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JahSonic's Blog

September 2003

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

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

2003, Sep 28; 08:38 :::: comics

Qu'est-ce que la BD aujourd'hui?

A friend visiting Paris recently returned with a gift for me: a special issue of the Beaux Arts Magazine devoted to the current state of comics - a big smart square-bound volume, with a preamble consisting of a set of essays on contemporary comics, profiles of some 37 creators, and a suggested reading list of 37 volumes which would make up "la bédéthèque idéale". It was fascinating to read, both for the actual content, and because it sparked so many reflections on the perception of comics in France, and how radically that differs from how they are perceived in Britain (and no doubt the US as well).

Might as well start with the obvious: I can't imagine a fine art magazine in Britain doing a comics special. For two reasons: first, because comics just don't have the respectability - and since it becomes tedious to complain about that, there's no point in elaborating on it. Second, because when comics are taken seriously in Britain it's not done by assimilating them to the visual "fine arts". Our complaint is that comics are absent from the bookshops, that graphic novels aren't covered by the book reviewers, not that you don't see them in art galleries. The very term "graphic novel" suggests that we see comics as a narrative medium. This is not necessarily a good thing, but it is more than a generalisation based on my own passion for narrative; though it may be even more true of British than of American comics fans. Certainly the stars of the "British invasion" were the writers - Moore, Milligan, Morrison, Gaiman... and I could go on. Back in 1985, Alan Moore put it this way (in a series of essays on Writing for Comics now at last republished by Avatar): [...]

2003, Sep 27; 15:05 :::: homophobia

Gay rights activists seek arrest of reggae stars at Mobo awards

Three reggae stars nominated for a Mobo [Music of Black Origin] award may be arrested at the prize ceremony next week because the lyrics of their songs allegedly incite the murder of gays and lesbians.

The gay rights group OutRage had presented Scotland Yard's hate crime unit with a dossier of evidence against Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and Elephant Man, three of the biggest stars of the Jamaican dance hall scene, which is notorious for its homophobia.

The gay rights group OutRage is calling for their prosecution in the light of the crown prosecution service's crackdown on threatening behaviour towards homosexuals and an initiative by the Metropolitan police to encourage gay people to report abuse and harassment.

OutRage's leader, Peter Tatchell, who was beaten by angry reggae fans when he protested against two of the singers outside last year's Mobo party, said: "My request for a prosecution will test whether the police and prosecutors are sincere in their pledge to get tough with homophobic hate crimes."

Chris Wells, editor of the black music magazine Echoes, said OutRage might be shooting itself in the foot by picking a fight with singers whose work would normally pass mainstream audiences by.

"You are never going to stop this - no matter what you do - because Jamaica is a very religious society, and unfortunately, for all sorts of reasons, homophobia is deep there," he said. --The Guardian, September 19, 2003

2003, Sep 24; 14:35 :::: subculture

  • Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Postwar Britain (1976) - Stuart Hall [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This book is a must read for students of fashion, subculture, identity, and pop culture. Although the style of writing and some of the conclusions read as somewhat "old-fashioned", it was ground-breaking work at the time (1976), one of the first serious scholarly treatments of youth and pop culture. More importantly, many of its arguments are still very relevant and need to be reconsidered in contemporary literature. The collection also discusses many styles which are all but forgotten to a younger audience and the variety British styles in the 60s is an education in itself for people who often think of past decades as having a particular "look". Excellent sociological analysis blended with ethnographic description. --A reader from Newfield, amazon.com

    2003, Sep 24; 14:09 :::: words of art


    Words of Art is an online glossary for Canadian visual arts theory and criticism. Created by Robert Belton, Dean of Arts, the web site is maintained by the Department of Fine Arts, Okanagan University College. Words of Art ... see also language, semantics

    2003, Sep 23; 18:59 :::: Manila

    I was offered this re-mix of Manila by Seelenluft (ft. Michael Smith) for the site. I liked the original version better. Thanks to Back Yard Recordings.

    “Tequila-vision bonkers. A thriller from Manila? You know it”. - Jockey Slut

    “Kooky Electronica… Niiice”. - Face Magazine

    Windows Media video stream http://promo.mudhut.co.uk/IncentiveMusic/Manila.asx

    Seelenluft’s massive playground hip-house disco mash up, MANILA, has landed featuring the super surreal vocal talents of Compton’s very own 12-year-old rapper Michael Smith. The sheer craziness of this kids lyrics is brilliant, sitting ever so nicely off key and awkwardly over Seelenluft’s bass heavy tweaks and bleeps.

    Whilst on da streets of Compton, Seelenluft aka eccentric Swiss musician BEAT SOLER bumped into Smith. Michael Smith raps like a kid on a flashback with a Saturday night mash up mentality, only the aeroplane is going down.

    MANILA caused a storm when it was released on import last year. Now given a full UK release through London’s finest, Back Yard Recordings, it’s been lined up with some splendid mixes.

    Ewan Pearson is on the party bus and he’s off to funk town. Spaced out bleeps sit pretty over a thumping kick drum and lashings of low end creating the catchiest tune of the year. Zongamin hit you with an Acid-funk slap-bass backdrop whilst Smiths lyrics shimmy through Hammond chords.

    Originally found on the import Headman’s mix rumbles on. The bass wiggles and muscles its way in with the tweaked top end sounding superb. Cicada’s proggy mash up thumper, filters vocals and bends bleeps whilst keeping the funk firmly fixed, lovely.

    Already a favourite with the underground scene and now getting support from Giles Peterson, Pete Tong (Essential Tune) and Trevor Jackson, MANILA looks set to steel the show. Look out.

    2003, Sep 21; 09:40 :::: synaesthesia

  • The Man Who Tasted Shapes - Richard E. Cytowic [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    The ten people in one million who are synesthetes are born into a world where one sensation (such as sound) conjures up one or more others (such as taste or color). Although scientists have known about synesthesia for two hundred years, until now the condition has remained a mystery. Extensive experiments with more than forty synesthetes led Richard Cytowic to an explanation of synesthesia--and to a new conception of the organization of the mind, one that emphasized the primacy of emotion over reason. Because there were not enough points on chicken served at a dinner almost two decades ago, Cytowic came to explore a deeper reality that he believes exists in all individuals, but usually below the surface of awareness. In this medical detective adventure, he reveals the brain to be an active explorer, not just a passive receiver, and offers a new view of what it means to be human--a view that turns upside down conventional ideas about reason, emotion, and who we are. --from the book cover

    2003, Sep 20; 00:10 :::: taste

    Are Metaphors Arbitrary?

