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April 2004 Blog

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

Blogs I Read

  • http://www.sauer-thompson.com/conversations/ Philosophical conversations between two Australians Trevor and Gary, covering a wide range of philosophical topics.
  • http://www.bekkoame.ne.jp/~aabb/plus9.html A daily, art-related, weblog from Osaka, Japan.
  • http://www.geocities.com/headlobe/Blog.html My dear friend Dominique's blog
  • http://www.mixoftheweek.com Pre-recorded, weekly mixes of soul, house, techno, dub and other groovy sounds. Consistent high quality.
  • http://www.novaplanet.com/radiolive/novalive.asp Not a blog, but the best radio-station in the world, broadcasting from Paris, Europe

    2004, May 01; 00:11 :::: trash

    Trash (1970) - Paul Morrissey [Amazon US]

    2004, Apr 29; 22:05 :::: Venus (goddess)

    Venus, c. 1485 - Botticelli

    2004, Apr 29; 21:46 :::: art

    Sleeping Venus, c. 1510 (Oil on canvas, 108,5 x 175 cm (detail) Gemäldegalerie, Dresden)

    2004, Apr 29; 21:26 :::: art

    Mel Ramos

    A contemporary take on both Giorgione and Playboy magazine is a series of tributes to the "great masters of Western art" by Mel Ramos. Ramos contemporizes great classics such as Manet's Olympia, which was derived from Titian's Venus of Urbino, which was taken from Giorgione's Sleeping Venus. Ramos claims that the "eroticism of nudes depicted throughout the history of art is essentially the same in the contemporary idiom as exemplified in pin-up pictures.
    --Jolena Tracy

    2004, Apr 29; 21:16 :::: art

    Lucretia, 1533, - Lucas Cranach the Elder (Oil on wood. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, Germany)

    2004, Apr 29; 20:18 :::: art

    John Currin (2003) by John Currin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Take one look at John Currin's paintings and you could assume he likes stupid women with big tits. Pouting, wide-eyed ingénues look vacantly out of his canvases while ladies in mini-skirts measure each other's immense breasts. There is nothing politically correct here. And yet, on closer inspection, his representation of women isn't so clear-cut.

    Currin depicts a bizarre and very American world of ageing divorcees, 70s pin-ups and cliché gay couples. He distils the falsity of TV culture and throws it back in people's faces. Currin wants viewers to feel uncomfortable and enjoy it.

    He fuses this very modern approach to his subjects with a kind of classical style which combines the strange, jagged poses and extended bellies of the 16th-century German painter Lucas Cranach, or the hand gestures of Da Vinci, with WASP-ish empty faces. You hate the people he depicts, but you just can't help but love the way they’re depicted. --Francesca Gavin 05 September 03 via http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/collective/A1164971, accessed Apr 2004

    2004, Apr 29; 20:02 :::: art

    Jenny Saville & Glen Luchford: Closed Contact (2002) - Jenny Saville, Glen Luchford, Katherine Dunn [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Glen Luchford is a young photographer who reinvigorated British commercial photography in the early 1990's in such magazines as i-D and The Face. His images for the 1997 campaign for the fashion house Prada received considerable acclaim. Luchford’s work to date has been mysterious and suggestive of stills from a film where the motivations of the central characters must be unravelled and completed by the viewer. He has recently exhibited with painter Jenny Saville in New York.

    2004, Apr 27; 21:47 :::: hell

    Garden of Earthly Delight Painted (right panel) () - Hieronymus Bosch

    2004, Apr 27; 21:41 :::: Roger Corman

    A Bucket of Blood (1959) - Roger Corman [Amazon.com]

    The great Roger Corman produced and directed this cheerfully gory skewering of beatniks and the arts community. Dick Miller plays Walter Paisley, a no-talent busboy who idolizes the artsy types who frequent the coffeehouse where he works. When Walter accidentally kills his landlady's cat, he tries to hide the crime by covering the kitty in clay, and is soon hailed as a sculpting genius. Sure enough, the fickle arts community begins clamoring for some larger work. As a horror movie, A Bucket of Blood is merely okay, but it's great as a little black comedy. Corman works in some nice gruesome touches, such as backing up Walter's Big Emotional Moment with a steady drizzle of blood from a victim's arm. Most of the jokes aimed at the artists' pretensions still seem fresh: When offering Walter some breakfast, Maxwell announces that they're having "soy and wheat-germ pancakes, organic guava nectar, calcium lactate and tomato juice and garbanzo omelettes sprinkled with smoked yeast." The free-verse parodies are also very funny. Don't expect Bucket of Blood to keep you up with nightmares, but do sit back and prepare to enjoy a refreshingly sick sense of humor. --Ali Davis, Amazon.com

    2004, Apr 27; 19:41 :::: grindhouse cinema

    The Beyond (Limited Edition) (1981) - Lucio Fulci [Amazon.com]

    Lucio "King of the Eyeball Gag" Fulci made his name with a series of gory, gooey horror epics, and The Beyond stands above all as his outré masterpiece. The largely incoherent plot has something to do with a turn-of-the-century curse and a doorway to hell in the cellar of an old New Orleans hotel. Fulci shows his usual sensitivity with wooden acting, clumsy dialogue, and buckets of oozing blood and pus, but don't let that get in the way of enjoying this mad tale of zombies from hell invading Earth and eating their way through a cast of humans: crucified martyrs, blind visionaries, creepy hotel handymen, befuddled cops, and a plucky pair of heroes desperately fleeing a horde of hungry undead. The blood-red art direction is eerily beautiful, and Fulci's relentless long takes, punctuated by jolting shock cuts and eruptions of grotesque violence, create a mood of sheer paranoid horror right down to the final, mind-bending image. And don't forget the Fulci claim to fame: eyes are gouged out, eaten away, melted with acid, and (shudder) popped out by a spike through the back of the skull. Yech! If you dare ignore such piddling details as narrative logic and let yourself get carried away on the creepy visuals, it's a deliciously stylish treat, an edgy bit of gothic gore pitched in all its bone-crunching, flesh-ripping, organ-splatting glory. This sadistic, sanguinary hell-spawn tale is for gore-hounds only.--Amazon.com

    In 1997, when I heard that Sage Stallone's Grindhouse Releasing and Quentin Tarantino's Rolling Thunder Pictures would re-release Lucio Fulci's The Beyond, I had very mixed feelings. While it was certainly thrilling to know that this underrated Italian exploitation classic would be found on the big screen and that it would be "discovered" by new legions of fans, I felt a certain odd feeling of disappointment.A hidden treasure had been unearthed. Critics and the mainstream would now meander over to their local multiplex to see a film many gorehounds had dug very deep (in most cases into their own pockets) to find. And you know what? They wouldn't appreciate it. They wouldn't see this wondeful, creative horror film for the masterpiece that it is. --Ray Schwetz via http://stvivona.tripod.com/stevedvd/id85.html

    2004, Apr 27; 13:46 :::: art

    Jean Dubuffet, father of art brut, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean_Dubuffet

    2004, Apr 27; 13:46 :::: David Cronenberg

    Scanners (1981) - David Cronenberg [Amazon US]

    David Cronenberg's 1981 horror film is a darkly paranoid story of a homeless man (Stephen Lack) mistakenly believed to be insane, when in fact he can't turn off the sound of other people's thoughts in his telepathic mind. Helped by a doctor (Patrick McGoohan) and enlisted in a program of "scanners"--telepaths who also can will heads to explode--he becomes involved in a battle against nefarious forces. A number of critics consider this to be Cronenberg's first great film, and indeed it has a serious vision of destiny that rivals some of the important German expressionist works from the silent cinema. Lack is very good as the odd hero, and McGoohan is effectively eccentric and chilly as the scientist who saves him from the street, only to thrust him into a terrible struggle. --Tom Keogh for Amazon.com

    Flawed Cronenberg film about a special breed of people who suffer from debilitating mental illness that essentially renders them schizophrenic. Without a new drug, they can barely survive as normal human beings. As it turns out, these mostly homeless nutcases aren't really schizophrenic, as it first appears. They are in fact scanners—people with the ability to cause pain and suffering in others by simply willing it.

