Friday, November 30

Robert Mueller and His Prosecutors: Who They Are and What They’ve Done

"Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, has marshaled prosecutors, F.B.I. agents and other lawyers to investigate Russia’s 2016 election interference and whether any Trump associates conspired. The team has secured indictments against dozens of people and three companies, one trial conviction and a handful of guilty pleas in the highest-profile political inquiry in a generation. This week alone, Mr. Mueller and his prosecutors accused Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, of breaching his plea deal, and secured a guilty plea from Michael D. Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former personal lawyer. Each of the core prosecutors has a specialty, like political corruption, hacking or money laundering, many of which have featured in indictments. They come from familiar places: the Justice Department’s criminal division, federal prosecutors’ offices in New York and around Washington and a law firm where Mr. Mueller worked. ..."
NY Times

Listen To An Unheard Raw Studio Mix Of John Lennon’s ‘How Do You Sleep?’

"A previously unheard 'raw studio mix' of John Lennon recording ‘How Do You Sleep?’ has been released. Stripped to the raw recording, with no effects like reverb or echo, it brings the listener into the studio during the recording of a classic Imagine track. ... Present at the session were George Harrison, playing electric slide on Lennon’s pale blue Fender Strat; Rod Lynton with Ted Turner from Wishbone Ash, on twelve string acoustic guitars; Lennon and Harrison’s old friend Klaus Voormann on his hand-painted Fender Precision bass; Alan White on drums; John Tout, from Renaissance, on the Steinway upright piano; and Nicky Hopkins improvising on the red-top Wurlitzer Electric Piano, literally days before he leaves for Nellcôte to play on Exile On Main St with The Rolling Stones. Listening to the outtake is like being in the room as the track is captured. ..."
udiscovermusic (Video)

2009 September: John Lennon - Live in New York City (Madison Square Garden 1972), 2014 January: Michael Rakowitz - The Breakup, 2014 April: "Jealous Guy" (1971), 2014 May: Mind Games (1973), 2014 July: Out of the Blue, 2014 December: Double Fantasy - John Lennon/Yoko Ono (1980), 2015 August: John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band (1970), 2016 October: "Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)" (1970), 2017 January: Cold Turkey (1969)

Thursday, November 29

The Slave Ship - J. M. W. Turner (1840)

Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying—Typhoon coming on (1840)
Wikipedia - "The Slave Ship, originally titled Slavers Throwing overboard the Dead and Dying—Typhoon coming on, is a painting by the British artist J. M. W. Turner, first exhibited in 1840. Measuring 35 3/4 x 48 1/4 in. in oil on canvas, it is now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In this classic example of a Romantic maritime painting, Turner depicts a ship, visible in the background, sailing through a tumultuous sea of churning water and leaving scattered human forms floating in its wake. J.M.W. Turner was inspired to paint The Slave Ship in 1840 after reading The History and Abolition of the Slave Trade by Thomas Clarkson. In 1781, the captain of the slave ship Zong had ordered 133 slaves to be thrown overboard so that insurance payments could be collected. This event probably inspired Turner to create his landscape and to choose to coincide its exhibition with a meeting of the British Anti-Slavery Society. Although slavery had been outlawed in the British Empire since 1833, Turner and many other abolitionists believed that slavery should be outlawed around the world. Turner thus exhibited his painting during the anti-slavery conference, intending for Prince Albert, who was speaking at the event, to see it and be moved to increase British anti-slavery efforts. ..."
W - Zong massacre
[PDF] "Turner's Slave Ship: The Victims of Empire"
John Ruskin on J.M.W. Turner’s The Slave Ship
Khan Academy: Turner, Slave Ship (Video)

French, A. M., Slavery in South Carolina and the ex-slaves; or, The Port Royal Mission. (1862) 

November 2007: J. M. W. Turner, 2009 April: Turner & Italy, 2011 June: J. M. W. Turner - 1, 2014 June: In Which We Find His Theory Of Color Implausible, 2014 September: The EY Exhibition: Late Turner – Painting Set Free, 2015 May: Mr. Turner (2014)

The Politics of Food in Venezuela

Photo credit: "overview of food and nutrition security in Latin America and the Caribbean."
"Few countries and political processes have been subject to such scrutiny, yet so generally misunderstood, as Venezuela and the Bolivarian Revolution. This is particularly true today, as the international media paints an image of absolute devastation in the country, wrought by failed policies and government mismanagement. At the same time, the three national elections of 2017 demonstrated a strong show of support for the continuation of the revolution under its current leadership. This seeming paradox, we are told, can only be attributed to government tendencies of co-optation and clientelism, along with a closing of democratic space. Such messages are reproduced many times over, both in the media and in certain intellectual circles. ..."
Monthly Review
Reactionary Misinterpretations of the Venezuela Crisis
The Nib: What Happened to Venezuela Isn’t So Simple

