Wednesday, February 28

Winter’s Edge at Green-Wood

"Green-Wood is New York City’s most iconic cemetery: founded in 1838, it was among the first of the cemeteries in Brooklyn to eschew the gloom and doom of the churchyard for bucolic natural landscapes, manicured lawns, and winding walkways. It soon earned an international reputation for the beauty and size of its grounds, becoming a highly sought-after burial place among New York City’s elite. Its soil houses the worldly remains of some of the most notable names in the city’s cultural and political history, including Boss Tweed, Leonard Bernstein, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Horace Greeley. Green-Wood still performs over 1,000 burials each year, but new plots are increasingly scarce, with the vast majority of monuments dating back to the nineteenth century. The cemetery’s focus is now preserving and restoring the existing collection of monuments and statuary. ..."
W - Green-Wood Cemetery
Map of Green-Wood Cemetery

Miss Sloane - John Madden (2016)

"Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), the antiheroine of John Madden’s chilly new drama Miss Sloane, is a character so archetypal, so prescriptive, that you imagine she wasn’t born in normal human fashion but rather created in a lab from leftover vials of testosterone and male tears. A pill-popping, spike-heel-wearing lobbyist, her singular quality is ambition, and her only two human traits are reading John Grisham novels and sleeping with male escorts. 'I pay you,' she tells one of the latter midway through the movie, 'so I can imagine the life I chose to forgo in service of my career.' That Chastain imbues Liz with some humanity is credit to the actress, but it’s also worth noting that the lobbyist shines in comparison to her surroundings. Washington, in Miss Sloane, is rotten to its core, a town riddled with graspers and crooked politicians, and poisoned by its own greed. ..."
The Atlantic
W - Miss Sloane
YouTube: Miss Sloane Official Trailer

The Man Who Brought You Christian Pulisic Has a Plan to Supercharge American Soccer

"Today, the phrase 'Christian Pulisic to Barcelona' would make for the ideal English tabloid headline. It’s plausible enough to allow you to briefly recast Barça’s Holy Trinity of Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez, and Neymar with the young American attacker (say it with me: 'M-S-P'), while remaining outlandish enough to ensure that you’d never utter the thought aloud to anyone except your browser’s history. But a few years ago, Pulisic did go to Barcelona. Only 14 years old at the time, and still several years away from exploding onto the American and European soccer scenes, he was invited to train at the fabled Catalonian club. A move to Barcelona — with the Camp Nou, tiki-taka, tapas, and Messi — would be a dream for any teeanger who’s laced up a pair of cleats and picked up a FIFA controller, but Rob Moore wasn’t sure that this was where Pulisic needed to be. ..."
The Ringer

Tuesday, February 27

Jo Hopper, Woman in the Sun

Edward Hopper, Eleven A.M., 1926.
"In a 1906 portrait of Josephine Nivison, painted while she was a twenty-two-year-old student at the New York School of Art, her artist’s smock slips from her shoulder like the falling strap of Madame X’s gown. This is teacher Robert Henri’s portrait of the artist as a young woman; one suggestive detail, sure, along with aspects of Jo’s character he can’t help but capture: her steady gaze of steely resolve, the way she holds her brushes like a divining rod. This is when Jo Nivison meets Edward Hopper, though they do not make much of their first meeting, or even their second. When they graduate, Jo keeps herself in cigarettes by selling drawings to places like the New York Tribune, the Evening Post, the Chicago Herald Examiner. In the 1920 New York City Directory, Jo lists herself as an artist, and she is no slouch. She shows her paintings alongside work by Picasso and Man Ray. In that same directory, Edward Hopper calls himself an illustrator. ..."
The Paris Review

Josephine Nivison Hopper, as painted by Edward Hopper (left) and with Edward Hopper (right)

2008 July: Edward Hopper, 2010 October: Finding Nighthawks, 2010 December: Modern Life: Edward Hopper and His Time, 2012 Wednesday: Through Edward Hopper's eyes: in search of an artist's seaside inspiration, 2013 July: Hopper Drawing, 2014 May: INTERVIEW: “An Interview with Edward Hopper, June 17, 1959″., 2014 September: How Edward Hopper “Storyboarded” His Iconic Painting Nighthawks, 2015 February: Edward Hopper's New York: A Walking Tour, 2015 September: Edward Hopper life and works, 2016 May: "Night Windows," 1928, 2016 July: Sunday (1926), 2016 September: Drug Store (1927), 2018 January: Seven A.M. (1948)

Bop City

Bop City, NYC, New York, 1953
Wikipedia - "Bop City (also known as Jimbo's Bop City) was a jazz club operated by John 'Jimbo' Edwards in San Francisco from 1949 to 1965. It was situated in the back room of a Victorian house at 1690 Post Street, in the Western Addition district. During its heyday, the venue was known for late-night live performances of many popular jazz artists, including Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Chet Baker, and Charlie Parker, and was one of the most famous jazz clubs of its time, being instrumental in popularizing the modern jazz style in San Francisco. The club closed in 1965 when jazz began to decline in popularity. The house was moved two blocks west to 1712 Fillmore Street during the urban renewal in the Western Addition in the 1970s, where it currently stands, and has been designated a San Francisco Designated Landmark. ..."
PBS: Music of the Fillmore
Jimbo's Bop City
PBS: Music of the Fillmore - Scene

