Sunday, December 31

The Year in Illustration 2017

“A year of Trump-related articles requires a year's worth of Trump-related imagery. How do we avoid repeating the same images over and over? Brilliant illustrators to the rescue.” — Nathan Huang, art director
"Every year The New York Times commissions thousands of original illustrations from independent artists around the globe. Artists are asked to distill the most compelling aspects of stories and create a powerful experience. They often have just hours to make images that move, provoke and enrich the act of reading. During years of tumult and uncertainty, illustrators use the medium’s inherent flexibility to comment on a rapidly evolving social, political and economic landscape. When a single subject dominates the news, artists find new ways to elaborate on it without succumbing to dull repetition. They clear away the noise and get to the point, using pen, pencil, brush, stylus, cut paper, clay, motion and raw code to produce indelible images that resonate. Below is a selection of notable art The Times published in 2017."
NY Times

Sun Ra’s ‘Happy New Year to You’ doowop single (and a Christmas song too!)

"Sun Ra had his share of offbeat and amusing records—his Batman and Robin album and his limbo album spring to mind as typical (atypical?) Sun Ra curiosities.Sun Ra was born Herman Poole Blount, but he was universally known as Sonny in the first decades of life. Sonny Blount moved from Birmingham, Alabama. to Chicago in 1945—it was there that his interest in Egyptology and Afrofuturism took root. ... El Saturn released two LPs during the 1950s, Super-Sonic Jazz and Jazz In Silhouette, but before either of those, Sun Ra released an amusing doowop holiday single by a combo called the Qualities on Satur Records (sic). The single was super basic and clearly manufactured with the intention of making a quick buck. The A side was called 'It’s Christmas Time' and the B side was called 'Happy New Year to You.' ..."
Dangerous Minds (Audio)
YouTube: The Qualities (Sun Ra) ‎- Happy New Year To You!, Sun Ra Presents The Qualities (Single) (1960)

Oonops Drops - Jazz'n'Beats 2

"Oonops drops the second part of his Jazz’n’Beats episode. He blends a selection of jazz cuts in a smooth combination with jazzy beats and raps by acts like Digable Planets, DJ Mitsu The Beats, Twit One, FilzFlo, Gagle and many more. This time he gets supported in an exclusive guest mix by Soundtrax (360° Records), a german producer and the tour DJ of german rap legend Torch. He presents a well chosen mixture of tunes by A Tribe Called Quest, Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$, US3 and many more. And now lay down and enjoy these musical treats. Check out the first volume here: and don’t forget to visit your host Oonops on Mixcloud and Facebook and his guest Soundtrax here. ..."
Brooklyn Radio (Audio)

Saturday, December 30

Vieux Silence - Elodie (2017)

"Elodie is a band that operates at the point where silence and sound come together. When I saw the core duo of guitarist Andrew Chalk and flautist Timo van Luijk perform at London’s Café Oto some years ago, you could have heard the proverbial pin hit the deck as Chalk caressed the quietest of notes out of his acoustic six-string and van Luijk breathed softly into his flute. These days, and notably for this release, Vieux Silence, on Stephen O’Malley’s Ideologic Organ imprint, Elodie have expanded their line-up to include pianist Tom James Scott (who has already appeared on two Elodie LPs this year), Jean-Noël Rebilly on clarinet and some pedal steel guitar at times from Daniel Morris. But true to the ethos that has animated Elodie from day one, the results remain muted, quiet and, for Vieux Silence, decidedly nocturnal. ..."
The Quietus (Video)
Boomkat (Audio)
Soundcloud: 'Au Point du Jour' (SOMA027)
YouTube: Vieux Silence 8 videos

Anarchist Collectives: Workers' Self-Management in the Spanish Revolution, 1936–1939.

"The Spanish Social Revolution has been long neglected in English language works. Its importance as a revolutionary event and model, and as a concrete example of workers’ self-management by the people is just not recognized. My purpose in this collection is to provide an introduction to this unique experience. In my first chapter and friend Bookchin’s introductory essay, a general overview and context is presented. Most important, of course, is that this was a real experience for the people who took part. Through their words and deeds and the observations of the authors used in this collection, it is hoped that the reader will gain a meaningful understanding of the aims and organization of the anarchist collectives. The material has been divided into two main sections. ..."
The Anarchist Library

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).

Un biglietto del tram - Stormy Six (1975)

"... Stormy Six were formed in Milan in the mid sixties and began their career as a 'beat' band. Later their music turned to folk and West Coast and finally to progressive rock. In 1975 Stormy Six released their fourth album, Un biglietto del tram, on the independent label L'Orchestra that they contributed to found. The line up featured Franco Fabbri (guitar, vocals), Umberto Fiori (guitar, vocals), Carlo De Martini (sax, violin), Tommaso Leddi (violin, mandolin, balalajka, guitar), Luca Piscicelli (bass, vocals) and Antonio Zanuso (drums). The overall sound on this album is acoustic and well refined featuring an original blend of folk, classical and progressive rock influences. In the early seventies the band got involved in politics and kept tight links with the left-wing protest movements and lyrics on this work reflect the commitment of the band. 'Un biglietto del tram' is, in fact, a concept album based on some events of the last period of World War II and celebrates the Italian Resistance movement against the Nazi-Fascists. ... -andrea"
W - Un biglietto del tram
YouTube: Un Biglietto del Tram [Full album, 1975]

