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February 2004

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 Trevor and Gary, centering around - but not limited to- the work of Georges Bataille
  • 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.pervscan.com/ PervScan.com is a compendium of the latest headlines in sordid behavior. It is not a porn website but an index to the strange obsessions, sexual outrages, and deviant doings that can be found in the news.

    2004, Feb 29; 16:31 :::: William Gibson

    Neuromancer (1984) - William Gibson

    Neuromancer (1984) - William Gibson [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    2004, Feb 29; 14:08 :::: Knokke

    Exprmntl 4, Knokke, 1967

    Exprmntl 4, Knokke-le-Zoute, 1967

    Knokke-le-Zoute "Exprmntl 4" festival and competition in Belgium proves a watershed, whose influence leads to the LFMC establishing itself on an international level - 20 British films submitted, though only 5 shown in competition - Steve Dwoskin wins the Solvay Prize, and his films Chinese Checkers and Soliloquy are chosen by P. Adams Sitney for his New American Cinema tour - Wavelength (Michael Snow) wins first prize as Sitney begins to consider his pivotal definition of 'Structural Film' - David Curtis regards the festival as a significant moment for London film-makers, though Dwoskin and Cobbing play it down, crystallising differences between Dwoskin's subjective view and Curtis' (and other's) increasing attention to process. --December 1967

    2004, Feb 28; 18:36 :::: Nick Drake

    Pink Moon (1972) - Nick Drake

    Pink Moon (1972) - Nick Drake [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    A stark, solo 28-minute adieu, Pink Moon was the last album Nick Drake lived to complete. That it proved to be his last album lends a suicidal urgency, and much has since been read into its staccato bleakness. But even before his previous album, Bryter Layter, was released, Nick had decided that the next one would be just him and a guitar--"no frills" he insisted. There is little comfort to be found in songs like "Know" or "Parasite" but, in an irony Nick would have appreciated, an American car commercial featuring the haunting title track recently alerted a huge new audience to his music. Digital remastering has enhanced the sound of all Nick's albums, but perhaps Pink Moon has benefited most: its aural environment, now all-enveloping, lending a pristine clarity to that matchless singing and playing. Sombre it may be, but it is a mistake to view Pink Moon as a tombstone--or, indeed, Nick Drake as a victim. Enjoy his music. He did. --Patrick Humphries

    2004, Feb 28; 17:38 :::: folk music

    1968, The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter Incredible String Band

    The Hangman's Beautiful Daughter (1968) - The Incredible String Band [FR] [DE] [UK]

    The absorption of Nick Drake into the British pop canon was effected some time ago, but recognition for the Incredible String Band has been slower. -- Adrian Shaughnessy, Wire Magazine, Feb 2004

    2004, Feb 27; 23:11 :::: Odilon Redon, 1840-1916

    Odilon Redon, The Shapeless Polyp Floated along the Bank, a Sort of Hideous, Smiling Cyclops (1883)

    Odilon Redon, The Shapeless Polyp Floated along the Bank, a Sort of Hideous, Smiling Cyclops (1883)

    "[H]e paused more often in front of the other pictures that decorated the room. These were all signed Odilon Redon." --À Rebours (Against Nature/Against the Grain, 1884) by J-K Huysmans (Penguin Classics edition, translated by Robert Baldick, first published 1959)

    2004, Feb 27; 22:21 :::: death

    Antoine Wiertz, Inhumation prématurée, 1854.

    Antoine Wiertz, Inhumation prématurée, 1854.

    For a painter/sculptor who is still largely unrecognised outside his native Belgium, Antoine Joseph Wiertz (1806-1865) certainly divides opinion. The art dictionaries and encylopedias that bother to mention him in their brief entries variously describe his work as banal, melodramatic, morbid, mystical, ambitious. Opinions about the artist himself are equally conflicting, ranging from visionary, eccentric, to megalomaniacal. If there is any agreement about Wiertz and his oeuvre, it is that his single-mindedness and considerable self-confidence produced some utterly distinctive paintings on unusual subjects that are not much like anybody else's. Astonishing, then, that so few books have been written about Wiertz, and what has is now many decades out of print. Moreover, to my knowledge, there has never been a Wiertz monograph written in English. In other words, he is long overdue substantial critical attention. I hope this short essay will introduce some of Wiertz's work to those who have not yet encountered this most idiosyncratic of artists. --The Wonderful And Frightening World Of Antoine Wiertz - by Chris Blackford, 1999, http://www.btinternet.com/~rubberneck/witzhome.html

    2004, Feb 27; 17:10 :::: Walerian Borowczyk

    The Beast (La bête) (1975) - Walerian Borowczyk

    The Beast (La bête) (1975) - Walerian Borowczyk

    Walerian Borowczyk is not a household word (unless you live in a halfway house), and it’s not likely The Beast, also known as The Beast in Heat, will make him one. This legendary film was banned in Britain on its release. What was the problem? Perhaps the literal horse dicks in the opening scene of a stallion mounting a mare? A pederastic old priest smooching with a nubile youth? A ravishing naked girl giving a very long blow job (in lurid closeup) to the title creature, a sort of giant rat-man? The film is a demented mix of the Marquis de Sade in its vitriolic anticlericalism and Beauty and the Beast in its quasi-zoophilia, but going much further than Cocteau. Borowyczyk was an equal-opportunity offender, obsessively recycling the image of horses screwing and the “beast” getting head. There’s also a black butler, a very un-p.c. fuckhound who says “yassuh.” (Penisspotters will appreciate the sight of his hard dick.) --Gary Morris, http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/43/stabs.htm, — Tormented Christians, hacker boyz, cannibal queers, fish people — you know, all those folks who keep it real

    2004, Feb 26; 12:39 :::: queer

    Twelve-Tone Cinema: A Scattershot Notebook on Sexual Atonality — Is queerness an angry chord or a beautiful harmony?
    By Andrew Grossman

    Where do we currently stand on the matter of “queer cinema”? If I were to credibly — this is the key term — scribble on the subject now, after essentialist gay identity has been falsely legitimized by the mainstream, and after the vogue for postmodernism has, like a jagged gall stone, painfully yet necessarily passed, I would have to: 1) be contemptuous of the clichés of the retrograde coming-out narrative; 2) be disillusioned by the binary oppositions of indie-film political correctness and underground deviance, and try to create “new spaces of discourse” by “locating divergent viewing practices” of “underrepresented media” (or some such thing); 3) uphold the utopianism of early 1990s postmodern queer theory while remaining skeptical of its real-world impracticalities; and 4) self-referentially, though half-heartedly, use the first-person “I” to deflate the pretended authoritarianism for which the academic voice (even, in its weaker moments, the postmodern voice) once arrogantly strived. I have no objection to these four suppositions; they are burdensome, tiresome, hang around one’s neck nooselike, but are unavoidable and, probably, mostly justified.


    After the tonal (Western) musical scale became established as a fallacious aesthetics of morality, anything that rebelled against it was considered an alternative, oppositional morality — thus, Schoenberg spent most of his career arguing he was not a reactionary but a progressive striving to unite all sounds with an amoral, as opposed to immoral, aesthetic system. Likewise, queer theory casts itself not as immorally negative rebellion but as amorally positive, all-embracing, post-humanitarian valuelessness. There is, however, a difference between the method of queer theory and that of Schoenberg. Though Schoenberg vehemently denied his “egalitarian” tone rows — wherein notes relate only to one another, not a tonic or dominant, centralized authority — amounted to any kind of philosophical Bolshevism,2 his modern revolution did seek to set all musical values equal through a new yet severely strict set of rules. But queer theory’s postmodern revolution, though often dogmatic, necessarily tries (and often fails) to reject not only centralized authority but all rule-driven governance, including, paradoxically, that of the queer author whose fallible subjectivity lays out the very groundwork — or rules — of queer theory itself.

    This distinction between rule-driven egalitarianism (Schoenberg) and anarchic egalitarianism (queer theory) is my starting point, and I will return to it later. But first, I need to remind myself of the best ways to approach that artificial, bogus monolith we call queer cinema before I can imagine how to transcend it. So I’m dashing off a little notebook to keep track of where I’m going — you can read it too. --http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/43/atonal.htm

    2004, Feb 26; 11:47 :::: night porter

    1974, film poster for Cavani's movie

    1974, film poster for Cavani's movie The Night Porter

    For those who like their love stories dipped in decadence, Liliana Cavani's dark and disturbing 1974 drama--about a concentration camp survivor who fatefully comes face to face with her ex-Nazi captor and lover--has held up quite well over the years despite its sensationalistic tone. It helps that the mysterious, cobra-eyed Charlotte Rampling plays the survivor, Lucia, and that the unctuous and languid British actor, Dirk Bogarde, is former SS officer Max, a now-benign night porter at the Vienna hotel where the pair coincidentally collides. There is a haunted hollowness to these characters that resigns them to relive the sordid past that tragically binds them. Criterion's DVD offers the film in its best available condition, and the color has been restored to enhance its symbolic significance. The Night Porter uses landscape as character, and its desaturated tones evoke memory of the Holocaust and a shady 1950s Vienna plagued by post-World War II guilt. In fact, this is a film full of shadows and shame, and Max and Lucia are victims of this frightening world in which nothing can be trusted and around every corner lurk spies in their house of forbidden love. --Paula Nechak for amazon.com

    2004, Feb 24; 18:47 :::: rock music

    1969 album cover Joy of a Toy, Kevin Ayers

    Cover Art Joy of a Toy, 1969, Kevin Ayers

    As the Soft Machine's first bassist and original principal songwriter, Kevin Ayers was an overlooked force behind the group's groundbreaking recordings in 1967 and 1968. This, his solo debut, is so tossed-off and nonchalant that one gets the impression he wanted to take it easy after helping pilot the manic innovations of the Softs. Laissez-faire sloth has always been part of Ayers' persona, and this record's intermittent lazy charm helped establish it. That doesn't get around the fact, however, that this set of early progressive rock does not feature extremely strong material. Ayers' command of an assortment of instruments is impressive, and his deep bass vocals and playful, almost goofy song-sketches are affecting, but they don't really stick with the listener. It's no accident that some of the tracks recall early Soft Machine: Robert Wyatt drums on most of the songs, and "Song for Insane Times" is virtually a bona fide Soft Machine performance, featuring actual backing from the group itself. A likable but slight album that is at its best when Ayers is at his folkiest. — Richie Unterberger, allmusic.com

    2004, Feb 24; 11:19 :::: anus

    <I>Petite Anatomie de l'inconscient physique ou l'anatomie de l'image (Little Anatomy of the Physical Unconscious or the Anatomy of the Image)</I> (Paris, 1957), Hans Bellmer

    Petite Anatomie de l'inconscient physique ou l'anatomie de l'image (Little Anatomy of the Physical Unconscious or the Anatomy of the Image) (Paris, 1957), Hans Bellmer

    It is clear that the world is purely parodic, in other words, that each thing seen is the parody of another, or is the same thing in a deceptive form.
    Ever since sentences started to circulate in brains devoted to reflection, an effort at total identification has been made, because with the aid of a copula each sentence ties one thing to another; all things would be visibly connected if one could discover at a single glance and in its totality the tracings of Ariadne's thread leading thought into its own labyrinth.
    But the copula of terms is no less irritating than the copulation of bodies.And when I scream I AM THE SUN an integral erection results, because the verb to be is the vehicle of amorous frenzy.

