834; By JMW Turner
"Painters in mid-19th-century London, when installing exhibitions at official venues such as the Royal Academy of Art and the British Institution, brought not-quite-finished pictures to what were called Varnishing Days, where they discussed each other’s work and applied a finish to their pictures. J.M.W. Turner, especially in his later years, pushed the purpose of Varnishing Days to the extreme. He often brought work still in the early stages of completion then elaborated details, shaping narrative content and working up his most signature splashy effects. Turner never lacked a sense of self-drama, and these flamboyant displays, part mischief but mostly the natural consequence of the nervous energy he poured into his work, became notorious events. ..."
San Diego Reader

November 2007: J. M. W. Turner, 2009 April: Turner & Italy, 2011 June: J. M. W. Turner - 1, 2014 June: In Which We Find His Theory Of Color Implausible, 2014 May: Ruin Lust, 2014 September: The EY Exhibition: Late Turner – Painting Set Free, 2016 June: Turner’s Whaling Pictures, 2017 March: Turner’s Modern and Ancient Ports: Passages through Time

2016 March: W.S. Di Piero, 2016 December: Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland, 1861-2008, Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful, 2017 March: March of time: 20th Century icons from an old art museum in Buffalo are at the Museum of Art, May 2017: In from the cold

Ooh Wee Pretty Baby! - Long John Hunter

"From El Paso, Texas comes Long John Hunter, a bluesy-rock guitarist who can also sing. Recording exclusively for the Yucca label while playing at the Lobby, until 1971 when the owner of the Lobby became ill and had to shut down the club, Long John Hunter recorded some amazing R&B/rock music that is now being re-issued as one album, OOH WEE PRETTY BABY!, on Norton Records. Every one of the twenty-one tracks on this album are steamy, passionate, and full of energy. Simply put, they're amazing blues-rock music with plenty of rhythm and grooves to boot. Going back to the days when rock 'n' roll was pure, real, and just plain fun, Long John Hunter's music seems to fit in and embody that concept perfectly. 'Ride With Me Baby' showcases his stellar guitar playing, with the blues running through his fingers, and rock 'n' roll running through the entire bands' mind. You can't seem to stop them as they dive through greasy, sweaty, dirty blues-rock music that make your jaw drop and hips move. ..."
In Music We Trust
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: Ooh Wee Pretty Baby! 21 videos, she used to be my woman/crazy girl

Monday, July 17

Night Waltz: The Music of Paul Bowles

"The likable, informative and light-fingered new documentary 'Night Waltz: The Music of Paul Bowles,' which begins an exclusive engagement today at the Film Forum, is worth seeing if only for the sharpness and vividness of its subject's recollections of his experiences with other iconic figures like Virgil Thomson, under whom he studied composition; Gertrude Stein; Orson Welles; and Tennessee Williams. (He tells a detailed story about his run-in with John Houseman with a last line that is sure to get a laugh.) As he's being interviewed, Bowles constantly taps out rhythms on surfaces; you can almost imagine him using the typewriter as a percussion instrument. He calls rhythm 'the basis of music' and adds, 'Harmony is a European tradition.' The assuredness and ardor that the director, Owsley Brown, brings to the film are in tune with the way Bowles, who died in 1999 at 88, felt about music. ..."
NY Times - Under a Sheltering Song: A Documentary Attends to Paul Bowles the Composer
YouTube: Night Waltz: The Music of Paul Bowles, Sonatina Fragmentaria (1933), Night Waltz for two pianos

2007 November: The Authorized Paul Bowles Web Site, 2010 February: Paul Bowles (1910-1999), 2011: January: Halfmoon (1996), 2013 July: Tellus #23 - The Voices of Paul Bowles, 2014 January: Let It Come Down: the Life of Paul Bowles (1998), 2014 March: The Sheltering Sky (1949), 2015 January: Things Gone & Things Still Here, 2015 October: The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles – a cautionary tale for tourists, 2015 November: The Rolling Stone Interview (May 23, 1974), 2016 June: Let It Come Down (1952), 2016 December: Paul Bowles & the Music of Morocco.

Ed Templeton: Wayward Cognitions

"Wayward Cognitions is a collection of photographs by Ed Templeton (born 1972), chosen from his archives spanning 20 years. For this volume, Templeton selected photographs that do not fit into his usual manner of organizing by theme or subject. In past publications he has arranged his work in straightforward groupings such as Teenage Kissers, Teenage Smokers, or photographs shot from a moving car (as in his book The Seconds Pass). In Deformer he presented the photographs under the theme of suburbia. Wayward Cognitions represents the in-between moments that arise when shooting in the streets without theme or subject. ..."
Um Yeah Arts
Wayward Cognitions : Ed Templeton
StreetHunters Bookshelf: Ed Templeton’s “Wayward Cognitions”
vimeo: Ed Templeton’s “Wayward Cognitions” insight video - By Dustin Trayer