Friday, December 29

Solar and Lunar Eclipses in 2018

This plot shows key events in the total lunar eclipse on January 31, 2018
"Two total lunar eclipses occur this year, the first since late 2015, in January and July. Meanwhile, three solar eclipses take place in 2018 — all of them only partial cover-ups. If you're one of the estimated 154 million U.S. adults who watched the solar eclipse on August 21, 2017 — and that's most of us! — you know how incredible such events can be. So when will the ones in 2018 occur? Read on to find out! Up to seven eclipses of the Sun and Moon can take place in one year, though the last time that happened was 1982, and the fewest possible is four. This year we'll get three solar eclipses (alas, all partial events) and two total lunar eclipses spaced six months apart. ..."
Sky & Telescope

Artist Pauline Bastard Turns Found Objects and Debris into Stunning Sculptural Cameras

"French artist Pauline Bastard, has created a great series of sculptural cameras constructed from found objects which she has compiled over the last few years during travels in Bratislava, Sao Paulo, Bruxelles, New York, Los Angeles and London. Made with an assortment of broken and worn debris, these objects represent the fragmented memories of places visited. She says, 'I have progressively integrated my constant moving around in my work. I always create works when I travel, I have like rituals in every city I go through, I pick up things and then produce an object.'"
Junk Culture
Pauline Bastard (Video)

MoMA Upends Its Collection to Celebrate Late Careers

Joan Jonas’s “Reanimation,” a video-sculpture installation that mixes Arctic landscapes, folk tales, music and hanging glass, is a recent acquisition by the Museum of Modern Art. The piece is part of the museum’s exhibition “The Long Run.”
"What good is an art collection if a museum doesn’t shake it up once in a while? The Museum of Modern Art has increasingly been acting on this principle. Its latest upending is 'The Long Run,' a yearlong installation that is utterly engaging if slightly mild: around 130 works of art spread throughout the galleries and hallways of its fourth floor. With a couple of exceptions, these works have been made since 1970 by, as the title implies, artists with careers of some length. The presentation forsakes the myth of Modernism that the Modern is identified with — of art as ceaseless progress fomented almost entirely by the innovations of ambitious young (white) men. ..."
NY Times

Thursday, December 28

Into the Light: Jean Béraud and his Paris chronicle

The Bal Mabille
"Jean Béraud (1849-1935) was not an Impressionist, but then neither was he not impressionist. Like Jules Bastien-Lepage, he used some features of Impressionist style, but remained outside the movement as such. He was born, the son of a sculptor, in Saint Petersburg, and started his training as a lawyer just before the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870. Following that, he switched to painting, becoming a pupil of Léon Bonnat in 1872. Le Bal Mabille (before 1882) may have been one of his earliest paintings. The Bal was a very popular open-air dance hall which took place on a location which would be in Avenue Montaigne in Paris. Started in 1831, it operated until 1875, and was demolished in 1882. It is claimed that the polka and can-can were introduced there, and it was struck by shells during the Franco-Prussian War. ..."
Eclectic Light
W - Jean Béraud
W - Bal Mabille

Parisienne place de la Concorde

Interview: Archie Shepp on John Coltrane, the Blues and More

"Saxophonist, educator and playwright Archie Shepp has long been a crucial figure in American jazz. Complex and multifaceted, he’s difficult to pigeonhole, but his first decade-and-a-half as a leader includes some of the most forceful and important jazz – free, bluesy, swinging, gospelized – ever recorded. Shepp debuted in Cecil Taylor’s band in 1960, but it was a friendship with John Coltrane that finally brought Shepp into the spotlight: He played on tracks that were recorded for A Love Supreme, but not released until 2002, and also appeared on 1965’s Ascension. The two saxophonists’ groups also split a live LP, 1965’s New Thing at Newport. Shepp’s Impulse! debut as a leader, Four for Trane, featured reworkings of four Coltrane compositions and one of his own. ..."
Red Bull Music Academy Daily (Video)

2015 March: Attica Blues (1972), 2016 June: Archie Shepp - The Magic of Ju-Ju (1967), 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), 2017 July: The John Coltrane Record That Made Modern Music, 2017 October: Live at the Village Vanguard (1962)

The Antidote to Macri

"Argentinian politics have long been a case study in contradictions. Its labor movement has been among the strongest in Latin America since its birth at the turn of the twentieth century. On the back of mighty labor, Juan Domingo Peron rose to power in the 1940s, granting historic concessions to the workers and beginning a long populist tradition that wedded working-class leadership to bourgeois politics. Peronism has ever since encompassed a wide spectrum of politics (from right-wing to center-left) who only share among themselves their loyalty to 'the General' and the conviction that Peronism is the ultimate vehicle to power. Former presidents Néstor and Christina Fernandez Kirchner form a conspicuous case within the Peronist tradition. On the cusp of a booming economy after the 2001 crash, they implemented sweeping welfare programs for the poor and, after years of a fruitful alliance, staged a high-profile campaign against conservative media. But they left all mainstays of neoliberalism untouched. ..."
W - Néstor Kirchner
Guardian - Néstor Kirchner: Argentina's independence hero
W - Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
NY Times: Cristina Fernández de Kirchner
Jacobin: Argentina’s New Order

