Saturday, June 29
"The French New Wave burst onto world movie screens during the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was launched by a new, restless post-WWII generation in their teens and twenties who wanted to see a renewal in all the arts and culture. Their startling production tactics quickly caught on beyond France’s boundaries. These youthful movies were not just about young people, they were also told with fresh new techniques, some of which seemed too radical and untested to entrenched critics. The core of young writer-directors, including François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, and Jean-Luc Godard in Paris, began as brash young film critics in Cahiers du Cinéma, but they quickly inspired a new generation of actors, writers, and directors throughout Europe and the world. The New Wave was a youthful reaction against mainstream culture and its traditional approaches to storytelling. These new filmmakers wanted their movies to speak to young audiences the world over, and they themselves were likewise influenced by international trends, including jazz. ..."
Jazz On Film Records
bandcamp: JAZZ ON FILM...THE NEW WAVE (Audio)
Friday, June 28
"With her flowery spring ensemble, her pert profile, and bright, leafy backdrop, Jeanne—also known as Spring—is a popular favorite at the Getty. This year we’re celebrating Jeanne and her maker, the great painter of modern Paris Édouard Manet, with the first exhibition ever devoted to the last years of his short life. Manet and Modern Beauty, co-organized by the Getty and the Art Institute of Chicago, opens on May 26 in Chicago and comes to Los Angeles on October 8. When she made her debut at the Paris Salon in 1882, Jeanne marked a high point in Manet’s career. Best remembered for ambitious, provocative pictures painted in the early 1860s (think Luncheon on the Grass and Olympia), he had evolved in a very different direction some twenty years later. ..."
Getty: Exhibition Manet and Modern Beauty Explores the Artist’s Last Years
Getty: Manet and Modern Beauty: The Artist’s Last Years
The House at Rueil, 1882
2011 May: Manet, the Man who Invented Modernity, 2013 April: Manet: Portraying Life
1954: Dusty Rhodes, three-run home run at the Polo Grounds, New York Giants
"In baseball, a Chinese home run, also a Chinese homer, Harlem home run, or Pekinese poke, is a derogatory and archaic term for a hit that just barely clears the outfield fence at its closest distance to home plate. It is essentially the shortest home run possible in the ballpark in question, particularly if the park has an atypically short fence to begin with. The term was most commonly used in reference to home runs hit along the right field foul line at the Polo Grounds, home of the New York Giants, where that distance was short even by contemporary standards. ... Why these home runs were called 'Chinese' is not definitely known, but it is believed to have reflected an early 20th-century perception that Chinese immigrants to the United States did the menial labor they were consigned to with a bare minimum of adequacy, and were content with minimal reward for it. ..."
Kansas City Royals Announcers Should Re-Think Using This Derogatory Phrase
NY Times - 'CHINESE HOMER': HOW IT ALL BEGAN; Cartoonist Tad Credited as Coiner of Term -- Oriental Food Offered to Rhodes (Oct. 1, 1954)
SABR - September 29, 1954: Willie Mays makes The Catch; Dusty Rhodes homer wins Game One
Mel Ott, on a 1933 baseball card
Thursday, June 27
Star clusters M7 and M6 in Scorpius never get far above my local horizon — 8° and 11° respectively — but they're wonderful sights all the same.
"When it comes to deep sky, I'll do almost anything. Stand on a teetering ladder, travel 100 miles to dark skies, set up the scope at the edge of a mosquito-infested bog, or sit in the dirt to glimpse an impossibly low planetary nebula. One time I tried to (and succeeded in) observing NGC 3132, the bright 'Eight-Burst' planetary nebula in Vela. At declination –40° 26′, it stood just 2.5° above my southern horizon. Atmospheric extinction at that altitude dimmed it nearly four magnitudes, from 10 to 14. Sure, it was faint, but I could clearly make out its shape in my 11-inch scope. Are you a bottom-feeder, too? Some of the best deep-sky objects lurk in the bellies of constellations that scud across the southern sky. Naturally, we want to observe any object when it's high in the sky and least obscured, but for objects with southerly declinations, that luxury requires travel. Under the right conditions — haze-free skies and good seeing — you can see almost anything your latitude allows. ..."