    In one infamous scene that really shocked the hell out of people, scanner villain Michael Ironside (who is great in this movie) causes one guy's head to explode. The special effect was achieved by blowing the head off of a carefully crafted dummy with animal brains inside. It has been imitated many times in other movies, particularly in the Scanner sequels.

    All of Cronenberg's films are about human decay and this one is no exception. The end pits Ironside against protagonist Lack in a bloody scanner battle featuring absolutely amazing—and disgusting—make-up effects. Unfortunately, despite loads of action and blood, there is precious little suspense driving this film, which wasn't as good as any of Cronenberg's three previous films. He luckily realized he wasn't the best writer in the universe and some of his later (superior) films were penned by others. But the greatest flaw of this film is the acting. Cronenberg is one horror filmmaker who does need to hire the best and the brightest when it comes to acting. Part of the reason The Brood was such a phenomenal success is that it had two heavyweights in lead roles: Oliver Reed and Samantha Eggar. Stephen Lack is, well, lacking. Patrick Magee does have a small role as a corporate Scanner expert who mentors Lack. But ultimately, he isn't given enough screen time to really save the movie. Still, it's a classic and it certainly blew people away when it showed up in cinemas in the waning months of the Carter Era. --http://www.esplatter.com/reviewsotos/scanners.htm, accessed Apr 2004

    2004, Apr 25; 22:47 :::: s&m

    Kiss of Fire (2003) - Barbara Nitke [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Barbara Nitke uses the word almost immediately in her introduction. Each time she writes it, she makes it seem so simple, as if the emotional bonds that seal the people she photographs were visible as the light that bathes them, palpable as the breath they share. In the most striking of her images, those emotions, and feelings - the love being celebrated and exchanged truly is a tangible character in the scene, proudly declaring its validity. From image to image the language of the lovers changes: The eager light of a woman tensed for the next sensation from her Master, near monolithic in his anonymity. We wonder what it is that she recognizes as she gazes into the face hidden from us. A powerfully built woman, clad all in black leather gently catches the body of her slave, cat of tails still in hand. Having just administered blows to his nude back, she regards him gently as he reclines into her embrace, drunk in the sensation. A tiny Asian woman almost glows as she cradles her much lover, bearded and burly, but rapt in possession - he has given himself to her bound and gagged. The light of her face and shower of her hair pour over him as they drift in a Pieta of trust and desire. A regally statuesque Domina bends to her fragile female sub, dangling a kiss just above the thirsty mouth of her charge, made totally naked and vulnerable as she sits on the commode. There is no doubt in the mind of the photographer or her subjects, what they are telling us are love stories, perhaps not in the idiom we are most used to, but love stories regardless.

    Kiss of Fire is a collection of love stories every bit as valid and timeless and the Song of Solomon. The plates are the result of an odyssey Nitke has willingly taken over the last decade through the BDSM underground in New York City. She made her way to this otherworld through an early career stint as a still photographer on over 300 porn films. Befriending porn legend Rick Savage led to her introduction to The Eulenspeigel Society, the oldest and largest SM support and educational group in the nation. It was at their twice-weekly meetings that she discovered the truly "normal" people - teachers, nurses, businessmen, husbands, wives - who made up the leather "underground" and populated SM clubs such as Hellfire and the Vault. Nitke attended meetings, clubs and parties for months before asking members to allow her to photograph them in their play, always making clear her intentions to publish the final images. Many refused, justifiably fearful of losing jobs and perhaps their very families should they be seen in the resulting images. Soon though Nitke found a small group of lovers (her word) brave and proud and curious enough to include her in their scenes. For the next decade, Nitke and her camera submerged in the darkly beautiful, swirling currents where sensation, love and trust mix with flesh.

    Nitke approaches each scene as a friend, a participant, a fellow artist, even as a lover in ways, but never as a mere spectator or even a journalist. She uses infrared film for the soft, glowing quality it lends to living things. In fact, the lovers truly seem to radiate the sensations and emotions they revel in to the point of joyous immolation. Nitke rejects the "mechanics" of SM in favor of capturing "the lovers...lost in each other." In every image, she does exactly that - disappearing so thoroughly into each image that we are alone in our watching. Nitke, embraced by the lovers in their covenant of trust and excitement, migrates to the other side with them. She does allow us her heart and eyes to see with: The affection and tenderness she depicts her lovers (why not?) with grants them something higher than mere dignity. What she brings to this world is the ultimate benediction - normalcy. She sees them as men and women, loving and being loved. Just like us...only better.

    *Note: Barbara Nitke is also a co-plaintiff in an important challenge to the Communications Decency Act, a law limiting free expression on the Internet. The case is expected to go to the Supreme Court and is already garnering considerable national press. For more information, log on to Nitke's website, http://barbaranitke.com/ or http://www.ncsfreedom.org/ --MELVIN N MOTEN JR. via amazon.com

    2004, Apr 25; 22:47 :::: art

    Modern Olympia (after Manet) , 1997-2001 - Ida AppleBroog (oil and Gampi on canvas, four panels, 73 3/8 x 148 1/16 inches)

    2004, Apr 25; 22:47 :::: appropriation

    Venus of Urbino 1538 - Titian, (Oil on canvas, 119 x 165 cm, Uffizi, Florence)

    Olympia , 1863 - Edouard Manet (Oil on canvas, 130.5 x 190 cm, Musee d'Orsay, Paris)

    SOURCE ANALYSIS: Classical source analysis, one of the more long-standing and widespread approaches in traditional art history, is the study of artists' allusions to and appropriations of the work of earlier artists. The analyst hopes to discover if the later artist's sources indicate admiration, citation, emulation, or simply a learning experience. As such, the artist's practice is not to be confused with forgery. Famous examples of source analysis include such things as Manet's Olympia as a reworking of Titian's Venus of Urbino and Rauschenberg's Retroactive I as a reworking of Masaccio's Expulsion of Adam and Eve. --Robert Belton, Words of Art, accessed Apr 2004

    2004, Apr 24; 11:27 :::: Jack Stevenson

    Fleshpot: Cinema's Myth Makers & Taboo Breakers - Jack Stevenson (Editor) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    With contributions from experts and cult film personalities worldwide—including Kenneth Anger and George Kuchar—Fleshpot -covers the sex education film, the secret history of American gay cinema, radical Japanese sci-fi porn, the British hardcore underground, and many other steamy subjects.

