Saturday, November 30

An Illustrated Map of Every Known Object in Space: Asteroids, Dwarf Planets, Black Holes & Much More

"Name all the things in space in 20 minutes. Impossible, you say? Well, if there’s anyone who might come close to summarizing the contents of the universe in less than half an hour, with the aid of a handy infographic map also available as a poster, it's physicist Dominic Walliman, who has explored other vast scientific regions in condensed, yet comprehensive maps on physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, and computer science. These are all academic disciplines with more or less defined boundaries. But space? It’s potentially endless, a point Walliman grants up front. Space is 'infinitely big and there are an infinite number of things in it,' he says. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

French New Wave film posters: ‘They broke the rules’

L-r: Lola (1961) by Maciej Hibner, Mon Oncle (1958) by Pierre Étaix, Alphaville (1965) by Andrzej Krajewski.
"When Tony Nourmand began collecting movie posters and other print memorabilia from the French New Wave 30 years ago, he could usually pick them up for next to nothing. 'I remember going to Paris and walking into poster shops and digging for hours,' he recalls, 'and then I’d suddenly find a poster for Breathless and it was 50 francs, and I’d be so excited. Nobody else seemed to care.' ... The poster design for films by Jean-Luc Godard, François Truffaut and other boundary-pushing French directors of the late 1950s and 60s was anything but. For evidence, take a look at Nourmand’s hefty French New Wave: A Revolution in Design. ..."

Friday, November 29

Redefining the Black Mountain Poets

Drawing of project for Black Mountain College in Asheville, North Carolina.
"Grouping writers into 'schools' has always been problematic. The so-called Black Mountain poets never identified themselves as such, but the facts of their union spring from a remarkable instance of artistic community: Black Mountain College and the web of interactions the place occasioned. Founded in the mountains of western North Carolina in 1933 and closed by 1956, the college was one of the most significant experiments in arts and education of the twentieth century. In recent years, a number of international exhibitions and publications have showcased the range of artwork produced at the college’s two campuses, the first situated in the YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly, and the second at Lake Eden in the Swannanoa Valley. The list of famous names associated with Black Mountain is as impressive as it is unlikely, given that the college never housed more than a hundred students and faculty at a time, often far fewer. ..."
The Paris Review

The Black Mountain School of Poetry

2010 June: Black Mountain poets, 2013 August: The Black Mountain Review, 2015 October: Leap Before You Look - Black Mountain College 1933 - 1957

A Montreal Bagel War Unites Rival Kings

Fresh bagels being removed from a wood-burning oven at Fairmount Bagel, a Montreal institution.
"Irwin Shlafman, the owner of Fairmount Bagel, boasts that his bagels were the first in outer space, when his astronaut cousin brought them to the International Space Station. He also says Fairmount, founded in 1919, is the oldest bagel joint in town. Just don’t tell that to his arch-bagel-rival, Joe Morena, the jovial owner of nearby St-Viateur Bagel. He contends that his bagel place, opened in 1957, is Montreal’s longest continuously running bagel outfit, since Fairmount was closed for a time. ..."
NY Times

The Mile End neighborhood in Montreal, where hipsters and Hasidim often cross paths.

2013 October: Montreal Metro, 2014 July: Montreal, tales of gentrification in a bohemian city, 2016 August: Montreal-style bagel, 2016 August: Montreal-style bagel, 2017 April: St-Henri, the 26th of August - Shannon Walsh (2011), 2017 May: A family affair: St-Viateur Bagel celebrates 60 years, 2017 August: Saint Catherine Street / Underground City, Montreal, 2018 February: Counter Intelligence: Montréal, 2018 April: Le Spectrum de Montréal, 2019 November: The Vehicule Poets