Sky & Telescope
This map highlights 11 delightful objects with southerly declinations visible from the northern U.S., southern Canada, central Europe, and points south. Declinations are labeled at left and stars are shown to magnitude 8. The NGC prefixes are omitted to avoid clutter. The map is drawn for 11 p.m. local time in late June, facing south. Objects on the map that I couldn't see but may be visible to you are lettered in gray. Click to enlarge.
"A bell hangs above the door of Holsten’s ice cream parlour in New Jersey, and every time the door opens, the bell rings. But we’ll get to that. First, we have to go back to 1963, and an episode of The Twilight Zone called 'The Bard.' The show’s creator, Rod Serling, one of the greatest talents television has ever known, wrote it himself, probably as a joke, but, equally, probably not. It’s about a hack writer struggling to come up with a script for a TV pilot. ... Except that, when Tony Soprano, face filling the screen like a dead moon in the sleeping close-up that has become the programme’s signature shot, snorts himself awake at the start of the final episode of The Sopranos to remember that his terminal little war with Phil Leotardo is still going on, and that he’s stilled holed up with what’s left of his crew in an anonymous safe house, rifle by his bedside, he discovers that episode flickering on the TV as he wanders downstairs. ..."
This Magic Moment
Vanity Fair - The Sopranos: Everything David Chase Has Said About That Notorious Ending
YouTube: The Sopranos Ending HD, The Sopranos: Ending Explained
2011 June: The Sopranos, 2012 March: The Family Hour: An Oral History of The Sopranos, 2013 June: James Gandolfini, 2015 April: David Chase Reveals the Philosophical Meaning of The Soprano’s Final Scene, 2018 September: Spaccanapoli - Vesuvio (As featured in The Sopranos), 2019 January: Television Learned the Wrong Lessons From The Sopranos
Wednesday, June 26
"On a downtown street corner saturated with the shadowy azures of vacant storefronts, a late-night diner hosts three nocturnal customers. Theirs is a peculiar and disjointed congregation without narrative or context, but the iconic tableau, titled Nighthawks (1942) and painted by American artist Edward Hopper (1882-1967), has endured as a classic image of World War II-era New York City. In a way, Hopper’s portrayal is timeless: three-quarters of a century later, diners are still hosting night owls. But these venues are vanishing – a 2015 Crain’s article informed by the New York City department of health reported that diners had seen a 60 percent decline in the previous 25 years – due to rising rents and discerning millennial palates vetoing greasy-spoon fare. ..."
The Culture Trip
"Chinese Jamaican music producers helped turn reggae into a global sensation—one that would eventually reach all the way to the country their ancestors had left behind.
Words and illustrations by Krish Raghav
W - Redemption Songs
YouTube: Bob Marley - Redemption Song Live In Dortmund, Germany
Tuesday, June 25
"'A FACT OF ANY SUCCESSFUL POP RECORD,' Brian Eno argued in Artforum’s summer issue in 1986, 'is that its sound is more of a characteristic than its melody or chord structure or anything else.' The advent of recording technology and synthesizers had by that time already exponentially broadened composers’ sonic palettes, and musical interest was no longer merely in melody, serialization, or polyphony, but in 'constantly dealing with new textures.' Over the last three decades, composer, visual artist, and turntablist extraordinaire Marina Rosenfeld has built up a library of dubplates—those rare, prized aluminum rounds coated in laquer and incised with a lathe used as test pressings off of which vinyl for mass-distribution is copied—that store the component parts of her distinct sonic landscapes: tinkling pianos, female voices, sine waves, snaps, crackles, and pops. ... This past May, Rosenfeld’s turntables met experimental musician Ben Vida’s modular synthesizer for a bout of improvisation at Fridman Gallery to celebrate the release of their collaborative record Feel Anything (2019). ..."