Wednesday, November 28

In the Footsteps of Marcel Proust

The train station at Illiers-Combray, in north central France, which Marcel Proust immortalized in his novel “In Search of Lost Time.”
"I married Jeanne Moreau in 1977 at a town hall in Paris. Moreau was one of the most revered actresses of her generation, and we were attended by a notable group: Jacques Chirac, the city’s soon-to-be mayor, spoke, and our witnesses were the film director Alain Resnais, who had introduced me to Jeanne, and his wife, Florence Malraux, daughter of the writer André Malraux. After sips of Champagne and a brief ceremony, of which I did not comprehend one word, Jeanne and I took a long walk in the Tuileries Garden accompanied by a cluster of paparazzi. It was my first marriage, her second. I’ve seen pictures of myself on our wedding day and I appear shell-shocked and confused. That first year we spent the summer at her chateau in La Garde-Freinet, a medieval village, on 150 acres of farmland in the hills behind St.-Tropez. ..."
NY Times

The bedroom where the young Proust stayed at his aunt’s house in Illiers.

2008 June: Marcel Proust, 2011 October: How Proust Can Change Your Life, 2012 April: Marcel Proust - À la recherche du temps perdu, 2013 February: Marcel Proust and Swann's Way: 100th Anniversary, 2013 May: A Century of Proust, 2013 August: Paintings in Proust - Eric Karpeles, 2013 October: On Reading Proust, 2015 September: "Paintings in Proust" - View of the Piazza del Popolo, Giovanni Battista Piranes, 2015 September: In Search of Lost Time: Swann's Way: A Graphic Novel, 2016 January: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower (1919), 2016 February: Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C.K. Scott Moncrieff: Soldier, Spy and Translator, 2016 May: The Guermantes Way (1920-21), 2016 August: Marcel Proust’s Search for Lost Time — Patrick Alexander, 2016 October: My Strange Friend Marcel Proust, 2017 March: Sodom and Gomorrah (1921-1922), 2017 August: Letters To His Neighbor by Marcel Proust; translated by Lydia Davis, October: Proust's À la recherche – a novel big enough for the world, 2017 October: Proust Fans Eagerly Await Trove of Letters Going Online, 2017 December: The Prisoner / The Fugitive (1923-1925), 2018 May: Time Regained (1927), 2018 September: Céleste Albaret

INTL BLK #6: The state of the Afropean union

"We’re back with INTL BLK radio after a few months hiatus. This episode opens with a mix of Afrobeats and Zouk, and then we review some of the musical cross-overs happening across the Black Atlantic. In the 2nd hour we have an interview with Lamin Fofana, electronic music producer and DJ of Sierra Leonean descent based in Berlin. We discuss his latest album Brancusi Sculpting Beyonce, the phenomenon of negrophilia in 1920s European modernist art, and what’s behind the current moment of the popularity of African culture in Europe. Listen below or on iTunes, Google Play and Stitcher."
Africa is a Country (Audio)
Mixcloud (Audio)

Tuesday, November 27

An Echo Of Owls: watching repeats of Twin Peaks eleven years later

"A far-off Smalltown. The heavy branches of an ocean of trees, swaying pale green in dim daylight. A lonesome foghorn across the lake. A dead girl, washed up in the morning, wrapped in plastic, lips turned blue. Her Prom-Queen portrait bright in the high school trophy cabinet. A policeman who cries like Stan Laurel. The lights in the morgue sputtering. A tiny scrap of paper beneath her fingernail. Her mother’s screams. Her grieving father, clicking his fingers to Glenn Miller. A sweater girl dancing by herself in a diner. Sultry cartoon jazz. Coffee, hot and black. Cherry pies. Chocolate bunnies. A woman in an eye-patch, obsessed with her curtain rail. A stag’s head on a table. A llama. Cocaine. A fish in the coffee. Wayward teens, barking in jail. A lady with a log. Logging trucks rolling always out of sight. The trees again. A burned out train-wreck, miles from town. A traumatised girl, what’s left of her clothes in grimy tatters, crossing a lonely bridge, dwarfed by the girders. The unconcerned mountains. Torchlight in a forest at midnight. A dwarf in a red suit, dancing in a room of red velvet curtains. A solitary traffic light at night, suspended over a deserted intersection, buffeted by the wind, changing to red against a pitch black sky. ..."
Damien Love