    "Jack Stevenson is a brilliant filth scholar - he's obsessive, funny, and knows more about obscure, dirty movies than anyone alive" —John Waters

    "What with porn's post-Boogie Nights cult status, most of us have forgotten the decidedly extreme activities on which the porn industry was founded in the late sixties. Between Eurotrash and the phenomenon of 'proper' journalists, you'd think that life in porn was a box of chocolates. So Jack Stevenson's new history of the genre, Fleshpot, is especially timely... It's not for the faint hearted - but better than a night in with Channel 5 'erotica', for sure." --Arena

    2004, Apr 24; 11:27 :::: erotic books

    Luba (2003) - Petter Hegre [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Petter Hegre was born in 1969 in the Norwegian city of Stavanger. He studied at the "Brooks Institute of Photography" in Santa Barbara and worked in New York as an assistant to Richard Avedon.. Hegre's creative base is his studio in Stavanger from where he travels the world, in a continuous search for new, young, talented models to photograph. His homepage is an erotic trip: www.petter-hegre.no

    2004, Apr 22; 19:44 :::: art

    Corpus Christi in Bruges, 1914 - Erich Heckel Städtisches Museum, Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany)

    2004, Apr 22; 17:07 :::: sin

    Seven Deadly Sins, 1933 - Otto Dix (Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Germany)

    Otto Dix created this painting titled The Seven Deadly Sins in 1933. It is an allegorical painting representing the political situation in Germany at the time, and was created immediately after the Nazis had Dix removed from his teaching position at the Dresden Art Academy. The figures are Avarice (an old, bent over hag clutching at money), Envy (who rides the back of Avarice), Sloth (the figure in the skeleton costume who holds the scythe, and whose legs and arms form a rough swastika), Lust (who dances in a lascivious way behind Death, Anger (the horned Demon behind Death), Pride (the enormous head behind the scythe, whose ears are plugged and who has an anus for a mouth), and Gluttony (represented by the figure in the uppermost right corner who wears a cooking pot on his head).

    The figure of Envy, who rides the back of Avarice, wears a mask of Adolf Hitler. As a matter of precaution, Dix did not paint in the Hitler mustache until after the War! The figure of Sloth is prominently featured because the Artist blamed the German people's lack of alarm and concern as a primary reason for the Nazis rise to power. This Oil and Tempera painting done on wood shows Dix to have been one of Germany's greatest painters.

    2004, Apr 22; 09:50 :::: theory

    After Theory (2003) Terry Eagleton [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    The author of the seminal cultural studies primer Literary Theory now levels an equally trenchant critique at the field in this brilliant and provocative reassessment. Writing in a valedictory mood, Eagleton traces the rise of cultural theory through its golden age (c. 1965-80), and bemoans its decline into a shallow, depoliticized preoccupation with sex and pop-culture ephemera. As grad students churn out "reverential essays on Friends," latter-day cultural theorists espouse a "dim-witted" postmodernism that dismisses as hegemonic claptrap all talk of common values, objective truth and coherent historical narratives; they have thereby, he contends, turned away from the great socialist project of collective action in support of universal human liberation, and aligned themselves with the nihilistic thrust of a capitalism they pretend to oppose. Alongside Eagleton's indictment of the sorry state of cultural studies is a ringing defense of its potential to address grander subjects than The Matrix or nipple piercing, which he demonstrates by weaving in deft and illuminating commentaries on such topics as Aristotle's ethics, the tension between law and morality in St. Paul and the link between the body and social justice in Lear. The book stands as both rebuke and example to the kind of academic writer who deploys turgid abstractions to flesh out meager ideas; virtually every paragraph crackles with fresh and compelling insights, conveyed in a style that's intellectually sophisticated yet lucid, funny and down to earth. In rescuing cultural studies from some of its less thoughtful practitioners, Eagleton confirms its continuing importance to our understanding of the world. --Copyright © Reed Business Information

    Terry Eagleton (born in Salford, England, on February 22, 1943) is a British philosopher.

    Eagleton gained a doctoral degree at the age of 21 from Trinity College, Cambridge. He is currently Professor of Cultural Theory and John Rylands Fellow at the University of Manchester. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terry_Eagleton, Apr 2004

    2004, Apr 20; 17:48 :::: cinema

    The Emergence of Cinematic Time : Modernity, Contingency, the Archive (2002) - Mary Ann Doane (Author) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Hailed as the permanent record of fleeting moments, the cinema emerged at the turn of the 19th century as an unprecedented means of capturing time - and this at a moment when disciplines from physics to philosophy, and historical trends from industrialization to the expansion of capitalism, were transforming the very idea of time. In a world that itself captures and reconfigures the passing moments of art, history and philosophy, Mary Ann Doane shows how the cinema, representing the singular instant of chance and ephemerality in the face of the increasing rationalization and standardization of the day, participated in the stucturing of time and contingency in capitalist modernity. At this book's heart is the cinema's essential paradox: temporal continuity conveyed through "stopped time", the rapid succession of still frames or frozen images. Doane explores the role of this paradox, and of notions of the temporal indeterminacy and instability of an image, in shaping not just cinematic time but also modern ideas about continuity and discontinuity, archivability, contingency and determinism, and temporal irreversibility. A compelling meditation on the status of cinematic knowledge, her book is also an inquiry into the very heart and soul of modernity. --amazon.co.uk

    2004, Apr 20; 16:39 :::: cinema

    Sergei Eisenstein shaking hands with Mickey Mouse. This is no montage, but an incident that actually occurred in Hollywood in 1930. --Esther Leslie, 2002

    Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory, and the Avant-Garde (2002) - Esther Leslie [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    A broad, elegantly-crafted survey of the ironic links between the European avant-garde and the US cartoon industry. --Norman M. Klein

    Brash and erudite, Hollywood Flatlands treats animated cartoons as an avant-garde taste and anti-illusionism as a Modernist problematic. --This text refers to the Paperback edition. --London Review of Books

    With ruminations on drawing, color and caricature, on the political meaning of fairy-tales, talking animals and human beings as machines, Hollywood Flatlands brings to light the links between animation, avant-garde art and modernist criticism. Focusing on the work of aesthetic and political revolutionaries of the inter-war period, Esther Leslie reveals how the animation of commodities can be studied as a journey into modernity in cinema. She looks afresh at the links between the Soviet Constructivists and the Bauhaus, for instance, and those between Walter Benjamin and cinematic abstraction. She also provides new interpretations of the writings of Siegfried Kracauer on animation, shows how Theodor Adorno's and Max Horkheimer's film viewing affected their intellectual development, and reconsiders Sergei Eisenstein's famous handshake with Mickey Mouse at Disney's Hyperion Studios in 1930. 10 color and 30 b/w photographs. --amazon.com

    2004, Apr 17; 12:56 :::: art

    True Blonde (1999) - Lisa Yuskavage

    Lauded by Village Voice critic Peter Schjeldahl as "an extravagantly deft painter," Yuskavage has been represented in over 50 group shows, including the 2000 Whitney Biennial and recent exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, P.S. 1/The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Aldrich Museum, Connecticut.

    Yuskavage creates paintings that are both unsettling and seductive. While the content of her work is provocative and sometimes disturbing, the formal qualities are enticing. She manipulates paint in a style that synthesizes abstraction and representation, and skillfully quotes from and refers to a wide range of art historical periods in her works. --Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania

    2004, Apr 17; 12:02 :::: serial killer

    The Honeymoon Killers (1969) [DVD, Amazon US]

    2004, Apr 16; 15:40 :::: erotica

    The Philosopher Illumined by Candlelight - Alva Bernadine

    I once listened to a late night BBC Radio 4 programme called Sex in the Head where people described their sexual fantasies and on it a woman described how she enjoyed her partner reading his newspaper by the light of a candle placed in her vagina.

    The image stayed in my head and 2 or 3 years later I was able to find a couple who agreed to model for the picture.

