Tuesday, May 31, 2011

"Too Big To Fail":"First as Tragedy, Next as Farce"

Having just slogged through Andrew Sorkin's "Too Big To Fail" and caught the HBO docu drama, both the door-stopping book and director Curtis Hanson's very watchable but Olympian film (as in the Mountain, not the athletes) left me a bit cold. Sure, as Alexander Hamilton foretold, large debt and big business were the keys to American greatness. But, of course, the pursuit of happiness doesn't mean everyone will achieve it. So the book's interplay of the mini-biographies of the Wall Street players who featured so largely in the 2008 Financial Crisis, with a single photo of one of those titan's being confronted on the bailout by Main Streeters, coupled with the briefly titled epilogue regarding Wall Street bonuses and the corporation's failure to use the money to loan out, only marginally addresses how the popular wisdom that "the economy needed to be saved and only Wall Street with the cooperation of the American government could do it" by-passes the required analysis that this problematic and, for many (in the short term and for most in the long term), disastrous situation deserves.

As the NY Observer noted today, is Andrew Sorkin "too cozy with Wall Street"?

As philosopher/cultural theorist Slavoj Zizek noted in his book "First as Tragedy; Next as Farce" (Verso books) -- billions of dollars have been hastily poured into the global banking system in a frantic attempt at financial stabilization. So why has it not been possible to bring the same forces to bear in addressing world poverty and environmental crisis?

An interesting analysis of the book and some of Zizek's analysis may be viewed in RSA Animate based on Slavoj Zizek's book, "First as Tragedy; Next as Farce." If you sat through Too Big To Fail, this might also be more than worthy of a look. He may not have all the answers, but Zizek certainly raises many challenging questions.

And, if challenging analysis isn't your thing, and you need to have your illusions reinforced, here is a trailer from HBO's "TBTF":


Egyptian Post-Mubarak Military Council vs. Egyptian Women Who Protest: Beatings, Torture, "Virginity Tests"

The Associated Press in a Washington Post article reports that activists and bloggers are pressing Egypt’s military rulers to investigate accusations of serious abuses against protesters, including claims that soldiers subjected female detainees to so-called “virginity tests.” (DITHOB notes that while the focus in the mainstream media has been on the "virginity tests" which thenmselves are a primitive, loathsome action, these also have been followed by beatings, torture/electric shocks and "suspended" prison sentences by the Egyptian military of the women who were detailed/arrested.)

AP reports that bloggers say they will hold a day of online protest Wednesday to voice their outrage, adding to criticism of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took control of the country from ousted President Hosni Mubarak in February."

In the face of the criticism, four journalists along with a prominent blogger were summoned for questioning by the military prosecutor, according to a rights group. They were released without charges."

Hossam al-Hamalawy, the blogger, tweeted: “The visit to the military prosecutor became a chat, where they wanted clarifications for my accusations.”

The virginity test allegations first surfaced after a March 9 rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square that turned violent when men in plainclothes attacked protesters and the army intervened forcefully to clear the square."

One woman who was arrested spoke out about her treatment, and Amnesty International further documented the abuse allegations in a report that found 18 female detainees were threatened with prostitution charges and forced to undergo virginity tests. They were also beaten up and given electric shocks, the report said."

Egypt’s military rulers have come under heavy criticism from the youth protest movement, which is upset at the pace of reforms that they hope will lead Egypt to democracy.Since Mubarak’s fall on Feb. 11, the military has led crackdowns on peaceful protests, and critics accuse it of failing to restore security in the streets or launch serious national dialogue on a clear path forward for Egypt.

The military council denied soldiers attacked protesters at the March 9 rally. But one general used a news conference to make negative remarks about women who mingle with men during the sit-ins and suggested lewd acts were taking place in protest camps.

“There were girls with young men in one tent. Is this rational? There were drugs; pay attention!” Gen. Ismail Etman, the council spokesman, said at the end of March.