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", 2018 February: Twin Peaks: The Return, or What Isn’t Cinema?, 2018 March: Twin Peaks VR Lets You Live Inside A Dream

Monday, November 26

In Buenos Aires, a Rivalry Stretches Passions to the Limit

Boca Juniors and River Plate tied in the first leg, 2-2. River Plate hosts the second game on Saturday afternoon. As at the first, visiting fans will be barred.
"BUENOS AIRES — No matter what happens, Leonardo Uranga’s tone will remain soft and steady. He will choose his words carefully. He will enunciate them clearly and slowly. At moments of the highest drama, the most exquisite tension, he will keep his head, even as all around him are losing theirs. As half of Argentina erupts in delight and the other sinks into the deepest despair, Uranga will keep his emotions in check. At the culmination of the biggest game of his long broadcasting career, he will not so much as raise his voice. For much of Saturday evening, then, he may well be unique. When the Buenos Aires archrivals River Plate and Boca Juniors meet in the second leg of the final of the Copa Libertadores — the most important game in South American club soccer — Uranga may well be the only calm person in Argentina. ..."
NY Times
NY Times: For Copa Libertadores at a Crossroads, a Weekend to Forget

River Plate fans clashed with the police on Saturday outside the stadium before the final soccer match of the Copa Libertadores between River Plate and Boca Juniors in Buenos Aires was scheduled to begin.

The Impossibly Cool Album Covers of Blue Note Records: Meet the Creative Team Behind These Iconic Designs

"If you stepped into a record store in the 1950s and 60s, you would likely be drawn almost immediately to a Blue Note release—whether or not you were a fan of jazz or had heard of the artist or even the label. 'If you went to those record stores,' says Estelle Caswell in the Vox Earworm video above, 'it probably wasn’t the sound of Blue Note that immediately caught your attention. It was their album covers.' Now those designs are hallowed jazz iconography, with their 'bold typography, two tone photography, and minimal graphic design.' Of course, it should go without saying that the sound of Blue Note is as distinctive and essential as its look, thanks to its founders’ musical vision, the faultless ear of producer and engineer Rudy Van Gelder, and the roster of unbelievably great musicians the label recruited and recorded. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

1876 Ellen Harding Baker's "Solar System" Quilt

"This 'Solar System' quilt was made by Ellen Harding Baker of Cedar County, Iowa, in 1876. The wool top of this applique quilt is embellished with wool-fabric applique, wool braid, and wool and silk embroidery. Included in the design is the appliqued inscription, 'Solar System,' and the embroidered inscriptions, 'E. H. Baker' and 'A. D. 1876.' The lining is a red cotton-and-wool fabric and the filling is of cotton fiber. The maker, Sarah Ellen Harding, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio,June 8, 1847, and married Marion Baker of Cedar County, Iowa, on October 10, 1867. ... Astronomy was an acceptable interest for women in the nineteenth century and was sometimes even fostered in their education. ..."
W - Ellen Harding Baker
Solar System Quilt

Sunday, November 25

The Mystery Font That Took Over New York

Ichi Sushi at 2040 86th Street in Brooklyn.
"Stand just about anywhere on Broadway, or on Canal Street with its sprightly neon and overstuffed souvenir shops, or the long stretch of restaurants, hardware stores, pharmacies, bars, realtors, barber shops, groceries and auto shops that extends through Fifth Avenue in South Brooklyn, and you’ll find a surplus of vibrant and overstated signage — a cacophony of typography. Steven Heller, a co-chairman at the School of Visual Arts’ M.F.A. program, sees it somewhat differently. 'You say cacophony,’ he said. 'I call it chaos.' But amid all of this chaos there is the occasional beacon. Choc, for instance. It’s a typeface that draws the eye with its inherent contradictions. It seems to have been drawn improvisationally with a brush, and yet it’s so hefty it looks like it could slip off a wall. It’s both delicate and emphatic, a casual paradox, like a Nerf weapon. Choc is far from the most popular typeface on the storefronts of New York, but it can still be found everywhere and in every borough. It’s strewn on fabric awnings and etched in frosted glass. It gleams in bright magenta or platinum lighting. ..."
NY Times

Fukuyama Sushi and Ramen at 622 Metropolitan Avenue in Brooklyn.