After 9 Evenings: Marina Rosenfeld & Ben Vida (Video)
Marina Rosenfeld & Ben Vida - Feel Anything (Audio)
Marina Rosenfeld , Ben Vida
YouTube: Marina ROSENFELD & Ben VIDA_PRESENCES électronique 2018
"West Village I: The Wonderful World of the White Horse - June 22, 1961. The young man fresh out of Dartmouth College left the $8-a-week room he’d just moved into on Greenwich Street and ventured into the oppressively muggy late afternoon. Although a newcomer to the West Village in that summer of 1951, he made tracks to the White Horse Tavern like an old-timer. People at Dartmouth had told him about the 'The Horse.' Traditional watering-place for writers, longshoremen, Bohemians, pub crawlers, socialists, and just-plain-drunks, it was the kind of scene he’d dreamed of. 'Dartmouth' looked around at the West Village as he marched along, taking in the grimy streets, the weary brownstones, and tenements, the massive brick warehouses. There was something backwaterish about the neighborhood, tired. ..."
Good-bye to the White Horse Tavern, a Flawlessly Imperfect Pub
2014 December: White Horse Tavern
Monday, June 24
An Introduction to the Life & Music of Fela Kuti: Radical Nigerian Bandleader, Political Hero, and Creator of Afrobeat
"I cannot write about Nigerian bandleader, saxophonist, and founder of the Afrobeat sound, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, with any degree of objectivity, whatever that might mean. Because hearing him counts as one of the greatest musical eye-openers of my life: a feeling of pure elation that still has not gone away. It was not an original discovery by any means. Millions of people could say the same, and far more of those people are African fans with a much better sense of Fela’s mission. In the U.S., the playfully-delivered but fervent urgency of his activist lyricism requires footnotes. Afrobeat fandom in many countries does not have to personally reckon with the history from which Fela and his band emerged—a Nigeria wracked in the 60s by a military coup, civil war, and rule by a succession of military juntas. Fela (for whom the first name never seems too familiar, so enveloping was his presence on stage and record) created the conditions for a new style of African music to emerge, an earth-shattering fusion of jazz, funk, psych rock, high life from Ghana, salsa, and black power, anti-colonial, and anti-corruption politics. ..."
Open Culture (Video)
W - Afrobeat
"The jazz world came out last week to mourn the loss of Ornette Coleman, the saxophonist, band leader, and composer, who died on Thursday at the age of 85. Coleman was lauded as a rule-breaker and visionary who, despite initially hostile reactions from many of his peers, moved jazz past bebop conventions and into the 'free' explorations of the 1960s and beyond. Without Coleman, John Coltrane’s final years might have sounded very different, as would Miles Davis’ electric period, and the entire free-improvisation world down to today. ... What helped make Coleman more broadly significant is that his revolution radiated beyond the boundaries of jazz to young seekers through the decades in every musical form. Musicians are widely aware of this, as reflected in the list of performers at a tribute concert in Brooklyn in 2014 that would turn out to be his last performance, who included Patti Smith, Laurie Anderson, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Nels Cline of Wilco, members of Morocco’s Master Musicians of Jajouka, and even Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But non–jazz listeners tend to be less cognizant of it. ..."
Sunday, June 23
"If Beale Street Could Talk is a 2018 American romantic drama film directed and written by Barry Jenkins, and based on James Baldwin's novel of the same name. It stars KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Colman Domingo, Teyonah Parris, Michael Beach, Dave Franco, Diego Luna, Pedro Pascal, Ed Skrein, Brian Tyree Henry and Regina King. The film follows a young woman who, with her family's support, seeks to clear the name of her wrongly charged lover and prove his innocence before the birth of their child. ... While the film is presented in a non-linear structure, this plot summary is written in a linear fashion. Clementine 'Tish' Rivers and Alonzo 'Fonny' Hunt have been friends their whole lives, and begin a romantic relationship when they are older. It is the early 1970s, and they struggle to find a place to live as most New York City landlords refuse to rent apartments to black people. ..."