    Everyone is aware that life is parodic and that it lacks an interpretation.
    Thus lead is the parody of gold.
    Air is the parody of water.
    The brain is the parody of the equator.
    Coitus is the parody of crime. --from Bataille’s “The Solar Anus”, written in 1927 and published in 1931 [...]

    2004, Feb 23; 21:58 :::: Roy Lichtenstein

    Bauhaus Staircase, 1989, Roy Lichtenstein

    Bauhaus Staircase, 1989, - Roy Lichtenstein

    2004, Feb 23; 21:10 :::: eye

    Un Chien Andalou (1928) - Luis Buñuel

    Un Chien Andalou (1928) - Luis Buñuel

    2004, Feb 23; 20:31 :::: Salvador Dalí

    Lobster telephone 1936, Salvador Dalí -

    Lobster telephone 1936, Salvador Dalí -

    Salvador Dalí produced two of the most hilarious objects spawned by the Surrealist movement, his Lobster telephone 1936 and Mae West lips sofa 1937. Both objects were commissioned from the artist by the English poet and collector Edward James (1907-1984), a wealthy and eccentric patron who had inherited a vast English estate and fortune at the age of five, and who has been aptly described as 'virtually a present-day adumbration of the mad Ludwig of Bavaria, capaciously rich and richly capricious, only a little less than Ludwig in wealth and eccentricity.' A leading supporter of the Surrealists, James financed the early issues of the great Surrealist magazine Minotaure, and was also an active patron of the Belgian artist René Magritte, whom he met through Dalí. James spent a small fortune on Dalí himself, and eventually owned between forty and fifty of his best works, all from the 1930s (his greatest period). --http://www.nga.gov.au/International/Detail.cfm?IRN=2607&SiteID=2

    2004, Feb 23; 18:46 :::: surrealism

    Jacques-Andre Boiffard, The Big Toe (1929)

    Jacques-Andre Boiffard, The Big Toe (1929)

    Jacques-André Boiffard, although under-represented here (his work dealing perhaps as much with abjection as it does with desire) does make an appearance, with one of his alarming, foreshortened close-ups of a big toe. Boiffard, whose surreal vision was extreme, sharp and succinct, provides a foil to Man Ray, who seems to be everywhere. --http://www.guardian.co.uk/surrealism/story/0,1339,554488,00.html

    2004, Feb 23; 14:53 :::: Arthur Russell

    Arthur Russell, World of Echo, 1986

    One of Arthur's greatest works, finding him in a more experimental mode. This solo LP features nothing but his abstract vocals, hand percussion, cello and echoes and features alternative versions of some of his best dance tunes, WAX THE VAN - TREEHOUSE - LET'S GO SWIMMING. This is an absolute home listening must.

    2004, Feb 23; 14:16 :::: Je t’Aime Moi Non Plus

    Je t’Aime Moi Non Plus

    Je t’Aime Moi Non Plus, Serge Gainsbourg

    2004, Feb 23; 13:44 :::: news

    Jean-Marc Bouju, World Press Photo, 2003

    Jean-Marc Bouju, World Press Photo, 2003

    An Iraqi man comforts his 4-year-old son at a "regroupment" center for POWs of the 101st Airborne Division near Najaf, Iraq, March 31. The man and his son were taken prisoner in Najaf, and the U.S. military did not want to separate them

    “If you don’t like the news, go out and make some of your own.” --Scoop Nisker radio signoff, 1969

    2004, Feb 23; 13:08 :::: situationiste internationale

    Photo of Situationist Graffiti, Paris '68.

    "Beneath the boardwalk, the beach."

    2004, Feb 23; 09:30 :::: grotesque

    Giuseppe Arcimboldo

    2004, Feb 23; 00:38 :::: anti


    Of oppositional tastes, counterculture, hierarchy, power and authority.

    2004, Feb 22; 23:28 :::: dada

    Raoul Hausmann (Berlin, April 1920)

    Der Dada 3, ed. Raoul Hausmann (Berlin, April 1920), cover.

    Issue number 3 of Der Dada is one of the most visually exciting publications generated by the Berlin group. Edited jointly by Grosz, Heartfield and Hausmann (who signed their names "Groszfield," "Hearthaus," and "Georgemann"), the third issue of Der Dada was the most diverse issue yet, with several references to Dada in Cologne, Paris, and Zurich. The cover features a chaotic collage by Heartfield of words, letters, and illustrations. The issue includes a drawing by George Grosz, two montages by Heartfield, and photographs of the Dadaists, as well as cartoons, poetry, and illustrations.

    Known for their rebellious and political tenor, it was not long before the Berlin Dada group members soon directed their aggressions at one another. With the eruption of many ideological clashes, by 1920 Dada began to decline in Berlin. Although sporadic publications appeared for a few years, by 1923 publishing had ceased, and the Berlin Dadaists began turning their attentions to other activities. --http://www.artic.edu/reynolds/essays/hofmann.php

    2004, Feb 21; 00:07 :::: dirty
  • Dirty Looks: Women, Pornography, Power by Roma Gibson (Editor), Pamela C. Gibson (Editor), Carol J. Clover (Illustrator) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This informative book of essays takes a firm stand against both the Christian right and anti-pornography feminists as its authors argue for a less dogmatic, more contextual approach to understanding pornography and erotica. The essays present a readable and accessible case for a deeper understanding of the place of porn in contemporary culture and society. Lynne Segal points out how little researchers actually know about the effects of porn on violent crime. Jennifer Wicke has some interesting observations about the cottage industry that anti-porn campaigns have created among academics--including courses, seminars and books that feed off the subject. Two essays about Annie Sprinkle (considering whether she is a pornographer or a performance artist) and a first-person account from feminist porn photographer Grace Lau examine the issues of women as producers and consumers of pornography. Throughout, the writers argue that the societies and cultures surrounding the nude bodies are at least as important to the debate about porn and its effects as the bodies themselves. --Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc

    Pornography produces a mixture of gut reactions in most people: fascination, guilt, disgust, rage. What it doesn't often stimulate, this text claims, is an open mind and reasoned discussion. The text argues that as women have much at stake, it is not surprising that campaigns in favour of increased censorship should have recruited them to their ranks, but it insists that there are good reasons for women to resist the rush towards moral outrage. This collection of essays, all by women, asserts that the issues are both more complex and more interesting than the censorship lobby allows. It is a text about the practice as well as the theory of pornography, and includes essays by photographer, Grace Lau, and writers Lynne Segal and Linda Williams. --amazon.co.uk

    2004, Feb 20; 23:12 :::: surrealism
  • Photography and Surrealism: Sexuality, Colonialism and Social Dissent (2004) - David Bate [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    As "surreal" images become ever more common through the ease of computer manipulation, the place in history occupied by Surrealism and the Surrealists can easily be lost to sight. This challenging re-evaluation of the status and use of photographic images in historical Surrealism puts Surrealism's fundamental issues back into the framework of its historical purpose and function. David Bate examines automatism and the photographic image, the Surrealist passion for insanity, ambivalent use of Orientalism, use of Sadean philosophy and the effect of fascism of the Surrealists. The book is illustrated wtih a wide range of surrealist photographs.

    2004, Feb 20; 21:24 :::: Justine

    This is a not so short essay about the philosophies of the Marquis De Sade that made it into the 1977 British adaptation of his novel Justine, Cruel Passion. And what relevance that they may have to life today.

    There is a constant battle in the film between what nature desires people to do and what the church tries to command them to do, as there is in the novel. Justine blames herself for other peoples desire of her, blames their desire for her on her own virtue and beauty. She believes that with all the misfortunes that befall her, it is such a struggle against vice that she is constantly confronted by, that her struggle to hold onto her virtue may be futile. That she shall succumb to vice, whether hers or someone else's, one day soon.

    Justine's vice ridden elder sister, Juliette, throughout the film raises the argument of nature against Religion. Where the traits of our personalities or peccadillo's, are given to us by nature, and that what the church would rather have Justine, Juliette and every one else do, is against this nature. The Sadean belief that a person should follow the path that their nature dictates, whether that be so called "vice or virtue", rather than an emotionless, (except in relation to god) celibate, detached, devout life of one who follows the rules of the church, and lives the life of a follower of god. All of which are contradictory to the values and desires believed given to us by nature. --Sadean Philosophies, Giovanni Pistachio, http://home.clara.net/raydav/paradisecinema_sadephilos.html, [Feb 2004 accessed]

    2004, Feb 20; 21:24 :::: sm fiction
  • Counterpleasures (Suny Series in Postmodern Culture) - Karmen MacKendrick [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Counterpleasures takes up a series of literary and physical pleasures that do not appear to be pleasurable, ranging from saintly asceticism to Sadean narrative to leathersex. Each is placed in its cultural context to unfold a history of transgressive pleasure and to argue for the value and power of such pleasures as resistant to more totalizing forms of power. --amazon.com

    Nice is the only word to describe this book. Mackendrick used many important quotation from Sade, Freud, & Masoch. She also look at sadomasochism issues from a new point of view. --Randy from Jakarta, Indonesia via amazon.com

    2004, Feb 20; 21:24 :::: sm movies
  • The Whip and The Body (1963) - Mario Bava [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    A classic by horror maestro Mario Bava, The Whip and the Body, could suitably be described as a Sadean love story. It is “Sadean” in that it details a sexual relationship wherein sexual activity between the couple does not revolve around genital intercourse. In fact, sexual activity is almost completely replaced by violent behaviour. Made in 1963, the film was ahead of its time, with its portrayal of a woman's immersion into a world of sadomasochistic fantasy, four years before Buñuel's own Belle de Jour. The film is set in a Gothic castle, the family home of the Menliff's, whose eldest son, Kurt (charismatically played by Christopher Lee) has returned home to reclaim both his title and his ex-lover Nevenka (Daliah Lavi), who is now married to his brother, Christian (Tony Kendall). --Lindsay Hallam, Jan 2004, http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/04/30/whips_and_bodies.html

    2004, Feb 20; 20:49 :::: perversion

    Perversion at http://www.sensesofcinema.com

    Guest edited by Patricia MacCormack

    Perversion – An Introduction by Patricia MacCormack
    An introduction to the concept of the "perverse" and to this special spotlight on perversion within cinema, representation, and theory.

    A Kind of (Perverse) Loving: The Gothic Horror Films of Joe D’Amato by Xavier Mendik
    Mendik digs deep into the world of European trash cinema to bring to the surface the extreme films of Joe D'Amato and their unique psychosexual concerns.

    Hot, Hard Cocks and Tight, Tight Unlubricated Assholes: Transgression, Sexual Ambiguity and “Perverse” Pleasures in Serge Gainsbourg’s Je t’aime moi non plus by Jack Sargeant
    If certain body parts and functions are coded as normal and acceptable, Sargeant examines a film that turns these presuppositions on their head. --http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/04/30/je_taime_moi_non_plus.html

    Excess and Resistance in Feminised Bodies: David Cronenberg’s Videodrome and Jean Baudrillard’s Seduction by Martin Ham
    An exploration of the politics of representation, in particular, notions of excess and resistance, as they are worked through in both Baudrillard's Seduction and Cronenberg's Videodrome.