    We suggest that the nonarbitrariness both of synaesthesia and of metaphor (and their directionality) arise because of constraints imposed by evolution and by neural hardware (Ramachandran & Hubbard, 2001a). For example, you say ‘loud shirt’ but you rarely say ‘red sound’; you say ‘sharp taste’ but rarely ‘bitter touch’.
    S. Ramachandran and Edward M. Hubbard, The Phenomenology of Synaesthesia, Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 10, No. 8, 2003
    via http://dalston.ku24.com/cluster/

    2003, Sep 20; 21:04 :::: media

  • The Truman Show (1998) - Peter Weir [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    The whole world is watching--literally--every time Truman Burbank makes the slightest move. Unbeknownst to him, in this hauntingly funny film by Peter Weir, his entire life has been an unending soap opera for consumption by the rest of the world. And everyone he knows--including his mother, his wife, and his best friend--is really an actor, paid to be part of his life. In this intriguing and surprisingly touching 1998 film, writer Andrew Niccol imagines an ultimate kind of celebrity, then sees it brought to life with comic intensity and emotional honesty by Jim Carrey in what may be the performance of his career. Carrey has exceptional support from Laura Linney and Ed Harris, but it's his show, in a portrayal that demonstrates just what kind of range Carrey is capable of. --Marshall Fine, Amazon.com

    2003, Sep 20; 12:03 :::: studio one

  • Studio One Rockers: Best of Studio One - Various Artist [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Real Rock - Sound Dimension 2. Feel Like Jumping - Marcia Griffiths 3. Bobby Babylon - Freddie McGregor 4. Skylarking - Horace Andy 5. Village Soul - Lennie Hibbert 6. Greedy G - Brentford All Stars 7. Truth and Rights - Johnny Osbourne 8. Surfin' - Ernest Ranglin 9. Eye of Danger - Michigan & Smiley 10. No, No, No - Dawn Penn 11. Phoenix City - The Skatalites 12. Crabwalking - Prince Jazzbo 13. Hot Milk - Jackie Mittoo 14. Badder Dan Dem - Lone Ranger 15. Ethiopia - Cedric Brooks

    Bringing together the original cuts of classic tracks such as "Skylarking" and Dawn Penn's instantly recognizable "No, No, No," Studio One Rockers showcases not only the talents of influential artists that were to become synonymous with reggae but also the styles, sounds, and, above all, rhythms that were to dominate Kingston studios into the 1970s and beyond. There are a number of rock-steady classics (hence the name), with tracks like Hammond-Organ maestro Jackie Mittoo's "Hot Milk" and the legendary Marcia Griffiths's "Feel Like Jumping" highlighting the then-dramatic change in style away from the faster beats of ska towards heavy, bass-led tracks with a much slower tempo. But Studio One Rockers is not restricted to this. The semi-instrumental track "Phoenix City" pounds along at a breakneck pace with trumpets belting and, along with "Greedy G," shows the importance a faster beat, a funky take, or a big-band sound also had within the Studio One fold. There are tracks from DJs like Lone Ranger with his "Badder Dan Dem" vocal rhythms and dancehall sounds. Roots artists include one of its biggest stars, Horace Andy, whose then unique falsetto was later emulated by many looking for a similar pop success. Then a preteen, reggae star Freddy McGregor also appears on "Bobby Babylon." Freddy, like many of the artists here, was to produce some of his best work under the watchful eye of Studio One's equally famous producer--Clement "Coxsone" Dodd. In many ways a tribute to Coxsone's production skills and rhythms that continue to be rediscovered and recut, Studio One Rockers is essential listening for anyone with even a passing interest in Jamaican music. --Caroline Butler, Amazon.com

    2003, Sep 20; 11:19 :::: 42nd street

  • Down 42nd Street: Sex, Money, Culture, and Politics at the Crossroads of the World - by Marc Eliot [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    In Down 42nd Street, Marc Eliot offers a fascinating and pugnacious history of what may be the most famous street in the United States--or at least the most famously decadent one. "By 1980, [New York's] fabled Manhattan crossroads had become ground zero for the manufacture, exhibition, and distribution of pornography, drug dealing, pedophilia, prostitution, and violent street crime," he writes. Eliot describes 42nd Street's development over time, and he's not afraid to go after a few sacred cows. Here's what he says about the "greatest generation" right after the Second World War: "GIs returning to the U.S. via New York City's harbors and ports were point men in the postwar sex and drug revolution." Today, of course, 42nd Street is a very different place, thanks to a conscious cleanup effort that has brought in Disney and other corporations. Eliot views this trend with a distaste that other may not feel: by the end of the 20th century, he notes with irritation, "42nd Street had become a horizontal Statue of Liberty, a place native New Yorkers avoided like Yellow Fever." All in all, Down 42nd Street is an excellent piece of opinionated urban history told with verve. --John Miller --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

    A rambunctious social and political history of Times Square and "the deuce" street slang for 42nd Street covers a lot of territory, but makes its points with wit and an insider's keen insight. Eliot, co-author of Erin Brockovitch's forthcoming advice book Take It from Me! and of Barry White's Love Unlimited, piles up fascinating historic details, from Revolutionary War battles on the nascent site of 42nd Street to the building of Grand Central Terminal; from the growth of New York's theater... --From Publishers Weekly

    2003, Sep 18; 21:57 :::: taste

  • Wallpaper [MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION] [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Wallpaper* is the world's global style magazine covering architecture, industrial design, entertainment and travel. Targeting an international readership of savvy opinion leaders. Wallpaper* is dedicated to delivering all the information that will help you engineer a better life. --From the Publisher

    2003, Sep 18; 00:15 :::: Gilles Neret

  • Erotica Universalis - Gilles Neret [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Erotica Universalis offers us a history of humanity through the highly-coloured lens of eroticism, which has always been very important for art and artists. Alongside the works of famous artists, this book returns to their rightful place a number of unknown or neglected masterpieces till now consigned to obscurity by prejudice and taboo. --Taschen.com

    Reviews "Refreshing in that the penis has not been airbrushed out. The book has an encyclopaedic quality-- but it is not without laughs."--The Irish Times

    2003, Sep 16; 13:57 :::: no mo po mo

    "no mo po mo" is a website dedicate to the critique of postmodernism and of irrationalism in general.