Wednesday, December 27

From the Counter: Beirut

"Join us Monday, June 26th at our next From the Counter destination with Discogs. We're travelling to Beirut, Lebanon to broadcast from the historic Chico Records – home to the largest collection of Middle Eastern records in the world. This iconic space will host our next 100% vinyl session. Chico Records came up on the map in the sixties. And featured on this event's flyer is one of the first photos ever taken inside the record shop of the original Chico Records crew. An archive that's rich with Lebanese groove history, it's an apt next addition to our From The Counter series. On the bill we have expert digger  Jannis Strutz, aka Habibi Funk. Strutz specialises in Arabic music, matching the setting of Chico Records perfectly. Alongside him will be Ernesto Chahoud, aka Spindle. Chahoud's musical colour promises an eclectic set – from the deepest funk to Northern Soul and beyond."
Boiler Room
SOUNDCLOUD: Ernesto Chahoud Boiler Room Beirut DJ Set
YouTube: Ernesto Chahoud Boiler Room Beirut DJ Set

2017 July: Lebanon: Various artists - Jakarta Radio 010 Mix

The 'Eternality' of Graffiti

"In an abandoned housing project in New Orleans, graffiti artist Brandan 'Bmike' Odums evokes the legacy of iconic figures alongside urban residents struggling to recover from Hurricane Katrina. 'I like the juxtaposition of painting someone like Muhammad Ali and then painting someone right across the room—a regular person from New Orleans,' Odums says in a new video from The Atlantic, in which he gives a tour of his workspace. 'By painting both [people] on the same scale and in the same way, you show that there’s value in the lionized characters, but there’s also value in the everyday person that’s trying to survive.' The film was directed by Lucy Wells."
The Atlantic (Video)
Brandan "B-mike" Odums
EBONY: Meet Brandan “BMike” Odums, the New Orleans Artist Featured in ‘Queen Sugar’

The Barca Way Spreads Far From Catalonia

"Everywhere you look, the fingerprints are visible. They are there in those places where the lights shine brightest, and they are there where the lights don’t shine at all. At the summit of the Premier League; among the rich and famous of the Champions League; at suburban schools in the United States; at provincial, second-tier clubs in China; at village teams in Africa: In every corner of the world and at every level of soccer, there are indelible traces of Barcelona. Wherever they are found, they are present for the same reason. Across the planet, the word Barcelona — the idea of Barcelona — has over the last decade come to connote not just success but beauty, too. That has inspired countless clubs, large and small, to try to distill and import the magic, to find someone to sprinkle a little of that stardust on them. ..."
NY Times

Tuesday, December 26


Wikipedia - "Cineaste is an American quarterly film magazine that was established in 1967. The first issue of Cineaste was published in Summer 1967. The launching company was Cineaste Publishers, Inc. The founder and editor-in-chief is Gary Crowdus. It is published quarterly. Cineaste publishes reviews, in-depth analyses, and interviews with filmmakers and actors. ... The journal Jump Cut cited the magazine as contributing to left politics in the United States. The Jump Cut editors wrote: 'Cinéaste has provided information and analysis unavailable elsewhere, and by so doing it has helped build a stronger left film culture in the U.S. Specifically, Cinéaste has focused attention on independent left filmmaking, on third world films, and on progressive examples of mainstream film. It has also provided a political analysis of those films, raising criticism within a left context and thereby generating and continuing the political dialogue essential to advancing political film work.' ..."
Cineaste Films (Video)

The 2017 Progressive Honor Roll

"'Resistance' was the watchword for 2017. Resistance not just to Donald Trump, but to a status quo that gave our most powerful bully pulpit to an actual bully. Progressives not only refused to go backward in 2017; they demanded a new conversation that challenged old orthodoxies. The hashtag #MeToo became the bellwether for a national dialogue about sexual abuse, workplace discrimination, and equal rights that is opening the way for societal transformation. The stunning electoral victories of nontraditional candidates in unexpected places signaled that a new politics really is possible. What began as a frightening and frustrating year ended with Alabama voters rejecting one of Trump’s most vile allies in favor of a decent Democrat, Doug Jones, who claimed his victory in that state’s senatorial contest by citing one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s favorite quotations: 'The moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice.' Here are some of the progressives who bent the arc in 2017. ..."
The Nation

NKAME: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón

Detail of La cena (The Supper), 1991
"The Cuban artist’s big, richly textured collographs—made by running collaged cardboard through a printing press—are populated by mysterious, silhouetted figures with piercing, almond-shaped eyes. They derive from the mythological world of the all-male, Afro-Cuban secret society Abakuá. Ayón, who took her own life in 1999, when she was thirty-two, was particularly fascinated by the female figure Sikán, who, legend has it, was sentenced to death for betraying Abakuá secrets to her lover. In these austere works, she is a commanding protagonist, portrayed alone with animals, or in tense scenes that refer to both Renaissance painting and Abakuá myth. One room of the museum is filled with six lush iterations of the same scene, made in 1988, of an initiation banquet in which women replace the expected male apostles in the 'Last Supper'-inspired composition. This edifying show suggests that Ayón may have sought to reflect, through her stylized lexicon, the sexual politics and economic turmoil of her time—and that she may have identified with the character of Sikán in deeply personal, even tragic, ways."
New Yorker
NY Times: From Cuba, a Stolen Myth
El Museo del Barrio

Monday, December 25

Where was the original WPIX yule log filmed?