W - If Beale Street Could Talk, James Baldwin
The Atlantic: If Beale Street Could Talk and the Urgency of Black Love
The Atlantic: How James Baldwin’s Writings About Love Evolved
What Barry Jenkins Missed in His Adaptation of If Beale Street Could Talk
Slate: The Long Silence of Beale Street
YouTube: IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK | Official Trailer
2017 March: Moonlight (2016), 2018 February: 28 Days, 28 Films for Black History Month
Style Wars Car by NOC 167 with Door Open, Man Reading Newspaper 96th Street Station, New York, NY 1981 Photo Martha Cooper
"BEYOND THE STREETS, the premier exhibition of graffiti, street art and beyond, announces today that it will head to the art form’s epicenter: New York, on June 21, 2019. The show celebrates society’s most pervasive mark makers and rule breakers with a sprawling showcase of work by more than 150 artists from around the world. Continuing its mission to elevate the artform and defy conventions, BEYOND THE STREETS New York will take over two floors of Twenty Five Kent, a new creative office building located on the waterfront in North Williamsburg. The exhibition will be comprised of more than 100,000 square feet of space and feature programming including performances, lectures and films. ..."
Beyond The Streets New York - Introducing: Beyond The Streets New York
Beyond The Streets
Beyond The Streets New York: Featured artists
Beyond The Streets New York - Beyond Banksy: This Massive LA Exhibition Dramatically Expands the Story of Graffiti
YouTube: Beyond the Streets NYC
Left: Estevan Oriol – L.A. Fingers, 1995 / Right: Martha Cooper – Lil’ Crazy Legs during shoot for Wild Style RIVERSIDE PARK, NY, 1983
Saturday, June 22
"The group stages have concluded, to the knockout stages we go. After 36 games, 106 goals, 84 yellow cards, and plenty of VAR controversy, 24 teams have been whittled to 16 and the pressure now turns up a notch or two at the Women's World Cup. The big-hitters have come through their opening tests unscathed, though there have been a few headlines along the way, while all four debutants -- Jamaica, Chile, South Africa and Scotland -- have now departed but left their mark nonetheless. From record-breaking matches to empty seats and ferocious debates, a lot has been learned from the group stages of the Women's World Cup. ..."
W - 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup
BBC - Women's World Cup: Players to watch in the last 16 (Video)
BBC - Women's World Cup 2019: Who do the stats suggest will win the tournament in France? (Video)
Guardian: Women's World Cup 2019 (Video)
Lindsay Horan, Hina Sugita, Sam Kerr, Lucy Bronze and Amandine Henry.
"Become Ocean is an American orchestral composition by John Luther Adams. The Seattle Symphony Orchestra commissioned the work and premiered it at Benaroya Hall, Seattle, on 20 and 22 June 2013. The work won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music and the 2015 Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. The work, in a single movement, was inspired by the oceans of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. The composer took his title from a phrase of John Cage in honour of Lou Harrison, and further explained his title with this note placed in his score: 'Life on this earth first emerged from the sea. As the polar ice melts and sea level rises, we humans find ourselves facing the prospect that once again we may quite literally become ocean.' ..."
YouTube: Become Ocean
2012 January: John Luther Adams, 2015 June: Leaving Alaska
"Jean-Pierre Gorin, its French-born director, describes 'Routine Pleasures' as a film essay about 'America - under-budget and in a shoe box,' which is accurate as far as it goes. The film is also a funny, very personal meditation on the activities of a group of model-railroad buffs in Del Mar, Calif., crosscut with random examples of the wit and wisdom of the seminal film critic Manny Farber, two of whose paintings are also examined in detail.'Routine Pleasures,' opening today at the Film Forum 1, makes a point of never quite coming to a point. It's a movie that ponders possibilities and then moves on to other possibilities. It examines the vaguely interconnecting obsessions of the model railroaders and those of Mr. Farber, whose appreciation for Hollywood B-movies of the 1930's, especially those that deal with blue-collar workers, predates the 'discovery' of those films by the Cahiers du Cinema critics in the 1950's and 1960's. ..."
