Saturday, February 28, 2015

Whew lawd. Blue candy, John Lee Hooker at Detroit Tube Works (1970)

Legendary blues singer John Lee Hooker in a rare early performance featuring Muruga Booker on Drums, Robert Hooker on Organ and Joe Hooker on bass


Thursday, February 26, 2015

I put a spell on you

Things Have Changed

19th Nervous Breakdown

19th Nervous Breakdown (1966)

"A lyrical breakthrough, with references to drugs and therapy, "19th Nervous Breakdown" showed The Rolling Stones could pack sharp social criticism into headlong rock & roll. Jagger came up with the title phrase after five weeks of an exhausting U.S. tour. He spun it into lyrics about the trendy neurosis of posh London girls, sung over jagged Bo Diddley-style riffing. As the song fades out, Wyman uncorks a wild dive-bombing bass sound that ups the sense of harried intensity."

Excerpt from Who is that Man? by David Dalton

"An agile, subtle, polytropic mind, he registered America’s 19th nervous breakdown with hallucinatory precision. Fragmented images and cubist songs replaced the storytelling and ballad tableaux of folk songs and transformed the agitprop of protest songs into a roiling, nightmarish vision in which you couldn’t distinguish the chaos outside from the turmoil within."   Who is that Man? 

The Witmark Demos and The Original Mono Recordings

"Few artists could match the proficiency that young Bob Dylan had when he was in his early twenties. Starting with his self-titled debut in 1962 when he was only twenty years old and the twenty four months that followed, Dylan released 47 studio recordings on four albums of astonishing quality.

The press labeled him “the voice of his generation,” and Dylan quickly became an icon of many movements: civil rights and war protests, namely. But pinpointing him to a specific style and image made Dylan feel trapped and repressed. Few realized at the time that he was simply playing out a persona, a persona that was about to change.

The two years that followed found Dylan changing his persona. He ‘went electric,’ inspiring a new genre of folk-rock, but leaving many of his fans outraged for putting down his simplistic acoustic sound. His proficiency remained at a high level, and Dylan released three albums containing 34 songs. Under the pressures of constant touring, writing and recording, and nearing a nervous breakdown, Dylan exited the scene after a mysterious motorcycle accident."    puddlegum

 1966 Nervous Breakdown; or, When Did Postmodernism Begin?

In or about 1966, modernity changed. In the spirit of recent reflections on “the year as period,” the present article undertakes a thought experiment: What if we dated the beginning of postmodernism to 1966 instead of, say, 1972–73, the date preferred by Charles Jencks, Fredric Jameson, and Andreas Killen, among others? What might such a thought experiment tell us about postmodernism, and about periodization in general? Even more decisively than in 1973, culture in 1966 is characterized by a series of “breakdowns”—of developments that get ahead of themselves, that stall out and recoil on themselves. Traceable across a variety of cultural practices, this pattern is especially evident in rock music, which achieves aesthetic “escape velocity” in 1966 in such works as the Beatles' Revolver and Bob Dylan's Blonde on Blonde but then stalls out. The pattern of stall and recoil is only one of a number of topological signatures of cultural practices and products also datable to 1966, among them the rediscovery of meta (self-reflection, recursiveness, strange loops) and the opening of paraworld spaces. These topological signatures constitute the building blocks of a postmodernist poetics.  Duke Journals

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Light and Shadow

Guido Guidi – Preganziol, 1983

In 1983, and within the confines of small single room of an apartment or house, Italian photographer Guido Guidi undertook what at first glance could be considered a simple exploration of light. Here, in this unfurnished room with its two windows that sit diagonally opposite each other to one corner, Guidi produced a precise body of work — titled, Preganziol 1983 — that Roberta Valtorta describes in his essay “Space, Time, Void” as a “pearl of great price in contemporary Italian photography.”

A widely undervalued photographer, Guido began to experiment with pseudo-documentary images that interrogated photography’s objectivity in the late 1960s; and influenced by neorealist film and conceptual art he investigated the man-altered landscape of his homeland through the seventies, a body of work in which he created a frequently dense sequence of images that formed a meditation on the meaning of landscape and photography.

Although Preganziol 1983 comprises just sixteen photographs, it is a complex body of work that extends far beyond that of a simple visual exercise by a photographer who is attempting to describe the physical space of the room, to a series that explores time itself; and as such, and like his work of the seventies, it requires a commitment from the viewer to slowly decipher and understand the multi-layered images.

read more

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Wrong Way Corrigan

Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan (1907– 1995)

Douglas Corrigan, a brash, errant aviator, captured the imagination of a Depression-weary public in 1938 when he took off from Brooklyn on a nonstop solo flight to Los Angeles and landed his improbable airplane in Dublin a day later., thus earning him the nickname of Wrong Way Corrigan.

The few people who were at Floyd Bennett Field when Mr. Corrigan took off at 5:15 on the morning of July 17, 1938, were baffled when the 31-year-old aviator turned into a cloud bank and disappeared to the east.
According to his flight plan, he should have been heading west. 

