Monday, December 30, 2013
Wednesday, December 25, 2013
Monday, December 23, 2013
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/14/arts/music/paul-simon-on-mandelas-role-in-graceland.html.
Monday, December 9, 2013
"Even her name, Dasani, speaks of a certain reach. The bottled water had come to Brooklyn’s bodegas just before she was born, catching the fancy of her mother, who could not afford such indulgences. It hinted at a different, upwardly mobile clientele, a set of newcomers who over the next decade would transform the borough."
Friday, December 6, 2013
"Hold a Dollar Bill Up to a Mirror": Slow Growth, No Growth, Inequality and Social Mobility and What Still Needs to Be Done
And I'll show you something funny/
It's only a fast buck, but..../
It's so hard to make that kind of money.."
--Fast Buck Freddy, Jefferson Starship
Following the 2007-2008 financial meltdown, we appear to have reached a new stasis, where the market is booming, unemployment is somewhat stagnant, having not rebounded substantially BEYOND 2008 levels, and household income is shrinking. Wonkblog provides the basis and Larry Summers provides the analysis of why things may not get better without more forceful involvement in monetary and fiscal policy.
As Ezra Klein and Evan Soltas's morning policy news primer Wonkbook/Wonkblog report, in recent speeches, both President Obama and Congressman Paul Ryan have adressed the issues of inequality and social mobility. Both men are quick to say that growth is necessary to reduce both inequality and poverty. But weak growth is no longer the central economic problem obsessing American politics. It's no longer treated as a crisis. No one on either side of the aisle believes new policy is politically possible. Washington has become used to these kinds of numbers and resigned to its inability to do anything about them.
"Meanwhile, the economic profession is beginning to wonder whether slow growth is, for the United States, the new normal. That was the subject of Larry Summers's searing speech before the International Monetary Fund, and it's the subject of Tyler Cowen's work on "The Great Stagnation," and it's the subject of Brad DeLong's 9,000-word piece on whether "growth is getting harder".
Krugman: Secular Stagnation here
Larry Summers Explains It All – and it ain’t so good
And the Fed can’t have negative interest rates; that’d mean peoples’ bank accounts would start losing dollars over time. If that were to happen, everyone would just start doing transactions in cash, which doesn’t decay like that over time. So what the Fed can do — and does do — is promise to keep interest rates at 0 for a very long time.
The hope is that doing that has similar effects to having negative rates, and will get the economy back to normal, where we can have positive rates again. But that approach only works if, when times are good, the interest rate we want is positive. For most of history to date, that’s been true. But Summers argues that it could be that the rate we want is negative. If that’s true, then keeping rates at zero indefinitely won’t get us where we need to be. We need to take much more drastic action.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Thanksgiving Day Parade/But wait, rosebuds still red as spring on the bush out back/Of course! It's December 1st in Brooklyn...
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Many of you know LJ Lindhurst as the artist who painted the Johnny Cash Birthday Bash banner. I'm delighted to serve as curator on her upcoming show "The Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, & God" opening at Littlefield on December 14, 2013.On New Year's Day, I will master the ceremonies of Hank-O-Rama X at the Rodeo Bar. The Lonesome Prairie Dogs' dynamite celebration of Hank Williams has assuaged hangovers annually since 2005. I am excited to take part once again.The Johnny Cash 82nd Birthday Bash will return to the Bell House for two nights this year, on February 28, 2014 and March 1, 2014. Tickets will go on sale soon. Check the Bell House website and Twitter feed for updates.I put a bunch of my music back onto iTunes, including the original master of Goodbye Almira, Fatback-Spo-Dee-O-Dee, Vol. 1, and Ev'rything's OK, Alex Battles. You will enjoy them.My website should be up and running again by the end of the week. I updated something I shouldn't have. I think there was PHP involved. Oops! In the meantime, there's always twitter, facebook, instagram, and most importantly, Calvin & Hobbes.Take care and have a wonderful day.Ab--Deep in the Heart ofBrooklyn
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Sunday, November 17, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Thursday, November 7, 2013
Friday, November 1, 2013
Thursday, October 31, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Blank Generation, 1976. from the album Blank Generation, fronted by Hell, the Voidoids at this time included the late legendary guitarist Richard Quine, Ivan Julian and Marc Bell. "weeee-oooooh!"
Never forget the inspiration. Brilliant music, rebel style:
"I came back to England determined. I had these images I came back with, it was like Marco Polo or Walter Raleigh. I brought back the image of this distressed, strange thing called Richard Hell. And this phrase, 'the blank generation'. [...] Richard Hell was a definite, 100 percent inspiration, and, in fact, I remember telling the Sex Pistols, 'Write a song like Blank Generation, but write your own bloody version,' and their own version was 'Pretty Vacant'."