    The book the Philosopher is reading is entitled The Destiny of the Mind East and West.

    2004, Apr 16; 10:53 :::: Mikhail Bakhtin

    Rabelais and His World (1940) - Mikhail Bakhtin, Helene Iswolsky (Translator) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    This is simply the best analysis of the "Carnivalesque" and is a valuable preface to Rabelais' novel itself. Bakhtin's book alerts the reader of Rabelais to his (Rabelais') masterful use of language and explores the sources of medieval popular culture that served his purposes. I have enjoyed Rabelais with much deeper understanding having first read Bakhtin.

    Bakhtin and Rabelais both negotiated cultural minefields to produce their works. Both deserve to be more widely read. --thekets via amazon.com

    2004, Apr 16; 10:16 :::: science fiction

    Le Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip To The Moon) (1902) - Georges Méliès

    The screen's first science fiction story, was a 14 minute masterpiece, created by imaginative French director and master magician Georges Méliès (1861-1938) in his version of the Jules Verne story. [The silent film's plot was inspired by Jules Verne's From the Earth to the Moon (1865) and H. G. Wells' First Men in the Moon (1901). Georges Méliès wrote the whimsical script, acted in the film in the lead role, designed the sets and costumes, directed, photographed, and produced the film!] As a film pioneer and producer of over 500 short films, he made up and invented the film medium as he directed. The sets or scenery backdrops in the film are simple, painted flats. It has all the elements that characterize the science-fiction genre: adventurous scientists, a futuristic space voyage, special effects such as superimpositions, and strange aliens in a far-off place. --Tim Dirks

    Motion picture special effects: Georges Méliès , a French magician, experimented with stop - action photography, fades, and transitions. By stopping the film, he could cause things to appear and disappear and by backing up the film, he could create a double exposure or a fade from one scene to the next. He was the father of all these things we consider cute when used once or twice but which become so tedious when they are overused.

    2004, Apr 16; 09:58 :::: Jeff Koons

    Dirty - Jeff on top, 1991 - Jeff Koons

    2004, Apr 16; 09:07 :::: music industry

    When Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, he accidentally invented the music industry. The last thing on the inventor's mind was using his new device to record music. He figured there was a better market in dictation equipment that could record contracts and business letters. Recordings don't lie, he said.

    In fact, he resisted music as the "killer app" for the new technology, until competitors proved there was a market for it -- a big one.

    So big, in fact, that nobody who made or listened to music could ignore the phonograph and the industry it created. Songwriters shortened their compositions so they'd fit on one side of a 78 rpm record. Singers worked on their projection and enunciation so that the primitive recording technology would render their voices at least halfway decently. And fans got into more kinds of music than many had ever known even existed. --Rick Karr, TechnoPop The Secret History of Technology and Pop Music, http://www.npr.org/programs/morning/features/2002/technopop/

    2004, Apr 15; 19:14 :::: Critical Theory

    Critical Theory and Science Fiction (2000) - Carl Howard Freedman [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    CARL FREEDMAN is Associate Professor of English at Louisiana State University, author of many articles and of George Orwell: A Study in Ideology and Literary Form (1988), and recipient of the Science Fiction Research Association's 1999 Pioneer Award.

    Selected by Choice as an Outstanding Academic Book of the Year. This innovative cultural critique offers valuable insights into science fiction, thus enlarging our understanding of critical theory. -Book Description via amazon.com

    It's amazing that people can judge a book by reading excerpts on the net. Critical Theory and Science Fiction is not an easy read but CT never was or will be. You don't have to agree with the Marxist theories of Bloch and Adorno, Carl Freedman uses to make his various points, to appreciate his insights and the challenges he throws at the reader. That is what academics are supposed to do and not to wallow in old cliche's and easy answers. The "excursuses" (his term) into classic SF novels such as Stanislaw Lem's SOLARIS, Ursula Le Guin's THE DISPOSSESSED, Joanna Russ' THE TWO OF THEM, Samuel Delany's STARS IN MY POCKET LIKE GRAINS OF SANDS and the greatest SF writer, Philip K Dick's THE MAN IN THE HIGH CASTLE are lessons every SF reader and writer should make their own. At least Freedman is raising the level of SF discourse beyond Star Trek Convensions or Star Wars hype. --Naas Ferreira via amazon.com

    Critical theory, in sociology and philosophy, is shorthand for critical theory of society or critical social theory, a label used by the Frankfurt School (i.e. members of the Institute for Social Research of the University of Frankfurt, their intellectual and social network, and those influenced by them intellectually), to describe their own work, oriented toward radical social change, in contradistinction to "traditional theory," i.e. theory in the positivistic, scientistic, or purely observational mode. In literature and literary criticism, by contrast, "critical theory" means something quite different, namely theory used in criticism. --wikipedia.org

    2004, Apr 15; 17:55 :::: Robert Doisneau

    Hell (1952) - Robert Doisneau

    2004, Apr 15; 17:18 :::: Helmut Newton

    They are coming - Vogue France, Paris 1981

    2004, Apr 15; 16:40 :::: Guy Bourdin

    Guy Bourdin by S Charlotte/Verthime Cotton (Author), Charlotte Cotton (Editor), Shelly Verthime [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Charlotte Cotton, Curator of the accompanying exhibition, has curated many successful exhibitions in the V&A's acclaimed Canon Photography Gallery. She is the author of Imperfect Beauty: The Making of Contemporary Fashion Photographs. Shelly Verthime is a cultural historian who works within the world of contemporary fashion in Paris. She conceived, and is external adviser to, this first major exhibition of Guy Bourdin's photographs.

    Guy Bourdin (1928-1991) created the most challenging fashion photography of the late 20th century. Over a 35-year career, including more than three decades creating confrontational images for French Vogue and groundbreaking campaigns for Charles Jourdan footwear, he staged complex dramas, with every gesture and prop carrying a potent psychological charge. He showed us that in the context of fashion it is rarely the product that compels us; it is the image--the seductive narratives of the commercial world, and the quest for the unattainable--that stirs our desires. Today, Bourdin stands as one of the most influential image-makers of all time.

    Bourdin cultivated his anonymity, refusing all proposals for books and exhibitions during his lifetime. This volume, published to coincide with the first major exhibition of his photographs, showcases not only his fashion images but also his brooding landscapes and magical cityscapes. The photographs are accompanied by five specially commissioned essays, which together offer the first thorough analysis of Bourdin's unique creativity. --Book Description

    Bio: Guy Bourdin was born in 1928 and spent much of his youth living in post-war Paris. An assiduous observer of culture, he showed prcocious artistic talent and fierce ambition. His innovative fashion photographs first appeared in French Vogue in 1954 and he continued to work mainly for the magazine for the next 30 years. His editorial fashion stories and advertising amapigns were of such daring and ingenuity that their impact on visual culture was almost instantaneous. His images have continued to be a source of creativity for many renowned contemporary photorgaphers, stylists, art directors and artists. For the opening of the exhibition Nick Knight will create a piece for his website, Showstudio, that is inspired by Bourdin's private cinefilms. --guybourdin.org, accessed Apr 2004

    2004, Apr 15; 10:31 :::: Balthus

    Alice dans le miroir. 1933, olio su tela, 162 x 112 cm. parigi, Musée national d'art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou.