    Towards a Perverse Neo-Baroque Cinematic Aesthetic: Raúl Ruiz’s Poetics of Cinema by Michael Goddard
    Both Ruiz's writings and his cinema are underpinned by a truly unique, radical and perverse aesthetic.

    Whips and Bodies: The Sadean Cinematic Text by Lindsay Hallam
    Lindsay Hallam examines the paradigms of sadism and masochism and traces their dramatisation in cinema.

    There is a clear investment in cultural hegemonic processes of normalisation and stabilisation of both self and society. In reference to cinema and all forms of art, censorship reflects the anxiety society exhibits at that which threatens the perversion of axes of social norms. Norms are given power not through their value so much as through their repetition, which therefore repeats the power by which repetition is enforced. At best censorship denies extreme versions of everyday paradigms of power which rightly disgust through their hyper-representation of issues such as misogyny, racism and other minoritarian oppressions. At worst it prevents any alteration in these paradigms by devaluing certain issues. Sexuality which does not conform to established heterosexual or vindicated “nice” homosexual relations, the exhibition of the interiors of the flesh, and violence that indulges in that same flesh, are usually the victims of censorship.

    Clean violence such as gun death can punctuate films but not so easily visceral worlds, even those not necessarily related to death or violence but baroque configurations of flesh for their own sake (seen most emphatically in films such as City of the Living Dead [Lucio Fulci, Italy, 1980] or Hellbound [Tony Randel, UK, 1988] as two examples). Splanchnic explorations frequently exist beyond or independent of narratives of aggressive forms of violence, showing that “violence” is not necessarily concomitant with “gore”. Here we have flesh as devil. The occult interiors of our thoraxes provoke the risk of becoming-otherwise, materially expressing our capacity to unfold and refold. The body is a clandestine geology. In flesh and desire we exist as plateaus over which we have no control, knowledge or, as seen in gore cinema, image. Folding flesh and desire outward through provoking images refolds and thus transforms the self. Those who resist transformation most frequently resist the encounter which brings its ecstasy (ex-stasis, outside of self) into being – the encounter with perverse worlds often only available in film. Film encourages pathological voyeurism, without object or aim. This alone fulfils traditional clinical definitions of perversion. Perverse films eviscerate the viewer as they eviscerate the represented flesh, and our skin is pinned back, our selves autopsied, destroyed to be reborn in alternate configurations of cinematic pleasure and self. --Patricia MacCormack, http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/04/30/perversion_intro.html

    2004, Feb 19; 22:14 :::: futurism, misogyny
    Mina Loy’, Stephen Haweis (1909) The Futurists’ bullish aggression and marginalization of women led to the disillusionment of many of its initial female followers, including Mina Loy. After writing a feminist Futurist manifesto and a number of important Futurist plays between 1913 and 1915, Loy left the movement and attacked its misogyny in her satirical play The Pamperers (1916). The messianic phallocentrism of the early days of the movement is summed up, perhaps unconsciously, in the final words of the manifesto: ‘Erect on the summit of the world, once again we hurl defiance to the stars!’ (Marinetti, 1996: 293). However, the often abhorrent first manifesto was also something of an aberration, as none of the subsequent manifestos contained overt misogyny, nor did they even approach the excessive aggression and right-wing political rhetoric of the first. Kirby is quick to point out that very few Futurist plays and ‘were political in any way and none was explicitly Fascist’ (1971: 5).--Futurism e-visited, Steve Dixon, http://www.brunel.ac.uk/depts/pfa/bstjournal/3no2/Papers/Steve%20Dixon.htm

    2004, Feb 19; 21:26 :::: cult, machine
  • Charles Sheeler and the Cult of the Machine - Karen Lucic [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Questions the view of American photographer and painter Sheeler (1886-1965) as a champion of the Machine Age, accepted by his contemporaries and by subsequent critics. Lucic (art, Vassar College) investigates his life, work, and values, and argues that he was ambivalent about machines. Includes nearly 70 good reproductions, some in color. No index. Annotation copyright Book News, Inc. Portland, Or, via amazon.com

    2004, Feb 19; 21:03 :::: futurism and aesthetics of technology

    ‘Tempesto sur Lago’, Gerardo Dottori (1938)

    The paper argues the centrality of Futurist aesthetics and philosophies to current performance work utilising computer technologies, and suggests that Futurism’s legacy to ‘digital performance’ has been greatly underestimated. A close analysis of Futurist theatre manifestos reveals clear relationships between theatrical plans and practices separated by almost a century. These include fundamental principles of Futurist performance art such as alogicality, parallel action, photodynamism, luminous scenography, virtual actors, ‘synthetic theatre’ and the cult of the machine. --Futurism e-visited, Steve Dixon, http://www.brunel.ac.uk/depts/pfa/bstjournal/3no2/Papers/Steve%20Dixon.htm

    2004, Feb 19; 10:56 :::: 9/11 and aesthetics
    9/11 attack on America After the devastation in Manhattan, what can radical music mean? Einstürzende Neubauten - whose name translates, prophetically, Collapsing New Buildings - earned their avant garde stripes in Britain by applying pneumatic drills to a stress-bearing beam at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. After 11 September, such transgressions surely pale into insignificance. Indeed, any comparison might seem offensive. Musically, telethon America responded to the tragedy by drawing on the sombre substratum of hymn-singing which unites country, soul and reggae. Music designed for church - unmediated, communal, local and introspective - inevitably sounded kitsch delivered by top-selling stars for international broadcast, but in such a context "audio terrorism" does appear distinctly silly. Should the noisy end of the avantgarde shut up, and confess its misdemeanours were all a ruse?

    The avant garde registered its own peculiar response to the disaster. Rushing in where angels fear to tread, Karlheinz Stockhausen voiced what some may have felt, but none dared say. For him, the crashing planes and collapsing towers felt like art: "What happened there is: now you must re-adjust your brain. The greatest work of art imaginable for the whole cosmos. Minds achieving in a single act what we in music can only dream of, people rehearsing like mad for ten years, preparing fanatically for a concert, and then dying. You have people who are that focused on a performance and then 5,000 people who are dispatched to the afterlife, in a single moment. I couldn’t match it. Against that, we - as composers - are nothing." Surely the guy is crazy? In Stockhausen’s defence, he did go on to admit it was a crime, because part of the "audience" were "not consenting". This demur didn’t soften Gyorgy Ligeti’s retort: "Stockhausen should be locked up in a psychiatric hospital". --Ben Watson in Music, Violence, Truth (2001) http://www.militantesthetix.co.uk/violence.html

    2004, Feb 16; 22:21 :::: erotic fiction
  • Lady Chatterleys Lover (1928) - D. H. Lawrence [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Perhaps the most famous of Lawrence's novels, the 1928 Lady Chatterley's Lover is no longer distinguished for the once-shockingly explicit treatment of its subject matter--the adulterous affair between a sexually unfulfilled upper-class married woman and the game keeper who works for the estate owned by her wheelchaired husband. Now that we're used to reading about sex, and seeing it in the movies, it's apparent that the novel is memorable for better reasons: namely, that Lawrence was a masterful and lyrical writer, whose story takes us bodily into the world of its characters.--Amazon.com

    2004, Feb 16; 13:43 :::: sadism
    The term sadism is derived from the name of a French author who lived from 1740 to 1814, Donatien-Alphonse-Francois de Sade, better known as the Marquis de Sade. His existing body of work is regarded by many as important erotic literature, because it effectively, intelligently, and indelibly rendered descriptive images of sexual arousal driven by physical suffering. This passage from Justine (de Sade, 1990), for example, describes sadistic rape behaviors inflicted by a monk for the purpose of achieving sexual gratification through his victim's pain and humiliation:

    "He spreads, he presses, thrusts, tears, all of his efforts are in vain; in his fury the monster lashes out against the altar at which he cannot speak his prayers; he strikes it, he pinches it, he bites it; these brutalities are succeeded by renewed challenges; the chastened flesh yields, the gate cedes, the ram bursts through; terrible screams rise from my throat… Never in my life have I suffered so much.

    …Inflamed by lust, the beast strikes with all his force… daring to mix love with these moments of cruelty, he fastens his mouth to mine and wishes to inhale the sighs agony wrests from me…"

    De Sade spent 27 years of his adult life in prisons, dungeons, and asylums throughout France for reasons that included "excesses committed in a brothel," kidnapping and sexual assault, poisoning, and homosexual sodomy (Seaver and Wainhouse, 1990). As one example taken from many, his known criminal enterprises included, in 1768, luring an unemployed cotton spinner named Rose Keller (whom he found begging in the street) to a rented cabin under the pretext of giving her some form of assistance. Once there, however, he ordered her to undress, threatened her with a knife, and, over the course of several hours, whipped her severely.

    The Marquis de Sade and his publisher were both arrested by the Minister of Police in 1801 for writing and publishing Justine, and the "still more terrible work, Juliette," (Seaver et al, 1990). De Sade was not allowed a trial, but rather put directly in prison as an "administrative punishment" to spare the country a scandal. Before long, his detractors had him declared insane, and transferred to Charenton Asylum, where continued efforts were made to silence his pencils and subsequent influences on the outside world. He died at Charenton Asylum in 1814 of failed health.

    The term sadism was adopted for professional use by Krafft-Ebing in 1898, classified as one of the sub-divisions of paraesthesia (a perversion of the sexual instinct) and evidenced by the following:

    "It consists in this that the association of lust and cruelty, which is indicated in the physiological consciousness, becomes strongly marked on a physically degenerated basis, and that this lustful impulse coupled with presentations of cruelty rises to the height of powerful affects…

    The quality of sadistic acts is defined by the relative potency of the tainted individual. If potent, the impulse of the sadist is directed to coitus, coupled with preparatory, concomitant or consecutive maltreatment, even murder, of the consort ("Lustmurder"), the latter occurring chiefly because sensual lust has not been satisfied with the consummated coitus."

    --Baeza & Turvey Baeza, J. & Turvey, B., "Sadistic Behavior: A Literature Review," Knowledge Solutions Library, Electronic Publication, URL: http://www.corpus-delicti.com/sadistic_behavior.html, May, 1999

    2004, Feb 15; 22:22 :::: Arthur Russell
  • Calling Out of Context (2004) - Arthur Russell [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This is the second release in 2004 to celebrate the legacy of Arthur Russell. Released on Audika Records:

    More on Audika:

    Steve Knutson, formerly of Tommy Boy and currently of Audika, has been kind enough to put in a word with Soul Jazz about our compilation, New York City Body Music, Volume One, which we hope to have out somewhere, before too long. Audika will be reissuing Arthur Russell's World of Echo next year, possibly with DVD element. How fucking gangsta is that?