    We have been properly scolded for including under the heading of "Post Modernism," a grab-bag" of examples of and comments upon kookery, junk science, "New Age" fantasies, and so forth. Some quite respectable scholars have willingly designated themselves as "post-modernists," and it is admittedly unfair to associate them with UFO-freaks, astrologers, channelers, and the like. Thus we have added the line, above: "...and of irrationalism in general." Even so, we are underwhelmed by what we have encountered of the scholarly post-modernists. To repeat an old but cherished critical "kiss-off," the post modern ideas that we have encountered are "interesting and original -- unfortunately, that which is interesting is not original, and that which is original is not interesting."

    The best of "modern" scholarship, exemplified by science, displays a disciplined and public search for verifiable truths concerning an objective world -- truths that are independent of subjective biases of the investigator. Contrary notions that all "knowledge" reduces to belief or that "the meaning of the text is the interpretation," reject this central tenet of "modernism." So too, truth claims that will not admit to experimental testing or the support of empirical evidence. For the purposes of this site, we will call all this "Po Mo" -- albeit the "post-" of "post-modernism" is a misnomer. Radical subjectivism is more "pre-" than it is "post-" since it dates back to the Sophists of ancient Greece, and has been with us constantly ever since. Likewise superstition and belief systems that are innocent of any foundation in confirmable fact.

    And they are still with us today -- witness cable TV and the supermarket tabloids. Now, perhaps more than ever, they should be countered with the voices of sweet reason, and the perpetual question: "Now why should I believe that?"

    2003, Sep 16; 13:23 :::: biology

  • The Origin of Species (1859) - Charles Darwin [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    It's hard to talk about The Origin of Species without making statements that seem overwrought and fulsome. But it's true: this is indeed one of the most important and influential books ever written, and it is one of the very few groundbreaking works of science that is truly readable. To a certain extent it suffers from the Hamlet problem--it's full of clichés! Or what are now clichés, but which Darwin was the first to pen. Natural selection, variation, the struggle for existence, survival of the fittest: it's all in here.

    Darwin's friend and "bulldog" T.H. Huxley said upon reading the Origin, "How extremely stupid of me not to have thought of that." Alfred Russel Wallace had thought of the same theory of evolution Darwin did, but it was Darwin who gathered the mass of supporting evidence--on domestic animals and plants, on variability, on sexual selection, on dispersal--that swept most scientists before it. It's hardly necessary to mention that the book is still controversial: Darwin's remark in his conclusion that "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history" is surely the pinnacle of British understatement. --Mary Ellen Curtin, Amazon.com

    2003, Sep 16; 13:18 :::: sociology

  • Sociobiology: The New Synthesis (1975) - Edward Osborne Wilson [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    E.O. Wilson defines sociobiology as "the systematic study of the biological basis of all social behavior," the central theoretical problem of which is the question of how behaviors that seemingly contradict the principles of natural selection, such as altruism, can develop. Sociobiology: A New Synthesis, Wilson's first attempt to outline the new field of study, was first published in 1975 and called for a fairly revolutionary update to the so-called Modern Synthesis of evolutionary biology. Sociobiology as a new field of study demanded the active inclusion of sociology, the social sciences, and the humanities in evolutionary theory. Often criticized for its apparent message of "biological destiny," Sociobiology set the stage for such controversial works as Richard Dawkins's The Selfish Gene and Wilson's own Consilience.

    Sociobiology defines such concepts as society, individual, population, communication, and regulation. It attempts to explain, biologically, why groups of animals behave the way they do when finding food or shelter, confronting enemies, or getting along with one another. Wilson seeks to explain how group selection, altruism, hierarchies, and sexual selection work in populations of animals, and to identify evolutionary trends and sociobiological characteristics of all animal groups, up to and including man. The insect sections of the books are particularly interesting, given Wilson's status as the world's most famous entomologist.

    It is fair to say that as an ecological strategy eusociality has been overwhelmingly successful. It is useful to think of an insect colony as a diffuse organism, weighing anywhere from less than a gram to as much as a kilogram and possessing from about a hundred to a million or more tiny mouths.

    It's when Wilson starts talking about human beings that the furor starts. Feminists have been among the strongest critics of the work, arguing that humans are not slaves to a biological destiny, forever locked in "primitive" behavior patterns without the ability to reason past our biochemical nature. Like The Origin of Species, Sociobiology has forced many biologists and social scientists to reassess their most cherished notions of how life works. --Therese Littleton, Amazon.com

    2003, Sep 15; 17:31 :::: 1967

  • The Naked Ape: A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal (1967) - Desmond Morris [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    "A startling view of man, stripped of the facade we try so hard to hide behind." In view of man's awesome creativity and resourcefulness, we may be inclined to regard him as descended from the angels, yet, in his brilliant study, Desmond Morris reminds us that man is relative to the apes--is in fact, the greatest primate of all. With knowledge gleaned from primate ethnology, zoologist Morris examines sex, child-rearing, exploratory habits, fighting, feeding, and much more to establish our surprising bonds to the animal kingdom and add substance to the discussion that has provoked controversy and debate the world over. Natural History Magazine praised The Naked Ape as "stimulating . . . thought-provoking . . . [Morris] has introduced some novel and challenging ideas and speculations." --From the Publisher

    2003, Sep 14; 16:10 :::: music

  • Diamonds on the Inside (2003) - Ben Harper [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Ben Harper makes elegant leaps from reggae to rock to folk to funk and back in his fifth studio album. The rootsy singer-songwriter with the silken tenor isn't merely genuflecting at the altar of his musical heroes, as here he shows more quirky imagination and inventive musicianship than on any of his earlier efforts. That said, "Diamonds on the Inside" is painted with the same brush that Bob Dylan used on "I Shall Be Released," but Harper adds his own Biblical aphorisms to make the song his own. Most of the songs display Harper's growth as a poet, as he ponders the dualities of life and love in tunes like the disturbing "Touch from Your Lust" and the disquietingly lyrical "Amen Omen." Harper is compelled to sing what is in his heart and to do what he can to make the world a better place. Witness the Marley-like "With My Own Two Hands." The only misstep on the whole disc is the overly humid orchestration of "When She Believes." --Jaan Uhelszki, amazon.com

    2003, Sep 14; 15:54 :::: William Gibson

  • Pattern Recognition (2003) - William Gibson [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    The first of William Gibson's usually futuristic novels to be set in the present, Pattern Recognition is a masterful snapshot of modern consumer culture and hipster esoterica. Set in London, Tokyo, and Moscow, Pattern Recognition takes the reader on a tour of a global village inhabited by power-hungry marketeers, industrial saboteurs, high-end hackers, Russian mob bosses, Internet fan-boys, techno archeologists, washed-out spies, cultural documentarians, and our heroine Cayce Pollard--a soothsaying "cool hunter" with an allergy to brand names.