Earth & Stone - Kool Roots: The Classic 1977-79

"Albert Bailey and Clifton Howell were an obscure vocal duo who cut several Jamaican hit singles for Channel One producer JoJo Hookim under the name Earth & Stone in the mid-1970s. Kool Roots, which compiles most of the group's Channel One output, was originally released in 1978 as a double album (standard vocal mixes on one LP, dub versions on the other) in a gatefold sleeve -- an almost unheard-of packaging extravagance for a reggae act at the time. Little more is known about the duo, and they dropped from sight after Kool Roots was released. But the haunting single 'In Time to Come' has endured, and this reissue, which combines both LPs on a single CD, shows that Earth & Stone was capable of producing consistently high-quality material. Bailey and Howell's sweet harmonies are the main attraction, but a good portion of the credit for this album's success must also go to the Revolutionaries, Channel One's crack house band. ..."
Holland Tunnel Dive
YouTube: Earth & Stone - Kool Roots - 1978 (Full LP) 1:06:16

Director Bill Morrison

"This mini-documentary focuses on the artistry of director Bill Morrison, who leverages decaying film stock from years past to tell new stories that are relevant to today's audiences. The decaying film lends brilliant visuals which add to Morrison's concept of storytelling. FilmStruck brings you the best indie, foreign, cult, classic, silent and hard-to-find films and is the exclusive streaming home of The Criterion Collection."
YouTube: Director Bill Morrison

2012 June: Bill Morrison, 2015 October: Decasia (2002), 2017 December: The Miners' Hymns (2011), 2018 January: The Dockworker's Dream (2016), 2018 October: Dawson City: Frozen Time (2016)

Saturday, November 24

Peeling Back the Paint to Discover Bruegel’s Secrets

A woman drags a cart in a detail of “The Battle Between Carnival and Lent,” 1559.
"What would happen if you peeled back the layers of a masterpiece by one of art history’s greatest painters? Dead bodies might suddenly appear. Take, for example, Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s large-scale festival scene, 'The Battle Between Carnival and Lent,' which he painted in 1559. If we look at his first drafts of the painting, using X-ray photography, we can see a corpse inside a cart that an old woman is dragging behind her. Then we see another dead body on the ground, its face turned to the viewer; he is lying ominously close to a sick child. ... The project was developed along with the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, for 'Bruegel' a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition, featuring 87 of the painter’s works, and which runs through Jan. 13, 2019. ..."
NY Times

Detail of “The Battle Between Carnival and Lent,” which shows two fish on a baker’s peel.

2010 May: Peasant, 2011 March: "The Harvesters", Pieter Bruegel the Elder, 2012 February: The Mill and the Cross - Lech Majewski, 2012 December: The Lord of Misrule and the Feast of Fools., 2013 July: Netherlandish Proverbs, 2014 August: Children's Games (1560), 2016 May: The Hunters in the Snow (1565)

Cabaret Voltaire - Red Mecca (1981)

"It isn't without reason that Red Mecca is often referred to as one of Cabaret Voltaire's most cohesive and brilliant records. There are tangible bumpers (the record is buttressed by squealing/wheezing interpretations of Henry Mancini's music for Orson Welles' Touch of Evil), so by that aspect there's a tangible center. And taken as a whole, the record contains all the characteristics that have made the Sheffield group such an influential entity when it comes to electronic music of the untethered, experimental variety that isn't afraid to shake its tail a little. Unlike a fair portion of CV's studio output, Red Mecca features no failed experiments or anything that could be merely cast off as 'interesting.' It's a taught, dense, horrific slab lacking a lull. Dashes of Richard H. Kirk's synthesizer are welded to Chris Watson's tape effects for singed lashes of white noise, best heard on the lurching 'Sly Doubt' and the jolting 'Spread the Virus.' ..."
allmusic (Audio)
W - Red Mecca
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Red Mecca [Full Album] 40:20

Friday, November 23

How populism became the concept that defines our age

"'Populism' as a term was rarely used in the 20th century; it was limited to US historians describing, in highly specific terms, the original agrarian populists of the mid-19th century. Latin American social scientists (often Marxists) focused it primarily on the Peronists in Argentina. I only started to really engage with the term in the mid-1990s, while researching my dissertation on what was then still predominantly called 'rightwing extremism'. The German political scientist Hans-Georg Betz had just published what is still the best book on the topic, Radical Right-Wing Populism in Western Europe, and I dived into Leiden University’s library to find anything I could find on this odd term. The great British political theorist Margaret Canovan had written an excellent overview, simply titled Populism, in 1981, but argued that, while there were seven different subtypes, populism itself could not be defined. So I delved deeper, trying to engage with the work of the late Ernesto Laclau, an Argentinian post-Marxist theorist, undoubtedly the most influential scholar of populism for academics and politicians alike. ..."
Guardian - Revealed: one in four Europeans vote populist
Guardian - Why is populism suddenly all the rage?
Guardian - How populism emerged as an electoral force in Europe
Guardian - How populist are you?

