Friday, August 31, 2007

tiger leap

I love to fantasize about picking up and moving to some urban center (preferably European) that has a buzz around it and then seeing what happens with my life. So I thoroughly enjoyed this inside look at Europe's coolest cities. I even have a new favorite - Tallinn, Estonia (pictured above).

Thursday, August 30, 2007

the people that nobody else wanted

Not long after the demise of his baby CBGB, Hilly Kristal has also left the building.

Hilly Kristal, who founded CBGB, the Bowery bar that became the cradle of punk and art-rock in New York in the 1970s and served as the inspiration for musician-friendly rock dives throughout the world, died in Manhattan on Tuesday. He was 75...

From its opening in late 1973, when Mr. Kristal, a lover of acoustic music, gave the club its name, an abbreviation of the kinds of music he originally intended to feature there — country, bluegrass and blues — until a dispute with its landlord forced the club to close last October, CBGB presented thousands of bands within its eternally crumbling, flyer-encrusted walls.

Most famously, it served as the incubator for the diverse underground scene of New York in the 1970s and early ’80s, with acts like the Ramones, Patti Smith, Blondie, Television, Talking Heads and Sonic Youth playing some of their earliest and most important concerts there, at a time when there were few outlets in the city for innovative rock music.

“There was no real venue in 1973 for people like us,” Ms. Smith said today. “We didn’t fit into the cabarets or the folk clubs. Hilly wanted the people that nobody else wanted. He wanted us.

Monday, August 27, 2007

everywhere like such as

Miss Teen South Carolina's coach: "OK, if you don't understand the question, just start with 'I personally believe' and work in South Africa and Iraq somehow, and you'll be golden."

Sunday, August 26, 2007

the centers concept

William Fulton on which -izing Los Angeles is up to:

True, the density of L.A.'s population is increasing, especially downtown, in the Mid-Wilshire district and in Hollywood. But carving out a few thousand condos in old downtown buildings is hardly proof that L.A. is "Manhattanizing." If anything, the city overall is "Pasadena-izing" -- becoming more of a collection of centers around which new housing (condos and apartments) and commercial spaces are being built.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

determined to meet the Lord or the Devil

How have I not heard of this film?

Pennebaker’s camera captures them strolling about the fields and then focuses on Rip Torn, who removes a hammer from a backpack, strides over to Mailer and hits him on the head twice, announcing: “You are supposed to die, Mr. Kingsley. You must die, not Mailer. I don’t want to kill Mailer, but I must kill Kingsley in the picture.” Shocked, Mailer wrestles him to the ground, and they roll down the hill in an ugly tussle, Mailer biting Torn’s ear as Mailer’s wife and children scream. Finally separated, the two bloodied men walk at a wary distance from each other, Mailer hurling curses, Torn explaining calmly: “When — when is an assassination ever planned? It’s done, it’s done.” The sequence ends with Torn calling Mailer “a fraud” and pointing a finger at the camera, taunting, “Hoo hoo!”

Friday, August 24, 2007

beneath the music from a farther room

There should be more poetry-music mash-ups like this one of TS Eliot & Portishead (via 3qd).

tarantula hair

Nectarine: The Poor Man's Peach

Saturday, August 18, 2007

52 books in 52 weeks

21. The Echo Maker by Richard Powers

It's rare to find a book so heavy with science as well as abstract poetics. A little less of both and I think I might have enjoyed this exploration of a region and a family even more.

22. The Big Girls by Susanna Moore

There was something kind of...trashy about this look inside a woman's prison, but I read it with delight.

23. The Interloper by Antoine Wilson

I can't remember the last time I read a novel in one sitting, but I could not put Wilson's novel down. It was suspenseful and funny and troubling and sensational. I loved it.

24. So Long, See You Tomorrow by William Maxwell

I couldn't find a place to belong or relate inside this rural boy's tale, but the story's most striking effect was the realization that our American existence and identity has changed drastically in the past 50 years.

Monday, August 13, 2007

celebrity is a mask that eats into the face

If you liked Women in Art, you'll love Women in Film:

Sunday, August 12, 2007

sunday short stack

"A synonym is a word you use when you can't spell the word you first thought of." - Burt Bacharach

Wednesday, August 08, 2007


In Venezuela's mountain villages, instead of libraries, they have book mules and wireless modems under the banana plants.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

a stable for idols

Camille Paglia provides yet more evidence that religion is increasingly the center around which the future of the humanities will revolve.

To fully appreciate world art, one must learn how to respond to religious expression in all its forms. Art began as religion in prehistory. It does not require belief to be moved by a sacred shrine, icon, or scripture. Hence art lovers, even when as citizens they stoutly defend democratic institutions against religious intrusion, should always speak with respect of religion. Conservatives, on the other hand, need to expand their parched and narrow view of culture. Every vibrant civilization welcomes and nurtures the arts.

Progressives must start recognizing the spiritual poverty of contemporary secular humanism and reexamine the way that liberalism too often now automatically defines human aspiration and human happiness in reductively economic terms. If conservatives are serious about educational standards, they must support the teaching of art history in primary school—which means conservatives have to get over their phobia about the nude, which has been a symbol of Western art and Western individualism and freedom since the Greeks invented democracy. Without compromise, we are heading for a soulless future. But when set against the vast historical panorama, religion and art—whether in marriage or divorce—can reinvigorate American culture.
Via 3qd