"One of the women arrested, Salwa al-Husseini, gave a detailed account at a news conference in March of her treatment and said she was made to undergo a virginity test.She said she was slapped in the face and subjected to electric shocks in her legs before being taken to a military prison.

“When we went to the military prison, me and the girls, we were placed in a room with two doors and a window. The two doors were wide open,” she said. “The girl takes off all her clothes to be searched while there were cameras outside filming to fabricate prostitution charges against us later on,” she added.

“The girl who says she is single, she undergoes a test by someone; we don’t know if he is a soldier or some kid on their behalf,” she said.

Amnesty said in its report that one of the women told her jailers she was a virgin but was beaten and given electric shocks when the test supposedly proved otherwise."
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, in a statement Tuesday, said that the questioning of journalists or bloggers was an attempt to silence critics and create “an atmosphere of fear.” It warned: “The military council is committing a grave mistake if it continues to shut the mouths of those criticizing it. The council is not made up of angels.”

Full article here

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Dance Africa Festival at BAM

Photos by Anthony Napoli 2011

Wonderful singing and dancing, music and riddims on Lafayette Place. Outdoor market bazaar. Every artform explored through the lens of the African (and African American) experience. It can only mean the 2011  Dance Africa Festival is underway at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Through May 30. More info here

Friday, May 27, 2011

East 17th Street in Flatbush Becomes "Saul Bruckner Way"

Edward R. Murrow High School, home to more than 3,000 students, stretches along East 17th Street, between Ave. M and Ave. L in Brooklyn. Starting Thursday, however, that block will be called Saul Bruckner Way, to honor the school’s founder and long-time principal, who passed away last year.

In time for the street renaming, current Murrow senior Man La
drew an oil portrait of Bruckner standing with arms crossed — his signature pose —
against a backdrop of a blue-tiled school hallway.

Full article from the WSJ Here

Thursday, May 26, 2011

MEN IN BLACK 3: Retro Cars on Court Street

photos by Tony Napoli 2011

Photos by Tom Callan, Brooklyn Paper

Agent J, played by Will Smith, travels back in time to rescue a young Agent K played by Josh Brolin. Scene in Williamsburgh at the Relish Diner.  

Set Photos courtesy of the Brooklyn Paper

Monday, May 23, 2011

Bob Dylan, Singer, Songwriter, Poet, Artist, and Now, May 24, 2011, Septuagenarian!


Masculin Feminin by Jean-Luc Godard

File:Bob Dylan - Azkena Rock Festival 2010 2.jpg
Arizona 2010

Bob Dylan in Prospect Park
Prospect Park, Brooklyn 2008

Photo by Eliot Landy, part of a wonderful sequence of photos taken
of Bob Dylan and his young family in Woodstock in 1968 here

Talkin' Bob Dylan at 70 - a nice spread in Time magazine here

Bob Dylan and his fans: Please crawl out my window (What does he owe his fans? Hint: Not much) here

On his claims of drug addiction ("more media b*llsh*t") here
(He also claimed in the same interview to have been a male prostitute -- and don't forget the carnival-sideshow stories here )

Not forever young but forever revered here

Dylan's Bar Mitzvah here

Ebony Hillbillies/Garland Jeffreys perform Dylan here

Legendary rocker's adherance to traditional music has kept him timeless and vital here

All day music, archival and live talk programming on Bob Dylan, including live and archival programming by
legendary free-form radio broadcaster Bob Fass, culminating in a live studio jame featuring Garland Jeffreys,
Guy Davis, Lenny Kaye, J D Daugherty, Electrajet, John Kruth, Sal Maida, Knox Chandler will be performing and the list is growing on WBAI Pacifica Radio here.