    He/Audika will also be releasing Calling Out Of Context, a "complete album of previously unreleased rhythmic/song material" by Russell. Double boner! --Sasha Frere-Jones http://sfj.abstractdynamics.org/archives/000645.html

    Track Listings 1. The Deer In The Forest Part One 2. The Platform On The Ocean 3. You And Me Both 4. Calling Out Of Context 5. Arm Around You 6. That's Us / Wild Combination 7. Make One, Two 8. Hop On Down 9. Get Around To It 10. I Like You 11. You Can Make Me Feel Bad 12. Calling All Kids

    2004, Feb 15; 12:06 :::: radio nova, Paris, Europe
  • Nova Tunes 09 (2004 - Various Artists [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Brother Where Are You (M Herbert's Remix) (Oscar Brown Jr) 2. Bswd (Manhead;Christian Kreuz) 3. Late & Night(Simon Says) 4. Big Picture (Izzi Dunn) 5. Trinity (Bringing Out The Devil) (Radio Edit)(Count Indigo) 6. Wait A Minute (Ty) 7. Beautiful Emilie (Keziah Jones) 8. Yunowhathislifeez (Motor City Mix)(Metropolitan Jazz Affair) 9. My Room( Marathonians) 10. Sailor & Widow (Keren Ann) 11. Lily Dale (Arthur H) 12. Take You Out Tonight (General Electrics) 13. Hey Bonus (Octet) 14. Facile (Toma) 15. Come With Me (Alex Kid;Lisette Alea) 16. Bad Dream (Lyrics Born) 17. The Seed (Cody Chesnutt)

    2004, Feb 12; 23:17 :::: criticism

    And so Lentricchia joined the conga line of critics who have "renounced" a certain kind of criticism, the kind that wants to translate a text into something other than what it is. Susan Sontag may have signaled the trend with her 1964 essay "Against Interpretation," in which she made the now-famous statements that "interpretation is the revenge of the intellect upon art," and, "In place of a hermeneutics we need an erotics of art." Roland Barthes, a giant in the field of semiotics, followed suit with his book S/Z, an obsessive reading of Balzac's Sarrasine. Barthes suggested that this most classical of narratives is, at the same time, filled with unexpected and idiosyncratic elements that resist the ministrations of literary theory. Readers find meaning not in theory, he claims, but somewhere in the uncertain ground between theory and text. With "Against Interpretation," Sontag said something similar, suggesting that texts are threatening to the extent that they require both an intellectual and a sensual response--the implication being that the modern audience can only handle one or the other at any given time. -- Mark Hornburg, http://indyweek.com/durham/2001-02-28/ae.html

    2004, Feb 12; 22:43 :::: nazism
  • Nazi Culture: Intellectual, Cultural, and Social Life in the Third Reich (1996) - George L. Mosse [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    What was life like under the Third Reich? What went on between parents and children? What were the prevailing attitudes about sex, morality, religion? How did workers perceive the effects of the New Order in the workplace? What were the cultural currents-in art, music, science, education, drama, and on the radio?

    Professor Mosse's extensive analysis of Nazi culture-groundbreaking upon its original publication in 1966-is now offered to readers of a new generation. Selections from newspapers, novellas, plays, and diaries as well as the public pronouncements of Nazi leaders, churchmen, and professors describe National Socialism in practice and explore what it meant for the average German.

    By recapturing the texture of culture and thought under the Third Reich, Mosse's work still resonates today-as a document of everyday life in one of history's darkest eras and as a living memory that reminds us never to forget. --amazon.co

    2004, Feb 12; 20:42 :::: holocaust
  • Night and Fog - Criterion Collection (1955) - Alain Resnais [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Ten years after the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, filmmaker Alain Resnais documented the abandoned grounds of Auschwitz. One of the first cinematic reflections on the horrors of the Holocaust, Night and Fog (Nuit et Brouillard) contrasts the stillness of the abandoned camps’ quiet, empty buildings with haunting wartime footage. With Night and Fog, Resnais investigates the cyclical nature of man’s violence toward man and presents the unsettling suggestion that such horrors could come again. --criterionco.com

    Though only a short subject, this groundbreaking documentary remains one of the most influential and powerful explorations of the Holocaust ever made. Director Alain Resnais bluntly presents an indictment not only of the Nazis but of the world community, and the film is all the more remarkable for its harsh judgment considering the time in which it was made, less than a decade after the end of the war, when questions of responsibility were not yet being addressed. Juxtaposing archival clips from the concentration camps across Germany and Poland with the present-day denials of the camps' existence, the film seeks to once and for all expose the horrifying truth of the Final Solution, as well as to address the continuing anti-Semitism and bigotry that existed long after the war's end. An invaluable resource and testament to history, this film was a profound influence on all films to address issues of the Holocaust, from Judgment at Nuremberg and Shoah to Schindler's List. Night and Fog remains an essential and indispensable document of the 20th century. --Robert Lane, amazon.com

    Nuit et brouillard grew out of an exhibition at the Institut Pédagogique National in November 1954. This was organised by the Comité d'Histoire de la Deuxième Guerre Mondiale, and Olga Wormser (with Henri Michel, the co-director of the Comité and co-organiser of the exhibition) suggested to film producer Anatole Dauman that he go to the exhibition. Michel and Dauman then agreed a new film should be made, and Dauman invited Alain Resnais to be the director. At first he refused. He felt his lack of first-hand experience of the camps would mean his film lacked the authenticity he felt essential for any effective treatment of the subject matter. However, he then relented, provided Jean Cayrol became involved to guarantee such authenticity. Cayrol's 1946 collection Poèmes de la nuit et du brouillard had evoked his experience as a survivor of Mauthausen with great power. At first Cayrol was reluctant to become involved; the idea of revisiting these experiences was too painful for him. He offered only to take a look at the material when Resnais had his first cut, without undertaking to participate even then. However Chris Marker, a mutual friend, was able to persuade him to change his mind. Marker had collaborated with Resnais a couple of years earlier on Les Statues meurent aussi, an account of the appropriation of traditional art objects by colonial museum and ethnographic collections. This had been banned by the censors for its anti-colonialist stance, the argument that these objects, detached from their cultural contexts and meanings, had effectively been sentenced to death. --James Leahy , http://www.sensesofcinema.com/contents/03/26/cteq/nuit_et_brouillard.html

    Nazi Culture

    "For the sanity of the human race it is essential that the record of Hitler's Germany should remain alive and be retold again and again as a warning for the future. Professor Mosse's book helps keep the record alive." —Saturday Review on George L. Mosse's Intellectual, Cultural, and Social Life in the Third Reich


    The SS evolved into a highly effective and deadly force during World War II. At its peak, its name and reputation for efficient and terrifying violence was enough to strike fear into the heart of anyone. Hitler gave the SS jurisdiction over all concentration camps and allowed them to oversee the day-to-day control of all countries conquered by Germany during the war. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS, Feb 2004

    2004, Feb 12; 12:17 :::: erotic horror

    Sexuality and terror are so closely related that it is very difficult to find a horror film that does not use sexuality to complement sequences of horror. The spectator is granted a double-dose of id-fulfillment and bodily excitement when viewing this film genre, which not only offers both sexuality and horror as themes of the film . . . but in the same sequence! The female body, notably the scantily clad and thus sexually arousing female body, and the monster accompany each other to evoke intense emotional and physical feelings from the spectator, which is why these films are so popular. --Jenny Piston, http://www.projectorbooth.com/topics/topic.asp?topic=51

    2004, Feb 11; 23:19 :::: technology
  • Culture and Technology - Andrew Murphie (Author), John Potts (Author) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    We are 'going virtual' in more and more areas of our lives - from shopping to education, filing systems to love affairs. How can we assess the relationship between technology and culture when culture is so imbued with technology? This clear, concise and readable text aims to offer the student a one-stop guide through this complex and slippery terrain. Introducing a wealth of theoretical perspectives in a lucid and engaging style and covering a range of topical, challenging and intriguing examples - from cyborgs to digital art - it will be an essential text for everyone wanting to make sense of crucial forces of change on contemporary culture. --amazon.com

    2004, Feb 11; 22:26 :::: Roy Ayers
    I've been sampled so much and I'm glad it's happened, it's a great compliment. A lot of the hip hop artists don't write music. They write words and in my case they say that Roy Ayers music is the best music for their words and I'm very thankful for that. "Everybody Loves the Sunshine" has been sampled the most and almost everyone who samples it it's a hit for them. And not only that it's very lucrative. Mary J. Blige went triple platinum with that one. --Roy Ayers, Feb 2004
    via http://www.popmatters.com/music/interviews/ayers-roy-040202.shtml

    2004, Feb 11; 22:05 :::: dance music
  • Another Fine Mess FC KahunaMixed (2003) - Various Artists [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. K-Fun (FC Kahuna Mix) - Jolly Music 2. Nothing Is Wrong (RadioSlave Re-Edit) - FC Kahuna 3. By The Time I Get To Venus (DFA Mix) - Juan Maclean 4. Stucco Homes (Freaks Mix) - Brett Johnson 5. Everybody Knows - The Free Association 6. The Metric System - Trash Palace 7. Bakazou - Risky Disco 8. Warped - Dania Wang 9. Dang - Green Velvet 10. Superbad - Soul Substitute 11. Music Is My Radar - Blur 12. Plus1 - Atom 13. Deep Inside The Groove (Locked Groove Acapella) 14. A Track - Wink 15. Mindset 2 Cycle - FC Kahuna 16. I Just Love Acid Too - Christopher Just 17. Dextrous - Nightmares On Wax 18. Hanging Around Again - Polyphonic Spree

    2004, Feb 11; 21:58 :::: dance music
  • Another Fine Mess (2004) - Fila Brazillia Presents [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Brazil - Xavier Cugat 2. Don't Mind If I Do - Bushy 3. Girl - Pepe Deluxe 4. Theme From 17 - Kings Of The Wild Frontier 5. Back By Dope Demand - Naab 6. Men Are Not Nice Guys - Grand Popo FC 7. Ligeirin - Heitor(Afro On Mix) 8. Talco Uno - Jolly Music (Tiefschwarz Mix) 9. Strict Machine - Goldfrapp (Ewan Pearson Remix) 10. I Love You - Yello 11. Bloodsport - Killing Joke 12. Gangsta Disco - 12" Superstars 13. LMF - Tutto Matto 14. Alles Ist Dada - Mense Reents (Electronicat Mix)

    2004, Feb 11; 18:00 :::: posters
  • X-Rated: Adult Movie Posters of the 60s and 70s (2004) - Tony Nourmand (Editor), Graham Marsh (Editor) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Sex sells! It's no secret that since moving pictures were invented, distributors and theater owners realized that nothing really promotes a movie better than blatantly sexual advertising. X-rated adult movies reached their peak in the 1960s and 70s, with films like Debbie Does Dallas and Deep Throat. While some films were hard-core and left nothing to the imagination, most enjoyed the art of innuendo, which is to say, you couldn't tell whether the participants who were getting it on were faking it--or doing it for real. Even though most of the adult movies of the 60s and 70s have faded into cinematic history--and their stars have retired into elderly care homes for the well-endowed (giving new meaning to the term "nursing home")--what remains, as a lasting legacy, are the posters. If the poster art in this book evokes those far-off days of suspender belts, stockings, and eye-popping, gravity-defying brassieres, not to mention outsize Y-fronts, then that alone is worth the cover price. It's practically cheaper than a movie these days, anyway. Featuring posters from such not-so classic films as The Love Robots, Call Girls of Frankfurt, Blackmailed Wives, The Pro Shop, Flesh Gordon, Kiss Me Mate, Space Thing, Slaves of the Sin-dicate, Girls That Do, Come Play With Me, Depraved!, Hot Lunch, Danish Pastries, Maid in Sweden, and Oh! so many more. --amazon.com

