Monday, March 30, 2009

"Beyond Here lies Nothin' ": Bob Dylan

In anticipation of the April 28th release of "Together Through Life" Bob Dylan's new album, following his last new release, Modern Times,, features a free MP3 download of "Beyond Here Lies Nothin'."

Extremely catchy riff, Mike Campbell, Los Lobos' David Hidalgo accordion, and a funky, after-midnight in the barroom- Juarez-horns sound, it'll grow on ya for sure.

Oh yeah, The Man who never left is back. Get it while it's hot.

--Brooklyn Beat

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like....Easter

Routine can be fatal. So, varying my route, I happened down State Street, and was rewarded with the sight of this delightfully decorated bit of aerie arborage, just below Boerum Place if I recall. Eggs, Glitter and Whimsicality to Spare. You go, Cwazy Wabbit.

--Brooklyn Beat

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Bob Dylan: Plays 'Billy' in Stockholm

Bob Dylan unleashes a rare, possibly first-time-ever, live performance of Billy, one of the classic tunes from the score of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid.

Link here:

The full set list:
Regular set
Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine)
Señor (Tales of Yankee Power)
I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again
Tryin’ To Get to Heaven
Things Have Changed
Watching the River Flow
Blind Willie McTell
I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
I Believe In You
Honest With Me
Billy 4
Summer Days
All Along The Watchtower
Cry A While
Like A Rolling Stone
Forever Young
Report from the Club gig in Stockholm:

Monday, March 23, 2009

'Angels are just one more species’ : Lionel Ziprin 1924-2009

Above: Last photo of Lionel Ziprin taken by his granddaughter Aisling Labat;
link here:

"Lionel Ziprin, Jewish Poet and Citizen of the Republic b. 1924 d. 2009"
Visionary. Mystic. Poet. Salonist. The NY Times obit: " For decades, Mr. Ziprin, a self-created planet, exerted a powerful gravitational attraction for poets, artists, experimental filmmakers, would-be philosophers and spiritual seekers."

More here:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

When the Earth Moves Again: Flatbush Flora

Top: The green fuse that drives the flower: A tiny flower that springs up in the crook of the base of our cherry tree each spring.

Bottom: The purple crocuses, basking in the early springtime sun.

The Silence Farther From Shore

Not just a blip or a glitch. Why is the current disruption so profound ? A seismic shift in not only our political economy, but seemingly also in the fundamental economic ecology of the industrialized, technologically-based tribes/peoples/societies aka nations on the planet. Something has been ripped away, we seem to be swimming, drawn by the current farther from shore. Hoping that it is simply a temporary disjuncture but concerned that it is something else, something harder to understand, harder to explain, something that will be with us for awhile...

Peace Like A River by Paul Simon

Ah, peace like a river ran through the city
Long past the midnight curfew
We sat starry-eyed
Ooh, oh,we were satisfied
O-o-oh, And I remember
Misinformation followed us like a plague
Nobody knew from time to time
If the plans were changed
Oh, oh, oh, if the plans were changed.

You can beat us with wires
You can beat us with chains
You can run out your rules
But you know you can't outrun the history train
I seen a glorious day, aiee------

Ah, four in the morning
I woke up from out of my dreams
Nowhere to go but back to sleep
But I'm reconciled
Oh, oh, oh, I'm going to be up for a while
Oh, oh, oh, I'm going to be up for a while

Oh, oh, oh, I'm going to be up for a while

Elvis Costello performing Peace Like A River at Montreal Jazz Festival:

Friday, March 20, 2009

It Snowed in Brooklyn on the First Day of Spring

The first day of spring
When the Big Snowflakes fell
And I looked around and said
I remember something
When the world was full of green and yellow and blue
And the grass was soft and sweet
Like the lips of a woman
Who I could not forget
No matter how much I tried

--Brooklyn Beat

Thursday, March 19, 2009

WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote & A New Bob Dylan Album To Come, To Boot

From the source: Conversation with Bob Dylan on the new album:

Wyatt Mason: Remote in Time, Alien in Language:

Alex Ross, the Lucky One:
Scott Warmuth on Dylan's album available in Aprille with his shoures soote

Love & Theft, Influences, Prologues and Plagiarisms, Who Cares ?

Prologue to the Canterbury Tales
WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the roote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour,
Of which vertu engendred is the flour;
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne,
And smale fowles maken melodye,
That slepen al the night with open ye,
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages:
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages,
And palmers for to seken straunge strondes,
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes;
And specially, from every shires ende
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende,
The holy blisful martir for to seke,
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.