    Pollard is among a cult-like group of Internet obsessives that strives to find meaning and patterns within a mysterious collection of video moments, merely called "the footage," let loose onto the Internet by an unknown source. Her hobby and work collide when a megalomaniac client hires her to track down whoever is behind the footage. Cayce's quest will take her in and out of harm's way in a high-stakes game that ultimately coincides with her desire to reconcile her father’s disappearance during the September 11 attacks in New York.

    Although he forgoes his usual future-think tactics, this is very much a William Gibson novel, more so for fans who realize that Gibson's brilliance lies not in constructing new futures but in using astute observations of present-day cultural flotsam to create those futures. With Pattern Recognition, Gibson skips the extrapolation and focuses his acumen on our confusing contemporary world, using the precocious Pollard to personify and humanize the uncertain anxiety, optimistic hope, and downright fear many feel when looking to the future. The novel is filled with Gibson's lyric descriptions and astute observations of modern life, making it worth the read for both cool hunters and their prey. --Jeremy Pugh for amazon.com

    2003, Sep 14; 15:58 :::: gender

  • Sexing the Groove: Popular Music and Gender - Sheila Whiteley [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Why is record collecting associated with men and not women? Why are female singers well-known but female guitarists and drummers overlooked? Are record companies misogynistic? What different ideas about masculinity are represented by Bruce Springsteen and the Pet Shop Boys? Can there be such a thing as a Female Elvis? How do "Take That" videos represent the erotic male body. This study presents answers to these questions and many more, bringing together music and cultural theorists to explore the relationship between popular music, gender and sexuality. Using a variety of methodologies and a wide range of case studies, from Mick Jagger to Riot Grrrls, the contributors describe and debate how pop music performers, subcultures, fans and texts construct and deconstruct "masculine" and "feminine" identities. It is structured into sections focusing on rock music culture, masculinities and popular music, women and popular music, and music, image and identity. Each section begins with an introductory essay which contextualizes the individual essays and situates them within the overall argument of the collection. --Synopsis, amazon.co.uk

    2003, Sep 14; 14:53 :::: cultural studies

  • Cultural Studies and the Study of Popular Culture: Theories and Methods - John Storey [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    I am using "Cultural Studies and the Study of Popular Culture" as the primary textbook in an "Introduction to Popular Culture" class. Now, on the one hand it is clear John Storey's book is not written at an introductory level, which would have been a reason for me not to select it for my class. But this volume has two strengths that overcome that particular liability. The first is that Storey looks at six types of cultural texts: Television, Fiction, Films, Magazines & Newspapers, Popular Music, and Consumption (a.k.a. shopping). That pretty much covers everything you would want to look at in an introduction pop culture class so that students can get excited (relatively speaking) about analyzing their favorite television show or CD. The second strength is that each chapter focuses on two or three key concepts/theories. For example, with television Storey looks at Hall's notions of encoding/decoding television discourse, how television represents the ideology of mass culture, and how there are competing economies of television. So even if the writing level is for the advances student (quality), students being introduced to cultural studies are being presented with only a few concepts to absorb (quantity). Even if he is writing chapters rather than providing essays, each chapter does offer a specific case study (e.g., James Bond novels) that will facilitate student comprehension of the concepts, which they, in turn, should be able to apply in their own papers. Storey does have another volume that is specifically "An Introduction to Cultural Theory and Popular Culture," but it is structured by theories (culturalism, structuralism, Marxism, etc.). Ideally I would like to be working with a book from Storey that had the structure of the book I am using with the writing style of the other, but clearly you have a choice here as to which way you can go given both your preferences and the level of your course. Storey does a nice job of explicating these concepts without rendering personal judgments, which I think is important when you are trying to get students to actually use such analytical tools. Final note: Storey's "Cultural Theory & Popular Culture: A Reader" is intended as a companion volume for his "Introduction" text and not this one. -- Lawrance M. Bernabo for amazon.com

    2003, Sep 13; 12:45 :::: Kerri Chandler

  • Trionisphere (2003) - Kerri Chandler [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Tribe of the Night 2. What is 6:23 3. Something Deeper 4. Ye Yo Ma (Mother) 5. Coro (The Colonial Mentality) 6. I Never Knew Her 7. It’s You (feat. Dee Dee Brave & Freddy Turner) 8. On My Way 9. Too Much 10. Heal My Heart (feat. Treasa “Diva” Fennie) 11. Faithful 12. The Answer (feat. Christopher “Gate-ah” McCray) 13. Behold the Sun (feat. KT Brooks)

    Kerri "Kaoz" Chandler’s music has become synonymous with the New Jersey house sound. Inspired by Tony Humphries’ legendary sets at Newark, New Jersey’s most famous club Zanzibar, Chandler was pivotal in the updating of Jersey’s disco sound.

    For over a decade, Kerri’s songs have been consistently rocking the world’s deepest dancefloors. His rumbling basslines, jazz-soaked keyboards and intensely emotional vocal productions have influenced a generation of producers. Over the years he has refined and perfected his style, providing classic releases for house music’s most prestigious labels: Ibadan, Large, King Street, Strictly Rhythm and his own Madhouse imprint, to name just a few.

    Trionisphere marks a culmination of Chandler’s career. Here, his musical style is fully realized, and his ability to create a world within his songs is uncanny. Refusing to subside to the over-polished sound incorporated by so many of his peers, his rough beats, soulful melodies and wall-shaking basslines embrace a realness that makes Trionisphere such an exceptional album. --amazon.com (promo blurb)

    2003, Sep 13; 10:15 :::: underground dance music

  • You Better Work: Underground Dance Music in New York City - Kai Fikentscher [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    You Better Work!" is the first detailed study of underground dance music or UDM, a phenomenon that has its roots in the overlap and cross-fertilization of African American and gay cultural sensibilities that have occurred since the 1970s. UDM not only predates and includes disco, but also constitutes a unique performance practice in the history of American social dance.