Corrigan was a trained aircraft mechanic and pilot, (he helped build Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis) He had also made modifications to his own plane for transatlantic flight.

As the world learned when his jerry-built, overloaded secondhand airplane touched down at Dublin's Baldonnel Airport 28 hours and 13 minutes later, Mr. Corrigan had not only known what he was doing, he had also flown straight into the hearts of the American people.

"I'm Douglas Corrigan," he told a group of startled Irish airport workers who gathered around him when he landed. "Just got in from New York. Where am I? I intended to fly to California." 

Although he continued to claim with a more or less straight face that he had simply made a wrong turn and been led astray by a faulty compass, the story was far from convincing, especially to the American aviation authorities who had rejected his repeated requests to make just such a flight because his modified 1929 Curtiss-Robin monoplane was judged unworthy of more than an experimental aircraft certification.

Unmoved by evidence that he had not checked weather reports for the North Atlantic before his flight and had carried charts showing only his supposedly planned route to California, the authorities deemed his plane so unsafe and his flight so illegal that it took a 600-word official telegram to detail all the regulations he had violated.

But if Mr. Corrigan had such a twinkle in his eye when he told his story that he appeared to be trying to suppress a wink, the authorities had trouble stifling a wink of their own.

Although his pilot's license was instantly suspended, Mr. Corrigan, who returned to the United States by ship, did not miss a minute of flying time. He served the entire suspension at sea. The license was reinstated as soon as he and his crated-up plane sailed into New York Harbor aboard the liner Manhattan on Aug. 4, and received a tumultuous greeting.

There was an even larger welcome the next day when an estimated one million New Yorkers lined lower Broadway for a ticker-tape parade that eclipsed the one given for Charles A. Lindbergh after his solo flight to Paris in 1927.

Mr. Corrigan's 3,150-mile flight was an immediate sensation, pushing depressing economic news and grim international reports aside on the front pages of American newspapers and dominating radio broadcasts across the country. 

Wrong Way never publicly admitted to intentionally flying to Ireland.

17, 18, 19 & 20

On January 1, 1943, Woody Guthrie wrote down in his journal, a set of 33 New Year's Resolutions . He called them his “New Years Rulin’s.”  They all sound good to me and worth striving for in his case, place and time.  Many I can adopt  for "my own self" as written, especially 17,18,19 & 20.  Others with reservation and modification.  Sometimes you have to fight even when you don't want to.         

1. Work more and better
2. Work by a schedule
3. Wash teeth if any
4. Shave
5. Take bath
6. Eat good — fruit — vegetables — milk
7. Drink very scant if any
8. Write a song a day
9. Wear clean clothes — look good
10. Shine shoes
11. Change socks
12. Change bed cloths often
13. Read lots good books
14. Listen to radio a lot
15. Learn people better
16. Keep rancho clean
17. Dont get lonesome
18. Stay glad
19. Keep hoping machine running
20. Dream good
21. Bank all extra money
22. Save dough
23. Have company but dont waste time
24. Send Mary and kids money
25. Play and sing good
26. Dance better
27. Help win war — beat fascism
28. Love mama
29. Love papa
30. Love Pete
31. Love everybody
32. Make up your mind
33. Wake up and fight

Sunday, February 22, 2015


Andy Warhol 1970 
by Timm Rautert
" I never understood why when you died, you didn't just vanish, everything could just keep going on the way it was only you just wouldn't be there.  I always thought I'd like my own tombstone to be blank.  No epitaph, and no name.  Well, actually, I'd like it to say 'figment.'" 

Friday, February 20, 2015

I can’t find U anywhere

  I can’t find U anywhere*

They sat together in the park
As the evening sky grew dark
She looked at him and he felt a spark tingle to his bones
Bob Dylan, Simple Twist of Fate

Not in the pantry. Not on the porch. Not in the basement or the mezzanine. . Not coming or going on any of the 131 stairways, 19 escalators or 13 elevators. I searched each of the 284 rest rooms to no avail. I know how silly this seems, nonetheless, I even looked in each and every one of the 672 fire hose cabinets. I agree, all of this seems desperate if not downright insane. Hey, what can I say? That’s what love does to people. “This is the brain on love.” Fried like an egg. Love can make fools of people easier than rabbits can make babies.

I went to the garden for a smoke, sat down on a bench next to an old bewhiskered man in a ratty black trench coat and asked him if there were any secret corridors that the average visitor like me wasn’t aware of. He looked kind of official. There was some sort of insignia on his red beret and he was wearing a badge of some sort, mostly hidden by the lapel of his coat, making it impossible for me to read what it said. He definitely had a strange demeanor; a presence that was not ordinary. Stately, I would say. Yes, stately is an apt way to describe him.

