Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

album of the year: Fire In My Bones

The majority of this music has never been reissued on CD, or in any other form (most tracks were originally released on regional independent labels). Most post-WWII compilations of African-American gospel music naturally concentrate on the astounding quartet and solo vocalist sounds made during the music’s Golden Age. Fire In My Bones attempts to address and collect more neglected sounds from that era (and on to the present day). Dozens of traditions are represented. Some go back hundreds of years while others seem to have been arrived at as soon as the tape began to roll. Field recordings and studio tracks are all mashed together, with solo performances next to congregational recordings, hellfire sermons next to afterlife laments. Leon Pinson, Elder & Sister Brinson & the Brinson Brothers, Grant & Ella, Straight Street Holiness Group, Theotis Taylor, Brother & Sister W B Grate—these artists will now be just a little less obscure...

Tompkins Square Records

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

nice article on actor Richard Farnsworth & David Lynch's great Straight Story--

Focusing on people relegated to the fringes of American society, the challenge in The Straight Story for the filmmakers and the viewer is to listen carefully, adapting our frenetic pace to the seemingly bland but hypnotic patterns of this film. Seeing this movie can be one of those cinematic experiences that stays with you for days after, maybe even changing the viewer for the better. Filmed in a glorious Autumn, the bucolic aspects of this movie, do not mask the darkness that is there. Straight’s family is marked by estrangement, poverty, a sorrow and injustice related to an incident that occurred when a daughter’s children are removed from her care following a tragic fire. Beneath the understanding way that strangers approach and listen to Alvin’s cockamamie reasons for traveling in such a hazardous fashion, there is an awareness of the danger he faces and the implicit possibility that one of the strangers might harm him or try to have him committed to a nursing home against his will. Those things happen in this world, but, as this movie makes clear, sometimes generosity, bemusement, genuine curiosity and respect survive too...

on TCM tonight: Guest Programmer: Neko Case
A Woody Allen fan, Case chooses Radio Days (1987) as her favorite Allen film with its “celebration of the entertainment industry.” Elia Kazan’s A Face in the Crowd (1957) remains “shocking” to her in its satire of the corruptive power of television. She admires Orson Welles (“a force of nature”) and Joseph Cot- ten (“the foxy Everyman”) in Carol Reed’s The Third Man (1949). The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945) casts a spell on her with its Oscar Wilde dialogue and appeal to “art-history nerds.” A bonus in Case’s selections is a collection of Dogville shorts from the 1930s...

Monday, December 07, 2009

Tsawawssen Ferry Terminal 0730

Norman Rockwell’s Photo Realism

Norman Rockwell’s rosy illustrations of small town American life looked so photographic because his method was to copy photographs that he conceived and meticulously directed, working with various photographers and using friends and neighbors as his models...

The Great Scrapple Correspondence of 1872
In the winter of 1872, the Letters page of The New York Times was briefly invaded by scrapple.

It all started with one reader’s paean to his favorite breakfast food. Calling himself “EPICURE,” he pronounced the dish—a Spam-like slab of cornmeal and pig parts—both delicious and inexpensive. If anyone was interested, he continued, he’d be delighted to share his good lady’s recipe...