Prologue to The Canterbury Tales:
Here begins the Book of the Tales of Canterbury
When April with his showers sweet with fruit
The drought of March has pierced unto the root
And bathed each vein with liquor that has power
To generate therein and sire the flower;
When Zephyr also has, with his sweet breath,
Quickened again, in every holt and heath,
The tender shoots and buds, and the young sun
Into the Ram one half his course has run,
And many little birds make melody
That sleep through all the night with open eye
(So Nature pricks them on to ramp and rage)-
Then do folk long to go on pilgrimage,
And palmers to go seeking out strange strands,
To distant shrines well known in sundry lands.
And specially, from every shire's end
In England, folks to Canterbury wend:

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


In Search of Jefferson's Moose
Notes on the State of Cyberspace
by David Post

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0
by Lawrence Lessig

In Search of Jefferson's Moose by David Post (Oxford, 2008) explores the global phenomenon of the internet , which, the book observes, has become so ubiquitous, it now merits a small 'i', like the small 't' for telephone or television, rather than a capital 'I'. In doing so, the book toggles between fact and analysis packed observations, wonderfully footnoted with an almost David Foster Wallace brio, with a focus on Thomas Jefferson in the 18th and 19th century and the explosive growth of the internet in the 19th and 20th centuries. Much deliberation is given to the American wilderness of Jefferson's day, and the new digital domain which has opened up in our own. Post looks at the internet as wilderness, in all its wild potential and capacity for anarchy, that to date, the author posits, has been tempered with democratic and self-governing values. As such, it seems to be a distinctly American phenomenon. The book also explores how the Hamiltonian view for central, Federalist organization, and the Jeffersonian struggle for the democratic, the-less-government-the-better vision, bumped up against each other in the early days of the republic, and how they also do in this new wilderness.

At heart, ISOJM is an elegantly reasoned and written book about Thomas Jefferson and about cyberspace. The "moose" of the title appears when Jefferson went through great efforts to have a moose hunted, stuffed, shipped to Paris, and reconstructed, to show the Old World why their theories about nature in the New World were wrong. Many French philosophers and scientists argued that the unknown environment had caused animals and humans to degenerate in the New World -- every creature was assumed to be smaller and less powerful in American than it was in Europe. To prove his point, Jefferson had an entire dead moose shipped to Paris and reconstructed in his entrance hall. The moose which was seven feet tall stunned visitors and proved that the New World was not a degenerated version of the Old. Jefferson was concerned that this fear would discourage potential emigration to the New one.

In a couple of places in the book, the author, a law professor and specialist in internet and intellectual property, seems to bump up against Lawrence Lessig, his colleague and friend who teaches at Stanford. Post leans toward the Jefferson view, which, projected on the internet, suggests that it is a place where the wild things are that can be most effectively restrained by Jeffersonian self-government and self-regulation, even at the smallest levels. Lessig on the other hand feels there's a common belief that cyberspace cannot be regulated-that it is, in its very essence, immune from the government's (or anyone else's) control. His book, Code, first published in 2000, argues that this belief is wrong. From his website: "It is not in the nature of cyberspace to be unregulable; cyberspace has no "nature." It only has code-the software and hardware that make cyberspace what it is. That code can create a place of freedom-as the original architecture of the Net did-or a place of oppressive control. Under the influence of commerce, cyberspace is becoming a highly regulable space, where behavior is much more tightly controlled than in real space. But that's not inevitable either. We can-we must-choose what kind of cyberspace we want and what freedoms we will guarantee. These choices are all about architecture: about what kind of code will govern cyberspace, and who will control it. In this realm, code is the most significant form of law, and it is up to lawyers, policymakers, and especially citizens to decide what values that code embodies."

So, between these two scholars, we see a current exploration of the Hamiltonian and Jeffersonian views on government and society and their impact upon this "new World" of the internet.

America may be floundering amidst the financial adventures of advanced capitalism at the moment, in a drive for a pursuit of happiness that , being interpreted as purely materialist , has morphed into simple greed. But the truest revelation in the book, to this reader, is that the USA's purest brand -- what makes us so essential and distinct to the world -- might remain our instinct not just for innovation in the arts and sciences, but the ongoing struggle to understand, explore, and challenge notions of organization and freedom, with a goal toward the preservation of freedom and a sense of wilderness in a purely American context. In that we are and shall remain unmatched.

More from David G. Post here:

More from Lawrence Lessig here:

Monday, March 16, 2009

'Journalism evolving...not dead': Steven Berlin Johnson

Brooklyn-based author, blogger and web developer Steven Berlin Johnson, at the South by Southwest Festival, said, according to Breitbart news, that "Newspapers are dying but journalism is evolving."