    2004, Apr 15; 09:29 :::: obscure

    The Invisible college of the Rosicrucians,
    Theophilus Schweighardt Speculum sophicum rhodo-stauroticum, 1618

    [...] Daniel Moegling, the author of the Rosicrucian classic, Speculum sophicum Rhodo-Stauroticum, for which he used the pseudonym of Theophilus Schweighardt [...] --Ron Heisler - Robert Fludd: A Picture in Need of Expansion, 1989

    "Ideas enter our above-ground culture through the underground. I suppose that is the kind of function that the underground plays, such as it is. That it is where the dreams of our culture can ferment and strange notions can play themselves out unrestricted. And sooner or later those ideas will percolate through into the broad mass awareness of the broad mass of the populace. Occulture, you know, that seems to be perhaps the last revolutionary bastion." -- Alan Moore

    2004, Apr 14; 19:30 :::: Lilith

    The Book of Lilith - Barbara Black Koltuv [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    2004, Apr 14; 18:13 :::: murder

    Sharon Tate on August 9, 1969, the day of her murder by Charles Manson

    (from John Gilmore and Ron Kramer, Manson:The Unholy Trail of Charlie and the Family)

    2004, Apr 14; 16:40 :::: music journalism

    Stomp and Swerve: American Music Gets Hot, 1843-1924 (2003) - David Wondrich [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Hot American music, says Wondrich, has drive and swerve. Drive is the strong rhythmic component that gets the feet stomping. Swerve is the spontaneous bending of tempo, swinging of the beat, and embellishment of the musical line. Beginning with the minstrels who played "Negro" music on stage in blackface in a spirit of parody, Wondrich traces the evolution of hot music into ragtime ("Coon" music, it was called), blues, and jazz. Scottish and Irish music influenced minstrel music, just as Afro-Caribbean music influenced the blues and jazz--the acme of hot music. Unknown rural people and people in the (noncriminal) "Underworld" developed these musical styles, and the "Topworld" embraced this music as it came to reflect on general social conditions. Much later hot music is preserved on sound recordings, which Wondrich references while discussing major performers and composers (a CD containing some of the music will be released simultaneously with the book). Aside from his use of vernacular expletives to express strong opinions, Wondrich provides good guidance as the music gets hotter. --Alan Hirsch, Copyright © American Library Association.

    The early decades of American popular music-Stephen Foster, Scott Joplin, John Philip Sousa, Enrico Caruso-are, for most listeners, the dark ages. It wasn't until the mid-1920s that the full spectrum of this music-black and white, urban and rural, sophisticated and crude-made it onto records for all to hear. This book brings a forgotten music, hot music, to life by describing how it became the dominant American music-how it outlasted sentimental waltzes and parlor ballads, symphonic marches and Tin Pan Alley novelty numbers-and how it became rock 'n' roll. It reveals that the young men and women of that bygone era had the same musical instincts as their descendants Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley, James Brown, Jimi Hendrix, and even Ozzy Osbourne. In minstrelsy, ragtime, brass bands, early jazz and blues, fiddle music, and many other forms, there was as much stomping and swerving as can be found in the most exciting performances of hot jazz, funk, and rock. Along the way, it explains how the strange combination of African with Scotch and Irish influences made music in the United States vastly different from other African and Caribbean musics; shares terrific stories about minstrel shows, "coon" songs, whorehouses, knife fights, and other low-life phenomena; and showcases a motley collection of performers heretofore unknown to all but the most avid musicologists and collectors. --Book Description

    2004, Apr 14; 15:11 :::: Les Disques Du Crépuscule

    Instrumentals - Arthur Russell

    2004, Apr 14; 15:11 :::: no wave

    To Each ... (2004) A Certain Ratio [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    2004, Apr 14; 15:06 :::: no wave

    The Story of Konk (2004) - Konk [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    2004, Apr 13; 09:44 :::: comments

    Part online encyclopedia, part music criticism, part blog, JahSonic.com is a fabulous example of hybrid academic/popular discussion of music, culture, subculture, cultural studies, art...you name it. I particularly like the page on subculture. Definitely the kind of writing style (if not the format) to aim for in your own weblogs. --http://mstu2000.blogspot.com

    2004, Apr 13; 09:37 :::: Springtime by Smoodie posted 2004/4/11 - length 69 minutes

      Panache: Interlude (Koche records LP)
      Theo Parrish: Lake shore drive (KDJ 12")
      Purple Flash: We Can Make It [remix] (Environ 12") 2003
      Isoul8 feat. Colonel Red: Happy (Neroli 12")
      Inverse Cinematics: Shoot The Pianist (Fluid ounce 12")
      Jon Lucien: Kuenda (RCA LP)
      Henrik Schwarz: Marvin (Moodmusic 12")
      Jimmy Edgar: Access rhythm (Warp 12")
      Erykah Badu: On & On [Summer in Sydney remix] (Turbotrax 12")
      RSL: Wesley Music (Players 12")
      Bobby Humphrey: Please Set Me At Ease (Blue note LP)
      Madlib: Please Set Me At Ease feat. Medaphoar (Blue note 12")
      James Brown & Dee Felice trio: Sunny (seven up 7")
      Joyce: Aldeia de ogun (Blue note LP)
      Bobby Hutcherson: Montara (Blue note LP)
      A Tribe Called Quest: Jazz (we've got) (Jive 12")
      NSM: Don't say it (Virgin 12")

    2004, Apr 13; 09:32 :::: David Mancuso

    Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979 (2004) - Tim Lawrence [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Club culture is a nowadays a global business, dance music transcending language, translating via rhythm rather than words. Inter-city has become inter-continental where the top DJ’s are concerned and, be it Moscow, Tokyo, New York or Manchester, it’s increasingly a case of have records will travel. Suffice to say that the person who picks and plays the music that people come out to dance to has never been more revered (at least not by so many), with the resultant financial rewards potentially vast and the lifestyle of a pop star thrown in for good measure. No wonder so many young people (and a fair few older ones) aspire to be a DJ!

    But it wasn’t always like this. Where there’s an ocean there’s a source, for all roads lead to Rome and what is now internationally mainstream was once inherently underground, evolving in the parties and clubs of New York, the city its adopted son, John Lennon, once described as ‘the new Rome’. Nothing happens by accident, the fates decreed that following the highs and eventual lows of the 60’s, an epoch when events on the West Coast of the US would overshadow the still considerable creative and spiritual expression of the East Coast, that the baton should pass from San Francisco to New York as one decade blended into the next. --Greg Wilson, 2003 in Love Saves the Day

    2004, Apr 12; 22:29 :::: Larry Levan

    The Joubert Singers - "Stand on the Word (Larry Levan Remix)"

    This [MP3, 10MB] is usually referred to as the "unreleased" Larry Levan mix, but that's a misnomer now that it's been recently issued as a 12" single. The song is a perfect blend of live disco beats and strident gospel vocals, and it is easily one of the finest pieces of music I've ever posted here. I'm absolutely floored by this song, and honestly, I think you'd have to be crazy not to love it too. --http://www.tofuhut.blogspot.com/, accessed Apr 2004

    The track is also available on a CD by K.I.M. on Tigersushi Records

    2004, Apr 11; 14:37 :::: Kenny Gonzalez

    In the House (2003) - Kenny Dope Gonzalez [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Disc: 1 1. Frenzy 2. I'll House You [K-Dope Special Version] - Jungle Brothers 3. Cerca de Mi - Raúl Midón 4. Finally [A Cappella] [Acappella] - Kings of Tomorrow 5. Love and Happiness - River Ocean 6. Work [K Dope Blend] 7. Sume Sigh Sey [Unreleased Todd Terry Vocal] - House of Gypsies 8. Camarerra - House of Gypsies 9. Home 10. Change for Me [Joey Negro Remix] 11. It's Over Now [Masters at Work Remix] 12. Don't Know Malendro - DJ Gregory 13. Can't Get Away - Mood II Swing 14. Ever After - R.S. Faber 15. E Samba [Rasmus Faber's Cancao da Nega Remix] - Junior Jack 16. Koloke [West Afrikan Guitar Groove]