MADONJAZZ From the Vaults vol 26: Spiritual Jazz, Afro & Eastern Sounds

"MADONJAZZ From the Vaults Vol. 26: Spiritual Jazz, Afro & Eastern Sounds: An 1hr recording including music from Pharoah Sanders, Henri Texier, Sun Ra & his Arkestra, Brother Ah, Badal Roy, Lori Vambe and many more. Recorded live at a London venue in 2016. Enjoy
MixCloud (Audio)

Wednesday, November 21


Nublu Jazz Festival 2015 - Sun Ra Arkestra
"The chronology of an evening: Latin American food and Modelo consumed in abundance. I forget my hat and mittens in the restaurant, but it won’t be until much later that I realize my ears and hands are cold. The last of my lip balm pops out of its tube and rolls into the gutter. We stand on the sidewalk on Avenue C, outside the jazz club Nublu, for half an hour, waiting for someone to arrive. Once inside, my martini arrives soiled by lime juice. Life happens at a familiar pace, until at ten thirty the set begins and the Sun Ra Arkestra appears, bedecked in gold and sky-blue sequins and outrageous hats, their leader enrobed in satiny vermilion. They hold their instruments like crosiers, a saxophone or trumpet cool against the hot vibrancy of their vestments. The Arkestra was originally conceived and fronted by the great figure of avant-garde jazz Sun Ra, who has been dead twenty-five years now. The group is now under the direction of Marshall Allen, a ninety-four-year-old former sideman of the composer. ..."
The Paris Review - Staff Picks: Singing, Sequins, and Slaughterhouses
W - Nublu
NY Times: Club Mixes Old, New and Blue

The White Goddess - Robert Graves (1948)

Wikipedia - "The White Goddess: a Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth is a book-length essay on the nature of poetic myth-making by author and poet Robert Graves. First published in 1948, the book is based on earlier articles published in Wales magazine, corrected, revised and enlarged editions appeared in 1948, 1952 and 1961. The White Goddess represents an approach to the study of mythology from a decidedly creative and idiosyncratic perspective. Graves proposes the existence of a European deity, the 'White Goddess of Birth, Love and Death', much similar to the Mother Goddess, inspired and represented by the phases of the moon, who lies behind the faces of the diverse goddesses of various European and pagan mythologies. ..."
W - Robert Graves
YouTube: Robert Graves and the White Goddess - Documentary Preview

Tuesday, November 20

How Friendsgiving Took Over Millennial Culture

"Every year for the past five or so, the Emily Post Institute—long considered the leading authority on matters of manners and courtesy—fields at least one or two etiquette questions about 'Friendsgiving.' Usually they come from people in their 20s and 30s, says Lizzie Post, the co-president of the institute and the eponymous etiquette authority’s great-great-granddaughter. The advice seekers are often anxious about exactly how to host a Friendsgiving party, a Thanksgiving-themed meal for their close friends. ..."
The Atlantic

24 Amazing, Homemade Dungeons & Dragons Maps

Laureth Ruined
"Last week we asked Atlas Obscura readers to send us their greatest DIY Dungeons & Dragons maps. It was a critical success. We received dozens of fantasy adventure maps illustrating the amazing worlds in our readers’ imaginations. From a hand-drawn city nestled inside a giant turtle shell, to a computer-illustrated continent, to a 'Paraelemental Plane of Ooze' that’s honestly a little too real, your D&D maps are more incredible than we could have imagined. Every single one calls out for exploration. We’ve collected a number of our favorite submissions below. So tighten your sword belts! Shine your pauldrons! Ready your wards and enchantments! The adventure begins below! ..."
Atlas Obscura

The RH Factor - Hard Groove (2003)

"A new musical vision for ace jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove has manifested itself in the form of Hard Groove. This neo-soul/jazz project showcases Erykah Badu, Common, D'Angelo, Marc Cary, and jam band icon saxophonist Karl Denson on a 14-track set that is laden with funk, groove, freestyle rap poetry, and sultry hip-hop/R&B mood swings. Hargrove's interesting horn and keyboard improvisations stem from extensive knowledge of each musician's work and, perhaps even more importantly, from close personal friendships developed as an underground club jam session warrior in N.Y.C. He also plays flügelhorn and percussion, and adds background vocals on several compositions. ... In any case, the ultra-hip trumpeter manages not to alienate his die-hard jazz fans by intersecting with many of the icons of hip-hop, R&B, and neo-soul. Highly recommended."
W - Roy Hargrove
YouTube: the RH Factor, "Hardgroove" 11 videos