Thursday, November 28

Coyote Leaves The Res: The Art Of Harry Fonseca

Harry Fonseca, Carmen—First Act, 2006.
"... Joni Mitchell’s song, 'Coyote,' about a lover she describes as a shape-shifting trickster, seems a fitting soundtrack to the Autry Museum of the American West’s Coyote Leaves the Res: The Art of Harry Fonseca. The beautiful exhibition is the inaugural presentation of Fonseca’s work taken from the museum’s acquisition of the artist’s vast estate. In it, viewers meet an evolving humanization of the artist’s character of Coyote, an elusive figure who could very well have slipped into Mitchell’s heart and music. The vibrant, uniquely-Fonseca exhibition includes paintings, sketches, and lithographs primarily depicting Coyote, a trickster and storyteller who can move between different worlds. ..."
Riot Material
Coyote Leaves the Res: The Art of Harry Fonseca (Video)
Coyote as Clown, Cowboy, and Creator

Harry Fonseca, And Still We Dance, 1995.

Wednesday, November 27

Debatable: Turducken is blasphemy

"Despite what the poultry-industrial complex might have you believe, the meat of Thanksgiving is not turkey but tension: What celebration of shared humanity would be complete without an argument? (The gratitude part is important, too, I’m told, but we’ll get to that later.) In an effort to stoke festive controversy, I asked Pete Wells, The Times’s chief restaurant critic, Kim Severson, an Atlanta-based Food reporter, Julia Moskin, also a Food reporter, and Sam Sifton, the Food editor, to take sides in some of the holiday’s most entrenched culinary conflicts. ..."
NY Times: Sweet Potatoes Are Overrated. Turducken Is Performative.

Sun Ra Arkestra’s June Tyson Was the Queen of Afrofuturism

"If Sun Ra was the king of Afro-futurism, then Arkestra vocalist June Tyson was the queen. Married to Richard Wilkerson, who was the Sun Ra Arkestra’s light and sound designer and former manager, Tyson was the only woman invited into Sun Ra’s musical universe during her tenure with the group, which lasted from 1968 to her death in 1992. In addition to singing and reciting poetry, she designed and sewed costumes, choreographed dancers, managed the money on the road, and occasionally housed Arkestra members in her New York apartment. Tyson, born in Albemarle, North Carolina in 1936, had been dancing and singing in a series of outdoor Broadway musicals in New York’s Jackie Robinson Park, presented by promoter Simon Bly. ..."
bandcamp (Audio)
June Tyson: 50 Miles of Elbow Room (Video)
“Somebody Else’s World” By Harmony Holiday
W - June Tyson
Sundazed (Audio)
amazon: Saturnian Queen Of The Sun Ra Arkestra

June Tyson with the Sun Ra Arkestra in Willisau, Switzerland, February 1980.

Monday, November 25

Feminize Your Canon: Mary Heaton Vorse

One of the principal figures around which the Passaic, New Jersey, textile strike is surging is Mary H. Vorse, socialist, short story writer, globe trotter and correspondent.
"Mary Heaton Vorse, prolific novelist, journalist, and labor activist, spent most of her long life trying to escape her upper-middle-class origins. The heroine of her 1918 novel I’ve Come To Stay calls the inescapability of a bourgeois upbringing life’s 'blue serge lining'—a reference to the practical fabric that protected the inside of coats and suits, forming a barrier between the self and the world. The lining stands for the inevitable conformity of class, getting, if not quite under the wearer’s skin, then next to it, holding her upright, constraining her imagination and her freedom. Camilla is constantly on the run from it. She embraces the pretensions of bohemian Greenwich Village—anarchist friends, artistic aspirations, a Polish violinist lover, and nights spent in smoky bars. ..."
The Paris Review
W - Mary Heaton Vorse
New Yorker: Mary Heaton Vorse
The Women's Peace Party and Pacifism During WWI

American delegates to the International Congress of Women held in the Netherlands in 1915. The conference adopted much of the platform of Women's Peace Party, which Jane Addams and others had organized few months earlier in Washington.

