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JahSonic's Blog

October 2003

Status: Archived (Oct 2005)

A daily Weblog recommending not only CDs but books and films too. -- Wire Magazine, Feb 2003

2003, Oct 30; 09:25 :::: new beat

  • Serie Noire (2002) - Various Artists [Amazon UK]
    1. Unit - Logic System 2. Jamaica running - Pool 3. Adventures in success - Powers, Will 4. Mammagamma (instrumental version) - Parsons, Alan Project 5. Flesh - Split Second 6. Euroshima - Snowy Red 7. Looking from a hilltop - Wardance 7 Section 25 8. Funkatarium - Jump (2) 9. Miura - Metro Area 10. Hypnotic tango (instrumental version) - My Mine 11. Film 2 - Grauzone 12. 8.15 to nowhere - Vicious Pink 13. Bus - Executive Slacks 14. End - Carpenter, John 15. Big man restless - Kissing The Pink 16. Nothing is true everything is permitted - Peron, Carlos 17. Shake the mind - C-Cat Trance

  • Serie Noire 2 (2003) - Various Artists [Amazon UK]
    1. Boytronic - Bryllyant 2. Savage Progress - My Heart Begins To Beat 3. Blancmange - The Game Above My head 4. The Nick Straker Band - Straight Ahead (Instr. Reprise) 5. Green Fridge Music - Da Best 6. Precious - Definition Of A Track 7. Adonis - No Way Back 8. Crash Course In Science - Flying Turns 9. Green Velvet - Coitus 10. Die Warzau - Strike To The Body (Lil Louis' Body Blow) 11. Mr. Fingers - I'm Strong (instr.) 12. Liaisons Dangereuses - Peut être...pas 13. Giorgio Moroder - Evolution 14. Easy Going - Fear 15. Bobby O - She Has A Way 16. Sandy Steel - Mind Your Own Business 17. P.I.L. - Death Disco (Megga Mix) 18. Rheingold - Dreiklangsdimensionen 19. The Passions - I'm In Love With A German Filmstar

    The ‘Serie Noire’ series presents a historical overview of key electronic cuts from the past, which are influencing the producers and DJs of today. Specific attention is paid to the brooding, dark electronics of the Belgian new beat scene, which emerged out of clubs like Ghent’s Boccaccio and Antwerp’s AB. Mixed by Belgian's most adventurous DJs the Glimmer Twins, out on Eskimo Records.

    2003, Oct 29 10:39 :::: erotica

  • The Erotic History of Advertising (2003) - Tom Reichert [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    In the supposedly prudish late-19th century, tobacco products were advertised with posters showing a variety of buxom, practically (or entirely) topless women. They were invariably draped in toga-like robes and adopted pseudo-Grecian poses. In the 1930s, ads for a Midwestern varnish company used completely naked models; as they were used in trade magazines with an almost entirely male readership, it was considered unlikely that any woman would ever see them. Reichert, a University of Alabama advertising professor, unearthed these tidbits and others in the course of researching this entertaining and fairly comprehensive history of the use of sex in American advertising over the past 150 years. At first, this research may seem unnecessary, since the sex and advertising are so inextricably intertwined. Yet Reichert plots a telling time line, from the late-19th-century petticoat-wearing women coyly exposing themselves on beer tavern walls to the double entendres of 1960s magazine ads and the lasciviously photographed nudes plastered throughout today's fashion glossies. Although Reichert doesn't delve fully into the social ramifications of the constant rise of and backlash against overt sexuality in advertising or how the ads are targeted differently at men and women, he provides a fun, accessible survey of a subject everyone's familiar with.--amazon.com

    2003, Oct 28 09:56 :::: disgust

  • On Disgust (2003) Aurel Kolnai, Carolyn Korsmeyer (Editor), Barry Smith (Editor) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Aurel Kolnai, considered a philosophy pioneer, draws on Husserl’s phenomenological method to dissect disgust. He distinguishes disgust from other emotions of aversion such as fear and contempt and shows how it relates to the five senses. Kolnai argues that disgust is never related to inorganic or nonbiological matter, and that its arousal by moral objects has an underlying similarity with its arousal by organic material: a particular combination of life and death. Included is an article published shortly before the author’s death titled "The Standard Modes of Aversion: Fear, Disgust, and Hatred." --amazon.com

    2003, Oct 27 15:25 :::: art

  • My Alphabet - Trevor Brown [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Trevor Brown's My Alphabet is a beautifully designed book showcasing the artist's beautiful images of young, lolita-type japanese girls in disturbing images of bondage and torture. The cover is a beautiful black ultrasuede with pink lettering, the cover illustration is inlaid on the fabric, and the cover is protected with a clear plastic dustjacket. The print run was extremely limited and this sold out quickly after its release in Japan. Very few copies made it into the U.S. and My Alphabet has become a sought-after cult classic. Highly recommended if you can still find one. --A reader from New York, NY United States, amazon.com

    2003, Oct 27 12:33 :::: art

  • Eric Fischl : 1970 - 2000 - Eric Fischl, Robert Enright, Steve Martin, Arthur Coleman Danto [Amazon US][FR] [DE] [UK]
    Fischl is one of the most active and influential figurative painters working at the end of the 20th century. His figures, most often nude and caught in compromising or alienating positions, are blunt portrayals of the human body. In this work, essays by noted art critic Danto and Border Crossings editor Robert Enright provide context for the artist's work; Enright also arranged "Fischl on Fischl," a chapter culled from interviews with the artist. Comedian, writer, and well-known contemporary art collector Steve Martin discusses "Barbeque," a Fischl piece from his own collection. The essays, and 233 works selected here, present the full range of Fischl's work from 1970 to the present. His more recent work, portraits of the famous, is compelling in a genre that is often superseded by photography. An extensive bibliography is included. Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc., amazon.com

    2003, Oct 27 11:53 :::: erotic books

  • Philip Pearlstein: Since 1983 - Robert Storr [Amazon US][FR] [DE] [UK]
    Long acknowledged as a master of contemporary realism, Philip Pearlstein (b. 1924) has been painting his famed monumental nudes since the 1960s. The larger-than-life men and women who occupy his canvases veer out of the frame at surprising angles, posed sitting or reclining passively, disinterestedly, under stark, even light. Since the early 1980s, Pearlstein has introduced folk art, sculpture, and other objects into his paintings, making complex compositions that create visual tension between human and inanimate forms. This striking volume—the only book now in print on this grand master of contemporary figurative painting—includes a fascinating interview with the artist and a thoughtful essay by curator, scholar, and art critic Robert Storr. --amazon.com

    2003, Oct 26; 12:28 :::: love

  • Against Love: A Polemic (2003) Laura Kipnis [Amazon US][FR] [DE] [UK]
    In this ragingly witty yet contemplative look at the discontents of domestic and erotic relationships, Kipnis (Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America) combines portions of the slashing sexual contrarianism of Mailer, the scathing antidomestic wit of early Roseanne Barr and the coolly analytical aesthetics of early Sontag: "Aren't all adulterers amateur collagists? We're scavengers and improvisers, constructing odd assemblages out of detritus and leftovers: a few scraps of time and some dormant emotions...." With a razor-sharp intelligence and a gleeful sense of irony, Kipnis dismantles the myths of romance surrounding monogamy and makes the case for why adultery is a reasonable, often used, escape hatch. Kipnis is often most funny when at her most provocative ("Feel free to take a second to mull this over, or to make a quick call: `Hi hon, just checking in!' "), but even her moments of sarcastic humor can have a sobering effect, as when Kipnis considers the reasons behind the public's obsessive need for reading about real and fictional stories of spousal murders, noting that "perhaps these social pathologies and aberrations of love are the necessary fallout from the social conventions of love." Kipnis is adroit at detailing (sometimes with "notoriously unreliable" sexual self-reporting statistics) how our desire for fidelity is often at odds with basic human needs for personal freedom, and is terrific in dissecting how-or so Kipnis's case goes-"family values" politicians like Newt Gingrich fail miserably to live up to their own rhetoric. In the end, she concludes that adultery and fidelity have to exist side-by-side: "let's face it: purity always flirts with defilement." Kipnis balances her scintillating, on-target observations on straying with an honest sense of compassion for human experience. --Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. , amazon.com

    2003, Oct 24; 22:42 :::: horror

  • The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart (1990) - Noel Carroll [Amazon US][FR] [DE] [UK]
    How can we be genuinely frightened of vampires, though we know they don't exist? How is it that people find pleasure in being scared out of their wits? Carroll presents the first philosophical and aesthetic analysis of the horror genre. This book should be of interest to advanced students in philosophy, media and cultural studies and literary criticism.