Monday, February 26

Robert Pete Williams

Wikipedia - "Robert Pete Williams (March 14, 1914 – December 31, 1980) was an American Louisiana blues musician. His music characteristically employed unconventional structures and guitar tunings, and his songs are often about the time he served in prison.  ... Williams was born in Zachary, Louisiana, to a family of sharecroppers. He had no formal schooling, and spent his childhood picking cotton and cutting sugar cane. In 1928, he moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana and worked in a lumberyard. At the age of 20, Williams fashioned a crude guitar by attaching five copper strings to a cigar box, and soon after bought a cheap, mass-produced one. Williams was taught by Frank and Robert Metty, and was at first chiefly influenced by Peetie Wheatstraw and Blind Lemon Jefferson. He began to play for small events such as Church gatherings, fish fries, suppers, and dances. From the 1930s to the 1950s, Williams played music and continued to work in the lumberyards of Baton Rouge. ..."
WIRZ: Robert Pete Williams
YouTube: Scrap Iron Blues (Live), Old Girl At My Door (Live), Grown So Ugly, Thousand miles from nowhere, Dyin' Soul, High As I Want To Be, Mama Had A Shotgun, Almost Dead Blues, No One To Care For Me, I'm Blue As a Man Can Be, Freight Train Blues, Motherless Children Have A Hard Time
YouTube: live 1970 1:15:35

Oxford English Dictionary

Wikipedia - "The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) is the main historical dictionary of the English language, published by the Oxford University Press. It traces the historical development of the English language, providing a comprehensive resource to scholars and academic researchers, as well as describing usage in its many variations throughout the world. The second edition came to 21,728 pages in 20 volumes, published in 1989. Work began on the dictionary in 1857, but it was not until 1884 that it began to be published in unbound fascicles as work continued on the project, under the name of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles; Founded Mainly on the Materials Collected by The Philological Society. ... In 1933, the title The Oxford English Dictionary fully replaced the former name in all occurrences in its reprinting as twelve volumes with a one-volume supplement. More supplements came over the years until 1989, when the second edition was published. Since 2000, a third edition of the dictionary has been underway, approximately half of which is now complete. ..."
Guardian - Inside the OED: can the world’s biggest dictionary survive the internet?

Sunday, February 25

Go Down, Moses - William Faulkner (1942)

Wikipedia - "Go Down, Moses is a collection of seven related pieces of short fiction by American author William Faulkner, sometimes considered a novel. The most prominent character and unifying voice is that of Isaac McCaslin, 'Uncle Ike', who will live to be an old man; 'uncle to half a county and father to no one.' Though originally published as a short story collection, Faulkner considered the book to be a novel in the same way The Unvanquished is considered a novel. Because of this, most editions no longer print 'and other stories' in the title. ... On its own terms, 'Was' is a brilliant set-piece, a probing look at the past and a handy opportunity for Faulkner to establish some of the important McCaslins—Buck and Buddy, the old bachelor twins, and the young McCaslin Edmonds. ..."
Archive - Go Down, Moses

2011 September: Southern Gothic, 2014 February: William Faulkner, 2015 October: William Faulkner Draws Maps of Yoknapatawpha County, the Fictional Home of His Great Novels, 2015 November: Interviews William Faulkner, The Art of Fiction No. 12, 2016 April: Absalom, Absalom!! (1936), 2016 May: The Sound and the Fury (1929), 2016 October: The Snopes Trilogy (1940, 1957, 1959), 2016 December: Light in August (1932), 2017 February: As I Lay Dying (1930), 2017 June: The Wild Palms (1939), 2017 August: Sanctuary (1931). 2017 September: The Unvanquished (1938), 2017 October: 20 Pieces of Writing Advice from William Faulkner, 2017 November: Yoknapatawpha County

James Blood Ulmer & Pharoah Sanders - Live 2003

"Born in St. Matthews, South Carolina, Ulmer began his career playing with various soul jazz ensembles. He first recorded with organist Hank Marr in 1964. After moving to New York in 1971, Ulmer played with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Joe Henderson, Paul Bley,Rashied Ali and Larry Young. In the early 1970s, Ulmer joined Ornette Coleman; he was the first electric guitarist to record and tour extensively with Coleman. He has credited Coleman as a major influence, and Coleman's strong reliance on electric guitar in his fusion-oriented recordings owes a distinct debt to Ulmer. His appearance on Arthur Blythe's two consecutive Columbia albums. It was described at the time as 'avant-gutbucket', leading writer Bill Milkowski to describe the music as 'conjuring images of Skip James and Albert Ayler jamming on the Mississippi Delta.' ..."
Chriss & Co.
Ponderosa Stomp
YouTube: The Music Revelation Ensemble. James Blood Ulmer - guitar, vocals. Calvin Jones - bass. Cornel Rochester- drums. Pharoah Sanders - tenor saxophone. 1/7, 2/7, 3/7, 4/7, 5/7, 6/7, 7/7

2015 November: Prime Time (1981), 2016 September: Black Rock (1982), 2017 May: Are You Glad to Be in America? (1980), 2017 June: James Blood Ulmer solo live @ Skopje Jazz Festival 2015
2015 December: Maleem Mahmoud Ghania With Pharaoh Sanders - The Trance Of Seven Colors (1994), 2016 January: Ptah, The El Daoud - Alice Coltrane & Pharoah Sanders (1970), 2016 November: Tauhid (1967), 2017 May: The Pharoah Sanders Story: In the Beginning 1963-1964, 2017 November: Let Us Now Praise Pharoah Sanders, Master of Sax, 2018 February: Anthology: You've Got to Have Freedom - Pharoah Sanders (2005) 

