Saturday, November 21, 2015

Get Ready: Jeff Lynne's ELO

Jeff Lynne's ELO on BBC 2 in concert. Special treat- Richard Tandy from one of the earlier 1970s incarnations of the band on keyboards. A great great show of ELO Classics and some wonderful new tunes.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Sunday, October 25, 2015

A Real Brooklyn Ghost Story

A true story first posted here in 2007.
Back in the day, well, sometime in the 1980s, when Reagan was as far-out and far-right a reaction to the Jimmy Carter years that the human mind could contemplate, you could still afford to rent your own apartment in Park Slope even though you were neither the employee nor scion of a hedge fund. Anyway, I lived on 7th street between 5th and 6th avenues. It wasn't a fancy hipster neighborhood, and as hard as it is to believe, we were were young once too and were probably the hippest things happening, but there was El Faro and Polly-O and Save on Fifth, and I was just leaving a public affairs and marketing writing job at local hospital (then known as the Park Slope Body Shop), and taking up freelancing for a number of film, engineering and trade mags, so I guess essentially life was good. I was living in the first floor of a brownstone; the owners, an older Italian American couple and their grown sons, lived in the upper floors. The husband of the couple grew his tomatoes and enjoyed his occasional chianti which reminded me alot of my maternal grandfather who had passed away shortly before I moved to this new place.

One day, after I was living in the building for a year or so, the elderly husband himself passed away rather suddenly. My girl friend at the time, the Art Director's Daughter, and I had spoken to the sons earlier in the day. It was the first night of the wake, the family left in the early afternoon and informed us that they would not be returning until much later in the evening. We were planning to pay our respects the following night. Anyway, at around 7:00 PM it started.

Footsteps. Nothing but footsteps, loud and clear, walking the length of the brownstone apartment above. A constant pacing that started near the front door, walked to the opposite end of the house, turned and walked back to the door. Slowly, methodically, but unmistakably. At first, I believe the radio was on, I could hear this strange pacing (they had no dogs or pets of any kind) only intermittently, until it finally made its way into our consciousness as the Art Director's Daughter and I made dinner. I turned off the radio. Then, when it was very quiet, a chill went up and down my spine as I listened to the mysterious, relentless pacing.Finally, I went upstairs to knock on the door, but of course no one answered. I could not see or hear anyone (or anything) through the door. Since it was clear no one was ransacking their apartment, there was nothing much else to be done. But when I returned downstairs, there it was again. We turned on some music. The Art Director's Daughter (who was a Red Diaper Baby) was a big fan of the Weavers and Pete Seeger, so we cranked up some of that beneficent, positive vibe, good time hammer and sickle music, and had another glass of wine.

I guess between the clomping, and the wine, and the Weavers, we distracted ourselves until it either stopped or we took less and less notice of it. A few hours later, when the family returned from the first night of the wake, we decided to throw caution to the wind and mention the strange noises, just in case someone had in fact broken in through a window.

The older son looked at us quizzically but went upstairs first to look around before his mom got out of the car. Nope. Everything was as it should be. "Maybe it was a sound from next door through the walls" he offered good naturedly. We apologized for bothering him, but he said, no, don't worry about it, I am glad that you let me know.

But, just as brownstone walls are thick, and floors in old houses can creak when you walk on them, I was sure that the old man had returned for a final visit, and was looking to see where his wife had hidden the chianti.

--Anthony Napoli --- Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Friday, September 25, 2015

Beyond the Celebrity Sighting

Francis's visit is a moment of grace, of reflection on the dignity of those who are struggling like all of us are struggling in modern society but whose struggle has fallen even more short than our own. Everyone deserves dignity. That is a message for me.
--Anthony Napoli
Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sunday Blues: Canned Heat Live

Canned Heat at Woodstock. The now legendary blues band line up with the late Bob "The Bear" Hite on vocals, and sharing a cig with an audience stage crasher. "I believe .. A change will surely come"... And it did. It really really did.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Modern Way of Understanding

"Interpretation is not simply the compliment that mediocrity pays to genius-- it is indeed the modern way of understanding something and is applied to works of every quality."
--Susan Sontag
"Against Interpretation"


Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Mothership Touches Down in Brooklyn

PFunk and George Clinton want to funk you up: The Mothership set down at Metrotech Commons in Downtown Brooklyn Thursday afternoon for a little transfusion from the Galactic over soul. The lunchtime crowd was not disappointed.

'(Anybody Goin' to) San Antone': The Late, Great Doug Sahm

Doug Sahm, child musical prodigy, co-founder of the Sir Douglas Quintet and originator of the Tex-Mex Sound, and Band perform 'Anybody Goin' to San Antone' in Austin Texas, 1975.

Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn holds a special and abiding affection for this tune.