    Noel Carroll, film scholar and philosopher, offers the first serious look at the aesthetics of horror. In this book he discusses the nature and narrative structures of the genre, dealing with horror as a "transmedia" phenomenon. A fan and serious student of the horror genre, Carroll brings to bear his comprehensive knowledge of obscure and forgotten works, as well as of the horror masterpieces. Working from a philosophical perspective, he tries to account for how people can find pleasure in having their wits scared out of them. What, after all, are those "paradoxes of the heart" that make us want to be horrified?

    2003, Oct 22; 23:42 :::: Studio One
  • Nice Up the Dance-Studio One Discomixes - Various Artists [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Always a hit factory, the label came close to completely dominating the Jamaican dance floor with the emergence of the long-playing 12-inch “discomix” in the 1970s. Studio One capitalized on the extended discomix format, successfully recycling some of its best material from the 1960s. Older hits were updated simply by mixing in lengthy instrumental endings. The popularity of the discomix allowed the label to prolong its reign, even after its most creative period had passed. Because a discomix filled up an entire side of a [12"] record, a hit song had the power to keep competing records off the DJ’s turntable for a good long time. Nice Up The Dance complies the very best of these highly sought-after 12-inch classics, including tracks from such legendary artists as Delroy Wilson, Alton Ellis, and Tommy McCook. The album opens with Cornell Campbell & the Eternal’s obscure classic, “Queen Of The Minstrels,” which unfolds in a deliciously slow groove that suspends both time and worry. The discomix of Alton Ellis’s eternal reggae classic, “Can I Change My Mind,” clocks in at an astounding 11-minutes. This endless version gives us plenty of time to experience the full magnitude of Ellis’s mighty soul caressing voice. The lengthy instrumental sections that fill Nice Up The Dance not only give added depth to older hits, but also showcase the impressive talents of the Studio One house musicians, masters of the hypnotic reggae groove. For almost three decades, Studio One has provided Jamaicans with the soulful soundtrack of their lives. -- John Ballon

    2003, Oct 22; 09:55 :::: feminism
  • Nomadic Subjects Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory (Gender and Culture) - Rosi Braidotti [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Rosi Braidotti was born in Italy, raised in Austraia, and educated in Paris and is professor of women's studies at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.

    Nomadic Subjects argues for a new kind of philosophical thinking, one that would include the insights of feminism and abandon the hegemonic mode that is conventionally adopted in high theory. Braidotti's personal, surprising, and lively prose insists on an integration of feminism in mainstream discourse. The essays explore problems that are central to current feminist debates including Western epistemology's relation to the "woman question," feminism and biomedical ethics, European feminism, and how American feminists might relate to European movements.

    2003, Oct 21; 19:36 :::: Gilles Deleuze
  • Organs Without Bodies: On Deleuze and Consequences (2003 - Slavoj Zizek [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    The latest book by the Slovenian critic Slavoj Zizek takes the work of French philosopher Gilles Deleuze as the beginning of a dazzling inquiry into the realms of politics, philosophy, film, and psychoanalysis. This is a polemical and surprising work. Deleuze, famous for his Anti-Oedipus (written with Felix Guattari), emerges here as someone much closer to the Oedipus he would disavow. Similarly, Zizek argues for Deleuze's proximity to Hegel, from whom the French philosopher distanced himself. Zizek turns some Deleuzian concepts around in order to explore the "organs without bodies" in such films as Fight Club and the works of Hitchcock. Finally, he attacks what he sees as the "radical chic" Deleuzians (he names, among them, Hardt and Negri's Empire), arguing that such projects turn Deleuze into an ideologist of today's "digital capitalism." Admired for its brilliant energy and fearless argumentation, Zizek sets out to restore a truer, more radical Deleuze than the one we thought we knew. --amazon.com

    2003, Oct 21; 19:23 :::: grotesque
  • The Female Grotesque: Risk, Excess and Modernity (1994) - Mary J. Russo [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Strange, remarkable, tragic, terrible, diseased, withered, and unruly. The cultural associations with the grotesque are deeply embedded in western consciousness and culture. In The Female Grotesque, Mary Russo generates a compelling reading of the ``female grotesque'' by rigorously interrogating a vast and impressive array of theoretical, visual, literary, autiobiographical, and performance texts.

    Whether its the foregrounding of what Russo terms the ``aerial sublime'' in the work of Wim Wenders and Amelia Earhart or the provocative films of Ulrike Ottinger (Freak Orlando), Russo places herself in the critical tradition which recuperats aspects of the grotesque as transgressive. Emphasizing the relationship between gender and grotesque, Russo argues that the ``female grotesque'' is less of a category than it is an operation through which genders and identities are both constituted and de-constituted, excluded or not. Drawing upon Bahktin and Kristeva, Freud, and Zizek, Russo traces the salient connections between abjection, the uncanny and the grotesque. She focuses on the double logics of the grotesque in the works of Angela Carter, David Cronenberg (Dead Ringers), and Georges du Maurier's Trilby, adroitly illuminating the grotesque as a process through which differently gendered bodies are deployed in interesting, new and possibly transformative ways.--amazon.com

    2003, Oct 21; 16:41 :::: dub
  • Dub Selector (2001) - Various Artists [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Tempest Dub - Cottonbelly 2. Police And Thieves (G-Corp Remix) - Luciano 3. Le Dub - I:Cube 4. Rock It Tonight - Seven Dub 5. Babylon Dub - G-Corp 6. Andub Head Yudu - Grant Phabao 7. Dubolition - Grant Phabao 8. The Only Redeemer - Noiseshaper 9. A Dub Experience - St. Germain 10. How To Find Royal Jelly - The Lost Skrolls 11. Rain Showers (Bronx Dogs Dub Mix) - Sizzla 12. Divers - Boozoo Bajou

    Twelve electronic flavored dub tracks - compiled by Bruno Guez to keep you grooving with never-before-on-CD gems from Cottonbelly, Luciano, Sizzla, and St. Germain. Up from the deep bass vibrations of modern sound systems emerges a ruff n' tuff international crew continuing the legacy of dub. Inspired by the original dub scientists of the '70s, these next generation dub lovers pay their respect in a dub stylee with electronic decks and effects.

    2003, Oct 21; 14:57 :::: dub
    Who knows what dub is? Find out here

    King Tubby clickaway Around 1969 Kingston-based reggae producers started to issue singles with instrumental "versions" on the flipside of vocal releases, which were actually the basic riddim tracks. To these "versions" one could add further instrumentation or deejay accompaniment. Within a year the inclusion of instrumental versions on the flipside was common practice among the majority of Jamaica's producers. In 1971 the first real dub recordings began to appear, with The Hippy Boys' "Voo Doo" - the version to Little Roy's "Hard Fighter", which was mixed by Lynford Anderson a.k.a. Andy Capp - now widely acknowledged to be the first recording in the genre. But it was pioneering sound engineer and sound system operator Osbourne Ruddock who did more than any other to popularize and develop the sound. He explored the possibilities of sound from his small studio, located at the back of his home, at 18 Drumilly Avenue, Kingston 11. -- Teacher & Mr. T.

    2003, Oct 21; 13:18 :::: nobrow
  • The Simpsons - The Complete First Season (1989) [FR] [DE] [UK]
    America's first family of dysfunction, the Simpsons, appear in all their depraved glory in this wonderful DVD compilation of their show's premiere season. Fans accustomed to the slick appearance of the later episodes will be delighted by the rougher nature of these earlier episodes, when the characters weren't as well defined (Homer isn't quite as dumb as he is in later seasons) and the animation was still evolving. This only adds to the charm of these 13 episodes, which begin with "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire," the December 1989 Christmas special in which a down-and-out Simpson family adopt Santa's Little Helper. Throughout the season, familiar faces are introduced, as we catch first glimpses of Smithers, Mr. Burns, the Flanderses, and Patty and Selma. Highlights of the season include "The Crepes of Wrath," in which Bart is sent to France as an exchange student ("Don't mess up France the way you messed up your room"); "Bart the Genius," in which Bart ends up in a school for the gifted; and "Krusty Gets Busted," in which Bart's lifelong animosity with Sideshow Bob begins. --Jenny Brown, Amazon.com

    2003, Oct 21; 09:03 :::: fantasy
  • MY SECRET GARDEN (1973) - Nancy Friday [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This book caused quite a ruckus when it was released 25 years ago because it directly quotes the sexual fantasies of dozens of women, ranging from the "very common" rape fantasy to lesbian affairs to unusually explicit scenarios that are unmentionable here. While author Nancy Friday maintains that My Secret Garden served to free millions of women from sexual oppression, there's still a need today to get rid of the guilt that millions more still feel when it comes to fantasizing, having orgasms, and making one's sexual wishes be known. "How could it be, you might ask," she writes, "that women today, at the turn of the century, would still think they were the only Bad Girls with erotic thoughts? What kind of prison is this that that women impose on themselves?"