Steven Johnson equated newspapers to old growth forests, saying that under the canopy of that aged ecosystem blogging, citizen journalism, Twittering and other Internet-age information sharing is taking root.

"I'm bullish on the future of news," Johnson said. "Newspapers are dying but journalism is evolving, an acclaimed science writer told a gathering of the techno-hip at South By South West Interactive Festival on Friday. Johnson equated newspapers to old growth forests, saying that under the canopy of that aged ecosystem blogging, citizen journalism, Twittering and other Internet-age information sharing is taking root.

"I'm bullish on the future of news," Johnson said. "I am not bullish on what is happening in the newspaper industry; it is ugly and it is going to get uglier. Great journalists are going to lose their jobs and cities are going to lose their newspapers."

The shift was foreseeable but ignored, resulting in changes that should have happened gradually over a decade being crammed into a year or two with some pressure from the global economic meltdown, according to Johnson.

"There is panic that newspapers are going to disappear as businesses," Johnson said. Then there is panic that crucial information is going to disappear along with them. We spend so much time figuring out how to keep the old model on life support that we don't figure out how to build the new one."

News organizations should stop wasting resources on information freely available online, he added. And, they should stop killing trees.

"The business model sure seems easier to support if the printing goes away," Johnson said. "They don't have the print costs."

Full link here:

Monday, March 9, 2009

'Open up the Universe': Sir Salman Rushdie in Brooklyn Heights - On Barking Dogs & Cat Stevens Viewed from the Edge

The above photographs are by Ken Brown, courtesy of St. Francis College, Brooklyn, NY.

I had the pleasure of attending a lunchtime lecture by Sir Salman Rushdie at St. Francis College today, as part of its Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series on Global Business & Finance. Sir Salman spoke for about one hour and then took audience questions. As expected, he was an entertaining, thought-provoking and engaging speaker, and extremely gracious in responding to audience questions.

He noted that he had been in Brooklyn and passed St. Francis College many times but had never been inside. This is a long post, but I took a lot of notes and wanted to share a great lecture.

His topics included:

A favorite thought-game, which he termed extremely addictive, thinking of titles of books that would never have made it: "The Big Gatsby", "Two Days in the Life of Ivan Denisovich," "The Old Man and the Lake."

About the Ayatollah and the fatwa, he noted "One of us is dead." Therefore, "Don't mess with novelists." Ostensibly the fatwa was lifted, although I believe I have read that this is in dispute. According to SSR, via wikipedia, he receives a "Valentine Day Card" of sorts, every February 14, the date of the fatwa, telling him that it is still in force. There appeared to be substantial non-uniformed security at the event. Nevertheless, Sir Salman is an amusing, brilliant, and relaxed speaker.

He explored what it means for the novel, and to the role of the novelist, when the world has become fictitious, strange, non-realistic; when the incredible rush of extreme events and occurrences in society and the world today, take 9/11 as an example, are difficult to render in a naturalistic literary style. "The gulf between public and private has shrunk." Sir Salman mentioned Heraclitus's remark that "Character is fate - destiny--" may no longer be the case in the current world, since so many issues that occur, violence, social and economic dislocations, etc., are not necessarily the individual's fault. "Today, character is not necessarily destiny. How do you write about the meaning of life when character is not destiny?"

Humans are storytellers. "We are storytelling animals" he observed. When people say "How is the family?" "Oh, the family is fine" he laughed and remarked, " Is it really? Not really. It is hell in there."

We tell stories to understand ourselves, our families,our society and our world. Not just fictional stories, as I understood him to say, but also humans tend to use a storytelling form when giving explanations. "Since the world is so complex, and we are inundated with media and information, so much of which is without real meaning and does not promote understanding," then "Using stories to understand ourselves is the way human beings try to understand their world. Therefore, the storytelling act is incredibly important" to helping us understand ourselves and our world. But there are forces ---political, religious, personal-- that wish to preserve a social order and clamp down on storytelling which is a mechanism for understanding and conveying the truth about human experience.

Therefore, once the "Simple act of remembering becomes a political act" storytelling becomes dangerous. Rushdie passionately observed that "preventing people from telling stories is a crime against humanity--an existential crime. We live inside stories."

Rushdie also observed how many people who protested against the book The Satanic Verses had never read it or any of his other work. That is why it is so important to maintain and protect the open society. People who find stories troubling should just learn to "deal with it."

