Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New from David Bowie: The Stars (Are Out Tonight)

David Bowie and Tilda Swinton.

From his forthcoming album, The Next Day. More here

Friday, February 22, 2013

Shake it-- Do the Harlem Shuffle

All of the recent news about correct and incorrect, legal and "illegal" flashmob performances of the "Harlem Shake" served as a reminder of the "Harlem Shuffle."

An R&B song written and originally recorded by the duo Bob & Earl in 1963, the tune has been covered by numerous bands including Booker T and the MG's, and, more recently, by The Rolling Stones on their album Dirty Work (1986). Here is the official promo version from the Rolling Stones' "Harlem Shuffle"..

Monday, February 18, 2013

Ai Weiwei: Creativity and Responsibility

Nam June Paik: Global Video Riot on the Electronic Superhighway

Great retrospective of videos, video-embedded constructions, sculpture, installations, Deep Text-card ephemera from the brilliant New York-based, Korean born, visionary, video pioneer and global media phenomenon at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum in Washington DC

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pop Rocks: Asteroid Flyby Upstaged by Russian SkyFall

BBC reported that a meteor crashing in Russia's Ural mountains has injured at least 950 people, as the shockwave blew out windows and rocked buildings. Most of those hurt, in the Chelyabinsk region where the meteor fell, suffered cuts and bruises but at least 46 remain in hospital.

A fireball streaked through the clear morning sky, followed by loud bangs. President Vladimir Putin said he thanked God no big fragments had fallen in populated areas. A large meteor fragment landed in a lake near Chebarkul, a town in Chelyabinsk region. The meteor's dramatic passing was witnessed in Yekaterinburg, 200km (125 miles) to the north, and in Kazakhstan, to the south. "It was quite extraordinary," Chelyabinsk resident Polina Zolotarevskaya told BBC News. "We saw a very bright light and then there was a kind of a track, white and yellow in the sky."

"The explosion was so strong that some windows in our building and in the buildings that are across the road and in the city in general, the windows broke."

Officials say a large meteor partially burned up in the lower atmosphere, resulting in fragments falling earthwards.
Full article from BBC News here

Asteroid 2012 DA-14 Cometh at 2:25 PM Eastern time today (from Space.com)

Later today, of course, at around 2:25 PM Eastern time, NASA will be tracking the flyby of Asteroid 2012 DA14, which will pass into Earth's orbit as close as an estimated 17,000 miles from us. While the asteroid's approach has been in the news for a little while, the meteorite strike in Russia is an even clearer indicator that there's plenty of space junk (Natural and artificial) out there that can and will make its way to the Earth's surface from time to time.
More on the asteroid here
--Anthony Napoli, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Rubio Moment: Coming to Ya Straight From....

If the fact that CNN offered a split screen of the leadup to the State of the Union along with the manhunt for Christopher Dorner in the mountains of California wasn't bizarre enough, the Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) presentation of the GOP response to President Obama's speech seemed to surreally send everything up, up, up into the stratosphere, like the sparks and flames of the burning log cabin where Dorner was believed to have been hiding out.

Rubio's unwavering gaze from the camera, and his understandable, if obvious case of nerves, as he pleaded with listeners to understand how the President and his party have got it all wrong, did look like an opening skit from SNL. When his eyes began to turn upward and inward, that coenethesia-type body awareness, perhaps that something was caught in his throat, well you had to wonder where things were going next. So when the poor jooch stooped down to grab a bottle of agua from off-camera, and took a slug, well, the message went out the window and it was just a matter of time before the tweets and commentary rolled in. New York Magazine gives a delightful assortment here
-Anthony Napoli, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Monday, February 11, 2013

Vatican report: Pope Resigning Feb. 28

Health reasons cited for shock announcement by 85 year old pontiff who assumed leadership in 2005. The last papal resignation occurred in 1415 to end The Great Schism.

Washington post reports here: http://m.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/vatican-says-pope-resigning-on-feb-28/2013/02/11/2d7ef7fa-743b-11e2-9889-60bfcbb02149_story.html?wpisrc=al_national


Sunday, February 10, 2013

El Anatsui: Flowing Light and Form

Ghanaian-born, Nigerian based artist El Anatsui's work that came to prominence at the Venice Biennial opened at the Brooklyn Museum this weekend.

Anatsui was born in Anyako, and trained at the College of Art, University of Science and Technology, in Kumasi, in central Ghana. He began teaching at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, in 1975, and has become affiliated with the Nsukka group.

Anatsui's preferred media are clay and wood, which he uses to create objects based on traditional Ghanaian beliefs and other subjects. He has cut wood with chainsaws and blackened it with acetylene torches; more recently, he has turned to installation art. Some of his works resemble woven cloths such as kente cloth. Anatsui also incorporates uli and nsibidi into his works alongside Ghanaian motifs.