NY Times: THE OBSESSIONS OF 'ROUTINE PLEASURES'By VINCENT CANBY
Termite Tracks: “Routine Pleasures” and the Paradoxes of Collectivity (2009)
YouTube: driver 8 demo (Routine Pleasures edit)
Friday, June 21
"The music recorded by Bill Evans on June 25, 1961, has long since acquired legendary status. Evans, a brilliant pianist whose unique voicings have influenced over a generation of jazz pianists who have followed him, weaves one masterpiece after another with bassist Scott LaFaro (a promising composer and phenomenal bassist) and the equally valuable drummer Paul Motian. The interplay between them is phenomenal throughout each of their five sets from the final day of a summer gig at the Village Vanguard. This beautifully remastered three-CD collection restores the previously omitted take of 'Gloria's Step' (marred only by a brief power outage) and the humorous finale by Evans at the end of the night (first issued in the massive Complete Riverside Recordings box set). The songs are in their original recorded sequence, adding a bit of ambience and audience reaction between numbers. Sadly, it was the trio's final recording, as LaFaro died in a car crash ten days later. The selections from this three-CD box set have been reissued numerous times over the years, but this is the first time that all of them have been collected in one U.S. release. ..."
W - The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961
W - Bill Evans
All About Jazz
YouTube: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 1/20
Thursday, June 20
"Local and visiting fans of New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge should consider themselves in good company—the immigrant-built symbol of the connection between the Old and New Worlds has been honored by everyone from Walt Whitman to the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation. In celebration of National Reading Month, add this literary guide to New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge to your reading list. ...'
The Culture Trip
15 Novels Set in Brooklyn
NY Times: Brooklyn by the Book
Modern American Poetry
amazon: Literary Brooklyn by Evan Hughes
2013 January: Brooklyn Bridge
"Desolation Island is the fifth historical novel in the Aubrey-Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian. It was first published in 1978. Jack Aubrey is in funds from his successful mission to take the islands of Mauritius and Reunion. His house has additions, but he is ready for another voyage. The story includes a voyage meant to reach Australia, and occurs prior to the War of 1812. Critics have praised the novel's 'literate, clear-eyed realism' at initial publication, and stirring naval action in the cold southern ocean in the chase of the Dutch ship, 20 years after initial publication at the re-issue. ... The real-life Leopard's earlier involvement in the Chesapeake-Leopard Affair is described in the novel. The appearance of the American whaler reveals the tension between the English and the Americans on the eve of the War of 1812. O'Brian based the account of the near sinking of the Leopard (after striking an iceberg) on an actual event involving HMS Guardian and her commander Edward Riou in 1789. ..."
The voyage of the world: Patrick O’Brian’s Desolation Island
2009 September: Patrick O'Brian, 2013 July: Harbors and High Seas - Dean King and John B. Hattendorf, 2015 October: HMS Surprise (1973), 2016 May: Post Captain (1972), 2019 February: Aubrey–Maturin series, 2019 February: Cooking with Patrick O’Brian By Valerie Stivers
"Over a decade and a half in the making, From The Third Eye: The Evergreen Review Film Reader is the first comprehensive look at Barney Rosset and Grove Press’s contribution to film culture, collecting close to four dozen articles of the Evergreen Review’s film section, contextualized with an in-depth introduction by Ed Halter and brilliantly laid out in the distinguished style of the erstwhile magazine. That such a work has finally arrived forty-five years after the demise of the Review is a testament to Rosset’s repeated lament that Grove’s place in film history is overlooked. ..."
LARB: Booking Film
Wednesday, June 19
"Our Man In Havana (1958) is a novel set in Cuba by the British author Graham Greene. He makes fun of intelligence services, especially the British MI6, and their willingness to believe reports from their local informants. The book predates the Cuban Missile Crisis, but certain aspects of the plot, notably the role of missile installations, appear to anticipate the events of 1962. It was adapted into a film of the same name in 1959, directed by Carol Reed and starring Alec Guinness. In 1963 it was adapted into an opera by Malcolm Williamson, to a libretto by Sidney Gilliat, who had worked on the film. In 2007, it was adapted into a play by Clive Francis, which has since toured the UK several times and been performed in various parts of the world. Greene joined MI6 in August 1941. ..."