The Actions Within - r beny

"I grew interested in live performance videos of ambient music based on an idea, and perhaps inevitably what came to be of interest to me was in marked contrast with where I started out. What interested me at the start was the tension between inaction and inaction, between the perceived stasis of much if not most ambient music, and the simple fact that, in live performance, action is taking place. ... So, I started a YouTube playlist, now 79 videos long and growing, by collecting videos of live ambient performance. A regular presence in this playlist is r beny, whose music is richly ambient, and whose videos do nothing to disguise his techniques. Quite the contrary, they are studies in the connection between the action and inaction I was initially interested in. But as time has passed, one of the things I’ve noticed about r beny’s videos in particular, and many other live ambient performances in general, is how much the music comes alive when you pay attention to what’s happening on screen. ..."
disquiet (Video)
Soundcloud: r beny, Austin Cairns, Bay Area, United States
saudade - r beny (Audio)

Saturday, February 24

The Trencherman: A Tale of Two Coffee Shops

Clockwise from left: Cafe Wha? circa 1970; A menu for Caffe Reggio from 1959; the same coffeehouse from the street; Joe Coffee at 141 Waverly Place.
"I’ve long held that there’s an inverse relationship between the quality of coffee and the vibrancy of where it’s served. Caffe Reggio is proof point one. There has never been a better time for high-quality coffee in the South Village. In the pocket bound by Sixth Avenue and Broadway and Macdougal and Houston, the blocks are littered with third-wave espresso bars like Joe Coffee and Think Coffee and Third Rail and Stumptown. From behind the battlements of La Marzocco machines, baristas pullsingle-origin shots, filling the pre-warmed porcelain demitasses with intricate latte art patterns made with your choice of oat, soy, whole, or skim milk. In a carefully imitated simulacra of Scandinavia or Seattle, one sips the finest shade-grown fair-trade Ethiopian beans $5 can buy. And yet, there is no worse time for coffeehouses in the Village. ..."
W - Caffe Reggio

Patrons at the Gaslight, 116 McDougal St. Greenwich Village.

2010 September: Espresso, April: The History of Coffee and How It Transformed Our World, 2013 May: Coffeehouse, 2015 June: Barista, 2015 August: Coffee Connections at Peddler in SoHo, 2015 November: The Case for Bad Coffee, 2016 January: 101 Places to Find Great Coffee in New York (2014), 2017 June: How Cold Brew Changed the Coffee Business, 2017 September: Our 7 Favorite Literary Coffee Shops, 2017 October: Clever Literary Coffee Poster, 2017 October: Coffee as Existential Statement: A Crisis in Every Cup on Valencia Street

Derrick Carter on the Rise and Fall of Early Chicago House

"While Chicago’s original house movement was gathering momentum, Derrick Carter was just a young DJ from the western suburbs learning his trade. Soon enough, though, in 1987, with the first wave of house artists gaining popularity in Europe, Carter secured a job at leading local record store Importes, Etc. (He later worked behind the counter at another Windy City institution, Gramaphone.) During his time as a record buyer and shop clerk, Carter witnessed the fall of Chicago’s first house wave and the growing influence of the UK dance scene. Away from work, he released his first record, under the name Conception, in 1988, following it up with releases under a variety of pseudonyms – both solo and with long-time studio partner Chris Nazuka – for such labels as KMS, Rhythm Vision, Housetime and Network. As Chicago’s house scene faded, Carter became one of the city’s most popular local DJs, securing residencies at Shelter, Foxy’s and smartbar. ..."
Red Bull Music Academy Daily (Video)
W - Derrick Carter
How Chicago house got its groove back (Video)
Interview: Chicago house legend Derrick Carter

Friday, February 23

Top Trump Campaign Aide to Plead Guilty

"A former top adviser to Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign indicted by the special counsel was expected to plead guilty on Friday, a move that signals he is cooperating with the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The adviser, Rick Gates, is a longtime political consultant who once served as Mr. Trump’s deputy campaign chairman. The plea deal could be a significant development in the investigation — a sign that Mr. Gates plans to offer incriminating information against his longtime associate and the former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, or other members of the Trump campaign in exchange for a lighter punishment. The deal comes as the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has been raising pressure on Mr. Gates and Mr. Manafort with dozens of new charges of money laundering and bank fraud that were unsealed on Thursday in Alexandria, Va. Mr. Mueller first indicted both men in October, and both pleaded not guilty. ..."
NY Times
CNN - Exclusive: A top Trump campaign adviser close to plea deal with Mueller (Video)

20 Iconic New Yorker Covers

"The cultural capital of the New Yorker cover has waxed and waned over the years, but there’s no denying that many iconic images of New York (and for New Yorkers) have originated there—as well as quite a bit of beauty, as well as some ugliness. Predictably, some of the most iconic New Yorker covers are the ones that address tragedy, or illustrated some kind of upheaval—political, environmental, social—that affected New Yorkers and other Earthlings on a large scale. Others are simply unforgettable as images. Here are 20 of the most memorable. (NB: I’m consciously not including any Trump covers. It’s too soon—and we see his face enough on the internet.) ..."