"WPIX Channel 11’s strangely mesmerizing Yule Log is a Christmas tradition for New Yorkers from the 1960s to the 1980s. So it was quite a disappointment to discover that the yule log so many of us grew up on was actually shot in a fireplace in California. The original 16mm footage, a 17-second loop first shown on Christmas in 1966, was actually and appropriately filmed in a fireplace at Gracie Mansion, where Mayor John Lindsay lived at the time. But when Channel 11 wanted to upgrade the deteriorating film to 35mm in 1970, they got a definitive no from the Lindsay administration. ..."
Ephemeral New York (Video)
W - Yule Log (TV program)

Sunday, December 24

Jennifer Egan - Manhattan Beach (2017)

Brooklyn Navy Yard, 1943
"In the opening pages of 'Manhattan Beach' — Jennifer Egan’s first novel since she won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in fiction for 'A Visit From the Goon Squad' — an 11-year-old girl named Anna Kerrigan visits the titular stretch of Brooklyn shoreline on a winter day in the company of her father, Eddie, and an underworld figure named Dexter Styles. Though this encounter in 1934 is brief, and circumstances quickly send the three characters in disparate directions, readers will understand that their fates have just become inextricably intertwined. They may also understand, rightly, that this will turn out to be a more traditional novel than the raucous and inventive 'Goon Squad,' although the two books offer many of the same pleasures, including fine turns of phrase, a richly imagined environs and a restless investigation into human nature. The willing suspension of disbelief does not exist in a single form. In the context of different types of stories, the suspension of disbelief asks very different things of us, poses different problems and offers different rewards. ..."
NY Times: In ‘Manhattan Beach,’ Jennifer Egan Sets a Crime Story on the Waterfront
The Nation: Shadow Worlds
New Yorker: Jennifer Egan’s Travels Through Time
Guardian: Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan review – remarkable cinematic scope
The Atlantic: Jennifer Egan’s Surprising Swerve Into Historical Fiction

Nu Yorica: Culture Clash In New York City - Experiments in Latin Music 1970-77

"This is the 20th anniversary 2015 expanded edition of one of Soul Jazz Records earliest definitive releases: Nu Yorica: Culture Clash In New York City - Experiments in Latin Music 1970-77, a stunning and ground-breaking collection of music, bringing together Latin, Soul, Jazz, Funk and more from the melting pot of New York City in the 1970s. Out-of-print for more than ten years, this new edition has been fully digitally remastered with new tracks. Nu Yorica! is one of Soul Jazz Records most critically acclaimed albums of all time. The album features seminal Latin artists such as Eddie Palmieri, Joe Bataan, Machito, Ocho, Grupo Folklorico, Cortijo, Ricardo Marrero, Cachao and many more. ..."
Holland Tunnel Dive
YouTube: Soul Jazz Records Presents Nu Yorica! Culture Clash In New York City: Experiments In Latin Music 1970-77 17 videos

Dancing Down the Years

"The bravest thing a dancer can do is grow old. Dancers exist in a world in which youth is overly prized, and in which the window for a body to maintain its flexibility and speed gradually closes — until the day it seems to slam shut. The body’s deterioration is real for everyone, but dancers better than others grasp how imperceptible shifts weaken the greater whole. Growing old is not for the weak, but dancing old is grit incarnate. 'The reason I’ve been able to dance for so long,' Gus Solomons Jr., 79, said, 'is absolute willpower.' Mr. Solomons, Douglas Dunn, Eiko Otake and Brenda Bufalino are the subjects of this exploration of dancers and the aging body. ..."
NY Times (Video)

Saturday, December 23

The Jam - The Gift (1982)

"In an article for Time Out in March 1982, Pete Townshend wrote of his initial encounters with the young Paul Weller. Despite both being of the mod ilk, the pair clashed on the importance of breaking the American market – among other things. The Jam’s frontman, though a fan of early Who, saw the band then as one of the 'establishment rock acts' that punk had burst out against and wasn’t interested in Townshend’s seemingly commercial motivations. ... It was just a few short months after Townshend’s words were published that Weller announced to his bandmates that The Jam were over. Punk was completely dead by 1982. The surviving bands who had risen from the working classes to rebel against stadium rock were now looking at much bigger venues, bigger money, and in Weller’s case, a bigger moral dilemma. The Jam’s energy was still electric, and Weller’s political convictions still seethed, yet he was becoming more and more aware of the contradiction in becoming an ‘over-25’ idol of the dissatisfied youth. ..."
The Quietus - Present And Correct: The Jam's Final Album The Gift Revisited 30 Years On (Video)
W - The Gift
YouTube: The Gift (Full Album)

2009 March: The Jam, 2012 November: "Going Underground", 2013 January: In the City, 2013 February: This Is the Modern World, 2013 July: All Mod Cons, 2013 November: Setting Sons, 2014 January: Sound Affects (1980), 2014 December: Live At Bingley Hall, Birmingham, England 1982, 2015 March: "Town Called Malice" / "Precious", 2015 September: "Strange Town" / "The Butterfly Collector" (1979), 2016 April: "Down In The Tube Station At Midnight" (1979), 2017 January: Absolute Beginners EP (1981), 2017 March: David Watts / "A" Bomb In Wardour Street (1978)

Rabih Abou-Khalil – Between Dusk and Dawn (1987)

Wikipedia - "Rabih Abou-Khalil (Arabic: ربيع أبو خليل‎, born August 17, 1957 in Lebanon)[1] is an oud player and composer. He is known for fusing traditional Arab music with jazz, European classical music, and other styles. Rabih Abou-Khalil grew up in Beirut and moved to Munich, Germany during the civil war in 1978. He lives part-time in Munich and part-time in the South of France with his wife. ... He has often blended traditional Arab music with jazz, rock and classical music, and has earned praise such as 'a world musician years before the phrase became a label—makes the hot, staccato Middle Eastern flavour and the seamless grooves of jazz mingle as if they were always meant to.' ..."
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: Between Dusk and Dawn (Full Album)