W – Our Man in Havana (film)
Exploring Cuba, Guided by Graham Greene
NY Times: Out of a Need for Money By JAMES M. CAIN (October 26, 1958)
Drinking and Drink in “Our Man in Havana”
amazon, Criterion ($)
YouTube: Our Man in Havana trailer, Our Man in Havana: Tropicana Scene - Ernie Kovacs
2017 December: The Heart of the Matter (1948)
"In this video, Hainbach (Stefan Paul Goetsch) gives a hands-on demo of the Make Noise Morphagene and the ‘reel’ that he made for it. The video is not intended to be demo or review of the Morphagene, but instead is more of a look at its musical applications. Hainbach has shared his reel as a free download. Here’s what he has to say about his ‘Noir’ reel: 'I call it Noir, since it is has a vibe of film noir to it. I made this with scoring for picture or theatre in mind, recording piano, percussion, synths on a Telefunken M15 and Nagra III and playing that back on half speed. All music is harmonically related, so it should not grind too much when switching apruptly. I left some space for new splices in the end, as I feel that makes it more playable.'”
YouTube: Make Noise Morphage - My "Film Noir" Reel
2018 October: Distressed Tape, 2019 February: Sandpaper Is a Form of Change, 2019 February: Hainbach - Gear Top 7: My Personal Favorites In 2018, 2019 May: The Sound of Architecture and Design | Bauhaus, Piezo Microphones and FX
Tuesday, June 18
"Few artists recorded as prolifically as Sonny Stitt; over the course over 100+ albums, he seemed to play with anybody willing to pick up an instrument and join him in the studio. Inevitably, there was a lot of mediocre material released, and it can be a little tricky finding Stitt's best stuff. Personal Appearance is one of the better ones, an outing which finds the saxophonist playing in a Parker-influenced style over a selection of bebop favorites like 'Easy To Love' and 'Autumn In New York.' Stitt's most famous and highly regarded recordings are those in which he is paired with another horn (most notably Gene Ammons or Eddie 'Lockjaw' Davis), yet as the sole lead instrument he proves that he has more than enough ideas to hold his own and doesn't require the interplay the extra horn provides. ..."
All About Jazz
W - Personal Appearance
YouTube: Personal Appearance 10 videos
2018 March: Stitt Meets Brother Jack (1962), 2019 February: Sonny Stitt Plays Jimmy Giuffre Arrangements (1959)
"An essential addition to the library of every booklover and Francophile, this unique love letter to Paris offers an immersive photographic stroll through its literary delights, from historic bookstores to hidden cafes. Paris in Color author Nichole Robertson turns her lens onto spots both legendary and little-known, highlighting quiet moments that every booklover savors—inviting cafe scenes, comfy chairs, enticing book nooks—and the weathered charm of places steeped in centuries of literary history. Quotes by great writers such as Balzac and Colette are interspersed throughout, while a timeline and an index of featured locations round out the volume. This bijou treasure of a book will inspire every creative soul who dreams of following in the footsteps of their literary heroes."
Inside the Great Bookstores of Paris
La Bibliothèque Idéale
"Quantum computing is all the rage. It seems like hardly a day goes by without some news outlet describing the extraordinary things this technology promises. Most commentators forget, or just gloss over, the fact that people have been working on quantum computing for decades—and without any practical results to show for it. We’ve been told that quantum computers could 'provide breakthroughs in many disciplines, including materials and drug discovery, the optimization of complex systems, and artificial intelligence.' We’ve been assured that quantum computers will 'forever alter our economic, industrial, academic, and societal landscape. We’ve even been told that 'the encryption that protects the world’s most sensitive data may soon be broken' by quantum computers. ..."
Monday, June 17
"... Among the most engaging trajectories in contemporary creative avant-garde practice, are those which entirely defy the standard classifications of genre and context - pooling from a startlingly diverse range of fields. The trio of Stephan Crasneanscki, Simone Merli, and Kamran Sadeghi, who, with an evolving cast of collaborators, account for the Soundwalk Collective, are among the most noteworthy within this fascinating realm of production. Based between New York City and Berlin, their efforts span fine art and music, digesting anthropological, ethnographic, and psychogeographic study, through the lens of electronic sound - recording, processing, and synthesis. Marking the debut of the new imprint Dischi Fantom, Transmissions - a four LP anthology, gathers four previously unreleased studio compositions into a single sprawling hit. ..."
Forced Exposure (Audio)