    Taking New York City as its geographic focus, "You Better Work!" shows how UDM functions in the lives of its DJs and dancers, and how it is used as the primary identifier of an urban subculture shaped essentially by the relationships between music, dance, and marginality. Kai Fikentscher goes beyond stereotypical images of club and disco to explore the cult and culture of the DJ, the turntable and vinyl recordings as musical instruments, and the vital relationship between music and dance at underground clubs. Including interviews, photographs, and an extensive discography, this ethnographic account tells the story of a celebration of collective marginality through music and dance

    New York City readers will surely enjoy his tales of a thousand and one club nights at the Tunnel, Mars, Twilo, the Garage, and the Palladium, where we find such dominant turntable masters as Junior Vasquez, David Morales, Little Louie Vega, and Danny Tenaglia working and creating." -- Boston Phoenix

    "'You Better Work!' is not just the only serious book about underground dance music in the U.S. It is also a very good book. Fikentscher documents several crucial music scenes before they mutate into the night." -- Andrew Ross, Director, American Studies Program, New York University

    "In 'You Better Work!,' Kai Fikentscher takes you to dance music paradise, as he makes the interactivity -- the synchronicity -- between DJ and dancer, booth and floor, music and movement come alive. 'You Better Work!' correctly locates underground dance music (UDM) within the context of African American cultural practices and brilliantly traces the complex interweaving of black, gay, and other marginalized cultures in its development. Fikentscher understands the historical importance of disco as few writers do. He guides you effortlessly through the evolution of the DJ from spinner to mixer to remixer to producer. He offers insightful and pathbreaking connections to the black church and to gay expressivity. And he is able to translate the emotional language and transformative experience of music and dance into engaging, readable prose. It's the next best thing to dancing itself!" -- Reebee Garofalo, author of Rockin' Out: Popular Music In the USA

    KAI FIKENTSCHER holds degrees in jazz performance and composition from Berklee College of Music and Manhattan School of Music, as well as in ethnomusicology from Columbia University. When not teaching music courses and lecturing on topics in expressive African American culture, he works in New York City as a music producer, freelance guitarist, audio consultant, and sound technician.

    2003, Sep 13; 10:15 :::: horror

  • The Horror Reader - Ken Gelder [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Spanning the history of horror in literature and film, from Edgar Allen Poe to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Horror Reader brings together essential writings on this most spectacular and controversial of genres. It covers classic gothic literature like Frankenstein to lesbian vampire movies and new Asian horror. An introduction by Ken Gelder and a preface before each section prepares the reader for the next topic of discussion on this fascinating genre. --amazon.com

    About the Author
    Ken Gelder is an Associate Professor/Reader in English at the University of Melbourne. He is the author of Reading the Vampire (1994) and co-editor with Sarah Thornton of The Subcultures Reader (1997), both pubished by Routledge

    2003, Sep 13; 10:06 :::: subculture

  • The Subcultures Reader - Ken Gelder, Sarah Thornton [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    First coined in the 1940s, the term "subculture" has been applied to society's most interesting, and, often, most inventive elements. Through a collection of articles written over the last 50 years, this book by Gelder and Thornton traces both the history of the academic study of subcultures and the history of subcultures themselves. While you'll find the usual assortment of articles on punk rock, street gangs, and Star Trek fans, what is perhaps most interesting are the articles from the early days of "subculture studies." Two of the highlights include a piece by Paul G. Cressey on 1930s taxi dancers and their opinions on race and class, and an article by Howard Becker on the language and attitudes of jazz musicians in the early '60s. The 55 selections in this volume offer a rich spectrum of subcultures and the academic responses they have evoked. --Amazon.com

    2003, Sep 13; 09:48 :::: acid house

  • Altered State: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House (1998) - Matthew Collin, John Godfrey [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Although it probably over-emphasizes the London scene, this book provides a well-written introduction to the history of house music as well as to 20th-century dance music in general. Citing the Stonewall Riots as a cultural turning point, Matthew Collin shows how the emerging gay rights movements created innovative clubs that demanded a newer, more vibrant music. Finding other pieces of this hidden history in Jamaican dub, mainstream disco, rap, European electronic music, and New York club mixes, Collin develops an interesting and previously undocumented narrative of contemporary hip sounds. --Amazon.com

    2003, Sep 13; 09:26 :::: electronic body music

  • Front By Front 1988-89 - Front 242 [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Until Death (Us Do Part) 2. Circling Overland 3. Im Rhythmus Bleiben 4. Felines 5. First In/First Out 6. Blend The Strengths 7. Headhunter V3.0 8. Work 01 9. Terminal State 10. Welcome To Paradise 11. Headhunter VI.0 12. Never Stop! VI.0 13. Work 242 N.Off Is N.Off 14. Agony (Until Death) 15. Never Stop! VI.I 16. Work 242

    Front by Front is a good album; it contains some of the best 242 songs: Until Death, Headhunter (which can be considered 242's hymn of all times) It is a pure EBM album, with the typical not-completely-instrumental songs which made F242 famous, 'Im Rhythmus Bleiben', 'Work', ... De Meyer's voice is clear and better than on any other 242 album, anticipating his good singing on Cobalt 60' Elemental or Twelve. I personally think that blending 'Official Version' with this album would have be a masterpiece; 242 albums have too many instrumentals songs to be masterpieces. --david m.matall for amazon.com

    2003, Sep 12; 23:15 :::: 1973

  • Catch a Fire (1973) - Bob Marley [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    With this, his major-label debut, Bob Marley not only became an international superstar, so did reggae itself. The world of music would never be the same after the burning, classic tracks of "Stir It Up," "Slave Driver," and "Concrete Jungle." Everything about this 1973 platter is seminal--Marley's lyrics are political, but never preaching; there's not a dud track on the entire disc; the accompaniment of Peter Tosh and Bunny Livingston is unbeatable; and while this is classic reggae, it never sounds clichéd. This is, quite simply, as timeless as music gets. With great packaging, this deluxe edition gathers the original album and the unreleased Jamaican version. The Jamaican disc features a different mastering and sequence, and two additional tracks that show Marley's softer side--"Hide Tide or Low Tide" and "All Day All Night." --Jason Verlinde

    2003, Sep 12; 21:28 :::: wikipedia

    I predict a great future for wikipedia. The quality of the content is rapidly rising. The depth of information is good. What they are actually doing is making a new ontology, pointing towards the possiblity of a singular linguistic namespace, including disambiguation page. Amazing!

    Yesterday, there was a sudden and dramatic rise iin traffic on the Memphis page. The eighties design movement lead by Ettore Sottsass. I wonder what's up?

    Wikipedia reminds me a lot of the Open Directory Project, a Netscape owned company that provides a hierarchy-based ontology which is heavily used by Google.

    Here are the Alexa stats of Wikipedia. Jahsonic.com has temporarily climbed up to number 80,000-something on the world's Alexa rank. May be due heavy usage of the nifty pop-up-killing Alexa toolbar by yours truly? Anyway, visitor levels went up to May 2003 levels, better positioning in Google apparently not always being the cause.