Veniero’s has the East Village’s best neon sign

"On dark, chilly fall nights, Veniero’s neon sign glows with warmth and possibilities—of cannoli, tiramisu, pignoli, or any of this pasticceria’s other heavenly cakes, cookies, and Italian pastries tempting hungry customers from the long glass counter. The shop, on East 11th Street between Second and First Avenues, has a familiar history. In 1885, Antonio Veniero left his Southern Italy hometown and sailed to America. After working in a candy factory for eight years, he’d saved enough money to open a social club at 342 East 11th Street —then an enclave of Italian immigrants amid a larger neighborhood of Germans, Poles, Ukrainians, and other newcomers. ..."
Ephemeral New York

Sunday, November 24

Some Other Time: The Lost Session From the Black Forest - Bill Evans (2016)

"... Some Other Time: The Lost Session From the Black Forest is one of these. It was recorded when [Bill] Evans was on tour in Europe with a trio that included Eddie Gomez on bass and, on drums, a young Jack DeJohnette, who would go on to much greater fame with Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett, and as a leader himself. It was cut between stops on a European tour by German producer Joachim-Ernst Berendt, with the idea that the rights and a release plan would be figured out later. ... The piano/bass/drums trio setting is where Evans did his most important and lasting work. He thrived on both the limitations and the possibilities of the set-up, and returned to it constantly over the course of his quarter-century recording career. ..."
Jazz Times
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Some Other Time (Mini-Documentary)

2019 June: The Complete Village Vanguard Recordings, 1961 - Bill Evan (2005)

Akalé Wubé - Sost (2014)

"Akalé Wubé’s third album, Sost ('three' in Amharique) is perfectly in line with their previous records, it is also a testament to a more mature and experienced band, who have proved able to win over different audiences in different circumstances with their infectious grooves. While touring in Ethiopia, the band realised that local musicians had stopped playing music from the Swinging Addis golden age. A puzzling but liberating discovery that convinced the band to completely stand behind their project, and release three albums to date. More than half of the tracks in 'Sost' are original compositions, with the other half being songs discovered on old cassette tapes brought back from Ethiopia. Akalé Wubé have invited the radiant Genet Asefa on three tracks, an Ethiopian singer with whom they have often shared the stage. ..."
... my passion for ethiopian music ... (Video)
bandcamp (Audio)
Discogs (Video)
amazon, Apple Music
YouTube: Sost 11 videos

Saturday, November 23

All That Heaven Allows

Brassaï, Pierre Bonnard in His Studio at Le Cannet, 1946
"'The main subject is the surface, which has its color, its laws, over and above the objects,' Pierre Bonnard declared in December 1935. I don’t know what I expected to accomplish by hauling my ass to Copenhagen’s Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek museum for the second stop of 'The Colour of Memory,' the first globe-trotting Bonnard survey in twenty years. Concentrating on the artist’s later solar work, the splendid exhibition, arranged chronologically, stumbled only with a series of not-uninteresting but nevertheless wince-inducing 'soundscapes,' about which the less said the better. ..."

Pierre Bonnard, La salle à manger, Vernon (The Dining Room, Veron), ca. 1925

2012 January: Pierre Bonnard, 2015 March: Pierre Bonnard: Painting Arcadia, 2019 September: Les Nabis

Here It Is! Alice B. Toklas’s Recipe for Hash Brownies

"Yesterday, I published a list of unusual literary cookbooks—and in doing so was reminded of perhaps the most notorious recipe ever included in such a volume: 'Haschich Fudge,' printed in The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book in 1954. Since this is Thanksgiving and you may be called upon to make dessert and/or come up with creative ways to tolerate your relatives, I thought I would share it again here. Of course this wasn’t Toklas’s recipe at all—it was sent to her by a friend, the artist Brion Gysin, who lived in Morocco. (You may not recognize the name, but he’s a literary celebrity in his own right, or should be: Gysin invented the cut-up method, which William S. Burroughs made famous.) Toklas signed a contract with Harper’s for the cookbook in 1952, but as the deadline approached, she decided she didn’t have enough recipes of her own and started asking her friends for help. This was Gysin’s contribution. ..."
Open Culture: Alice B. Toklas Reads Her Famous Recipe for Hashish Fudge (1963) (Video)
The infamous Hashish Fudge recipe of Alice B. Toklas (Video)
Scientific American - Go Ask Alice: The History of Toklas’ Legendary Hashish Fudge (Video)
W - I Love You, Alice B. Toklas