Sound System - The Clash (2013)

"Most box sets are designed to enshrine an artist in the amber of posterity. The idea is that the artist has transcended their time, that they can now be appreciated outside of the context of their era. The digital age, where recordings from the past sit comfortably with tunes from the present, accelerates this trend, suggesting that all the classic artists exist upon their own continuum, that their development was almost a product of self-divination. What is interesting about Sound System is that it throws this notion out the window and celebrates the era that produced the Clash as much as it celebrates the band itself. As designed by Clash bassist Paul Simonon, Sound System looks like an old-school ghetto blaster, and it's filled with replicas of fanzines, stickers, badges, press photos, posters, dog tags -- all manner of period-specific tchotchkes that walk the line between nostalgia and commercial art. ..."
W - Sound System (album)
The Quietus: Turning Rebellion Into Money? The Clash Sound System Box Set Reviewed (Video)
YouTube: Opening the Clash box

Thursday, February 22

Google Digitizes and Puts Online a Vast Archive of Latino Artworks and Artifacts

"You can't understand human culture in the 21st century without understanding American culture, and as anyone who's spent time in most any major U.S. city knows, you certainly can't understand American culture without understanding Latino culture. I write this while traveling in Los Angeles, a city that makes that point with particularly impressive force, but just a few moments with an overview of Latino art will underscore the vitality it has provided America, and thus the world. You could do little better for such an overview than the Google Cultural Institute's brand new Latino Cultures in the U.S. project, a sizable free digital archive of Latino art and artifacts of Latino history. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

Domino Players, Washington Heights, New York (1970) by Winston Vargas

Before And After Bandits: Marc Hollander Of Aksak Maboul & Crammed Discs

"Formed in 1977 by Marc Hollander and Vincent Kenis, the Belgian avant-rock band, Aksak Maboul, excelled at the playful construction of ersatz yet exciting musical forms and counterfeit cross-cultural soundtracks that seem ever more radical and innovative with the passing of time. Their first recording, Onze Danses Pour Combattre la Migraine (‘Eleven Dances for Fighting Migraines’), fused early electronica, classical chamber orchestral, improvised jazz, Balkan folk, traditional Turkish music and Satie-esque miniatures with a light and humorous touch that transcended its hybrid nature to anticipate future musical forms, such as its proto-techno opener ‘Saure Gurke.’ Often cited as a high-water mark recording of Rock In Opposition, the band’s second album, Un Peu de L’âme Des Bandits, also foresaw the fluidity of both genre and nationality later exemplified by Hollander’s Crammed Discs, as the label’s inaugural release. ..."
The Quietus (Audio)
W - Marc Hollander
Soundcloud: Inside & Around Crammed Discs with Marc Hollander - 01/12/2017 (Audio)

2014 November: Aksak Maboul

Wednesday, February 21

Pied Piper of Lovers (1935), Panic Spring (1937) - Lawrence Durrell

"Durrell’s first novel, Pied Piper of Lovers, was published in 1935, shortly after he left England to live abroad until his death in 1990. ... Pied Piper of Lovers draws keenly from Durrell’s own life and charts the emotional experiences that would drive the rest of his career. For these reasons, Durrell never allowed republication, and the novel was largely lost in the London Blitz. Pied Piper of Lovers prompts significant reconsideration of the impetus and political tensions behind Durrell’s late modernist masterpieces, The Alexandria Quartet, The Avignon Quintet, and Bitter Lemons. This new edition allows readers to reevaluate Durrell’s complex role as a colonial writer in a postcolonial world by emphasizing his irony, privileges, and bitterness for a life always lived in-between. ... First published in 1937, two years after Durrell took up residence on the Greek island Kerkyra, Panic Spring broke with the realist tradition in 1930s novels and shows the young author’s first attempts to extend High Modernist innovations in rural and personal landscapes. Cubist, surrealist, and imagist techniques merge with rural life and the peasant village that an international group of expatriates are led to by a curiously Pan-like boatman. Unavailable for seven decades, this new edition of Panic Spring shows Durrell’s emerging passion for Mediterranean life and the Greek world as well as his first attempts to articulate a political-aesthetic direction distinct from his peers, George Orwell and W.H. Auden. Under the shadow of financial and political ruin, on the verge of revolution and war, the one chance summer depicted in Panic Spring will make readers reconsider the impetus and interests behind Durrell’s late modernist masterpieces, The Alexandria Quartet, The Black Book, and Prospero’s Cell."
ELS Editions
Worth a Seventy-Three Year Wait?
W - Pied Piper of Lovers
W - Panic Spring
amazon: Pied Piper of Lovers, Panic Spring

2011 December: The Alexandria Quartet - Lawrence Durrell, 2013 September: Villa that inspired Lawrence Durrell faces demolition, as Egypt allows heritage to crumble, 2014 August: Prospero’s Cell (1945), 2015 April: Bitter Lemons (1953–1956), 2015 May: Caesar's Vast Ghost: Aspects of Provence, 2016 July: Reflections on a Marine Venus (1953), 2016 September: The Greek Islands, 2016 October: Justine (1957), 2017 February: Balthazar (1958), 2017 April: Mountolive (1958), 2017 May: Clea (1960), 2017 October: The Alexandria Quartet: 'Love is every sort of conspiracy'

The Village Voice Film Poll

"It’s hard to feel too down on a film year in which titles like Phantom Thread, Lady Bird, Get Out, and Call Me by Your Name are vying for major awards and accolades. Those are the movies that not unpredictably placed the highest in our 2017 survey; they’re also among this year’s Best Picture nominees for next month’s Oscars. Still, our poll did offer up one genuine surprise, as Paul Thomas Anderson’s delicate, poisonous mushroom of a romance bested its rivals and landed on top. So, there you have it: Phantom Thread, winner of the 2017 Village Voice Film Poll. To be fair, the Voice poll does like PTA: The Master and There Will Be Blood came out on top in 2012 and 2007, respectively, and even his divisive Thomas Pynchon adaptation Inherent Vice had a respectable showing in 2014. ..."