Monday, July 13, 2015

How Can We Even Think of Dropping Him from the Ten Spot? 'Hamilton' goes to Broadway

This Founding Father, an immigrant from the Caribbean, whose amazing life encompassed sex scandals, intense political battles, and ended in gun violence, and whose vision led to the development of the American economy, may be dumped from the $10 bill to make way for the first woman. For reasons why there may be other, better candidates to replace (Andrew Jackson on the $20 is a popular choice), Lin-Manuel Miranda's 'Hamilton', a hip hop retelling of his life will be exploding on Broadway with huge advance sales and lots of critical and audience anticipation.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Two Louises at Storm King: Bourgeois & Nevelson Up Close

                  Royal Tide 1, 1960
                   Louise Nevelson 
                      (Excerpt below)


              Number Seventy-Two 
             (The No March), 1972
                 Louise Bourgeois

The two Louises, inhabiting the same space, for the viewer, a moment suspended in time, outside of time, the organic and the found, sacred, but simply one moment of many, of the  magic of the Storm King Art Center,  
New Windsor, NY

Monday, July 6, 2015

"Don't Worry Bout Me. No": The Grateful Dead's Final Shows.. & Legacy

Were they ever here at all?

They came. They saw. They conquered the hearts of generations of fans. With the close of the Fare Thee Well 50th Anniversary Shows at Chicago's Soldier Field - site also of the final show where the late Jerry Garcia performed - the Grateful Dead move on into the stuff of memory - and legend.

Lots of parting shots -  

The New York Times on the Final Show:
The Grateful Dead Close Out Their Final Concert With Music and the Words ‘Please, Be Kind’:

Annotated hyperlinked compendium of Grateful Dead song lyrics via Open Culture

A recent Rolling Stone interview earlier this year with Robert Hunter, GD lyricist, in house poet, songwriting collaborator with Jerry Garcia

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Grace Hartigan's 'Myth and Malls'at Samuel Dorsky Museum in New Paltz

               Reisterstown Mall 1962 
                 by Grace Hartigan
Grace Hartigan 1922- 2008 was an Abstract Expressionist and member of the New York School of painters. Associated with artists such as Jackson Pollock, Helen Frankenthaler, Willem and Elaine de Kooning, and writers such as Frank O'Connor, Hartigan continued exploring new directions in painterly expression parallel to her long career as a professor at the Maryland Institute School of Art.

SUNY New Paltz's Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art is presenting a brief but very colorful exhibit on Ms Hartigan's work. Through July 12.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

What is Coding? A little bit of science, a little bit of soul

Great overview in Bloomberg Business Week by writer Paul Ford with interactive demonstration exercises on coding - the bones of contemporary technology and culture. A must read.