    2004, Feb 11; 15:13 :::: dance music
  • Discographies: Dance, Music, Culture and the Politics of Sound (1999) - Jeremy Gilbert, Ewan Pearson [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Experiencing disco, hiphop, house, techno, drum 'n' bass and garage, this work plots a course thorough the transatlantic dance scene of the last 25 years. Tracing the history of ideas about music and dance in Western culture and the ways in which dance music is produced and received, the authors assess the importance and relevance of dance culture in the 1990s and beyond. The book considers the formal, aesthetic and political characteristics of dance music. It discusses the problems posed by contemporary dance culture of both academic and cultural study and finds these origins in the history of opposition to music as a source of sensory pleasure. Discussing such issues as technology, club space, drugs, the musical body, gender, sexuality and pleasure, this book explores the ecstatic experiences at the heart of contemporary dance culture. It suggests why agencies as diverse as the House of Commons, the independent music press and public broadcasting should be so hostile to this cultural phenomenon. --amazon.com

    2004, Feb 11; 15:13 :::: house music
  • Choice (2003) - Various Artists, mixed by Derrick L. Carter [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Disc: 1 1. Savage Progress - Heart Begins To Beat 2. Klein & M.B.O. - M.B.O. Theme 3. Coati Mundi - (Que Pasa) Me No Pop I 4. Staple Singers - Slippery People (12" Mix) 5. Trussell - I Love It 6. Kid Creole & The Coconuts - Yolanda (Adnaloy 12") 7. 'Lil Louis - Nyce & Slo (The Luv Bug Mix) 8. Rick James - Big Time 9. Patrick Cowley - Get A Little (12" Mix) 10. Modern Romance - Can You Move (12" Mix) 11. Persia – Inch By Inch 12. Raul De Souza - Sweet Lucy" (12" Mix) Disc: 2 1. Basic Black - Don't Make Me Fall In Love 2. Mr. Fingers - Mystery Of Love (Dub Mix) 3. Electribe 101 - Tell Me When The Fever Ended 4. Yazoo - Situation (Re-Recorded Remix) 5. The Broads - Sing Sing Sing (Mega Be-Bop) 6. Jamie Principle - Baby Wants To Ride (House of Trix) 7. Alexander Robotnick – Problemes D'amour 8. A Guy Called Gerald - Trip City (Milton Keynes Mix) 9. Jean-Paul Gaultier - How To Do That 10. John Rocca – Move 11. Romanthony - Let Me Show You Love 12. Lood Feat. Donell Rush - Shout-N-Out

    2004, Feb 11; 15:13 :::: house music
  • Deja Vu - Those Nervous Tracks 1991-2003 (2003) - Various Artists [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Disc: 1 1. Feel it - Niceguy Soulman 2. Yeah - Swing Kids 3. Fifth Street orchestration - Classic Man 4. Loves ecstasy - Van Helden, Armand & Jungle Juice 5. Praise - Sample Choir 6. Close the door (BOP mix) - 'N Sync 7. Second thought - Deep Penetration & The Brothers Warren 8. Let it go - Soul Brothers & Joi Cardwell 9. Movin' up - DJ Mike Cruz & Inaya Day/China Ro 10. Paradise - Pride & Byron Stingly/Norma Jean/Jasper Street 11. Caves of Altimira - E-Man 12. Treat me right - English, Kim Disc: 2 1. Intro - Various Artists 2. Feel it - Tiko & Groove/Dawn Tallman 3. Reign over twilight - Gigolo Supreme 4. Happy - Stingily, Byron 5. Yeah get down - Joshua, Maurice & Reunion Project 6. Little girl - Viola 7. During peak hours - Club Kids 8. Little girl (original club mix) - Viola 9. Sweet chariot - Club Artists United 10. Rain - Chandler, Kerri 11. Love don't let me down - Umosia 12. Nervous track - Nu Yorican Soul 13. Treat me right (Jon Cutler remix) - English, Kim

    2004, Feb 11; 15:13 :::: house music
  • Move Your Body (2003) - Various Artists mixed by Marshall Jefferson [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Mind games - Quest (3) 2. Love can't turn around - Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk 3. No way back - Adonis 4. I've lost control - Sleazy D 5. Move your body - Jefferson, Marshall 6. Your love - Frankie Knuckles & Jamie Principle 7. You used to hold me - Rosario, Ralphi & Xavier Gold 8. Time marches on - Jungle Wonz 9. Acid tracks - Phuture 10. Can you feel it - Mr. Fingers 11. Someday - Rogers, Cece 12. Devotion - Ten City 13. Open your eyes - Jefferson, Marshall & Truth 14. Ain't no mountain high enough - Inner Life 15. Let no man out asunder - First Choice (1) 16. I can't turn around - Hayes, Isaac 17. Music is the key - Silk, J.M. 18. Like this - Chip E & House People 19. Moody - ESG 20. Don't make me wait - Peech Boys 21. You don't know - Serious Intention 22. Mystery of love - Fingers Inc. 23. String free - Phortune 24. I'll never let you go - William S 25. 7 ways - Hercules 26. You've got that something - Logg 27. Caught up in a one night love affair - Inner Life 28. Always there - Side Effects 29. Music's got me - Visual 30. Somehow someway - Visual 31. You saved my day - Lynn, Cheryl 32. Come and go with me - Pockets

    2004, Feb 11; 15:03 :::: Larry Levan
  • Larry Levan: Greatest Salsoul Mixes (2003) - Various Artists [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Aint No Mountain High Enough - Inner Life 2. How High - The Salsoul Orchestra 3. By The Way You Dance - Bunny Sigler 4. Handsome Man - Sparkle 5. Double Cross - First Choice 6. The Greatest Performance Of My Life - Loleatta Holloway 7. Crying - Instant Funk 8. When I Come Home - Aurra 9. I Know You Will - Logg 10. I Got My Mind Made Up - Instant Funk 11. First Time Around - Skyy 12. Its Just Begun - Jimmy Castor Bunch 13. Everybody - Instant Funk 14. Summertime Lovin - Steve Arrington 15. Skyzoo - Skyy 16. Slap Slap Lickedy Lap - Instant Funk 17. High - Skyy 18. Bodyshine - Instant Funk 19. Make It Last Forever - Inner Life

    2004, Feb 11; 14:55 :::: dance
  • Love Saves the Day: A History of American Dance Music Culture, 1970-1979 (2004) - Tim Lawrence [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Opening with David Mancuso's seminal "Love Saves the Day" Valentine's party, Tim Lawrence tells the definitive story of American dance music culture in the 1970s—from its subterranean roots in NoHo and Hell's Kitchen to its gaudy blossoming in midtown Manhattan to its wildfire transmission through America's suburbs and urban hotspots such as Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Newark, and Miami.

    Tales of nocturnal journeys, radical music making, and polymorphous sexuality flow through the arteries of Love Saves the Day like hot liquid vinyl. They are interspersed with a detailed examination of the era's most powerful DJs, the venues in which they played, and the records they loved to spin—as well as the labels, musicians, vocalists, producers, remixers, party promoters, journalists, and dance crowds that fuelled dance music's tireless engine.

    Love Saves the Day includes material from over three hundred original interviews with the scene's most influential players, including David David Mancuso, Nicky Siano, Tom Moulton, Loleatta Holloway, Giorgio Moroder, Francis Grasso, Frankie Knuckles, and Earl Young. It incorporates more than twenty special DJ discographies—listing the favorite records of the most important spinners of the disco decade—and a more general discography cataloguing some 600 releases. Love Saves the Day also contains a unique collection of more than seventy rare photos. --amazon.com

    2004, Feb 10; 19:47 :::: parody
  • A Theory of Parody: The Teachings of Twentieth-Century Art Forms (2001) - Linda Hutcheon [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Linda Hutcheon's A Theory of Parody is one of the most important theoretical books of the decade not only on parody but also on postmodernism. The dispute over the worth of postmodern art revolves around one of its most striking features, i.e. the outburst of intertextuality in the form of parody and pastiche. This proliferation of parody has been described as an exhaustion of creativity, appropriation of the property of others, borrowing, pirating, and cannibalisation; all of which descriptions are quite derogative. Parodists have, therefore, been considered minor artists, who take out their spite on acclaimed authors by ridiculing them. Linda Hutcheon's views on parody are far more positive and allows us to analyse contemporary writers and give them their due worth. She claims that postmodern parody has changed in its essentials when it became an imitation with critical distance. It is a highly sophisticated genre and has come to be almost an autonomous literary form. It is, in fact, a form of literary criticism. According to her, parody is "repetition with critical distance;" it is "stylistic confrontation," a modern re-coding which establishes "difference at the heart of similarity." In short, in order for one to criticise any modern work of art, I believe that her theory becomes an essential tool, since it enables us to establish the relations between the work of art and all the included references, allusions and quotations, and moreover, to discover the evaluative judgement the author expresses on both the parodied texts and on his/her own text. Hutcheon's theory on parody helps us understand better what happens to the quotation from a canonical text when it is transported into a postmodern text which uses fragmentation and irony to subvert the original meaning. Conversely, Parodies offer a dialogue and a re-evaluation of the past in the light of the present, and a critical view of present from the perspective of the past. --kalinin@terra.com.br for amazon.com

    2004, Feb 10; 19:28 :::: television

    The Rough Guide to Cult TV (2002) - Paul Simpson [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]

    ‘I hate television. I hate it as much as I hate peanuts
    but I can’t stop eating peanuts’
    Orson Welles

    Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin. There is, alas, no hard scientific formula for deciding whether a TV programme is cult or not. You can pore over the definition in the Oxford English Dictionary (which will invoke such ideas as religious worship, homage and fashion) but ultimately whether a show is cult or not is as personal a decision as whether you preferred Jenny Hanley to Valerie Singleton, or World Of Sport (with its breathtaking coverage of the World Target Clown Diving Championships from Florida) to Grandstand.

    But certain qualities help define what’s cult. An obvious and irritating sign is that ‘Four Yorkshiremen’ moment when your peers quote huge chunks of dialogue to each other and titter. But one besotted viewer does not a cult make; it takes at least two to swap allusions and in-jokes.

    Swift and irrational condemnation by the legendary Mary Whitehouse once helped many shows become cult. Since she departed to the green room in the sky, the Daily Mail has done its best. But it’s not the same. The indignation needs to be dispensed by a woman who looks like the result of a genetic experiment involving Dame Edna Everage and Barbara Woodhouse to be truly effective.

    Nor is a show’s cult status directly related to its quality. A cult programme can be inspirationally great (like The Singing Detective), so weird that even regular viewers aren’t sure what’ll happen next (Spike Milligan’s Q series) or, like Crossroads, as cheesy and as full of holes as Switzerland’s annual output of Emmental. It takes a certain nerve to set a soap opera in the glamour-free zone that is the Midlands, shooting every scene in one take even if the set began to shake, and start a glorious tradition whereby characters aren’t written out but simply forgotten. In 1967, Benny Wilmott, a teenager who ran the coffee bar, was told by Meg Richardson to ‘go out and buy a bag of sugar’, an errand from which he had still not returned when the show closed 20 years later.

    A cult show is usually an original. In 1971, American humorist Fred Allen noted, ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of television.’ The industry’s default mode is to repeat a success until the repetitions stop being successful, which is why most of the time it’s the originals we cherish, Monty Python rather than The Goodies, Morecambe And Wise not Hale And Pace (whom Victor Lewis-Smith accurately described as ‘the world’s only known comedy double act consisting of two straight men’). For most of us, Hamish Macbeth is a work of subtlety and Monarch Of The Glen is a poor copy with the quirkiness removed to make space for extra shortbread. Catchphrases help, be they as blatant as ‘Nice to see you to see you...’ (there is something almost Pavlovian in the way we all feel obliged to shout ‘nice!’) as apparently innocuous as ‘Are you sure that’s wise?’ or even ‘Hands that do dishes can be soft as your face.’