    My Secret Garden has the prurient appeal that made it one of the most passed-around books in high school study halls (it boasts chapters titled "Insatiability" and "The Thrill of the Forbidden"), but its premise, underneath the tales of lusty longings, is a serious one. Friday, also author of My Mother, My Self and Women on Top, is appalled at how parents, especially mothers, instill in their children a deep fear of sexual pleasure, and she advises how to do away with this stultifying force. While Friday can get a little histrionic at times ("Women's lust ... could bring down not only individuals, but society itself"), that doesn't make this book any less enthralling. --Erica Jorgensen, Amazon.com

    2003, Oct 20; 10:49 :::: house
  • Pump Up the Volume: A History of House Music (2002) - Sean Bidder [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Pump Up the Volume tells the story of the social and cultural explosion that was House. From its roots in Chicago, where it rose from the ashes of Disco, House music became the soundtrack to every fashion show, after–show party, premiere, and club opening around the world. Today, House is used by leading mainstream music stars, from Madonna to U2, to break into new markets and to update their sound. In fact, House has influenced more artists than any style since rock ‘n’ roll. Pump Up the Volume follows the story from Chicago and New York to Britain, interviewing key players on both sides of the Atlantic. It also considers the social impact of House — a sound that has transcended class, race, and cultural boundaries to become the soundtrack of modern popular culture. --From the Publisher [Haven't read it--jahsonic]

    2003, Oct 20; 08:59 :::: exploitation
  • The Ghastly One: The Sex-Gore Netherworld of Filmmaker Andy Miligan - Jimmy McDonough [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Milligan's greatest films were The Orgy at Lil's Place, The Naked Witch, Fleshpot on 42nd Street and Monstrosity (a violent, bloody rape revenge fantasy that was a cross between Frankenstein and The Golem). Shooting on budgets that hovered around $10,000, Milligan who turned out 29 movies between 1965 and 1988 was infamous; his movies were appallingly shot, often ludicrously plotted shock films that played in 42nd Street grind houses, drive-ins and avant-garde film festivals. No easy subject for a biographer, Milligan, who died of AIDS in 1990 at the age of 61, was drawn to (in no particular order) drugs, violence, s&m sex, misogyny and general weirdness. McDonough's verbatim interviews, which form the spine of the book, reveal a man who could be alternately brutally honest, obstructionist, deceitful and quite kind. McDonough (who has written for the Village Voice and Spin) is careful to add well-researched, nuanced context. His portrait of Milligan's importance to the famous Caffe Cino, for example, considered to be the beginnings of Off-Broadway, are startling, notable additions to theater history. Although McDonough is a loyal fan he even worked with Milligan's production team as part of his research he maintains a critical eye and provides a worthy historical overview of both the aesthetics and business of exploitative cinema. Students of popular American culture, film, as well as of gender and gay and lesbian studies, will relish this intelligent portrait.--From Publishers Weekly

    2003, Oct 19; 22:50 :::: fantasy
  • Bound and Gagged: Pornography and the Politics of Fantasy in America - Laura Kipnis [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Laura Kipnis, who teaches film at Northwestern University, adopts an unpopular stance: that of speaking for those whose sexual tendencies stray from the acceptable path. As such, she adds a different perspective in the always-raging debate on the role of pornography in America. Among her arguments is that pornography is often overlooked as a class issue, couched instead almost always as a morality matter. Realizing that many of those employed by the sex industry and those who support it are separated by class from those who deem it so unsavory, provides a particular insight into the perspective of those sitting in judgment. --amazon.com

    2003, Oct 19; 18:02 :::: beat
  • Naked Lens: Beat Cinema - Jack Sargeant [FR] [DE] [UK]

    The highly influential writings of the original circle of Beat generation authors have been widely studied, but motion pictures emerging from the Beat movement have been largely neglected. Film journalist Sargeant (Lost Highways: Road Movies), an authority on underground movies, fills that void with this articulate and entertaining cinema history. Starting with a detailed synopsis and analysis of Pull My Daisy (1958), a film written and narrated by Jack Kerouac, and ranging through subsequent underground efforts, Sargeant shows that the nonconformist Beat attitudes of social disillusion and rebellion against convention are especially conducive to visual expression in alternative film. Also, several lively interviews, most notably with Allen Ginsberg and Jonas Mekas, brim with vivid digressions and flashes of insight about cinema and American culture. The original 1997 British edition, upon which this expands, was largely overlooked, likely owing to the lurid nature of other titles in the publisher's cinema series, such as Eros in Hell: Sex, Blood, and Madness in Japanese Cinema. However, for admirably examining the emerging genre of a Beat-related underground cinema, the present work is essential for cinema collections. Recommended for academic libraries. Richard W. Grefrath, Univ. of Nevada Lib., Reno --Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

    2003, Oct 19; 17:51 :::: underground
  • Reefer Madness: Sex, Drugs, and Cheap Labor in the American Black Market by Eric Schlosser [FR] [DE] [UK]
    As much as 10% of the American economy, and perhaps more, is comprised of illegal "underground" enterprises, according to author and Atlantic Monthly correspondent Eric Schlosser. And while this segment is never discussed in the newspaper business pages, Schlosser tackles it with the same in-depth analysis and compulsive readability that made his Fast Food Nation a best seller. Reefer Madness spotlights marijuana, migrant labor, and pornography, three of the most thriving black market industries, and analyzes the often-tenuous place each holds in society as a whole. While each of the three could be the subject of its own book, Schlosser keeps his scope narrow by concentrating on the lives of the participants in the underground economy, especially Mark Young, an Indiana man given a life sentence for participating in a marijuana sale, and Ohio porn magnate Reuben Sturman. At just 21 pages, the treatment of migrant laborers in the California strawberry fields is dealt with more briefly but is just as compelling thanks to the first-person narrative of Schlosser’s investigation. In telling these stories, which are both personal and universal, Schlosser deftly explores the manner in which his subjects are treated (and punished) compared to others in more above-ground ventures. Along the way, he asks hard questions as to what that treatment says about America. Schlosser writing is passionately opinionated, but this is no mere opinion piece: his perspective is amply supported by extensive research and clearly reasoned interpretation of data. His direct and forceful writing style makes the impact greater still. After reading Reefer Madness, readers are likely to be shocked, appalled, and flat-out bewildered by what’s happening in the cracks and crevices of American business. --John Moe, amazon.com

    2003, Oct 19; 12:10 :::: modern
  • Theory of the Avant-Garde - Peter Bürger [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This book argues a clear difference between two often confused terms: Modernism and the Avant-Garde. According to Peter Burger, Modernism dealt with formal evolution of style (in visual arts as well as in literature), while the Avant-Garde project involved radical change of the way of life. Consequently,the greatest Modernist movements of the 20th century, according to Burger, must be Cubism and Abstractionism, as they were mainly about visual distortion, and the relevant masters were Picasso and Kandinsky. On the other hand, the Avant-Garde produced its own most ambitious projects with the Russian Constructivism and Surrealism, and its geniuses must be Tatlin, Rodchenko, or Marcel Duchamp. All this is argued quite intellegently; the only reason for my 4 stars instead of 5 being that Burger brings on too much polemics with Marxist or semi-Marxist theorists (Lukacs, Adorno, etc.) and his own view is sometimes hard to disentangle from what he criticizes. --Alexei Kourbanovsky, amazon.com

    2003, Oct 18; 13:01 :::: dirty
  • Notes of a Dirty Old Man - Charles Bukowski [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Notes of a Dirty Old Man, the book, published in 1969, is 204 pages of excerpted columns written by Charles Bukowski, a beat generation legend, who wrote these pieces for a notorious Los Angeles underground paper called OPEN CITY. Bukowski's column was also titled notes of a dirty old man.

    The book is shear nonsensical, no-nonsense pleasure to read, describing the life and times of the writer. Bukowski, (1920-1994) RIP was a helluva guy. A poet and a writer who lived by the seat of his pants. He had a cult following, but never was appreciated, artistically or financially by the public at large. I'm not sure he would have enjoyed fame, nor do I know if he ever really seeked it. Just an educated guess on my part. For instance, he refused to do poetry readings when he could have used the money.

    This book digs down into the grit of the life of a man who as a youth was the punching bag for a wannabe hard-áss father who turned coward when the bag finally punched back. Bukowski developed what he describes as the Frozen Boy Stance, later developed into a Frozen Man Stance. A posture and attitude of not being affected by life's hardships.