Monday, November 19

I ♥ John Giorno and So Should You

"In any given decade of his life in New York, John Giorno could be found right in the middle of whatever the new scene might be, hanging out with the era’s defining figures and embodying the moment: in the fifties, meeting Jack Kerouac at Columbia’s West End; in the sixties, making a movie with Andy Warhol; in the seventies, studying Buddhism in India; in the eighties, playing in a band at CBGB. He has always been a poet who operates primarily in the art world. His practice is multimodal and collaborative: he’s experimented with sound recording, painting, video, and has been muse and lover to a number of artists, including Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jasper Johns. This last detail, which is so often salaciously foregrounded in the literature and mythos surrounding Giorno, would appear to put him in a passive or sidelined role, but his work gleefully subverts this, showing just how potent and active these roles can be. It reveals, too, the advantages of having passed the time with great artists and what he has learned from being the subject of their gaze. ..."
The Paris Review
John Giorno by Verne Dawson

Nile Deli

"Astoria Stories - Music found in the bodegas of my neighborhood, from Albanian, Algerian, and Bosnian, to Egyptian, Greek, Lebanese, Panamanian, and beyond"
Bodega Pop Live with Gary Sullivan (Audio)
The City Cook

Sunday, November 18

The Leonids and More Meteor Showers That Will Light Up Night Skies in 2018

Watching the Perseids meteor shower in Britain in 2015.
"All year long as Earth revolves around the sun, it passes through streams of cosmic debris. The resulting meteor showers — like the Leonids that are peaking around Friday, Nov. 16 — can light up night skies from dusk to dawn, and if you’re lucky you might be able to catch one. If you spot a meteor shower, what you’re really seeing is the leftovers of icy comets crashing into Earth’s atmosphere. Comets are sort of like dirty snowballs: As they travel through the solar system, they leave behind a dusty trail of rocks and ice that lingers in space long after they leave. When Earth passes through these cascades of comet waste, the bits of debris — which can be as small as grains of sand — pierce the sky at such speeds that they burst, creating a celestial fireworks display. ..."
NY Times

Two Men in Manhattan - Jean-Pierre Melville (1959)

Wikipedia - "Two Men in Manhattan (French: Deux hommes dans Manhattan) is a 1959 French film-noir directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. The film stars Melville (who also wrote the screenplay) and Pierre Grasset as two French journalists in New York City searching for a missing United Nations diplomat. Though Melville occasionally played bit parts in films by other directors (most notably as Parvulesco in Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless), Two Men in Manhattan was his only starring role and the only time he acted in one of his own films (he served as the off-screen narrator in Bob le flambeur). After a hard day's work, the reporter Moreau is asked by his boss to find out why the head of the French delegation to the United Nations has suddenly disappeared. Moreau drags out of bed the unscrupulous photographer Delmas, who knows his way round Manhattan at night. Together they visit women the diplomat knew: an actress in a play, a jazz singer in a recording studio, a stripper in a burlesque show, a prostitute in an expensive brothel. ..."
LA Times: Jean-Pierre Melville's 'Two Men in Manhattan' reaches U.S. fans
A Modernist
YouTube: Two Men in Manhattan - Trailer , Deux hommes dans Manhattan - opening titles, The Jazz Scene

2017 June: Jean-Pierre Melville’s Cinema of Resistance, 2017 November: Un Flic (1972)

Extreme Nature!

Unknown, Great Fire at Boston, Nov. 9 & 10, 1872
"Nature’s extremes—remote, fantastical, and unpredictable—permeated artistic imagery and popular media throughout the nineteenth century. News outlets reported on natural disasters around the globe, researchers defined modern scientific fields, and authors like Jules Verne infused their adventure novels with technological experimentation. Newly founded journals, such as Scientific American and the French La Nature, detailed emerging scientific theories and speculated upon Earth’s origins and its position within the greater cosmos. Influenced in part by the prevalence of scientific inquiry in popular culture, artists also probed nature’s fundamental truths, examining everything from volatile weather patterns and the stars to the earth’s most cavernous depths. ..."
The Clark
The Clark: Audio Highlights (Audio)
The Clark: About - Image Gallery - Alluring Landscapes - Volatile Atmospheres - Extremes Imagined - Natural Disaster -Art and Popular Science
The Clark: Checklist

Saturday, November 17

E2-E4 - Manuel Göttsching (1984)