Friday, November 22

Before and After Science - Brian Eno (1977)

"Before and After Science is the fifth studio album by British musician Brian Eno. Produced by Eno and Rhett Davies, it was originally released by Polydor Records in December 1977 in the UK and by US Island soon after. Guest musicians from the United Kingdom and Germany helped with the album, including members of Roxy Music, Free, Fairport Convention, Can and Cluster. Over one hundred tracks were written with only ten making the album's final cut. The musical styles of the album range from energetic and jagged to more languid and pastoral. The album marks Eno's last foray into rock music for the 1970s as a solo artist, with all his remaining albums of the decade showcasing more of Eno's avant-garde and ambient music, which was hinted at on the second half of Before and After Science. ... Critical response to the album has remained positive, with several critics calling it one of Eno's best works. ..."
‘Before And After Science’: Brian Eno’s Dimension-Straddling Classic (Video)
Discogs (Video)
YouTube: Before And After Science (Full Album)

Peter Schmidt's "Four Years" was one of four prints included in the original pressings of the album.

Can South America Produce a Superclub?

Flamengo will play River Plate in Saturday’s Copa Libertadores final in Peru.
"My favorite soccer-related study of all time, by some distance, came from the Brazilian magazine Mundo Estranho a few weeks before the start of the 2014 World Cup. For the first time, it said, it could provide an answer to that thorny question: Just which team is the most popular in all of soccer? This, you will agree, is the sort of research that matters, the sort of material that academics and statisticians all over the world should be devoting their time to understanding. It does, after all, have real-world effects: Manchester United, for one, regularly mentions on conference calls to its investors just how many fans it has. The latest estimate, from the agency Kantar, is that 1.1 billion people — or one in every seven people on the entire planet — are currently trying to persuade themselves that seventh in the Premier League isn’t too bad. ..."
NY Times

Flamengo won its only Copa Libertadores final in 1981.

Thursday, November 21

The Iran Cables

"The source said they wanted to “let the world know what Iran is doing in my country Iraq.” They sent The Intercept 700 pages of secret intelligence reports from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security, or MOIS, but never revealed their own identity. This kind of leak is unprecedented for Iran, a country with a highly secretive government and spy agencies that guard their confidential information zealously. In the months after we received the intelligence reports, which are written in a highly bureaucratic and opaque style, we had them translated from Persian into English and then had the translations cross-checked. ..."
The Intercept_: The Story Behind the Iran Cables (Video)
The Intercept_: The Iran Cables

2019 March: ISIS Caliphate Crumbles as Last Village in Syria Falls ++

Wednesday, November 20

Rue Cottage Books

"While in Blue Hill, Maine, I received a call from Alan at Own Guru Records. He had a promo copy of Allen Ginsberg’s Lion for Real. By the time I called back, he had sold it to a particularly attractive French tourist. Vous comprenez, non? Oui, but only because I already owned a copy. Alan knew about Blue Hill from scanning through FM stations on his travels. He hit upon 89.9 FM (WERU), the local alternative station, and was drawn like a moth to a flame to this small community with peninsulas full of artists and aging hippies. He urged me to walk around Echo Lake in nearby Acadia National Park assuring me that there were psychedelic mushrooms along the shores. I was doubtful, but given all the survivors of Kerouac’s rucksack revolution that wander through Acadia I be mistaken. ..."
Reality Studio

Tuesday, November 19

John Giorno – the New York radical who broke art and poetry's boundaries

John Giorno in August, at a gala honouring his partner Ugo Rondinone in New York.
"'What do telephones, poetry and the Museum of Modern Art have in common?' read a press release issued by the New York institution on 21 July 1970. A question to which they might have added gay liberation, Aids activism, the aesthetics of advertising, Tibetan Buddhism and sleeping for Andy Warhol, and still received the answer of John Giorno. The artist and poet, who died on Friday aged 82, was the linchpin of New York’s downtown scene. ..."
Guardian (Video)

Dial-a-Poem from the retrospective Ugo Rondinone: I love John Giorno.