And of course the daily encyclopedia of news, events and musings occurring on Planet Bob - Expecting Rain here


"Enhanced Interrogation" (aka Torture) After Bin Laden: "Memos and Testimonies from the 'War on Terror'

Director Doug Liman (Mr. and Mrs Smith; Bourne Identity; Jumper) will direct a performance on Tuesday, May 24 at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater that will use readings, performances, theater, documentary and other forms to provide what promises to be a powerful and penetrating analysis and interpretation of the impact of the post-9/11 "enhanced interrogation techniques" (AKA torture) program on both the humans who are subject to it and the humans who impose it.

Writers Russell Banks, Dahlia Lithwick, Peter Godwin, Rula Jebreal, Beth Gutcheon, Kati Marton, John Buffalo Mailer; Actors Dianne Wiest, Hayden Christensen, Aasif Manvi, Lili Taylor, Rachel Bilson, and other internationally acclaimed writers and artists will join former Guantánamo prosecutor Col. Morris Davis and former CIA interrogator Jack Rice to read from the detailed reports of numerous prisoners, government memos authorizing abusive techniques, and other documents detailing the scope and disastrous human cost of the U.S. torture program. Original videos of former Guantánamo detainees.  The event, which follows a similar event Liman, the ACLU, and PEN presented at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, is being filmed as part of a national documentary film project aimed at promoting accountability for torture.

Doug Liman: “By enlisting both influential cultural figures and ordinary Americans from all walks of life around the country to read these documents in public spaces, the Reckoning project sends the powerful message that accountability is not a political but a human question, one that bears on our national character."

“As the documents we are presenting make clear," Mr. Liman continues, "there is no longer any doubt that the United States repeatedly and systematically violated longstanding prohibitions on torture. It is also clear from the record, as we hear throughout this program, that many courageous men and women stood up against torture and abuse. We’re at a pivotal moment in history, and my hope is that America will honor these men and women and choose a path toward restoring this nation as a defender of human rights.”

DITHOB: Following the recent killing of Bin Laden, and the suggestions that these same physically and psychologically abusive interrogation techniques contributed to the gathering of intelligence that resulted in his location and killing, consideration of the impact of torture and enhanced interrogation on the soul of democracies seems more urgent than ever. In this era of terror, where do pragmatism and ethics meet?

For ticket information:

WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Film Society of Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater
West 65th Street, upper level, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10023

TICKETS: $12 general public; $9 students; $8 seniors; $7 ACLU/PEN/FSLC members

More information and tickets: here

For more information, please visit PEN (Poets Essayists and Novelists) or American Civil Liberties Union

Friday, May 20, 2011

'Ice Trilogy' by Vladimir Sorokin at the PEN World Voices Festival

One among the many highlights of the recent PEN 2011 World Voices Festival included a live performance, directed by the Hungarian film and theater director Kornél Mundruczó, based on Russian writer Vladimir Sorokin’s American debut, Ice Trilogy, an intense, multi-genre novel that spans the 20th century Soviet Union to modern-day Russia. The novel, with its fascinating, key image of an ice hammer that either releases an inner super being – or kills the possible host – was presented as a staged reading at the Old Gym on the Lower East Side on April 30. Mr. Sorokin-- two of whose novels, Ice Trilogy (NY Review Books) and The Day of the Oprichnik (FS&G) were recently published in the US-- was in attendance.

Directed by the Hungarian film and theater director Kornél Mundruczó, The Ice Trilogy was a staged reading in the Old Gym on Mulberry Street, with some enchanting if minimal set design, and riveting performances by Liah Rozenman; Stacey Linnartz; Caitlin Michener; Isidore Elias and Alexandra de Suze. Concept of the show was by Kornl Mundruczo and Marton Agh. The text was based on 'Ice' and was created by Mr. Mundruczo

A musical interlude of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game was subtly and hauntingly woven into the play.The reading moved through a number of tableaux, building in intensity, with drama that felt to be dripping with hidden irony. So glad to have had the opportunity to attend.

Ice Trilogy, the novel, was recently published by NY Review Books, and Day of the Oprichnick, just published by Farrar, Strauss & Giroux.