    A programme’s cult value isn’t just determined by the show itself – we play our part. Children’s susceptibility to media influence is debated by sociologists, leader writers, programme-makers and politicians. Yet the influence, good or ill, is obvious in the number of programmes, one-liners and slogans that enter our young brains to pop up at random for the rest of our lives. For Britons of a certain age, there was a time in their lives when Biddy Baxter was one of the most important people in the world, almost as eminent as the prime minister, a remote god-like figure who moved in mysterious ways to produce the wonder that was Blue Peter. Many of the shows which have stuck with us were those we saw before we grew up (or before we reached the age at which we are officially deemed to have grown up): Roobarb, Tiswas, The Demon Headmaster, et al. This isn’t always true, but it’s true an awful lot of the time. --PaulSimpson

    2004, Feb 10; 19:26 :::: popular music

    The Rough Guide to Cult Pop (2003) - Paul Simpson [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Guide to Cult Pop" is devoted to pop music, the tacky, catchy yet endearing music we grew up listening to when we should have been listening to something more profound. It celebrates the hits, the singers, the impresarios and the songs which have made up the soundtrack to our lives. Providing an entertaining look at the artists from Britney to Blue and the number one hits from Billy Jean to Billy Don't Be a Hero, the guide tells the stories behind the chart-toppers and all the key chart statistics. The decades of pop are broken down into genres, complete with recommended discographies of the best and the weirdest.

    2004, Feb 10; 19:19 :::: cult movies

    The Rough Guide to Cult Movies (2001) - Paul Simpson [Amazon US][FR] [DE] [UK]
    For almost as long as I can remember, movies were always important, an event, like church, the only difference being that the queue to get in to see Jungle Book was a fair bit longer. But movies took you out of yourself, made you belong to something, a quasi-religious experience if you like. Which is why, today, whenever I go to the cinema, I spend the first minutes of every movie worrying in case the audience is going to talk all the way through it. This book has something to do with all that but it really exists for one reason only – to increase your enjoyment of the movies. If you want a thoroughly exhaustive reference work, put this back on the shelf now. If you want a film buff’s guide to cinema as an art form, sorry. Or if you want a list of the cast and crew on every film, best go elsewhere, there are certain websites we’d recommend. But if you want several hundred socking good reasons to visit your local rep house, watch a late-night rarity on TV or splash out on that DVD movie you’ve been promising yourself, you’ll find them in here. There are no dull films in this book. Mad films, yes. Great films, certainly. Films that provoke fierce disputes as to whether they’re well cool or, well, crap: you bet. So if your ambition is to spend even more of your life watching films than you already do, this should serve you well. Now go. Use it wisely. And may the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end at least once. --Paul Simpson

    2004, Feb 08; 15:46 :::: Marcel Proust
    "True variety is in that plenitude of real and unexpected elements." --attributed to Marcel Proust in Journeys by DJ, Desert Island Mix (2002) - Gilles Peterson [Amazon US]

    Remembrance of Things Past - Marcel Proust [Amazon US][FR] [DE] [UK]
    Marcel Proust whiled away the first half of his life as a self-conscious aesthete and social climber. The second half he spent in the creation of the mighty roman-fleuve that is Remembrance of Things Past, memorializing his own dandyism and parvenu hijinks even as he revealed their essential hollowness. Proust begins, of course, at the beginning--with the earliest childhood perceptions and sorrows. Then, over several thousand pages, he retraces the course of his own adolescence and adulthood, democratically dividing his experiences among the narrator and a sprawling cast of characters. Who else has ever decanted life into such ornate, knowing, wrought-iron sentences? Who has subjected love to such merciless microscopy, discriminating between the tiniest variations of desire and self-delusion? Who else has produced a grief-stricken record of time's erosion that can also make you laugh for entire pages? The answer to all these questions is: nobody. --amazon.com

    2004, Feb 08; 09:31 :::: women
    Alain Aslan I always felt out of place in 20th-century abstract expresssionism Art, which negates all the well-established rules agreed upon over milleniums. Art was born universally figurative, 35,000 years ago, without consensus or other possible influence. Throughout the ages, painters and sculptors have used nature as a means of expressing their feelings, their emotions and their thoughts. Abstact expressionism surfaced in the aftermath of WW II, in 1945, and lasted only 50 years. It was art for greed, the ludicrous art of the "Nouveau riche" and of the "Snobs" (contraction of "Sans" (without) Noblesse"). It was the era of paintings and sculptures sold as investment, often over the telephone ! As for my contribution to this half-century, I would describe myself as an "intimate hyper-figurative" painter and sculptor. I am in love with nature and its laws; I paint and sculpt "woman" the most beautiful subject ever given to artists, because it is inexhaustible and eternal. I am neither a sculptor nor a painter of my time, but of all time ! Alain Gourdon Aka "Aslan", January 2000 --http://www.aaslan.com

    2004, Feb 07; 09:47 :::: house music
  • Evolution of New Sounds (2004) - Large Records[Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Pete Hecher -Funkdafied GU-Trust Roy Davis Jr.-Soul Music Pete Hecher-Respect 2 Giorgio Kerri Chandler -The Fix is U Roy Davis Jr.-Paradise Jay-J & Macari-Hold on to You Solar House-Decisions Pete Moss-Deep Desires Natural Rhythm-Nu Bionics

    Large Music presents "Evolution of New Sounds", a potent mix of dubby & dark electric grooves created by our exclusive group of top dance floor scientists. Working around the clock in our top secret sound lab, our brave team mixed and poured until they found the perfect dancefloor blend. A pinch of techno, a dab of electro, and a full cup of soul form the new sounds that are featured in this extraordinary collection. Canadian Peter Hecher gets things started here with the robotic-influenced masterpiece entitled Funkdified. The vibe continues as guest stars Roy Davis Jr., Kerri Chandler, Chicago’s Glen Underground, and Grammy award nominee Jay-J all make an appearance. Our sound experiment concludes with two great tracks from nu-school dance artists Pete Moss and Natural Rhythm. This is a timeless collection for brave dance floor enthusiasts --Jeff Craven

    2004, Feb 05; 22:40 :::: computer
    IBM's 5100, the world's first personal computer (1975) Information Age: According to Manuel Castells, the Information Age (or Informationalism, in contrast with Industrialism) started in the technological divide of 1970s, with inventions like the microprocessor, microcomputer, optical fiber, and TCP/IP protocol -- the basis of the technological system in which we are full immersed today. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_Age

    Computers in fiction: to formulate a coherent history of computers in fiction, the best place to begin may be Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, published in 1726. Swift presents an inventor who has constructed a gigantic machine designed to allow "the most ignorant Person" to "write Books in Philosophy, Poetry, Politicks, Law, Mathematicks and Theology." This "Engine" contains myriad "Bits" crammed with all the words of a language, "all linked together by slender Wires" that can be turned by cranks, thus generating all possible linguistic combinations. Squads of scribes produce hard copy by recording any sequence of words that seems to make sense. --H. Bruce Franklin, http://newark.rutgers.edu/~hbf/compulit.htm

    2004, Feb 05; 21:44 :::: new media
  • The Language of New Media (2002) - Lev Manovich [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    In this book Lev Manovich offers the first systematic and rigorous theory of new media. He places new media within the histories of visual and media cultures of the last few centuries. He discusses new media's reliance on conventions of old media, such as the rectangular frame and mobile camera, and shows how new media works create the illusion of reality, address the viewer, and represent space. He also analyzes categories and forms unique to new media, such as interface and database. Manovich uses concepts from film theory, art history, literary theory, and computer science and also develops new theoretical constructs, such as cultural interface, spatial montage, and cinegratography. The theory and history of cinema play a particularly important role in the book. Among other topics, Manovich discusses parallels between the histories of cinema and of new media, digital cinema, screen and montage in cinema and in new media, and historical ties between avant-garde film and new media.

    2004, Feb 05; 21:44 :::: new media
    The History of Art and Technology : Syllabus * Spring 2002, -- Jason Ditmars

    Does new media art differ from "traditional" art? --Simon Bigss

    2004, Feb 05; 10:51 :::: grotesque
    Bomarzo is a small town, located near Viterbo, Italy on the road to Orta.

    It is the Orsini family's hereditary fief. The Castle rises at the edge of this small town.

    The residence's gardens were created by Vicino Orsini, the Duke of Bomarzo. He was born in 1528 and died in 1588. An educated humanist, he was interested in the Arts and was their patron. He devoted his life to the happiness of his House and his wife, Julia Farnese. After Julia Farnese's death, he created the plan for this garden.

    He didn't call this garden a giardino, but Bosco Sacro, a Sacred Grove or Bosco dei Monstri, the Monsters' grove. Monster must be understood in the Latin meaning of monstrare, which means to show and demonstrate. This then means that from stop to stop, from stage to stage, each element is a component of an immense, very neoplatonic poem to his lost love. To create this garden, he called on one of the greatest landscapers and architects of his time, Pirro Ligorio.

    All the Italian princes came to visit, as did innumerable foreign travelers. Unfortunately, as with most of the Renaissance gardens, the work was neglected.

    When it was revisited in the beginning of this century, it was overgrown with trees, everything was half collapsed, all of which merely gave the garden an even more fantastic aspect. It was at this time that André Pieyre de Mandiargue visited and wrote a sublime treatise on the sleeping garden of Bomarzo.