Instrumental Instruments: Atari ST

"As the 1980s reached their midpoint, the idea of using computers to make music was gathering momentum. Still, it was far from a mainstream pursuit. Those with access to money and high-end studios could use the pioneering but cumbersome Fairlight CMI, while home enthusiasts with a Commodore 64 had a few very simple 'tracker' style sequencers to choose from. When the computer music revolution finally did arrive in earnest, it was thanks not to a dedicated music-making machine but rather a personal computer: the Atari ST. The story of the computer’s development, and its battle for supremacy with Commodore’s Amiga range, has since become the stuff of legend, with both playing their part in bringing home computing to the masses. At the heart of the Atari ST story is Jack Tramiel, a fearlessly hard-nosed businessman whose life was the embodiment of the American dream. ..."
Red Bull Music Academy
Vintage: Atari 520ST
Jack Tramiel’s Commodore 64, Atari ST in Music, Remembered, as Vision Lives On [Obituary, Gallery] (Video)
[PDF] Music Mouse™ - An Intelligent Instrument - Laurie Spiegel

2012 January: Dr. T's Music Software

Friday, December 22

Looking at Sports and Race in America

Jesse Owens crossing finish line in race in large stadium
"Thirty-seven years ago, the baseball player Curt Flood, fresh off his final, dismal year as a professional athlete, published a memoir titled 'The Way It Is.' It cannot be called a great book, but its literary quality was a secondary concern. In the autumn of 1969, Flood had refused to be traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies. He sat out the 1970 season, while he fought a lawsuit that eventually reached the Supreme Court. He lost his case, but it resulted, a few years later, in the creation of free agency.  ... The outlines of Flood’s story—black athlete takes a principled stand and is maligned for his 'ingratitude'—are familiar. The theme connects Flood to Muhammad Ali and, now, to Colin Kaepernick. Most significantly, it gives the lie to a facile mythology about sports transcending the divisions of American society; they have just as often been a barometer of the resistance to social change, even when that change might bring the country more in line with its purported ideals. ..."
New Yorker (Video)


"The TAPE LOOP DRONECHESTRA is an experiment in live multi layered tape looping. Two auxiliary walkmans with separate tape loop parts are being played and fed into the 4 track through the left and right inputs. Their volume is being controlled by their corresponding slider. The 4 track itself is also playing a tape loop and has parts recorded on to each of its 4 tracks. Those individual loops are being played by their corresponding track knob. Everything is then processed through delay and reverb from the Zoom MS-50G and run straight into garageband."

2017 September: Three Decks, Six Minutes, Twelve Layers

100 Images From Cassini’s Mission to Saturn

"NASA’s Cassini spacecraft burned up in Saturn’s atmosphere on Friday, after 20 years in space. Cassini Arrives at Saturn - Cassini arrived at Saturn in 2004, after a seven-year voyage. It was the first spacecraft to orbit the ringed planet. ... A short video about the end of the Cassini mission."
NY Times (Video)

Thursday, December 21

55 Best Lesser Known Art Museums, Artist Studios, and Art Centers in Northeast USA

Monhegan Island by Richard Moore - Monhegan Museum
"Think 'World Class Art Museums in the Northeast USA' and big city 'majors' come to mind: The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to start. Of course, all of these institutions are worthy of note, and are covered extensively by the press. But there are other museums that, though they might take up a fraction of the real estate and square footage (read: less overwhelming), are equally worthy of your time - and just might surprise you. The following small city and smaller town Art Museums, Artists home studios, and Art Centers in the Northeast are often overlooked and shouldn’t be. Add these to the 'Best College Art and History Museums' for a more comprehensive list. Additional information on these and complete itineraries for hundreds of 'Offbeat Northeast' getaways can be found on ..."
Huffington Post

Loscil - Endless Falls (2010)

"You could reasonably argue that all ambient music seeks in some way to lull its listener into a meditative haze, and some artists pursue this feeling more directly than others. Scott Morgan is one of those guys. Unlike Tim Hecker or Pantha du Prince, who draw from more intricate arrangements, Morgan lays his sounds bare and lets them go right to work. Recording as Loscil since the early 2000s, he's built an impressive catalogue of pensive, minimal records that turn computerized sounds into something strangely soothing-- the kind of music you want to listen to flat on your back, eyes fixed at the ceiling. While each of his records is at least good, it started to feel by 2006's Plume like Morgan had reached a creative plateau. His latest effort, Endless Falls, breathes some new life into the Loscil project. ..."
YouTube: Endless Falls [Full Album]

Wednesday, December 20

Terry Riley - Moscow Conservatory Solo Piano Concert (2001)

"The following pieces appear without any editing of the performance. Large sections of these pieces are improvised and I have attempted to preserve the spontaneity of this special evening by presenting my first concert in Moscow exactly as it was played. ARICA is a composition that is based on an earlier work of mine, A RAINBOW IN CURVED AIR and shares some of the 14 beat cycle structure although having very different tonalities and overall approach to improvisation. It alternates the Lydian and Phrygian modes with tonal centers 1/2 step apart. HAVANA MAN dates from the late 1980's although some of the themes I composed as early as 1966 in Sweden. It is intentionally Latin in temperament and contains many themes, which are sometimes reordered in sequence according to spontaneous choices that are made during performance. ..."
Long Arms Records (Audio)
YouTube: Moscow Conservatory Solo Piano Concert April 18th, 2000 38:58