He appeared to be thinking. His eyes seemed to be riveted on something far away. I wondered for a moment if he was a Knight Templar who somehow got lost in time. Me and my imagination. Watching the History channel too often. It was more like a Monty Python skit. He was eating a bologna sandwich. There was mayonnaise on his bottom lip and some more of it dribbling down his chin. It was nasty. I felt a bit bad for the old fellow, and yet, at the same time, I didn’t want to embarrass him and bring it to his attention by offering him a napkin. I never know what to do in cases like that.

Nevertheless, I wasn’t going to let anything sidetrack me. I was on a mission. I showed him the photograph I always carry. The one where we are sitting together on a park bench feeding pigeons right next to the “Do Not Feed the Pigeons” sign. He looked at it, took it from my hand, moved it closer to his eyes and peered at it as if he was examining evidence. Forensic love evidence. I was afraid he’d get mayonnaise on it so I took it from him quickly and slipped it back into my pocket. I persisted. “I’ve looked everywhere. I can’t find hide nor hair of him. He can’t have disappeared into thin air.”

He cocked his head to one side, smiled cynically, and looked to the sky as if searching for an answer, then he raised one bushy eyebrow and said, “Who knows. Maybe he did.” He reached into his pocket. “Oh good,” I said to myself, “he’s finally going to wipe that mayonnaise off his face.” I wasn’t prepared for what happened next. Instead of a napkin, he retrieved a harmonica. Yep. That’s right. A harmonica. I handed him a napkin. He wiped his face. And then he started to play; “It ain’t me, babe, no, no, no, it ain’t me, babe, it ain’t me …….."

*The letter “U” is nowhere to be found in the above short story, except for the title of course.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you"

Bob Dylan and Bobby Neuwirth
Backstage "Don't Look Back" Tour 1965

 Dont Look Back, without an apostrophe in the first word, was the original title of the documentary of Bob Dylan's 1965 concert tour in the United Kingdom by filmmaker D. A. Pennebaker.  Pennebaker, who wrote and directed  the film's has said that he decided to punctuate the title this way because he "was trying to simplify the language".  It has often been assumed that the absence of the apostrophe in the documentary's title was a typographical error and has been corrected to Don't Look Back. In the DVD release of the film,  Pennebaker states that the title came from a Satchel Paige quote: "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you".  Dylan shared this view.

The title also appears as a line in  "She Belongs To Me" a song from his 1965 album, Bringing It All Back Home.
She's got everything she needs
she's an artis, she don't look back

Pennebaker has stated that when deciding on a title for the film, he knew Dylan was against using a song lyric, but he was not aware that "don't look back" was a line in one of Dylan's songs.

In 1980, "don't look back" was used again in the song "Pressing On" from the album Saved.
Shake the dust off your feet
don't look back 

pressing on by Title1 on Grooveshark

My best guess is that this live recording is from Toronto Canada on 4.20.1980.  It begins with about 3 minutes of raving adulation from the audience which crescendos and peaks when Dylan appears on stage.  

Satchel Paige and First Wife, Janet Howard, 1941

 Photo of Paige by George Silk for LIFE Magazine 1948

"It is estimated that Leroy "Satchel" Paige was born on July 7, 1906. The mere idea that his birthday is an estimate provides perfect evidence to the mystery that was Satchel Paige. In 1965, 60 years after Paige's supposed birthday, he took the mound for the last time, throwing three shutout innings for the Kansas City Athletics."  Satchel Paige Official Page

The First Life of Leroy Satchel Paige
K. Curtis Lyle
Downtown Atlantis 

I arrive in a plain brown package

Careful, do not disturb me with rips
Cuts that tear my face into ribbons

Instead, unfold my front with tender mercy
Rush the win lines of both hands
Along the soft leather of my skin

Make me the friend you dearly need

The first life of Leroy Satchel Paige

This natural oath is who I am

They made me rubber at the core
And rolled me in bands of string

Inside I yield to shape and code
Outside the field is under my control

My will is born against this road

I am a white pony who leaves
Your hand in a flash of light
Sets down the batter in the storied
Blink of an eye; his theory will
Try to move one wisdom muscle, but
Reflex betrays him at the usual speed

He drops his bat and thanks me

I am so black and saint famous
That my praise name has become please
Cease and desist; they now call me
Arrow of dread, scythe of the soul
One who destroys the ball player’s church
The Perch of America; grace and fatal
Vitality rolls up in my gourd vine

For awhile you all look like pillars
Of salt; stand stone still for hours
And call out my name shaking pain
From elbows to tips of the fingers

Are you frauds waiting in the dust?
Biting the silence with two broken wings?

I know you took your three swings!

When I came down into the city
A giant with red teeth told me
I could never combine my ancient weeping
Sense of night time with the drummer
Making the daily weather report; the sport
Had moved past me, like a bullet
Pierced my name, put out my fire


I was a pitch; used to sprint
Halfway to the plate, crack a smile,
Take a break, recoup rites of spring
I knew I had missed the train
By a mile; the day dream stopped
At the tracks; some small voice said,
“Don’t look back, they’re gaining on you.”