    Disc: 2 1. I Got Rhythm 2. Relax...Unwind [MAW Remix] 3. DJ Type Mission, Vol. 1 - Solid Groove 4. Interlude 5. Can't Stop/To Be in Love [A Cappella] - Angela Johnson 6. Back Together Again [Classic Main Mix] - Ron Carroll 7. Give It Up - Kathy Brown 8. (I Got) Somebody New [MAW Remix] 9. Elle [Criola Remix] - DJ Gregory 10. I Wanna Know [Acappella] - Loleatta Holloway 11. Baila [Dennis Ferrer Bergentine Remix]/Dreamin' [A Cappella] - DJ Chus 12. Morena [Kenny Dope Remix]/Sunday Shoutin' [A Cappella] - Johnny Corporate 13. Phunk Carnival - Mike Delgado 14. I Can't Believe I Loved Her [Calypso Remix] - Peven Everett

    Disc: 3 1. Emergency on Planet Earth [London Rican Mix] [*] [London Rican Mix] - Jamiroquai 2. It's Alright, I Feel It [MAW 12" Mix] [*] - Nuyorican Soul 3. Ran Kan Kan [*] - Tito Puente 4. I Can't Get No Sleep [*] - MAW & Co. 5. Always There [Masters at Work Remix '96] [*] [Masters at Work Remix '96 6. Buddy X [Masters at Work 12" House Remix] [*] [Masters at Work 12" Hous - Neneh Cherry 7. Thank You [MAW 12" Mix] [*] - BeBe Winans 8. Days Like This [*] - Kenny Lattimore 9. Divine Love [*] - Ultra Naté 10. Nervous Track [*] - Nuyorican Soul

    A master who truly deserves his title, Kenny Dope is one of the greatest DJ-producers of all time. Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez is the embodiment of the eclectic sound of New York. His prolific body of work fuses soul, Latin, Afro-beat, jazz and funk, with house, hip-hop, disco, rap and R&B. To music connoisseurs, this regular Puerto Rican New Yorker is nothing short of a deity.

    Kenny is one half of the most revolutionary house production team of the past decade – Masters At Work. Since 1990, Kenny’s studio partnership with "Little" Louie Vega has maintained an awe-inspiring output of dancefloor classics, spearheading the evolution of house music as we know it. The MAW Records imprint is now one of the biggest selling vinyl labels in the world!

    Not limited to one genre, Kenny is an undisputed remix champion. His list of clients includes the biggest names in music - from Michael Jackson to Madonna, Ray Charles to Roni Size, The Braxtons to Björk, Donna Summer to Daft Punk, Armand Van Helden to Aaliyah, Janet Jackson to Jamiroquai… nearly everyone has a Kenny ‘Dope’ Gonzalez touched track in their collection somewhere! Simultaneously, Kenny has continued his stunning solo career, with house releases as The Bucketheads and The Untouchables - plus a wide range of hip-hop projects, many on his own Dope Wax label. Kenny's 1995 release under the Bucketheads moniker, 'The Bomb (These Sounds Fall Into My Mind)', topped the dance charts and is still the ultimate disco cut-up.

    With his MAW 1997 multi-Grammy nominated 'NuYorican Soul' album, Kenny changed the direction of modern dance music. Acclaimed as an aural encyclopedia of dance, its cross-cultural blend of styles, seamlessly mixed with live instrumentation, featured such all-time greats as Roy Ayers, George Benson, Jocelyn Brown and Tito Puente.

    Defected proudly presents a 3CD mix by New York City’s crowned king. A triple disc set with a seriously upfront selection - Kenny’s mix proves his mettle as one of dance music’s greatest innovators. --album description

    2004, Apr 10; 22:09 :::: Pierre Molinier

    Pierre Molinier died on March 3, 1976 at 76 years of age. On his door he pinned the following words: "I'm taking my life. The key is with the concierge." With his death one of the great photographic compaigns to define individual identity had come to a close.

    2004, Apr 10; 21:05 :::: abstract art

    Nocturne in Black and Gold, the Falling Rocket, ca. 1875
    James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834-1903)
    Oil on panel
    23 _ x 18 _ in. (60.3 x 46.4 cm)

    2004, Apr 10; 20:56 :::: Jackson Pollock

    POLLOCK: He flung paint—sometimes ordinary house paint

    2004, Apr 09; 11:22 :::: Paolo Conte

    Paolo Conte[Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Paolo Conte est celui qui, un beau jour de l'année 1974, décida de jeter sa robe d'avocat aux orties. Chanteur italien, mais aussi pianiste et compositeur, Paolo Conte débute dans les années 60 dans l'ombre d'Adriano Celentano. Toutefois, son premier véritable succès tenant à l'atmosphère de piano-bar que dégage le double album Aguaplano ne date que de 1987. Paolo Conte s'y déplace aisément dans un univers mi-jazz mi-pop assez proche de celui de Tom Waits, la tendance rétro en plus. Crooner au charme latin, Paolo Conte colore ses histoires romantiques de poésie et d'humour. Considéré comme son meilleur album à ce jour, malgré une discographie aussi longue que la carrière de Grateful Dead, les mélodies finement ciselées de Aguaplano se déclinent entre chanson et tango et rappellent avec entêtement la passion de Paolo Conte, dandy méditerranéen, pour le jazz. lumineux et essentiel comme ce "Appunti di Viaggio". --Sabrina Silamo, amazon.fr

    2004, Apr 09; 10:44 :::: Pierre Guyotat

    Eden Eden Eden (1970) - Pierre Guyotat [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Guyotat has written a book in a language of startling innovation; I have never read anything like it in any stream of literature. No-one has ever spoken as he speaks here. --Michel Foucault

    A new landmark and a starting point for new writing. --Roland Barthes

    This, Pierre Guyotat's second novel, caused a huge scandal upon publication in France in 1970, and was later censored. Nowadays, he is regarded as one of the greatest French novelists of all time and his writing has been endorsed by Edmund White, Michel Foucault and Roland Barthes. Extreme and obscene, Eden Eden Eden is set in a polluted zone of the Algerian desert during the civil war. --Book Description

    2004, Apr 08; 17:44 :::: Tetsuo

    Tetsuo: The Ironman (1988) -- Shinya Tsukamoto [Amazon.com]

    At the end of the 80s, when mainstream Japanese cinema was dead in the water and the decade's one original filmmaker, Sogo Ishii, was going through a creative crisis, along came a grainy, black & white 16 mm film that wiped the floor with anything made in Japan for several years.

    Shinya Tsukamoto's Tetsuo was a relentlessly energetic film made at a time when the energy had all but disappeared from Japanese film. The culmination of a decade's worth of short filmmaking and the crowning achievement on the activities of a private, experimental theatre group, Tetsuo had all the characteristics of unbridled zeal and amateur enthusiasm, and all the signs of true filmmaking talent.