December 2007: Terry Riley, March 2010: In C, December 2010: Terry Riley & Gyan Riley, April 2011: Terry Riley - Shri Camel: Morning Corona, Terry Riley rare footage, live in the 70s, 2014 March: Kronos Quartet Plays Terry Riley: Salome Dances for Peace (1989), 2014 June: Solo piano works, Moscow Conservatory. April 18th, 2000, A Rainbow in Curved Air (1969), 2017 August: “A Particular Glow” – On Loving Terry Riley, 2017 September: Terry Riley On Tape Loops 

Alberto Savinio: Emerging From Big Brother’s Shadow

Alberto Savinio’s “Family of Lions,” from 1927, one of 22 of his paintings on display at the Center for Italian Modern Art.
"The Greek-born Italian artist Alberto Savinio spent most of his life in the shadow of his older brother, Giorgio de Chirico, famed as the pioneer of Surrealist painting. It remains to be seen if he will spend eternity there. The question is not settled by “Alberto Savinio,” a rare exhibition of 22 of his paintings at the Center for Italian Modern Art in SoHo, but it is given a tantalizing spin. Savinio (1891-1952) was born in Athens to a family of Italian-speaking Greeks and went to Italy as a teenager. He changed his name in 1914, during a sojourn in Paris (1911-1915) with his brother, who was already becoming known for the dreamlike metaphysical paintings that proved foundational to Surrealism. These efforts, as de Chirico admitted, had been formulated with the multitalented Savinio, who worked variously during his life as poet, novelist, critic, composer, pianist and set designer as well as a painter. ..."
NY Times
Alberto Savinio’s Pre-Postmodern Grotesque
[PDF] The Other Brother: Alberto Savinio Gets A Rare Exhibition at the Center for Italian Modern Art

Book-length broadside: Bob Grenier’s ‘CAMBRIDGE M’ASS’

"Breadcrumbs would violate library rules, so I tore up notebook paper to leave my trail. I was in the Poetry Collection in the library of the University at Buffalo reading CAMBRIDGE M’ASS, a book-length poetry broadside, 49 by 40 ¾ inches, with about 275 poems by Robert Grenier scattered across it. A diligent scholar, wanting to read it through without getting lost, I needed a way to mark off each poem as read or not and to count them. Reading it this way was like going for a walk in the woods and trying to count each tree individually, marking each one off so as not to miss or repeat one."

2011 February: Robert Grenier

Tuesday, December 19

Do the Bacteria That Raise Sourdough Come From Bakers' Hands?

"Think about the taste of sourdough. That distinctive tang is the work of microbes used in baking the bread—a 'starter culture' of wild yeast strains and bacteria that fill the loafs with sour acids. Unlike industrially-made white loaves, which are baked using yeasts that date back just 150 years, the microbes in sourdough cultures have been used since ancient times. That’s why the food journalist Michael Pollan once described sourdough as 'the proper way to make bread.' The acids produced by those microbes have another purported benefit. According to The Guardian, they 'slow down the rate at which glucose is released into the blood-stream.' In other words, it has a low glycemic index, making it, as the Globe and Mail advises, 'a good choice for anyone managing their blood glucose levels,' such as diabetics. ..."
The Atlantic
W - Sourdough
What Makes San Francisco Sourdough Unique? (Video)

FIFA’s Dirty Wars

"Toward the end of the 2010 World Cup, Julio Grondona made a prediction, or perhaps it was a promise, to a group of journalists in the gilded lobby of Johannesburg’s Michelangelo hotel, the five-star Italian-marble palace where FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, had established its tournament headquarters. Argentina had just been humiliated, 4-0, by the Germans, but Grondona wasn’t worried about the backlash. In 31 years as president of the Argentina’s national soccer association, he’d endured personal scandal, government turmoil, economic collapse, and the ardent passions of the beautiful game’s fans. 'Todo Pasa,' read the inscription on his big gold ring. All things pass—all things except, of course, Julio Grondona. 'No one is kicking me out until I die,' he told the reporters. ..."
New Republic

Where It Happened: Documenting the American Places We’d Like to Forget

Site of the Sand Creek Massacre, Eads, Colorado, where unarmed Arapahoe and Cheyenne Indians were slaughtered by a volunteer militia.
"We drive and walk every day over the places where somebody once wept or bled; the earth is a repository of invisible pain. Only in extremely rare instances are these places deemed historically important enough to be commemorated, and only in harmony with contemporary politics that can identify clear moral contours. Think of the secular holy ground of the World Trade Center site, the swan-white memorial over the wreck of the USS Arizona, the marble obelisks looming over any number of Revolutionary War battlefields. But what of those places that are too ethically ambiguous or nationally embarrassing to remember? Does the land conspire to swallow them up, returning them to a place of forgetting? Why would we want to recall the place in a remote canyon where a vigilante gang led by some of the most prominent citizens of Tucson descended on a camp of Apache Indians and slaughtered most of them, selling the rest into slavery? Are these places holy or unholy? ..."
LA Times

Monday, December 18

The Miners' Hymns - Bill Morrison (2011)