Current Reading

  • Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid that Sparked the Civil War- Tony Horwitz
  • A Sultan in Palermo - Tariq Ali
  • Hitch-22: A Memoir - Christopher Hitchens
  • Negropedia- Patrice Evans
  • Dead Funny: Humor in Nazi Germany - Rudolph Herzog
  • Exile on Main Street - Robert Greenfield
  • Among the Truthers - A Journey Among America's Growing Conspiracist Underworld - Jonathan Kay
  • Paradise Lost - John Milton
  • What Is Your Dangerous Idea? Thinking the Unthinkable - John Brockman
  • Notes from the Edge Times - Daniel Pinchbeck
  • Fringe-ology: How I Can't Explain Away the Unexplainable- Steve Volk
  • Un Juif pour l'exemple (translated as A Jew Must Die )- Jacques Cheesex
  • The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
  • Pale King - David Foster Wallce
  • David Bowie: Starman bio - Paul Trynka
  • Tobacco Stained Mountain Goat - Andrez Bergen
  • The Future of Nostalgia -Svetlana Boym
  • Living in the End Times - Slavoj ZIzek
  • FIrst as Tragedy Next as Farce - Slavoj Zizek
  • How to Survive a Robot Uprising - Daniel Wilson
  • Where is My Jet Pack? -Daniel Wilson
  • Day of the Oprichniks - Vladimir Sorokin
  • Ice Trilogy - Vladimir Sorokin
  • First Civilizations
  • Oscar Wilde -Andre Maurois
  • The Beats - Harvey Pekar, et al
  • SDS - Harvey Pekar, et al
  • The Unfinished Animal - Theodore Roszak
  • Friends of Eddy Coyle
  • Brooklands -Emily Barton
  • Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter - Seth Grahme-Smith - Entertaining and historical
  • Dictionary of the Khazars - Pavic
  • Sloth-Gilbert Hernandez
  • War and Peace- Leo Tolstoy
  • Charles Addams: An Evilution
  • Life in Ancient Greece
  • Time - Eva Hoffmann
  • Violence - S. Zizek
  • Luba - a graphic novel by Gilbert Hernandez
  • Life in Ancient Egypt
  • Great Apes - Will Self - riveting and disturbing
  • Lost Honor of Katherina Blum - Heinrich Boll - could not put it down
  • Yellow Back Radio Brokedown - Ishmael Reed (author deserving of new wide readership)
  • Living in Ancient Mesopotomia
  • Landscape in Concrete - Jakov Lind - surreal
  • 'There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor's Baby'-Ludmilla Petrushevskaya - creepy stories - translation feels literarily "thin"
  • Mythologies - William Butler Yeats (re-read again & again)
  • How German Is It ? - Walter Abish
  • The Book of Genesis - illustrated by R. Crumb - visionary
  • "Flags" - an illustrated encyclopedia - wish I could remember all of these. Flag culture
  • Sirens of Titan - Kurt Vonnegut
  • Ubik - Philip K. Dick
  • Nobody's Fool - Richard Russo
  • Hitler's Empire - Mark Mazower
  • Nazi Culture - various authors
  • Master Plan: Himmler 's Scholars and the Holocaust - Heather Pringle
  • Eichmann in Jerusalem - Hannah Arendt
  • Living in Ancient Rome
  • Traveling with Herodotus -R. Kapuszynsky
  • Oblivion - David Foster Wallace - Some of his greatest work
  • Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace - still wrestling with this great book
  • Netherland - Joseph O'Neill - staggeringly great read
  • Renegade - The Obama Campaign - Richard Wolffe
  • Mount Analogue - Rene Daumal
  • John Brown
  • Anathem - Neal Stephenson - love Stephenson but tough slogging first few chapters
  • 7 Deadly Sins
  • ALEX COX - Alex Cox
  • FIASCO by Thomas Ricks
  • I, Fellini - Charlotte Chandler & Federico Fellini
  • Best of 20th century alternative history fiction
  • Judah P. Benjamin - Eli Evans - Confederacy's Secretary of State & source of the W.C. Field's exclamation
  • Moscow 2042 - Vladimir Voinovich - Pre-1989 curiosity & entertaining sci fi read; love his portrayal of Solzhenitsyn-like character
  • Gomorrah - Roberto Saviano - Mafia without the It-Am sugar coating. Brutal & disturbing
  • The Sack of Rome - Celebrity+Media+Money=Silvio Berlusconi - Alexander Stille
  • Reporting - David Remnick - terrific journalism
  • Fassbinder
  • Indignation - Philip Roth
  • Rome
  • Let's Go Italy! 2008
  • Italian Phrases for Dummies
  • How to Pack
  • Violence - Slavoj Zizek
  • Dali: Painting & Film
  • The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight - Jimmy Breslin
  • The Good Rat - Jimmy Breslin
  • Spook Country - William Gibson
  • A Blue Hand - The Beats in India - Deborah Baker
  • The Metaphysical Club - Louis Menard
  • Coast of Utopia - Tom Stoppard
  • Physics of the Impossible - Dr. Michio Kaku
  • Managing the Unexpected - Weick & Sutcliffe
  • Wait Til The Midnight Hour - Writings on Black Power
  • Yellow Back Radio Brokedown - Ishmael Reed
  • Burning Down the Masters' House - Jayson Blair
  • Howl - Allen Ginsberg
  • Cat's Cradle - Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Palace Thief - Ethan Canin
  • John Adams - David McCullough
  • The Wooden Sea - Jonathan Carroll
  • American Gangster - Mark Jacobson
  • Return of the King - J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Gawker Guide to Becoming King of All Media
  • Jews and Power - Ruth Wisse
  • Youth Without Youth - Mircea Eliade
  • A Team of Rivals - Doris Goodwin
  • Ghost Hunters -William James and the Search for Scientific Proof of Life After Death - Deborah Blum
  • Dream -Re-Imagining Progressive Politics in an Age of Fantasy - Stephen Duncombe
  • Love & Theft - Eric Lott
  • Exit Ghost - Philip Roth
  • Studio A - The Bob Dylan Reader

Current Listening

  • Alexi Murdoch Wait
  • Wilco Summer Teeth
  • Wilco The Album
  • Carmina Burana - Ray Manzarek (& Michael Riesmann)
  • Polyrock - Polyrock
  • 96 Tears - Garland Jeffries
  • Ghost of a Chance Garland Jeffries
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra
  • Mustang Sally Buddy Guy
  • John Lee Hooker
  • Black and White Years
  • Together Through Life - B. Dylan
  • 100 Days 100 Nites - Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
  • DYLAN: 3 disc Greatest...
  • Glassworks - Philip Glass
  • Wild Palms - Soundtrack -Ryuichi Sakamoto
  • Dinah Washington - Best of..
  • Commander Cody& His Lost Planet Airmen Live at Armadillo