    2003, Sep 12; 17:42 :::: Erotica

  • How I Adore You: Stories - Mark Pritchard [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Where do I begin? Mark Pritchard goes 7 for 7 with his second collection of erotic stories. No filler here kiddies. Lessons In Submission starts it off with a man describing several hot scenes with his woman. My question to you is : is it live or is it phone sex? Ordinary Story follows Jim as he meets his lover Ron's girlfriend. You'll particularly enjoy the excellent dialog between Jim and his friends ("I'm afraid you have...Gap disease") before the story culminates in a very hot 3 way. Cousin clocks in as the shortest of the bunch but don't let that or the subject matter throw you. Trick finds Sam following Cary to meet his "Daddy". Things start to heat up a bit when the trio are interrupted by Dirk Powers, porn star, and his movie pals. While you're disappointed at the break in the action, things pick back up when Sam wanders off to Dirk's waiting limo. Sounds like a pro/am video waiting to happen. Incest, my personal favorite, while not exactly P.C., is HOT, HOT, HOT!!! 'Nuff said. The title story finds Susan embarking on a 9 1/2 Weeks (the book, not the movie) tinged lesbian affair with Elena. Prom rounds out the group with a nice long story that I can best describe as Natural Born Killers show up for an orgy at the final dance of the school year. If there is a taboo that this one doesn't cover, I can't think of what it is. An excellent collection that contains great dialog, hot action, and a little something for everyone. When I was finished reading it, I was struck by 2 things. First, with the exception of Prom, you can't readily discern the gender of the proagonist for the first few paragraphs. Second, I can't wait for the 2nd edition of Mark's 1st collection, Too Beautiful & Other Stories, to be released. I also hope he's diligently at work on Collection #3. --MICHAEL R. ZOGLIO for amazon.com

    2003, Sep 12; 17:26 :::: Erotica

  • Carrie's Story - Molly Weatherfield [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    I discovered the world of bdsm a mere three months ago (I'm 34) and can't quite believe how much I didn't know about myself before this. Let's just say I'll never go without it again. Anyway, since this discovery I have been reading everything I can get my hands on, from really bad stuff like Laura Reese's 2 books to stellar short stories like Mark Pritchard's "Lessons in Submission" to all of Roy Stuart's erotic photography.

    Carrie's Story is my absolute favorite for so many reasons. Not only is it not over-romanticized, not only is the sex fascinating and hot, but Carrie's smartass internal monologue sounds so much like my own! On the surface she is compliant and submissive, yet inside she is wry and cynical and sort of astonished at the irony of what she's doing -- and she tells the story with that voice. And the story is just so... believable; the author got all the details right, from her bike messenger outfits to the punk rock references. I actually read the book a second time and marked all the places where I exclaimed out loud at how exactly it expressed something I felt. Like when Carrie admits how much she loves the exquisite unfairness of the arrangement, and when she wonders how -- without clear instructions and commands -- people having vanilla sex EVER get it right, and when she begins to understand the peculiar logic and integrity of their arrangement -- how it's about him expressing his wishes and her simple obligation to fulfill them exactly.

    The book is flawlessly written, intelligent, and never talks down to its readers. So, if you are thinking about engaging in power exchange sex, read this book! Carrie's Story will show you how a smart(-...) girl does it. --A reader from california for amazon.com

    2003, Sep 10; 18:00 :::: ambient

  • The Ambient Century: From Mahler to Trance: The Evolution of Sound in the Electronic Age - Mark Prendergast, Brian Eno (forword) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Just as anything evolves when its setting changes, 20th-century music mutated as it moved beyond the confines of concert halls and into listeners' everyday environs. Thanks to car stereos, headphones, even computers, people now move within their own soundtracks. In this chronology of compositional innovations, Prendergast, an internationally published music writer, details the widening of sonic possibilities with advancements in recording, amplification and electronic instruments, and with the creative talents of hundreds of bold, brilliant composers. He credits Mahler with first evoking the hypnotic "ambient experience of landscape and emotion," kicking off the century of "repetitive conceptual music." Prendergast describes how, after a four-day fast, the sound of a single piano tone proved revelatory for Karlheinz Stockhausen; how sitarist Ravi Shankar influenced everyone from minimalist Philip Glass to the Beatles; how Donna Summer "merged Germanicity with black music's long history"; and how scores of house and techno artists have "moved the focus of the music away from its creators towards the listener." Organized by artist, the book provides suggested "Listenings" for each one, as well as a list of the "Essential 100 Recordings," which recommends ambient guru John Cage's "In a Landscape," megastar Bowie's absorbing "Low" and Goldie's "Timeless," a debut that brought ambient jungle/drum and bass into the mainstream. Talking Heads' producer Brian Eno, a maverick whose own music heavily influenced New Age and ambient house music, gives the book his stamp of approval in his foreword.

    2003, Sep 10; 15:26 :::: comments

    jahsonic.com is more than a blog. It is a full featured culture and music magazine with good articles & links... -- from http://www.dekay.org/blogs/tango/index.php

    Why, ... thank you! --jahsonic

    2003, Sep 09; 22:26 :::: women

  • Bettina Rheims: Female Trouble - Bettina Rheims, Catherine Deneuve (Introduction) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Rheims’s classic examination of women is a groundbreaking foray into the world of portraiture and studio work. In more than one hundred technically sublime photographs, mostly black and white, Rheims presents a visual cornucopia of women of all types. There are famous models and actresses, including Naomi Campbell, Anna Karina, Lauren Bacall, Glenn Close, and Anouk Aimee. But there are also circus performers, nude dancers, friends and strangers. Whether the shot is candid or posed, the mood tender or harsh, the setting elaborately staged or forgettably mundane, Rheims infuses her work with a unique and personal vision of the subject before her. Furthermore, she displays an uncanny ability to extract poses and expressions a man would never achieve from his female models. Their bodies are exquisitely free, confident, and open, their expressions both trusting and daring. Erotically charged without being kinky, Female Trouble is both a celebration of women’s protean nature and a tribute to their strength and independence.