Tuesday, February 20

Finding a Lost Strain of Rice, and Clues to Slave Cooking

Francis Morean, a Trinidadian ethnobotanist, showing hill rice he gathered from growers who call themselves the Merikins. They trace their lineage to slaves who worked the rice fields in the American South until they were given their freedom by British soldiers and relocated to Trinidad.
"Among the biologists, geneticists and historians who use food as a lens to study the African diaspora, rice is a particularly deep rabbit hole. So much remains unknown about how millions of enslaved Africans used it in their kitchens and how it got to those kitchens to begin with. That’s what made the hill rice in Trinidad such a find. The fat, nutty grain, with its West African lineage and tender red hull, was a favored staple for Southern home cooks during much of the 19th century. Unlike Carolina Gold, the versatile rice that until the Civil War was America’s primary rice crop, the hill rice hadn’t made Lowcountry plantation owners rich off the backs of slaves. It didn’t need to be planted in watery fields surrounded by dikes, which meant that those who grew it weren’t dogged by malaria. You could grow it in a garden patch, as did many of the slaves who had been taken from the rice-growing regions of West Africa. This was the rice of their ancestors, sustaining slaves and, later, generations of Southern cooks both black and white. ..."
NY Times

I'm New Here - Gil Scott-Heron (2010)

Wikipedia - "I'm New Here is the 13th and final studio album by American recording artist Gil Scott-Heron, released on February 8, 2010, by XL Recordings. It is his first release of original material in 16 years, following a period of personal and legal troubles with drug addiction. The record was produced by XL owner Richard Russell, who said his production was influenced by the 2009 self-titled debut album of English band the xx. I'm New Here is a post-industrial blues album, with spoken word folk songs and trip hop interludes. ... I'm New Here is a departure from the rhythmic, jazz-funk and soul style of Scott-Heron's previous work, and embraces an acoustic and electronic minimal sound. Musically, I'm New Here incorporates blues, folk, trip hop, and electronica styles. Music writer Patrick Taylor notes of the album's style, 'It's the ragged, warts-and-all approach of the blues versus the more refined jazz soul style he favored in the seventies'. It also contains some musical elements of dubstep, electro, and ambient music. ..."
Genius (Audio)
YouTube: 'I'm New Here' (Live)
YouTube: Gill Scott-Heron - I'M NEW HERE 15 videos

2017 January: Pieces of a Man (1971), 2017 April: Winter in America - Gil Scott-Heron / Brian Jackson (1974)


"Does the world need another journal? Well, maybe one more. Do you need another journal subscription? Yes, definitely one more. Jacobin is launching Catalyst: A Journal of Theory and Strategy at a time of enormous tumult. The political order is being questioned on a scale we haven’t seen in decades. Neoliberalism, which only a few years ago seemed unassailable, has lost all legitimacy. Even while the revolt against it is still mostly electoral, there are signs of a reemergence of social movements, stretching across the globe. But at the same time the traditional parties of the Left, which were once the voice of mass protest, have largely been absorbed into the neoliberal order. Labor, once the torchbearer of progressive politics, is still largely dormant, in part due to its lack of organization, and in part owing to its own conservatism. ..."
Jacobin - Announcing Catalyst
Catalyst - Issues

Monday, February 19

MILLENNIUM: Lower Manhattan in the 1990s

"The last decade of the 20th century in New York City was not a simple time. The end of a millennium – a thousand-year marker – and the beginning of the 2000s prompted both anxiety and optimism, posing questions about what to retain from the past and how to move into the future. No place in the mid-1990s was more conflicted about these prospects or more ripe for reinvention than lower Manhattan – especially the historic Financial District. Wall Street was losing banks to mergers and relocations. Grand skyscrapers of the 1910s and ‘20s were becoming technologically obsolete and sliding down-market. The lasting effect of the 1987 stock market crash, followed by the savings-and-loan scandals, caused a real estate recession that hit Downtown harder than other districts. Vacancy rates for office buildings topped 28 percent. New thinking and policies were necessary. ..."
MILLENNIUM: Lower Manhattan in the 1990s
NY Times: When Wall Street Was Unoccupied

Heaven is a Playground

Julius Erving - Dr. J.
"This past weekend gave us the All-Star game festivities as the NBA season reaches its midpoint (all flows through LeBron). And it just so happens, Basketball: Great Writing About America’s Game, the fantastic new anthology from the esteemed Library of America is set to drop in a few weeks. Edited by Sports Illustrated’s elegant, longtime hoops scribe, Alex Wolff, the collection features three sparkling profiles from our pages, on Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird and Julius Erving, aka, Dr. J. ... Or the kind of pick-up games that are so precisely evoked in 'Doc’s Story,' the terse short story by John Edgar Wideman, who, before becoming a novelist, played college ball against the likes of 'Dollar' Bill Bradley. Street ball (Hello, Lloyd Daniels) is a good place to return...."