All photos of the performance by Beowulf Sheehan.

Center: Author Vladimir Sorokin, in the audience.

Thanks to Eszter Gyarfas and Festival Director László Jakab Orsós .

A video of ICE at the Old Gym from the PEN site:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Zoot Alors! American and French NY Post Readers Battle It Out Over DSK in the NYP Comments Section

Following the latest revelations that former I.M.F. Chief  "DSK" patronized Madame Kristin Hooker's high-priced call girls, the comments section on the article in the NY Post exploded as a battleground between New Yorkers and French readers of the tab over American forms of jurisprudence and the treatment of the French politician.

Last night, wasn't sure if I was reading to much into while watching NY1's Inside City Hall, where Errol Louis interviewed two French journalists on the coverage of the story, Americaine and Francais-style. It appeared that the reporter from France 4, bristled a bit at the questioning -- America putting France on the spot? Impossible! The other reporter observed the difficulty that the French media was having in attempting to cover such a story of intense international interest long distance. I guess the NY Post is gladly filling that gap.

Comments included: "Socialist pig!" With a reply of "that's like calling you a blonde bitch." Or "And if the trial shows he's innocent, you're gonna... give him his balls back or something ? Oh the Idiocracy!" And more "Just put your hands up and yell "Surrender" allready. That's what your good at!!! LMAO!!!" and "sure,you're the best people in the whole world...8 years with Bush as president,congratulations." Or "Why do you believe so much what you see in the newspaper? The girl in the sofitel was poor, its so easy to build a "sex story" in the american system of justice."

Of course the topper, which wouldn't make Mayor Bloomberg happy is "I will NEVER visit USA."

Read it here

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Depart from Me This Moment": Bob Dylan and the NECLC Dinner

"As I Went Out One Morning" is a song written by Bob Dylan, released on his 1967 album John Wesley Harding. He has only performed this song live once, in the early phase of the Bob Dylan and The Band 1974 Tour:

As I went out one morning
To breathe the air around Tom Paine's
I spied the fairest damsel
That ever did walk in chains

I offer'd her my hand
She took me by the arm
I knew that very instant
She meant to do me harm.

"Depart from me this moment"
I told her with my voice
Said she, "But I don't wish to"
Said I, "But you have no choice"
"I beg you, sir", she pleaded
From the corners of her mouth
"I will secretly accept you
And together we'll fly south".

Just then Tom Paine, himself
Came running from across the field
Shouting at this lovely girl
And commanding her to yield
And as she was letting go her grip
Up Tom Paine did run
"I'm sorry, sir", he said to me
"I'm sorry for what she'd done".

Copyright © 1968 by Dwarf Music; renewed 1996 by Dwarf Music

The lyrics to "As I Went Out One Morning" tell about a man who offers a hand to a woman in chains, but realizes that she wants more than he is offering, and that "she meant to do [him] harm." A character identified as Tom Paine then appears and, "command[s] her to yield" and apologizing to the narrator for the woman's actions. Tom Paine as a figure may represent common sense or civil liberties, which the historical Tom Paine championed. However, it is also likely that this song references the prestigious Tom Paine Award that Dylan received in 1963 from the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee (NECLC). Dylan delivered a rambling acceptance speech and was booed and rushed from the stage when he claimed to have empathy for some of Lee Harvey Oswald feelings.It is thought that afterward Dylan wrote the song on a paper napkin.

More on the NECLU dinner and context here

In a convoluted, poetic, surreal way, he addresses many of the same issues supported by the organization granting him the award. Challenging limits on freedom to travel. Freedom to speak. To think. To speak while thinking. To speak without thinking. But Dylan does so by exploring, intentionally or subconsciously, the limits of the NECLC's own sense of freedom of speech and thought. The artist as a young man who gets under their skin, and rather than just accepting the award in a self-congratulatory way, he manages to blow the whole thing wide open, inadvertently upending the premise of the awards dinner, as those present who are protecting free speech, boo him for HIS free speech. Just as he would be booed for exploring new musical realms. The artist, motivated by his own spirit, subconscious drives and energies, speaks, perhaps not in an heroic manner, whatever that means, but authentic and true to himself.  To speak, perchance to dream.