Rushdie commented about a section of Saul Bellow's The Dean's December that describes a dog that would not stop barking. To Saul Bellow, a scene like that is imbued with deep meaning. Rushdie said that the dog's barking was a "protest against limits of his experience as a dog"--therefore, the dog's barking is a plea or demand to "open the universe a little more. And that is as good a description of what great art can accomplish: To open up the universe a little more."

The risk to artists especially writers is that when you seek to push boundaries outward, "you can't do it from the middle of the room; you need to go to the edge." However, in doing so, there is always the risk that you will "fall off the edge, or that someone will push back," which can be very dangerous.

Sir Salman also noted in response to a question that he owned many Cat Stevens albums while at university, but despite Yuseff Stevens claims to the contrary now, "Cat Stevens did agree with the fatwa and call for my death."

Finally, in reply to a question, he advised the writers (especially the young ones) in the audience that "there are more than enough books, stories and works of art in the world." If no more were created, there would be more than enough to keep anyone interested busy for the foreseeable future. As a result, "the only reason to write is because you have to, you are compelled to, you must do it. Do it for this but no other reason."

Sir Salman Rushdie's most recent book is The Enchantress of Florence, about the Renaissance Medicis and the Moghul Empire. He said that Midnight's Children, which was recently named the most accomplished of all of the works to receive the British Booker Prize, also made it onto a list of the Top 50 or so books that people claim to have read but haven't. He was in good company, he said, since #1 was Orwell's 1984 and #4 was the Bible.

Overall, a thought-provoking, humorous, at times dry and droll, but highly entertaining presentation by one of foremost living English-language authors. Thank you, Saint Francis College and the Thomas J. Volpe Lecture Series.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Retro Moment on the Upper East Side: A Return to Pure Expression

As the world turns, will we be seeing more examples of a move back to the future? Handwritten postings along Second Avenue in the East 70s on the upper east side. Is it someone trying to form a group in one of the most basic and human song forms, Doo Wop, for the fun of it? Or to explore the unique rhythms of this "simplest and most complex musical style." In hard times, where chaos abounds, a return to love, sentiment, and pure forms of expression, musical and otherwise, seem to offer a cozy haven for frazzled lovers everywhere.

From Rhino Records: 50 Years of Doo Wop

Doo Wop is both the simplest and most complex musical style, mixing lyrical nonsense and intricate harmony. And while it may be lost amidst the millennial hoopla, this year marks its 50th birthday.

In 1949 the "Race Records" chart was rechristened "Rhythm & Blues" and the first black vocal group, The Orioles, conquered the new chart, placing all six of their Jubilee singles into the Top 20. Unlike records by The Ink Spots or The Mills Brothers, this was harmony-based music designed for a young black audience. The flock of followers, from Flamingos to Penguins, neatly set the stage for the rock 'n' roll explosion of the mid-1950s, when black musical styles were embraced en masse by a white teen audience.

Of course, you didn't have to be African-American to sing doo-wop, as paisanos Dion DiMucci or Johnny Maestro would be quick to remind. You didn't have to live in a big city, though it sure helped; urban streetcorners were doo-wop's most fertile breeding ground. You didn't have to play an instrument -- that was actually the point. All you had be able to do was blend your voice with three or four others (bass, baritone, tenor, and lead was the customary lineup) in angelic harmony.<

Classic sample: The Flamingoes perform the Harry Warren classic, "I Only have Eyes for you."

Friday, March 6, 2009


GamelaTron: The world's first and only fully robotic Gamelan Orchestra, performs The Future's Stories of the Past

Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Friday, March 6th, 8pm, $10

The Future's Stories of the Past is a suite of music written by Kuffner for the GamelaTron. The pieces tell the mythic stories of humankind's evolution from the point of view of the future's dominant inhabitants - a species of robots with human ancestry. The music draws from Kuffner's years of musical study and training in Indonesia, while maintaining continuity to his current project as Zemi17 in the Brooklyn underground electronic music scene and New York City DJ culture.

Modeled after traditional Balinese and Javanese gamelan orchestras, the GamelaTron is an amalgamation of traditional instruments with a suite of percussive sound makers. MIDI sequences control robotic striking mechanisms that produce intricately woven and rhythmic sound. Performances follow an arc similar to classic Indonesian gatherings, where stories from great epics, such as the Ramayana, are told and settings given in words that are continued in music.