Wikipedia - "E2-E4, released in 1984, is a solo recording by Ash Ra Tempel/Ashra guitarist Manuel Göttsching. The album consists of a minimalistic hour-long progressive electronic track that is subdivided into single tracks according to the stage of the song. The second half of the record is notable for Göttsching's guitar playing. The album is named after the most popular opening chess move 1. e2-e4 (which is expressed in long algebraic notation). A noteworthy pun on E2-E4 exists because the guitar is tuned from E2 (the low string) to E4 (the high string). The album was named as one of the best 1980s albums for its important role in the development of house and techno music of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The song's repetitions and arpeggiations have influenced house, techno, space disco, balearic and even alternative forms of rock music. ..."
Guardian: Manuel Göttsching: the Göttfather
Key Tracks: Manuel Göttsching – E2-E4
“Music was my drug”: Manuel Göttsching on making E2-E4 (Video)
YouTube: E2-E4 (Full Length Version) 58:39

Friday, November 16

Persuasive Maps - The PJ Mode Collection

Angling in Troubled Waters, 1899
"This is a collection of 'persuasive' cartography: ​more than 800 maps intended primarily to influence opinions or beliefs - to send a message - rather than to communicate geographic information. The collection reflects a variety of persuasive tools​, including​ allegorical, satirical and pictorial mapping; selective inclusion; unusual use of projections, color, graphics and text; and intentional deception. Maps in the collection address a wide range of messages: religious, political, military, commercial, moral and social. Learn more about persuasive cartography and the collection"
Cornell University Library | Division of Rare & Manuscript Collections
vimeo: Deconstructing Persuasive Cartography​ 50:02

The Awakening, 1915

Northern Picture Library - Love Song for the Dead Che (1993)

"Northern Picture Library's debut release immediately distanced the group from Bobby Wratten and Annemari Davies' previous work in the Field Mice; favoring electronic textures, ambient drones, and trip-hop rhythms over the jangling guitars of the past, 'Love Song for the Dead Ché' (a cover of a track from the United States of America's classic self-titled LP) is cold and remote where the Field Mice were warm and deeply intimate. Give Wratten and Davies credit for staking out new territory, but both versions of the song are simply too dispassionate to really work and pale in comparison to the original. The closer, 'The Way That Stars Die,' is a sequencer-driven instrumental recalling Field Mice efforts like 'Let's Kiss and Make Up' -- engineer Ian Catt's fingerprints are all over the recording, evoking his work with Saint Etienne."
YouTube: Northern Picture Library - Love Song For the Dead Che #1, Love Song For The Dead Che #2, The way that stars die
YouTube: Love song for the dead Che - The United States of America (1968)

Left-Wing Protests Are Crossing the Line

Protesters rally outside the home of Ivanka Trump on April 1, 2017
"Last Saturday night, a Fox News contributor named Kat Timpf was at a bar in Brooklyn. As she recounted the incident to National Review, a man asked her where she worked. A while later, she said, a woman began 'screaming at me to get out.' Timpf walked away, but the woman followed her around the bar while other patrons laughed. Fearing physical attack, Timpf left. She told National Review and The Hill that it was the third time she has been harassed since 2017. A few months earlier a woman yelled at her during dinner at a Manhattan restaurant. The year before, while she was about to give a speech, a man dumped water on her head. Protests like these, that target people’s private lives, are wrong. They violate fundamental principles of civil disobedience, as understood by its most eminent practitioners and theorists. And they threaten the very norms of human decency that Trump and his supporters have done so much to erode. ..."
The Atlantic

Thursday, November 15

Jazz Deconstructed: What Makes John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” So Groundbreaking and Radical?

"John Coltrane bore an unusual burden. Many experimental artists who radically change their forms of music, and music in general, are so out on the edge and ahead of their time they elude the public’s notice. But Coltrane was responsible for both 'furthering the cause' of free jazz and 'delivering it to an increasingly mainstream audience,' as Lindsay Planer writes at Allmusic. This meant that he achieved the kind of recognition in his short life that most musician/composers only dream of, and that his every attempt was heavily scrutinized by critics, a listening public, and record companies not always ready for the most forward-thinking of his ideas. His immense popularity makes Coltrane’s accomplishments all the more impressive. While 1959 is often cited as the 'year that changed jazz' with a series of landmark albums, two releases by Coltrane in 1960—My Favorite Things and Giant Steps—completely radicalized the form, with repercussions far outside the jazz world. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

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), 2017 December: Interview: Archie Shepp on John Coltrane, the Blues and More, 2018 March: Cannonball Adderley Quintet in Chicago (1959), 2018 June: Lost John Coltrane Recording From 1963 Will Be Released at Last, 2018 July: Stream Online the Complete “Lost” John Coltrane Album, Both Directions at Once

The Seducer’s Diary – Soren Kierkegaard (1843)