    Bukowski loved to drink. Alcohol was his short term enemy, but sorry roundheads, it was a key to his greatness. He lived and described skid row life from a first person perspective. He stayed true to the hard values he learned there.

    Charles Bukowski reminds me a little of Kerouac, a bit of Thompson. In the end, this is fun read! Do yourself a favor and buy this book!

    Also recommended: THE LOSERS' CLUB by Richard Perez , A reader for amazon.com

    2003, Oct 18; 09:23 :::: cultural studies
    Critical Theory goes Zappa on the web site of British philosopher Esther Leslie and her American colleague Ben Watson. It is funny and serious at the same time. If this disturbs you, remember that's exactly their objective. And really, it's worth a try, if only because of Leslie's papers on Walter Benjamin and Leslie's and Watson's observations on punk in Wolverhampton. --http://www.militantesthetix.co.uk/, by way of soundscapes.

    Soundscapes is a Belgian-Dutch site which is described as "Soundscapes is an online journal on the history and social significance of media culture. [...] It is non-profit and educational. [...]" I sent them an email and Ger Tillekens has come up with a very nice description for jahsonic.com in the links section:

    A massive website by Jan Geerinck, guiding you through the maze of contemporary culture and music styles. Though not exclusively — in fact nothing is excluded on this site — the topics center on the 1990s with timelines and discussions of house music, hip hop and garage. Theoretical reflections concern the dialectics of underground and mainstream culture. Just take a walk through this amazing labyrinth.

    Soundscapes has a little article on the rise of the singles (as opposed to albums) in the age of internet downloading. -- http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes

    2003, Oct 17; 00:07 :::: cultural studies
  • Studying Culture: An Introductory Reader - Ann Gray (Editor), Jim McGuigan (Editor), Jim McGuiggan (Editor) [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This lively and stimulating resource book for students of cultural studies traces the formation of the field in Britain and its subsequent development internationally. Classic statements of culturalist, semiological, and postmodernist perspectives are contrasted with less familiar material illustrating the impact of feminism and the politics of sexuality, ethnicity, and race. This second, greatly expanded edition includes a new section exploring recent important work in international cultural studies, and provides key readings on the social construction of the self and the role of public policy in the cultural field.

    2003, Oct 17; 00:01 :::: Raymond Williams
  • Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society - Raymond Williams [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Now revised to include new words and updated essays, Keywords focuses on the sociology of language, demonstrating how the key words we use to understand our society take on new meanings and how these changes reflect the political bent and values of society.

    One of its kind; it is not a dictionary (not even a technical one); it is not a book on the etimology of words; it will hardly improve your talking skills. Rather, it is a fascinating book on the constant change of culture and how this is reflected in everyday (and not so everyday) words of the English language. You will walk away humble, overwhelmed by the richness and the violence of culture's impact on words. --Manuel Ortega R., amazon.com

    2003, Oct 16; 09:36 :::: fashion
  • Fashion Victim: Our Love-Hate Relationship With Dressing, Shopping, and the Cost of Style - Michelle Lee [FR] [DE] [UK]
    These insights from former Glamour and Mademoiselle editor Lee will last longer than the fleeting women's and men's fashion trends she explores. Her work scrutinizes the co-conspirators who make up a $200-billion business-designers, manufacturers, the fashion press, garment workers, unions, retail outlets and, ultimately, consumers-and she spares no one. After an introduction to "The Fashion Victim's Ten Commandments" (including "thou shalt pay more to appear poor" and "thou shalt be a walking billboard") and a brief review of the history of Western clothing styles, Lee identifies key trends in today's fashion culture. Trends are quickly born in couture and extend to the mass market through manufacturing innovation. But they're declared dead as soon as they reach Kmart and other chains that offer essentially the same clothing at a fraction of the cost. Still, while the price tag may be low, there are high costs, including the exploitation of garment workers; damaging of the environment by manufacturing; criminal networks caused by mob infiltration of unions; and the problem of women striving for unattainable bodies to fit into clothes designed for professional models. Lee's casual tone-she frequently refers to what the Fashion Victim (who may or may not be the reader) would do in a given situation-belies the seriousness of her findings, but her informal prose doesn't make the book any less convincing of the problems associated with being a slave to fashion.--Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc., amazon.com

    2003, Oct 15; 13:52 :::: design
  • Cult Objects: The Complete Guide to Having It All (1985) - Deyan Sudjic [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Design in the ´80s had been characterized by limited author's series (or solitaires) of furniture, promoted through a specialized network of galleries. Furniture pieces became cult objects as a result of medialization using famous designer names. On the other hand, in the case of designing for large-scale production, designers had often been obedient subordinates to marketing and advertisement specialists and superficial effects were preferred to a deeper focus on the very functional characteristics of the product. In the atmosphere of relative economic prosperity, hedonism had prevailed over morals. After a promising start in the previous decade the "humanistic design" had not developed as expected with respect to the civilization needs and only the economic recession in the ´90s revived the interest in the values thereof.
    Deyan Sudjic

    2003, Oct 15; 08:07 :::: hip hop
  • Speakerboxxx/ The Love Below (2003) - Outkast[Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    At a time when experimentation is taboo in most overground rap, that’s all Outkast seem intent on executing. Firstly, this double CD has no cohesive link, other than the fact that it sounds like a pair of solo albums stitched together to demo exactly how Andre’s yin works to augment Big Boi’s yang. Andre 3000’s Love Below disc rates as the more eclectic of the two, given that he’s turned in his emcee credentials to become a full-on funk-soul-jazz vocalist who mostly sings about items of love ("Happy Valentine's Day"), carnal lust ("Spread"), and female adoration ("Prototype"). Minus the big band schmaltz of "Love Hater" and cheesy cover jobs ("My Favorite Things"), Andre’s disc is sick (meaning great). As is to be expected, the Big Boi disc is less arty, more gangsta and worldly, and features the less-progressive guest raps of ATL crunk purveyors Lil’ Jon and The Eastside Boyz ("Last Call") and Jay-Z who rhymes the hook on "Flip Flop Rock". Unlike Big Boi, Andre keeps his collabos to a minimum, once crooning alongside Norah Jones on the cool yet sappy "Take Off Your Cool", and once with Kelis. Boi fulfills his Dungeon Family duty with flying colors by flipping some dirty southern up-tempo raps over electro beats on "GhettoMusick". By the time Cee-Lo sermonizes on "Reset", Speakerboxx and Love Below rate mostly as majestic and inspiring, with the remaining 23 per cent being just plain incredible --Dalton Higgins, Amazon.com

    2003, Oct 14; 15:51 :::: television
  • Channels of Discourse, Reassembled: Television and Contemporary Criticism by Robert C. Allen [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    In a critical writing course I taught in Spring 2002, I used Channels of Discourse, Reassembled as the core text for the course readings. The many chapters within are written by the best of the best in the fields of media studies and cultural studies, and the methodologies are presented in an easy-to-read manner which is informative and full of examples and case studies. This is an excellent book for media studies students, as its chapters lay out the basic information they should know about many of the methodologies often used in media criticism. --James M. Stafford, III, amazon.com

    2003, Oct 14; 10:38 :::: trash
  • Trash Culture: Popular Culture and the Great Tradition - Richard Keller Simon[Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Simon (English and humanities, California Polytechnic State Univ.) here maintains that great literature and popular entertainment evoke "comparable experiences." Painstakingly detailing the structures and ideas shared by popular culture and great literature, he compares modern supermarket tabloid and gossip magazine tragedies to the great tragic literature; TV talk shows, sitcoms, and soap operas to the history of the theater; and Star Wars, Star Trek, and Vietnam War movies to The Faerie Queen, Gulliver's Travels, and Homer. Likewise, advertising, shopping malls, and Playboy, he suggests, fulfill historic needs in modern context. A controversial and optimistic view of both literature and popular works, Simon's argument is carefully thought out and surprisingly convincing. Recommended for literature and communication collections. Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc, amazon.com

    2003, Oct 14; 09:21 :::: pessimism
  • The Poisoned Embrace: A Brief History of Sexual Pessimism - Lawrence Osborne [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Defining sexual pessimism as the "equation of sexual love outside the prerequisites of reproduction with death," and musing that it may be "Catholicism's most eccentric trait," Osborne ( Paris Dreambook ) offers a thoughtful, sometimes elegant and somewhat selective history of this theological tenet. Exploring folklore, church writings and history, he traces the source of sex hatred to the cult of Gnosticism. Osborne examines the role of sexual pessimism in the development of the Virgin myth, witch hatred during the Inquisition, 19th-century images of the Jew as sexual predator and archetypes involving lepers, Don Juans, Orientals and Androgynes. He concludes with a look at examples of modern "sexual optimism" in early Soviet communism's promotion of free love and the veneration of fertility in German Nazism, both of which degenerated into blends of promiscuity and puritanism. He does not extend his analysis into the effect of AIDS on views of sex today.