    2003, Sep 08; 23:11 :::: fetish
  • Fantasies of Fetishism: From Decadence to the Post-human Amanda Fernbach [Amazon UK]
    At the dawn of the 21st century, Western culture is marked by various fantasies that imagine our future selves and their forms of embodiment. These fantasies form part of a rapidly growing discourse about the future of the human form, the disappearing boundary between the human and the technological and the cultural consequences of greater human-technological integration. This book is about those cultural fantasies of fetishism, the different forms they take and the various ways in which the transformative processes they depict can reaffirm accepted definitions of identity or reconfigure them in an entirely new fashion. This book argues that the orthodox interpretation of "classical" fetishism is not and never has been up to the task of explaining all cultural fetishisms. It identifies several forms of fetishism - decadent fetishism, magical fetishism, matrix fetishism and immortality fetishism - and accounts for its sometimes radical and productive edge. Ranging widely over texts and cultures, Amanda Fernbach applies these concepts of fetishism to topics in cultural studies, such as sexual difference, queer identities, computer culture and the "post-human" and also to her objects of study: cross-cultural dressers, techno-fetishists, cyberspace cowboys, cyborgs, geekgirls and SM/fetish cultures. This book argues that fetishism can contest postmodern malaise and provide utopian tools for a post-human existance. It urges that we embrace the new fetishism emerging from the fringes of the fetish scene and that we begin to classify fetishism in a manner that does justice to its multiplicity.

    2003, Sep 08; 22:35 :::: computer

  • Media Computing: Computational Media Aesthetics - Chitra Dorai, Svetha Venkatesh [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Explores the annotation, indexing, and organization of media content for automated search and retrieval systems. The incompatibility between low-level features that can be computed automatically to describe media content and the high-level meaning associated with the content by users is known as the semantic gap. This collection of eight papers introduces the computational media aesthetics approach to the semantic gap, outlines its foundations in media production principles, and presents a computational framework for deriving high- level semantic constructs from recorded audio and video. Topics include space-time mappings as database browsing tools, modeling color dynamics for the semantics of commercials, and determining affective events through film audio. --Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR

    2003, Sep 08; 21:44 :::: Kraftwerk

  • Possessed (1992) - Balanescu Quartet [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Together with a reappraisal of David Byrne's 'Hanging Upside Down' and three of Balanescu's own compositions 'Possessed', 'Want Me' and 'No Time Before Time', the 'Possessed' album was released in September 1992, and crossed the pop and classical critical divide as effortlessly as Balanescu had envisaged. "Balanescu isn't alone in marrying contemporary sounds with a more sophisticated presentation, but he is the most imaginative," said NME. "Kraftwerk's electronic blueprints have made the jump to the rarefied chamber format with consummate elegance," agreed The Guardian. The Quartet performed their Kraftwerk set at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall in May 1993, and after an enthusiastic response from Kraftwerk themselves, with the German pioneers on two consecutive evenings at the 1993 ARS Electronica Festival in Linz.

    The Quartet's touring schedules took them back to Romania, where the genesis for their next LP took shape in Balanescu's mind. 'Luminitza', meaning 'little light' in Romanian would become partially an expression of feelings for his old country and more significantly, "a little bit of hope in the darkness that, even after the downfall of Ceaucescu's totalitarian regime in 1989, still shrouds Romania," he would explain. "It started from a strong but vague desire to express something about what is happening in Eastern Europe. The older I get, the more I realise how much I owe, musically, to that part of the world. When we went to Romania to play, it was clear that daily life is very, very difficult, perhaps more difficult than before the so-called revolution. There are tremendous shortages; food, electricity, sometimes water. Inflation is incredible. Romania's case is further complicated because Ceaucescu was shot. Because he was not put on trial, people still don't know what really happened. In Romania there has been no cleansing process, no catharsis."

    'Luminitza', released in January 1994, was entirely self-penned, and combined the powerful emotional charge of traditional Romanian music with the advanced playing techniques the Quartet developed for their Kraftwerk pieces. It also contained hints of a history of oppression that still colours Romanian art. "There is a folk poem which makes an analogy between death and liberation," Balanescu elucidated. "The philosophy is: be like a willow. When the wind blows, bend with the wind. It's a fatalistic philosophy. In Romania, everyone dresses in black when there's a birth and in white when in mourning. Life is suffering and death is liberation from suffering. Oppression is the grain of daily life. It is very deeply ingrained." The results, once more, struck a deep chord with the Quartet's listeners. "The second Balanescu Quartet album is a minor masterpiece," stated the NME. "'Luminitza' is like learning a rich new musical language." "A piece of overwhelming emotional power, subtly and beautifully constructed," added The Wire. --http://www.mute.com/mute/bq/bq.htm

    2003, Sep 07; 11:52 :::: (dirty) books

  • Venus Bound: The Erotic Voyage of the Olympia Press and Its Writers (1996) - John De St. Jorre [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    A tale intriguing for its novelty, its insight into modern literary history, and the thread of social history that runs throughout, Venus Bound is the true story of Olympia Press. The company spent decades pushing the censorship envelope by publishing ground-breaking literature from authors such as Henry Miller, William Burroughs, and Vladimir Nabokov. To subsidize this high-minded adventure, Olympia pumped out a line of plain old dirty books. John de St. Jorre follows the venture from its inception just after World War I until its demise during the liberated 1960s and 1970s.

    Anyone old enough to have traveled in Europe in the 1950s and '60s probably remembers those green paperbacks with black lettering, affectionately known by both their creators and many of their readers as dirty books; the best "DBs," by common consent, were those published by Maurice Girodias at the Olympia Press in Paris. If that were all Girodias did, he would be no more than a shabby footnote to literary history; but because his press, in those puritanical times, was the only one on either side of the Atlantic unafraid of censorship, authors with notable but racy books went to him, including Henry Miller (who first published with Girodias's father, Jack Kahane), J.P. Donleavy with The Ginger Man, Vladimir Nabokov with Lolita, Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg with Candy and William S. Burroughs with Naked Lunch. Girodias undoubtedly had good taste, and his contrary nature made him a formidable litigator; unhappily, he was also deeply reluctant to pay his authors, and relations with the best of them quickly became bogged down in endless recriminations and suits. De St. Jorre (The Patriot Game) tells the lively and often comic story of Girodias, his escapades and his Olympians with great verve and good humor, and his excellent research should make it catnip to book people. --From Publishers Weekly

    2003, Sep 03; 14:52 :::: soul

  • Philadelphia Roots (Soul Jazz) (2001) - Various Artists [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. I likes to do it - People's Choice 2. Horse - Nobles, Cliff 3. Waiting in the rain - Fantastic Johnny C 4. I'm gonna make you love me - Brothers Of Hope 5. California soul - Brenda & Tabulations 6. Great big liar - Siegler, Bunny 7. Let me do my thing - People's Choice 8. Take it easy soul brother - Corner Boys 9. Hey boy - Brenda & Tabulations 10. Your love has got me chained and bound - Brockington, Alfreda 11. O wow - Panic Buttons 12. Lost the will to live - Ellison, Willie 13. Waiting for the rain - Philly Sound 14. Nickol Nickol - Brothers Of Hope 15. Cause that's the way I know - People's Choice 16. You gotta come a little closer - Soul Brothers Six 17. United - Music Makers (2)