    Salvador Dali and Cocteau, the surrealists, discussed it at great length. Bomarzo is in fashion. --http://www.bergerfoundation.ch/Jardin/bomarzo.intro_english.html

    2004, Feb 05; 10:51 :::: grotesque
    Bologna, Giovanni or Giambologna, 1524–1608, Flemish sculptor, whose real name was Jean Bologne or Boulogne. Though born in Douai, France, he trained in Flanders. He is identified chiefly with the Italian Renaissance as one of its greatest sculptors. He lived briefly in Rome before moving to Florence. His masterpiece, Flying Mercury, is in the Bargello, Florence. The Rape of the Sabines (Florence), with its spiraling forms and multiple viewpoints, is one of the finest examples of mannerist sculpture. This work exerted a profound influence on later art. Among his other works are the equestrian statues in Florence of the Medicis, one of Ferdinand I (see Browning’s poem “The Statue and the Bust”) and another of Cosimo I; two fountains in the Boboli Gardens, Florence; the bronze doors of the cathedral in Pisa; a Neptune fountain in Bologna; and the colossal statue Apennines at Pratolino. There are two of Giambologna’s elegant s

    2004, Feb 04; 22:23 :::: postmodernism
    Terms Used by Postmodernists
    THE FOLLOWING TERMS are presented in alphabetical order; however, someone beginning to learn about these theorists needs to stay conscious of the fact that each major theorist uses particular terms in his or her particular way. It is especially important to keep this in mind when it comes to postmodernsim since critics are diametrically opposed on the issue of whether postmodernism is positive or negative in its consequences for the human condition. I have indicated those terms that are particularly tied to an individual theorist, as well as those terms that are used differently by two different critics. --Felluga, Dino. "Terms Used by Postmodernists." Introductory Guide to Critical Theory.[Nov. 28, 2003]. Purdue U. [Feb 4, 2004]. http://www.sla.purdue.edu/academic/engl/theory/postmodernism/terms/termsmainframe.html

    I found the above page when Googling for Sontag+kitsch+camp+nostalgia. The bit about camp is interesting:

    Camp: A sensibility that revels in artifice, stylization, theatricalization, irony, playfulness, and exaggeration rather than content, as Susan Sontag famously defined the term in her short essay, "Notes on 'Camp'." According to Sontag, "Camp sensibility is disengaged, depoliticized—or at least apolitical"; however, some postmodernists, feminists, and queer theorists have explored the ways that camp (for example, the drag show) can trouble the belief that gender is "natural" or inherent, and can therefore work against heteronormativity. As Sontag argues, "Not all homosexuals have Camp taste. But homosexuals, by and large, constitute the vanguard—and the most articulate audience—of Camp." By exaggerating sexual characteristics and personality mannerisms, such queer-inflected camp could be said to contend that all behavior is really performative. Camp is also tied to postmodernism. As Sontag puts it, "Camp sees everything in quotation marks. It's not a lamp, but a 'lamp'; not a woman, but a 'woman.'" In this way, the term resembles Linda Hutcheon's very similar understanding of parody, which Hutcheon offers as one of the major characteristics of postmodern art. Camp's relationship to kitsch is a close one; camp could be said to be a self-conscious kitsch. As Sontag writes, "Many examples of Camp are things which, from a 'serious' point of view, are either bad art or kitsch," though she also acknowledges that "some art which can be approached as Camp... merits the most serious admiration and study." Sontag also distinguishes between "pure camp," which amounts to a kitsch that takes itself so seriously that we can now see it as hilarious (in other words, the camp sensibility is on the side of the audience not the author of the work), and "Camp which knows itself to be camp" and is, therefore, already making fun of itself. (Click here for Sontag's article.)

    2004, Feb 03; 22:26 :::: record collecting

    Phase 1: Discovery. This is the most wonderful time of all, when the world seems full of an almost limitless number of masterpieces crying for your attention. The only constraint on your enthusiasm is your pocketbook, and you do whatever you can to purchase as much as possible as quickly as possible.

    Phase 2: Expansion. You notice that the same music sounds different in different performances, and so you begin collecting multiple versions of your favorite works and start to get a sense for which artists offer interpretations that are most to your liking. You smile knowingly when friends and family members ask the perfectly logical question: Why do you need 15 different recordings of Mahler’s Second Symphony? Foolish people!

    Phase 3: Fandom. Your taste in various performers leads you to fixate on one or two (or more) who you believe hold the key to indisputable artistic greatness. Now instead of purchasing multiple recordings of the same music, you’re after multiple recordings of the same music by the same artist at different periods (sometimes only a few days apart). You begin looking for pirate air-checks, private recordings, every scrap you can get your hands on, no matter if it sounds awful and your idol might have had a really bad day. You MUST have it anyway. You find great signficance in relatively tiny interpretive differences from one performance to the next.

    The next four phases are not necessarily the inevitable outcomes of the first three, and not every hard-core collector experiences all of them, but most eventually manage at least one or two.

    Phase 4: Nostalgia. This is a transitional phase: now comes that terrifying moment when you feel that you’ve heard it all. You’ve mastered the basic repertoire and know all of the great performers, those you like and those you don’t, and have reached the dreaded Great Works Saturation Point. What’s missing in your life is the thrill of discovery: that first flush of enthusiasm for each masterpiece as it first sounded when you originally encountered it.

    Phase 5: Crusade. Happily salvation is at hand, in the form of dozens of fine independent labels specializing in all sorts of repertoire niches just waiting to be explored. There are two principal dangers with this phase (not including possible bankruptcy). The first is the inevitable and chronic lack of shelf space, a difficulty avoided as you make your first trips to that fabulous musical safety-valve, the used CD shop. The second danger is the tendency, similar to what happens in phase 3 above, to make exaggerated claims for music that really isn’t all that special or interesting just because its novelty excites your fancy. People will look at you strangely as you vigorously try to defend the assertion that Havergal Brian was England’s greatest composer, Sorabji a genius, or that Beethoven was a musical pygmy compared to Ferdinand Ries. This phase can go on for years, with literally thousands of discs passing through a typical collector’s hands in an endless crusade for that Holy Grail of classical music: the neglected masterpiece. If you seriously believe that the “three Bs” means Bax, Boughton, and Bach (W.F. of course!), then you’ve gone too far, and it’s really time to move on to Phase 6.

    Phase 6: Renewal. One day, as you look through the letter B in your carefully alphabetized collection, you see those 40 or 50 Beethoven cycles that you haven’t touched in months, or even years. Playing the symphonies, just for old time’s sake, you’re stunned to realize that they truly are light years better than the second rate novelties that have constituted your main musical diet lately. So you move on to Brahms, Mozart, Handel, Mahler, Haydn, Bach, even (gasp!) Tchaikovsky, and Richard Strauss. It’s as if you’re hearing them all for the first time--and how alive, how refreshing they all sound! You fall in love with the great classics all over again, and you realize that the judgment of history isn’t always wrong. They don’t call ‘em “warhorses” for nothing!

    Phase 7: Maturity. If you’re lucky, you may get this far. You realize that it’s not necessary to own 50 Beethoven cycles, 46 of which you never play, when you can be just as happy with 20 of them, 16 of which you never play. The complete harmonium music of Siegfried Karg-Elert, that Bulgarian Mahler cycle, 20 or 30 Gregorian Chant collections, six copies of the same historical recording reissued on six different labels in marginally varying (terrible) sound quality, your cherished 12 CD box containing pirate recordings of Sviatislav Richter’s “legendary” Spandau Prison concerts, and literally dozens of Baroque operas about which you remember nothing beyond the fact that they all sound exactly the same--all of these go straight to the used CD store where, like lost umbrellas, they will be returned to circulation to nourish the next generation of classical CD collectors. And as for you, well, you still purchase new releases, but discretely, selectively, and you take the time to enjoy every one. --David Hurwitz, http://www.classicstoday.com/Classics/ConcertReview_ASPFiles/ViewConcertReview.asp?Action=User&ID=333

    2004, Feb 03; 10:08 :::: rap

    Rap music is truly an American minority artist creation of which students need to be proud. Unfortunately, rap music is not perceived by many Americans as an art form, but as a fad which they hope will soon fade away. One of my intentions with my unit is to show that rap music is not a fad, but a musical art form that has been around for over 20 years in the United States.

    In fact, one can trace the history of rap back to the West African professional singers/storytellers known as Griots. However, it is not my intention to discuss in my unit the connection between the Griots and American rap music. Although, I will assign my students the task of doing a brief report on the African Griots prior to beginning my unit to help illustrate to my students that rapping has a long and illustrious history. I strongly suggest that anyone using my unit do the same.

    My unit is intended for middle school or high school students who are studying American history. One can not study American rap music without studying what is known as the 'Hip Hop' culture. Rap is an integral part of this subculture that did not evolve or exist in isolation from its other major components. Thus, one of my unit objectives will be to not only discuss and study rap music but also the other major parts of this subculture.

    'Hip Hop' culture was also comprised of graffiti, break dancing, and the attitude and dress of the people who subscribed to the mores and traditions of this subculture. Another objective of my unit will be to examine the influence Jamaican music had on American rap music. Finally, I intend to examine some of the major American rap artists and their styles and the technology which played a major role in the evolution of rap music in the United States.

    According to my research all sources seem to point to the Bronx in New York City as the origin for the 'Hip Hop' culture. The first major component of this subculture I wish to explore is the graffiti aspect. Prior to discussing this aspect students need to know what conditions or events existed in the Bronx which fostered the development of the 'Hip Hop' culture.

    Steven Hager in his book, "Hip Hop; the Illustrated History of Break Dancing, Rap Music and Graffiti," states that there were three major events which took place in the Bronx which led to the birth of this subculture. First, in 1959 Parks Commissioner Rober Moses began building an expressway through the heart of the Bronx. As a result, the middle class Italian, German, Irish, and Jewish neighborhoods disappeared overnight. In addition, businesses and factories relocated and left this borough. (I intend on having a map of New York City available to show my students where the Bronx is located at this point in my unit.

    I also plan on writing to the city of New York to inquire if a map exists which depicts the Bronx and the expressway construction back in 1959. I would advise anyone using my unit to do the same.) These exiting middle classes and businesses were replaced by poor black and Hispanic families. Accompanying these poor people were crime, drug addiction, and unemployment.

    The second major event which occurred once again under the direction of Parks Commissioner Robert Moses would siphon off a majority of what was left of the middle class in the Bronx. This event occurred in 1968 with the completion of a 15,382 unit co-op apartment complex on the northern edge of the Bronx near an expressway. This project fostered and accelerated the Bronx middle class exodus from comfortable and well-kept apartments. As a result of the skyrocketing vacancy rates reputable landlords began selling out to professional slumlords. As a consequence of this action the Bronx deteriorated into a neighborhood with many unkept and vacant buildings.

    The Bronx in this deteriorating condition fell prey to the third major event which led to the direct development of the graffiti aspect of the ‘Hip Hop’ culture. This event occurred in 1968 and coincided with Robert Moses’ second major project in the Bronx, the Co-Op City. It should be noted that these last two events were not related. This third event involved a group of seven teenage boys who began terrorizing the vicinity around the Bronxdale Project on Bruckner Boulevard in the southeast Bronx. This may not seem important, but this group of teenagers laid the groundwork for a surge of street gang activity that would overwhelm the Bronx for the next six years. This group at first called itself the Savage Seven, but as more members joined, the group changed its name to the Black Spades. Overnight street gangs appeared on every corner of the Bronx. It should be noted that Afrika Bambaataa (who from time to time in my unit will be referred to as Bam), who had a tremendous effect on rap music and the ‘Hip Hop’ culture and who will be discussed at length in another section of my unit, was a member and leader of the Black Spades at one time. I bring this point up to illustrate that many rappers in the ‘Hip Hop’ subculture were gang members at some time in their life. --Henry A. Rhodes, http://www.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/1993/4/93.04.04.x.html

    2004, Feb 02; 11:03 :::: hipness
    Hipness has become a heavier and heavier burden with the passage of the decades. What the hepcats had to master to be hep was a manageable number of gestures, attitudes and musical fashions, mostly native to their uptown New York or Southside Chicago milieu. What the beatnik-circa-1958 had to master to be hip was an expanded list--including, but not limited to, bebop, existentialism, Paul Klee, Glenn Gould, William Blake and Buddhism.

    But what the late '90s would-be hip guy or gal has to master (or pretend to master) just to stay in the game keeps growing exponentially. Modern avant-garde art from Delacroix to Mike Kelley. Pop culture from Louis Jordan to Xena the Warrior Princess. Film from the Lumiere brothers to John Woo. You have to be intimately familiar with King Sunny Ade records and know what acid house is. You have to be no stranger to kink: Bob Flanagan, Jim Thompson, Ed Gein. You have to have at least a nodding acquaintance with Walter Benjamin, Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes.