    2003, Oct 13; 23:52 :::: culture
  • Dialectic of Enlightenment - Max Horkheimer, Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    "Dialectic of Enlightenment", one of the most celebrated texts of the Frankfurt School, endeavours to answer why modernity, instead of fulfilling the promises of the Enlightenment (e.g. progress, reason, order) has sunk into a new barbarism. Drawing on their own work on the "culture industry", as well as the ideas of the key thinkers of the Enlightenment project, (Descartes, Newton, Kant) Horkheimer and Adorno explain how the Enlightenment's orientation towards rational calculability and man's domination of a disenchanted nature evinces a reversion to myth, and is responsible for the reified structures of modern administered society, which has grown to resemble a new enslavement. Furthermore, Horkheimer's and Adorno's treatise was one of the most ambitious attempts to synthesise Marxist economic analysis with Freudian psychoanalysis, and is developed with much complexity and skill. Their philosophical and psychological critique of the Enlightenment concepts of reason and nature (which they identify as the loci of domination) spans almost the entire history of Western thought up until recent times, from Homer to Nietzsche. The book was written in 1944, during a phase of the war when the threat of Fascist victory still hung ominously over Europe, and when Horkheimer and Adorno themselves had to flee Germany to America. "Dialectic of Enlightenment" thus represents one of the most pessimistic strands of Marxist thought, giving up all expectations of a people's revolution in Western Europe. This was, in addition to the outbreak of the Second World War, due to the meteoric rise of extremely right-wing reactionary parties in the twenties, and their subsequent popularity, which ruled out by fiat any chance of a popular support for the left. The proletariat, instead of embracing the cause of the people's revolution, opted to give their vote to the Fascists. In their psychoanalytic investigation of this phenomena, Horkheimer and Adorno identify the rise of Fascism with the return of the repressed.

    2003, Oct 13; 23:33 :::: taste
  • Critique of Judgement (1790) Immanuel Kant [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    In the Critique of Judgment, Kant claims that taste consists in the exercise of reflective judgment. This claim has seemed puzzling to many commentators, given that reflective judgment appears to consist in the capacity for engaging in systematic natural science.

    2003, Oct 13; 23:16 :::: criticism
  • Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays - Northrop Frye, Harold Bloom [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Striking out at the conception of criticism as restricted to mere opinion or ritual gesture, Northrop Frye wrote this magisterial work proceeding on the assumption that criticism is a structure of thought and knowledge in its own right. In four brilliant essays on historical, ethical, archetypical, and rhetorical criticism, employing examples of world literature from ancient times to the present, Frye reconceived literary criticism as a total history rather than a linear progression through time.

    Literature, Frye wrote, is "the place where our imaginations find the ideal that they try to pass on to belief and action, where they find the vision which is the source of both the dignity and the joy of life." And the critical study of literature provides a basic way "to produce, out of the society we have to live in, a vision of the society we want to live in."

    Harold Bloom contributes a fascinating and highly personal preface that examines Frye's mode of criticism and thought (as opposed to Frye's criticism itself) as being indispensable in the modern literary world. --amazon.com

    Work of literary criticism by Northrop Frye, published in 1957 and generally considered the author's most important work. In his introduction, Frye explains that his initial intention to examine the poetry of Edmund Spenser had given way in the process to a broader survey of the ordering principles of literary theory. The four essays address modes, symbols, myths, and genres, corresponding respectively to what Frye sees as the historical, ethical, archetypal, and rhetorical dimensions of... The Merriam-Webster Encylopedia of Literature

    2003, Oct 13; 11:58 :::: taste
  • Taste: The Secret Meaning of Things - Stephen Bayley [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Taste forever changes, as the fluctuating reputations of Shakespeare and El Greco attest. On this central premise British design critic Bayley erects a witty, erudite, wide-ranging social history of taste that demolishes the gaudy, the meretricious, the ready-made and the vulgar, both high and low. He takes aim at the Duke and Duchess of Windsor ("forever in pursuit of a mythic gentility"), prim Scandinavian furniture as the presumed epitome of "good design," contemporary kitsch architecture a la Manhattan's Trump Tower and fashion designer Ralph Lauren ("he sells an image of an image, based on romanticized myths about the Wild West and WASP society"). This lavishly illustrated survey includes chapters on taste and lack thereof in art, architecture, interior design, clothes, food and manners. Intriguing observations abound: for instance, the length of a sneaker's tongue is a macho symbol among athletes, and the idea that tanned skin is attractive goes back no further than the pseudo-scientific theory of heliotherapy developed in the 1920s by German and Swiss doctors. --From Publishers Weekly, amazon.com see also secret, meaning

    2003, Oct 13; 11:15 :::: Playboy
  • Playboy: Fifty Years: The Photographs (2003) - James R. Peterson [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Playboy celebrates its 50th anniversary with this lavish collection of the very best of the magazine's photography. More than 250 full-color photographs, chosen from the ten million images preserved in the Playboy archive, chronicle five decades of brilliant, life-affirming art. Playboy: 50 Years revisits the girl next door, the sex symbols, and the gods and goddesses who shaped our culture. It visually tracks the changing politics, fashions, and mores through the frenzied peak of the sexual revolution and beyond - from the almost nostalgic eroticism of the 50s bachelor, a martini his secret of seduction, to the highly charged images of modern sexuality. Celebrity models such as Raquel Welch and Cindy Crawford, along with interview subjects such as Mohammed Ali and Salvador Dali, and infamous bunnies such as Anna Nicole Smith and Pamela Anderson reveal all. Portfolios devoted to the bachelor pad, the perfect cocktail, fashion, and sports cars celebrate Playboy as the ultimate wish book. From the history-making red velvet shot of Marilyn Monroe, "posed with nothing on except the radio," to the highly charged images of such masters as Herb Ritts and Helmut Newton, this book is a breath-taking photographic tour de force. The definitive gift of the season, Playboy: 50 Years is also the only book being published in the fall to coincide with the launch of the magazine's 50th anniversary.--amazon.com

    2003, Oct 13; 10:48 :::: fashion
  • On Fashion - Shari Benstock, Suzanne Ferriss [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    What function do the clothes we adorn ourselves with really perform? Are we dressing for success, for the spectator, for ourselves or merely to cover our bodies? The ill-fitting viewpoint that one's attire displays one's aptitude, character or standing seems to prevail. Do clothes make the woman? The fashion industry and its powerful media images dictate the way individuals portray their personas and the way we view ourselves. On Fashion presents a collection of essays that look inside the constructed world of fashion and dress, and the constraints in which women become captive. With style, fashion and fantasy as the themes, these essays reveal how fashion claims ownership of our bodies. The clothes on our backs become the portrayal of power-we are what we wear. Clothes portray a number of different aspects about an individual-femininity or masculinity, lifestyle, attitude and, in some cases, political affiliation. The fashion industry grasps this passion, modifies it to fit within the world of design and profits from it immensely. [This book also features Douglas Kellner's essay "Madonna, Fashion, Identity."] --From The WomanSource Catalog & Review: Tools for Connecting the Community for Women; review by SH, amazon.com

    2003, Oct 13; 10:20 :::: boredom
  • The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, Solitude - Martin Heidegger [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    In these lectures, which noted German philosopher Heidegger gave in 1929-30 at a turning point in his thought, the aim is to show how Western philosophy went wrong. Heidegger says "Being" was confused with "beings," and philosophers, especially medieval philosophers, made even God into something cozy. But passive acceptance of irrationality is precisely what needs to be understood if we are to grasp the horrors of our time: it is at the heart of the problem that made Heidegger, a sensitive, intelligent man who took up Nazism, an embarrassment to philosophy. And so these lectures are very important. Some of the text is straightforward, but much of it concerns what the translators (not unreasonably) render as "boredom," though it is really about how time intrudes in human affairs. The "boredom" discussion is hard to follow, but it may well be at the back of what Hannah Arendt called the "banality of evil." The translators, Chicago and Oxford academics, write clearly, though the Germanic heaviness of the prose will not endear it to English readers. Primarily for academic collections.? --From Library Journal, amazon.com