"A community processes through a main street, painted banners swaying above the crowd. In their midst a brass band plays on, leading, guiding, giving hope. The images are black and white, peopled by successive generations. This month marks the 30th anniversary of the start of the 1984-85 miners' strike. Unless you already know about The Miners' Hymns, you may not have heard of the composer Jóhann Jóhannsson, or be sure which Bill Morrison created the sequence of archive footage described above. The strange counterpoint between an Icelandic minimalist, an American film-maker and a bitter episode in recent British history has resulted in a work as unclassifiable as it is unforgettable. The Miners' Hymns, produced by Forma Arts, mourns and celebrates a lost industrial past. The pitheads of the north and north-east, most of them, have been grassed over. The contours of a way of life remain indelible. ..."
The Miners' Hymns review – a rich seam of music and mine (Video)
Icarus Films
Feature length films : The Miners' Hymns - Bill Morrison

2012 June: Bill Morrison, 2015 October: Decasia (2002)

The Verso Book of Dissent

"Throughout the ages and across every continent, people have struggled against those in power and raised their voices in protest-rallying others around them or, sometimes, inspiring uprisings many years later. Their echoes reverberate from Ancient Greece, China and Egypt, via the dissident poets and philosophers of Islam and Judaism, through to the Arab slave revolts and anti-Ottoman rebellions of the Middle Ages. These sources were tapped during the Dutch and English revolutions at the outset of the Modern world, and in turn flowed into the French, Haitian, American, Russian and Chinese revolutions. More recently, resistance to war and economic oppression has flared up on battlefields and in public spaces from Beijing and Cairo to Moscow and New York City. This anthology, global in scope, presents voices of dissent from every era of human history: speeches and pamphlets, poems and songs, plays and manifestos. Every age has its iconoclasts, and yet the greatest among them build on the words and actions of their forerunners. The Verso Book of Dissent should be in the arsenal of every rebel who understands that words and ideas are the ultimate weapons."

Other Voices, Other Blues - Sun Ra Quartet (1978)

"Other Voices, Other Blues is one of several albums done with this basic lineup in January of 1978. This album is billed to the Sun Ra Quartet, but it sounds like there's a bass player present on at least some of the cuts (it could be Ra, but he'd need three hands). As the title implies, this album shows listeners the many sides of the blues and demonstrates what some highly individual players can do with the blues. ... This is really a great setting to hear what these guys can do as soloists, with the easy-to-follow changes of the blues and stripped-down ensemble. Luqman Ali's drumming is the anchor, and everyone gets plenty of solo space. Fans of John Gilmore should surely seek this out, but Michael Ray and Sun Ra are also simply fantastic. As with other Horo releases, this will be hard to find, but well worth it."
W - Other Voices, Other Blues
YouTube: Other Voices, Other Blues (1978) [Full Album]

Sunday, December 17

Tracking The Odds: The Roulette Concert Archive

Pictured: A screening, reading, and performance for Henry Hills' film "Money" at Roulette (1985) with dancer Pooh Kaye surrounded by (L-R) John Zorn, Tom Cora, Ciro Baptiste, (obstructed, possibly Sally Silvers), Abigail Child, Diane Ward, Susie Timmons, Alan Davies, Bruce Andrews, Ikue Mori, Jim Staley, Butch Morris.
"Tracking The Odds: The Roulette Concert Archive is a monthly hour-long radio special produced by Roulette Intermedium ( and broadcast in partnership with Wave Farm’s WGXC 90.7-FM. The broadcasts feature selected highlights from Roulette’s New York experimental music space dating from the early 1980s to the present. Thousands of rare, formative, and often unheard recordings by innovators and adventurous musicians populate the archive. Tracking The Odds airs the third Thursday of each month at 1am and is archived at Founded in 1978, Roulette operates a 400-seat concert hall on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn with a focus on experimental and unorthodox music and performance across all genres and media. It's archive of thousands of audio and video recordings is currently being restored."
Wave Farm - WGXC (Video)

How the Left Can Win in the South

Participants at a pro-union rally near Nissan Motor Company’s Canton, Mississippi, plant listen to Bernie Sanders speak on Saturday, March 4, 2017.
"Bernie Sanders didn’t just lose the South in the 2016 Democratic primary—he got destroyed in it. The Vermont senator lost all 11 states that made up the Confederacy to his opponent, Hillary Clinton—and most of them by huge margins. Clinton won by nearly 50 points in South Carolina, almost 60 in Alabama, and a whopping 66 points in Mississippi. In all, Clinton won around 5.1 million votes to Sanders’s estimated 2.5 million. Without such a poor showing in the region, his party’s nomination might have been within Sanders’s reach. But despite the thorough ass-kicking he received here last year, there’s hope that progressive and leftist candidates can compete against the wave of red that’s washed over the South since the passage of the Civil Rights Act. ..."
The Nation

2016 January: Sanders Is Not Trump, 2016 February: Bernie and the Millennials, 2016 April: Bernie Sanders and the History of American Socialism, 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 December: Vermont Progressive Party

What's In My Bag? - Tommy Stinson

"American alt-rock/punk artist Tommy Stinson began his career playing bass for The Replacements while still a teenager. Trafficking in hardcore during the early '80s, the band released their debut LP,  Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash in 1981, followed by the Stink EP in 1982. By their second LP, 1983's Hootenanny, The Replacements were experimenting with other rock subgenres and moving towards their definitively raw alt-rock sound. That same year, Stinson dropped out of tenth grade for the band's first US tour. He stayed with the band until their dissolution in 1991, appearing on classic albums Let It Be, Tim, Pleased to Meet Me, and Don't Tell a Soul. ..."
Amoeba Music (Video)