    After the peerless "Studio One Rockers" and "New Orleans Funk" collections, the Soul Jazz team have mined yet another seam of lost classics (and samplers' gold) in "Philadelphia Roots". This album digs beneath the slick, string-drenched sound of the better known Philly Soul hits to unearth the real sound of Philadelphia as it progressed through dirty Stax-style funk and Northern Soul to the flyaway strings and four to the floor pulse of early Disco.
    There are a huge variety of styles here, but in such a natural mix (perhaps because the same small circle of musicians played on all these tracks) that you'll be too busy dancing to notice. We're treated to the funkier dancefloor numbers from house bands such as Cliff Nobles & Co ("The Horse") and rareties from little known groups such as Panic Buttons' choppy funk up, "Oh Wow". Other highlights include Soul Brothers Six's smooth soul undercut with raw JBs funk, Alfreda Brockington belting out an uplifting "Chained & Bound", and two versions of the proto-Disco "Waiting For The Rain". --amazon.co.uk

    2003, Sep 03; 10:18 :::: erotica

  • Louise Brooks - Looking for Lulu (1998) - Hugh Munro Neely [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Produced in 1998 for Turner Classic Movies, this documentary is nearly as exceptional as its subject and just as fascinating. Born in Kansas, Louise Brooks rose from the Ziegfeld Follies to become a silent film icon. As biographer Barry Paris writes for this definitive hourlong profile (narrated by Shirley MacLaine), "Lulu" Brooks was "one of the most intensely erotic screen beauties of all time," and her rise, fall, and resurrection make for a fascinating personal history. Paris charts Brooks's controversial and often self-destructive course from Hollywood to Berlin (where she made cinema history in Pandora's Box and Diary of a Lost Girl), while insightful interviews and abundant film clips provide breathtaking proof of Lulu's undeniable beauty. Most revealing are clips from a 1976 interview with Brooks, who remained utterly unique, sharply intelligent, and tragically convinced that she'd failed at everything. Looking for Lulu serves as captivating proof that she was wrong. --Jeff Shannon for amazon.com

    2003, Sep 02; 12:48 :::: erotic books

  • Revenge (2003) - Ellen Von Unwerth [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Though I understand the opinions expressed in the other commentator's reviews on the book being too small a format. I found the small format to add to the intimacy of the content. The size is small and intimate a little book to tuck into a purse, a silken drawer, under a pillow. Its physical size matches the intimate unmentionables that the book plays with. The details of the small S&M line drawings on the inside covers also add to the intimacy and playfullness of her book. And of course, the photographs are gorgeous. --meixlan from CA USA [Ellen Von Unwerth]

    2003, Sep 01; 21:35 :::: art
  • Jeff Koons - Eckard Schneider, Alison Gingeras, Alison M. Gingeras [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    The man who enshrined a hoover vacuume and a basketball, who created a life-sized polychromed wood replica of Michael Jackson and his pet chimp Bubbles, who transfered his sex life with Italian porn star wife Ilona Staller onto canvas, and who made a monumental topiary sculpture in the shape of a puppy, is back. After a seven-year hiatus from the public eye, bad boy Jeff Koons returns in this comprehensive and overdue survey of his work of the past five years. Three elaborate, highly-produced series are presented, including the joyously effusive "Celebration," an ambitious body of 16 photo-realist paintings and 20 stainless steel sculptures that draw upon the symbols and objects associated with the observance of life's festive rituals. Essays by Eckard Schneider and Alison Gingeras. --amazon.com

    Jeff Koons was born in York, Pennsylvania in 1955. The former Wall Street commodities broker rose to prominence in the mid-80s, and has been the subject of numerous solo museum exhibitions, such as those seen at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Bilbao Guggenheim, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Koons currently lives in New York.

    2003, Sep 01; 21:20 :::: appropriation
  • These Guys Are from England and Who Gives a Shit - Negativland [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    What started as a 1989 radio collage of U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and obscenity-laced outtakes from Casey Kasem's "American Top-40," took on greater proportions with its 1991 commercial release. The cover art, featuring a prominent "U2" graphic at a time when the Irish band's new LP was due in stores, prompted a lawsuit from Island Records, and drew additional fire from both Casey Kasem and Negativland's own label, SST. The resulting conflagration quickly became Negativland's raison d'être, providing grist for the subsequent CD/book "The Letter U and the Numeral 2," and its expanded reissue "Fair Use."

    Over the last decade, the original pair of tracks, yanked from distribution shortly after their release, have been available only through the collector's market and underground trading. This maybe-it's-a-bootleg-maybe-it's-not release augments the original studio work with four live versions, including two 1993 post-lawsuit editions taped at San Francisco's Great American Music Hall. Four additional tracks from the band's post-apocalypse "Music For Lawyers Tour" examine the original controversy with a blenderization of the original participants. The disc wraps with a sound-effect bleeped-for-radio-play edit of the original, unairably profane, "Special Edit Radio Mix."

    Available in surprisingly wide distribution, collectors who missed out on the original are advised to grab a copy while it's still beyond the industry's radar. --Reviewer: RedTunicTroll from Earth, USA

    2003, Sep 01; 14:27 :::: network

  • Linked: The New Science of Networks (2002) - Albert-László Barabási [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    How is the human brain like the AIDS epidemic? Ask physicist Albert-László Barabási and he'll explain them both in terms of networks of individual nodes connected via complex but understandable relationships. Linked: The New Science of Networks is his bright, accessible guide to the fundamentals underlying neurology, epidemiology, Internet traffic, and many other fields united by complexity.

    Barabási's gift for concrete, nonmathematical explanations and penchant for eccentric humor would make the book thoroughly enjoyable even if the content weren't engaging. But the results of Barabási's research into the behavior of networks are deeply compelling. Not all networks are created equal, he says, and he shows how even fairly robust systems like the Internet could be crippled by taking out a few super-connected nodes, or hubs. His mathematical descriptions of this behavior are helping doctors, programmers, and security professionals design systems better suited to their needs. Linked presents the next step in complexity theory--from understanding chaos to practical applications. --Rob Lightner

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