    Revolving around the transformation of people into grotesque hybrids of flesh and metal, Tetsuo is above all an overwhelming audiovisual experience, set to a brain-pounding score by Chu Ishikawa and complemented by suitably exaggerated sound effects. David Lynch's Eraserhead has often been mentioned as an influence because of its similar brooding, black and white images, but the film's visual language most likely originated elsewhere. The film's triumphant use of camerawork and editing are clear continuations of the style pioneered by Sogo Ishii, taking both to an even higher level of intensity than that on display in Ishii's seminal Crazy Thunder Road (Kuruizaki Sandaa Rodo, 1980) and Burst City (Bakuretsu Toshi, 1982), while the use of stop-motion recalls the scrap animations of Jan Svankmayer. Composition and lighting, especially the expressionistic close-ups, echo classic Japanese horror films such as Throne of Blood (Kumonosu-jo, 1957 - Akira Kurosawa), Kwaidan (Kaidan, 1964 - Masaki Kobayashi) and Onibaba (1965 - Kaneto Shindo). At the center of it all, actors move as if they were performers in a modern dance piece, belying the participants' origins in experimental theatre.

    The influences don't stop there. The design of the iron man combines elements from the work of artist H.R. Giger, the aforementioned Jan Svankmayer as well as Japan's own kaiju films. The comparison to Godzilla and co is not just a visual one. The theme of mutation which lies at the heart of the big monster movies (particularly Ishiro Honda's first Godzilla / Gojira, 1954) is replayed here. But in Tetsuo, the damage is done on a much smaller scale: that of the individual. In that sense, Tsukamoto has much in common with David Cronenberg, an influence which is often mentioned. The two filmmakers share not only the fascination with the vulnerability and mutability of the flesh, but also find common sources for these mutations in sex.

    Cronenberg's films (Shivers, Rabid, The Brood and Videodrome to name but a few) often show sex as the catalyst for mutation or deterioration of the body. In Tetsuo, the transformation of humans into metal grotesqueries clearly has a sexual basis. The protagonist's penis is the first part to change, turning into a big power drill in the middle of lovemaking (rather than being disgusted, his girlfriend becomes more excited as a result) and the whole metamorphosis is preceded by a dream concerning sodomy. Every confrontation in the film takes place between a man and a woman, save for the final battle, in which a man with a metal dick squares off against a man called The Fetishist.

    This point becomes even clearer when seen in the light of Tsukamoto's later films. With the exception of the studio projects Hiruko the Goblin (Hiruko - Yokai Hantaa, 1991) and Gemini (Soseiji, 1999), all the director's works present male-female relationships as the basis for transformation. Additionally, the relationships themselves evolve with each consecutive film. From the co-habitation of Tetsuo, to the happy young family with child of Tetsuo II: Body Hammer (1993), through Tokyo Fist's stifled marriage torn apart by jealousy (1995), culminating in the final destruction of the family unit through suicide right at the start of Bullet Ballet (1998). The question of whether there will ever be a Tetsuo III has, thematically at least, already been answered, with a part IV thrown in to complete the cycle.

    Though not that influential in its country of origin (Tsukamoto was only one of many directors to follow Sogo Ishii's footsteps and move from underground to commercial filmmaking), Tetsuo did remind the world that there was such a thing as Japanese cinema and that the films it created were still very unique indeed. - Tom Mes, Midnighteye, http://www.midnighteye.com/reviews/tetsuoim.shtml, accessed Apr 2004

    2004, Apr 08; 15:32 :::: monster

    Inside Teradome: An Illustrated History of Freak Film (1995) - Jack Hunter [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Freakshows - human anomalies presented for spectacle - have flourished throughout recorded history. The birth of the movies provided a further outlet for these displays, which in turn led to a peculiar strain of bizarre cinema: Freak Film. Inside Teradome is a comprehensive, fully illustrated guide to the roots and development of this fascinating, often disturbing cinematic genre. With over 350 photographs, Inside Teradome reveals a twisted thread of voyeuristic sickness running both through cinema and the society it mirrors. --Book Description

    2004, Apr 08; 14:55 :::: books

    Blood Electric: The New Japanese Cyberpunk Classic (2001) - Kenji Siratori [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Vividly evoking the coming to consciousness of an artificial intelligence, Blood Electric is a devastating loop of language from the Japanese avant-garde which breaks with all existing writing traditions. With unparalleled stylistic terrorism fully embracing the image mayhem of the internet/multimedia/digital age, Kenji Siratori unleashes his first literary Sarin attack.

    “Contemporary Japan is exploding in slow-motion, and Kenji Siratori arranges the blood-and-semen-encrusted debris with the finesse of a berserk Issey Miyake. Rendering English-language cyberpunk instantly redundant with his relentless, murderous prose-drive, Siratori transmits his authentic, category-A hallucinogenic product direct to his reader’s cerebellum. A virulently warped amalgam of Tetsuo and cut-up era William Burroughs.” – Stephen Barber (author, Tokyo Vertigo)

    Blood Electric is the black reverb of a soft machine seppuku, a molten unspooling of sheet metal entrails and crucified memory banks into the howling void of violence. It is a cyborg crash nightmare of the new flesh, a final despatch from the mutant Hell where the embryo hunts in secret.” -– Jack Hunter (author, Eros in Hell)

    About the Author
    Kenji Siratori is a young Japanese author who classes himself as a 'hypermodern writer working in a digital environment'. Born in 1975, he currently lives in Sapporo, Japan. This is his first major book publication.

    2004, Apr 08; 14:00 :::: disco

    Spirit of Disco (2001) - Various Artists [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Disc: 1 1. Groovin' You (Harvey Mason) 2. Give Me Love (Cerrone) 3. Moment Of My Life (Inner Life) 4. Just As Long As I Got You (Love Committee) 5. Keep On Jumpin' (Musique) 6. Sure Shot (Tracy Weber) 7. Got To Be Real (Cheryl Lynn) 8. Your Love Is A Life Saver (Gayle Adams) 9. You've Got That Something (Logg) 10. Disco Juice (Cloud One) 11. You Are, You Are (Linda Clifford) 12. Bourgie Bourgie (John Davis Orchestra)

    Disque : 2 1. Love Is You (Carol Williams) 2. Dance With You (Carrie Lucas) 3. Relight My Fire (Dan Hartman) 4. Love Sensation (Loleatta Holloway) 5. Shangri-la (La Pregunta) 6. Right In The Socket (Shalamar) 7. Let No Man Put Asunder (First Choice) 8. This Will Be A Night To Remember (Eddie Holman) 9. Let's Start II The Dance Again (Hamilton Bohannon) 10. The Bottle (Joe Bataan) 11. Come To Me (France Joli) 12. There But The Grace Of God (Machine)

    Not your usual fare and some more of the meat of the era from artists like Musique, Chic, Dynasty, Jones Girls, MFSB, Change, Cerrone, Loleatta Holloway, Teddy Pendergrass, Candi Staton, T-Connection, Cheryl Lynn and more.