--Malcolm McLaren in an interview in Please Kill Me, the Uncensored Oral History of Punk, Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, Grove Press (1996), p. 199.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
New Fed Chief Janet Yellen - Of Brooklyn (Not the Manor) Born and Ready for Business (and Employment Growth)
Monday, October 7, 2013
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Soundtrack to reflections on the Passing of General Giap: The Stranglers, "Vietnamerica" 1980
General Vo Nguyen Giap, while not as iconic as Ho Chi Minh, was a familiar figure to advocates both for and against the United States' long intervention in Viet Nam. A relentless and charismatic North Vietnamese general whose campaigns drove both France and the United States out of Vietnam, he died on Friday in Hanoi. He was believed to be 102.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Friday, September 27, 2013
Monday, September 23, 2013
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
Friday, September 13, 2013
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Sunday, September 8, 2013
Monday, September 2, 2013
“I wonder if the machinery of Clinton-world, the layers of staff and ’90s-era wise men, are prepared to deal with the next generation of Instagramming journalist, social media natives who fetishize authenticity,” he said."
Full article in the NY Times here http://nyti.ms/17BxRFi
Saturday, August 31, 2013
Seth Borenstein writes "You simply can't safely bomb a chemical weapon storehouse into oblivion, experts say. That's why they say the United States is probably targeting something other than Syria's nerve agents.
"But now there is concern that bombing other sites could accidentally release dangerous chemical weapons that the U.S. military didn't know were there because they've lost track of some of the suspected nerve agents."
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Saturday, August 24, 2013
The 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington-The Dream- Amazing Strides, Much Yet to Accomplish in Society and in the Hearts of Americans
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro's legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end, but a beginning. And those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual. And there will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom.
We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.
We cannot turn back.
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: "For Whites Only." We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until "justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream."¹
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. And some of you have come from areas where your quest -- quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina, go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.
And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."2
This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last!
Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
More on the speech here http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm
Friday, August 9, 2013
|Jerome John "Jerry" Garcia (August 1, 1942 – August 9, 1995)|
Jerry Garcia comprehensive wikipedia bio here
Thursday, August 8, 2013
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Friday, August 2, 2013
Tuesday, July 23, 2013
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
Friday, July 5, 2013
The Purple Wonder, Prince, performing with his new backup band, 3rdEyeGirl, gave a recent interview to V Magazine, touching on music, art, religion and life...:
Back in the Day: “Think about a young person listening to Joni Mitchell for the frst time on vinyl. You know how fun that is?...”
A Cell What? : "I ask how tech-averse he really is; does he have an iPhone? “Are you serious?” he says. “Hell, no.” He mimics a high-voiced woman. “Where is my phone? Can you call my phone? Oh, I can’t find it.”
Princeheads?: "He talks about people who come to his concerts all the time, akin to the Deadheads. “People come to see us fifty times. Well, that’s not just going to see a concert—that’s some other mess going on. This music changes you. These people are not being satisfed elsewhere by musicians, you feel what I’m saying? It’s no disrespect to anyone else, because we’re not checking for them. But we don’t lip synch. We ain’t got time for it. Ain’t no tape up there.”
Our earlier post on his initial rockin' release with 3rdEyeGirl, Screwdriver, here
Full interview from V Magazine here
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
For everyone stuck at work before, during or following the Independence Day holiday, a bit of pop, mystical reflection from Red Hot Chili Peppers' great video, at once German expressionist and surrealistic, for Otherside, released in 2000.
Monday, June 24, 2013
In 2011's "This Must Be The Place", filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (Il Divo and the forthcoming-in-the-U.S. "Grande Belissima/The Great Beauty)" evinced his fondness for the great Talking Heads tune of the same title (aka Naive Melody). In the film, which is a very joyful and complex work of cinema, Sean Penn's retired rock and roller attends a David Byrne concert where the song is performed live in a lovely string arrangement. I've been smitten by the song again, and found this original video from the time of the release of the album "Speaking in Tongues." The trailer from last year's release here
Friday, June 21, 2013
The moon really will appear larger and brighter than usual this weekend. In fact, this weekend's moon will be the "super moon" of 2013. This occurs because two key points in the lunar cycle will coincide early Sunday morning -- the moon will both be a full moon and at its closest point to Earth in the 29.5-day cycle.
The perigee -- the name for the point in a lunar cycle when the moon is nearest to Earth -- will occur at 7:11 a.m. Sunday, when the body will be 356,911 kilometers, or 221,774 miles, from Earth. This has been referred to as the "Supermoon"; a phenomenon that happens about every 413 days.
The next time a full moon and perigee coincide so closely isn't until August 2014.
According to NASA, the best time for viewing is when the moon is on the horizon. Because full moon and perigee coincide Sunday morning (after the moon has set for the day), Saturday night, early Sunday and Sunday evening should all provide big, bright moons. The times to remember, according to the Naval Observatory: Moonrises occur at 7:45 p.m. Saturday and 8:43 p.m. Sunday; moonset is at 5:47 a.m. Sunday.
Full Moon dates and times for NYC for 2013 appear here
A June full moon is commonly called the Mead Moon, Rose Moon, Honey Moon or Strawberry Moon.
More on the names for Full Moons throughout the year here
- 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
- Indignation - Philip Roth
- 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
- 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