Galapagos Art Space, 16 Main Street (@ Water Street in Dumbo),Brooklyn, NY 11201

For info on this and other upcoming events:

Blogger Bob Guskind - Further Info - NYPD via NY POST

NOTE: I have already been accused of slander for conveying the NY Post item. As I indicated in my comment, it was not intended as slander. Just "information" that was out there when very little was being reported beside the memorials. Robert Guskind, I didn't know you , but Rest in Peace. To his family, friends and colleagues, very sorry for your loss. If you do not wish to read news via the NY Post about the late Mr Guskind that might upset you, even though this is the currency of much of blogdom, please read no further.-- BB

An online NY POST article by LARRY CELONA and JOHN DOYLE, Last updated: 3:01 am, March 6, 2009, Posted: 2:04 am, March 6, 2009 reports that Robert Guskind, "A popular Brooklyn blogger was found dead in his apartment from what police sources said was an apparent drug overdose.

Robert Guskind was found dead at 7:11 p.m. Wednesday in his basement apartment at Dean Street in Prospect Heights, police said.

Guskind, 50, earlier this year lost his full-time job as Brooklyn editor for the real- estate blog Curbed, yet continued to post his commentary about borough development on his own Gowanus Lounge blog."

No further details were available at this time.

The GOP Spectrum

Watching Rachel Maddow last night, saw an interview with Dr. Ada Fisher, a GOP Committee women in North Carolina. Dr. Fisher got much press attention for challenging Republican National Committee chair Rush....I mean Michael Steele, whose chaotic profile and RNC management and attempted head butting of Rush Limbaugh seems to have pushed the GOP further over the cliff. Dr. Fisher was a very well spoken, calm and effective communicator, seemed very down-to-earth. She sent an email to GOP committee members, suggesting that Steele step down, and that was subsequently leaked which led to her invitation to MSNBC's high profile Rachel Maddow Show.

In 2008, she was defeated in her challenge of incumbent Congressman Mel Watt, a Democrat, also an African American candidate, who has represented the district since 1992.

Her website indicates a mix of positions. She is for a marriage amendment, supports the right to own weapons, but also supports the need for alternative energy solutions. Clearly, if we are going to see a continuation of the two-party system in this country that is based on more rational debate and discourse, the GOP needs to get itself together, locate the rational, less incendiary/inflammatory people in their party, regroup and move forward from there.

Just out of curiosity, I checked out Dr. Fisher's 2008 website. A quote from Dr. Fisher: "I have always stated that I support the rights of individuals to bear arms as long as they don't point them at me. I stand by that position."

Her website describes her as a physician, secondary mathematics and science teacher, and school board member. She is currently a GOP Committee Chair in North Carolina. For an interesting take on another end of the spectrum of the Grand Old Party, check her 2008 Congressional election website here:

For comparison, Congressman Mel Watt's website is here:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Twitter!: David Gregory's Ham Sandwich & Beyond

I finally found a little island of the 'net that the majority of my kids were unfamiliar with.

A while back, I had registered with Twitter but hadn't used it with any frequency, and then forgot my log in and password. The other night, during my evening MSNBC fix, Keith Olbermann and Washington journalist Craig Crawford were discussing Twitter. Actually, they were trying to get their arms around this site, and it devolved into a funny exchange about NBC newsman David Gregory's tweet that he had eaten a bagel that day.

Since I have been blogging for awhile, I decided to see what it was all about. I am only "following" a handful of Washington journalists and writers of interest to me at the moment. I have "zippo" followers of my own. It is a Peculiar Literary Form. I tend to be verbose. I am not sure if my personal writing style evolved from my business writing or vice versa. More likely, they "co-evolved" to use a Gregory Bateson & Stewart Brand term. But the 140 word limit Twitter offers, ("What are you doing NOW ?") seems a charming little challenge. It's a little like La Disparition ("The Disappearance"), called "A Void" in its English translation, the 300 page French lipogrammatic novel, written in 1969 by Georges Perec, without the letter "e". Does a Tweet have to be interesting ? Or is it just a very brief online journal ? What is interesting, anyway ? Does it matter if David Gregory ate a ham sandwich that day ? Steven Berlin Johnson is on Stephen Colbert. Is it marketing or just crumbs from the table of celebrity and neo-celebrities ? Is there any long-term future for an application that is really midway between an expansive social networking site like Facebook, or a detailed blog, and a simple text message with a really long "cc:" function ? Well, it is still fun to explore and we will see where this goes. I stopped midway through making dinner to send a tweet question to 1600, David Shuster's news program on MSNBC. But it is a cool adjunct to other media and 'net forms. For instance, it was cool to send the Tweet and then wait to see if my question was going to be used on the show. (It wasn't.) As I went back into the kitchen to finish compiling The Big Salad, I found myself intoning, or actually chirping, much to the annoyance of my 14 year old daughters, "Twitter! Twitter! TWITTER!"

Twitter me at:

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