    Title of paper Beckett's Boredom and the Place of Theory

    Abstract What is the role of boredom in Beckett's art? Is it still a question of art? How does, for example, a particularly repetitious and mechanical passage in Watt relate to Benjamin's reflections on the aura of art? And how does it relate to Adorno's reflections on the spiritualisation effected by anti-art? Is the frustration of sensual pleasure in a boring passage eased by a meta-interpretation of the passage and is its boredom thereby ignored and its challenge to the pleasurability of art suppressed? Boredom is difficult to face. Heidegger's lengthy analysis of boredom in The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics ends up making boredom interesting. For Heidegger, the interest of boredom is regrettable as it prevents boredom's revelation of the truth of time (boredom, Langeweile, is time in its extension, as a "long while", and thus in its difference from the atomistic "nows" of the derivative concept of time). But Heidegger is too critical of voluntarism, for one thing, to advocate giving oneself up to boredom. If there are problems with the theoretical recuperationi of boredom, it still has to be asked - but asked in what sense? - what the boredom in Beckett's text "does". --James Phillips, http://sites.uws.edu.au/uws/conferences/beckett/speakers/phillips.html

    2003, Oct 13; 09:15 :::: boredom
  • Essays and Aphorisms (The Penguin Classics) - Arthur Schopenhauer, R. J. Hollingdale [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    On the Suffering of the World
    On the Vanity of Existence [boredom]
    On the Antithesis of Thing in Itself and Appearance
    On Affirmation and Denial of the Will to Live
    On the Indestructibility of our Essential Being by Death
    On Suicide
    On Women
    On Thinking for Yourself
    On Religion: A Dialogue

    On Philosophy and the Intellect
    On Ethics
    On Law and Politics
    On Aesthetics
    On Psychology
    On Religion
    On Books and Writing
    On Various Subjects

    2003, Oct 12; 11:03 :::: gay
  • Tom of Finland: The Art of Pleasure - Micha Ramakers [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Book Description
    "If I don't have an erection when I'm doing a drawing, I know it's no good." —Tom of Finland

    Brawny hunks boasting larger-than-life muscles and skin-tight leather pants…. Crotches engorged and nearly ripping apart seams…. Men upon men upon men cavorting and indulging nearly every possible fantasy…. Tom’s men are so hot they’re off the Richter scale. Until TASCHEN published the retrospective volume on this master illustrator’s work, his drawings had been relegated to the walls of gay bars and adult shops. Our first publication of this book helped Tom’s influence as an artist extend far beyond the gay scene. Now this masterwork is finally being made available again, in a more compact format, for any and all to enjoy.

    2003, Oct 12; 10:48 :::: movies
  • The Man Without a Past (2002) - Aki Kaurismäki [Amazon US]
    The spare and quirky comedy of Finnish auteur Aki Kaurismaki is in delightful form in The Man Without a Past. A man (Markku Peltola) awakens after a brutal mugging with no memory; he wanders into the outskirts of Helsinki with his face wrapped like an escapee from a classic horror film. A destitute family helps nurse him back to health and a Salvation Army worker named Irma (Kati Outinen) helps him get a job. Though bureaucrats and policemen who can't seem to cope with this amnesiac's lack of established identity, the amnesiac plants potatoes, manages a rock & roll band, and romances Irma as he builds a new self. Kaurismaki weaves his movies out of small details and careful, cautious steps forward--but by the end, The Man Without a Past has become a rich, engrossing, and very funny portrait of the possibilities of life. --Bret Fetzer, amazon.com

    2003, Oct 12; 09:33 :::: intellectuals
  • Fifty Key Contemporary Thinkers: From Structuralism to Postmodernity - John Lechte [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Book Description
    John Lechte surveys the major thinkers of the post-war era and illuminates the complex thought of each with remarkable clarity. The list of thinkers includes Chomsky, Foucault, Irigaray, Derrida, Bataille, Baudrillard, Adorno and Habermas

    Back Cover
    Fifty Key Contemporary Thinkers surveys the most important figures who have influenced postwar thought. The reader is guided through structuralism, semiotics, post-Marxism and Annales history, on to modernity and postmodernity. With its comprehensive biographical and bibliographical information, this book provides a vital reference work for all those who want to understand the intellectual history of the last fifty years.

    2003, Oct 12; 08:55 :::: Pharoah Sanders
  • With a Heartbeat (2003) - Pharoah Sanders [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Is there a more enthralling, mesmerizing, glorious sound in jazz than the sound of Pharoah Sanders' tenor saxophone? Not that I know of. I personally am willing to put up with almost any amount of new agey faux world jazz to hear that sound in all its manifest glory. Actually, I have to confess that if it's done right, I really don't mind--even dig--that world jazz vibe that Bill Laswell (often, but not always) brilliantly brings to life. And believe me, it's firing on all cylinders on this disc. Check out esp. Trilok Girtu (tablas and voice) on "Alankara." I don't know about you, but that staccato Indian vocalese, combined with stellar tabla playing, almost always does it for me.

    But it's still Sanders' tone that makes it for me on this outing. He has a richness, an authority, a depth, that no other tenor sax player has ever (or will ever) achieve. I believe I read somewhere that he spends hours every just playing long tones, seeking to perfect his tonal quality. Even at the higher registers there's still a burning, burnished quality that others only grasp at and never achieve.

    All the musicians (and this is a very fine band) get their moment in the sun. I especially like the electric sitar of Nicky Skopelitis that opens "Gamaka," the last cut. Graham Haynes, featured as co-leader on this disc, also displays some very fine, if somewhat stealth, cornet playing. But he shines on "Gamaka."

    To these ears, this is the finest disc Pharoah Sanders has ever made. You'd be insane to miss it. --Jan P. Dennis for amazon.com

    2003, Oct 11; 18:33 :::: Arthur Russell
    The end of 2003 will see the release of the long-awaited Arthur Russell comp, not on the defunct Nuphonic label (which was the original plan) , but on Soul Jazz records --http://www.djhistory.com

    Arthur Russell is yet another dub pioneer who is no longer with us. Russell played cello, studied Indian music and wrote minimalist compositions. He also made disco records when he could, mixing cello, hand drums, jazzy keyboards and wistful, ectoplasmic singing, then handing over the tapes to Walter Gibbons for dub warping. "Let's Go Swimming", "Go Bang! #5" and "Schoolbell/Treehouse" still push back the boundaries of dance, while the much coveted World Of Echo explores the meditative environment of dub space. -- David Toop

    2003, Oct 11; 10:37 :::: cultural studies
  • The Postmodern Adventure: Science, Technology, and Cultural Studies at the Third Millennium - Steven Best, Douglas Kellner [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Massive geopolitical shifts and dramatic developments in computerization and biotechnology are heralding the transformation from the modern to the postmodern age. We are confronted with altered modes of work, communication, and entertainment; new postindustrial and political networks; novel approaches to warfare, genetic engineering, and even cloning. This compelling book explores the challenges to theory, politics, and human identity that we face on the threshold of the third millennium. It follows on the success of Best and Kellner's two previous books, Postmodern Theory--acclaimed as the best critical introduction to the field--and The Postmodern Turn, which provides a powerful mapping of postmodern developments in the arts, politics, science, and theory. In The Postmodern Adventure, Best and Kellner analyze a broad array of literary, cultural, and political phenomena--from fiction, film, science, and the Internet, to globalization and the rise of a transnational image culture. They use the best of modern and postmodern perspectives to illuminate contemporary life and to strive for a just and viable future

    2003, Oct 11; 10:37 :::: weird
  • The Best of Weird Tales: 1923 - Marvin Kaye [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Weird Tales has always been the most popular and sought-after of all pulp magazines. Its mix of exotic fantasy, horror, science fiction, suspense, and the just plain indescribable has enthralled generations of readers throughout the world.

    This collection of 13 stories from the first year of pulp legend Weird Tales--including 9 that have never previously been reprinted-- represents the best stories first published in The Unique Magazine. Includes H.P. Lovecraft, Paul Suter, Herman Sisk, Frank Owen, and Farnsworth Wright--who would later go on to edit the magazine! Edited by John Gregory Betancourt, former editor of Weird Tales, and Marvin Kaye, editor of Weird Tales: The Magazine That Never Dies.--amazon.com

    2003, Oct 11; 10:37 :::: world
  • The Oxford History of World Cinema - Geoffrey Nowell-Smith [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Most histories of the international cinema focus on the careers of prominent directors. But the authors of The Oxford History of World Cinema set cinematic genres, trends, and national themes at the fore, composing a history of the cinema that is equally a history of our multifarious world culture. Still, in deference to the older historical style, the text of this hefty book is dotted with hundreds of minibiographies on individual filmmakers. The result of this hybrid approach is one of the most comprehensive film histories ever, allowing insight into its complex subject from a number of different perspectives. --Amazon.com

    2003, Oct 10; 17:20 :::: Streamline
  • Raymond Loewy and Streamlined Design (Universe of Style) - Philippe Tretiack [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    From car to train design to product packaging, Raymond Loewy has left an indelibly stamp on American culture. Over the 70 years of his career, Loewy, known for streamlined design, created mythical objects which came to be associated with the very image of America itself: The Coca-Cola bottle and truck, the Greyhound bus, the package of Lucky Strike cigarettes, the Studebaker automobile, and much more. This remarkable book recounts the hidden, captivating story of a key figure in the history of American design and includes period and current photos of his most notable designs.