Flowing forms, metal that captures and plays with light filled with color and evocative of folk art, a mixed bag of Western and African implications and references with a deep strain of post-industrial wonder.

--Anthony Napoli, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Photos by Tony Napoli

Thursday, February 7, 2013

"When the City Freezes Over...": Donald Fagen's "Florida Room"

Perhaps, ath te moment, it's the idea of Miami, more so than the reality. And especially when the Northeast faces a Big Freeze, cold, snow and ice over the next few days. Riding the subway, longing for the a shot of that hot tropical sun. Atwing of envy of the idea of lucky friends who are walking along Collins Avenue, then pass the Versace Mansion, down to the blue blue blue waters, with a chaise longe and a crisp white towel and a drink, gazing at the horizon, where you can almost see Cuba in the distance. Palm trees. Houses in the Spanish style.

But for now, it's back to business. And the local National Weather Service forecasts. Sigh.  ANd of course, Donald Fagen's classic funk jazz "Florida Room."

-Anthony Napoli, Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

So It's Sounding Like NYC May Not Get Off So Easy This Winter

Cold, snowy, blustery weather likely late Thursday through Saturday. Rain and snowy mix could initally reduce accumulations but could become "moderate to significant" Friday night, according to the National Weather Service which of course is continuing to monitor the forecast here

-Deep in the Heart of Brooklyn

Saturday, February 2, 2013

NYC Forges Complex and Unique Politicians

“If you agree with me on nine out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist.”
-Ed Koch

A warm and sincere appraisal and reminiscence by his friend and colleague former US Senator Alphonse appeared in today's NY Post.

‘He was loyal to his family, his friends, and his causes’
Last Updated: 1:50 AM, February 2, 2013

To me, Ed Koch will always be “Mr. Mayor.”

Ed Koch was a living legend. He loved New York City, fought for and defended it every day. He was a New York City icon and, throughout the years, remained a sought after voice on the important issues of the day. His number one priority was always fighting to make our communities and our country better places.

I have known the Mayor for over 30 years.

Up until last week, we saw each other twice a week, sometimes more, as we bantered on NY1 and Bloomberg Radio. I will always cherish our friendship and the good laughs we had together.

The Mayor was loyal — to his family, his friends, and his causes. He was loyal to Israel and the Jewish community. He was loyal to the Democratic Party and stood for its principles but was not afraid to cross party lines and support those who he thought would best serve our country — George W. Bush, Reps. Peter King, Bob Turner.

That is the mark of a true political leader. He could distinguish between partisanship and true leadership.

He didn’t feel the need to be all things to all people. When he was Mayor, he recognized that no one was going to agree with him on every issue. He famously said, “If you agree with me on nine out of 12 issues, vote for me. If you agree with me on 12 out of 12 issues, see a psychiatrist.”

The Mayor loved to come to Mama D’Amato’s house each summer for one of her famous meals. He once asked her how much she was paid for doing those great TV ads for me, wisely telling her that she won me re-election with those ads.
I was always the small, funny-looking kid from Long Island with the funny accent, but when I was in the Senate, we were one in our fight for New York City.

Like most New Yorkers, I closely followed the transit strike of 1980. Not everyone agreed with the Mayor’s position on it, but no one will forget the infamous story of the Mayor’s standing on the Brooklyn Bridge, yelling at the people of New York to walk over the bridge because “we’re not going to let these bastards bring us to our knees!” It is so befitting now that the 59th Street Bridge bears the great Mayor’s name.

When the people of New York City voted him out, he said, “Now they must be punished.” I have to say this is a line I still use to this day.

Ed Koch was never about partisanship. He always said he was much more moderate than his supporters, and he was right. We agreed more than we disagreed.

He was a liberal with sanity!

Hizonner was the consummate New York pol, and there was never a parade that he didn’t enjoy. One of our most memorable was the Steuben Day Parade in Manhattan. During my first campaign, like every other candidate, I was desperately trying to get to the front of the parade, where all of the reporters were.

Mayor Koch was right in the front, and I attempted to get close and introduce myself. To my surprise, I was completely body-checked and upended 20 feet into the crowd by none other than former Congresswoman Bella “The Hat” Abzug.

The Mayor never let me live that down! I did eventually squirm my way in, and this was the first time I formally met Mayor Koch.

I am sure we will hear many other “Kochisms” over the next few weeks. There will never be another Mayor Ed Koch.

How are you doin’, Mr. Mayor? Just fine. RIP, my dear friend.

Al D’Amato is a former senator from New York.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch Dead at 88

Ed Koch, the brash, colorful and often confrontational mayor who helped to lead New York City out of its brush with bankruptcy in the 1970s, launching an astonishing municipal turnaround that continues to this day, has died. He was 88.

Associated Press bio here.

NY Times obit here

Edward I. Koch 1924-2013
Hizzoner's Refrain: "How'm I doing?"

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