2011 June: American Basketball Association, 2012 July: Doin’ It In The Park: Pick-Up Basketball, NYC, 2012 November: Your Guide to the Brooklyn Nets, 2013 March: March Madness 2013, 2013 October: Rucker Park, 2014 January: History of the high five, 2015 February: Dean Smith (February 28, 1931 – February 7, 2015), 2015 June: Basketball’s Obtuse Triangle, 2015 September: Joint Ventures: How sneakers became high fashion and big business, 2015 October: Loose Balls - Terry Pluto (2007), 2015 November: The Sounds of Memphis, 2015 December: Welcome to Smarter Basketball, 2015 December: New York, New York: Julius Erving, the Nets-Knicks Feud, and America’s Bicentennial, 2016 January: The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams (1994), 2016 January: A Long Hardwood Journey, 2016 March: American Hustle - Alexandra Starr, 2016 November: 2016–17 College Basketball, 2017 November: 2017-18 College Basketball, 2017 March: N.C.A.A. Bracket Predictions: Who the Tournament Experts Pick, 2017 June: The Rise and Fall of the High-Top Sneaker, 2018 January: Chaos Is This College Basketball Season’s Only Constant

Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900–1960

Charles Demuth (1883‑1935), Buildings, Lancaster, 1930.
"Focusing on works made from 1900 to 1960, Where We Are traces how artists have approached the relationships, institutions, and activities that shape our lives. Drawn entirely from the Whitney’s holdings, the exhibition is organized around five themes: family and community, work, home, the spiritual, and the nation. During the six decades covered here, the United States experienced war and peace, economic collapse and recovery, and social discord and progress. American artists responded in complex and diverse ways, and a central aim of the exhibition is to honor each artist’s efforts to create her or his own vision of American life. The artists and their works suggest that our sense of self is composed of our responsibilities, places, and beliefs. Where We Are, as well as each of its sections, is titled after a phrase in W. H. Auden’s poem 'September 1, 1939.' ..."

Sunday, February 18

PHOTOS: Since Standing Rock, 56 Bills Have Been Introduced in 30 States to Restrict Protests

February 23, 2017: Law-enforcement officers point their weapons at two water protectors praying near the Sacred Fire of the main resistance camp of the Dakota Access Pipeline protests. Both men were arrested, along with the photographer, shortly after this image was taken.
"In February 23 of last year, a day when the frozen ground had started to turn to mud, law-enforcement officers rolled into the Oceti Sakowin camp near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota. Donald Trump had been inaugurated a month earlier, and the new president quickly reversed an Obama administration decision to deny Energy Transfer Partners a permit to finish construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.78 billion project running directly under the Missouri River. The water protectors, as protesters called themselves, had been fighting the pipeline since the spring of 2016, concerned that the proposed route cut through ancestral land of spiritual significance, and that a pipeline leak could contaminate the primary water supply to the reservation. ... Photojournalist Tracie Williams, on assignment for the National Press Photographers’ Association, captured some of what happened next. ..."
The Nation

2011 July: Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee - Dee Brown, 2012 September: The Ghost Dance, 2016 September: A History and Future of Resistance, 2016 November: Dakota Access Pipeline protests, 2016 December: Police Violence Against Native Americans Goes Far Beyond Standing Rock, 2016 December: Dakota Protesters Say Belle Fourche Oil Spill 'Validates Struggle', 2017 January: A Murky Legal Mess at Standing Rock, 2017 January: Trump's Move On Keystone XL, Dakota Access Outrages Activists, 2017 February: Army veterans return to Standing Rock to form a human shield against police, 2017 February: Standing Rock is burning – but our resistance isn't over, 2017 March: Dakota Access pipeline could open next week after activists face final court loss, 2017 April: The Conflicts Along 1,172 Miles of the Dakota Access Pipeline, 2017 May: 'Those are our Eiffel Towers, our pyramids': Why Standing Rock is about much more than oil, 2017 June: Dakota pipeline protesters won a small victory in court. We must fight on

Eric Clapton - 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974)

Wikipedia - "461 Ocean Boulevard is a 1974 solo album by Eric Clapton that marked his return to recording after recovering from a three-year addiction to heroin. The album was released in late July 1974 for RSO Records, shortly after the record company released the hit single 'I Shot the Sheriff' in early July the same year. ... The album title refers to the address on Ocean Boulevard where Clapton lived while recording the album. The street address of the house was changed after the album's release due to fans flocking to the property. The house has long since been rebuilt and the street address restored. After overcoming his heroin addiction, Clapton realized that he wasted three years of his life, stating he had not done anything other than watch television and get out of shape. When Clapton sought help working on a farm, he began to listen to a lot of new music and old blues records he had brought with him and started to play again, even writing whole songs out of simple ideas. ..."
Rolling Stone
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: Eric Clapton "461 Ocean Boulevard" - Full Album 11 videos

Oonops Drops – Volume 1 – Brooklyn Radio

"‘Oonops Drops’ turns five this year on Brooklyn Radio and Oonops is very proud to present you an exclusive mixtape here on our station and Mixcloud with all the tracks of his upcoming compilation on Agogo Records in the end of February 2018. It will get a proper double vinyl, cd and digital release with acts from around the globe like Mayer Hawthorne, Suff Daddy, DJ Cam Quartet, Guts, Prince Fatty, Nostalgia 77, Cro-Magnon, Pat Van Dyke, Figub Brazlevic, Shawn Lee, Ohmega Watts, ShinSight Trio, Slakah The Beatchild, Nautilus, Fleur Earth, Green Street, Mankoora and Indigo Jam Unit. ... For the cover he joined forces with San Francisco based oil paintress Lindsey Kustusch who cherishes the mood of this work and its spirit. Enjoy this musical trip from dub, soul, funk, instrumentals, hip hop and jazz! And visit your host Oonops on Mixcloud and Facebook."
Brooklyn Radio (Audio)