    And that's only the core curriculum, so to speak. If you decide to major in hipness, then you're expected to go absolutely all the way. The hip film jock, for instance, should not only have favorite early '70s Hong Kong sex comedies and German Alpine films but also be prepared to argue the merits of Japanese versus Belgian raw video stock. It just never ends, and I think that the sheer magnitude of it makes people cold and grumpy. --Jon Spayde, From the December 31, 1997-January 7, 1998 issue of Metro Santa Cruz, http://www.metroactive.com/papers/cruz/12.31.97/hip-9753.html

    2004, Feb 02; 00:02 :::: fashion
    I think that what we are witnessing is a trend toward street fashion having more dynamism globally than high fashion. In this context, Tokyo is a city where everyone seems particularly good at catching news about the latest fashion trends, and young people in particular are ardent in their desire to be in the know, so it quickly becomes known what is hot and what is not. That being so, I think it is easy for fashion professionals to judge what are likely to be new fashion trends from what they see worn on the streets of Tokyo. --Emiko Oku, http://www.fpcj.jp/e/gyouji/br/2003/030304.html

    2004, Feb 01; 16:12 :::: Helmut Newton dies in car crash, January 24th, 2004
  • Helmut Newton's SUMO - Helmut Newton, June Newton (Editor) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Bringing an entirely new slant to the concept of the coffee-table book, SUMO is a suitably enormous homage to 79-year-old Helmut Newton, the master of subversive and erotic photography. "I wanted to build a monument to the most important photographer of the 20th century," comments Benedikt Taschen, the publisher behind SUMO. He delivers. Weighing over 65 pounds, measuring more than two feet long, and breaking any previous size record in book publishing, SUMO contains 480 pages of every aspect of Newton's outstanding career in photography. Each copy of the book is bound by hand and numbered and signed by the artist. In order to showcase this colossus, the book is packaged with its own stand designed by Philippe Starck.

    This outsized volume contains the body of Newton's controversial yet iconographic work, documenting fashion, fetishism, and above all an overriding obsession with voyeurism that can make the viewer feel complicit or uneasy by turns. Newton himself describes SUMO as "terrifying and outrageous. I don't even look at it as a book.... I look at it as an object." --Catherine Taylor, Amazon.co.uk

    2004, Feb 01; 15:11 :::: Catherine Breillat
    Anatomie de l'enfer (Anatomy of Hell) (2004)

    With her characteristically unflinching gaze and courage, Breillat takes her exploration of sexuality, desire and the relationship between men and women to the limit. A pure, painterly, often surreal study in sex and the body.

    He doesn't like women. She will pay him to look at her, as she says, 'from the angle from which she should never be viewed'. It will cost you, he says. She says: I'll pay you. So begins Anatomie de l'enfer, based on Breillat's own novel Pornocratie. Following this post-night club encounter, the film moves to its sole location: a house in the middle of nowhere, perched on the cliffs. Over four nights, the man makes his way to this sparsely decorated house to meet this beautiful woman. If the nature of their encounter would seem to follow the formula of an erotic film, Breillat takes us far beyond such a mundane premise, as one would expect from a film maker who over ten films has explored, often with searing intensity and a relentless gaze, the relationship between men and women and the nature of female desire. While the spare interiors, the careful arrangement and framing of these bodies in space, and the enormously delicate photography make this perhaps Breillat's most composed, painterly film, Anatomie de l'enfer also takes us to the end of the road that began so directly with her first film. `This time I have decided to see it through to the end. I have decided that I couldn't go any further, that the Xth would be the conclusion of a decalogue. The X of X-rated film.' Catherine Breillat once again proves herself to be one of the most risk-taking and challenging of contemporary directors. --http://www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com/en/film/26340.html


    2004, Feb 01; 11:08 :::: Chelsea
    More talked about than seen since its debut, The Chelsea Girls, Andy Warhol’s infamous double-projected dive into a demimonde he created, is getting a rare theatrical revival. It’s hard to imagine that this experience — it’s as much spectacle as film, really — was His Pastiness’s first honest-to-god cinematic success. After years of showing his movies to his methed-up Factory friends and the stray camp follower who wandered in off the street, and perhaps because his time had simply come, Warhol was able to sell these “girls” to the hip mainstream. The Chelsea Girls was reviewed in The New York Times and many another venue, raked in a cool (for Warhol) $300,000 in six months of exhibition, and became one of the gaudiest baubles on the charm bracelet of the urban culture vulture circa 1966.--Gary Morris http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/37/chelsea.htm

    2004, Jan 31; 22:21 :::: counterculture
  • Swimming Underground: My Years in the Warhol Factory - Mary Woronov, Billy Name (Photographer) [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Woronov (Wake for the Angels) was a Cornell undergraduate when she was "discovered" by Andy Warhol protege Gerard Malanga and suddenly found herself drawn into Warhol's notorious circle of counterculture hipsters. Seduced by the decadent glamour of the scene that revolved around Warhol's famous Factory, a world where "wanting was better than having, looking was better than being-it was the land of reflections," Woronov dropped out of college, appeared in several of Warhol's underground movies, notably Chelsea Girls, and embraced the weird fascinations of New York City's '60s drug culture. Here she weaves a vivid, impressionistic account of her time in Warhol's inner circle, a chapter in her life that came to an end when her addiction to speed got out of hand. Beginning in a tone of youthful excitement and slowly descending into one of frenetic despair, these memoirs are highly compelling and offer insightful portraits of such Factory notables as Lou Reed, Ondine and Nico. Woronov's prose is often dazzling; while she notes that Warhol himself was "uncomfortable with words," she proves herself a wordsmith. Her writing alone makes this an engrossing read. --From Publishers Weekly, amazon.com

    2004, Jan 31; 21:36 :::: photography
  • Devil's Playground (2003) - Nan Goldin [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Dating mostly from 2000 to 2002, this latest collection of photos from '80s star Goldin broadens her exploration of intimacy to take in first loves and births, along with the usual chronicling of accidents and illnesses, drug addiction and recovery, age and loss among friends and family. Throughout this nearly 12"×9" collection, the body is always primary, and often unabashedly fleshy. The ease with which Goldin captures her friends and relatives showering, relaxing on a bed, or in the midst of lovemaking is impressive, establishing both the reality of the moment while simultaneously bathing her subjects in her loving, third-party glow. Texts include pieces by Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave, along with New York downtowners John Giorno and the late Cookie Mueller. While Goldin's work is often compared to Diane Arbus's, in that both photographed the so-called "marginal" members of society, rather than using the lens as a distancing, voyeuristic tool, Goldin equalizes viewer and viewed. Through the lens of familiarity, the photo becomes less an exploitation than a connection. Homosexual, transvestite, straight, scarred, tattooed or simply uniquely shaped, everyone has relations-and Goldin does not exempt herself, as two sections in the book follow her struggle against heroin addition. While the 460 shots here are printed in gorgeous color, many of the photos are unfortunately situated across a two-page spread, with the central human figure often disappearing or elided into the gutter, at odds with the overall intention of the collection. --amazon.com

    Nan Goldin’s book The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was one of the most influential series of photographs of the 1980's. It was originally presented as a slide show accompanied by a rock soundtrack and brought an intimate, even amateur, use of photography into the arena of contemporary art. It is a pictorial journey, documenting, with total candour, Goldin’s ‘extended family’ of Bohemian friends, drug addicts, transvestites, clubbers and battered lovers. The images are particularly powerful because of the photographer's involvement with her subjects over a 20 year period. --http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/photography/photographerframe.php?photographerid=ph027

    2004, Jan 31; 17:54 :::: women, Andy Warhol
  • Edie in Ciao! Manhattan (1972) - David Weisman, John Palmer (II) [Amazon US]
    Fact and fiction collide in the cult classic Ciao! Manhattan, which was billed as "the film that wrote itself." The unexpectedly poignant tale is based on the life of "Superstar" Edie Sedgwick, who plays a drugged-out former model named Susan. In Southern California, she lives in her wealthy, pie-obsessed mother's swimming pool and recounts her glory days in Manhattan to a Houston drifter (Wesley Hayes). John Palmer and David Weisman began filming in New York in 1967 and kept shooting for the next five years, even as Sedgwick moved West, grew out her hair, got breast implants, and spent time at a variety of mental institutes. The 1970s present is in color; the 1960s flashbacks are in luminous black and white. John Phillips, Richie Havens, and others provide the period-perfect soundtrack. Confusing at times, but always entertaining, Ciao! Manhattan is a must for fans of Head, Trash, and all things weird, wiggy, and Warhol. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

    2004, Jan 31; 17:49 :::: Thumbmonkey.com: Animal wierdness, art gossip, and yes, teeny monkeys...
    Poor Little Rich Girls, blah blah blah....
    You know- I find the whole Paris Hilton thing to be a thumping bore, despite my inordinate fondness for celebrity gossip,- and I just realized that I've already BEEN obsessed with a platinum blonde, super skinny, vacant eyed, glamour puss heiress socialite before- 60's Warhol superstar Edie Sedgewick! When I was 16 I was totally enamoured with Edie, thinking her the most facinating and glamourous thing that ever walked the earth. I carried her biography around with my like a goddamn bible, watched "Ciao Manhattan" numerous times, even made myself a Edie T-shirt in my art class in high school. She had silver blonde hair, chandelier earrings, tons of black eyeliner,and lived in black leotards, and was a muse of ANDY WARHOL fer chrissakes...I tried to look like her as much as I possibly could. I found her tragic and exotic (as did any good hipster chick worth her salt as I later discovered). Eventually I came to think of her as slightly pathetic (she was a hyper insecure drug addict who died at 28, I believe) and moved on to other "goddesses"...but I do think Paris should ramp it up a notch and find a hot artist to hang out with constantly. Paris and Damian Hirst! Now that's what I'm talking about.--Kirsten Anderson http://www.drmenlo.com/roqlarue/2003_12_14_roqlarue_archive.html

    2004, Jan 31; 10:08 :::: Roy Ayers
  • Virgin Ubiquity: Unreleased Recordings 1976-1981 (2004) - Roy Ayers [Amazon US] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    1. Boogie Down 2. What’s The T 3. I Really Love You 4. Oh What A Lonely Feeling 5. Sugar 6. Mystery of Love 7. Green and Gold 8. Brand New Feeling 9. I Did It In Seattle 10. Mystic Voyage 11. I Just Wanna Give It Up 12. Together Forever 13. I Am Your Mind

    Master band leader, vibraphone virtuoso and second most sampled men in hip-hop…Just a fraction of the titles Roy Ayers has amassed in his near-mythical journey through the international Jazz, Funk, Soul, and Hip Hop worlds.

    As a result of legendary albums like Everybody Loves The Sunshine (1976) Stoned Soul Picnic (1968) and Mystic Voyage (1975), Roy Ayers has established himself as a living legend and an idol of jazz cats, crate diggers and true music lovers the world over. Having played with some of the finest musicians in the world, including Herbie Hancock, Guru, Fela Kuti, Mary J. Blige, Ron Carter, Erykah Badu, and The Roots, Roy Ayers has found acceptance from both the Jazz and Hip-Hop communities.

    In 2003, Ayers gave Rapster/BBE unprecedented access to hundreds of unreleased recordings. This resulting album is the 2nd in the Lost and Found series and what is likely to be a series of albums, giving life to what can only be termed "the holy grail" of any true music lover’s search. --amazon.com

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