"According to Kierkegaard, there are three stages or 'spheres' of existence: the aesthetic, the ethical and the religious. In The Seducer’s Diary, the author depicts the life of someone who has made a conscious choice for the aesthetic way of life, with all the consequences that implies. I was torn between joy — that this amazing text-within-a-text is in print and available to an English-language audience — and concern, that it is taken out of the context of its intellectual home, the monumental philosophical work Either/Or. Be that as it may, The Seducer’s Diary alone is an entrancing read. The layers of metafiction and seduction are dizzying, the tone and pace wonderfully genteel, and filled with visionary metaphors, which only adds to its beauty, but with a hard and frightening core that has given me an almost ominous pause. The plot is simple, and the book is very short, but all the same I became easily involved with the characters. ..."
Tongue Sophistries
New Yorker: Søren K.’s Two-Hundredth Birthday
The Seducer’s Diary
Princeton University Press: The Seducer's Diary

2011 July: Søren Kierkegaard, 2013 April: Repetition (1843), 2013 December: The Quotable Kierkegaard, 2014 October: Fear and Trembling - Søren Kierkegaard (1843), 2014 December: The Dark Knight of Faith - Existential Comics, 2015 July: I still love Kierkegaard, 2015 October: The Concept of Anxiety (1844), 2016 October: Cruel intentions, 2017 July: Søren Kierkegaard Newsletter, 2018 January: Either/Or (1843)

Free Man In Paris - Joni Mitchell (1974)

Wikipedia - "'Free Man In Paris' is a song written by Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell. It appeared on her 1974 album Court and Spark, as well as her live album Shadows and Light. It is one of her most popular songs. The song is about music agent/promoter David Geffen, a close friend of Mitchell in the early 1970s, and describes Geffen during a trip the two made to Paris with Robbie and Dominique Robertson. While Geffen is never mentioned by name, Mitchell describes how he works hard creating hits and launching careers but can find some peace while vacationing in Paris. Mitchell sings 'I was a free man in Paris. I felt unfettered and alive. Nobody calling me up for favors. No one's future to decide.' ... The home key of the song is A-major. The frequent substitution of 'flatted' scale degrees (flat-6 and flat-7; that is, in A-major, F-natural and G-natural in place of F# and G#) adds a jazzy folky sound to the song. The time signature is 4/4 except the compound quintuple meter intro counted as 15/8 or simply 2 bars of 6/8 plus 3 eighth notes. ..."
YouTube: Free Man In Paris (Live London 1983)

2015 July: Blue (1970), 2015 Novemer: 40 Years On: Joni Mitchell's The Hissing Of Summer Lawns Revisited, 2016 August: On For the Roses (1972), 2016 November: Court and Spark (1974), 2017 February: Hejira (1976), 2017 August: Miles of Aisles (1974), 2017 October: Joni Mitchell: Fear of a Female Genius, 2018 March: Joni Mitchell: We look back over her extraordinary 50 year career

Wednesday, November 14

Operation Infektion

"Russia’s meddling in the United States’ elections is not a hoax. It’s the culmination of Moscow’s decades-long campaign to tear the West apart. 'Operation InfeKtion' reveals the ways in which one of the Soviets’ central tactics — the promulgation of lies about America — continues today, from Pizzagate to George Soros conspiracies. Meet the KGB spies who conceived this virus and the American truth squads who tried — and are still trying — to fight it. Countries from Pakistan to Brazil are now debating reality, and in Vladimir Putin’s greatest triumph, Americans are using Russia’s playbook against one another without the faintest clue."
NY Times

Antilles Méchant Bateau (2018)

"Fifteen track compilation of deep biguines and Gwo Ka from the ‘60s French West Indies. 'Biguine is a rhythmic style of music that originated in Guadeloupe and Martinique in the 19th century, which fuses 19th-century French ballroom dance steps with African rhythms. Gwo Ka is found among all ethnic and religious groups of Guadeloupean society. It combines responsorial singing in Guadeloupean Creole, rhythms played on the Ka drums and dancing. Gwo Ka is the musical and cultural product of the region’s African ancestry, forcibly brought to the Caribbean through slavery. Gwo Ka exists only in Guadeloupe, which is a very different island from much of the Caribbean, in that it remains a ‘department’ of its original colonial master, France. Here the currency is the Euro and the baker sells croissants and café au lait. This constant ‘European-ising’ of the island means that Gwo Ka plays a fundamental and important role in the defining of Guadeloupean identity. 'Antilles’ Méchant Bateau', a low-tempo number with a bolero feel, indeed a pure case of the blues, and a terrific saxophone solo. What else would you expect to set the tone for this selection, in which beguine regains its original colours, in the darkness of the Gwo Ka drums. ..."
Holland Tunnel Dive
YouTube: Various Artists - Antilles Méchant Bateau 15 videos