    2003, Oct 10; 12:40 :::: New York
  • Low Life: Lures and Snares of Old New York - Luc Sante [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    There are very few classics in the field of pop culture--the academic stuff tends to be too dry and the fun stuff is too quickly dated. This book by Luc Sante is the exception--in fluid prose liberally sprinkled with astute metaphors, Sante tells the story of New York's Lower East Side, circa 1840-1920. The personal histories of criminals, prostitutes, losers, and swindlers bring to life the social and statistical history that the author has meticulously researched. Not limiting himself to the usual sources, Sante finds his history in old copies of Police Gazette as well as actual police, fire, and social service records. Above all, what really makes this book work is the writing, which brings to life a culture of the streets that continues to form a silent influence on our contemporary popular culture. --Amazon.com

    2003, Oct 09; 21:37 :::: gay
  • Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) - Hector Babenco [Amazon US]


    The history of gay cinema can be split into two sections: before Kiss of the Spider Woman, and after. This great film was undeliberately timely, and in the twenty years since its release, its pop-cultural importance has only increased.

    Kiss Of The Spider Woman opened in a Manhattan cinema on July 26, 1985, the same week that a dying Rock Hudson flew to Paris on Concorde to try the experimental AIDS treatment, HPA-23. Days later, the first reviews of the film began appearing in newspapers, obscured behind disaster-movie style front pages featuring blown up pictures of the wasted Hudson, and announcements from UCLA immunologist Michael Gottlieb, such as “Mr Hudson is being evaluated and treated for complications of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.”

    During the first screaming years of the AIDS epidemic, gay characters in movies all but disappeared. Then they re-emerged, politicised and martyred, in films like Philadelphia and Longtime Companion. Post AIDS epidemic, they were reborn - infantile and gurgling at the breasts of mother figures like Jennifer Aniston and Madonna in films like The Object of My Affection and The Next Best Thing.

    Culturally, the AIDS epidemic rumbled in like a fire curtain, sealing off the danger zone - obvious, fruity homosexuality - and Kiss Of The Spider Woman lunged across the nationwide release line just in time. The film's main character Molina (William Hurt) was the last in a grand line of theatrical, flawed gay adults who didn’t shy away from their dark sides, their carnality and their sadnesses, and who had more bravery and spirit in each perfectly polished toenail than a thousand modern gay guys put together. The vital gay characters from films like Victim, The Boys in The Band, and Making Love were a breed apart from their washed-out post-AIDS epidemic cousins, and Molina/Hurt is the King of them all.

    Appropriately, the film is nostalgic and operatic, featuring the doomed theatrical homosexual Molina recounting the grandeur and beauty of a time gone by. Imprisoned and frustrated, Molina yearns for a time when romance ruled over politics, and dreams of a place where he can find love and happiness without self-compromise. Kiss Of The Spider Woman is so prescient of the bland atmosphere left behind after the AIDS-induced death of colorful gay culture it’s simply not funny, and it’s easy to forget that as well as carrying this uncanny cultural value, it is also a beautiful, wise and original motion picture.

    Manuel Puig, the author of the original novel, hated it, predicting correctly that in the role of Molina “La Hurt is so bad she will probably win an Oscar”. However, while Puig's novel was innovative, anyone who’s seen the film first will find the far less lyrical book comparatively drab. --Mark Adnum http://outrate.net/outratespiderwoman.html

    2003, Oct 09; 11:16 :::: hierarchy
  • Highbrow/Lowbrow: The Emergence of Cultural Hierarchy in America - Lawrence W. Levine [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Levine contends that early 19th-century America was characterized by no rigid cultural divisions between elite and mass culture. By the later part of the century, however, a clear line had been drawn; Shakespearean plays, classical music, and art of the old masters increasingly became the property of the elite only. The pendulum has swung back now, he observves, as there is a lessening of cultural divisions in contemporary America. A well-written contribution to the history of American culture. Without hestitation, this book is recommended highly to all academic American studies and popular culture collections as well as to large public libraries. Susan A. Stussy, St. Norbert Coll., De Pere, Wis. --Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc, Amazon.com

    2003, Oct 09; 11:01 :::: architecture
  • Frank Gehry, Architect - Frank O. Gehry, J. Fiona Ragheb, Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Frank Gehry represents a paradox in architecture. Embraced by established financial and cultural institutions, his work is also viewed as avant-garde. Gehry first drew notice with his original use of ordinary materials, then progressed to nonorthogonal undulating forms, often employing a reflective titanium cladding. His highly sculptural buildings develop from lively, fluid sketches and study models that often include crumpled paper. All of this is ably presented in an exhibition at New York's Guggenheim Museum, for which this publication is the exhibition catalog. The primary didactic materials from the exhibition form the text, supplemented by five important essays: Mildred Friedman writes on the scope of Gehry's career, Beatriz Colomina offers an exhaustive analysis of his Santa Monica house, Cohen examines his urban work, J. Fiona Ragheb provides a comparison of Wright's and Gehry's approaches to form, and William J. Mitchell explains Gehry's dependence on computer-assisted design and modeling. Although the color illustrations are lavish, the photographs of models are poorly resolved, and there are virtually no floor plans. The book complements but does not supersede Francesco Dal Co and Kurt W. Forster's more discerning Frank O. Gehry: The Complete Works (Monacelli, 1998); nonetheless, this volume should be acquired by larger architecture collections. Paul Glassman, New York Sch. of Interior Design Lib. Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc, amazon.com

    2003, Oct 09; 10:48 :::: architecture

    Project architect and designer with Gaetano Pesce, New York. 1990-1997 (Above is Organic Building, Japan, 1993)

    THE ORGANIC BUILDING, 1990-1993. Project architect and designer. The 9 story office building totals 78,000 s.f. Extensive correspondence with the Japanese consulting architects via fax. Travel to Osaka site. The project involved exterior design work, lobby design along with various custom made interior furniture and fixtures for the lobby. Working drawings and material samples. The building is a reinforced concrete structure, clad with pre-cast lightweight concrete panels and fiberglass flower pots. Window frames in anodized aluminum. The facade is a vertical garden, with dozens of various types of plants. The building was declared an official city garden.

    2003, Oct 08; 21:46 :::: El Coco
  • El Coco - Greatest Disco Hits [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    I moved last week, to a bigger place a couple of streets from where I lived. I had to put all my records in boxes and it's hard for me to find out where is which record. Dominique visited me over the weekend and one of the first records that I pulled out of the boxes was the 1977 El Coco's Cocomotion album. There is a track on that album by the name of "Mad as Hell" and today it popped into my head. So I look it up now on the internet and I found this quite good site from the UK. http://www.geocities.com/funk41uk/el_coco.htm

    The "Mad as Hell" track is supposedly based on the movie Network

    "I'm mad as hell" is another wah-wah guitar classic, and the vocals are based on the movie "Network".

    "Mad as Hell" is not featured on the cd above.

    2003, Oct 07; 13:06 :::: art deco

  • Art Deco: 1910-1939 - Charlotte Benton [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Art Deco swept across the globe during the 1920s and 1930s and created the defining look of the interwar years. In an era of contradictions that encompassed both the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, it imbued everyday life with elegance and sophistication. It transformed the skylines of cities as diverse as New York and Shanghai and touched the design of everything from Hollywood films to clothing to luxury liners and locomotives. Art Deco was the style of hedonism, of indulgence, and of mass consumption. ART DECO 1910-1939 is the most wide-ranging survey of what created such an utterly distinctive iconography. Nearly 40 essays from leading experts in the field discuss the Art Deco phenomenon--its sources, its varied forms of expression, and the way it refined and redefined itself as it spread throughout the world. With breathtaking illustrations and essays both thought-provoking and scholarly, it will stand as the definitive book on what was, arguably, the most popular style of the 20th century. --amazon.com

    2003, Oct 07; 11:07 :::: feminism

  • Nudes, Prudes & Attitudes: Pornography & Censorship (1994) - Avedon Carol [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Pornography and censorship have carved a divide in the feminist movement and beyond. On one side is an improbable alliance of pro-censorship feminists and the moral right. On the other are civil libertarians of various shades and anti-censorship feminists.

    Avedon Carol writes as a feminist, an activist and a member of Feminists Against Censorship. She argues strongly that the movement for sexual censorship gives enormous and dangerous powers to the state, promotes the very repression that is implicated in causing sexual violence, and derails feminist discussion of sexuality.