    2004, Apr 08; 00:32 :::: painting

    Slaughtered Pig, 1563, Oil on oak, 114 x 83 cm (Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne) - BEUCKELAER, Joachim (b. 1530, Antwerpen, d. 1574, Antwerpen)

    The theme of the slaughtered pig and the tradition of the Netherlandish butchers' shop were probably established by Aertsen, who painted many such pictures. The genre continued until Rembrandt and beyond. It is also supposed to have a religious significance, as an allegory of the Crucifixion and the Eucharist, represented respectively by the pig in the foreground and the wine being brought from the cellar in the background. --via Web Gallery of Art

    2004, Apr 06; 12:17 :::: erotic books

    Silver - Erwin Olaf [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    Erwin Olaf, one of the best know and most over-the-top Dutch photographers of today--think David LaChapelle crossed with Playboy)--lives a passionate, lusty affair with life, enjoying it to the fullest extent, a true gastronome of the art of living. His oeuvre stands as a manifestation of this very passion and of his very genuine engagement with his subjects. Over the last 25 years, he has evolved from a photographer who captures reality to a director who creates it; either way, the depicted reality is one filled with humor, imagination, sexuality, and exuberance, raising issues of freedom, beauty, loneliness, and difference. A master who can generate his own, perverse world through autonomous photographic series, grandiose parties, and film projects alike, he is also hypercritical, an artist from whom nothing escapes. Thus his fictions are convincing, his images full of bygone days, fairytales, and dreams, populated by historical figures, elves, dwarves, lunatics, and creatures that defy easy description.--Book Description

    2004, Apr 06; 00:03 :::: erotic books

    Corset, 1962 - Jeanloup Sieff

    Shot in New York. 'It was the beautiful Anka, with her desperately tiny waist, who posed in this 1900 corset. In spite of her slim figure, she found it difficult to breathe,' Jeanloup Sieff. Reproduced in 'Jeanloup Sieff: 40 years of Photography', Evergreen (1996) page 131.

    Jeanloup Sieff 1933 - 2000 was a practitioner of the photographic art of high fashion, and avowed a fidelity to the frivolous and superficial. His legacy places him in the top rank of fashion and art photographers. --wikipedia.org, Apr 2004

    2004, Apr 04; 19:22 :::: Artforum

    Artforum International [MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION] [Amazon US]

    2004, Apr 04; 16:13 :::: camp

    The Producers (1968) - Mel Brooks [Amazon US]

    [t]he difference between kitsch and camp is often hard to establish, partly because camp could be said to be in the eye of the beholder. Camp could be called a self-conscious kitsch and that self-consciousness can, indeed, exist on the part of viewer rather than the producer of the otherwise kitsch product. --http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~felluga/sf/pop/synopsesF03/syn30Oc03.html, Apr 2004

    2004, Apr 04; 14:24 :::: Philadelphia

    2004, Apr 04; 13:34 :::: pop art

    On the occasion of Marilyn Monroe’s suicide on August 1962, Warhol used this publicity shot by Gene Korman for the film Niagara made in 1953

    In August ’62 I started doing silkscreens. … I wanted something stronger that gave more of an assembly line effect. With silkscreening you pick a photograph, blow it up, transfer it in glue onto silk, and then roll ink across it so the ink goes through the silk but not through the glue. That way you get the same image, slightly different each time. It was all so simple — quick and chancy. I was thrilled with it. … When Marilyn Monroe happened to die that month, I got the idea to make screens of her beautiful face — the first Marilyns. --Andy Warhol

    2004, Apr 04; 12:41 :::: Basquiat

    Tabac 1984. Acrylic and oil crayon on canvas, 219x173 cm. Private collection. Photo: Courtesy of Galerie Bruno Bischofberger, Zurich

    2004, Apr 04; 12:19 :::: Rammellzee

    Beat Bop (1983) - Rammellzee Vs. K Rob

    2004, Apr 01; 22:54 :::: Alice

    2004, Apr 01; 22:31 :::: neorealism

    Neorealism is a cultural movement in cinema that, following the realism in literature, brings elements of true life in the stories it describes, in contrast with a tendency to depict a world mainly existing in imagination only.

    The movement was developed in Europe, mainly soon after the end of WWII, with notable examples in Italy. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neorealism, Apr 2004

    2004, Apr 01; 22:27 :::: independent film

    Down and Dirty Pictures : Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film (2004) - Peter Biskind (Author) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    You've heard the rumors. The film industry is filled with ruthless executives who think nothing of brow-beating their employees, of using creative accounting to cheat filmmakers, and re-cutting a director's vision into a soulless crowd-pleaser. Well, it turns out those rumors are often true--at least according to Peter Biskind's highly entertaining Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance, and the Rise of Independent Film. Packed with industry anecdotes and history, the book chronicles the growth and eventual mainstreaming of independent films and offers the back-story to seminal works including sex, lies, and videotape and Pulp Fiction among others. Biskind, author of Easy Riders, Raging Bulls: How the Sex-Drugs-and-Rock 'N' Roll Generation Saved Hollywood, divides most of his time between Sundance Film Festival founder Robert Redford and Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein. Biskind simultaneously credits these two as fostering, though ultimately ruining, the purity of indpendent film. Other indies are largely left out, although the now-defunct October Films appears prominently in the role of noble failure. Biskind has serious points to make, but he's not stingy with the war stories, either. (One particularly amusing scene involves October executives chasing Robert Duvall's agent through a Sheraton Hotel in an attempt to stop him from making a deal with Miramax to distribute The Apostle.) Those who have only a passing interest in the movie business may tire of Biskind's oft-repeated themes (Weinstein is an evil genius! Redford is a passive-aggressive control freak!) but for those who truly love film industry gossip, Down and Dirty Pictures is a feast of insider stories--each tidbit juicier than the last. --Leah Weathersby, Amazon.com

    According to Biskind (Easy Riders, Raging Bulls), most people associate independent filmmaking with such noble concepts as integrity, vision and self-sacrifice. This gritty, ferocious, compulsively readable book proves that these characterizations are only partly true, and that indie conditions are "darker, dirtier, and a lot smaller" than major studios' gilded environments. The intimidating image of Miramax's Harvey Weinstein plows powerfully through Biskind's saga; the studio honcho emerges as... read more --From Publishers Weekly

    It wasn't so long ago that the Sundance Film Festival was an inconsequential event somewhere in Utah, and Miramax was a tiny distributor of music documentaries and soft-core trash. Today, of course, Sundance is the most important film festival this side of Cannes, and Miramax has become an industry giant, part of the huge Disney empire. Likewise, the directors who emerged from the independent movement, such as Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, and David O. Russell -- who once had to max out their credit cards to realize their visions on the screen -- are now among the best-known directors in Hollywood. Not to mention the actors who emerged with them, like Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Ethan Hawke, and Uma Thurman.

    Down and Dirty Pictures chronicles the rise of independent filmmakers and of the twin engines -- Sundance and Miramax -- that have powered them. As he did in his acclaimed Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Peter Biskind profiles the people who took the independent movement from obscurity to the Oscars, most notably Sundance founder Robert Redford and Harvey Weinstein, who with his brother, Bob, made Miramax an indie powerhouse. Biskind follows Sundance as it grew from a regional film festival to the premier showcase of independent film, succeeding almost despite the mercurial Redford, whose visionary plans were nearly thwarted by his own quixotic personality. He charts in fascinating detail the meteoric rise of the controversial Harvey Weinstein, often described as the last mogul, who created an Oscar factory that became the envy of the studios, while leaving a trail of carnage in his wake. As in Easy Riders, Biskind's incisive account is loaded with vibrant anecdotes and outrageous stories, all of it blended into a fast-moving narrative. Redford, the Weinsteins, and the directors, producers, and actors Biskind profiles are the people who reinvented Hollywood, making independent films mainstream. But success invariably means compromise, and it remains to be seen whether the indie spirit can survive its corporate embrace.

    Candid, mesmerizing, and penetrating, Down and Dirty Pictures is a must-read for anyone interested in the film world and where it's headed. --Book Description

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