Forever overturning boundaries and rolling expectations and assumptions into the ditch. Forever young.
-Tony Napoli, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Friday, May 13, 2011

Remembering The Old, Weird America: "Now the Heart Is Filled With Gold/As If It Was a Purse"

"In May 1966 the Depression soul of the folk movement was erased by a dandy dropping the glamorous Blonde on Blonde. Taken together, as a single moment, these records rank with the most intense outbreaks of twentieth-century modernism; they join the whole Gothic-romantic traverse of American self-regard. But the true result of this long year of creation and discovery was no aesthetic artifact to buy or sell, to hoard or discard, but rather a set of public performances: a tour that from the fall of 1965 through the spring of 1966 grew almost nightly in fervor, drama, and, near the end, conflict. Officially all but undocumented, these nights, these events, found their form in rumor, tall tale, and memory." - Greil Marcus

The Old Weird America: The World of Bob Dylan's Basement Tapes, 2nd edition, by Greil Marcus, (previously published as The Invisible Republic) republished by Picador.

“He would pull these songs out of nowhere,” Robbie Robertson said. “We didn’t know if he wrote them or if he remembered them. When he sang them, you couldn’t tell.” That, in the basement tapes laboratory, is the alchemy, and in that alchemy is an undiscovered country, like the purloined letter hiding in plain sight.

Twenty-six years after they were made, years during which Bob Dylan had, it seemed, long since lost all maps to any crossroads beyond those within the ever-diminishing confines of his own career, the basement tapes were creeping up and out of their laboratory as if for the first time. Without knowing quite what I meant by “a laboratory,” I tried the notion out on Robbie Robertson, a friend since the early 1970s. “No,” he said. “A conspiracy. It was like the Watergate tapes. A lot of stuff, Bob would say, ‘We should destroy this.’ ”

(Dylan) came down to the basement with a piece of typewritten paper - and it was typed out - in line form - and he just said ‘Have you got any music for this?’ I [Richard Manuel] had a couple of musical movements that fit, that seemed to fit, so I just elaborated a little bit, because I wasn’t sure what the lyrics meant. I couldn’t run upstairs and say, ‘What’s this mean Bob? Now the heart is filled with gold as if it was a purse.’

Big Pink

Full excerpt here

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Bloody Bloody: "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter" In Production

Benjamin Walker as Abraham Lincoln. Photo by Stephen Vaughn
I thought that Seth Grahame-Smith's compulsively readable novel Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was an enormously entertaining mash-up of the historical fiction and horror genres, with a strong sense of versimilitude. I am not a reader of vampire fiction, so I hope it is high praise for both authors when I say that the novel resonated in my memory with Gore Vidal's literary masterpiece, Lincoln, but pushed it far off-shore into an unexpectedly literate and thoughtful biography of our 16th president, while deliving into realms of metaphor that looked at slavery and the Civil War from a skewed, but not wholly unwelcome,  perspective.

Therefore, it was with equal delight and anticipation that I opened the NY Times this morning to learn that not only is a film on this odd story in the works, but it will feature Benjamin Walker who mostly recently did a star turn as another American president on Broadway in "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" which I thoroughly enjoyed. A sample from his dynamic emo-rockin' performance in "Bloody Bloody..." on Broadway (which won't be reflected in the upcoming film " here

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, being helmed by Timur Bekmambetov, is set for a blockbuster summer release next June. I can't wait.

NY Times article on the forthcoming film in production in Louisiana here

The "book trailer" from Hatchette Book Group which gives a flavor for the concept here

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