2012 June: The Dial-A-Poem Poets: The Nova Convention, 2014 March: The Dial-A-Poem Poets (1972), 2015 January: Dial-A-Poem Poets - Big Ego (1978), 2018 November: I ♥ John Giorno and So Should You

A Coup in Bolivia, Yet Again

Miners from Colquiri receive tear gas from police during a protest on November 15, 2019 in La Paz, Bolivia.
"Extracontinental power transitions are frequently called 'revolutions' by their authors and “coups” by those who resist. For a large plurality of Bolivians, last week’s forced resignation of President Evo Morales fits the latter category. Morales was elected to his third term in 2014 by the highest percentage of votes — 63 percent — of any free election since universal suffrage, and he was set to begin an unprecedented (for Bolivia) fourth term after polling in at 47 percent on October 20, more than ten percentage points ahead of his closest competitor. Fueled by distrust among his detractors, however, the second place candidate refused to accept the results and was backed up by a dubious OAS (Organization of American States) report alleging electoral fraud. ..."
The Nation: Bolivia’s Coup Is Still Happening
Guardian: Many wanted Morales out. But what happened in Bolivia was a military coup (Video)
NY Times: Bolivia Crisis Shows the Blurry Line Between Coup and Uprising

A supporter of former president Evo Morales holds a Bolivian flag during clashes with police in La Paz, Bolivia,

Monday, November 18

What Is Bebop? Deconstructing Jazz Music’s Most Influential Development

"What is bebop? The Big Apple certainly didn’t know what hit it when Charlie Parker blew into town like a tornado and shook the jazz scene to its very core. It was 1942, and the 22-year-old alto saxophonist from Kansas City, then playing in pianist Jay McShann’s band, was blowing his horn in a way that had never been heard or seen before. Molten melodic lines poured out of him in a rapid-fire torrent of improvisation that took virtuosity to a new level. Parker, who in his own words had been 'bored with the stereotyped [chord] changes that were being used', found a kindred spirit in trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, with whom he played in Earl Hines’ band later the same year. Together, their sonic explorations, which developed rapidly during the next three years, would sow the seeds for what became known as bebop. ..."
udiscover (Video/Audio)

Sunday, November 17

We Spent the Night at a Bodega and Wrote It All Down

"Eight hours, 322 sales, two cops, one America’s Next Top Model, and one very persistent drug dealer. ..."
NY Times

Mario Sanchez: Painter of Memories (1983)

"Mario Sanchez is a self-taught painter who was born in Key West, FL in 1908 and died in 2005, age 96. He saw island society change and depicted his memories of daily life in a continuing series of painted, hand-chiseled wood reliefs. His unique work, made using dime store brushes and paint mixed with castor oil on pine and cedar boards, is among the most famous folk art in the world. This sole film portrait of the artist shows the sympathy, humor and personal involvement of a native son as he captures a distinctive part of the American scene. ..."
Folkstreams (Video)
Gallery On Greene
Painter/Sculptor Mario Sanchez
amazon: Mario Sanchez-Painter of the Key West Memories

What the Future Sounded Like: Documentary Tells the Forgotten 1960s History of Britain’s Avant-Garde Electronic Musicians

"It really is impossible to overstate the fact that most of the music around us sounds the way it does today because of an electronic revolution that happened primarily in the 1960s and 70s (with roots stretching back to the turn of the century). While folk and rock and roll solidified the sound of the present on home hi-fis and coffee shop and festival stages, the sound of the future was crafted behind studio doors and in scientific laboratories. What the Future Sounded Like, the short documentary above, transports us back to that time, specifically in Britain, where some of the finest recording technology developed to meet the increasing demands of bands like the Beatles and Pink Floyd. ..."
Open Culture (Video)