Saturday, December 16

Frédéric Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism

Portraits of the *** Family, called The Family Gathering, summer 1867–early winter 1868
"A scion of a Protestant upper-middle-class family from Montpellier in southern France, Frédéric Bazille (1841–1870) seemed destined for a career in medicine. In 1862 he traveled to Paris, ostensibly to pursue his medical studies, though he also enrolled as a student in the studio of the painter Charles Gleyre. It was there that he met fellow artists Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, and Alfred Sisley, even sharing studio space with both Monet and Renoir at times. He soon became part of a dynamic circle of avant-garde artists and writers that included Édouard Manet, Henri Fantin-Latour, Émile Zola, and Zacharie Astruc. Like his friends, Bazille created paintings inspired by contemporary life that challenged the aesthetic conventions of the day and helped to lay the groundwork of impressionism. Unfortunately, Bazille was killed in battle during the Franco-Prussian War, just prior to his 29th birthday, bringing his promising career to an abrupt and tragic end. ..."
NGA (Audio)
New Yorker: Frédéric Bazille’s Short Career, Reconsidered
Chong reviews Frederic Bazille and the Birth of Impressionism

Carlos Vera: Barcelona's Boogaloo: Mixes and Mashups

"Carlos Vera, a.k.a DJ Turmix, has always been interested in mashups. From his early days spinning breakbeats, house and acid jazz in Spanish clubs, to sharing the stage with Latin soul and boogaloo legends in New York, sonic combination has been his jam. Born outside of Barcelona in the mid ‘70s, Vera had four siblings with distinct musical taste and he sampled liberally from each. Funk soundtracks, breakbeats, pop music and flamenco were all popular with various members of his family. At 13 he started working at a local radio station, learned how to spin records and began collecting. Over the years, he would accumulate massive amounts of club tunes to spin at raves and bars, each genre leading down another rabbit hole of musical intrigue. More than a decade into Vera’s career as a professional DJ, he developed an affinity for the sounds of late ’60s New York City and became a leading expert in boogaloo—the hybridization of cultures and sounds that rocketed out of El Barrio. ..."
Dust and Grooves (Audio)

Detroit After Dark: Photographs from the DIA Collection

"Detroit After Dark is a dramatic display of light and dark, a photography exhibition of works from the DIA's permanent collection. Detroit After Dark is free with general museum admission. General museum admission is free for residents of Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties. Detroit After Dark includes architectural studies, street scenes and graffiti, as well as some of Detroit’s famous night haunts, like jazz club Baker’s Keyboard Lounge, the legendary Grande Ballroom, and punk and garage rock venues such as Bookie’s Club and the Gold Dollar. This exhibition is a survey of Detroit photographers documenting the night, both past and present, and also features photography from visiting artists to the city, such as Robert Frank's rarely seen City Hall, Detroit from 1955. To contrast the quiet streets and dramatic buildings, Detroit After Dark also includes photos of notable musicians, night clubs and art galleries where groups often got their start, and where these musicians could perform for smaller, intimate audiences. ..."
Photo exhibit tells Detroit’s story through music, architecture
15 stunning photographs of ‘Detroit After Dark’ @ the DIA

Friday, December 15

The Nova Trilogy (The Cut-up Trilogy) - William S. Burroughs (1961-68)

"The Nova Trilogy or The Cut-up Trilogy is a name commonly given by critics to a series of three experimental novels by William S. Burroughs: The Soft Machine (1961, revised 1966 and 1968), The Ticket That Exploded (1962, revised 1967) and Nova Express (1964). Like Naked Lunch, The Soft Machine derived in part from The Word Hoard, a number of manuscripts Burroughs wrote mainly in Tangier, between 1954 and 1958. All three novels use the cut-up technique that Burroughs invented in cooperation with painter and poet Brion Gysin and computer programmer Ian Sommerville. Commenting on the trilogy in an interview, Burroughs said that he was 'attempting to create a new mythology for the space age'. In 2014, restored editions of the three novels were published, edited by Burroughs scholar Oliver Harris. ... The Trilogy is viewed by critics as being one of Burroughs’s most radical experimentations with narrative form. All three novels are crafted using the cut-up method, in which existing texts are cut into various pieces and put back together in random order. ..."
W - The Soft Machine, W - The Ticket That Exploded, W - Nova Express
W - Cut-up technique
William S. Burroughs Tells the Story of How He Started Writing with the Cut-Up Technique (Video)
amazon: The Soft Machine, The Ticket That Exploded, Nova Express

Burroughs in Tangier, photographer unknown.

2009 May: Cut-up technique - 1, 2010 March: Cut-up technique, 2010 December: The Evolution of the Cut-Up Technique in My Own Mag, 2014 February: William Burroughs at 100, 2014 September: The Ticket That Exploded, 2014 November: What Is Schizo-Culture? A Classic Conversation with William S. Burroughs, 2015 June: The Electronic Revolution (1971), 2015 August: Cut-Ups: William S. Burroughs 1914 – 2014, 2015 December: Destroy All Rational Thought, 2016 January: Commissioner of Sewers: A 1991 Profile of Beat Writer William S. Burroughs, 2016 June: Nothing Here Now But The Recordings (1981), 2016 September: # 1 – A Descriptive Catalogue of the William S. Burroughs Archive, 2016 December: #6 – Call Me Burroughs LP, 2017 January: A Visit to William S. Burroughs at the Beat Hotel in Summer, 1958