Saturday, May 08, 2004

The Bronx Ophelia
Laura Nyro: Live: The Loom's Desire
"Melancholy doesn't even come close to describing this performance; maybe better is the Brazilian/Portuguese concept of 'saudade', the happiness that arrives when you realize you're just about as sad as you can be. Nyro's alto is maybe a little shaky and perhaps a touch flat, but it's as expressive as all hell, and when it floats on the fluffy cloud provided by the backing voices it sounds like a blueprint of someone's soul. "
listening to Laura Nyro one of those things that just keeps getting better and better...
The Ginger Cat Page
memories of Balham, gateway to the South
too bad we never got Bagpuss over here

"...the lesser-known BAGPUSS was the epic masterpiece of this formidable canon which, like Fawlty Towers, you are always shocked to be reminded ran for a mere 13 episodes. The plot was laid out in a title sequence of faded sepia prints, a two-minute effort shown at the beginning of each episode - a fact that may surprise many Teletubbies-bashers today. In full, then - Once upon a time, not so long ago, there was a little girl called Emily. Emily had a shop. It was quite an unusual shop, because it didn't sell anything. Everything in the window was something somebody had once lost, but Emily had found, and taken home to Bagpuss. The titular old fat furry catpuss (widely rumoured to be baggy, and a bit loose at the seams) was called upon by Emily, in cod shamanic prose, to 'wake up and look at this thing that I bring. Wake up, be bright, be golden and light. Bagpuss, O hear what I sing.' Thus summoned, the cat yawned and woke up. And, of course, when Bagpuss woke up, all his friends woke up to. The mice on the mouse-organ woke up and stretched. A toad with a banjo (Gabriel - 'Oh, look!'), and a rather limply-written female character, Madeleine, also woke up. But the best was the allegedly JAMES BURKE (cf CONNECTIONS)-inspired PROFESSOR YAFFLE, a 'carved wooden book-end in the shape of a woodpecker' who made hard work of ambling down a pile of books to examine whatever this week's object was, and draw inevitably wrong conclusions. Hence a porcupine pin-cushion was claimed to be an earless elephant, and (by a thinking-cap-aided Bagpuss) a 'small, soft, Hamish.' Quite. A bog-standard doll's house was turned by the mice into a mill for making chocolate biscuits out of breadcrumbs and butterbeans, only to be exposed as a fraud. These intellectual battles were interspersed with songs and paper animation..."

Friday, May 07, 2004

The Infinite Cat Project
(thanks Metafilter, who also link to stuff on mighty ""Aja" drummer Steve Gadd...)
Atkins Cicadas: " (This enables the flirtatious tunes they strum on body structures known as tymbals to resonate.) "
fun list of "field tested books" @Coudal Partners
farewell to reggae pioneer Clement 'Sir Coxsone' Dodd "Dodd set to work to recast American-style jazz and R'n'B within the African-Jamaican traditions of pocomania, mento and revivalism. The resulting sound came to be known as 'ska', from the 'hepcat' greeting 'skavoovie'. "

Thursday, May 06, 2004

badgerphone (flash)
Rummy's Lifebuoy?
"Let's say Rumsfeld resigns on Friday. The election is still six months away. And the nation is at war. So a new Defense Secretary would be needed more or less immediately. That would open up a very uncomfortable prospect for the administration.

Confirmation hearings for a new Sec Def would, I think, inevitably turn into a national forum for discussing the management of the Pentagon, the planning for the war and the lack of planning for the occupation. The new nominee would be drawn into all sorts of uncomfortble public second-guessing of what's happened up until this point. Sure, that's stuff under Rumsfeld. But, really, it's stuff under Bush -- the civilian head of the United States military.

That, I have to imagine, is something the White House would like to avoid at any cost."
The Province: "Some shackled inmates got rowdy on a public passenger ferry bound for Vancouver Island from the B.C. mainland Wednesday, breaking windows on the vehicle they were being transported in. " At that moment, Zodiacs full of hippie pirates streamed from the caves of Lasqueti island...
Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages who controls the Spice?

(via languagehat)
good Lars von Trier takedown

"Bjork, however, sees it rather differently - and recently struck back with a brutal assessment of the director, issued via her official website: 'You can take quite sexist film directors like Woody Allen or Stanley Kubrick and still they are the one that provide the soul to their movies. In Lars von Trier's case it is not so and he knows it. He needs a female to provide his work soul, and he envies them and hates them for it. So he has to destroy them during the filming, and hide the evidence.'"