Saturday, November 16

Julia Kent

"Been awhile since the cellist Julia Kent had a mention here, and thankfully there’s a new release, providing good reason. 'Salt Point' isn’t truly new. It’s one of two previously unreleased tracks that will appear on the forthcoming expanded, vinyl edition of Kent’s 2011 album, Green and Grey, alongside the four tracks off Last Day in July, which came out the year prior to Green and Grey. 'Salt Pond' is a lush slice of what has come to be called neoclassical. That’s an interesting term in how it has transitioned over time. It used to mean sort of the opposite of what it now means. It once meant contemporary work that had obvious roots in the past, work that strove for a semblance to antiquity. ..."
disquiet: Julia Kent Reveals an Unreleased Track (Audio)
Headphone Commute (Video)
W - Julia Kent
YouTube: Julia Kent’s breathtaking compositions fuse cello, electronics and found sounds: MUTEK 2016, Invitation to the Voyage, Overlook, Leopard - Live@Blah Blah, Torino (Italy)
YouTube: open recording session 17:31, live at [F]luister 44:07
YouTube: Julia Kent

French Baguettes From a Vending Machine? ‘What a Tragedy.’

Traditional mom-and-pop bakeries in rural areas are disappearing quickly — sometimes at a rate of four percent in a single year.
"LA CHAPELLE-EN-JUGER, France — The lights inside the village bakery used to come on before dawn, an hour or so before the smell of baking bread would waft into neighbors’ homes. The storefront door would soon be heard, opening and closing, the rhythm as predictable as the life stirring awake across the French countryside. But everything changes. 'Without bread, there is no more life,' said Gérard Vigot, standing in his driveway across the street from the now shuttered bakery. 'This is a dead village.' Two years ago, the 650 residents of La Chapelle-en-Juger lost their bakery, the last local business where they could meet one another, chitchat and gossip while waiting in line for their daily baguette or their weekend éclairs. For the community, the closing of the bakery was 'un drame,' as one newspaper put it, or a tragedy, one that is being repeated in countless French villages. ..."
NY Times

When the bakery closed in Landelles-et-Coupigny, residents started shopping elsewhere. So the butcher shop next door also closed.

Friday, November 15

Troy: myth and reality

Filippo Albacini (1777–1858), The Wounded Achilles. Marble, 1825.
"The story of a great city, plunged into a 10-year war over the abduction of the most beautiful woman in the world, is irresistibly dramatic and tragic. This allure has sent adventurers and archaeologists in quest of the lost city, which is now widely believed to have existed. But what of the heroes and heartbroken, women and wanderers, who are said to have played a part in the Trojan War? Why have they inspired so many retellings, from Homer to Shakespeare to Hollywood? Get closer to these captivating characters as you explore the breathtaking art that brings them to life, from dramatic ancient sculptures and exquisite vase paintings to powerful contemporary works. You can also examine the fascinating archaeological evidence that proves there was a real Troy, offering tantalising hints at the truth behind the mythical stories. From Helen of Troy's abduction to the deception of the Trojan Horse and the fall of the city, tread the line between myth and reality in this phenomenal new exhibition. ..."
British Museum
British Museum: Who was Achilles?

Pietro Testa (1611–1650), Achilles dragging the body of Hector around the walls of Troy. Etching, 1648–50.

Ignore the Confusion, Embrace the Romance

Finland can seal a berth in its first major soccer championship on Friday.
"It is 15 days until the draw is made for Euro 2020, all glitz and stardust in an oversized exhibition center in Bucharest, Romania. So far, 10 teams have qualified, including Belgium, Italy, Spain, England and France. Germany and the Netherlands should join them soon enough, and most likely Portugal and Croatia, too. Beyond that, it is anybody’s guess. If you can understand all of the permutations, all of the different routes into the tournament, the qualifying and the playoffs and the Nations League route, then you have my undying admiration. It is easy to be cynical about international soccer. ..."
NY Times

Finland’s manager, Markku Kanerva. The Finns can claim a place in next summer’s European Championship with a win against Liechtenstein on Friday.