    Nudes, Prudes, and Attitudes is essential reading for students of women’s studies, media studies, sociology, psychology and government, and will be of interest to all those concerned with the civil liberties implications of censorship.


    The media may have given you the impression that feminists support moves to censor sexual media, so you might be surprised to know just how many feminists out there have been actively opposing such censorship since long before there was an Internet. And we still do.

    Scare stories about the alleged new dangers of the Internet haven't changed our minds. We still see the same dangers in censorship that we always have, and the "new" arguments really seem remarkably familiar.

    The equation is simple: Those who have power get to censor, and those who lack power get silenced. If you find yourself in a position to demand and get censorship, you can be sure you are among those who have the power, and you are acting to oppress others.

    Yes, supporting freedom of speech means you may have to hear and see expression that you don't like. But if you cave in to censorship, you will still hear expression you don't like - from the Powers That Be - and be left without a voice to counter it. Don't be fooled.

    These pages will tell you more about Feminists Against Censorship and other groups that are fighting for free expression, both on the net and off it, from bookstores to libraries, in Britain and America. Follow the links to essays, announcements, campaigns, history, resources, and others who wish to promote the right to speak freely. And join us.

    (Except where otherwise stated, all the text at this site was written by Avedon Carol.) -- http://www.fiawol.demon.co.uk/FAC/

    2003, Oct 07; 10:00 :::: banned books

  • Gordon (1966) - Edith Templeton [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    First published pseudonymously in 1966, Templeton's first novel was banned in England for its sexual content and found an underground following when it was picked up by the notorious Olympia Press two years later. Templeton (The Darts of Cupid) offers a compelling portrait of a woman in postwar London who falls into a submissive relationship. Louisa is the soon-to-be-divorced 28-year-old narrator who gets picked up at a pub by an imperious stranger. She isn't sure how she feels about this enigmatic, chilly, inquisitive man who shows little emotion and forgoes conventional courtship rituals, taking her to his back garden and-to her unexpected pleasure-summarily ravishing her. The stranger turns out to be-what else?-a psychiatrist, Richard Gordon, who continues to anticipate Louisa's thoughts and erotic needs. Gordon has increasingly rough sex with Louisa, holding her in his erotic thrall while remaining aloof throughout the affair. Louisa is entranced with his effect on her and increasingly obsessed with him. The unlikely erotic interludes are intriguing, and Templeton adds a delicious bit of comedy when Gordon and Louisa attend a dinner party as a couple. The idea of a coldly omniscient psychiatrist feels dated, and some of Gordon's psychoanalytic observations are bound to strike readers as unintentionally parodic; he virtually reads Louisa's mind and endlessly prompts her with his impassive "go on." Louisa's predicament, however, is believable and captivating. Templeton's study of submission is psychologically acute, and she brings the couple's oblique power struggle to a fascinating climax.--amazon.com review, Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information

    2003, Oct 05; 19:59 :::: Radio Nova

  • Nova Tunes 08 [Amazon FR] [US] [DE] [UK]

    01 rouge rouge - décide-toi / 02 rhianna - world love / 4hero soul mix / 03 miss kittin & the hacker - stock exchange / 04 sébastien schuller - weeping willow / 05 ellen allien - wish / 06 pulseprogramming - blooms eventually / 07 tommy guerrero & lyrics born - gettin it together / 08 lacquer – behind / 09 syd matters - end & start again / 10 black joy – untitled / 11 romuald - a strange light in your eyes / 12 künstler treu - postcard from a foreign strand / 13 sébastien martel - verts lents / 14 alpha – elvis / 15 luomo - present lover

    I listen less to Radio Nova now than 6 months ago. The fact that they run a gigantic, hi-quality jukebox with onscreen display of artist and track information is fantastic, but still, they are only a jukebox, especially during the daytime. This means that some songs -- no matter how good they are -- are played several times a day. At night there is vertical rogramming (specialty programmes). But at night I prefer listening to my local non commercial radio station Radio Centraal, who have been going at it since more than 20 years and of which I know most programmes. And if I want to find out the title of a track, I just call the host on 03 232 30 30.

    I remember playing for the first (and only) time in May 2003. My friend Romeo, who has a show on Wednesday, couldn't make it and asked me to replace him. I had a ball. Playing lots of reggae and early eighties disco-influenced reggae, and Arthur Russell and a Greg Carmichael track. I have it on cd. So far I have not succeeded in putting the show online. I tried to ftp Pirkka of mixoftheweek.com, but somehow we forgot about it. Is there anyone here in Antwerpen who would like to host this mix for jahsonic.com?

    There is Fela Kuti show right now on Radio Centraal with interviews with Ginger Baker. The show is called 'Afro Buro' and is hosted by Frank Wouters. Monday evenings from 7 to 8:30 pm.

    2003, Oct 04; 11:42 :::: dmoz vs wikipedia
    DMOZ.org, also know as the The Open Directory project, is an attempt to catalogue all sites on the internet in a tree-like directory. A site on house music goes in the category http://dmoz.org/Arts/Music/Styles/Dance/House/. As such, it is a site-centric structure.

    Wikipedia, on the other hand, is information-centric, there is no hierarchy, a rhizomatic structure. Wikipedia is an open content encyclopedia. At the end of a Wikipedia article, an editor may or may not a link to a specific site. So sites are only listed if they are very good. At dmoz, the quality of the site doesn't matter so much. Oh yes, here is house music at Wikipedia: http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_music

    Wikipedia and Dmoz.org could join forces. But, I do not believe this would be a good thing for wikipedia.

    2003, Oct 02; 21:30 :::: altruism

  • The Question of the Gift: Essays Across Disciplines - Mark Osteen (Editor) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This is the first collection of interdisciplinary essays on the gift. Bringing together scholars from a variety of fields, including anthropology, literary criticism, economics, philosophy and classics, it provides paradigms and poses questions concerning the theory and practice of gift exchange. In a culture awash with the rhetoric of self-interest, understanding the gift is more essential than ever. The questions of the gift raised in this collection address essential issues in social life: How do non-commercial exchanges form and solidify communities? How do humans and objects interact outside of consumerism? What are the relationships between gifts and commodities? To what degree are artworks gifts? Is a truly free gift possible, or even desirable? In addressing these questions, contributors not only challenge the conventions of their fields, but also combine ideas and methods from both the social sciences and humanities to forge an innovative way of tackling this universal phenomenon. --amazon.com

    2003, Oct 02; 21:21 :::: Georges Bataille

  • Sacred Revolutions: Durkheim and the College De Sociologie (Contradictions (Minneapolis, Minn.), 14.)- Michele H. Richman [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    How is it that the most radical cultural iconoclasts of the interwar years-Georges Bataille, Roger Caillois, and Michel Leiris-could have responded to the rise of fascism by taking refuge in a "sacred sociology"? This is the question that Michèle H. Richman poses in a work that examines this seemingly paradoxical development. Her book traces the overall implications for French social thought of the "ethnographic detour" that began with Durkheim's interest in Australian aboriginal religion-implications that reach back to the Revolution of 1789 and forward to the student protests of May 1968. Richman argues that by revising a phenomenon at once as familiar and as exotic as the sacred, these intellectuals forged a point of view relevant to politics, art, and eroticism in the modern period. Assimilating sociology to this revised notion of the sacred, they revitalized a critical discourse based upon anthropological thinking dating back to Montaigne and culminating in Rousseau. Her work thus supplies an important chapter in the history of the human sciences while demonstrating the formation of an innovative critical discourse that straddles literary theory, social thought, and religious and cultural studies.

    Michele H. Richman is associate professor of French studies at the University of Pennsylvania. --review by amazon.com

    2003, Sep 28; 10:31 :::: comics

    Jacques de Loustal is one of the most popular contemporary artists. Loustal has been in Africa for a good part of his life, which is strongly reflected in his comics. While still studying architecture, he cooperated on the fanzine Cyclone. After cooperating on some other fanzines, he started making some short stories for Métal Hurlant, Pilote, Nitro, Chic, Zoulou and Libération. Some of his work for Métal Hurlant has been published in albums by Humanoïdes Associés, like 'New York', 'Miami' and 'Clichés d'Amour').

    From 1984 Loustal became a frequent contributor to À Suivre, where he created 'Coeurs de Sable', 'Barney et la Note Bleue', 'Un Jeune Homme Romantique' and 'Kid Congo'. At the same time his work in present in L'Écho des Savanes. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, numerous albums appeared, to name a few: 'Zenata-Plage', 'Pension Maubeuge', 'V comme Engenance', 'Le Prince et Martin Moka', '19 Pastels' and 'Dune'. --http://www.lambiek.net/loustal.htm

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