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Joseph Losey at lincoln center watched "Accident" on TV a few weeks ago and it was like one long, sweaty shudder...
Get Carter Tour

(I like I like!)
A strike against democracy
"The governments have sent a powerful message to trade unions, one which will have ominous future repercussions: You can negotiate all you want, but when push comes to shove, unless you agree to what employers want, we will bring the full force of the state against you and impose what employers want." (thanks Ruth) (link to Globe and Mail doesn't work but you get the point)
Larry Wilkerson in the WaPo "'I call them utopians,' he said. 'I don't care whether utopians are Vladimir Lenin on a sealed train to Moscow or Paul Wolfowitz. Utopians, I don't like. You're never going to bring utopia, and you're going to hurt a lot of people in the process of trying to do it.' "
The Tyee: After the Deal

"So good to see all the union leaders coming out with one voice - 'we stood up for you!' 'we forced the goverment to back down' 'don't blame us, it was the government' - This is the bigest sell-out of working people since jack munroe went to bill bennet on bended knee. When will we learn? There's just one union in this province - Sinclair, heyman, worboys, allnutt and co - better known as the middle-aged white guys club - small membership but great fringe benefits. Did any of these guys just once say they would take any personal risk? I don't see Sinclair offering to take a 15% pay cut in support of his brothers and sisters. These so-called unions are simply another arm of the power elite, hand-in-hand with the bosses -- toss them out on their well-fed asses and find someone whose going to stand up for us. And don't give me that 'divided we fall crap' That BS line has been used by the porkchop squad to hang onto power for years. The only reason these guys still have jobs is because we have adbicated responsibility. The house of labour needs a good cleaning."

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Leave those forsythias alone!
Craig Baldwin's mighty Spectres of the Spectrum is out on DVD--

"The year is 2007, the "Eve of the Solar Eclipse, Las Vegas, Nevada" according to an informative title. BooBoo, an "epileptic telepath," is the granddaughter of scientist Amy Hacker, who died with a secret on her lips that BobBoo must uncover if she's to save the planet. She's part of a small group of revolutionaries fighting "electromagnetic control" by a shadowy entity called the "New Electromagnetic Order" (NEO) that, after decimating the earth, plans to erase the memories of every living creature on it. Abetting her is her father Yogi, an ex-intelligence guy who transmits anti-NEO propaganda from his bunker/Airstream trailer. BooBoo is immune to the devastation that's been wrought; the mind-control efforts of the NEO have no effect on her. Her plan is to travel back in time to retrieve her grandmother's secret and rescue the world from "the electronic miasma" that's annihilating it. This process allows her--and viewers--to survey America's apocalyptic past and the "heroes and martyrs" of "electromagnetic history" in the 19th and 20th centuries. "
too much good stuff to steal any one thing from wood's lot today--especially the Gottfried Benn and Novalis
Terry Eagleton on fascism
"For all their crafty appeals to lower-middle-class grouses, fascist regimes left existing patterns of property and social class largely intact. The disgruntled petite bourgeoisie were taken for the longest ride in their unenviable history. "
Turning the Pages splendid shockwave enabled versions of Leonardo's Notebook, Diamond Sutra, etc

(thanks to Coudal Partners)

Monday, May 03, 2004

The Tyee: Mayday
The Face of Jim Sinclair: "'All of us know it is not good enough,' Sinclair said. 'We're not celebrating tonight.'"
or: The Eighteenth Brumaire of Jim Sinclair: "'This deal saved thousands of jobs,' said Sinclair. 'We also got the employer to limit its plans to privatize public health care services. That's a major victory for public health care and union members because the government had very clearly stated they'd never do that.'
Pockets of defiance greet B.C. labour deal sold out by the leadership again
Forthright's Phrontistery: Obscure Words and Vocabulary Resources
(thanks Metafilter)
O My Cod!!: "Scientists studying the huge cod -- which can measure more than a metre in length and weigh as much as 26 kilograms, many times the size of cod now found in the sea -- say the fish are cannibals with voracious appetites that eat almost anything that crosses their path, including prickly sea urchins, each other, and -- in at least one case -- an entire loon."

Sunday, May 02, 2004


"The picture he draws of Abu Ghraib is one in which Army regulations and the Geneva conventions were routinely violated, and in which much of the day-to-day management of the prisoners was abdicated to Army military-intelligence units and civilian contract employees. Interrogating prisoners and getting intelligence, including by intimidation and torture, was the priority. "