Saturday, February 17

Trump’s Silence Leaves Struggle Against Russia Without Leader

President Trump in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Friday. Mr. Trump has made little, if any public, effort to rally the nation to confront Moscow for its electoral intrusion or to defend democratic institutions against continued disruption.
"After more than a dozen Russians and three companies were indicted on Friday for interfering in the 2016 elections, President Trump’s first reaction was to claim personal vindication: 'The Trump campaign did nothing wrong — no collusion!' he wrote on Twitter. He voiced no concern that a foreign power had been trying for nearly four years to upend American democracy, much less resolve to stop it from continuing to do so this year. The indictment secured by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, underscored the broader conclusion by the American government that Russia is engaged in a virtual war against the United States through 21st-century tools of disinformation and propaganda, a conclusion shared by the president’s own senior advisers and intelligence chiefs. But it is a war being fought on the American side without a commander in chief. ..."
NY Times
NY Times: How Russian Bots Invade Our Elections (Video)
NY Times: The Troll Farm: What We Know About 13 Russians Indicted by the U.S.
NY Times: To Stir Discord in 2016, Russians Turned Most Often to Facebook
Washington Post: Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked (Video) Dec. 2017

The Berlin Stories - Christopher Isherwood (1945)

"The Berlin Stories is a semi-autobiographical account of Christopher Isherwood’s life in Berlin before the Second World War. Set in 1931, the English-born author chronicles his misadventures with the city’s most interesting characters. The novel is essentially divided into ‘Mr. Norris Changes Trains’ and ‘Goodbye to Berlin’. With both stories barely skimming 200 pages, the tales were combined in 1946 to become The Berlin Stories. In ‘Mr. Norris Changes Trains’, Isherwood goes by his alias William Bradshaw (Derived by his full name, Christopher William Bradshaw Isherwood). The novel opens with young William Bradshaw encountering with an nervous man named Arthur Norris, on a train from Holland to Berlin. Noticing Norris is a fellow Englishman, Bradshaw strikes up a conversation with the stranger. Norris’s hesitation reaches it’s climax when German police ask to see his passport. Bradshaw appeases the officer and helps to calm Norris down without making a scene. Originally intrigued by Norris’s mysterious nature (and overly aristocratic English demeanor) the two soon develop a friendship. ..."
Living with Literature
W - The Berlin Stories
I Could Show You Memories To Rival Berlin in the Thirties: Christopher Isherwood and The Berlin Stories
BBC: Berlin through the eyes of Christopher Isherwood

In Bb 2.0 - Darren Solomon

"Producer Darren Solomon has harnessed the power of YouTube and musical collaborators to create a video-led symphony where you can be the conductor. [partner id='wireduk'] In Bb 2.0 (also written as B flat) is an online music and spoken-word project that allows viewers to produce music by playing 20 YouTube videos of different musicians making melodies in the key of B flat. The videos, which are between one and two minutes long each, have been compiled by Solomon after volunteers answered his open call on website In Bb – an earlier version of the project. ..."
WIRED - In Bb 2.0: The Symphony of 20 Simultaneous YouTube Music Videos
In Bb 2.0 (Video)
In Bb 2.0 - FAQ

Friday, February 16

Thomas Cole's Journey: Atlantic Crossings

The Oxbow (1836)
"Celebrated as one of America's preeminent landscape painters, Thomas Cole (1801–1848) was born in northern England at the start of the Industrial Revolution, immigrated to the United States in his youth, and traveled extensively throughout England and Italy as a young artist. He returned to America to create some of his most ambitious works and inspire a new generation of American painters. This exhibition examines for the first time the artist's career in relation to his European roots and travels, establishing Cole as a major figure in 19th-century landscape art within a global context. Thomas Cole's Journey marks the 200th anniversary of Cole's first Atlantic crossing, when he emigrated from England to the United States in 1818, and examines in depth Cole's return journey to England in 1829–31 and his travels in Italy in 1831–32, revealing the development of his artistic processes. ..."
Met Museum (Video)
WSJ: ‘Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings’ Review: Hudson River School Headmaster
Met Museum: Thomas Cole's Journey: Atlantic Crossings

Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir aren’t mean, but ‘truth can be hard to hear’

"NBC’s primetime figure skating broadcasts from the PyeongChang Games provide a steady dose of jumps, spins and America’s most talked-about platonic couple: analysts Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir. The duo exploded onto the scene four years ago as commentators on NBC Sports Network during the Sochi Games. Their wardrobe, flair and candor proved so popular that the network invited them back for the Summer Olympics. That makes PyeongChang their third Games, and their first on NBC’s biggest stage. Lipinski, Weir and Terry Gannon (whom they call their 'partner in crime') almost immediately were part of some memorable calls at this year’s Games. Think of their joyful broadcast of American Mirai Nagasu’s historic triple axel, as the United States won bronze in the team event. Or their bluntness when gold medal hopeful Nathan Chen faltered. ..."
Washington Post (Video)
NY Times: Step Inside Johnny Weir’s Hotel Room at the Olympics
Tara Lipinski Hasn’t Lost Her Edge (Video)
W - Johnny Weir
W - Tara Lipinski
Pennsylvanians on Olympic ice: Who is Johnny Weir? (Video)

Carina Driscoll - Mayor: Burlington, Vermont - Progressives Party

"I am proud to launch my campaign for Mayor of Burlington. This election is about bringing people together. Through this campaign, and then as Mayor if elected, I will work to bring Burlington to again be that vibrant, forward-thinking city where we are all so proud to live. It is time to bring our actions in Burlington back into line with our community values. Burlingtonians of all walks of life, political parties, and throughout the city yearn for the opportunity to engage the issues that impact their lives and their community. It is time to bring the people back to the table. In this period of rapid development of our city, many community assets hang in the balance. Whether we are talking about Memorial Auditorium, the Moran Plant, our public waterfront, or other city-owned property throughout Burlington, the people have the right to determine what we do with them. ..."
Carina for Mayor
VT Digger: Burlington Progressives endorse Driscoll in mayoral race
Seven Days: A Burlington City Employees Union Endorses Driscoll for Mayor
Seven Days: Sanders Organization 'Our Revolution' Endorses Driscoll for Burlington Mayor

Thursday, February 15

Jazz: The African Sound - Chris McGregor and the Castle Lager Big Band (1963)

"One of the most important African records of all time gets its first ever worldwide release on Jazzman! Chris McGregor's Jazz – The African Sound is a lost global jazz classic, and a true holy grail for collectors of jazz and world-jazz. A cornerstone of South Africa's illustrious jazz history, it has been out of print since before the end of apartheid. Never before released outside of the country, this painstakingly restored reissue is the long-delayed first chance to hear Chris McGregor's debut recording as leader. As well as fully restored audio, the package features unpublished photographs by Basil Breakey and new sleeve-notes by author Francis Gooding. Ten years before the Brotherhood of Breath blew the cobwebs out of British jazz, Chris McGregor had already recorded as leader with a big band comprised of South Africa's leading jazz lights. Put together in 1963, the Castle Lager Big Band was a multi-racial group, a risky endeavour in apartheid South Africa. ..."
Kudos Records (Audio)
W - Chris McGregor
amazon, iTunes
YouTube: Switch, Kippie, Eclipse at Dawn, I Remember Billy

A History of the United American Socialist Republics

"... I decided to write an atlas. The People's Socialist Atlas is an atlas made from the perspective of a communist United States that underwent a revolution in the 1920's. The PoD of the atlas is that there was a larger and more successful Paris Commune, which lead to increased paranoia around the world. It's a full book. It's over 200 pages, and over 50,000 words. I began writing it in 2016 with the intention that it would be done by the beginning of 2017. It didn't. It took me up until today to finally finish this project. ... There are thirteen maps in the atlas. Four I'm extremely proud of, and all took me hours upon hours to make. That's why I'm posting the atlas here. In each post, there should be more than one map, which I think qualifies it to belong in this thread. The rest of the writing should speak for itself. Today, I'll be posting pages 1 to 74 of the Atlas. That's the first half of the "American History" section, and includes maps of the American Revolution and the United American Socialist Republics. CLICK ON THE IMAGE BELOW TO CHECK OUT ALL THE PAGES, or click here. ..."
Google - People's Socialist Atlas
[PDF] A History of the United American Socialist Republics

Wednesday, February 14

Twin Peaks: The Return, or What Isn’t Cinema?

"1: Where You Find It. Any port in a storm. In 2017, faced with the most ignominious slate of theatrical releases in memory, a few of us belonging to the small cabal of film world types who engage in the curious ritual of year-end listmaking, decided to recruit a television show to the ranks of cinema, or at least tried to. Enough agreed that the resurrected 2017 season of Twin Peaks, also known as Twin Peaks: The Return, was the artistic apotheosis of one of the greatest living filmmakers, David Lynch, who directed and cowrote every episode, to place it on the top tens of both Sight & Sound and Cahiers du cinéma, cinephile publications which allowed it in the running. Elsewhere, its non-eligibility revived a periodic kerfuffle over whether a work made for and aired on 'television,' much less a serialized one, could ever take its place among the year’s best 'films.' ..."
Reverse Shot - (Part One), (Part Two), (Part Three), (Part Four)

2008 September: Twin Peaks, 2010 March: Twin Peaks: How Laura Palmer's death marked the rebirth of TV drama, 2011 October: Twin Peaks: The Last Days, 2014 October: Welcome to Twin Peaks, 2015 June: David Lynch: ‘I’ve always loved Laura Palmer’, 2015 July: Twin Peaks Maps, 2016 May: Hear the Music of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks Played..., September: Twin Peaks Tarot Cards For The Magician Who Longs To See Through The Darkness Of Future Past, 2014 September: David Lynch: The Unified Field, 2014 December: David Lynch’s Bad Thoughts - J. Hoberman, 2015 March: Lumière and Company (1995), 2015 April: David Lynch Creates a Very Surreal Plug for Transcendental Meditation, 2015 December: What Is “Lynchian”?, 2017 March: Anatomy of a Fascinating Disaster: Fire Walk With Me, 2017 April: Trading Card Set of the Week – Twin Peaks (Star Pics, 1991), 2017 April: Your Complete Guide to Rewatching "Twin Peaks"

Sire Records

Wikipedia - "Sire Records is an American record label that is owned by Warner Music Group and distributed by Warner Bros. Records. ... In the mid-1970s, Sire transformed itself into a successful independent record label and went on to sign artists from the burgeoning punk rock and new wave scenes, including the Ramones, the Dead Boys, the Undertones and Talking Heads. Sire returned to major-label distribution in 1977 with a new arrangement with Warner Bros. Records, and the next year, Warner acquired Sire outright. Over the next four years, Sire achieved mainstream status after launching the careers of the Pretenders and Madonna (its biggest act), and introduced such acts as Soft Cell, the Cure, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, and Echo & the Bunnymen to North America. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the label had continued success with a wide-ranging roster that included Ministry, k.d. lang, Ice-T, Seal, and Tommy Page, and were early champions of Underworld. ..."
The Sire Records Story
Tidal: Sire Records: 50 Greatest Singles (Audio)